Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Annual New York City Trip

The Annual New York City Trip actually took place Wednesday July 23rd through Sunday July 27th BEFORE my car accident. I have just been so busy I haven't had time to post about it. So here is the exciting travel log. I didn't take any pictures except for two night shots of the Empire and Chrysler buildings. Sorry!

Wednesday: Mom and I finally landed in Newark, NJ after doing circles around Connecticut for what seemed like hours! My aunt Caren (my mom's sister) picked us up from the airport. We drove into New York City or "home" as I like to call it. We ate dinner at The Redeye, also known as the Dancing Shrimp Restaurant. The food tasted delicious! Mom, Caren, and I saw the musical Damn Yankees at the New York City Center starring Sean Hayes (from Will and Grace) and Jane Krakowski (from 30 Rock and Ally McBeal). I loved the musical! Sean and Jane did a wonderful job. Sean even cracked himself up. It was great! I was so glad I was able to see it. It was pouring rain with lightening and thunder outside as we left the theater and drove to Caren’s condo in West New York, NJ where we spent the night.

Thursday: Mom and I got up around 7 AM which is way too early on vacation. We rode the Jitny (a small shuttle-like bus) into New York City. It let us off on 42nd Street near Broadway. We walked in the rain to the subway station and bought a MetroCard. We got on the subway and rode it to Lincoln Center. Mom and I were quite subway-savvy. We attended an endowment session at the Manhattan Temple. Most of the people in our session were on vacation from Utah. Go figure! I love the stark contrast of peace and quiet found in the Temple and the hustle and bustle of city life on the streets below. By the time we came out after the session, the clouds had dissipated leaving blue sky and sunshine for us to enjoy. We got back on the subway and rode it to 51st St and Broadway. We tried to find Ray’s Pizza but didn’t have any luck. We ate lunch at Ellen’s Stardust Diner. I was so embarrassed to be in there. The servers not only served food but also sang. Some of the singing was okay but I just wanted to leave! We walked to the Holiday Inn Express near 5th Avenue. We checked into our room and rested for a little while. Mom and I walked around 5th Avenue and then back to the Gershwin Theatre and met up with my friend Jenny after she got off work. (Jenny lives in New York City.) We walked to a Mexican restaurant on 51st St. We all got chicken burritos, and they tasted delicious! I enjoyed catching up with Jenny and spending a little while with her. Mom, Caren, and I walked to the Gershwin Theatre where we saw Wicked. Mom and I had front row seats on opposite sides of the theatre. Caren sat behind me one row. I loved sitting that close. I enjoyed seeing the facial expressions and the detail on the costumes. The seat I was sitting in had a very limited view. Good thing I had seen it thirteen times already! I absolutely LOVED Wicked! I don’t think I will ever get tired of seeing it. The storyline, music, characters, etc just thrill me. When the lights go down and the first note is played, I squeal with joy. My favorite Glinda was in this cast, Kendra Kassebaum. I had seen Kendra quite a few times and loved her performances! After the show was over, I waited at the stage door for Kendra but she had already left by the time I got there. Darn it! I really wanted to meet her and tell her what an amazing performance she gave and how much I enjoyed her performance.

Friday: Mom and I slept in until 9 AM. That's more like it! Mom and I walked to the subway station near Bryant Park. We rode the subway to the South Sea Port. The subway ride involved a transfer. There were a few locals that helped us get on the right subway at the transfer station. They were really nice! We got to the South Sea Port without any detours! We were subway-smart! We went to the TKTS at the South Sea Port. I didn’t like the selection they had so I refused to get a ticket for that evening’s show. We walked through the financial district to Century 21. I bought a few things. We rode the subway back to Bryant Park. We made the transfer without any problems. We went to the TKTS at the Marriott Marquis to buy tickets for that evening’s performances. I bought a ticket to see Mary Poppins and Mom bought a ticket to see a revival of Gypsy. We finally found Ray’s Pizza for a late lunch, early dinner. I ate a slice of mushroom and spinach pizza with white sauce. The slice was HUGE!! Mom and I should have shared a slice. I ate the whole thing! I shouldn’t have, but I did! It tasted delicious! I didn’t feel comfortable again for a few hours after I ate. Oh well, it was worth it! Mom walked me to the New Amsterdam Theatre where Mary Poppins was playing. Then Mom walked over a block to the theatre where Gypsy was playing. I was one of the first few people in the theatre. I found my seat and read the Playbill. The guy sitting next to me also came to see the show alone. He was a college student from Korea. He was in America as a foreign student for a semester. I enjoyed getting to know him. Mary Poppins was amazing! I loved it even better the second time than I did the first time. (I kind of fell asleep the first time I saw it!) I had to see it again and I was so glad I did! After the show ended, I text Mom to let her know I was out and walked to Coldstone Creamery. It was down a little ways and across the street from the theater. By the time I got to the front of the line (it was really busy!), Mom had gotten out of her theater and walked over to Coldstone. We bought some ice cream for our after-theater treat. (The after-theater treat is required when seeing any theatrical performance!)

Saturday: Caren, Mom, and I walked to the Gershwin Theatre. We attended Behind the Emerald Curtain. We saw a lot of the costumes used in Wicked. We also saw the masks, wigs, and props. Two of the performers in Wicked told us about the show. They told us how they got to be in the show and then the process of the making of the show. I really enjoyed it! They showed a video about the behind the scenes of Wicked. I had a blast! Here are some pictures of some of the costumes.

Elphaba's dress from the Second Act

Glinda's "bubble" dress

We walked to TKTS and bought tickets to the play 39 Steps. We ate lunch at Virgil’s. We shared an order of barbecue chicken wings and train wreck fries and banana pudding for dessert! I love their banana pudding because they put nilla wafers in it. YUM! We walked to the theatre where 39 Steps was playing. It was a play without any singing or dancing. I hate to admit it, but I fell asleep. I was so tired! It was dark and there was air-conditioning. Not a good combination to try to stay awake in. I didn’t really get what the 39 steps were to?! Maybe I should have stayed awake! We went to the New York Public Library on 5th Avenue. I always wanted to go in there because it was such an old iconic building. We looked at a photography exhibit. Mom and I went to look at a few books in the library just to make sure it was legit. We bought cupcakes for dinner from The Little Pie Company in the food court of Grand Central Station. I LOVED Grand Central Station! It was one of my most favorite places in New York City outside of the theater district. We walked to Bryant Park and sat for awhile. We ate our cupcakes in the park. YUM! We enjoyed watching people. We walked back to Broadway and saw the musical The Little Mermaid. It was really cute! By the end of the performance, Caren ended up sitting fifth row center! I loved the music and costumes. It was great! Disney and Broadway is an awesome combination! I was glad to end off my theater experience with a splash! We drove to Caren’s home in West New York, NJ where we spent the night.

Sunday: We hung out at Caren’s house most of the day. Caren drove us to the Newark airport and Mom and I flew home.

That was the annual New York City trip. I had such a wonderful time. I love being in the city because I feel an energy there I don't feel anywhere else!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Demolition Derby

Last Tuesday started out just like any other day. I got up at 5 AM, exercised for an hour and a half, got ready for work, and ate breakfast. I got in my car and began my 25 minute journey for work. That is where the "regular day" ended.

As I was approaching 3900 South on Wasatch Blvd, the light was red. I slowed down and got in the right lane like a good, courteous driver does. Before I got to the intersection, the light changed to green. The car in front of me accelerated and went through the intersection. I was following them and then all of a sudden there was a truck in front of me in the intersection heading east on 3900 South and my car crashed into his truck. The only thought that went through my mind right before the accident was, "I'm not going to stop in time." After the accident, my first thought was, "Ouch, my neck hurts."

I tried to move my car out of the intersection, but that was all in vain. The car was totally immobile. A witness came up to me and asked if I was hurt. I said, "My neck hurts." She told me not to move. Then the driver of the truck I hit came over to me. He asked me, "What happened? I was reaching for my mug." I told him, "You ran a red light and I hit you." He said, "Oh" and walked away to the curb. The witnesses told me later that he told them he was talking on his cell phone, his mug had spilled over, and he was reaching for his mug when he ran the red light and I hit him. Smoke was coming from where my airbag went out on the passenger side (which I guess is normal) but the witness thought I should get out of the car.
My coworker, Jenn, was in a Hummer behind me. She saw the whole accident and stayed with me through the whole ordeal. She also drove me to work after it was all over.

Two police vehicles, an ambulance, and a fire truck showed up at the scene of the accident. I gave the police my information and just stood there on the sidewalk. The witnesses filled out their witness papers. I think the police talked to the guy in the truck more than me. The fire fighter checked me out (not in the way that a girl wants to be checked out) and told me they advise me to go to the hospital. I told them no and then signed away my right to sue them if I found out later that I should have gone to the hospital. The ambulance and fire truck left.

I had to figure out where to tow poor Sammy (my car). I decided to send her to a nearby body repair shop but I had no hope she would be repaired. She was totalled. After 13 years together, I felt horrible how our relationship ended. She had been so good to me through the years. She was very reliable and dependable. I will sure miss her.
The police came over to me, gave me the guys information, and told me he was cited for the accident and for NOT having insurance. Now that is the news every person involved in an accident that isn't their fault wants to hear.
I cleaned out most of my stuff from Sammy. Loaded up my sacks of car stuff into my coworker's Hummer and proceeded to work. Everyone at work knew what had happened. Jenn had the presence of mind to tell them we would be late. Everyone felt so bad for me.

As the day progressed, the pain in my neck, shoulders, and back got worse. I ended up leaving work an hour early and having my mom take me to the Urgent Care. After four x-rays and more touching than I care to have from strangers, it was decided that I didn't have any broken bones. I had just pulled the muscles and ligaments in my neck, shoulders, and upper back. I didn't even get any prescriptions for pain medicine or a muscle relaxer.

I went home and rested. About five days later, I continue to be on the mend. I am really stiff when I wake up in the morning. By mid-morning, I feel great. Then I get a pain under my left shoulder blade in the evening. I also got one bruise on my left arm (but I'm not really sure if that is from the accident).

If the accident would have happened one second later, the truck would have plowed into my driver's side. He would have totally taken me out. He wasn't even breaking when the accident happened. He was accelerating. One second seemed to be the difference between minor injuries and major injuries or worse. I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who spared me from a lot of pain and suffering.

Here are some pictures my mom took of my car at the body shop as she cleaned out the rest of my stuff from the car before we released her to be sold as parts.

Now I have the task of buying a new car. Does anyone have a suggestion on what vehicle I should purchase? I am not accepting any answers of a Hummer or a tank. Very funny! Ha-ha! I don't know whether to go fuel efficient or a nice ride. It doesn't seem you can get both. I went car shopping with my dad last Saturday so I have a pretty good idea of what I'm going to get. I'm just curious as to what you have to say. (Stephanie I already read your blog about the new car so I don't need you to repeat that!) I probably won't be getting this new car until after I return from Nashville in January.

This week I'm relying on the kindness of others to get to and from work. I'm grateful I already had a trip to Lake Powell planned for the end of this week. Yea! It is just what my body needs to get some rest and relaxation. In my mind, there is no better place to get r & r than Lake Powell.