Friday, November 1, 2013


Last weekend I embarked on my first "girl's trip." It was only 5 years in the making.  You can think I'm sheltered, lazy, lame, or whatever, but the fact is, it is hard for me to leave my family.  Part of it is money, part of it is my obsession with my kids and what they're doing every second of every day, and part of it is that I am low maintenance to the point that "me time" is not something I require.  It's just not on my radar.  However, I fully realize that sometimes people want to hang out with me without all my life's distractions so this year, my 35th year of life when I am finally getting a clue, I have ventured away from home TWICE!  Once with my husband on my birthday weekend, and once with 4 girlfriends to celebrate my pseudolittlesister Justina's 30th birthday.

I had an excellent weekend.  It was in no way relaxing, but it wasn't that kind of trip.  It was the kind of trip where you cram in as much fun as humanly possible with as little sleep as possible.  I felt every bit of my 35 years when I got home and crashed, but getting to push through a city so full of action and embrace the go go go for a few days was pretty stinking exciting.  Learning the subways, figuring out the geography, and realizing that jaywalking is totally acceptable in New York was great.  Here in San Diego, even our downtown is still kind of a small town.  You may run into people you know, you will get a ticket if your jaywalk (ask my husband), and you can actually see the sky over the buildings.  Oh, and we turn off lights and sleep at night. In New York, you have to figure out the scene, or get crushed.  You have to know where you are going before you go because the city does not feel like stopping to help you figure it out.  Even the doorman at the hotel was not amused when we asked him which hole in the ground we had to go down to get to the yellow train. The culture there is just so...different.  I felt as far from home as I did when I visited Honduras.  Maybe even further because at least in Honduras the architecture is familiar and they speak Spanish.  (I kid.  You know, because I live next door to Tijuana. Anyway...)

A lot of people have asked me what my favorite thing was.  Central Park was pretty near perfect.  I was sitting on a bench drinking coffee amidst Fall leaves wondering how on earth the experience could be real.  I loved the Met.  It was amazing looking at Van Gogh's self portrait up close and seeing the brush strokes he made with his own hand, standing exactly where he stood, and imagining how he saw it in a completely different way than I was seeing it (artists always do)  as elements of a composition that came together to become a masterpiece.  I shed tears on the Staten Island Ferry thinking of my ancestors who maybe saw the Statue of Liberty on the horizon and felt hope.  I thought of my grandmother who came not so long ago to be with her love as her vintage scarf that I keep tied around my purse handle whipped against my leg in the breeze. She was with me in that moment; an immigrant who made this country her home and incidentally my home too. My heart broke at the world trade center.  It broke into a million tiny pieces as I thought about the scar it left on so many.  I couldn't help but be caught up by the spirit of that place.  I felt the fear and the sadness, the bravery and gratitude all wrapped up in that one city block.  I loved seeing Rock of Ages on Broadway.  Seeing a show was something I had dreamed about since I was  a goofy kid in youth theater.  I had goosebumps the whole time and I'll never forget the experience.

New York is no joke.  It is a city of extremes that grabs you the second you get off the plane and doesn't let go until you hop back on.  It doesn't give you a choice about what you feel and everything you feel is all. the. way.  Whether it's awe, sadness, glory, or hope, you will feel it to the extreme. I am still processing everything I experienced and I think it will take me a week to get back on my feet.  It left me feeling the way I felt after getting off a carousel as a kid.  I am wind blown and a little dizzy, but it was so fun and so sparkly and really, a beautiful ride.

And to my psuedolittlesister, Justina.  Happy birthday, love!  Thanks for inviting me to your party:)


(this is a Gossip Girl reference, any fans?)

(this is a SATC reference, any fans?)

 My traveling buddies

Adios New York!

And if you're wondering what was in my head the whole trip...


Heather. said...

Yay, Gossip Girl! xoxo

Jennifer Mask said...

So fun, Sarah!! I love all your photos. My hubby and I had a blast, too, when we were there last weekend. I absolutely loved, central park--so beautiful!! I'm already missing NYC and ready to go back. :-)

Caleb Keiter said...

I'm glad you had a great time! I know Carrie really missed her girlfriends.

sarah said...

We missed her too:(

sarah said...

It was fun to see your adventure too! I kept looking around to see if we would cross paths. That would have been awesome!

sarah said...

You know it!

Alla said...

AWw.. that picture of Staten Island Ferry made me nostalgic... I used to take it to work everyday ;) ((found you via Nuria's blog)) hi!

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