Monday, July 14, 2008

back in business.

hello, hello! i’m back from my glorious eight-day vacation feeling appropriately relaxed and refreshed – no small feat, considering the amount of anxiety i had leading up to my departure on the fourth. (long story short: i was freaking out about visiting pa./my family for the first time since my grandfather’s funeral in april, but everything turned out fine, if more than a little bittersweet.)

anyway, i know i promised to write more than i actually did, and i apologize for not doing so. but i’m back with a full week of posts, and i thought i’d start with a quick recap of the past week – a weekly, if you will, as opposed to a daily.

friday-sunday: arrive in scranton, pennsylvania (yes, home of the office). spend lots of time with my grandmother, aunt and uncle; catch up with my dear friend s.; watch several fireworks displays from various vantage points; eat a lot of crap (oh, edy’s orange dreamsicle ice cream, you are too good) but chalk it up to feeling better after a rough week.

monday-tuesday: head to nyack, new york, where my dancer aunt is directing/choreographing children’s theater and renting a great carriage house right on the hudson river. spend monday morning curled up in a comfy armchair at starbucks, finishing my book (then we came to the end, by joshua ferris – so good). meet up with my aunt at lunchtime, then spend the rest of the afternoon shopping. head back to my aunt’s apartment for a little while before meeting up with my uncle, who’d driven in from scranton, for dinner at a fantastic outdoor restaurant on the hudson river with a great view of the tappan zee bridge. fireflies abound; i bubble over with excitement because i never see them here in florida and they just add to the night’s beautiful dusky glow. after dinner, hit up a local bar (yes, with my aunt and uncle – they’re cool) and down a really strong drink. sleep like a baby that night; drive back to scranton with my uncle tuesday morning and spend the day alone at my aunt’s house there, sleeping in, going through her amazing makeup and clothing collection and playing with her three kitties (ladybug, odette and odile). s. comes over and we sit on the front porch for awhile (one of my favorite summer pastimes), then i meet my uncle at cooper’s, a local hotspot, to have dinner and say goodbye, because i’m heading to allentown the next day.

wednesday: wake up early and go visit my grandmother at her assisted living facility to say goodbye. dissolve into tears as i’m driving back to my aunt’s; i love my family dearly and hate leaving them. pull it together enough to realize that i still have half of my vacation left and head to a great outlet mall to meet the fabulous b., with whom i’ll be staying the rest of the trip. pick up a pretty purple top at the gap outlet and a divine pair of bright yellow flats at the banana republic store. yum. arrive at b.’s house around 5:30, grab dinner at a little pizzeria and then drive to a local festival, where b.’s husband, a sound engineer, is doing the sound for his friend’s band. enjoy being outside in the lovely weather and walking around the festival, which is a throwback to my childhood, for sure.

thursday: b. and i head to philadelphia for the john mayer concert that night. the concert is actually in camden, new jersey, but our hotel is smack-dab in the center of rittenhouse square, an area filled with great shops (everything from h&m to burberry) and restaurants. i can definitely see myself living there. we make ourselves look pretty for johnny, as we call him (we’re obsessed), and, after a walk around the area and a bite to eat, head over the ben franklin bridge to the concert, which is amazing. our seats are incredible and john plays a full two-hour set while looking hot (see picture). drive happily back to our hotel post-show with ringing ears and hoarse voices. sleep like babies on the hotel’s super comfortable beds.

friday-sunday: after a late wake-up, b. and i head back to her house in allentown and spend the rest of our time together just hanging out, which is so nice and relaxing. she drops me off at the airport on saturday, and i tearfully say goodbye and then fly home, wishing the vacation was longer but happy about all the things i got to do. stay with my parents on saturday night (they'd watched oscar and i’d flown out of the orlando-sanford airport), then head back to sarasota on sunday night.

so there you have it – my vacation in a nutshell. i should also note that i am now physically unable to sleep past 11 a.m. without experiencing a sleep hangover– that didn't stop me from sleeping until 10 or 10:30 every day, but i remember the collegiate days of yore, when i could sleep until 12:30 or 1 without a second thought. oh, and i also had an interesting experience while unpacking clothes last night, which resulted in my to-donate-to-goodwill pile growing another foot (i have to bag everything up and take it in this week), but i’ll write more about that tomorrow or wednesday. until then, my loves.

(photos above: dinner view on saturday night; nyack public library; the view from our hotel room window in philadelphia (love the "love" sign in the window); a photo from the john mayer concert. all photos by me except for the fantastic one of john (hello, lover), which was taken by b.)

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