A Little R&R in New York

I have a sister and a best friend in New York, so I always said I would make a weekend trip to visit them. Earlier this year, when I realized I hadn’t been to New York since high school — over 6 years ago! — I decided to pick a random weekend and go.

Two weeks before my trip, my sister texted me asking what my plans were. Oh, right. I made tentative plans with Jess (my favorite travel buddy for trips like LA and San Diego), but I needed a break and was fine with a slower weekend. I’m really good at packing trips full of great, efficient experiences without being super stressed, but I didn’t even have the mental capacity to do that. Growing up with dance, I went to the city fairly regularly, and I had been to my sister’s in the suburbs before. Chill would be nice.

Friday, October 5, 2018

I flew in late Thursday after work, and I woke up Friday with a sore throat. After strep throat had plagued me for most of August to two trips to Boston and Denver, I was in denial. There was NO way I could possibly have strep again, so I told myself it was just from flying. Whatever, I would be fine per usual.

I ate a late breakfast on my sister’s porch overlooking the water. I read while she was at tennis, and when she got back, we took the dogs for a walk on the beach. In the afternoon, we continued catching up on the porch. This was my first time really talking with my sister since being an ~adult~ (dysfunctional family probs), and even though she’s 25 years older than me (you read that correctly), it felt so good to finally connect. My parents had always said I was just like her, and it’s so crazy to realize our similarities as well as our differences. She’s awesome, and it was so wonderful to finally connect.

We ate dinner at Ruby’s, an Italian and seafood spot in Rye. I tried escargot and mussels for the first time, and my shrimp gnocchi was so good. We finished the night drinking more wine and chatting while intermittently watching Three Identical Strangers on Netflix. I’m just relieved that as the youngest of 8, there is a VERY slim chance that I have an identical sibling somewhere else in the world. I have enough almost identical siblings that I am aware of!

Saturday, October 6, 2018

The next morning, I met up with Jess. We were supposed to go hiking, but it was gloomy, so we decided to go to the Ritz spa instead to relax by the pool.

Sipping on warm tea with honey in a big fluffy robe helped, but Jess encouraged me to go to the CVS Minute Clinic for a strep test. After brunch, though, of course. I had the hummus toast while Jess had soup and an omelet.

Obviously, I had strep. Is anyone really surprised?

Jess came over to my sister’s, but she wasn’t feeling the best either (she got tested for strep and mono on Monday, and both were negative — insert Shaggy “it wasn’t me” gif). My sister and her husband grilled salmon for dinner, and we relaxed by the fire again for another perfect fall night in. We watched Saturday Night Live, but since it’s actually on late in New York, I didn’t make it through the whole thing. I finally slept well once the antibiotics started to kick in.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

On Sunday, Anne and I got our nails done. I had initially planned to go to Brooklyn with Jess, but she wasn’t feeling well, so I went anyway. Like my mom said, “at least you’re a solo girl.” Seriously, I do this all the time. Is this your first time reading about my travels?

I said I goodbye to my sister and family and the serene views of Rye to Uber into Brooklyn. I checked my bags at the new Soho House and explored the neighborhood. While all my friends were in the chilly rain back in Chicago for the marathon, I was sweating in my jeans in 80 degree temps. I walked the Brooklyn Bridge for the first time — well, not really. If my back was better and I didn’t have strep, I would have ran it. Maybe. There were a lot of tourists/obstacles.

I relaxed by the rooftop pool at DUMBO for the afternoon, finishing my book. I had been reading Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett & Dave Evans, and the guy next to me said he had taken their course at Stanford. We talked about applying design thinking to our lives and how it was just his senior blowoff class. Lol. We compared the different Soho Houses, and I told them they had to come for Chicago’s Halloween Party. Who am I? Talking like I’m Stefon or some shit.

I ate dinner alone and decided to treat myself. I ordered their beet salad and prawns, the latter of which came out with smoking herbs. It literally smelled dank. Brooklyn, you out here.

As I was in my Lyft to the airport, I realized — I am like a Carrie, but I am not a Carrie. Done writing like that kbye.

But really, in that Lyft ride, I felt more like myself than I had in a few weeks. I’ve been really struggling physically, mentally, and emotionally. Anyone who knows me has probably seen me cry at least once in the last month. Hell, strangers on the CTA have seen me cry. I’ve felt like a shit show and have been struggling to find inner peace.

After this weekend in New York, there were still some tears in my eyes, but there was more hope than I’ve felt in a long time. There is hope that I will be able to release my fears and be who I’m destined to become because right now, I am exactly where I need to be. The inner and outer imbalances (my back, argh!) are a lesson to slow down, align with my values, and trust the journey.

Instead of trying to slow down completely to work on myself, I know I do better with momentum. It’s time to suck it up, keep moving forward, trust in my support system, and power through.

Thanks New York, and I cannot wait to be back.



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