Another Christmas come and gone. This one was spent in New York with the family, which was a really good time. I stayed with Moo at her swanky apartment, which meant that a “sleep until 11″ plan was tacitly agreed upon and followed throughout nearly the entire visit. Execellent.
I arrived on Sunday afternoon and we had a low-key dinner at YGB’s place, and I had a chance to wrap all of the gifts that I had brought cross-country. We decided to come back around 9:30 the next morning for presents, given that we didn’t think Bug could resist her mountain of gifts any longer than that.
We arrived Christmas morning, fully expecting to be greeted with a slew of wrapping paper and empty boxes, but to our surprise, Bug had decided to wait to unwrap even a single gift until we arrived, despite YGB constantly asking if she wanted to start unwrapping. As always, I received a bevy of unusual and interesting gifts: a cool courderoy jacket from YGB and PRP, a sweater with a dragon and some Puma sneakers from Moo, and an odd assortment from my parents, including a wooden comb with a monkey on it, a pop-up Ancient Egypt calendar, Barack Obama’s latest book, a crazy ceramic angel, a Tin Tin and Peanuts book in Chinese, and the kicker, a deck of cards featuring George W. Bush’s face on 1950′s pinup girls. My family rules.
That afternoon, my parents, Moo, and I went to Moo’s apartment for a bit, and then took a walk around the Central Park reservoir, before meeting YGB, PRP, and Bug at a family friend’s apartment for dinner. The dinner that night was amazing (potato soup, prime rib, and an English trifle, among other things) and even more gifts were exchanged. Bug got to play with their daughter L, and I saw firsthand exactly what two unsupervised toddlers can do to a room full of toys. Quite astonishing.
The next day we spent doing a bit of shopping, then it was back to YGB and PRP’s place for dinner. PRP’s whole family showed up, sans EP, Oz, and Mr. Incredible, who were in Australia. We had an incredible home-cooked meal courtesy of my mom and Yai. My dad and I decided that the cooking powers of grandmothers are exponential, so the meal was actually four times as good as a regular meal. Yeah, we’re nerds. What’s it to ya? We also made sure to have long noodles since it was my dad’s birthday! Happy Birthday dad! That night, Bug added to her Christmas gift haul with presents from her other aunts and uncles, including a Backyardigans DVD, which we all watched after dinner.
The next day I spent mostly with Moo hanging around near her apartment, but the real meat ‘n’ potatoes of the day was my mom’s SURPRISE party that night. YGB had been planning the event for several months, and had several of my mom’s friends and family come out to New York for the event, which was held at Daniel. Everyone arrived around 6 o’clock for hors d’oeuvres and drinks, and my parents, along with PRP and Bug arrived at around 6:30. Boy was my mom surprised! When she opened the door, a waiter was ready with a glass of champagne for her and my dad, and her jaw hit the floor and stayed there for a few seconds. After she greeted everyone and mingled for a while, we all sat down for an incredible meal: crab salad, mushroom soup, cod, two kinds of beef, and a choice of a pear or souffle dessert. The wine was flowing freely (for everyone but me, of course,) and everyone had a wonderful time, especially my mom.
The next day was a bit of a lazy day after all of the excitement of the party the night before. Moo and I decided to go to Magnolia Bakery to mack on some of their famous cupcakes, which I’d never had before. After a subway trip and a bit of a walk, we finally arrived at that holy grail of sugary goodness, that purveyor of pastry perfection, that dealer of deadly desserts, to find….that it’s closed between Christmas and New Years. Needless to say, I made a sad face. After wandering around the West Village for a while, we eventually ended up at Tea and Sympathy, which although was not cupcakes, was quite good. I’d like to note that we didn’t receive any sympathy for our lack of cupcakes. We did, however, receive a whole crap-ton of finger sandwiches and cakes, which lasted well into dinner.
Late that night, we still hadn’t heard from our parents, even after leaving them a voice mail several hours earlier. Although it was nearly midnight, we decided to give them another call, just to make sure everything was okay. My dad finally answered, and told us that he and my mom had spent the day with my mom’s sisters, enjoying lunch, dinner, and seeing the Christmas lights at Rockefeller center. When asked why they didn’t call us back, my dad said, “Oh, we noticed you called. But we thought it might be too late to call back.” After hanging up and realizing that we had spent the whole night in our pajamas watching TV and eating popcorn while our parents had been out enjoying the New York nightlife, I turned to Moo and asked, “Is this what having kids is like?”
The next day, my last in New York, was spent with PRP, Bug, Moo, and my mom. My dad had unfortunately fallen ill in the middle of the night, so he was back at the hotel resting. We didn’t do too much, but it was nice to just spend some time with my family, since we so rarely see each other. I did finally get to see My Neighbor Totoro, one of Bug’s and PRP’s favorite movies.
My flight was early this morning, so I was up at 4:45am, then it was back to California, much too soon, I might add. When I booked my tickets, I thought that 6 days would be plenty, but it felt too short. I’ve told people that I’ve only recently gotten over my independent streak that started once I left for college, and I am really appreciateing the time I spend with family now, however short it is.
All together it was a wonderful trip. I hope all of you enjoyed your breaks just as much.
[YGB? PRP? WTF? Check the glossary!]