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A Grandmother's Trip with her Granddaughter

October 2013

I have just completed a Grandmother's Fete: I have taken the last of my 17 grandchildren, Lucy Wynne, to New York City to see the Statue of Liberty, attend a Broadway musical, see my favorite museums and experience getting everywhere by walking, taking a bus, taxi or subway!

Things have changed a lot since 1992 when I started taking my grandchildren to New York. Ryan Wynne had an itinerary that included an extensive tour of the United Nations and a simple ferry boat ride to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. No reservations were needed. You just went to Battery Park, stood in line and watched acrobats then climbed aboard when it was your turn.

Today you make a reservation to get a tour of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island is not open due to Hurricane Sandy repairs that have forced its closing. You are given a precise time to go inside of the Statue of Liberty and you have two separate security checks! The effort is worth it though and the sight of the Statue of Liberty still has thousands of camera snapping every minute.

All of my grandchildren have visited the Statue of Liberty with their grandmother but only Lucy has visited the 9/11 Memorial. Lucy only turned 10 in September so she was born after the terrorists' attack on September 11, 2001. The impact of that day is captured in the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. The two reflective pools are given tremendous strength by the granite tablets that surround them with all 3,000 victims' names engraved.

Lucy read about Todd Beamer, the "let's roll" hero from United Airlines Flight 93. Reading his biography helped her realize how many peoples' lives were affected by the attack. She proudly wears a white 9/11 wrist band that has "Hope" inscribed on it that a guide presented her.

My visit with Lucy had many similar stops to museums as her cousins' visits. At the American Museum of Natural History we always read Teddy Roosevelt's tablets on conservation and national parks. Lucy visited the exhibit on "Frogs from Around the World" and spent almost two hours discovering how many different kinds of frogs and toads exist.

Fortunately, you don't have to go to New York to have a great museum visit with your children and grandchildren. I believe Indianapolis has at least ten museums that New Yorkers would love to visit! For me, visiting New York is a way to make my grandchild feel special for a few days; experiencing a hotel together and walking through different places like China Town. (Plus, I always have my grandchildren ask the taxicab drivers where they were born – an additional lesson in geography!)

Tags: In This Issue, Kids, Parenting

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