Now that I am finally returned to Paris from a 4 country jaunt over a 2 week span, I have a moment or three to breathe... and write about my adventures. I landed in NYC a couple of fridays ago, to kick off my holiday season visiting friends and family in the city I lived in for 10 years. Of course, the main problem with a whirlwind trip across time zones is that you are immediately smacked in the face with profound lags of jet. When I went home last year, I got so sick from exhaustion and dehydration, crazy weather patterns and just that time of year, that I was physically miserable most of my stay. To combat this, I was downing chewable bear-shaped vitamins and sipping some crazy magical elixir that the French pharmacist gave me in lieu of Airborne. Once on American soil, I moved on to Emergen-C as my daily antidote. Whether it was purely a mental state or all of these supplements actually work, I was very fortunate enough to stave off infection for the duration of my adventures. This did not, however, stave off the lag, but nor did it prevent me from sallying forth nonstop for 16 days.
Onward forward... My flight to New York was relatively anxiety-free, though my cab ride from airport to Brooklyn was so slow, trafficy, and expensive, that I still managed a bit of nausea and palpitations regardless. Happily, Brother and Sister-in-Law were off from work that day, so I didn't have to wait too long in their neighborhood before being able to get into their apartment. They actually met me at a local coffee shop and I was able to steal some hugs from awesome baby Nephew before once again dealing with the weight of my massive luggage up several flights of stairs. By the time I collapsed in their abode, I wanted nothing more than to relax and pass out for the night. Instead I rallied for dinner with some of my best friends from my college days.
We made a reservation at a Mexican restaurant in midtown, convenient for all and with relatively affordable and decent Mexican food. I made it a mission throughout my stay to hit restaurants with cuisine that I generally have a more difficult time getting in France, staying away from baguette and blocks of cheese as much as humanly possible. It was a delightful crew and I was so happy to see some of the friends who know me best in the world. The only difficult was of course the fact that my brain became increasingly foggy, especially under the influence of margarita. I think there was one point where all I could do to respond was foolishly grin in acknowledgement, though whether I even knew what was being asked is the bigger question.
One of my friends had to head back to Connecticut after dinner, so the rest of us wandered over to an Irish pub in midtown called O'Lunney's. While the Times Square area is repugnant on a great many level and Irish pubs are certainly better in Ireland for the most part, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for O'Lunney's. It's bar I have patroned with various groups of friends over the years, once even having my biggest NYC birthday party at its sister establishment several blocks north. It was a perfect way to cap such a warm, nostalgic, and super satisfying welcome home.