As the official work week began, I was easing comfortably into the rhythm of my vacation, slowly emerging from jetlag, but still very much consumed by the rain and cold. I spent my Monday morning lounging around the apartment sans family, enjoying Netflix on demand, and ordering Chinese food once more so I could relish in the joys of chicken and broccoli, Chinese American style. In the afternoon I made my way over to Williamsburg to get the keys from my old roommate who I would be crashing with for the evening. This would be my first experience with Uber, planting the seeds of my growing dislike, as the fare ended up exceeding the quote... Interesting... Regardless, I made it to the 'Burg, then headed off into Manhattan for the last minute Christmas shopping I had on agenda.
Following my submersion into the festive crowds winding their way through Union Square, I stopped to visit a friend and her newly born baby. This particular friend spent 6 months in Paris with her husband prior to my move last year, so we have always bonded over the Parisian life. Her new apartment and her new baby were beyond adorable and I greatly enjoyed sipping a glass of red wine as she showed me her new big girl lifestyle while still doing me the honor of making me feel like my life wasn't too bad either. It was a wonderful aperitif before meeting two of my best New York friends in Midtown East for last minute reservations at a fancy steak house. One of these ladies was my freshmen year of college roommate, the other one of my artistic besties in NYC. Both have roomed with at one point or another, and neither have yet disowned me via my generally ludicrous and highly emotional life turns. Since I had my heart set on a New York steak before I even landed in the U.S., I was delighted that these two were game for hitting up Del Frisco's, one of the most reputable and one of the few steakhouses I hadn't yet tasted over the years. Interestingly enough, despite its renown, it did not supersede some of my other faves, though the company was some of the best. We also had a pleasant treat on the way to the subway, randomly walking past the tree in Rockefeller Center and a Christmas lights display on the outside of Saks Fifth Avenue. Gotta love the spontaneity of urban life, especially during the holidays
After dinner, my Williamsburg friend and I returned to the hood for post-dinner drinks at one of her favorite local haunts, and in the morning I was treated to a sumptuous breakfast at another popular breakfast spot. Then it was off to Grand Central Station and suburban Connecticut! This was my second Uber experience, confirming my suspicions that you cannot assume your quote is ever accurate and when able, take a yellow or green or taxicab service that can't change their mind when omnipresent traffic or weather conditions do exactly what they always do... Exhale...
My first day in CT was yet another whirlwind, beginning with me taking the wheel from my mother who picked me up from the train despite being in recovery from surgery and squiring her around town en route home. I do not often drive so I have to admit my eyes weren't quite up to the challenge at first, but soon acclimated to their new, much more suburban surroundings. Upon arriving at the house, my two sisters and I had made plans to hit up the grocery store for all of the ingredients and supplies we would need for Christmas day. Then my second oldest sister and I accompanied my mother to dinner, where we all had some really tasty steak salads at one of those awesome restaurants where you get a buzzer that lights up while you wait. Love me some suburbia.
My father had already asked me to meet him at his local bar that evening, a place he patrons every tuesday night with one of his old buddies. Though he wouldn't admit it, I knew he just wanted to show off his beautiful blonde baby, since I've heard about the place for years but had yet to make an appearance. The best parts of the evening? #1) Being tapped on the shoulder by a young man who called me "Angikla" and not until he gave me his name did I realize he was the younger brother of a childhood friend of mine. He is 26 or so now, but since the last time I saw him was possibly when he was approximately 14, you can see how my mind was not only blown but thoroughly terrified. #2) My Dad getting into a political debate with his friend's son, moments after I had accused the same lad of living in a commune. #3) My father looking highly disappointed that I never made it to a second gin martini, though the first was the size of two... and yes, now you know where I inherited my drinking skills from. Circa 10pm and it was definitely time to get some sleep before the dawn of Christmas Eve!