We just took a family trip to New York for Spring Break, because my fourteen year old daughter, Maggie, and thirteen year old son, Derby had never been. 

Although my husband and I have been several times, it was amazing to see the city through their eyes.  We stayed within walking distance of Central Park and Times Square and the Theatre District.  We saw the New York skyline lit up from the top of the Empire State Bldg. at night.  The kids ice skated at Rockefeller Center, while dad and I had a nice warm view and refreshments at Sea Grill, a restaurant overlooking the ice skating rink.  We saw a Van Morrison tribute concert at Carnegie Hall and a NY Knicks game at Madison Square Gardens.  We went to the 9/11 memorial and floated past the Statue of Liberty on the Staten Island Ferry.  

We saw a Broadway play and got pretty good at navigating the subway.  Maggie and her dad ran through Central Park and Derby and I walked through Hell’s Kitchen to The Vessel at Hudson Yards.

We also walked until our feet were sore, and our faces were frozen from the wind.  We got frustrated and “hangry” and a little turned around at times.  Our hotel had a “great location”, and unfortunately an average New York sized room, where we endured close quarters and shared two queen beds and one small bath.

Also, we laughed.  We were loud and silly in the subway.  We were moved to tears by the museum at the 9/11 memorial.  We people watched and made faces at each other in Times Square, and occasionally, we got on each other’s nerves.

Experiences is what brings me the most joy in life.  I have two friends that decided to travel with their family for Christmas and forgo the gifts.  This generation is bombarded with a desire for more “stuff”.   

But this trip reminded me that experiences are what makes me happy.  Sometimes it is nice to put down the phones, step away from the email and explore a new place;  or explore a familiar place, that can be made new by sharing it with someone you love.

This edition is packed with places to go and things to explore.  The Mellon Collection of French Art - Van Gogh, Monet, Degas exhibit at the Frist Museum runs through May 15th and it is amazing.  Keb’ Mo’ is playing at the Franklin Theatre in June if you are lucky enough to score some tix. The Franklin Rodeo is celebrating its 70th Anniversary in May. If you’ve never been, it’s a blast for the entire family. The Franklin Farmers Market celebrates the Strawberry Festival in May and Studio Tenn continues to amaze us with local talent in their new production, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  They are our own version of Broadway, right in our own backyard.  

Visit our EVENTS page to find a local charity you can support and have fun while doing it.  Take the kids along and teach them what giving back to your community really means.

So what are you waiting for?  Put down the phone and step away from the laptop.  New experiences await.  So grab someone you cherish and make some memories.

You’ll thank me later.



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