On Top of the World

On Saturday, we ventured into the Emerald City to see the Wizard.  We discovered that the Wizard had returned to Kansas for the holiday weekend which was just fine with us!  We enjoyed our day in the Big Apple – just us five and about 8 million residents and other tourists.

Joining us on our excursion was Laima Bula, a chaperone who happens to be staying with a family here in Bethlehem, PA.  Laima was very sweet and so kind.  I think that Laima and Daniela appreciated the opportunity to talk to someone in their native tongue.  They both were laughing and smiling throughout the day.

Our first stop was Ground Zero.  We did not visit the memorial partly because we had limited time but also because we couldn’t find the entrance!  We hooked up with my cousin, Susan, who spent the day traipsing around the city with us.  It was nice to have a member of my family get the chance to meet Daniela and spend a little time with her.

The first thing Daniela asked when we arrived in the city was where do we go swimming?  We had to explain to her that there is no place to swim in NYC.  She immediately became annoyed and adopted a little attitude.  Even Laima exclaimed “Teenagers!”  Once we showed her the East River she began to understand!  Eileen and I were determined to enjoy the day and have some fun even if it meant dragging Daniela along until her mood changed.  We’ve learned this much about her – she is stubborn but will eventually come around when she realizes she can enjoy the situation and have some fun.

After a little lunch we hopped on the famous NYC subway and headed uptown to Rockefeller Center.  Everyone enjoyed the beautiful surroundings with the wonderful architecture, the shade trees, the sculptures and all the crowds.  Laima and Daniela enjoyed trying to find the Latvian flag in the plaza and squealed with delight and applause when they found it.

At this point Daniela was starting to warm up.  We went to the Top of the Rock to take in the magnificent views with the weather being ideal.  Daniela asked to have the camera so she could take pictures as we were heading up in the elevator (she was beginning to get excited but didn’t want to admit it).  When we got to the top, everyone was speechless!  The views were breathtaking.

After a brief stop in Times Square our sweaty, tired family headed for home.  Daniela played some of her mp3 music through the car stereo and we were dancing and singing along. She had been reluctant to play her music for us and was relieved (I imagine) when we enjoyed it!  When we arrived home Daniela wanted to email the pictures of her adventure to Inga her house director back in Latvia.  So we did that and sent Daniela a copy of the email (Eileen managed to smoothly get that email contact info from Daniela so now we have a way to keep in touch with her when she returns to Latvia).

After a little light supper, we went upstairs to tuck our girl in to bed.  Her bed was unmade and her clothes were scattered throughout the room.  We jokingly acted in horror at the “mess” and Daniela enjoyed a good laugh.  She said that in her room her feet never touch the floor because of all the stuff on the floor.  She says that she likes to have small rooms so the things she has will fill up the space and make her feel cozy.

Another very good day where the walls came down a little bit more.

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