In May 15 IssueRussell County NewsBy Mary Beth WarnerSpecial to the Times Journal
On May 2nd at 11 pm, 35 seniors, along with six chaperons and their driver, made their way from the small town of Russell Springs to the Big Apple. I had the amazing privilege to be one of those seniors and I daresay it was the experience of a lifetime. Not only did we get to tour NYC, we also made a stop in Gettysburg and Philadelphia.
While in NYC, we were able to watch the Broadway musical, West Side Story, a modern-day Romeo and Juliet story. It was a great play, but I have to say the most memorable experience on my part, was touring Ground Zero, the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Our tour guide, Jeff Plunkett told us things that the media failed to mention. For instance, those working on the recovery of the victims had to hire dog trainers, because the search dogs were growing depressed after not being able to find living people. The dog trainers solution? Firefighters were sent to hide in the rubble, so the dogs could find a living person. The city is still feeling the effects to this day, nearly nine years later.
On a brighter note, we got to visit China Town. I think I speak on behalf of the majority of the ladies on the trip when I say that we could’ve spent a day on that street alone. Some other highlights of the week included taking a ferry around Ellis Island with a rapping tour guide, touring St. Joseph Cathedral and St. Patrick’s Cathedral and walking around Central Park. And who could forget walking around Times Square? The real treat was seeing it at night, when all the advertisements lit up and shone against the dark sky.
Gettysburg was filled with green meadows and lots of gorgeous trees. When I first looked at it, I had a hard time imagining the bloodiest battle taking place there. Things were really put into perspective once I thought about it. I couldn’t imagine what all went on there during those days, but the Battle of Gettysburg is a major part of our country’s history. It makes you consider the price of freedom.
Philadelphia was quite the experience. Everyone knows that there are foods every American has to try: a New York hotdog, deep-dish Chicago pizza, and a Philly cheese steak. What better place to try a Philly than Philadelphia, no? Of course, I had to try one while there. My verdict? I think the things are overrated. Sometimes its all about the experience. Anyway, we made a stop by the Liberty Bell and Freedom Hall while there. Betsy Ross (rather, a woman dressed as Betsy Ross) led us around, and even let us take a peek inside her house.
To all of those that have never been to New York, take my adviceógo if the opportunity arises. You’ll have plenty to do while there, from sightseeing to shopping. Oh, and while you’re there, look up Jeff Plunkett. He’ll give you the best tour that anyone has ever given. You definitely won’t regret it.