Yesterday, my mother and I went to York to get our second vaccine. The vaccination process has been very confusing, between the wait lists, the flawed Rite Aid system, and rush of people who trying to get vaccinated so that things can go "back to normal." Every site in my hometown was reserved, and Rite Aid didn't really have a "hang around at the end of the day and see if you get lucky" policy. We had to go two hours out of the way to get our vaccines, we couldn't really walk around or linger in cafes like we used to, we had to be careful with which bathrooms we used, and we could only eat take-out. But it got us out of the house and into someplace we don't usually go. It felt like a vacation. In honor of my own day trip, here's some stories about older buds on vacations of their own:
A Trip to Toronto
I probably won’t be at Best Day next week. I’ll be on a driving trip to Toronto to see my daughter. We’re driving on next Thursday to go. I don’t think I’ll be able to log in- I’ll be somewhere upstate New York. So, I’ll miss you all next week but I hope to be- I’ll be in Toronto for three weeks. We have to quarantine for fourteen days. We can’t go anywhere so, anyway I’ll try and join the group from my daughter’s place. Oh well, if I can get across the border without a problem I’ll be delighted. We are supposed to as a Canadian citizen.
The Best Surprise Ever
My story is called “The Best Surprise Ever”. My daughter and I were seeking tickets to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. This museum was a part of the Smithsonian institutions. It was established in 2003 and opened its doors September 2016 with a ceremony led by the President Barack Obama. This museum was free but obtaining access to this historical monument was challenging and frustrating. So I called the museum hoping to be on a long waiting list but that was to no avail. I wrote a letter requesting tickets far in advance; it didn't happen. I researched group trips to go into the museum only to find that several were full and there were no guarantees for waiting lists. Entry into the museum required a time entry pass. Time entry tickets were available for three months in advance, same day passes were available online starting at 6:30 am. We were in Washington visiting by brother Don, and we were unsuccessful in securing tickets online, so I asked my brother to please pull some strings and allow my daughter and I to go to this museum. And his attitude was a little nonchalant, he basically told me that he was able to go the first night, but I had a feeling he wasn't on a quest to finding our tickets. So of course I didn't give up, on a subsequent visit to visit Donny in Washington we decided to go to the museum and ask “How can we get a ticket to get in? We have tried for two years with no luck.” The Usher outside of the museum giggled and said “Oh do you want to go in today?” We anxiously said “yes.” He told us that all we needed to do was go to the back of the building, wait for maybe about 30 minutes and we would have access to the museum because they have a policy that the first 400 people standing in line will be able to just walk in. We couldn't believe it.
So we waited for 20 minutes, to our surprise we were in and did the same thing the next day. I think it takes about two or three days to really visit the museum. And special points of interest were, Harriet Tubman's shawl, Oprah Winfrey's studio couch, South Carolina a slave cabinet, Chuck Berry’s Cadillac from 1973, and the Emancipation Proclamation was there. There were 37,000 rare artifacts on three floors. We saw Muhammad Ali’s head gear, a Jim Crow railroad, Emit Till’s casket, Nat Turner’s bible, and the Green Barrel lunch counter that was a part of the protests, Michel Jackson’s fedora were just a few of the fascinating things that we saw. And of course there was another floor with the achievements of African Americans in every field, sports, history, scientists, etc, etc. It was just amazing, amazing and I am so happy, and one thing I did see was a hat shop that was in here in Philadelphia in the Philadelphia area and it had hat shop and that lady was featured in an exhibit, it's because hats were very important and still are important to many people, particularly the Black churches so. I was just so glad that we walked up and got in immediately after so many tries and that's the end of my story.
And don't forget to maintain contact with the older buds in your life. If you can't be there in person, please call them, email them, or message them on social media. And if they're using teleconferencing or remote events for the first time, give them a call and help them set things up. Check in on them to see how well they're getting used to these programs. Buy them a computer or an internet package if they don't have one of their own. It's a human right, after all.
Curated by Caitlin Cieri