If I Can Make It There

I’ll make it anywhere. That’s how the song goes, right?

I think I shall begin logging bicycle rides not by the number of miles I turn, but by the number of times I nearly get killed by a distracted driver. Today’s count is two. I originally wrote only two, but then edited because really one is all ya need. OK, one is too many. It would take just one to wreck me for good, so the target is zero. Nada. Zip. I should consider myself lucky to have survived another urban cycling adventure.

And it was an adventure. For four whole miles, I pedaled south along the shores of Lake Michigan. For four whole miles I passed no one, I heard no motorized anything. My goal was to ride south to College Avenue, about six miles south of home. I made it. Here’s the tricky thing though: it is not enough, not enough by half, to merely arrive at your destination to meet your goal. You also have to make your way back home. Which I did, triumphantly for me, to the notice of no one else on the planet. 14.7 miles, coupla airhead motorists, lots of ups and downs, achy quads and triceps later. Boom. Just like the old days. OK, not at all like the old days. But strong. Fine! Strong-ish.

Waaaay over there? Looking even smaller than an ant community? That’s downtown.

The Actual big news is that I am headed to New York City tomorrow. No, there is no Barenaked Ladies concert to attend, it’s a reunion of my college friends. The four girls I spent 4+ years cramming for exams with at Marquette in the late 80s are meeting in New York City. We are now scattered throughout the Midwest and East coast, and we’ve all reached this magical, stupid age, so why not?

I’m not gonna lie, up until this morning towards the end of my bike ride, I was pretty scared. I’ve flown before by myself, so it’s not that. It’s, well I don’t know what it is, but I know that my anxiety meter was pinging into the red.

The other four girls have all been there before, so I have nothing to do but follow them around. I was not responsible for making even one of the travel arrangements; in fact, the girls were good enough even to scout out flights for me. Still though, nervous. And a little guilty. Mom guilt is a bee-otch, you guys. My son, he of MD fame/infamy/neither of those, just the kid who is DYING to visit NYC, laid it on pretty thick for a brief period. Then I reminded him how old I am, and it’s just now my first time taking a bite out of the Big Apple.

Anyway, for the first time since downloading the Southwest Airlines app, I felt not apprehension but anticipation. They promised me they wouldn’t leave the airport without me, and I’m holding them to it. So technically I can make it there. . . I do have my boarding pass, and now all I have to do is pack.

Sue, Bridget, Beth, and Julie–Monitor Hall (the ugliest building on campus) Takes Manhattan–let’s go!

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3 thoughts on “If I Can Make It There

  1. It’s gonna be epic! Ok, so maybe just 50-ish women touring Manhattan epic, but awesome nonetheless! Can’t wait to see you in the Big Apple 🍎 Safe travels ✈️

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  2. I’ll be in New York in a few weeks! I so wish our trips were overlapping, Wendy! I’d love to buy you a Guinness at a real New York dive bar and talk Rush and Extreme!

    I’m sure you’ve got a rigid itinerary, but if this native New Yorker can offer you one piece of advice, Wendy, it would be this: Don’t confine yourself to merely Midtown. The most interesting parts of New York are the ones you never saw on Sex and the City. Take the A train (that Duke Ellington reference is entirely unintentional) up to Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan and see the Cloisters. Tour the streets of Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope. Take the tram over to Roosevelt Island and walk it up and down — it’s a weird little city unto itself right there in the East River! (All of these places are perfectly safe to visit, by the way, particularly in the daytime. Just keep your MetroCard handy but concealed and you’ll be fine.) Make it a point to go to one place either in Upper Manhattan or in the outer boroughs — that’s where the blue-collar beating heart of the city lives, anyway. Walk the streets and take them in; take my word for it when I tell you that there is no greater pleasure in life than strolling the streets of New York City. I’ve been doing it my whole life, and I never tire of it. Never. I dream day and night of being back there permanently…

    Safe travels, pal. Have a great time! Let me know how you enjoyed the trip, and send me an e-mail if you need any on-the-fly advice about what to see or where to go…

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