Going home for the holidays each year is all about friends and family to be sure, but also feasting... large amounts of food and alcohol is consumed as the general excuse for holiday fanfare in addition to general merrymaking. You meet up with friends for a drink, a meal, or for all of the above. But before I even make it onto American soil, I must first conquer that looming trixy vixen... flying.
I have never loved flying. My dear mother unfortunately instilled a relative fear in all of her children due to her own phobia formed only after years of flying without a hitch followed by one terrifying flight. The first time I ever got on a plane was amidst hysterical tears because I am just far too imaginative and totally "blessed" with the ability to wrap my brain around all manner of comedic versus tragic circumstance. I was actually able to reign it in for about a decade before I started flying around the globe a lot more and the lingering demons of darkness made their way into my psyche once more. The good news is that I will fly regardless, because life is short and you gotta take those risks if you want to experience awesomeness. The bad news is that without a handy little anxiety pill (which I very inconveniently ran out of in recent months), I cannot be trusted not to neurotically listen to the engine during the whole flight and assume every tiny movement in the plane is actually the great mechanical beast plummeting to spontaneous death. So instead of taking my little dose of serenity, I attempted a sleeping pill and several glasses of wine. My hope was to just pass out for several hours, not only eliminating fear but also passing the time. While this little cocktail managed to numb my neuroses, it also had the adverse effect of keeping me awake in a haze of exhaustion and semi-nausea. I made it to LaGuardia after a transfer in Montreal, but then had to meet the first of my amazing friends for some food and drink all the way over in Columbus Circle. Under normal circumstances, this would have been an exciting adventure, but woozy tummy was not loving the yellow taxi service, no matter how many bridges and skylines I was able to take in.
I met two of my very dear friends from college for a quick bite at Landmarc, a restaurant I have liked since my own days in the restaurant business; classy but affordable, it offers a panoramic view of the surrounding areas and manages to make you feel way more chic than you really are. I did manage to breath in the NYC air (however polluted) and marvel at the Christmas lights bedecking the city before meeting up. It was amazing to see the first of my friends, though I could only consume a side of brussels sprouts and sip on a cocktail while attempting jetlag-induced conversation that most likely made zero sense. I think these same two friends had to suffer a similar experience during my travels last year! Here's hoping they haven't forgotten that I was once an articulate being with creative and might I say sometimes even profound thought.
After a far too brief catchup session, one of my friends and I shared a cab over to Brooklyn where I would be seeing and staying with the first of my family for the week: my brother, sister-in-law and delightfully perfect genius nephew. The Four F's: Flying, Feasting, Family and Friends had begun.