Made Plan A? Great. Now enjoy Plan B.
“You’re making an itinerary for your parents visit this weekend?” my friend Susan asked me last week.
“Of course,” I said, unabashedly. “Why wouldn’t I?”
Sure it may seem a tad extreme to create an itinerary for a weekend of fun, but it was more of a suggestive list than a cold stone agenda.
But let’s face it, New York City can be overwhelming, even for someone who’s lived here over 15 years. While I know my way around the city, am aware of fascinating sights and delicious restaurants, it can all go out the window for any number of reasons. Having an itinerary gives options. While we did stick to some things, like a Broadway show Friday night with my uncles, the Dance Parade Saturday afternoon, and getting my dad a gelato, what we found – what I always find – is that the best things are those that are spontaneous.
Walking back from a late dinner Saturday we saw a poster for a Swing Fest going on inside the JCC on Amsterdam Avenue. My mom was a bit disappointed we had missed the swing dancers in the parade earlier that day, so this was too good to be true. After persuading the ticket sellers to let us in just to watch, we soon found ourselves seated in the balcony looking down onto dozens of couples dancing along to a live band. Watching my parents smile, tap their toes and even get up a few times to mimic the dancers below was priceless. We left close to midnight and as we walked back to my apartment I looked up “Swing” shoes on Zappos as my parents talked excitedly about signing up for dance lessons when they returned home, something my mom’s wanted to do for years. I could not have planned that if I tried.
While I love making an itinerary or a To Do list, there are times it gets sidetracked. But what I’ve learned is that those times often turn out to be the best times.