Fantastic voyage

That song "Home" by Phillip Phillips (poor guy) gets me every time.  Since I'm not an American Idol follower, the first time I heard the song was on a video someone posted on Facebook about a college freshman's first week at Ithaca College.  The lyrics and the video stroll down memory lane brought me to tears.  The song later became popular on the radio, and I would have requests from the backseat to turn it up whenever it came on the radio in the car.  The next time I cried while hearing "Home" was during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  A somber event, I know.  Staten Island's P.S. 22 Chorus sang it on a parade float, and I couldn't help but get emotional when I thought about all they and the residents of the northeast had gone through during and after Hurricane Sandy.  

Fast forward a few months, and I'm driving back from NY with my mom and daughters after a spring break trip visiting some of my favorite people on the planet.  We're crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, and "Home" comes on the radio.  I didn't cry this time, but I couldn't help but think of how serendipitous the timing was.  In October, it will be an entire decade since I made the life changing decision to leave my home in New York and make one here in Virginia Beach, and I truly can't believe how great it has all worked out for me. My life today is not what 24 year old me had envisioned, but a million times better.  In the words of Phillip Phillips, I've made this place my home, and I couldn't be happier.  

While I think Virginia Beach is a fantastic place to raise my children, I think it's important they know where their mother comes from and how it's made me who I am today.  I also want them to feel as at home in New York as I do, so I make it a point to take them up there as often as I can.  It's far from easy, and I often feel the need to lock myself in a quiet room by the time I get home, but it is so worth the effort.  It helps that my children are pretty easy to please.

Me:  "Brynn, what do you want to do in the city today?"
Brynn:  "Ride the subway."

Um, done. 

While it still seemed a bit new to Camryn, Brynn looked like a lifetime member of the Straphangers Union.  The hustle and bustle of the big city didn't phase her one bit, and she walked around like she owned the town.  Camryn held her own, walking as much as she could since I was a horrible mother and forgot her stroller.  All they wanted for lunch were bagels with crumbs (everything bagels to the rest of us), so bagels with crumbs they got:

It was cold and windy during our trip, so we opted for some indoor fun at FAO Schwartz.  The girls oohed and ahhhed at all of stuffed animals that greeted us in the lobby, but were particularly drawn to the plastic figures one can find in the dollar section at Target (but were being sold for the bargain price of $14.99 and up at the world's most famous toy store):

And of course there was the Big piano:

One unexpected experience happened when we were waiting to cross the street in front of the Plaza hotel...the horse and buggies were lined up, waiting for passengers to take around Central Park, when one of the drivers offered Brynn a carrot to feed to his horse:

As we're told, this friendly fella was a retired racehorse named "Til We Meet Again" and was celebrating his 13th birthday the next day.  

With two tired rock star kids, we made the trek back to Brooklyn for a little dinner and relaxation.  Mommy was a mere afterthought at bedtime when Dayna and Michel offered to read some bedtime stories:

The following day, we said goodbye to Brooklyn and headed north to Westchester, where I gave Brynn and Camryn a brief tour of where I grew up.  We drove past the house I grew up in, my grandparents' house, a few of my schools and places of work, and they loved hearing my stories along the way.  I pointed out where I used to wait for the bus for middle school, which they thought was particularly fascinating.  Their little minds were officially blown when they learned I rode one of those "two buses stuck together" home from school!  

We stopped for some pizza for lunch before we went to visit the East family in Scahhhhhhsdale.  We were greeted with sheer excitement from Charlotte and sweet smiles from Jackson and Logan.  The kids all burned off some energy in Charlotte's bounce house, which is always a hit with my little jumping beans:

Jackson and Logan weren't going to be left out of the fun:

The girls all had a big sleepover in Charlotte's room that night, and I enjoyed a much needed night of solo slumber after spending the last two nights with a coughing, kicking Camryn.  From Scahhhsdale it was on to Lahhhhchmont, where I surprised the girls with a little souvenir of our Mommy/daughter trip to NY:

It's a "piece of my heart" necklace set, with mine being the large round circle with the two hearts cut out, and Brynn and Camryn each having the cut out heart on their own chain.  I fell in love with the concept when I saw something similar on Pinterest, and sent the picture along to Felix at Rubino Jewelers because I knew he could make it happen for me.  It's pretty awesome having your own personal jeweler!!!  I may be Fancy, but Felix and his brother are ridiculously talented at their craft...pay them a visit!!!

From Lahhhchmont, it was back to New Rochelle to pick up Grandma and head back to Virginia.  It was a long ride home, but Brynn and Camryn were awesome in the car.  I loved hearing Camryn tell Daddy, "We had a really good trip!" and look forward to making another like it again soon.  Maybe next time we can have some extra company in the form of Hannah and Gia:

Right, because they came to visit us last weekend before we left for New York!  They popped in Saturday night, had an Easter egg hunt (or 12) Sunday morning,  and hit the road again to spend their Spring Break in Florida.  Incredibly surreal to have Dayna, Karen, and these unbelievably adorable girls all under one roof.  It doesn't happen often, so we made the most of our teeny bit of time spent together.  Still so weird to look at them all together!

This week felt like a visit to some of my favorite memories of my past, from childhood through high school, college, and even early adulthood.  I am so lucky that I still have these awesome people in my life, even if I am so far removed from where I grew up.  I feel even more lucky to have two awesome little girls who love hearing me reminisce and want to know more about their mom when she was a kid.  And while life may make it tougher to get up there as often as I'd like, I vow to bring these girls to New York every chance I get so they will always feel at home in a place I once called home.  

1 comment:

  1. Amazing! I couldn't have said it better myself. Now I'm crying too!