So fellow travelers, a week ago Friday, I woke in a jet lagged kind of fog in the spare room at my parents townhouse apartment. My WouldBe Perfect Husband snoring beside me, Favorite Youngest Daughter curled under her travel blanket on the futon by the big bay window. It took me quite a few minutes to process the events which brought us there. Why did my feet ache so much? How did I sleep so late (8am)? Why was I so freakin’ dehydrated and tired?
As is my habit, I rewound the events of the past 24….no, wait….. make that 36 hours in my head. A 2.25 hour drive from my brother’s house near the Oranges in NJ which seemed much longer after an aborted attempt to find a Starbucks open on Thanksgiving Eve. (Thanks Starbucks for hiring my daughter, so we could not even consider getting coffee at the Dunkin Donuts which did seem to be open that evening.)
Recollection of being tired but unable to close my eyes for more than a moment as my insufficiently caffeinated WBP husband navigated the dark and winding back roads leading to my parents residence in Pennsylvania (obviously we made it) Awake for the entire white knuckle drive through post Nor’Easter slush inspite of the tryptophan coursing through my system after a wonderful Thanksgiving feast complete with both traditional and gourmet side dishes (Shaved brussel sprouts with wild mushrooms and bacon? why don’t mind if I do. Butternut squash braised in coconut milk? yes please!) Oh and no sugar infusion from desserts, as we had to say our goodbyes before the pies and brownies were served. As it was, after sincerely thanking her aunt and uncle for “making it possible for us to have a real Thanksgiving,” my daughter barely made it to the car. She was asleep within minutes.
Sleep? yes we had both rested on the brief drive from the PATH station in Journal Square to my brother’s house. I know she dozed off a few times between stops on the subway ride through Manhattan after hauling her suitcase five or six blocks from the designated pickup location near the USS Intrepid where the bus from their hotel dropped the kids off to meet parents staying in the NYC area. I suspect my WBP Husband napped while he waited for us at the parking garage in NJ where we left our car while in the city. It had not been easy hauling our own small suitcases through the crowds made denser by the line of protestors clustered around the blocks between Penn Station and the 33rd street PATH station.
There may have been reports on the news of a small determined band Mom propelling herself like a tank muttering something the sounded like “Happy Holidays folks, get the fork out of my way.” If parents missed the ten minute window allowed for the drop off time their kids would return to their hotel and board the main bus caravan headed for home where, at least at my house back in Upstate NY, there wasn’t a turkey basting itself in the oven. Yup, get the fork out of my way folks, I have a cement hard NYC vendor pretzel in my free hand and I am not afraid to use it.
The pretzel was a rash, somewhat nostalgic choice for “breakfast” in the mad dash through the course I had plotted through NYC transit. It was in fact so stale I never ate it, although I did wield it at a few people in my way. They wisely ran for cover. We had lingered at our prime location on the corner of 62nd Street and Central Park West a tad too long, hoping to catch the float with the Pentatonix. The marching band would be performing their Daft Punk Medley at Herald Square. We watched as long as we could after the band marched by but had to head for our hotel a few blocks away.
Yes, ok. This is why my feet ache. It took the entire three block trek back to our hotel just south of Columbus Circle to regain feeling in my toes. My feet had become solid blocks of frozen flesh while I had been standing on the concrete curb where I had arrived five hours earlier at 5:30am. I realized I had forgotten to pack foot warmers as I was layering on warm clothes at 4am to head forth and stake out a spot for our band parents. Because the viewing area at Herald Square was VIP ticketing only, parents had organized in small groups and spread ourselves along the parade route decked out in B’ville red and waving signs to cheer our kids on.
Our kids….the Marching Bees of the Baldwinsville Marching Band….first band from Central New York to march in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade…..this wasn’t a dream… it was a dream come true.
(To be continued)