I must admit that Alzheimer`s disease is not the best traveling partner. However, I have it, so it travels with me wherever I go.
When my husband, Dan, and I decided to take a trip to New York City recently, we contacted Dan`s brother and his partner, and Dan`s cousin and his wife to be our travel companions. New York was a bit daunting for me. The pace is fast. It made me feel more comfortable, though, to be in the company of five close relatives. Let`s call our little group the “Traveling Johnsons”.
We stayed at a nice hotel in a great neighborhood near the Flatiron Building and Madison Square Park. It was very convenient to walk around or to take the subway. We also took a three hour boat tour around Manhattan. Our tour guide was a local actor. He was interesting, clever and funny, all rolled up in one. He had long hair flowing that extended to his waist. He was the best tour guide I ever heard.
We knew that Manhattan is loaded with celebrities, but we got unusually lucky, being in the right place at the right time. We not only saw Pope Francis ride by near the World Trade Center, but also President Obama over on 53rd Street and Lexington Avenue.
One of my favorite evenings was going to Dizzy`s Club, a jazz club where we heard the very talented Bryan Carter Quintet. Dizzy’s is located in Columbus Circle, across from Central Park.
The travels were very tiring for me, especially the long delay we had at the airport as we were starting our journey home. But, the time I spent with Dan and close family and sharing these remarkable experiences was a gift in my lifetime that I hope I will never forget.
You only live once, right?
~ Barbara Cheek Johnson is a journalist living with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease.