Unique New York!

Open mouth.  Insert foot.  Things happen.  At least that’s what happens to me.  At 85, my mother’s sister Loena suffers from heart trouble and Quilter’s Thumb, but she never complains.  She uses a cane on good days, a walker or wheelchair the rest of the time.  Aunt Loena lives in Detroit, but was always too busy taking care of everyone else to travel.  A couple years ago, with my Michigan sister Lee, my aunt flew to Seattle to come see us.

She was frail and tired easily.  Once, when we couldn’t hear her snoring, I tiptoed in to see if she was still breathing.  But we laughed often and loudly; I felt my mother’s presence so strongly I wanted to pour Mom a cup of coffee too.  The visit went so well I asked my aunt where she’d like to go next.  I figured Holland, Michigan, perhaps, to see the tulips.  But no.  Aunt Loena said, “Your mother and I were planning a trip to New York, to see the Statue of Liberty and lots of Broadway musicals.  That was before she got sick.”

I’ll take you!” I blurted.  Then I felt sick.  I’ve always suffered from Foot in Mouth disease.  My other chronic illness was Newyorkaphobia.  In my mind NYC was big, bad, dangerous.  AND expensive.  I had the money, but it was tucked away for a trip to England, a place I really did want to see. But a promise is a promise.

I researched airfare, hotels, even how to hail a cab.  We picked up travel companions right and left, like Dorothy on her way to Emerald City.  I ordered show tickets, mailed maps and instructions to them all.  My daughter Bea and I flew into JFK.  My sister Con flew from Alaska to her daughter Jane’s, and they trained in from Boston.  Lee and Aunt Loena flew into Newark from Detroit.  We all arrived within twenty minutes of each other at the Casablanca Hotel, half a block from Times Square!

I chose the hotel for its proximity to theaters and its uniqueness–the breakfast room is called Rick’s, after Humphrey Bogart’s character in Casablanca.  Six women crammed themselves into a suite meant for four, but the staff didn’t seem to mind.  Everyone was helpful; they even provided a wheelchair.  At  Casablanca’s Happy Hour, we had fruit, cookies, wine and cheese.

Jane, Constance, Bea, Lee, and Aunt Loena at a Very Happy Hour.

Then it was time to go to our first Broadway musical, Billy Elliot.  Jane had made other plans, so five of us stood outside the hotel while I hailed a cab.  It pulled over to the curb and we all crowded in.

“Only four, please.”  The driver had an accent, and was clearly from somewhere in Africa.

“The theater is just a few blocks,” I said, “but my auntie can’t walk.”

“I cannot take more than four passengers.”

“We don’t mind Cozy.”

“No, no, no.  I mean I get into big trouble for carrying more than four passengers.”

“Oh, we don’t want to get you in trouble.  It’s not far.  My sisters can walk, and we’ll meet them there.”

Lee and Con got out and started walking. He put his hand to his forehead and sighed.  “Call them back.”

“Really?”  I hollered for my sisters, and soon we were all back in the cab, with Bea ducked down out of sight.

Our driver was Daniel, a doctor from Togo, who was making better money driving a cab in NYC than in the medical profession in Togo.  We asked about his family, and whether he missed his home.  “It’s best for the children,” he said. He was curious about our lives too.  As we talked, my fears dropped away.

Fool’s luck must have sent Mr. Adenje to us on our first evening in New York.  I knew we were in good hands, even before he refused any money for the ride, even the twenty dollar tip I tried to give him.  Where does THAT ever happen?  Certainly not in Seattle!  This couldn’t be the ugly city that so terrified me!  At first I thought Mr Adenje was an angel in disguise; I have come to think of him as the spirit of New York.

The whole time we were there we never met an unkind person.  Everyone had a story to tell, like Fergus, the driver who gave Aunt Loena her first buggy ride.  He told us he gained fifteen pounds in one week when his mother came from Ireland to visit and meet her first grandchild.

Fergus, Bea, and Aunt Loena.

At a hot dog stand in Central Park, the elderly gent ahead of us insisted on treating.  Aunt Loena was convinced he was Scottish, despite his yarmulke and Yiddish accent.  “In any case,” I told her, “you’ve still got what it takes!”   My aunt laughed and pshawed, but still she blushed like a young girl.

Central Park is an oasis in a concrete jungle.

The next night, by the time Aunt Loena could shuffle out of the theater, where we saw Phantom of the Opera, the cabs were all gone.  But a man in a rickshaw pedaled up; another ‘first’ for my aunt.  She and I sat with Bea on my lap, as Rene from El Salvador wove through late-night traffic, cutting off stretch limousines, jumping potholes like a Latin Evil Knievel, and cutting through dark alleys.  He hadn’t been home for six years, and had a daughter he had never seen.  He said he liked working the late night shift, because the days could be so very hot.  While we talked with Rene, Aunt Loena smiled and waved to strangers on the street, and they all smiled and waved back.

Bea and Auntie Lee on our city bus tour.

Ghosts of New York’s past can still be seen.

And then there is the Natural History Museum.  Very Educational.

 Since then I have returned to the Big Apple of my own free will.   I brought my husband, my kids, and an open heart.

I am learning to let go of my fears.  There are so many places I still want to see, too many stories out in that wide world I have yet to hear.  I hope I never get too old to enjoy them, or too afraid to try.  After all, I’ve already seen how high an old lady can kick up her heels while keeping a sturdy grip on her walker.

All images and words copyright 2012 Naomi Baltuck

For more great photos of New York, check out “I Love New York” in writer Kourteny Heintz’s Journal!



  1. I love New York…thanks!

    1. I feel as though I have just scratched the surface. Next time more plays, more museums, and a research trip to Ellis Island! Thanks for stopping by.

      1. It doesn’t matter how many times you go to NYC, there is always something new to do or see…

  2. Samir says:

    Wow… you really can motivate someone to visit a place 😉

    I’ve always though of NY as large, messy and dangerous as well. But my friends who’ve visited it all had wonderful experiences, so I hope to see it one day.

    1. Believe me, I know what you mean, Samir. I managed to avoid New York for decades, as I often do other big cities. When I go to England I always get a rental car out of London and head immediately for thatched roof country. I had been there several times, visited all the museums, and had no wish to spend any time there.

      But on my last trip to England, with Bea, she asked to see London. I bit the bullet, figured out how to use the Underground, and we spent a whole day at the Tower of London. I am a history geek, and know tons about English history, but Bea hadn’t been there since she was two, and seeing it–actually experiencing it–is different from intellectually knowing something. It was good for me to get a refresher, and it was lovely to see it again through her eyes.

      So all that was simply to say–YES–you should go to New York!
      Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your comment!

      1. 12kilroy says:

        I share the anti-big city bias. But I liked London very much.

        I haven’t been to NYC in quite a while – and then, just passing through. The thought still fills me with a little distaste …

  3. tita buds says:

    Thank you for this wonderful post about NYC from a tourist’s point of view. Most people do seem to think of New York as a dangerous place but I’ve fallen in love with it, too. The first time I went, I was alone and got lost, dragging my heavy luggage. In the couple of hours before my friend found me, I also did not meet anyone who was unkind. People were quite nice and helpful and they weren’t even out-of-towners but the supposedly “uncaring” New Yorkers. 🙂

    1. I think the attitude you go in with determines to a great extent how you perceive a place, and how you are treated, although not always. You are a seasoned traveler and a nice person, so I am sure that has something to do with your kind reception. I’d love to see you do a post on your New York trip to see what kind of things you did and enjoyed there. Thanks for your visit, Tita.

  4. magsx2 says:

    Oh what a fantastic trip you all had, and you met some wonderful people as well, that is the icing on the cake. 🙂
    Good on you for organizing this trip for your Aunt, you got some fantastic photos as well, a trip everyone will remember fondly with great memories I’m sure. 😀

    1. Hi Mags, It was really fun. Last October we took her to the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario, and that was fun too. Soon she’ll be coming for another visit to Seattle, and I’m cooking up some fun stuff to do–thinking about maybe a trip to Victoria, B.C. Thanks so much for stopping by. Warmly, Naomi

  5. E.K. Carmel says:

    What a wonderful post and lovely photos. I have to admit to a great deal of trepidation at the thought of visiting NYC – and I live just across the state! But you’ve given me a different perspective to think about. Good luck on your next trip!

    1. Thank you so much! It has made me much more open to travel experiences everywhere. I really appreciate your stopping by.

  6. What an inspiration you and your Aunt Leona are! Nothing keeps her down!

  7. Lynne Ayers says:

    New York has never attracted me; don’t like the big cities anymore – in fact we’ve taken some sort of preverse pride in spending a month in Europe and not visiting a single large city. I still probably will never visit NYC but I really enjoyed your post for the joy of family – such a wonderful thing to do for you aunt.

    1. Hi Lynne, so many of the world’s great treasures are housed in museums in the heart of big cities. In order to see the treasures of Herculaneum and Pompeii, we arranged to spend a day in Naples. And how could we take the kids to Italy, and not sop in rome to see the Colosseum or the Forum or the National Museum or the Vatican? But, like you, my favorite travel experiences tend to be in cozy hilltop villages, thatched roof country, or the like. On the last trip to Italy, with my sister, we rented a car at the airport and drove straight to Orvieto, and used that as a base to explore all the ancient hilltop villages nearby.

  8. Wonderful! You’ve brought memories of my trip there with my niece — thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Mary, your niece is lucky to have such a great aunt. It doesn’t always happen, but when it does, I think it is a very special thing. Did you see plays, museums, go shopping, or have other interests? BTW, thanks so much for your visit, and I always love to hear your comments.

      1. (only took me a month to see this 😉 We did see Phantom and Lion King, went to Central Park and the Statue of Liberty, toured atop a bus, and then embarked on a 7-day storytelling cruise. I wish ETSU still organized those; they were wonderful!

      2. Sounds like a wonderful trip, Mary. We saw Phantom, too. The special effects were very impressive. I am always moved by the Statue of Liberty. Thanks for stopping by.

      3. Talk about delayed response! Two plays, a bit of shopping (big toy store), dessert at Sardi’s, double-decker bus tours, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island — all in the two days before our storytelling cruise.

      4. That sounds like a great itinerary. We spent the whole day at Ellis Island, and they finally had to kick us out, but I think I could probably have spent a week there, doing research.

  9. leecarlsonyoga says:

    Dear Naomi,
    How nice to be reminded of what fun we had on that trip to New York! Great photo-narration. Love the pictures. Didn’t we have a good time?
    PS Victoria sounds like a blast! I think Aunt Loena would enjoy it. We had a good time the last time we all went there together. How many years ago was that? It had to have been before 2001. I remember that Thom was worried because I hadn’t brought birth certificates for Adrienne and Will, but pre-9/11, nobody was too concerned. We breezed right through.

    1. Dear Lee,

      It was a wonderful experience! Wouldn’t it be fun to take Aunt Loena to high tea at the Empress? I bet she’d like the Butchart Gardens too.
      So nice to hear from you. I’ll have more details about the trip pulled together soon. Love, n

  10. mary grace ketner says:

    Thanks for letting me meet these great characters and for sweet memories of a long-ago trip!

    1. Howdy! Had fun exploring your Fairy Tale Lobby Blog today. Looks great, and I look forward to more posts. Thanks for stopping by Writing Between the Lines!

  11. I LOVE New York too. Such a lovely thing you did. Glad it turned out so well.

    I was there once when I was 17. Do not laugh. Laughing is not all allowed. How old am I now? I forget.

    1. Now you did it–you MADE me laugh! Thanks for stopping by.

  12. mj monaghan says:

    Fantastic piece on NYC and your lovely family. So glad you were blessed with great people there. It can be daunting a place, but you got the best it had to offer.

    I have a feeling you are one of those people that gets back what you put out there, and you put a lot out there.

    Thanks for a great post, Naomi!

    1. That is so sweet, mj! But I’m still not sure whether Mr Adenje wasn’t an angel in disguise. Thanks so much for stopping by and making me smile.

  13. You made me laugh and cry – such good writing. I love this piece, Naomi!

    1. Dear Cathryn, now you’re going to make me cry! You are such a fine storyteller and writer–your words means a great deal to me. Thank you for coming round to visit, and for your very kind words.

  14. kathy Klein says:

    Thank you for the travelogue, Naomi! What a great trip that must have been. You were lucky to have that opportunity with your family – and smart and courageous to have jumped in & taken it.
    ps – love the photo of Bea at the museum – very funny!

    1. Thank you, Kathy. I often find that it is the adventures I have to talk myself into–they usually involve stepping out of my comfort zone– that prove the most rewarding. I love that photo of Bea too. We also had fun with the prehistoric shark jaws, but somehow a giant prehistoric sloth struck us as more amusing. I appreciate your stopping by, and thanks for taking the time to comment.

  15. Madhu says:

    Wonderful post Naomi! And so sweet of you to organise that dream trip for your Aunt! I Love big cities and New York is definitely high up on my bucket list!
    I realised pretty early that our fears of strange lands and people were unfounded and were engendered by misconceptions! its a lot like judging people before you know them. Travel sheds those misconceptions when you realise that people are just people any where in the world! The answer I guess is to travel well and travel often 🙂

  16. Thank you, Madhu. The trip to New York felt like a breakthrough. Last summer we went to South America for the first time, and it was a really positive experience. After looking at the breathtaking photos you took of China and Egypt, I’ve got a couple more places to add to my bucket list. I really appreciate your stopping by.

  17. Craig Hill says:

    Sounds like you all had quite an adventure 🙂

    1. It was a three generation pajama party–very fun, and very sweet. Thanks for your visit and comment, Craig.

  18. Oh, I wish I could’ve come to! You and your family have a talent for adventure. That cab picture is so cool!

  19. Dear Anne, i wish you could’ve come too! Thanks for the nice compliment–we have big adventures in our own minds. We are riding rickshaws instead of bungy jumping, and following signs that say, “We serve the tiniest sundaes in America!” (And they were served in the teeniest cutest little glass mugs.) I really appreciate your visit.

  20. Beatrice Garrard says:

    What an eloquent, funny post, with beautiful pictures! (Especially the one with that girl in the hat in front of the skeleton). I will never forget that adventure. Some of my favorite memories are of wheeling Aunt Loena around Central Park, dreadfully lost in the Jungle, listening to her hum. 🙂

  21. I didn’t realize those worm tracks on the map were non-wheelchair accessible trails that didn’t connect with the main paths. So glad you were there to push while I pulled! And thank goodness Aunt Loena was such a good sport, always up for another adventure!

  22. How lucky for you to have had Aunt Loena as a catalyst, and a good luck charm in New York! Seriously though, I’m surprised the big bad New York image has persisted so long, especially among your fellow ‘Americans’. When I first went there in the early 70s my friend’s parents were petrified to let me off Long Island and it was only by explaining to them that I had to pass through New York to get to the rest of the country that they allowed me to leave. And like you, fifty years later, I received nothing but the most surprising, and openhearted welcome: generous and caring. It did blow my mind a little, but I quickly got used to it and proceeded to fall in love, like most of us do:) On the matter of Aunt Leona as a good luck charm, I wonder if you’ve noticed how people all over the world react to babies, and the very elderly? They seems to bring the best out in people.

    1. That is true–they are the perfect ambassadors. And Aunt Loena is exceptionally good-natured. Even when they were teens, Aunt Loena says my mom used to introduce her, “This is my sister. She hums, but don’t mind that. She’s harmless.” Aunt Loena still hums to herself all the time, the way a kitten purrs. Thanks so much for stopping by. I look forward to visiting your blog–it looks really good.

  23. Jamie Dedes says:

    Well, you’ve touched my heart. I’m New York born and bred. I miss it terribley and I’ve never found another place as beautiful or another people as friendly. I’ve always felt blessed to have grown up where there is so much to enrich life.

    Don’t miss Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cloisters, the Children’s Museum in Brooklyn, the Guggenheim, the ferry ride to Staten Island, the walk across the Brooklyn Bridge …sigh! 😉

    1. Jamie Dedes says:

      … and that would be terribly. Sorry!

      Thanks for your kind visits and comments on my blog. Pleased to “meet” you, Naomi.

    2. HI Jamie, it has been fun getting to know you better. Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for the suggestions of things to do. We took Aunt Loena on the Staten Island ferry and had fish and chips on the island, and that was fun. I can see why you would miss New York. I love living in Seattle but I’d go back to visit in a New York minute!

  24. Nae's Nest says:

    I truly enjoyed this. wonderful

    1. Thank you, Nae! So sweet of you to stop by, and so glad that you enjoyed it.

  25. George Weaver says:

    Well. I love Old Miss Hummer too. What a funny woman. I suspect all of you have a little of her in you. I liked all of the photographs, but “Ghosts of NY’s Past” is phenomenal. I really did enjoy this post. Such a sweet story. I know Aunt Leona loves you dearly. What a beautiful family, Naomi!

  26. Thank you, George. And thank you again! We are lucky to have each other. I appreciate your visit, and taking the time to comment.

  27. Dearest Naomi, Your love of New York brings tears to my eyes. Your first comments about the Togo taxi driver who wouldn’t take money. Yes, those things do happen in New York and yes, people are often incredibly kind and I love the old gent who treated your Aunt. People are even kinder in Taiwan but I guess I’m really happy that you like New York and that makes me hope that you will visit when I’m there for more adventures and love.

    1. Dear Diana, so nice of you to stop by! I’m sure I’ll be back. Now I want to hear about your adventures in Taiwan. How long do you plan to stay there?

  28. I love NYC! Thank you for taking me back there for a while 🙂

  29. Thank you for stopping by.

  30. Fabulous post. I feel like I was there. Amazing story about cab driver–and your auntie–so cute. I leave for NYC next Tuesday for quick business trip–I hope I have as much good karma as you did! Suzanne

    1. Safe journey, and have fun!

  31. Kourtney Heintz says:

    So glad your aunt got to see NYC and that you had such a fabulous adventure there! The city has so many amazing things to offer. I’m glad it treated you well. 😉

  32. Reblogged this on Writing Between the Lines and commented:

    Couldn’t resist reblogging this for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban.

  33. I have always had a fear of NYC but you may have just changed my mind! I am so glad you were kind enough to take your aunt even theough you were saving for a different trip. You built wonderful family memories here that can never be taken away.

    1. I can always go to England, but I didn’t know how long my aunt would be able to make the trip, so we made that our priority. It was a wonderful thing to share. Thanks so much for stopping by, and for sharing your thoughts and comments.

  34. nice to see NYC inside:
    “Jane, Constance, Bea, Lee, and Aunt Loena at a Very Happy Hour”
    not possible for tourists …

    1. Thank you for visiting!

  35. gkm2011 says:

    Looks like a wonderful trip. I was lucky enough to go to New York last year with my parents and we too saw a show, had pastrami in the same deli from When Harry Meets Sally and took the ferry to go visit the statue of liberty and Ellis Island. It was a great trip. 🙂

    1. That is Katz’s deli. My dad took me there when I was just a half pint, for the 1964 World’s Fair, and it was a trip to get to go back. It sounds like you had a really great trip. What show did you see? How wonderful that you still have fun traveling with your folks.

  36. ShimonZ says:

    Another wonderful story, about a very impressive place… it’s sort of an entire world in its own. And the adventure sounds well worth it, even if it wasn’t something you would have chosen.

    1. Hi Shimon,

      Sometimes the best adventures are the ones you might not have chosen for yourself. Sometimes I need a nudge, and this was one I was very glad to have been given.

      Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

  37. Jeff Sinon says:

    What a great story. Glad you were able to make the trip with your aunt. My feelings about NYC, any city for that matter are very similar to what yours were before your trip. This almost makes me want to go the NYC, almost 😉

  38. Harry & Sally’s great scene in KATZ’s! we ate once in KATZ’s too – the stuff was very funny there and the owner made some jokes with us …

    1. That scene in the movie is very funny. The owner was out and about, visiting and talking to his customers. It was a very fun experience for us too. Thanks for stopping by, and sharing your experience.

  39. Carol says:

    It’s been many many years since I’ve been in New York. Many years. Thank you for letting me enjoy a trip back through your eyes and words.

    1. Dear Carol, thank you for coming along! I don’t know when I will get back there, but since that trip, every mention of the city evokes a very different response than it might have before. I am so glad to have gone, for that reason alone.

  40. 4amWriter says:

    NYC scares me, too. But I had to brave the city in order to attend the WD writer’s conference in 2011. I went all by myself, during a blizzard. It was an experience I will never forget, and showed me that I need to let go of my fears, too.

    Love your pics!

    1. Wow! What an experience that must have been. Was it a good conference? Did you find your way around okay? Letting go of my fears is a lesson I must learn again and again, but my world grows larger and friendlier because of it.

  41. thoughtsfromanamericanwoman says:

    NYC is one of my favorite cities – never a dull moment and always something to do or see. Glad you had a great time and got rid of your fears. Blessings ~ Patty

    1. Thank you, Patty! Now I can honestly say that I love New York too. I appreciate your stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

  42. i mayfly says:

    I have wonderful memories of NYC as well – one day and night with my big brother as our tour guide. He had been transferred to NJ and done recon before Mom and I arrived. Circle boat tour, China town, A Chorus Line, dinner at Sardis and 30 minutes in Saks. Exhausted but happy we drove back to the NJ burbs to finish our visit. I’d forgotten about that trip. Thanks, Naomi, for reminding me. We have a great shot of the 4 of us standing in Times Square; I’m going excavating for it now! -Nikki

    1. Sounds like a great trip, Nikki. Thanks so much for sharing your NYC story!

  43. I love it all! (why do I feel like I just watched Robert Deniro and Liza?) I have always wanted to go to NYC. Thanks for sharing your experiences and photos! Yet another wonderful post that warms my heart….♥ paula (I can still hear the saxophone playing…..)

    1. Hi Paula,
      Thank you so much. I hope you get there one day soon. Knowing you, you would find all KINDS of great photo ops!

      1. charging batteries now!

  44. Touch2Touch says:

    This is so incredible! A real “New York Story”, without a native New Yorker in the lot. That is the very essence of New York, and every one of you Out-of-towners picked up on it. Especially your aunt, right out there and up front!
    No wonder you and your family have such great adventures, you’re always stepping out to welcome them!
    I hope some rubs off on me, Naomi.

    1. You are too too kind! My aunt really is a trooper. You really made me smile. We felt like country mice, for sure, but kind of bumbled our way through and laughed a LOT. Thank you so much for stopping by.

  45. megan hicks says:

    Great story. My first trip to New York was about 20 years ago. Like you, I was apprehensive. And like you, everywhere I turned I found warmth and generosity. It’s still one of my favorite places to visit.

    1. Thank you, Megan. It is a great city, and I look forward to going back some day. I appreciate your visit, and taking the time to comment.

  46. restlessjo says:

    What a heartwarming post, Naomi. I nearly passed it by as I’m on a quick catch up mission. So glad I didn’t.

    1. Dear Jo, that is so kind of you! I’m really glad you stopped by, too.

  47. nutsfortreasure says:

    I love that city Boston too 4 1/2 hrs closer :)Shots were great seems all had a great time! I have talked cabbies into seeing it my way a few times so I got a chuckle at that lol Oh the stories one can tell simply by living

    Thanks I loved this post

    1. Hi Eunice,

      Yes, we had a great time. I like Boston, too. (I remember Paul Revere’s house, and their wonderful art museum.) So glad you stopped by.

  48. Lisaman says:

    So nice that you could all get together and have some fun!! Great pics of New York…love the reflection in the glass building!!

    1. Thank you! Whenever I hesitate about planning a trip, I just think of that trip and what fun it turned out to be. I appreciate your stopping by. Whenever

  49. Great story – everyone has the impression NY’er’s are a certain way and yet come back with such heart-felt stories!

    1. It sure seems that way. I never met anyone who wasn’t very kind and helpful. Thank you for taking a moment to visit, Lesley.

  50. fotograffer says:

    Great pictures and a lovely post. Thanks

    1. THank you for your visit.

  51. bluebrightly says:

    I’m so happy your trip turned out well and led you to share a good story about changing one’s mind. I went there to live (eagerly) at 17, and later moved away. In my 50’s I moved back and felt younger than I had in a long time, strangely enough. But after a while the difficulty & expense of living there, my love for nature, and losing a cushy job brought me to leave again. So I moved west, to the Seattle area (I think you’re here?). The ease of getting around in the city (it’s all relative!) and the proximity to so much gorgeousness are wonderful. Soon I’ll be going back to NYC as a tourist – sounds like fun, eh? (Loved the hotel window, cabs & building reflection shots)

  52. Wow, you get around! When you left New York, how did you happen to choose Seattle? Did you have family here, or had you visited? I came to the Seattle area from Michigan when I was twelve or thirteen, and it was love at first sight. Both mountains and ocean at the same time! I knew was going to come here back as soon as I finished college.

    I really enjoy your blog–lovely photos!

  53. Debra Kristi says:

    What a nice cab driver you had. I’ve always wanted to go and my husband keeps promising, but so far – nothing. He will actually be there next week – again. Work takes him there a lot and he originally comes from a small town (one of those 1 stop sign types) in the nether regions of New York state. 😀 What a fabulous time you had. And as always… GREAT pictures. Love all the taxis.

    1. Thank you, Debra. I know you would love it. You strike me as the sort of person who would see the potential of any place, and think of all the fun photo ops for Thor!

  54. Linda says:

    oh, naomi!
    i so love your stories.

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