Times SquareMy first visit to Manhattan was a business trip in 1998. 

I clearly remember the feeling of awe as I walked by one historic and/or iconic place after another.  I was amazed to see places like Times Square where the New Year’s Eve ball drops, Radio City Music Hall – home of the famous , Rockefeller Center – at the time I watched the every morning , Central Park, 5th Avenue, the Met, Carnegie Hall…the list went on and on of places that had only existed in books, movies, and on TV up to that point. 

Having grown up in a small town (that still has no stoplight), to be wandering the streets of New York by myself was about as big a contrast as I could imagine.

That’s when it hit me. 

My nieces and nephews were also growing up in small towns (great places to be raised, by the way).  I wanted them to be able to experience the sites, sounds, tastes and discoveries of New York City, so that became their high school graduation gift. 

Stay tuned for more as I share the adventure to the City of Surprises with my youngest niece, Stevie.