Back home again…
We got home from vacation late Monday night, and yes, I know it’s Friday…but I’m just now getting around to writing about the trip. How was it, you ask?
Great. Wonderful. Magnificent. Moving. Exciting.
There aren’t enough words to say to express how great and how strange it was to go on vacation with someone other than my family. It was very strange to just not be there with my mom and very strange to not have her to share the experience with, but it was also very grown up and exciting. I know, I talk about being a grown up like it’s some new thing…but for someone who has grown up in a family where family vacations are extremely important and who has always gone on vacation with them, it’s a big deal. If you’ve been reading this blog long, you know that my first decision-to not go on family vacation with my family back in July, was huge for me.
Anyway, here is what our vacation was like, day by day...
Up at 1:55 a.m. (okay, so not really “up” seeing as how I didn’t really get any sleep anyway…maybe a couple hours at the most) In the shower, dressed, and groggily out the door by 3:00 a.m. At the airport by 4 and through security, waiting to get on the plane. It’s 4:40 a.m. when we begin boarding the plane. I am the first non-airline employee on the plane. It’s going to be a somewhat empty flight, so no one can sit in front of the 5th row of seats…so yeah, apparently there is some sort of weight issue taken into account. Good to know J As we are taxing, we are greeted by “big mike” the flight attendant. Big Mike is probably 5’5” ish and not plump at all. In fact, he kind of reminds me of Michael J. Fox. As he’s going through the usual safety information, he interjects his own screams (when the air mask would fall) and mimics the recording when it says “in the unlikely event of a water landing.” Turns out he likes to fly in the early morning and be done by early afternoon, but wow…he’s just a bit too chipper for me at 5:00 a.m.
For some reason, I always think of New York as being much further away than it really is…I expect it to take a long time to get there, when in reality, you’re in the air for just under 2 hours. As the sun rises magnificently in the windows, I sip my apple juice and try and doze for a couple minutes. Soon, though, we are descending and looking for the city to appear in the windows. Soon enough if does, and I am overcome with emotion (and I think Tim got a little choked up, as well). There is New York, the city I love, and it is missing a piece. I didn’t expect the loss of the WTC to affect me profoundly. I expected visiting Ground Zero to be touching, but here I was, getting my first glimpse of the city, and I was moved to tears. It almost seemed surreal, in all honesty. It almost seemed like a bad dream. I cannot imagine living there and surviving that. (I will blog more about Ground Zero later…it deserves its own blog and thoughts).
We grabbed a cab, got to the train terminal, and got on a train bound for Stamford. In Stamford, we walked approximately a mile and ½ (and learned to NEVER trust MapQuest maps…yeah, it may look like it’s only a block away, but they take like all the rest of the streets out!!) to get the car. For only a few dollars more, we can upgrade to the Pacifica, so upgrade we do. It’s a NICE ride, I’ll be honest.
Just a mere four and ½ hours later or so, we arrive in West Dennis, MA. By this time, it’s 3:45 p.m. and we’ve been in Indiana, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. It’s been a productive 13 hours or so. :)
The whole purpose for this trip was to see my good friend Annie Hennessy become Mrs. Annie Cifelli. I haven’t known Annie long, but I love her dearly and I know she will be one of those people that is quite simply always in my life. She is beautiful and brave, smart and sincere. She tells you exactly what she is thinking and she loves those people in her life with reckless abandon. She will fight and fight hard for the people she cares about, and it was very important for me to be there for her wedding. I would have driven my little white sport wagon all the way to Cape Cod if the need had come. I would have done anything to be there, and we made it in plenty of time.
I have never been to a Catholic wedding before; it was very similar and yet strikingly dissimilar from its Contemporary Christian counterpart. There was a lot more ceremony and a lot more ‘religiousness’ to the Catholic service. It is a church service, with a wedding in the middle. I was touched for Annie, knowing how much she had gone through and how big of a deal it was for her to be standing there, pledging herself, her life, her love, and her heart to John. And, seeing her face when she saw me, I knew it was right to be there.
I knew I wouldn’t get to talk to her a lot, but I am still so glad I went. After the wedding, we went to the reception at the Lighthouse Inn. It was right on the ocean, and as we got there, it was so beautiful. Chilly, but beautiful. I held Tim close and watched the ocean, watched people fishing off the rocks, and watched the birds. We stood in silence and just enjoyed the nearness of each other. I know there is always something about being at a wedding with a person you love, but standing there, knowing that he had come on this trip because I wanted him to be there at the wedding with me, I fell in love with him all over again. The rest of the trip to come (New England and NYC) was icing on the cake for me. I was there for Annie’s wedding. And even though he didn’t know Annie and didn’t know another soul there, he was there with me. He is amazing.
Okay, so this is getting long…maybe it will take me a couple blogs to email about vacation…there is Friday, anyway :)