I always get crazy excited in the time up to a vacation. And one week from right now I'll be on a plane about halfway to New York. This is VERY exciting.
Like most people who flee the small towns of the Midwest for urban pastures, I thoroughly enjoy the thrill of living a metropolitan life. I like cities. I like public transportation. I like eating in restaurants at 1 in the morning just because I can. And living abroad has made it all more exotic...it's been almost two years since I first got the offer to move to the UK and I still can't believe I'm here. Driving on the left side of the road is second nature to me now. I've developed local comfort foods and can read the signs at roundabouts and tell people I'll give them a bell when I mean I'll call them. I actually say toMAHto. I miss my friends and my family, but I feel so alive when I think about my life here. Not only am I living a childhood dream, this has become my home and I'm relatively happy here.
But once I get within a breath of my flight home I get giddy with anticipation. I allow myself to miss things. And I get freakishly homesick. I want a good slice of pizza. I want a glass of iced tea. I want to watch David Letterman. I want to call the Poodles to see if I can come hang out and watch the Twins, and I want to drink a Manhattan on Timmy and Mark's porch. I want to call Tom and watch tv. I want a kosher dill pickle.
This is going to be a GREAT vacation.
Next Thursday I flee a Leadership Conference early to make the trek to Heathrow. My flight leaves around 7PM, I think. Tom's picking me up at JFK and we're heading someplace for dinner...he chooses.
On Friday Lauren and Jane arrive, and I hook up with Timmy and Shawn. We're staying at The Royalton for the weekend. We have quite the evening planned:
6PM - Drinks at the Delancey Rooftop Bar
830PM - Walk to the East Village for Mexican food at Mary Ann's
After dinner - dancing to 80's music at the Pyramid Club
Egg Cream on the way to the hotel
Saturday we've got the day to dork around. I'm thinking shopping, MOMA, and Central Park. This is my 40th birthday, so I'm going to do something nice for myself. Turning 40 rocks.
To celebrate that evening:
7:00 PM - Live performance by Blossom Dearie!
Head to hip bar for cocktails
10 PM - Dinner at Sushi Samba
Midnight - Dessert and drinks at Cafe Rafaella
End the evening with showtunes singing at Marie's Crisis
On Sunday Timmy and Shawn fly home, but L,J&me move out to Brooklyn to Tom and Georgie's. We'll have cocktails in the yard and the Chinese banquet that I raved about in an early post.
Sleeping in a Best Western in Brooklyn on Monday, then flying out late AM for MSP.
Talk about madcap Manhattan weekends. This is going to kick ass.
Once I'm in the Midwest, it's a little less hectic overall. I need to renew my driver's license and get my hair cut, but other than that I have a few dinners with friends, a couple of days with my brother and his family, and a week in Iowa with my folks. That's the relaxing part of the trip.
And then on the 4th it's back for two more nights in NYC and then I fly back to Heathrow on the 6th.
I have homework to do on vacation and I know things will get busy once I'm there and actually try to balance my schedule, but right now it sounds heavenly to be coming home.