My First Podiatrist Consultation

Today I went to a podiatrist to look into getting my feet cut off. Well, just pieces of them. They’re called bunions. And they suck.

I’ve had bunions since my early teens and they have become increasingly painful and ugly now that I’m 25. I’ve always had trouble finding comfortable shoes that my wide feet will fit into. And forget about finding cute shoes that won’t accentuate or make my bunions look and feel worse.

Now that I have an adult job with good insurance (yay adulthood!) I decided to finally take steps to get surgery for my bunions. A hairdresser at a local salon in Long Island had her bunions “done” by this guy last year and had nothing but good things to say about her experience. She said he did the procedure right in the office and it is minimally invasive, so she was able to walk out of the office the same day. There were no long incisions (and, therefore, no crazy scars), and no surgical boots for the following six months as her cuts and bones healed like traditional bunion surgery.

So of course I got the name of her podiatrist and called to make a consultation appointment! Although she recommended one name, it is actually a team of two doctors – one is more of the surgeon while the other takes care of pre- and post-op stuff. Dr. Kirell and Dr. Weisenthal work at Footech Podiatry in Plainview, New York (Long Island) and I am really happy that I went with them!

The fact that they were willing to see me the day after Thanksgiving was amazing. They only planned on seeing people for follow-ups but they made the exception for me since I teach in Brooklyn and they are usually closed on days that I have off for holidays.

The office space is small with only the waiting room and two other rooms – one is the room where consultations and follow-ups happen and the other is where the magic happens (surgery). My mother-in-law drove me and came in the office with me, and right off the bat we were greeted by Dr. Kirell and Dr. Weisenthal. They were playing receptionist today because they were the only two in the office – they let all the other employees stay home!

I filled out the paperwork and was led right into the consultation room with Dr. Weisenthal who told me to take my shoes and socks off. My nightmare. I’ve worn sandals in the past but never without embarrassment over my ugly, deformed feet. In the summer, I’m rarely without socks and have gotten into the habit of just wearing sneakers not only to conceal my hideous feet but also because they are more comfortable for me. But then again, messed up feet are their job and these guys have seen much worse, so whatever.

He immediately said that bunions are usually hereditary, but are also caused by friction and rubbing of the shoes on the toes. He started pushing and pulling gently on my feet, working my toes, and just seeing the movement and feeling the bones.

Bunion image

Verdict: I have major bunions on both of my big toes, I also have small bunions on the outsides of both feet because of the larger bunions, and my baby toes have become hammertoes. All of this because of the shifting and rubbing from years and years of the bunions becoming worse. It’s like the domino effect – once one thing falls or shifts, it causes other things to shift, etc. and so on.

He explained the entire procedure for both feet, informing me that there would be a total of 5 tiny (5 mm each) holes where they would stick their tools in to fix my feet. Two would be near my big toe – one is to fracture my big toe to shift it over, then the other would be on the bunion itself so that they could essentially liquify the excess bone. He explained that the tool is meant to make the bone into a toothpaste consistency and then they squeeze the liquid out of the foot through the hole. Yummy. Now go brush your teeth with that visual.

The third hole will be at the base of my middle toe so they can create small cuts in the tendon to release the tension that causes the toes to be pulled back all the time. The last two holes will be for my small toe – the one for the small bunion and the other to shave down the bone for the hammertoe.

Whew. My feet are even more screwed up than I thought! But I’m so excited that I’m taking care of it now because the pain and ugliness are just very frustrating, and it will only get worse as time goes on.

I have to call the office next week to try to make an appointment for the surgery over the summer. Dr. Weisenthal said that they recommend summer for teachers because then we’re not on our feet for hours every day. Although we’re able to walk and be on our feet starting the day of surgery, it just isn’t comfortable because of the amount of swelling. “The healing process for this procedure is all about the swelling – your feet will be swollen for the first two months, but it will get much better after those 2 months.” So I’ll have to have really loose and open shoes for the first 2 months (all summer), but he said I can go swimming with my bandages. How convenient?!

Oh, he also complimented my small toes and called them cute. He said that most times, he has patients with bunions who waited until they were older, so their smaller toes end up as hammertoes and become deformed as well. He said that I will end up with really cute feet after the surgery. Less/no pain AND cute feet?! Sweet!

I just can’t wait until the surgery because I have dealt with these things for over 13 years, so it’ll be amazing to finally be rid of them! Dr. Weisenthal told me they’re booked solid until October, but they usually save room for teachers over the summer; how thoughtful?! I’ll definitely update when I get the appointment, start preparing, and actually go through with the surgery. And of course I’ll include pictures!

3: Cuz it’s plain to see that you’re the only one for me

Did you notice the title is from Brian McKnight’s song ‘Back at One’? He really knows how to make a girl swoon; I’m not surprised if he has made guys swoon as well. Fun fact: Brian McKnight is originally from Buffalo!

I figured, since we are only 3 days away from getting married, it seemed fitting…? And because the song is just fantastic, so do yourself a favor and go have a listen. You’ll feel much better after listening once or twice. Heck, just throw it on repeat, grab some ice cream, and let’s all swoon together!

So what’s been happening this past week since I last updated you? Hope everyone is having a great week so far!

Well, Long Islanders have been experiencing some crazy flooding today. I’m talking parking lots with water up to car windows. State parkways full of nearly submerged vehicles. Train delays anywhere from 20 to 90+ minutes. So I’ve been thanking God all morning that this didn’t happen Friday or Saturday. What a mess that would have made for everyone trying to get around!

I was supposed to go out there today but the train line I take has been suspended because of all the mayhem. Apparently they were providing buses for the part that was suspended, but I wasn’t sure whether I would be delayed and how long I would actually be traveling. 2 hours could turn into 4, and I didn’t much feel like dealing with that while lugging around a duffel bag.

So my (very) soon-to-be mother-in-law is going to pick up my dress for me today. And both of my (very) soon-to-be parents-in-law are going to take stuff to the venue tonight – escort card display, parts for the centerpieces, and other stuff like that.

And I guess I’ll have to wait until tomorrow afternoon to go get my spray tan on. It’s not a big deal, I just wanted to do it today to ensure that A) no tan would rub off on either of my dresses (rehearsal dinner or wedding) and B) that I wouldn’t look like a freakin Jersey Shore wannabe for any pictures. Can you say, “The pah-tee’s hee-yuh!”

SNL Snooki Jersey Shore gif dancing

I’m really excited that we’re getting closer – closer to marriage, closer to seeing friends and family, and closer to Montauk where I can finally stop worrying about wedding stuff. At least for a few days, since we have our second reception upstate the following weekend. It’s never-ending!

Photo Shoot

So back in October, we asked Tom’s dad to go to the beach with us to take some pictures. I saw it as an opportunity to get some nice pictures at the place where we got engaged. How cute, right?

The sun was out and the weather was gorgeous, albeit a bit chilly. So I put on a dress, Tom put on a nice sweater, and we headed to the beach. Luckily, it wasn’t crowded at all, but it was a bit (read: a lot) windier at the beach than we had anticipated.

What ensued was quite ridiculous. My hair was all over the place due to the wind. Tom’s eyes were closed most of the time because he could not handle all of the sunlight. I mean, we were just a couple of messes, coming together to make one big mess. Ahh, love.

I plan on making a separate post for the outtakes/awkward/hilarious pictures. This one is dedicated to the few that were “decent” with a little cropping, color changing, and editing. So here we go with our crazy, windy, sunny, hilarious, and fun beach photo shoot!

After the beach, we headed to the Stony Brook Village Center and got a few more (last 2 pictures).

I hope you enjoyed these and I’m certain you’ll enjoy the outtakes. Courtney (our friend and my MOH) and I laughed for probably 2 hours looking at them. So look forward to that. Make sure you wear a diaper.

Wedding Update: 5 months and counting!

This month has been on the stressful side…

Tom got a new job in Brooklyn at the end of February, so now we’ve both been doing the 2-hour train ride. That’s 2 hours each way. Every. Single. Weekday. And we don’t even take the same trains; they are each staggered 2 hours apart.

So with our daily 4-hour commutes, we deal with a mounting lack of sleep and lack of lives outside of work Monday through Friday. We’re lucky if we see each other for more than half an hour each day, so we’ve been living for weekends. Relaxing, chill weekends. Hence why this post is a day late. Deal with it.

Luckily (or maybe not so much) I have plenty of time during work to whittle away at wedding stuff, but sometimes I just don’t feel like it. Either I’m too tired, or I’m observing or helping out in a math class, or want Tom’s opinion before moving forward with something.

With all that said, I’m excited to say that we have seriously gotten a lot accomplished this month!

1. We (finally!) agreed on an invitation design, which is a Godsend. They’re simple yet elegant, which is the overall feel I’ve been going for.

2. Tom, his parents, and I went to a bridal showcase at our venue. Even though we are already going with this venue, I missed out on the last showcase, so I wanted to see what the food tasted like and see what vendors they offered. We still needed a limo and hotel company, so we figured we could check out what was there.

The food was great, they had the bar open, we got to try cupcakes from our cake bakery, and I got to revisit the venue and remember how pretty it is!

3. We also talked to a couple of local hotels to block rooms this month. And I had no idea how complicated this could get! I honestly thought it was just a simple phone call to the hotel, tell them you want to block rooms, they say okay, give you a coupon code or something, and then you tell your out-of-town guests the phone number to reserve rooms.

Not so much. My Invisalign technician and I bond every time I’m in the office for a visit because she is also getting married this year. She said she was stressed out with the whole hotel thing too!

The first hotel I tried calling is partnered with our venue. When I called, no one answered, so I left a voicemail. After a week, my phone call had still gone unreturned. Luckily, they were at the bridal showcase, so I told them about this and she was super apologetic. Unluckily, “August is a very busy month, so rooms would be very limited.”

Then I contacted a hotel closer to Tom’s house. Again, I left a voicemail that was not returned. So that weekend, Tom’s family and I went to said hotel and spoke with the guy at the front desk. He apologized and nonchalantly mentioned that they had previous problems with the woman whom I left a message with. Doesn’t sound promising for her!

He gave us the business card of the woman (a different woman) in charge of blocking hotel rooms, so I emailed her the next day. She responded shortly after, congratulating me on my upcoming wedding but also telling me they had no availability for that weekend. “You could try the Marriot or Hyatt Regency.” Wow, really?

Tom’s dad is a master negotiator. He’s negotiated with our venue multiple times and has totally gotten his way. So we gave him the task of calling and working his magic on the hotel woman. So here’s what happened:

He tried booking 10 rooms on their website for the weekend we need. He did not get any errors stating that they had no availability for these rooms. Ammo. So he called the woman. Six. Times. Without leaving any messages.

“I realized this woman was the type to let calls go to voicemail so she could think about her response before returning the call.” So sneaky! I’m learning so much.Sneaky sneaky

After the sixth call, he left a message saying he needed to block rooms for a “family function”. She returned his call, saying they didn’t have availability, but he pulled his ‘I went online and didn’t have a problem’ card. Then he asked how many rooms they had and how many were already booked for that weekend. Suddenly, she had 22 rooms available!

Well, since that whole shenanigan, we’ve realized that another hotel is going to work out better for what we need. They can already guarantee us more rooms, have already sent us cards that we can include in our invitations, and just gave us all a better vibe. Plus, they’re less expensive than the other one, which is great for the guests who do end up coming down!

4. We have a venue for our rehearsal dinner. Tom’s parents and I went last weekend to a vineyard in town and, even though everything is still kind of brown because spring hasn’t yet sprung, I can tell it’s going to be gorgeous and I’m really excited! They went back today and talked to the owner, so we got that set!

Harmony Vineyards Stony Brook

5. I also ordered Tom’s wedding band! He tried a couple on and picked out his favorite, so it’s not going to be a huge surprise on his end.

6. I booked our upstate reception venue! The cool thing is that when I called and told the woman our date, she looked in her book and said they were already scheduled to host an event. HOWEVER!!! She said the customer hadn’t yet put a deposit down. So she called them and called me right back. They changed their date to October, so they no longer needed it that weekend in August. Which means we got it!

7. One of the most exciting things that happened this month is that we booked a bed and breakfast out in Montauk for a 3-night mini-honeymoon between the downstate and upstate weekends! Eeeek, I’m excited!Montauk lighthouse

8. One of the least exciting is the fact that I’m having more frequent wedding dreams (read: nightmares). They’re so ridiculous, and I’m embarrassed that these worries are consuming my sleep, causing me to wake in a panic. But they do make decent blog posts.

I am on spring break from work for the next 2 weeks, so I think I’ll set a goal to get the legal stuff started – marriage license, and all the stuff I have to do to change my name. Although everyone tells me that Holliday Chatt sounds cool. Hyphenated name maybe? No, that would make for such an obnoxiously long name.

I’ve gotten more used to Holliday Harrigan; sounds funny at first, but now I can sign my name. How math-y and cool is that? Or I can just write 4 vertical lines and then draw a long horizontal line through them all. Boom, two H’s. Or half of a train track. Regardless, super easy!

The Proposal

Short version

Date: August 21, 2013

Location: West Meadow Beach, East Setauket, NYDSCN1149

Long version

Before we get into the proposal, there’s a back story that is important in making me not seem like a complete idiot. In May, Tom and I had looked at engagement rings at Jared, but I honestly didn’t think he would ‘pop the question’ until at least the end of this year. Whenever the topic of proposals came up, Tom assured me that I would not expect it.

More than once he said, “If I’m taking you out to a romantic dinner or it’s a holiday or anytime you’re expecting it, it won’t happen.” Okay, fine. I enjoy surprises, so that works.

Fast forward to my birthday, August 21. The plan was to go out to dinner, go to the beach to watch the sunset, and then have dessert. The thought of his proposing had crossed my mind once or twice, but each time I told myself it was too expected. I mean, it was my birthday. And we were going out to dinner. And watching the sunset?! Come on, that’s too romantic and too cliche!

That morning, I woke up early and noticed that Tom’s dad was still at home. But I knew he should have gone to work by then. So naturally my mind started coming up with the worst possible scenarios. He must have had a heart attack! Why else would he still be home?!

I raced up to Tom’s room, apologized for waking him up, and asked why his dad was still home. He groggily told me not to worry, that his dad was going to work late that day. It made sense seeing as Mr. Harrigan had picked up Mrs. Harrigan from the airport really late the previous evening. Okay, so he wasn’t dead. Phew.

When Mr. Harrigan finally came downstairs, he said, nonchalantly, “Oh it’s your birthday today, right? We’ll do something later on, okay?”

Okay. I mean, we honestly didn’t have to do anything. I would have been happy just spending time with them. So I said, “Okay,” he left, and all was well.

The day went on pretty uneventful. I probably sat by the pool for a bit since it was a great day out. Tom and I waited for his parents to get home from work so we could all go to dinner together. Except then his parents decided we should just go together and they’d meet up with us at the beach or to grab dessert or something.DSCN1146

Hm, okay. I told Tom on the way that his parents could have come with us; they didn’t have to stay home, I would enjoy their company, too. He said something about it still being early and since his parents had just gotten home they would eat a little later.

We went to a restaurant in Port Jefferson called Schafer’s and got a seat on the top deck outside which overlooked the harbor and the Long Island Sound. It was a gorgeous day; not too hot or cold, not too windy…it was just perfect. We had looked up the sunset time earlier, so we knew what time we needed to be at the beach in order to see it.

By the time we finished dinner, which was delicious, we had about 20 minutes to get to the beach before the sun was completely set. Tom was kind of speeding, but he drives a bit fast sometimes so that didn’t really surprise me. The entire time we were in the car I was thinking, “Why are we speeding? There will be a sunset tomorrow…”

We made it to the beach with about 10 minutes of sunlight left, and it was gorgeous. I got some good pictures of the sunset, took a couple of us, and then I walked around in the water for a bit; Tom snapped a couple pictures of me in the water.DSCN1157

When I walked back up to Tom, he hugged me and said, “I love you.” I don’t know if it was the wine at dinner or what, but I was in a silly mood, so my response was, “Aww, I love you too.”

He was still holding me and then said, “I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” Again a silly, “Aww really?” Gah, looking back on this, I was so dumb and naive!

Then. All of a sudden. He’s on one knee. And he has a box in his hand. And he opens it to reveal a gorgeous diamond ring.

And me? I’m in complete shock. I mean, I was just acting silly like we usually do and this turned into a completely serious and life-changing moment! But I had talked myself out of the possibility of this moment all day! And now it was actually happening, so my initial reaction was complete disbelief. That’s probably why I asked him, “Are you serious? Tom, you’re not kidding, right?”

Seeing as he was still kneeling on the wet, seashell-covered sand, he said, “Will you say yes, please?” So of course I said yes. Not because he asked me to so he could get up. But because I love him. This was the moment I had been secretly hoping for all day. This was the moment I wasn’t expecting to actually happen. And because of that, it was the perfect moment.DSCN1170

So I put the ring on, he got up, we hugged, and I still could not believe this was actually happening. Apparently a couple sitting on the beach saw the whole thing and started clapping for us. I was completely unaware of this because I was over the moon. And I might have taken a spin around Jupiter and Saturn on my way back. Ha, corny enough?

“Wait,” I said after a minute. “Did you ask my mom?” This was kind of a deal we had; it’s one of those traditional things, but I wanted him to ask my mom before proposing.

“Yep,” he said. So then my head started spinning even faster. I had just talked to her earlier that day. She called to wish me a happy birthday. She had said, “I couldn’t remember if you said you were working today or were going to be with Tom…” Oh she knew where I was and what I would be doing. Sneaky mom!!!

And of course Tom’s parents were in on it. They were waiting for us back at his house with pink champagne and cake! Hugs were exchanged, eyes filled with tears. Tom and I were engaged! Happy birthday to me!

While having cake and pink champagne, everything started making sense…

His parents skipping out on dinner.

The speeding to the beach.

It also came out that Mr. Harrigan had gone into Manhattan that day instead of work. Apparently the ring had been cast wrong (Tom got it custom made) so he went and picked it up from the jeweler. So this whole thing almost didn’t happen; but I’m so glad that it did!

IMG_0031 copy

Wedding Update: 10 Months to go!

A little less than 10 months to go! There honestly haven’t been many changes since my last post. But with good reason…

Long Island knows how to do weddings. I mean, it’s like a wedding factory down here. And not in a bad “get in, get out, bring on the next one,” wedding-a-minute type thing. But down here, it’s so competitive that they are all ready to offer you as much as they can, all in one place, to make your wedding and life easier. I mean, who wouldn’t want that?

Some of my friends that have gotten or are getting married upstate were/are so stressed dealing with so many different vendors because each aspect of their ceremonies and receptions were/are being taken care of by a separate entity. Our venue is our ceremony site is our reception site is our caterer. So it was so exciting getting to check multiple things off the to-do list just by booking our venue.

Plus, most venues down here are partnered with photographers, cake bakeries, florists, etc. whom they have worked with and trust enough to recommend. We have an appointment in a couple weeks with the photographer they recommended, so hopefully they fit our vision. Since they have worked at our venue many times, they know all the good spots for pictures.

Bottom line: nothing corny. Like these awkward wedding/engagement photos.

Pricing down here makes much more sense, too; at some of the upstate venues I looked at, it was as if you were casually eating out at a restaurant and had to pay for everything separately. And I mean everything. You want chicken? That’ll be $5 per person. Steak? $9. Choose your sides: you want potatoes? That’s going to be another $4 per potato-eating person. And so on, and so forth.

I realize that’s not how all places are up there, but there is nothing that complicated down here. You get a menu that lays out every single thing offered: you get to choose 8 hors d’oeuvres from a list of 20, then you get to choose 3 entrees which all come with sides, you choose whether you want an open bar or just the beer/wine/signature drink choice, and so much more. And you get all this for one flat rate per person depending on what month you are getting married.

Note: June-October are the most expensive. Obviously. If you’re looking for a bargain, get hitched in December or January – it’s about $30 less per person! But personally I would not want to be trudging around in the cold with the possibility of snow.

So needless to say I’m extremely happy to be saved from all the stress that I’ve heard and seen others go through when planning their weddings. The biggest thing on my mind lately has been getting a dress, but I guess I wouldn’t say it has been really stressing me out. Of course I want to look amazing on my wedding day, but I knew I would find one that I liked. Plus, we have 10 months; I was told to find one no later than 9 months before the wedding in order to allow time for fittings, alterations, etc.

I have been scouring websites and building up my ‘Love and Marriage’ board on Pinterest with dresses for a couple weeks now. Plus, my friend and maid of honor Courtney had been planning to come down this week so that we could go dress shopping with my future mother-in-law, so I wasn’t too worried.

And I’m happy to say that I found my dress!!!!!!!!

There’s an awesome story behind it, but I think I’ll wait awhile to tell you. It’s actually one of the dresses on my Pinterest board, so that’s fun! I thought it was pretty when I saw it online, but it’s so hard to know how a dress flows and what it feels and looks on you until it’s actually on you.Pinterest board

All I know is that as soon as I saw it on me, I was so overwhelmed with happiness. And there were tears. I didn’t get this way with any of the dresses the first time I tried some on, and I was kind of unsure as to whether I would have a teary reaction at all. But I know myself and if there wasn’t a tiny bit of water works, it wasn’t the dress.

And it happened. I cried. Mrs. Harrigan cried. Although she had tears for pretty much all of the dresses I had tried on previously 🙂 But that’s to be expected.

I originally wasn’t much into the idea of a veil, but when the lady at the bridal salon put one on me, it all just fit together. After awhile of ogling at myself, she asked if I wanted to try other dresses on. I was kind of unsure. I figured since we were already out, why not? But when she asked what style I wanted, I just looked at myself, still wearing the dress, and said, “This.” She smiled and said, “So is this your dress?” And I said, “Yes, I love this.” And that was it!

The biggest thing for this next month is to get the wedding website all set and looking pretty so that people can actually start using it. I’ve been putting content on there and trying to make it look nice, and Tom has to do more functionality stuff to make things work better and so that people can RSVP on it. Other than that, this month has been smooth sailing.

It’s been nice without added stress of having to take care of so many things this past month. Especially since I wasn’t with Tom (other than short Skype chats here and there) for 3 of the last 4 weeks. With work, school, my friend visiting from out of town, and Tom going to Amsterdam for a weeklong work trip, it was very hectic for both of us. But then we got to spend last weekend (and it was a long weekend for me with Columbus Day!) together, and it was wonderful. ♥994024_10151628897921526_1623688149_n

Wedding Update: 11 months to go!

Wowee what a crazy couple of weeks. It’s insane that I’ve been engaged for almost a month now! We just went to a wedding 2 weeks ago, so it was nice to get ideas for our own. And it was fun getting to dance together for the first time since we met almost 3 years ago!

Annnd of course I don’t have a single picture of the two of us from that night. I know the photographer got at least one, but I don’t know about getting my hands on one. If I can find one somewhere (anywhere!) I will insert it here.

In these quick 4 weeks, we’ve made progress on our own wedding! We were able to check off the most important thing: the ceremony/reception venue.

Figuring out where we wanted the ceremony/reception was a big decision. I’m from Batavia (between Buffalo and Rochester; “practically Canada” I tell most downstaters) and Tom is from Stony Brook (Long Island. And, no, that is not considered part of New York City), so it was a tough decision to make since most of our respective families live close to where we each grew up.

One of the biggest factors was my mom; if we held it in Long Island, there’s no way she would be able to make the 6+ hour trip by any mode of transportation (I realize a plane would be shorter, but then you have to think of getting there early and going through security, and then trying to get her on the plane in her motorized chair…). Plus, the stress of all that would do her in. We would honestly need to hire a nurse or something to do all that.

Okay, so we’d have it upstate. Again, she would have to travel a distance to get to the venue since there’s nowhere in my hometown that I want to get married in. Again, stress would ensue and make matters worse.

We went so far as to make a pros/cons chart:pros and cons

Long story short (too late?), after Tom and I discussed it with my mom and got her input, we’ve decided to have a ceremony and reception down here in Long Island on August 16, 2014. Then, for my mom and others that can’t make it, we plan to hold a separate reception/party upstate in my hometown. This separate shindig might be soon after, depending on how hectic our schedules are; it could end up being a month or two or four after. Who knows?

Although I’m really bummed about my mom not being able to see me get married (and I know she is too), we still have time to maybe figure something out so that she could come. If not, we plan on hiring a videographer so that she can see the whole thing; maybe we can look into hooking up some live-streaming? Has anyone had any success with that?

I did try on a few dresses the other day; I liked a couple, but not enough to commit to one after my first visit.

I think that’s it for updates at this point. Until next time! Cheers.

wine tour

Tourism Revelations

How long does it take things to lose their wonder? How many times do you have to see something amazing or witness something so grand before it becomes just another part of life or a seemingly lackluster experience?

Coming from a smallish town (although, technically it’s considered a city) in western NY, I’ve often thought about this in terms of Niagara Falls. Don’t get me wrong, Niagara Falls in and of itself is amazing even though, fun fact, it is not technically on any of the ‘World Wonder’ lists. I mean, 4 million cubic feet on average go over the Falls every minute so it’s a huge source of power and (minor detail) a huge source of revenue from tourists.Niagara Falls field trip

I mean, it’s crazy to me that people come from all over the world every single day to see the Falls. For me Niagara Falls is just one of those things everyone went to on school field trips, visited with their parents, or even went camping near.

For millions of other people, they view it as a once in a lifetime experience. They take pictures in front of the Falls, buy tons of souvenirs, take a ride on the Maid of the Mist, take a stroll through the Cave of the Winds, and then maybe go gamble the rest of their money at the Seneca Niagara Casino. And that’s just on the American side!

In my opinion, the view and tourism on the Canadian side is even better. They have a much more panoramic view of the Falls, Clifton Hill is packed with restaurants, shops, and other attractions that are all within walking distance. Plus, at night they shine huge beams of colored light on the Falls, so they look extra awesome.Tom Niagara Falls

I took Tom to see Niagara Falls two summers ago, and it was just so weird to me that this was a new thing for him. Everyone should experience the Falls at least once in their lives.

And I’ve seen all of them at least 20 times. I’ve only been to the Canadian side about 5 times because of the increasing restrictions on crossing the border, so there might be a bit more novelty for me there. Either way, sometimes it seems like it’s “just” Niagara Falls.Jones Beach

So it’s not wonder that when Tom and a couple of our friends went to a beach here in Long Island that they felt this same exact insipid feeling. It’s not that they were bored out of their mind or weren’t enjoying themselves, it had simply lost its novelty for them because they had been there before multiple times.

And then there was me, awed at the sunset, the sand, and the fact that I was so close to the Atlantic Ocean! I mean, right? It’s the ocean!

I’m also realizing that I’ve gotten this way towards certain things in New York City. I live there, so some of the touristy things just are not on my radar as exciting things to do anymore. I guess it’s a different story when you’re with friends because to me it’s more about the experience and enjoying time with friends; being someplace cool is just a bonus.Times Square

Tom and I were walking through Times Square the other day to get to the subway and it was obvious just how non-touristy we were. Some examples:

Tourists constantly have their heads cocked and locked to the sky, looking at the tall buildings. We had a destination, so we were constantly looking for quicker ways to get through the crowds.

Tourists are always slowing down or stopping right in the middle of the sidewalk to look at a store, take pictures, or look at a map. Us? We can’t stop, won’t stop. We got stuff to do.

Tourists are also the ones that never cross the street until the white hand gives them the A-OK. Call us daredevils, but we know whether we have enough time before that taxi will hit us.FAO Schwarz

I dislike the huge crowds of the super touristy attractions, but I have to remember that for many this may be their first and only chance to experience the chaotic brightness of New York City or the jaw-dropping amazement of Niagara Falls. And I can respect that.

But please please please don’t just come to a sudden halt on the sidewalk or not look where you’re going. Because that just lacks common sense. And you will get run over. Either by a car or by me. Take your pick.

Above all, though, it makes me thankful that I’ve had the privilege to experience these places that so many never have the means to partake in. So here’s to traveling the world and  being a future tourist in other peoples’ every day surroundings.