This past weekend will stay with me forever. For so, so, so many reasons. As a 31-year-old wife, mom, and business owner – I don’t get out much. So when I found myself in New York for an entire weekend, never opening my laptop once, I found a little slice of heaven. I can surely say I’m a little depressed as I sit here typing. I’m happy to be home and see my family, but I’m missing friends, fun, food, and FREEDOM.
I spent an amazing eight hours in the car on Friday driving to Long Island with my best friend, Vicky. We could not have had a better time. Considering we were traveling on a full moon, and a Friday the 13th, we were actually quite lucky. Whether it was swerving away from a tire blow out on a semi the first half hour in, or battling horrible bouts of rain, we made our way to Long Island in one piece. We sang, we talked, we made up radio show characters, we sulked together in traffic, we got to have best friend time that we hadn’t had for far too long. Lesson One: Don’t forget to be silly with the people who know and love you best. You need them and they need you. More than you both know.
Maybe it’s just me, but I swear the air smells sweeter in New York. We reunited with our best friend and bride-to-be Cindi, and headed out to Famous Dave’s BBQ. There we met some of the other bridesmaids and family, and had an amazing meal!
Our lovely waitress took this shot of us holding up BBQ flavors. Because, why not? The day was long from all the driving and we headed back to Cindi’s moms where we stayed up like 15 year olds at a sleepover, trying on our shower dresses for the next day, and just being girls. LESSON TWO: Cherish every moment you get to relive any part of your childhood. From staying in your old room, to having your friend’s mom bring you bagels in the morning. When you are the mom or dad, or the career person, you don’t get much of a chance to let people take care of you.
Saturday was shower day! We ate at a place called Spezia, which was PHENOMENAL. From the champagne fruit punch to the three course meal, we were all super full after leaving there.
Before we knew it, we were changing and heading downtown for the PARTY. We stayed in an apartment in Greenwich Village, and even though it was tiny, we filled every corner with laughter. We popped champagne, danced, played silly games, and got to know each other. I love all the girls I met on this trip. All unique with killer personalities.
LESSON THREE: Make friends. Sometimes I feel like I’m too old to make friends, or I don’t need any new ones. You should always meet people. I’m so happy to have these girls as part of my memory and hopefully part of my future.
We ate another fantastic dinner at Dos Caminos in the Meat Packing District. Food just kept on coming. From salsa and guacamole, to tacos and enchiladas, to salad and rice, to dessert – we again had our fill. And thanks to the generous bachelorette party beside us, some of their leftover tequila shots!
Finally, it was time to dance. We changed out of the dresses into our bachelorette gear and headed to Wicked Willy’s. For the next three hours, we danced our asses off. We had an absolute blast. LESSON FOUR: Never stop dancing.
We topped off the fantastic evening with a pizza! Nothing like a New York slice at 4 am. Nothing!
Sunday morning rolled around and one by one the girls started making their way home. Whether it was a plane ride away, a short subway trek, or a long drive – then, I was the last to depart. LESSON FIVE: Stay at the party as long as you can. It’s worth it. Make every moment count.
I got on the Long Island Railroad Monday morning and headed into Penn Station. Fumbling around with two giant bags, a purse, and a nervous mind – I found the “big board” that would tell me how to get home. This was the first time in my life I had ever really traveled alone, so it was a big step for me, and one that I’m pretty proud I was able to accomplish without a full-on panic attack.
I made my way to where I needed to be and settled in for a long eight hours of catch-up work. But as fate would have it, the wireless connection wasn’t working, so I found myself on a long track with nothing but time.
I struck up a conversation with someone on the train the second half of the trip, and four hours flew by. A fellow writer, blogger, and all-around goofball just like me, he was the unexpected portion of my trip. LESSON SIX: Embrace the unexpected. Serendipity is my favorite word for a reason.
Here I met another new friend, another person that shares this sometimes crazy brain of a writer, and hopefully we will be a contact for each other going forward. Good conversation and train coffee made that trip one for the books. Thank you, Clay.
My wonderful husband was waiting at the train station with flowers and Starbucks for me, and the look on my son’s face knowing mommy was home, was priceless. As much as I loved my girl’s weekend, there’s no two faces in this world I missed more than my boys.
I have a great weekend to add to my memory bank. I hope I brought a little piece of New York home with me, and I can’t wait to get back there in September for the wedding. LESSON SEVEN: Life is beautiful. Every. Single. Day. Never forget that.
Tell me about your favorite trips!
My favorite trips were the ones taken with my uncle and aunt, with whom my brother and I spent most of our summers during childhood. They resided in the suburbs of Akron, Ohio.
He would generally wake us about 5 a.m. and announce our destination. One particular morning, our destination was North Carolina. Even as he announced it, I still didn’t know what to expect, as I had no point of reference at that age.
I remember my brother and I curled up in the back of his Oldsmobile “88”.
It was a warm summer afternoon, as we traveled the road that led to our appointed destination.
There was sand to the left and the right of us. The ferry boats were just off shore. We waited patiently and eagerly for our turn.
A group of teenagers were tossing a frisbee back and forth, just passing time.
But, the horses were what captivated me. I just stood there in awe. I’d never seen anything like it.
While my friends were back home having sleep overs, talking on the phone, or attending an occasional dance, I was on an island. An island inhabited by horses, they called home.
My family, as the other families with whom we lived in a community with limited economic means, didn’t generally grace the lands that my brother and I did that day. In fact, we’d never taken a family vacation.
And so, we’d managed to one-up them. We weren’t braggarts, though. We simply had a tale to tell.
More aptly, an adventure. An adventure filled with ample sunshine, island horses, light blue skies and great company.
An adventure compliments of Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Ralph, two of the most finest human beings I’d ever had the pleasure of knowing and loving.
Always in my heart…..
*Thank you, very much, for allowing me to share. You may visit my website wordstheydance.com and if one of the photos prompt you to express yourself, please feel free.
Thank you for sharing!