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my hands are small, i know

I couldn’t tell you why it was so important to me to see the new 9/11 Memorial.

I spend a great deal of energy trying to pretend like the terrorist attacks never happened. I was 9 at the time, in the fourth grade, and remember everything so very vividly. I do not like seeing footage, and I cannot handle the famous shot of the plane flying into the tower. I get up and leave.

It’s been a very recent development that I’ve become interested in how this horror affected people beyond me. You have to understand that my viewpoint of these attacks was either inherently selfish (as seen through a fourth grader’s eyes!) or very universal (an attack on us all). I never really stopped to consider how it affected New Yorkers, Washingtonians, Pennsylvanians. Families. Coworkers. First responders. I’ve become interested in how these people were affected since the tenth anniversary.

Maybe that’s why we visited, as the snow poured out of the sky, as we walked around the unfinished site.

Eery.

Heart-wrenching.

21. Go to the American Museum of Natural History; do not knock down the blue whale with a triceratops bone.

First, a little backstory.

When I wrote out my 101 in 1001ish list, I was deep in the throes of a How I Met Your Mother marathon. Every so often, you see, I decide to watch a TV show in its entirety, a bad choice made possible by Netflix.

So I was watching the episode where Barney’s bank hosts a party at New York’s American Museum of Natural History when I made this list. In this episode, Barney tells the gang that he stole a bone from the triceratops to knock down the giant statue of a blue whale. No one believes him until a security guard confirms to Robin that it actually happened.

And that is why my goal surrounding the Natural History Museum was so specific.

I’m very pleased to report that I accomplished the goal and the whale and dino are still intact.

An Ode To My Student ID

I have the worst picture ever on my student ID. I guarantee that no one has a more terrible picture. I tell people that, and they laugh, and then I show them my ID, and they stop laughing. Awkwardly.

Dear, sweet ID did come in handy on this trip as it got us hooked up with $30 second-row tickets to a Broadway show. First Date might not have been Sondheim, but it was a fun night, and second row meant I got to have sustained eye contact with Zachary Levi.

I am ALL ABOUT that life.

It was worth any judgment incurred by the ticketman looking at my ID.

19. Spend time in Manhattan - more than a few hours!

I have to admit that when I started my 101 in 1001ish list, I didn’t expect to get rolling so soon. I thought I’d hit a few things here and there, but that I’d do the bulk of my traveling once I graduated from college.

And then I made friends who are way more impulsive than me.

Hannah, Zack and I were just casually sitting at Cafe Plaid in Norman, taking a break from our respective honors theses, when those evil kids found cheap plane fares to New York City the week before Christmas. After doing some quick calculations, I realized booking a one-way would put me in position to cheaply visit my family in DC after the trip, so we booked right then and there.

We had a heck of a time in the Big Apple. We’d all visited before, though my visits had been the least extensive — I’d once stopped to see the World Trade Centers and the Statue of Liberty, and many years later, a college in The Bronx flew me out for a whirlwind visit.

We stopped by the Today Show, and a clip of me making a stank face at obnoxious University of Alabama fans made it live on air. (Hey, Michael Kors girls: HOW DO YOU LIKE THEM APPLES?) Unfortunately, it has yet to make it onto the Interwebz.

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For those who don’t know, The Today Show is a hallmark of American morning television. It’s allegedly a four-hour “news show”, but as you can see from the picture of lead anchor Savannah Guthrie playing Hedbanz, it clearly trends toward the fluff. My personal favorite bit is watching Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb get winedrunk every. single. morning.

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We checked out Rockefeller Plaza, where I decided the giant Christmas tree was super ugly. COME AT ME, NEW YORK.

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A walk through snowy Central Park was cold but beautiful. I’m told kids these days call it “invigorating.”

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We made it to FAO Schwarz, where Tom Hanks once played the piano in Big. I’ve decided that FAO < Times Square Toys R Us < London’s Hamley’s. Again, I encourage those who disagree to come at me, bro.

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The 18 miles of books at The Strand profoundly moved me. I’m considering moving in.

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Hannah and I swung by Union Square Christmas Market, which would probably have been more fun without the precipitation!

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We also went to the Top of The Rock, which was beautiful but ridiculously overpriced. It was fun as I’d never seen a panoramic view of Manhattan, but at $29 a person and as crowded as it was, I don’t think I’d go back — especially because a security guard yelled at me for sitting down. I was indignant because for $29, shouldn’t you be able to sit out of the way on the floor?

But a word to the wise: even if it’s snowing and you are cold and you know you’ll be outside all day, do not wear your snowboots to walk around in. Your feet WILL swell. They will then rub against your boot, causing blisters everywhere and causing you to start crying in the food court at the bottom of 30 Rock while a homeless guy tries to sell you a CD of a marching band. And if you’re really lucky, you’ll blister on the ball of your foot and get to hobble your way around New York, DC and southern Maryland while your family wonders what is wrong with you this time.

That’s only if you’re really lucky, though.

Snapshots

It’s been pretty quiet here on the blog, and I apologize for that. I wish I had a better excuse than “my 1000-level econ class is really hard,” but I don’t, so let’s just imagine I’ve been off rappelling off cliffs and skydiving and whatnot. Perpetual adrenaline rush, kids. You know me.

(For sure not working on perfecting my pie crust recipe. Doing exciting things, I tell you!)

Here’s a list of things I’ve been doing, for real this time. I promise that they will lead to a more exciting blog in the future. Hang in there, my four loyal readers. Real posts are coming!

  • Working on that job hunt. After much deliberation, I think I’ve decided on the au pair route. It’s really important to me to have a host family and to develop connections all over the globe, and I love kids. Hopefully, I can find my dream family!
  • Having a nervous breakdown while looking for a hotel in Manhattan. Um, hi. Did you guys know hotels in NYC are EXPENSIVE? I didn’t … mad props to Expedia for having a Black Friday sale. My fabuloso travel companions and I finally settled on a Holiday Inn Express in Herald Square. The glamour. The splendor. The continental breakfast.
  • Trying to decide whether to leave the airport in Mexico City. We have a six-hour layover in the city on our way to Paris. Is it enough time? Is it not? Stay tuned to hear whether I get stranded in Mexico!
  • Daydreaming about Paris. I am going to Paris. For a weekend. WHAT IS LIFE?
  • Planning the Great American Roadtrip. My dear, dear Emily and Hannah have joined up with me to drive to Mesa Verde, Arches, Death Valley and the Grand Canyon. Six days. Eight states. Say some prayers.

I’m so excited about these big trips and possibilities! Have any suggestions for me? Let me know in comments or on Twitter at @katemcp92!


I'm Kate. I really like frosted cherry PopTarts and the caps lock key.