Do you know what makes me happy? Getting back to our tradition of exploring this beautiful city during the weekends. Last weekend, we traveled to Central Park (Central Park is huge and though we have spent lots of time on the south end, there is still so much we haven’t seen) and toured The Mall, Bethesda Terrace and Fountain, the Loab Boathouse, Alice in Wonderland statue, and the pond where they do model boats. Then, for good measure, we stopped by a playground to let the kids run around. It was so fun to see the place where so many movies we know have been filmed, and to see fun things like a girl taking pictures for her Quinceanera, a gondola boat ride with a bride and groom, 2 other brides and grooms taking pictures with their wedding parties, and lots of people modeling for different things. This is probably one of my favorite areas in Central Park!
Emerson’s birthday is this coming week and to stick with tradition, we let her choose the activity she wanted to do. She really wanted to ride a horse but I had a really hard time finding a place around here that wasn’t 1) too far and 2) didn’t cost an arm and a leg. I finally found a place that offered pony rides at an affordable rate at Queens County Farm out towards Long Island. We got there Saturday morning and everyone did two rides around on the ponies, even Brynn!! The kids loved it, though I have to say I was a little disappointed with how much they rode for the price. It was $4 for a ride but it only went about 3/4 of a lap…that was enough for the kids but I felt like they could have done at least two laps. Blake was here too, but Ed had those pictures on his phone.
Saturday afternoon, we went to our friend’s daughter’s 100 day old party. The wife is Korean and in Korean culture, when a child hits 100 days, you have a party to celebrate (it is a big deal to hit 100 days in their culture because the infant mortality rate used to be so high), so we went over to celebrate with them. We have known these friends from the time they first announced they were pregnant with her, so it has been to fun to see them pregnant, see her be born, and see her grow up. And even more fun to learn more about another culture!
Then, Saturday evening, we left the kids with a babysitter and headed to the Queens Night Market with our small group from church. We love doing life with these friends, experiencing diversity and learning about other cultures from them, and experiencing authentic community that isn’t just once a week. These friends are important to us and are becoming like family in this foreign place. And what better way to build community than to chow down on delicious foods from around the world?
I also got the opportunity to go on campus this week (it has been WAY too long since I have done this) and had a great time doing some staff coaching, getting to share my story with a girl who is questioning whether she can lose her salvation, digging into scriptures, and learning more about a cult that we are running into a lot about Queens College. I am excited for more opportunities to do this and pray that God gives us/me wisdom on how to best reach this campus.