concrete jungle

(warning: photo overload ahead)

New York. I have great affection for this city. This is the city where I first met Aaron. Lincoln Center, June summer night, he thought i was puerto rican but that's a whole 'nother post. I spent the next two years shuttling back and forth on red eyes to see him for the 2 days off I had each week. I was in esthetician school full time Tuesday-Saturday. I would hop on the Saturday night flight and come home Monday night. It was exhausting. And after we got married we spent our first year together there. We spent that time traveling all over the east coast, we explored Vermont, Cape Cod, Connecticut, upstate New York, the Jersey Shore, yes I just typed the Jersey Shore. haha. Well after we found out we were expecting Gunnar right at our one year anniversary, we decided to move to L.A. My home. We traveled back to New York when Gunnar was 10 months old, but that was the last time I got to see this city.

When I had the opportunity to surprise one of my dear friends who still lives there, I kind of jumped on it. Auntie Rachel and Uncle Dave have visited us out here yearly for the last 10 years. And I felt it was my turn to return the travel. One of our friends was throwing them a surprise 10 year anniversary party, and I was part of the surprise.

Unfortunately, this photo is the only photo I have of the first 24 hours.

Sad. I know. But I am not such a good flyer. I normally take Dramamine and pass out on the flight. But this was the first time I was flying alone to New York since before I was married. And I was a little concerned that the person next to me may find it inappropriate when I sprawl out on their lap, drooling all over their emergency exit brochure.

Despite my vomiting spree in Virgin America's airplane bathroom, they are a fantastic airline. And when I did emerge the flight attendants had me sit with them and passed me ginger ale and towels. Walking through JFK airport sobbing into my phone when my dad answered the phone instead of my husband was quite a sight to see. Dads can have that effect when you are on the verge of a breakdown and they simply ask, "are you ok?"

Most people have a friend in their life like Rachel, I fortunately have several. She is the kind of friend that will do anything for you. In fact, she often speaks about my death, morbid I know, and how she would come out to Los Angeles and help raise my babies. I don't know how well she has thought this through since Aaron and Rachel would no doubt kill each other, but Uncle Dave will be there too, maybe to referee. We both experienced our first year of marriage together. We saw each other through many awkward, uncomfortable, angry, sad, happy moments. I do believe one of her best memories of all time includes me in it and a pac man. Long story.

Despite our undying affection for one another, we also have the friendship where we can completely tell the other person they have lost their mind. We are very different from one another and with that comes insight on many things that the other would never have thought of. She's one of my go to people to vent, or brag, to commiserate or share things that I really can't tell most others. I know she can handle whatever I lay on her. We are both pretty tough people, but if you thought I was tough, she'd rock your world. Our differences? I wax, she insulates pipes. Usually it's only when I see Rachel that her wardrobe gets an overhaul. And this trip was on exception, I introduced her to skinny jeans.

She's not so tech savvy, in fact she seldom reads my blog and I bet she would have no clue what a blog is if it weren't for me. I bet she doesn't know how to comment on here, or what a comment even was. But she is one of the most loyal people I have met. She isn't very needy, thank goodness, we both hate that. And we laugh that we may not speak to each other for a month or more. Then all of a sudden I may receive a text from her telling me how she is revoking her own speaking privileges and doesn't want any new friends. Details usually follow several days later.

She's a Texan, I'm from Southern California. She's a beautiful singer. I am not. She can play some type of instrument, a horn of some kind, and I cannot. She's an awesome cook. Me? Not so much. She doesn't like babies so much. Me? Well, you know the answer to that.

I wasn't sure if she was more excited to see me, or if she was more excited that she didn't have to work the next two days since I was in town. Nevertheless we did exactly what I envisioned we would do.

We spent the day exploring Manhattan together. It was rainy, but not cold, so we took the subway to the upper east side and had tea and a wonderful tea spot that I recommend to anyone. Over 140 varieties of tea, and a delicious menu. We plopped down our very wet selves, ordered tea and lunch and sat for hours just talking and laughing.

Next, we walked through all of Central Park until we hit Time Warner Center.

Time Warner Center is where the skinny jean introduction commenced. And we ran into Giuliana Rancic while we were there. Random, I know.

Stopped for a break.

And saw this, WOW.

Grimaldi's has the best pizza in all of New York City if you ask me. And I got to choose dinner, so this is where we dined.

Too bad I had to look at this across the table. Just kidding Dave, love you! I did punish him with my hurricane sound machine 2 nights in a row. :)

That's most of my little adventure. I will upload some iphone pics I took the next day. And the flight home was much better. I did take Dramamine and I did pass out, but there was an empty seat next to me.

The kids did surprisingly well. Okay, better than I expected, I wouldn't call it "well" though. Greta was the least affected I believe. In fact Aaron dialed my cell phone for her accidentally and she was livid that it was me on the phone and not my sister, the person the call was intended for. The boys missed me and I do believe Aaron was coming undone by the end, but he hid it well.

It was awesome to see Rachel and Dave. To be back there, it's just an amazing city. Way too much to do and see for a 48 hour lightening fast trip. It just means I'll have to go back another time. . .