Yes, that’s right folks, I’m back.
I’m terribly sorry for this unintended hiatus, no matter how much it was actually good for me. I think I needed a couple of weeks to get my blogging mojo back. I think my mojo is back.
Just as a recap, Brock, Ronan and I went to the beach a few weeks ago. I had a hard time blogging while we were there, and spent a few days recuperating from the trip. The following week, Ronan and I flew to New York.
Yup. Just me and Ronan. To New York. To visit friends.
Mm-hmm. We flew to New York to meet people that we had only ever met before on the internet. We had a “tweetup” which is net-speak for Twitter friends meeting up. I know, you all think I’m crazy. But it was probably one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life.
First off, let me say that EVERYONE that I met in Inwood was amazing. I have never been surrounded by so many people so immediately accepting, and so fun to spend time with. Every day was jam-packed with things to do, and places to go. For those of you that don’t know, Inwood is the neighborhood that encompasses the northern-most tip of Manhattan Island. It is full of absolutely beautiful pre-war architecture, tons of culture, and an amazing number of family friendly, CLEAN and gated parks.
Ronan and I had a blast walking all over the area, checking out the sights and trying out the restaurants. We spent every morning in a different park, meeting the locals and running around. We tried new foods in all of the restaurants, and enjoyed everything we ate! (Also missed out on a bout of food poisoning that Jose, Inger and Zaida were not so lucky as to avoid.)
Some highlights of our trip were:
Anne Loftus park – we returned here a couple times. With several different play areas, tree covered park, and tons of benches, Ronan had a blast running from one end of the park to the other. It was a gorgeous photo opportunity, so I took plenty!
My first subway ride – much more glamorous the first time around (and in my head) that in reality. But it was kind of relaxing, even though Ronan never slept.
Artisanal Bistro – Daniel, Zaida’s husband, is the front of house manager at this amazing french bistro. He took us for lunch on Thursday afternoon, and I ate far better than I ever have at ANY other restaurant in my LIFE. We had fondue, and a steak salad, and dessert; creme brulee, cheesecake and an apple tart. Ronan was just as excited about the food as I was.
Piper’s Kilt – An Irish Pub! What a fantastic little pub, easily accommodating an onrush of Tweeps, FOUR toddlers, and a huge order of food. Which was amazing. The service was great. And the atmosphere was perfect.
Hooplawn! – I experienced my first hoop jam! It was so amazing to meet everyone that I had only previously known through Twitter, and SO much fun to spend the evening hooping. Ronan had more fun than I’ve ever seen a child have splashing in a puddle, only to fall in and not mind at all. The weather was great, despite threats to rain, and fun was had by all.
While we were in New York, our days were so full of activity it felt like we were there forever, but now that I’m home… I feel like it passed by in a moment. I miss all of my new friends already, and the casual nature of walking out of your apartment and being within a few blocks of anything you could ever need. I feel so lucky to have made the friends that I have made, and desperately hope in the future to make another trip. Also, I am incredibly thankful to our amazing hostess, Claudia, for opening her home to us and for being an incredible person. She made us feel welcome, and wanted and like we were at home.
I am beyond words thankful for Zaida and her family. She planned everything to the last detail, and didn’t bat an eye when weather and health problems seemed determined to ruin the trip. Her BEAUTIFUL babes, Gabriel and Stella, were always a pleasure to spend time with. Her husband Daniel (a self described “goofy asshole”) was fun and helpful, despite the debilitating sickness he was enduring (ya big baby!). Ryan, her teenaged son, was polite and funny, helpful and sweet. He offered to take pictures during the hoop jam, and even played with Ronan when he was getting tired and fussy. Such an amazing family, filled with so much love.
Before this post gets too long! I loved meeting and spending time with Melissa and Jay, and their beautiful son Alex. Jose and Inger were a pleasure every time we got together, and always made me laugh. Their boys, Lucas and Yannick are absolute TREASURES and beautiful to boot. Rich and Selena and Jay and Jill and Lynn and SO MANY PEOPLE I can’t remember all the names!
Thank you SO MUCH to Inwood and all of our friends for helping us have such a great trip. I hope we make it back some day. Soon.