It was almost like Dorothy being swept away by the tornado to a far off land she wasn’t familiar with. For us however, we were swept off on a plane, but like Dorothy, to a land we weren’t familiar with….New York!
We were all busy packing the night before we left. In fact, some of us were still packing at 4:00am CST, when we were supposed to be leaving. The morning was cold and dark but we were not going to let it dampen our spirits, as we were all smiles heading for KCI airport! We arrived at the airport and fortunately only had one hang up.
Cheryl and Krista’s luggage was searched! No one was taken away though and all was well. As we sat excitedly waiting to board the plane, we talked about the different sights and sounds that we would get to see and hear, and how we were going to make sure that Krista would not get lost. They called for our plane to board and soon we were in the air and on our way to invade New York for the next 24hrs
We had a short layover in Charlotte, North Carolina, and thankfully our gates were right beside each other. We were starting to drag a little from our very early start to the morning, but with smiles on our faces we got on the next plane to leave for our final destination, New York! The last flight was rather smooth until the final decent and landing into Newark. To say the least, it was a little less than smooth for four ladies who do not travel much and just don’t care to fly in general. Let’s just say we were rather happy to be on solid ground.
As we exited the airport to catch our ride to the office, this is what we found….
Yes a limo was there to take us to the office in style! As excited as we all were about the limo, some of us were not used to New York driving, and began to feel a little ill with all the quick starts and sudden stops.
We were on our way to the office, but started to worry when Gerra, who had been to the New York office before, did not recognize where we were going. It ended up the driver just took us the “scenic” route, and we made it to our destination. And thankfully, no one got sick in the limo!
In the New York office, everyone was quietly working and keeping to themselves…and then we showed up. For country girls who do not know what quiet is, we completely disrupted the rest of the day for anyone who was actually attempting to get work done.
Even though there were many faces that we had never met, us Kansas girls were not opposed to a good bear hug, and gave out many of them as we greeted our co-workers in person for the first time.
Of course with cameras in tow, we went around snapping photo after photo and dishing out hug after hug to all of our co-workers. Before we knew it, it was time to get ready to go into the city!
There were 23 of us heading into NY City, so a stretch hummer was rented which was supposed to fit 24 people. It was a mutual agreement that the rental company meant 24 people under 90lbs, not necessarily regular size people.
On the way into the city there was joking and chatting and just getting to know you moments – - which lasted over an hour when the driver decided to head into the city via the tunnel…instead of the bridge. This truly gave us Kansas girls a taste of a true “rush hour”. In Topeka, rush hour is maybe 15 minutes and definitely nowhere near as congested.
Once in the city Dianna clamored over everyone else to hang her head out of the window with her camera where folks where waving and pointing and showing her what to look at. The whole car had as much fun watching her experience New York for the first time, as they did experiencing it themselves.
The driver parked, and we all piled out of the hummer and walked a few blocks to Rockafeller Center where the Kansas girls were in awe. The buildings were much taller than any of the buildings you see in Kansas. Normally the tallest structure you’ll see in a town is the water tower. The sights, sounds and smells were something you just don’t experience in Kansas.
As we were walking toward Rockafeller, we heard music playing. Someone pointed out that there were images being projected onto the building behind us. The images were of bubbles and snowflakes that gracefully floated to Christmas music. It was all very beautiful to watch!
The walkway to Rockafeller was neatly adorned with angels, lights and everything Christmas! We stopped someone on the street and asked if they would take a picture of the whole group.
Dianna proceeded to drag us through the area, snapping pictures the whole way, all of us smiling and laughing. As we were making our way to the tree, we saw a pair of Salvation Army gents dancing, singing, and ringing bells. No sooner did Dianna see that, and she was up there dancing right along with them – a definite Kodak moment.
Once the dancing ceased, we made our way to the tree. This was so beautiful to see in person. For us, this is something you see on TV and think how neat it would be to see in person. To get that chance was just amazing.
Of course we had to take a picture of us under the tree to remember that moment for years to come.
As we were enjoying the tree, Esther purchased tickets for the Top of the Rock! We got to see the city from 67 floors up in the air! Jenn, who is not that fond of heights, enjoyed the view and braved the crack of spacing between the plexi glass that lined the observation decks, to take some sky line shots. All of us were snapping photos and making sure that we not only had the images in our head, but ones that we could take back to our family and friends in Kansas.
At the very top of the Rock was a room that had lights and sounds. When you walked in, the technology would locate you and assign you a color in the ceiling lights. Then it would follow you through the room making sounds and flashing above you as you moved. It was pretty neat. Several of us were spending so much time staring at the ceiling watching our color move,that we forgot to watch where we were going and walked into each other multiple times.
As we made our way down to the main floor, we managed to loose An, one of the developers. Luckily we found him in the gift shop, which we all had to then visit. Once we bought our souveniers, we headed back to the Hummer and made our way to Esthers house to drop us off, and a second stop at the office for those who needed to drive home from there.
By that time, the day of travel and sightseeing was beginning to wear on us, but our smiles stayed firmly in place. Since Krista did not sleep at all the night before, she was a little more tired than the rest of us.
Once we reached Esthers house and took our luggage to our rooms, Nathan lit a fire in the sitting room and all of us gathered around for chatting, munching and next day scheming (as the next day was the company party).
Jenn and Dianna roomed together, Cheryl and Krista roomed together and boss Gerra got her own room. We planned out a shower schedule for the next morning which worked out great. Four women sharing one bathroom and being ready on time, that’s pretty darn good not matter what state you’re from. Esther made a delicious breakfast which included a very interesting smoothie drink. Thank goodness it didn’t taste like it looked, b/c it wasn’t pretty. It was soon time to head for the office. The trip for Dianna, Cheryl and Gerra was a safe one because they rode with Esther. As for Jenn and Krista, that is questionable. They had to ride with Nathan. He missed the exit so he proceeded to go 80 mph to get us back on track. Once headed in the right direction he thought he missed his turn again, stopped in the middle of the street, reversed and then in mid turn decided that was not his turn! Then the real scary part, he proceeded forward, into oncoming traffic! They did however, manage to get on the right tack again and make it to the office. Thank goodness! We didn’t want to go back to Kansas with two less people in the office.
Once we were all safe and sound in the office, the Kansas team did we call thankful and positive, where we say one thing we are thankful for in our life and one positive thing about MedFORCE. Unfortunately for Rick, he walked in right as we started and we made him join in as well. After our thankful and positives, we invited Anjita (our very pregnant developer) in, and we gave her a baby blanket we made for her. Actually, Cheryl did all the work, we just helped pay for the material. Anjita loved the blanket!
Now it was time for the activity of the day – Wii Tennis Tournament. We had a bracket system set up for who was going to play who. Krista got the privilege of beating both her Manager, Gerra, and the CEO, Esther. Krista even went on to win the tennis tournament over all. Way to make Kansas proud Krista!
After such a long tournament we were all ready for lunch and it was GOOD!!! Everyone sat down at the table and ate, chit chatted, and had a meeting reviewing the past year. The time was rising near however, for the Kansas Team click their ruby slippers and return home!
We were happy to see and meet all the great people we get to work with on a day to day basis and for letting us invade their lives for 2 days! However, there is one thing we all had to agree on that is “There’s no place like home!”