Friday, July 30, 2010

new york, new york

After a too-short trip home to Long Island, I'm back in Texas, back at work, and knee deep in puppy training and trying to keep my apartment at least half way clean. A real challenge, I tell you! But you don't want to hear about my sticky floors and the obscene number of dog toys strewn about the house. You want to hear about New York, Long Island, and my five glorious days on the South Shore, where the weather was perfect and every breeze carried with it the sweet scent of the ocean. And really, who am I to deny you that?

I thought I would have more photos to share with you, but honestly I did not do much during my brief getaway. Saturday was devoted to travel, as it took me nearly 12 hours to get from my door in Texas to my parents' living room on Long Island. Luckily, my middle sister Susan picked me up at the airport, and we took a break from traveling to visit her apartment in Harlem, pet her cat Sammy, and eat at the Loving Hut near Penn Station. A Loving Hut recently opened in Houston but I still haven't had a chance to try it. I can't speak for H-Town's version, but New York City's was downright delicious. And since the opportunities I have to order real live vegan cheese are few and far between, I went for the quesadillas. I was not disappointed.

After gorging myself on my plate and half of Susan's (she took one for the team by agreeing to eat at a vegan restaurant) we stopped at a deli to pick up a six pack before catching our train. It was a 90 minute ride to my parents', which flew by as we caught up and caught a buzz. (And yes, drinking on the train is totally legal. On Friday evenings and baseball game nights, it's practically a requirement.)

Sunday was my grandparents' 80th birthday party, and the main reason I went home. It was the usual fare - rented hall, open bar, sit down dinner, and a DJ who played his keyboard along with a boom box that sprouted an interesting mix of Frank Sinatra (for the 80 year olds) and Lady Gaga (for the rest of us). The highlights of this party included: being fussed over for traveling "all the way from Texas," seeing an elderly woman break the mold by getting her groove on to the Gaga, and as many vodka and cranberry juices as I wanted. (Three. This was a family event, after all.)

Sisterly love. And cupcakes.

Everyone danced in a circle around my grandparents.

Littlest sister Ally and I take glamor shots in the bathroom.

Because the weekend was taken up with traveling and family times, and because all my friends have jobs, I didn't get a chance to see many of my college friends. I was okay with that. This really was a family-focused trip, and dashing off to the city would have left no time with my mom. And because my mom is one of my favorite people in the world, that would have been tragic. (Plus she would have killed me.) So Monday through Wednesday can be summed up quite briefly: a 2.5 mile run along the bay; a trip to the mall with my youngest sister, who understands things like "fashion" and "style;" hanging out with my girlfriends from high school in the evenings; making roasted vegetables on my dad's grill; receiving text message updates from Nathan about how bad the puppy was being, and then how he had a turning point and was suddenly "getting it." (Whew!) All in all, a really relaxing, really low key, and much needed trip home. In other words, perfect.

My dad created this - ahem - still life in the backyard. "20 more buoies," he said, "and I'll be done."

I got home late Wednesday night, slept for a few hours, and then had to be at work the next morning. With the help of a large soy latte at 2pm, I managed to actually have a productive day. After work, Nathan and I took the dogs to the park and had a really wonderful time. The puppy still had a penchant for gnawing on things, and stealing your socks, and nibbling on your fingers, but he is no longer leaping on you teeth first. He also knows the word "NO," hasn't peed in the house in a few days, prefers sleeping in the kitchen at night behind the baby gate (he whines for exactly five minutes before falling asleep until morning - I timed it last night), and he responds to his name. That's right - we finally settled on a name. I will do a big reveal on Sunday's Pupdate (now twice as adorable!) because I like having secrets. I will say that we did not choose any of the names in the poll, which I warned you might happen. Rest assured that it is a good name, and that it suits him perfectly.

I just realized that this is Friday and I didn't do a +/- list. I hope you can forgive me, and that this massive post will suffice. We'll be back to our regularly scheduled blogging on Sunday, which will include pupdates, recipes, training tales, and various adventures. Thanks for sticking around in the interim and have a lovely weekend!