Living somewhere new whenever we feel like living somewhere new is pretty awesome. But, as with most things that are awesome, there are downsides. Like missing your people. Yeah, that’s a big downside to not ‘planting’ yourself anywhere. For us, it is the current biggest bummer about traveling as a lifestyle.
So, this year, we decided to spend a bigger chunk of time back up in NY, with some of our people. Last year we tried to squeeze too much love into too short a time. This year, we used the ‘holidays excuse’ to spend a month up North. Hey, at least we didn’t get fooled twice!
We found ourselves edging towards the East Coast in the late Fall of this year, so we decided to drive up from our designated Dyna ditching spot (Nashville). Which was cool, because we didn’t have to rent a car or deal with airport hubbub. And now our new Jeep has been introduced to the glorious world of road salt and undercarriage corrosion. That part isn’t so cool. But, to be fair, I didn’t realize that it was not normal for cars to have a coat of rust decorating their undercarriage until we started traveling – and getting our oil changed by mechanics who made sure we knew this fact. Sorry, SouthWestern mechanics – rust is cool. And no, it shouldn’t cost an extra $50 to rotate my rust encrusted tires.
We spent a few days at Dexter and Daddin’s house in Owego, NY before heading up to Rochester, NY for a week. We love Rochester. It is home to many
Wegmans of our people. Good lord – I miss Wegmans our Rochester friends. Jeffy once again opened his guest room to us, and we got to meet Gertie – the world’s chewiest little ball of fur. Most of my socks have holes in them now; which is fine, because: ‘air-conditioning.’
We got into Roc just in time to help my sister celebrate her birthday (dango- she’s old now). She’s old now and has a professional job, so we mostly just ate food to celebrate (Good Luck burger for the win!)
Since we were in town for the first Friday of the month, we partook in free-wine drinking while pretending to look at art for First Friday (Rochester has an awesome First Friday). We ate properly created bagels (West Coast needs to work on this skill), ate Acme pizza, and stopped for Hart’s breakfast sandwiches twice. And we got to help light up the Liberty Pole! (Spoiler alert: it always takes more children’s laughter to light – yeah, kinda creepy). I was also pretty stoked to be able to flop around on a yoga mat next to my good friend Tricia – I miss yoga next to Tricia.
Running old haunts was one of my favorite parts of being home; seeing the construction beginning on the abandoned subway was sad.
Oh, and did I mention we went to Wegmans? Almost everyday?
I got to spend an afternoon getting sloppy two-year old hugs and non-sloppy Rita, Beth, Jason and other old
co-worker friend hugs at my former place of employment. What’s almost as good as that: I got to leave my former place of employment without having to write chart notes, reports, or commit time sheets. It was awesome.
We visited various watering holes – some tried and true, some new to us. We lounged on various couches while catching up on what has and hasn’t changed.
Eventually, Dexter… errr, I mean, my family… drew us back to Owego. There is no Wegmans in Owego, but there is Dexter (and my family), so that’s cool.
My dad, aka, ‘Pop-Pop’ was pretty excited that we would be in town for his living community’s Christmas celebration; it didn’t disappoint. There was an accordion player who played Christmas songs all evening. ALL EVENING.
My sister came home (from Rochester) to join me in an afternoon hanging out with my mom’s gang of RedHat lady friends. Someday I plan to join a RedHat society. They know how to party: cookies and wine.
We got to celebrate my brother’s birthday. As most parents probably realize, my brother’s birthday was actually just another day to do stuff his 5 year old son (Dexter) likes to do . So we went and cut down a Christmas Tree. We also got to watch the Giants hand the Cowboys another loss (happy birthday to Daddin!). Oh, and we let my brother pick which pizza place we’d order from – even if his choice is not the best pizza in Owego. (That would be Original’s.. not Rossi’s, FYI).
Jake has Fred in Olean, NY, so we also spent some time there. Jake’s Fred is the best Fred. As always, he shared his home, food, and spirit with us. We love that Fred. As an added bonus, Jake’s younger sisters also made it to Olean. We played with Jake’s niece, Eden, in the snow. We attended Fred’s family’s Christmas gathering. We ate at Sprague’s. If you are ever near Olean, you should eat at Sprague’s, because: Do you like maple syrup? Trick question – Of course you do. Go to Sprague’s.
And then we ventured back to Owego for the remainder of the month in NY. We settled into the daily routine of living with a 5 year old. We learned the battle tactics of getting a Kindergartner ready for school in the morning. We practiced sight words and writing skills. We
froze to death played in the snow (or mud – depending). We laughed at all things related to farts or butts. We had lengthy ‘discussions’ about the importance of bathing on a regular basis. We hid Mr. Hanky (we didn’t have an Elf of The Shelf, so now we have a ‘Mr. Hanky on the Shelf’) every night, and watched Dexter’s excitement in finding him each morning. We baked Christmas cookies and ‘rotten banana’ bread (Dexter’s label, not mine). We wrote to Santa. We definitely used Santa as an ever-present behavior management force to be reckoned with. (He’s ALWAYS watching).
Jake’s youngest sister, Emily, joined my family for Christmas, which was super cool. We ate. We drank. We napped. We did Christmas.
Our month in NY provided us much of the comfort we often miss on he road: the comfort of being surrounded by our people (and Wegmans). But, now, there is also a flip-side of that comfort: the ache. It isn’t the kind of ache that can be cured by ibuprofen. Or coffee. Or more cowbell. For now, we’ve found driving Dyna down an open highway to a new, unknown place is what makes that ache dissipate. So, we knew it was time to go do that.
So, we packed up the cat, our new R2D2 USB charger (Christmas gift of the year), and our now ‘air-conditioned’ socks, and pointed the Dude back in Dyna’s direction. See you in the summer NY.