Sunday, May 4, 2014

Senior FHE and Trip to NYC
 Monday was still April.  We began the week by having a small golf tourney at the Paxon Hollow Golf Course just down the street.  Elder Jones organized it and they had 3 foursomes playing a scramble.  Lots of fun was had, but Elder Jones paid for that golf game all week long.  He has not golfed in over 15 years and he felt quite achy.  After the golfing the senior couples (pictured above) gathered with some additional seniors that help out the mission by inspecting apartments and had a bbq at the mission home.  It was a lovely night and we were able to eat outside.  The  couples pictured below are the Thunnels, Holloways and Smuins (left to right).  They will all be headed home after completing their missionary service by May 15.  We will miss them greatly!
 Tuesday was my birthday and I received this beautiful arrangement from John and Jessica Jones and family.  I had a really good birthday with lots of well wishes and kind gestures.  Thank you all!  That night it rained very hard and the president had to sandbag his back yard because the creek at the back of his property had burst its banks by about 75 feet.  There was significant flooding in downtown Philly as well.
 We had a fruitful week with several teaching assignment with the elders and sisters, and on Friday we headed to New York City for a two day trip.  We were joined by the Smuins, Holloways and Armstrongs, all senior couples from our mission.  We had a most delightful time.  We managed to enjoy good weather (it rained on us at the very end of our time in NYC so we ducked into a subway passage and kept out of the rain.)  The city of New York was bustling, busy, noisy and very full of traffic.  It was the first time there for both us and the Armstrongs.  We drove to Staten Island and caught the ferry to Manhattan.  Below are the sights from the ferry.

 We tried to get tickets for a tour of Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island but would have had to wait most of the day to obtain tickets.  There were many school groups there on field trips.  So we took the Subway up to 42nd and when we surfaced to the street level were greeted by lots of tour agencies.  We decided to go to lunch at Bubba Gumps (delicious shrimp and fish) and decided upon the Grey Line tour.  We took advantage of 4 of the 5 tours they offered and really saw lots of the city, including Times Square, Bronx, Harlem, Broadway, Central Park, museums, Yankee Stadium, a night tour of Brooklyn, etc.  It was a very good 2 days and at the end of each day we were extremely tired.  We all decided that we liked to visit NYC but would not like to live there.
 Times Square is a very busy place with lots of neon lights.  If you have a business there you must have neon lights--it is a prerequisite.
 This is Freedom Tower.  It is being built right by the site of the twin towers.  When entirely completed it will be 1776 feet high.  Significant, right!  A very impressive sight.  Below is Elder Jones at the 9-11 Memorial pools.  The 9-11 museum will open later this month.  This is a sobering sight to even contemplate what happened here.
 Below are the Holloways, Armstrongs, Jones' and Smuins who we made this trip with.  We are standing at the only tree that survived 9-11.  It was transplated into the middle of this memorial park.  We did notice at this sight that the building directly across the street has char marks all up and down the front face.
 Central Park was very impressive.  We were there at such a perfect time--blossoming trees everywhere and tulips blooming, the leaves just coming on to the trees and New Yorkers enjoying a beautiful day.
 One of Elder Jones favorite sights was Yankee Stadium.  Close by is a memorial to Lou Gehrig.
 Animal rights activists are wanting to do away with the carriage rides, but for now they are available.
On our last bus tour the guide told us all of the spots the local New Yorkers frequent.  So when we got off the bus we headed to John's, where he said the best New York pizza was and enjoyed some really tasty pizza.  Then we headed back to the ferry on the subway and then home.  Philadelphia is only 2 hours away, so we were glad that we took this weekend to see New York City.  We are worn out, but we are looking forward to a busy and productive week.  The AP's are coming for dinner tonight.  We have zone conferences Wed, Thur, and Fri.  The office couple that we will be training are coming by next Monday.  We hope that they catch on quickly as the Smuins are leaving around the 14th of May.  We are so very blessed to be on this mission.  We are loving our service and all of these fun things make the time even more enjoyable.

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