The four New York trips we took from FUMC-K tend to run together because there were many students and adults who participated in more than one of the adventures. But each trip had its own personality, and here are a few of the things I remember from 1994:
- Angie Whalin bought a stuffed dog from F.A.O. Schwartz at Central Park. This dog was roughly the size of a small adult human! She had to carry it back across Manhattan to the hotel, which was no easy task. She also had to get on the plane to go home. At one point we were afraid we might have to buy it a ticket...
- Sharon Lynes was one the adults on the trip, and she quickly became addicted to NYC. She would go on to accompany us on all of our trips, plus a few of her own.
- Todd Willis and Jocelyn Sessions were close friends, and as we walked the many, many blocks we walked each day around the city they would often walk side by side, engrossed in deep discussions. If you have ever walked the sidewalks of Manhattan, you know that there is seldom room to walk single file, much less side by side. Jocelyn always looked so surprised when men in $500 suits would bump into her and not apologize, and at one point she openly accused them of being rude!
- I already knew, and the rest of the group discovered, that the best hot chocolate in the history of the world could be found across 45th Street from the Milford Plaza at a place called Ooh-La-La! Sadly, it closed a decade ago. They put actual hot fudge in your hot chocolate. Many was the morning I got up early, went and got a large cup, and then went back again when the rest of the group went!
- We saw the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, with the Rockettes and Nativity featuring live camels and other animals. It was stirring and uplifting, and gave us all an early start on the Christmas season.
- This was the last NY trip we took that was officially a United Nations Seminar. The seminar at the Methodist Center was not up to its usual high standards- it was actually pretty boring. Plus, it was outside of the interests of the group of students I was now serving. From 1994 forward we let the city itself serve as our seminar, and it proved to be a great teacher.
- We saw Les Miserables on Saturday night, and used the story for our worship on Sunday morning. We talked about the Biblical truth that "God is love," and we added the line from Les Miz that "to love another person is to see the face of God..." It was a very inspirational morning.
- I didn't know at the time that due to changes in Osceola County school policies we would not be back to NYC in November for several years. The weekend before Thanksgiving is still one of my favorite times to be in NYC. They are decorating, getting ready for the Macy's Parade, and just generally putting their best foot forward. And it's cold. New York is supposed to be cold!
Because of Jesus,