I can always count on the unexpected whenever I do my East Coast tours. Be it snow in New York in the Spring, following the Pope in DC, or getting caught in sudden torrential downpours in Philly, I know that my days will always be filled with excitement from the unanticipated. As predicted, this recent tour was no different.

I was really hoping for an uneventful tour, something low key and relaxing. I just wanted to be able to enjoy my time with you since my last tour schedule was interrupted. I was so longing for the time to be able to be near you, to hear you, and just be with you. I had stuck to my plans rather well by the time I left DC. Evenings filled with easy going dinners, afternoons of great conversation, and morning strolls in the park, were all part of my grand scheme to take things nice and easy and just enjoy you. And needless to say, I was going to bring that same attitude over to New York.

New York never fails to greet me with a cacophony of site and sound. Where else in the world can you see suicidal cyclists playing chicken with impatient cab drivers, while watching awe stricken tourists get caught in the middle of a web of human traffic? How does one recreate the feeling of electricity pulsating through your body, and then watch as a sense of calm fall over the city right before dawn breaks, with the knowledge that the cycle is about to start all over again? And just when you think you have the city figured out, you get to see armored cars, dark windowed sedans, semi-automatic assault rifles sticking out the back of large SUVs, vehicles with a strange assortment of antennas sticking out its top, and let’s not forget the men in flak jackets armed with sub machine guns lining the street just waiting for that sudden movement to justify the unleashing of a spray of bullets. Wait a minute…what movie set did I just walk into. I watched this spectacle of activity buzz all over around my hotel. The idea of being surrounded by men in tailored suits with ear pieces, carrying suspicious looking duffle bags that made a heavy metallic clunk when it hit the floor was rather disturbing.

Just when I thought that I had been trapped in a Die Hard remake, the words flashed across the screen, “UN general assembly, sixty third session opens…” Well, I think low key just exited the building! How does one be discrete, low profile, and unnoticeable when you are practically living with the secret service 24 hours a day? The good news was that I only had to do this for a week because I was headed to Philly after this, and of course in my world, nothing ever “really” happens in Philly! You did notice that I used the words “my world” right?

But wait! Why are there suddenly dark limos and giant black SUVs lining the streets again? I know I left all that behind me in New York. This is Philly, there should be no walking suits with earpieces attached. That’s simply not allowed in Philly! I know now that I am caught in Twilight Zone marathon hell. As panic starts to set in, I look up and there it is again, flashing across the screen, “Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin in Philly…” I bet she got to ride in one of those nifty supped up SUVs.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I must have had some deep seeded unresolved issues when I did not manage to wrangle the Pope to the ground for his red leather loafers. So now, I’m going after the good stuff…those nifty ear pieces, drab suits with comfortable shoes, belts that will hold everything and the kitchen sink around my waist, and last but not least, let’s not forget those dark impenetrable sunglasses. Secret service here I cum…