Christmas In New York

45 minute wait outside Katz’s Deli

It’s been four years since our last visit to New York. I’ve come to the realization that unless you are traveling with immediate family, it’s best to limit the group to four. Of course there are many sound reasons not to travel with an entourage because taxis only hold four adults. I noticed on this trip that some of the taxi drivers did not like anyone invading their front seat. Another reason to travel with four is that it is easier to get reservations. But the main reason is that you do not have to worry about making sure everyone is happy with what is planned for the day.

We traveled with our dear friends Larry and Helen. Usually we are comfortable for at least three days; after that Larry and I bump heads. So for this trip we designated two different days: a Larry day and a Lynda day. We never need to worry about Helen and Mike because they are always in a huddle, deciding where we are going to have our next meal and how we will get there. We always  eat way too much in this city, but The Big Apple offers redeeming qualities; we can walk for miles to burn off the excess calories.

One more piece of travel advice: travel while you can. Both Mike and I are in our seventies. This city is meant for foot traffic; anything else is a challenge.


It was cold and windy on our first day of shopping. Larry and Helen had no gloves or scarves because they both protest wearing gloves or hats. I, on the other hand, was layered up.

Santa and his elves were the best part of Nordstrom shopping experience



New York has always been known for its shopping but, for some reason, none of us got into the shopping mode. We started at Nordstrom, but honestly the merchandise and pricing were not up to our standards (well, mine anyway. I only purchase sale items.) From there we went to Bloomingdale’s, but experienced the same thing. We were not impressed.

On the way to Bloomingdale’s we noticed a T.J. Maxx Store directly in front of the men’s Nordstrom. My heart quickly skipped a beat because neither Mike, Larry nor Helen are fans of T.J. Maxx.


Larry’s happy smile…at my expense


Eating at Katz’s Deli was one of the highlights of the trip. We were all pretty hungry. I asked if anyone wanted to split a sandwich, but to no avail. I wanted to try the potato salad and latkes. By the time our pastrami sandwiches arrived with French fries, I felt like a glutton. I could feel the food coma settling in. Mike kept reminding me that it was my fault because I wanted to try everything in the potato family. Larry loves it when I get in trouble; instead of feeling bad for me, he laughs. This makes him happy!

Best place to eat was Palma, located in the West Village

We tried a new place for lunch in the West Village. Palma is a beautiful restaurant, which came highly recommended by Larry’s sister, Maria. From the moment we exited the Uber, I loved the area. Helen always knows which direction to turn, so she led us into a beautiful winter wonderland. While Helen and I were taking in all the beauty, the men were grumbling about the choice. After a glass of Chianti they were all in. The food, from the appetizers to the main course, was beyond delicious. Helen’s order was the best, and she graciously shared it with all of us.

The Musical

After the traumatic experience of the last play we attended (The Book of Mormon) and walked out on, I wanted to play it safe. The Music Man was an agreeable choice, and it was great! Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster were in sync with the audience and entertained us with much love. I would love for all of our grandchildren to experience this safe, family-friendly musical.

From there we walked to our dinner at Del Frisco’s. The food was great but it was our waiter, Chad who made the eating adventure special. We were all hyped up about how we loved the play when Chad shared that he, too, was in several musicals. It had been years since his last appearance on Broadway but then he announced,”I need to go back to my first love.” I told him that I would pray for him. (I have a very long list of people I pray for.) I looked at Larry and asked, “Do I still need to pray for you? I could add Chad in your place.” Again, Mike and Larry jumped all over that remark. Larry suggested, “Why don’t you take your cat Prudie off the list instead?” As you may know by now, Prudie is hanging on to maybe one last Christmas. So I said “NO!” I got into trouble again. And again Larry thought it was hilarious! I agreed to keep Larry on and to add Chad to the lists as well.

The Mass

I had to meet my Holy Day of Obligation, so my plan was to go to the 8:00 a.m. Mass; but they all agreed that it was too early. So on Saturday after the big lunch in the West Village, we all went to our rooms to rest. I could not wait until the 5:30 Mass. Larry and Helen were staying across Central Park, but the hotel where we were staying was about four blocks from the church.  I quietly told Mike I was leaving for Mass. It took 15 minutes to get to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. As I walked into the crowded church the center section was roped off with an attendant guarding the post. He asked me, “Do you have a seat, are you meeting someone? If you don’t, you need to go to the side.” Something came over me when I looked him straight in the eyes and said, “Yes.” I walked halfway down and saw a pew where just two young men were sitting , “Are you saving this seat for someone?” “Yes, our father is joining us.” “Oh well, there is room for me too.” I quickly slipped past them. Did I lie to the security guard at church? Not really, because I was meeting Jesus there.


The commanding sound of the organ brought us all to our feet. Then I received a text from Mike, telling me that he was there; but by this time it was impossible for us to sit together. I saw Mike as he went up for communion, and it made my heart glad.

Helen and me in front of the Nativity, photo by Larry

To be part of this glorious experience was truly my favorite part of the trip. Mike waited for me outside the cathedral. He wanted me to meet his new friends. These two adorable sisters were visiting from out of state; both were widowed and took an instant liking to Mike.  Everyone loves Mike!


Christmas display at Saks Fifth Ave.

My Prayer

Dear Lord, I thank You that we were able to travel once again to New York. I pray for this beautiful state, that Your blessings would  fall on its people. I thank You for good, healthy friendships and that wherever  You send us that we will be a blessing! Lord, I pray that You grant Chad favor and open doors for him on Broadway. Amen.

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