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We took a class trip to New York City during my Junior year of high school. The teachers wanted it to be educational so they scheduled us to go on a bunch of historical tours and then write a paper on it. We played along with the idea, but in reality we were excited to goof around and pretend like we were big shots in the big city.
We had spent a day shuffling around Manhattan from one museum to another, and we were bored and hungry (and in my case, just a little bit horny) by the time the locals left work. The teachers "allowed" us to do a little "sightseeing" (they were wandering around lost trying to find somewhere quick and cheap to eat), and we happened to come across a candy shop. We gasped on looking into the display window, and the chaperones didn't have much choice but to let us go in and browse.
We jostled through the door into something that looked like it came out a fantasy wonderland. Brightly colored candies covered every inch of display space, from brand-name candy bars to those gigantic swirly lollipops that you see in cartoons. Though we were in high school, the atmosphere in the shop seemed to magically make us a decade younger so that we could experience it with the wonderment of small children.
The line to check out formed in mere seconds. I stood in a state of psychological sugar shock, unable to decide what I wanted. I finally handed money to my friend Carrie.
“It’s too much,” I told her. “I can’t decide. If you pick something out for me then I’ll split it with you.”
Carrie returned with a bag of sweets, and I discovered that letting her choose was the best thing I could have done. Every bite was a surprise—coconut, raspberry, dark chocolate mint… the mystery added to the experience and enhanced the flavors in a way I would not have expected.
Sadly, the candy shop was no longer there the last time I was in NYC. Disappointing for sure, but in a way poetic. I had tasted the best candy of my life, and it ended up truly being a once-in-a-lifetime experience.