Let’s see, where did we leave off…
After our whirlwind May, we spent a few days in San Francisco, mostly working and running San Francisco errands.
Then we got back to New York. I’d like to say things settled down a bit then -- and they did, a little -- but it was still a non-stop go-go-go that was hard to keep up with.
Mike’s brother and sister in law, Zac and Jess, were amazingly kind and let us crash in their New York-sized apartment for a while. We wanted to keep our footprint as small as possible, so I ended up signing up for a coworking space for the month we were in town so we could get out of their hair a little bit while working and not have our stuff explode all over their space.
Nights and weekends we’d hang out together and explore the city. Days, we would all go to work, and Mike and I frequented a local pizza joint enough that we started to feel like locals. And I met up with an old friend from law school whom I hadn’t seen in years, which was an extra treat!
The first-half-of-NY adventures included: a trip to MOMA, hot dogs, pickles, amazing Italian pizza at Santa Panza, bagels, Chinese food, vegan baked goods, getting lost on public transit, highlight dinner at Brooklyn Crab, the Artists and Fleas market, Smorgasburg, and watching Isle of Dogs at the Alamo.
After only a week and half in Brooklyn, we had to sever our New York time for some more travel.
Mike flew to Ohio to help build a dock and un-winterize his family’s cabin for the summer. I took the opportunity to fly down to New Orleans, where I met up with my amazing friend Andrea, so we could check out wedding venues for a few days. (Like seriously, who flies across the country to look at wedding venues with you? Amazing.) We, of course, also made a fun trip of it, and I gave her no choice but to let me drag her around town making her eat all the things and listen to all the music. After that, I flew back to Atlanta for a few days to hang out with my brother’s family.
Mike and I met back up in Baltimore, to pick up the RV, which is when we discovered it had been broken into (which you’ve already read about). We spent a fun day exploring Philadelphia on our way back to New York. (TL;DR: The liberty bell was underwhelming; the philly cheesesteaks were good but not amazing; the Mutter museum was a highlight and surprisingly creepy; the general feel of the city was neat.)
To spare Zac and Jess a multi-week Burden of Us (and to not have to figure out what to do with an RV in New York), we booked a really nice RV park right on the waterfront in New Jersey, and camped out there for another week and a half. We’d go into Brooklyn to hang out, and we all had a really fun day in Manhattan, eating Katz’s deli, hanging out at the park, and seeing Avenue Q. Another highlight was a wacky adventure getting hot pot and rolled ice cream in Chinatown.
One highlight of our time there was a day trip to Rockaway, NJ, to visit my aunt, uncle, and cousin whom I hadn’t seen in a really long time. I hadn’t even met my cousin’s kids before that! It was amazing how quickly we all just felt so comfortable, and how much fun we had for every moment we were together. They really embraced Mike into the family, which gave me the serious warm fuzzies. And the highlight was probably picking up the kids from school with the RV without them knowing in advance, and then taking them all for rides around the neighborhood. A definite highlight of the whole trip! And, yet again, another very meaningful reminder of what this trip is giving us.
New York itself was an adventure. Of course, the highlight was just getting to spend so much time with Zac and Jess. Normally, we get to see them hours at a time for holidays. It’s a funny thing, and a special privilege, to be able to spend time with family members as an adult. Once you grow up and move away, it can be hard to shed the shadows of who you were before, and it can be hard to update the old rules of your relationship to fit the people each of you turned into. It was neat to see the brothers get to spend a bunch of time together. And of course it was also really enjoyable for me to be the outsider coming in and finally getting a chance to really know my future brother and sister in law.
They did an awesome job of showing us around New York. Though I do have to admit that, while fun and interesting to visit, Mike and I agreed that it wasn’t a place we’d want to live. There are just so many people, and it takes forever to get anywhere, and everyone sounds angry even when they’re not. That said, it was a cool experience to be there for three weeks, knowing that we probably wouldn’t have spent such a chunk of time there any other time in our lives.
As always, our time in New York felt too short, and we felt like we could have used so much more time to hang out and bond. But alas, we had to keep moving.
Our next big stop is the family cabin, but on our way, we stopped in:
Hamden, Connecticut: to spend a couple of days with another cousin I hadn’t seen in years. Again, this ended up being one of the surprise highlights of our trip. We had a blast! Our first visit with a family with teenage kids, we got to try on that lifestyle for a moment, and it was really fun and loving and hilarious.
Boston, Massachusetts: to meet up with Mike’s high school friend, Harper, and successfully beat the record time at a local escape room together. He also took us on a whirlwind walking tour of the city which was super fun.
Rochester, New York: to visit one of my best friends from law school whom I hadn’t seen in six years. Rochester was adorable, his daughter was even more adorable, and it’s so fun to catch up with their whole family. If we hadn’t had the opportunity to stop there, who knows the next time I would have been able to see them.
Findlay, Ohio: to stay with Mike’s parents for two weeks, and attend Granny’s 90th birthday! Most of Mike’s family was in town, so we got to reconnect with them all and I got to meet some of them for the first time. A good precursor to our longer visits with each of them, coming up soon.
Once we hit Findlay, things finally start to settle back into normal. At least, “normal” for us these days!