"Albert Young" has an annual 8th grade trip to Rockefeller Center. This year 91 kids took the train, visited the tree, shopped and had pizza. New York City will never be the same. When the permission slip said that every kid needed a phone, I thought this was my ultimate chance to get a phone. Every other kid in 8th grade has one. My mom ended up lending me her embarrassing flip ring tone, never even acknowledging my possibility.
Even the walk to the train station was eventful. We were a really big mob of 91 kids, plus security guards, teachers and an administrator, laughing and talking, spilling over the sidewalks, lawns and parking areas. Dogs stared out windows, barking like mad. Three or four police cars slowly drove by our group, very possibly notified by neighbors. Free from school for the week, looking forward to our adventures in New York City. We didn't mean to disturb the neighborhood, but we were a very big group — a site to see.
When we finally got to the train station, we were half an hour early. While we waited we split up into groups. I was with Jiro, Anton, Stewart, Nolan, Jose, William and Jesus. Our "guide" was the security guard from school named Walter; no one has ever seen him smile. The train pulled up and we all got into the cars. It was chaotic; our organized groups were split up. When most everyone got situated, the train hadn't started moving, but the group organizer "Father Abraham" with his son "Little Isaac" had us all get up and move to the very back two cars, probably because of our noise level. As we all started to move back, the train started and we all lurched, almost falling into one pile of middle school students.
After a very loud 30 minutes, we arrived in Grand Central. We congregated in the central hall and got with our group. The groups broke off on their separate ways.
Nolan asked if he could have a "paddy." He meant hamburger, but no one calls them that. Walter said he could get one, so we all waited for Nolan to get his paddy. Then he finally got it and dropped it! We roared with laughter and headed out.
Father Abraham had said to meet at the tree, but Walter told us that he had a "super secret shortcut" that went through Times Square, two alleys and side streets. We were the last group to arrive and missed the group picture. Some groups already left! Some shortcut, Walter!
We stayed 15 minutes at the tree. It was nice, but I expected it to be bigger. It was really crowded with tourists, people singing Christmas carols, a man sang Jingle Bells with a deep voice for money. It didn't look like his hat was filling up very quickly. I missed the skaters that everyone mentioned later. Were there skaters there?
We left the tree pretty quickly — nothing else to see. We decided to start our shopping spree. Of course we headed directly to Toys R Us in Times Square, stopping at the NBA store. Along the way Stewart gave a "What's Up!?" to Elmo in all the crowds and tourists. He said "Whazzup" and then the n-word! Then he kept on going. Isn't Elmo fired now? Who was that?
First we went to Toys-R-Us. In Toys-R-Us, an incredible guy was demonstrating a toy that we had never seen before. Picture a glowing finger that he did magic with. He even ate it, threw it and hid it. It was amazing. How did it work? It cost $35 and Anton had to have it, plunking down the cash. I hesitated, thinking about buying a helicopter with my $20. It was at an $18.99 sale price. Back and forth, I thought. Can't be hasty with this group, though. Walter had a tough time keeping track of all eight of us. We lost kids throughout the hour and a half that we shopped. Finally we all caught up and headed to Lids. A couple kids bought hats and then we left. We then had to run to get to the pizza place on time.
We were the first group to arrive for pizza; apparently because Walter got the time wrong… So we got our pizza, and then the rest of the people showed up. Anton, the guy who got the cool looking magic trick, decided to open it up and see how the trick worked and when he opened it, he realized he couldn't do the trick. It was these fake plastic thumbs that when you pressed a button inside, it lit up. The only problem was that the kid is African American and the fake thumb was white. He got upsaled! Then, person in charge of the event's son came and stole my seat. I couldn’t do anything because if I said move kid, he would run to his dad and I would be out 1 trip, so I had to look for another seat. That didn't stop me from having 4 slices of pizza though. I have to say though, the food was absolutely terrible.
We had another hour or so, so we went back to Lids and this one guy ordered a custom hat. We then went back to Toys-R-Us because the person who bought the magic trick wanted to return it. I thought to myself, I'm never going to spend this $20, so I go and I get the helicopter. When I went to check it out though, it went up 20.68. Of course, just my luck! A friend lent me a dollar though so I was good. We went back to Lids and this kid was complaining how we didn't get to go to the NBA store. Walter said tough luck and then looked at the time. It was 8:40! The train left at 9:00 so we had to book it.
When we finally get there, we see a bunch of kids from a different group leaving on a train! We didn't make it! But then Walter checks the tickets and he sees that we weren't late; they just got onto the wrong train. So we got on the right train and sat back as the train left and we went home. After a half an hour, we get there and the other people are there already. The train they took was an express train and they had been there for 15 minutes already. All in all, it was a nice trip but I learned a valuable lesson, never go with Walter on a trip to the city.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Holidays to all!
Thanks for reading! See you next year! :)