On a recent trip to visit my cousin in New York City, I was asked if I wanted to walk across a bridge. "Of course! Let's do it!" was my immediate answer.
My mom is from the West Village of Manhattan. Her mom—Granny—lived in the West Village until I was in college. Therefore, I spent many years crossing bridges into and out of Manhattan. I was always in a car. I always wondered what it'd be like to walk the bridges.
Now, decades later, the opportunity landed like a bee on a marigold bloom. My cousin, her husband, and I were shopping, eating, and sightseeing in Brooklyn, so we walked across the Williamsburg Bridge. It was quite a hike with a bit of an incline. Bikes buzzed past at speeds that nearly stopped my heart—the pedestrian path was separated from the bike path by a worn painted line on the pavement.
When we got to the Manhattan side of the bridge, my heart rate was up, my knee was killing me, and I was thirsty. It was amazing! I was thrilled that I'd walked across a bridge. Despite my knee, I suggested to my cousin and her husband that we walk the Brooklyn Bridge the next day.
Now that I have dozens of bridge walking photos and I've tackled two, my goal is to walk every bridge that crosses into Manhattan. It will take some planning and a few more trips to the Big Apple, but I will do it.
When I returned home, the first story I told Mom was the bridge walk story. She smiled and told me her bridge walk story from more than 50 years ago.
She wasn't the one walking the bridge. It was my dad. He lived in New Jersey when they met. He made the trek into the city to date her. However, he didn't want to drive into Manhattan and deal with tolls and parking. Rather, he parked on the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge, and then he walked across the bridge. After each date, he walked back across the bridge and drove home.
I never knew this about my dad. It's one of the most romantic stories I've ever heard, and it's about my parents. One day, I'll follow in his footsteps as I add the George Washington Bridge to my bridge walk story.