Go BIG or Go Home
What Happens When A Small-Town Family Visits The "World's Largest"... Whatever!

BIGGISH: Largest Buddha in the Western Hemisphere, Carmel, NY

So, we don’t always go to see the world’s largest stuff (you knew this was coming, right?). There are many huge, gigantic, sizeable, immense, jumbo, mammoth, BIG attractions out there to love, even if they fall short of the title. That’s why we’ve created a “Biggish” category where we can share information about intriguing BIG sites which are still worth a visit.

For example…

Where we went, and who was coerced into going:

Great Buddha Hall

China? Korea? Nepal? Nope. Upstate New York

Hey, we don’t limit ourselves to just the quirky, “ball of twine”- caliber attractions either! Occasionally, we have the need for some highbrow culture and enrichment. We just do it on a BIG scale.

So on a sunny but crisp fall afternoon, I took The Boy for an outing to the tranquil Chuang Yen Monastery in Carmel, NY, home of the largest Buddha statue in the western hemisphere. My son only had a half-day of school, and would rather have been parked in front of the Wii all afternoon. Unfortunately, he was cursed with a mother who can find a “teachable moment” at Jiffy Lube. And so, off to learn and explore…

He was eight years old at the time, and mature for his age, so I knew he would behave properly. The Girl was at daycare, and I know now that she probably would not have done well there.

WHY did you go there, exactly?

It’s true what they say about not appreciating what’s in your own backyard.  I knew that the Buddha was located in our neighboring county, but it was years before I made the (literally) 20-minute trip go see it.   It takes me longer to drive to B.J.’s to get The Girl’s Pull-Ups.

Time was of the essence, because the grounds are only open to the public April through December, and it was already November.




One of Buddha’s disciples, looking for a handout

Okay, what was so cool about it?


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