Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would be moving to a foreign country to live, let alone a country in the Middle East. Over the 2009 Christmas and New Year’s holidays, my husband Roger and I discussed what we wanted the next part of our life to be like. He thought that before retiring, he would like to do one more airport project but only if he could find something very interesting. I half-jokingly agreed that would be fine but could he try for an exotic location? As usual, Roger came through and soon we were headed to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. This blog is a recap of our "leap-of- faith" wanderings around the Middle East and beyond. We joyfully share these expat experiences.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Making Memories - A Grandmother’s Gift . . . Nanny’s New York City Broadway Adventure

Note: This week I am taking a personal privilege of departing from our Arab adventures to bring you an American adventure with a very special granddaughter. I hope this warms your heart as it has mine. May this holiday season bring you peace and joy.   

L. to r.: Grandchildren Morgan, Maxx, Riley, Brooke,
Kiara, Lindsey and Gerry 
My beautiful sister Paty Barr has a favorite bed pillow I love that says “Mothers Make Memories.”

But I have found something that takes this to a whole new level - being a Grandmother.

Who knows why such a special relationship blossoms between grandmothers and grandchildren. Some say it is a gift from God, other say that grandparents can uniquely influence their grandchildren because they are a generation away.

One of my favorite thoughts is, “Grandmothers are moms with lots of icing.” It is the “icing” that I enjoy sharing with my grandchildren.

Rather than gift them with “stuff,” I endeavor to create special times – “Nanny Adventures.” I look for experiences that stretch their bright little minds to see life’s endless possibilities and enhance their expectations of how glorious their life can be.

My favorite “Nanny Adventure” occurs on their tenth birthday. This is an age when children are full of inquisitive wonderment and still consider being with Nanny a real treat. Nanny’s Broadway Adventure has me sharing my love of New York City and Broadway theatre with them - up close and personal.   

Time Square
This is the year for our third granddaughter – Morgan Sachs - a petite quiet, but animated, young fashionista who is very introspective and astute in observing the scenes around her. She is unbridled enthusiasm personified; a real diva in the making!

Plans are made, flights are booked, show tickets purchased, warm clothes packed and we are on our way to the “Great White Way” – Manhattan’s theatre district.

The first blast of NYC cool air (we are coming from warm Florida) sends us scurrying to put on our warm coats and gloves.  The taxi ride into the city takes    F-o-r-e-v-e-r!!! New York traffic – UGH!

But all is forgiven as we are graciously welcomed by the Sheraton’s (53rd  & 7th) check-in staff that, upon hearing this is Morgan’s first NYC adventure and witnessing her obvious excitement, treat us to lovely upgrade.

Morgan has a way of making magic happen!

Morgan at "Strawberry Fields" Memorial in Central Park
Central Park is the first stop – just a short four blocks away. We discuss the modes of travel offered and decide on a pedal bike tour. On the corner Morgan points out a nice looking young man just off-loading his passengers.

Good choice Morgan!

Our "pedal-man" is a Russian immigrant who has been in the USA for two years and gives us an excellent – although chilly – tour of Central Park. My favorite site, “Strawberry Fields,” took some explaining as Morgan only knew John Lennon as one of the Beatles.

Morgan on "Top of the Rock"

We enjoy walking around Time Square and the streets of the theatre district taking in all the twinkling Christmas decorations and odd assortment of street performers.

We stop in the giant M&M store, visit Rockefeller Square to see the gigantic Christmas tree and stop to watch the ice skaters.

And then . . .  gaze down on all of this magnificent city from the “Top of the Rock.”

Morgan’s favorite theatre experience is The Rockettes Christmas and the backstage tour. There isn't any better way to get into the Christmas spirit than to watch the high kicking routines of the Rockettes with Santa!

The backstage tour let Morgan meet a “real” Rockette and learn the fascinating history of the troupe and the Radio City Music Hall.  Did you know that the Radio City Music Hall is the largest indoor theatre in the world and its stage, built in 1933, is considered to be the most perfectly equipped in the world?

Peter and the Star Catcher is a new play for me. Morgan knew the story well – Peter Pan before he was Peter Pan. Morgan really picked a winner! This Tony Award winning play is a “swashbuckling romp through Neverland.” In incredibly imaginative ways the dozen actors, portraying more than 50 roles, tell the tale of a miserable orphan who becomes The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up. The inventive stagecraft and wickedly talented actors tickle your imagination making the magic of theatre come alive. This has made my top 5 all-time theatre experiences!

Off-Broadway we experience the raw talent of STOMP, a unique musical performance of choreographed percussion, movement and physical comedy. The actors, each unique in their own way, use their bodies and ordinary objects to create a mesmerizing ensemble of music and pounding rhythm that defies you to stay in your seat. 

More primal rhythm was enjoyed at The Lion King. This Tony award winning musical captivates both of us as we follow the story of a precocious lion club named Simba struggling to adulthood and redemption. The exotic African animal puppets are so amazingly life-like we really feel we are in Africa.   

Morgan and Woody Allen
Our long weekend is rounded out with a trip to The Harry Potter Exhibit, and Madame Trussaud’s Wax Museum - Morgan's school play this year is Murder at the Wax Museum!

We take a subway ride to Ground Zero and tour the Trinity Church which served a house of respite for the first-responders during the 9/11 tragedy.

That evening we stroll through Little Italy and Morgan picks another winner - Fortorno, a nice Italian restaurant with great spaghetti and meatballs. A perfect ending to a perfect weekend.   

Before leaving on Sunday morning, we attended Mass at St. Malachys – The Actor’s Chapel.

On my first trip to NYC many years ago I found this peaceful little Church on 49th street between Broadway and 8th and have continued to worship there whenever I am in NYC.

Built in 1920, its diminutive size, beautiful domes and stunning frescoes makes it appear to be a miniature cathedral. Not to be missed is the 11:00 am Mass where the choir, made up of many Broadway performers, is glorious!   

My dear Morgan – thank you for sharing with me my love of theatre and for making memories with your Nanny.  

Central Park Fountain

Rockefeller Center Ice Skating
Morgan's first NYC subway ride!

Nanny & Morgan on "Top of the Rock!"
Nanny, Prince William, Princess Kate & Morgan


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Aw, what a lovely trip with a special granddaughter!

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