I must have been blogging for a while now, because I clearly remember blogging about taking Iona on this same trip two years ago!

As part of the Rite 13 section of the Journey to Adulthood program at Church, the kids have to go on what is known as an “Urban Adventure”. The idea is to teach them some traveling, navigation, and self preservation skills on the way to going on their own pilgrimage in a couple of years. Iona has her pilgrimage this summer, so it was time to head off to New York with Calum and his group this weekend.

It was a very long day, we left the house at 5:30am and didn’t get back until 10:30pm, but it just flew by. There were 18 of us in all, 8 kids, 8 chaparones, and an extra sister and mum who were heading into the city to see Mary Poppins. We split into two group, so Calum and three others had to find their way around Manhattan to 8 points of interest before getting back to Grand Central Station. As adults we were only allowed to intervene in safety issues. If the kids were going to head the wrong way or get lost, we had to let them. This is a lot harder than you might think. I was with three other dads and we had fun watching from afar.

The kids did very well, finding all their spots, working together and coping with things like finding a subway station closed. We also ate very well! (believe me, we walked it off). We had Elevenses from a street vendor, Vietnamese for Lunch, and hit a diner in Hell’s Kitchen with the best smoothies for dinner!

Other highlights of the day spotted in between a host of journeys by foot, bus, and subway included visiting St. Paul’s Chapel (at the World Trade Center site) and watching some fine street performers in Battery Park.

All in all a wonderful day, even the weather cooperated!

:: Justin ::