It's been killing you, hasn't it? The suspense. The waiting and wondering, keeping you distracted during the day and reaching for your Ambien CR at night.
How did the trip go?
I was worried. Crouton was worried. Friends were worried (I think even Grandma was worried but she didn't allow it to overshadow her relief at our return). It was risky, going back so soon after landing in the Land of Longhorns. I expected a few tears with a side of angst, a subtle yet nagging desire to maybe just not come back.
Surprise, surprise, it wasn't so bad.
In fact, it was pretty easy breezy (not to be confused with my signature dish, cheesy mac n peasy, the only way to get Cheeky to eat veggies). Cheeky was a dream within a dream on the flight and we were delighted to find Grandma gleefully waiting for us at JFK. We loaded into the car, parked ourselves in some obligatory traffic and headed for celebrity row.
Once ensconced chez Grandma, we set plans in motion. I alerted the troops, called, texted, emailed friends. Come see us! Better yet, I'll ditch the kid and come see you! A couple of Cheeky-starved retirees make excellent and accommodating babysitters.
Cheeky was delighted to be in the old stomping grounds. She even opted out of a trip to the country for an action-packed city week. Didn't hurt that our arrival coincided with the start of fashion week, a surprise source of fun and princess regalia:
Despite the sad reality of our first NY day being September 11, we had a good time. I enjoyed a run along the river, we ate, drank, shopped, frolicked. The weather was cool and comfortable. The takeout was spectacular - Vietnamese, Indian, upscale Szechuan. Hell, even the rotisserie chicken from D'Ag tasted pretty good. YUM-O!
One day, we even made the bold choice to pull a Quantum Leap and have a playdate in the old 'hood. We hopped a train and were at our stop in minutes. Neat - we didn't even have to get into a car!
We were a few minutes early, so we headed back to 6H to wait for our friends. The door to our apartment swung open and.....here's the weird part: it was just an apartment. It no longer seemed like home. Sure, it was our furniture and Cheeky's toddler bed (for an excellent tear-jerker on this subject, click here) and those pants I left behind, but it turns out Crouton was right. It didn't feel like home because my family didn't live there anymore. Go figure.
Our friends called. We walked out to meet them. And that was that.
It was great to catch up, to go to the old park, the playground, the ice cream truck. The girls were BFFs, the weather cooperated and all was good. We headed back to Grandma's feeling satisfied, a little tired, but really just okay. With the whole situation.
The rest of the week went by in a blur of activity - some fun, some not so much (note to self: Statue of Liberty - never a good idea.) We finished out the week feeling good. I had grown-up dinners, lunches and coffees with friends, Cheeky had the unfettered attention of two devoted grandparents and two cats, and we managed to lessen the amount of time we'd be living in our soulless apartment.
NYC even managed to pull some crap that made me glad I don't still live there. I particularly enjoyed:
- Yelling, "EEEEEW vomit!," at Grandma as she backed up to take a photo, narrowly avoiding stepping in a pile.
- Garbage. Everywhere.
- Having to holler, "Watch out! Baby rat!" as I walked home from dinner with a friend.
- Herald Square. (if you look closely, you'll see Macy's right there next to the Soothsayers)
- Pinkberry. Really? $7 for frozen yogurt? Overrated.
- $99 dinner for two. While watching Port Authority buses thunder by. Ambiance costs extra I guess.
- Dog urine, the smell of dog urine and dog urine loving dog owners who allow their dogs to piss on everything - piles of garbage, bike tires, parked cars. If you stand still long enough, watch out!
So thanks NY (and of course our fearless hosts) for all of that - and for the good stuff, too. The trip actually gave me a little sense of closure. A sense that it's okay to walk away and let the door close - to glance back, to even visit - but mostly to move forward.