On Friday, I got a few hours of sleep and then woke up to start the journey home. I grabbed my takeaway breakfast from the fridge and walked to the station. The journey home was pretty uneventful although connecting through Brussels was a little nerve-wracking since there was a HUGE line for non-EU citizens leaving the Schengen zone. I also had to run back to the United counter to get a sticker saying I had been through security. This seemed ridiculous because of course I went through security, there was no other way to be at the gate. Anyway, it was a pretty tight connection because of all that but I made it and got home, just in time for Chief’s Dinner.
After a nice dinner with colleagues and some funny roast skits (on video), I went home and slept pretty soundly. The next morning, I got up to…take a plane to NYC. I know. Totally crazy but a friend of mine was having a baby shower hosted by friends with an amazing apartment. So, off I went!
I landed in Newark and took the train into Penn Station. I had made an appointment at the Apple Store near World Trade Center so after a delicious lunch at Sliced. It was delicious and pretty healthy, too. I had an open-faced toast and the counterman was really nice.
Then I walked down to the World Trade Center area. I walked through the memorial, which was pretty somber. It is clear that in the NYC area, 9/11 is an event that affects people daily. I feel that elsewhere in the US, while people treat the date with solemnity, the direct impact is felt less often by the overall population on a day-to-day basis.
Next, I walked into Oculus, a futuristic-looking multi-use space that is impressive on the outside and the interior even more so. I walked through Eatly and then went to the Apple store where they took my laptop away to send it in. Although the girl tried to insinuate that I must have done something by showing my photos of a few spots of micro-rust from water damage, it ultimately turned out that the logic board had failed. I didn’t have to pay anymore than the (expensive) base rate and my computer was returned with memory intact (my last backup had been a month ago!).
After that, it was time to party! Michael and Scott organized a great party with awesome drinks and delicious food. We went up to their deck and socialized while admiring the spectacular views.
Then the party headed downstairs where we ate and drank some more. We played pin-the-sperm-on-the-uterus after getting fairly liquored up (varied from person to person), which was a lot of fun. One of the (gay) guys was right on target (cheater) and very proud of himself. Most everyone else did rather poorly but there were no hurt feelings or broken household items.
The party was still going but I had to leave to meet up with my AirBnB host. I know I wasn’t thrilled about my Gothenburg experience but NYC is expensive! I met up and it was a cool loft, although several units had eviction/condemned notices up for overcrowding violations. So, a little shady but my stay was fine.
Then I met up with Hillary and Karen for Ethiopian food. It was so fun to hang out with them and after dinner, we headed over to Hillary’s to hang out and drink some wine. They were a little mad at me for staying at an AirBnB but both of them were so busy with family and job obligations that I didn’t want to stress them out. But they said if I ever came again, no AirBnB! Stay with one of them!
The next day, Karen and I met up for brunch. Afterwards, I walked for a bit and then met two of my aunts for a second brunch. One of my aunts and I had planned to go to the Met but my grandfather really hoped to see me. Well, the Met can wait! Also, it was Father’s Day so it was nice to spend the day with family. We had a really nice dinner at Navesink. I took an Uber to Newark. There was very little traffic and I made my flight without a hitch.
It was a wonderful weekend.