Safe in Queens

After a very short night of sleep, woke up about 3:45 am and left for Chuck & Ruby’s to catch a ride to LAX. Upon arriving, Chuck delivered the news that Ruby wasn’t going to make the trip.

Chuck lives and works bi-coastal. His home is in Northridge, CA and his main office is nearby. However, for the last year and a half, he has been developing The Center for Spiritual Renewal (CSR) that our denomination has created on the old LIFE Bible College East campus in Christiansburg, VA. It’s a Retreat Center for Pastors and their families that Foursquare has really invested in to make it very nice. So, Chuck spends about half his time there, counseling Pastors as needed when they come through.

Ruby is quite involved in developing some of the CSR facilities, so she often travels back there with him, which she will do a couple days after we return from New York. She decided there was just too much to get done to make the trip here to New York with us. She is very disappointed, as are Chuck and I, as this would have been her first trip to NYC.

I’ve learned to cooperate with my body when I travel. It does funny things when I fly. For some reason, when we get in the air, my body just gets lethargic and sleepy. So, I carry my earplugs and eye cover, try to get a window seat and just go to sleep. Once again, it worked. I slept just about the entire flight. Not a deep sleep, but at least the time didn’t drag by.

Our flight left a few minutes after 8:00 am PST and arrived a few minutes early, around 4:10 pm EST. My friend, Laurel Favilla, was so kind to pick us up and bring us to our hotel. We’re at the same place we stay whenever we come here, which is just a short walk down Queens Boulevard from New Life Fellowship.

Kind of a funny place. This is my fourth year here. Every year, they have been “remodeling”. Well, this year, they’re finally finished. No old carpet, no more unfinished holes in hallway walls, and the rooms actually look decent!

After settling in and unpacking, we took a brisk walk down the street for some great Chinese food for dinner. It’s becoming a bit nostalgic for me to come here, walking by New Life’s building, which is the historic landmark Queens Elks Lodge building. Built in the 1920’s, it is a registered historic landmark. That means the church is limited in anything they do to change the look of the exterior. Most interesting part of that is that they can’t remove the HUGE elk statue that sits at the entrance of the building.

After dinner, we walked a little further to the nearest mall. It houses the local Target store, where we pick up our water and snacks for the week. Along the way, it’s kind of a rush to soak in the sights and sounds of New York City. Seems like there’s almost always a siren or two going and a car horn or four blaring.

Good start to the trip, other than missing Colleen and the boys. Tomorrow we’ll head to Manhattan. If the cloud cover is gone, we’ll do the Empire State Building. Other places on our list are Statue of Liberty, World Trade Center Site, Seinfeld’s “Monk’s Café”, Times Square. If you’ve got any suggestions, let me know in the comments!

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