Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Senior Citizens' Group Vacation

What It's Like To Vacation With Senior Citizens

A few quick thoughts before the actual post begins:

Over a period of two days, the process of "deboarding" the tour bus at each stop, is whittled down to a commendable time of 9 minutes, 37 seconds. (Seniors seem to only remember their sweaters in the overhead bins, AFTER the aisle path has completely cleared in front of them.)

The first thing everybody does after said deboarding, is make a BEELINE for the nearest rest room.

I am embarrassed to find myself at the front of that line and realize that I am closer to "seniorhood" than I care to admit.

I feel a bit better about my symptoms of advancing age when I hear the lady behind me mutter to herself, "I sure hope I can go...." and realize that I am not quite THAT FAR GONE yet.

I spend the next few minutes in a stall pretending that I don't hear the entire conversation that another senior is having in the stall next to me with her son in Israel over her cellphone. (Be careful! Don't drop that phone!!!)

But in all seriousness, I just came back from a lovely two day vacation which I shared with over 40 men and women who could be my parents and grandparents.

And don't count seniors out when it comes to interesting conversation and/or eavesdropping opportunities. I learned more about Elton John, Shidduchim, Chastity Bono's recent operation (who knew?), Shidduchim, Outlet Shopping and Ralph Lauren's new flagship store on 72nd than I ever did before (Oh, and did I mention Shidduchim?). And everywhere they go, they ask you if you want to go back and get your sweater. Who cares that it's 76 degrees? It's BREEZY!

I love seniors. That's why I work with them. That's why when I take a coveted 2 day in 5 years vacation, I STAY WITH THEM. They warm my heart. (and make me feel really really young!)

We started our trip to Baltimore early on Sunday morning. Did I mention that senior trips are all about the food?. Cheese danishes and orange juice on the bus started our morning. After checking in at our hotel and eating a quick lunch (I said quick - I didn't say SMALL), we stopped at Sherwood Gardens and Avram and I did some house hunting. What do you think of this little gem?

I'm kind of embarrassed to tell you that it is more affordable than most cramped apartments in my neighborhood. New York City living might be making fools out of all of us......

We also took a lovely boat tour of Baltimore Harbor. I showed my rebellious side and went without my sweater.

What next? A visit to 7 mile market. I was told that this is the largest kosher supermarket in the States. I have not personally verified this, but I will tell you that it provided ample opportunity to purchase and shlep home bags and bags of items that are just as available in New York City.

I soon tucked my recently purchased, half-eaten pizza flavored Pringles away, because it was time to visit Yeshivas Ner Yisroel and eat dinner there. Rabbi Neuberger was an amazing host, dinner was incredible and I even got to squeeze in a quick visit with some Baltimore friends.

Off to bed at the posh Hyatt Place hotel. End of Day 1.

Day 2 began with a blur of overindulgent meals (Bagels & Lox, French Toast, Hash Browns, Eggs, Whitefish, Fruit, Danishes and more....) and bathroom breaks.

We then headed off to Gettysburg to visit the site of the historic three day battle and Lincoln's well known address.

I am no history buff, but I will say that if children were able to go on field trips and witness history as we did on those grounds, they might become history buffs. We teach our children in such a rote manner that the meaning - the flavor - the UNDERSTANDING is sometimes utterly lost. Our tour guide was 92 years old, a native of Gettysburg and his grandfather fought in the Civil War. He himself remembered meeting veterans of the Battle of Gettysburg in his youth. (It should be noted that I never ONCE saw HIM go to the bathroom....) {OK, I see you, BLD, poised to make some tasteless comment about Depends.... don't go there....}

In any case - in the words of Jackie Mason, "They tried to kill us. We won. Let's eat!".
We were exhausted from hours of virtual battle and decided that a quick stop at the Hershey factory was in order.
Taking the factory tour made me feel like a kid again.
We then went outside for a fried chicken dinner and I sat without a sweater again!

All in all, a relaxing and satisfying two day getaway.
I returned to work at the Senior Center this morning because I just can't get enough of our "Silver Citizens".
I did however, get MORE than enough in the way of nutrition. The diet began at 6 am.....


Ezzie said...

NYC living IS making a fool out of everyone.

Frayda said...

Sounds like a pretty nice trip with lots of free entertainment from your traveling companions. As a Baltimorean, I have to ask where your second day breakfast came from.

Mystery Woman said...

You mean we're STILL going to be talking about shidduchim when we reach that age? Does it never end??

G6 said...

Frayda -
The awesome Day 2 meals (all of them - did I mentioned the fried chicken for dinner?)were provided by O'Fishel's.
I can tell you that they were delicious and if you're looking for a caterer, I can highly recommend him ;).

Y W said...

I wouldn't like Sherwood Gardens because they don't have breuers there.

FBB said...

A senior trip from Washington Heights without a stop at Wasserman and Lemnerger? It's pavlovian here, you say Baltimore, I smell Aufschnitt and liverwurst!

ProfK said...

Sounds like a great trip. Re the taking our kids to historical places so they'll actually learn about and enjoy history, I'm with you on that. But you don't have to leave NYC to do some of that touring and so many of our kids have never visited the places here. Maybe you remember that years back there was a joke that began "Who's buried in Grant's tomb?" Unfortunately no joke--I asked a high school class that question and few could give the answer. I bet your seniors would know.

Rivki @ Life in the Married Lane said...

Sounds fantastic; I loved the anecdotes! I don't understand how anyone can afford to live in NY (or LA, and sometimes even Chicago). It is a mystery to me, having grown up in the perpetually affordable midwest. :) We do miss out on many of the perks, however. And the anti-perks, too.

Y W said...

Speaking about the Civil war there is a book at the Moriah Senior Center Called The Army of the Potomac by Bruce Catton.

itsagift said...

Looks like Baltimore is also a very beautiful continent.


Sounds like you had a really nice time. Thanks for sharing!

YW said...

Could we get live blogging?

YW said...

How was the trip today? Did you meet Bloomy? I'll keep the Op-ed to myself.