My best friend Jennifer lives in Nova Scotia, that’s about 1,791.4 km from her 90 year old grandfather who lives in Toronto. She adores her grandfather above any other human in the world and I can see why he’s a lovely man who lives by his motto “I only know nice people”. I live much closer to him than Jennifer, only about 1.2 km away, so I meet up with him from time-to-time for coffee and a chat.
During our coffee dates we talk about everything from what my bestie was like as a child to how the neighbourhood and city has changed over the years to how he would have liked to have travelled more in his life. He has the best stories to tell and I absolutely love our time together.
Jennifer is a travel writer and he beams as he talks about her latest adventures and it’s easy to see that he lives a little vicariously through her travel stories which he faithfully reads every time she’s published. She has asked him to join her in adventures several times but outside of going to visit her in Halifax with me last year he has never taken her up on this offer.
One chilly afternoon thus past winter he told me it had always been a dream of his to go to New York City and take in the sights, sounds and the food that he’s heard so much about from his buddies who gather daily to chat and people watch at a local shopping mall. They tell him of their adventures in the city he describes as “exciting” and imagines it to be “the most wonderful city to visit”. He mentioned that Jennifer has offered to take him to New York on several occasions but “the time for me to travel are done Kim” he said while rubbing his legs, which have begun to be troublesome and painful forcing him recently to use a walker rather than just a cane. “Why?” I asked simply, challenging him a bit. He smiles his sweet smile and tells me his legs just can’t do it anymore, he couldn’t keep up and he’s a little afraid to fly alone to meet his granddaughter in New York.
I nodded in understanding but I’m suddenly struck with an idea —we’ve travelled together before, last year I took him to visit Jennifer and her family in Nova Scotia. After some conversational back and forth I happily volunteered to go on a trip to New York City with my travel writing friend and her 90 year old grandfather.
I tell him we could rent a wheelchair here and take it with us. That way he could sit and let us do all the work for him and he could just experience and taste everything he’s always wanted to in NYC. He laughed at my suggestion, but nodded and got very excited “We could do that!”.
Jennifer was beside herself with joy and excitement after talking to him and learning he was going to finally take her up on the New York City adventure. She’s been trying to get him to go with her for some time but he never would agree. We waited for the nicer weather and we booked our trip and rented an apartment close to an accessible subway for the 4 nights we’ll be there. We fly out of Toronto on May 15 and return May 19.
I dropped by to visit him at his seniors building last week and we chatted about all the great stuff we are going to see and do on our trip. Jennifer has a million and one things planned and I know his (and my) first trip to New York City is going to be great. He is so excited and tells me the first thing he wants to eat when we get there is a corned beef sandwich. I admit I didn’t know that was a thing in New York but I’m looking forward to it. I’m really starting to get excited too!
Be sure to follow our adventure as it happens:
I’ll be posting some pictures of our adventures in New York City as my friend and I make a 90 year old’s dream come true.