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Sweet and sour memories of my travel to United States of America

A family travel to the US, hell yeah! Right? Who doesn’t want to attend their sister’s graduation if it allows for you to have a one-month trip to US including places such as NYC (Shopping in Manhattan et al, thanks to Bollywood).

Ready, I boarded my flight. Her graduation was a lot of fun and then we made our way to Washington to kick start our travel.  We always get to the airport 3 hours earlier –traversing the long airport corridors and security check always takes me longer. You see I walk with crutches and have a barrage of other limitations – Cerebral palsy does that to you. For one, they always stop me at security check and thoroughly check my fancy shoe apparatus, then the crutches always get a life of their own in the security check machines and take forever to get cleared.  But for every time I spend more time in security check (which I hate), I do love the special lines for me at all the counters. (One of the many things my sister has come to appreciate me for.)

So we land in DC – DC means museums and meeting the Donald! We started with the air and space Museum where I saw the 1st plane made by the wright brothers. We also visited the national history and art museum which were very cool – so much history!  Next, we walked down to the white house and the Lincoln memorial. Also saw the Washington monument (or the pencil as I liked to call it) from afar. After walking this much I was nearly dead. Walking takes six times the energy for me as compared to anybody else, and leads to frequent backaches and excessive stiffness. I also take longer than most people, so my family has to always rationalize and choose what we can do or not. This means every trip requires excessive planning.

I was ready to go home, but my dad always wants to do more – so we sat by the Jefferson memorial to appreciate the beautiful sunset.  What a beauty it was – the sunset and the lake. A little more walking the family always says. (generally, it’s a lie – like the time I almost cried in The Vatican because my body was hurting but my mom wanted to see a little more). Most times, by the third day of a trip I just didn’t give a damn. As much as I loved DC, the museums and the memorials, I was so exhausted that I took Day 3 off. I spent the day lying in bed. My sister and I missed Annapolis which my parents say was breathe taking. On days like this, I wish I was ‘normal’. On most others, I am glad I am well-travelled!

The next day we took a bus to travel to New York. The moment we step foot in the city, we went to the magnificent Times Square. The skyline and the number of people were mesmerizing. We sat there for a while and clicked some selfies (please do not diagnose me with a disorder, it is not that often, promise).

Shivangi sitting in the Times Square

Shivangi sitting in the Times Square

The next day we went to the museum of Modern Art. The exhibit on Asia was very well done, I think I learnt more about Indian history that day than I have ever read in my books. I was glad to see an exhibit on Africa also.

Shivangi is standing in Museum of Modern Art

Shivangi at Museum of Modern Art

We also walked, sat and talked and again walked around the central park.  The lake there was beautiful. I was glad to see the infrastructure and facilities for individuals with disabilities even in a park. The lake was accessible through a ramp. The next day we went for the cats Broadway show. I was pleased to see the facilities available there also. Something that I will never forget was the fact that one of the ‘cats’ came down to take a picture with me during the interval while everyone crowded the stage. It was amazing. We also went shopping! People generally like shopping, retail therapy it is called. For me however, it becomes more of a problem. Additionally, a lot of clothes do not fit me because of the braces that I wear.  But don’t worry. I found a solution to that, well kind of, my sister tries clothes for me and we buy them accordingly. Trust me it saves a lot of energy and time.

Sivangi at a mall with her sister

Shivangi enjoying Shopping at the Mall with her sister

By the fourth day I was so tired and had pain in my back to such an extent that we had to rent a wheelchair, this was a first timer!  Or the throne as I like to call it. After all, how many people get to travel in New York without walking. We went for a sea cruise as well. The view of the statue of liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge was amazing.

Here is a glimpse 😊

Photo of Statue of Liberty clicked by Shivangi

Photo of Statue of Liberty clicked by Shivangi

The view from the 88th floor of the Empire State Building cannot be missed. We also went to the Niagara Falls. The maid of the mist ride was awesome! One moment you were dry and the other there was water all over you.  We also saw the Statue of Liberty.

The cheesecake at the Trump Tower was mouth -watering. And let’s just stop the discussion about the Donald at that. Interestingly, the moment I started to get comfortable with the idea of using a wheel chair on my travel something funny happened, I was feeling extremely cold, possibly freezing. But as I walked into a restaurant for dinner, I wasn’t feeling that cold any longer. This small incident made me realise that I couldn’t use a wheelchair in the long run. We never give up on walking, do we? I guess I never really learnt to take the easy way out.  Amazing views and a bag full of memories. What a trip it was.

Shivangi is a Psychology graduate, currently pursuing post graduation and former Coordinator at REACH, LSR. She loves travelling with her family.

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