I have returned home to Santa Fe, New Mexico...and it feels wonderful. It feels great to be back home to the mountains, to the crisp, clean air, and most importantly, to my heart that is Shadow. I expected him to be upset with us for having been gone for as long as we have, but I didn't expect to get the change that we came home to. Slowly but surely since Mom and I walked into the house last night, we are getting my original golden-eyed prince back. He's lying on top of my feet as I'm writing this, napping away with this half-grin that just warms the soul. Anyone who is a dog parent would know the feeling...it's the greatest one in the world.
I wrote in my blog last week that when I set foot in NY, I felt out of place. That feeling was still strong throughout the trip. No matter how many good things went on during my trip, there was something that happened each day and reminded me why I made the right decision in leaving. No matter how much I love my family and friends back east, there is nothing left for me there. New Mexico is my home...and I love it.
Since a lot of people have been asking, this blog entry will be focused mainly on recapping my trip.
Monday was a throw-away day, so there's nothing to tell there...except for the fact that I finally got bagels and I was trying to survive the sudden bursts of extra oxygen and the harsh humidity. I get really bad allergies sometimes, especially because of my asthma, and when I moved out to the west, the air really helped me. During my trip, I was suffering.
Tuesday, I went to Hoboken with Mom. She was working, and I had the intent of working as well, but the circumstances did not allow me to print out Mistress of Blackwen. I guess the guardians thought I needed to really take a break. I got to go to my old lunch spot, Ubu, a Japanese restaurant a couple blocks away from Wiley. The food changed a bit, but it was still as great as I remember. After that, I walked around my "second" hometown of my tween/teen years, and upon seeing all the changes and the extra buildings made in an already crowded town, I felt out of place again. I thought to find something that was familiar to me, and I returned to my first writing spot. There was still some magic there, and I got a lot of stuff down for book 3, which is tentatively named Champion of Blackwen. After that, I went to my high school and managed to catch most of my mentors that I wanted to see. I haven't visited the high school since that one time during my freshman year of college, and I felt it was time to return. It turned out to be the best decision I made that day, and nothing was more heart-warming than to catch up with my teachers who believed in me from day one. I finished the night by having a drink with Mom and a friend, and I went to the Hoboken Beer Garden with one of my GMC bros Kenny, and his brother. That was the only time I was carded on this trip, fyi. I may look like an 18 year old with make-up instead of my actual 23, but that was a much needed ego boost! ;)
Wednesday, Mom and I scored tickets to the Mets vs. Reds game. In Santa Fe, we are lucky to catch Yankee games when we can. Ironically enough, they have played more Mets games than Yankee games here. Mom and I are also the rare baseball fans that we like BOTH the Yankees and the Mets (Yankees will always be my first love though...that was ingrained in me since I could crawl). The Mets games we caught on tv here, tended to be the ones where the newly dubbed "Gotham's Dark Knight" Matt Harvey pitched. Yes, I was ensnared then. I've always liked David Wright too (hence the newly acquired t-shirt with his name on the back), but yeah, Harvey is someone I definitely had no problems watching for numerous reasons. Mom and I actually thought, why not go check out a Mets game at Citi Field? I heard all the talk of how beautiful it was, so we asked my aunt who works for the Yes Network if we could snag some tickets. Surely enough, we got tickets (and laughed about how the Yankees weren't even in town for us). We were TEN rows behind the Mets dugout (I'm sure we were on tv several times, but I don't even care about that). The other best part? We somehow picked THE game where Matt Harvey was pitching. Even though the boys lost, it was still the best time ever. For anyone who saw Major League 2...if you remember Randy Quaid's character...his double existed several rows behind us...voice and all. He was heckling Ike Davis...and he had a right to be, with the way he blew the game for us. Every time I see Davis now, I hear that guy yell, "You like them shoe tops, Ike!" and "You owe me eighty bucks, Ike! Triple A! Triple A!". And ladies and gentlemen...Citi Field is absolutely beautiful. It is perfect for this year's All-Star event, and I have to say it...it's way nicer than the new Yankee Stadium. My heart will always belong to the old one...the one WITH the soul. Love my Yanks no matter what...but my preference for a venue now lies with Citi Field. Also...it's now the time for the Subway Series (grrr!!). Again, I choose my boys in pinstripes...but I'm not going to deny that I will support Harvey and Wright either. Just sayin'.
I should also mention that when I returned home from the game with my Wright shirt, my aunt shook her head and said, "You're a disgrace to the Yankee Nation". She was joking though, do not worry.
Thursday, I went to see my grandmother on my father's side in the Bronx. Not many people actually believe this, but I was born in the Bronx. I was raised in Queens, then I ended up in Hoboken. Moving around is more or less a second nature, so I have a lot of "homes". I hung out with her (around the time where I would not run into my father), and when the allergies were getting the best of me, I left. I got caught in the torrential downpour while waiting for the bus, and never did I want to be back home as much as I had at that moment. I at least got my wish of pizza for dinner. Mom was right about the pizza from her previous visit...it's just not the same. Good enough...but not what I dreamed of.
Friday, I got a GMC reunion in Seaport. I saw my bro and best friend, Evan, his girlfriend and former lax teammate, Bree, and one of my lax buddies and now resident goalie of the men's team, Luke. I remember commenting to Mom that it figures I would see more of my college buddies than anyone else in the east. Unfortunately, it ended up being the coldest and wettest day of the week. We still had a good time though (I got some books too, yay!). Even got to have a beer with them (since I didn't like beer until last summer). It hurt to cut out when we had to, for Mom and I had a dinner with my cousins. It was great to see them as well, and dinner was nice.
Saturday was the reason for the trip to New York and New Jersey - my Christopher got married. No matter what your beliefs are...had you been there, you would have believed in love. I actually cried. Yes, the ice queen that I once was actually cried during the ceremony. Santa Fe gave me emotions, heh. And yes, I packed away my Syracuse shirt in my purse. The best part? I wasn't the only one at the table who was interested in the tourney results (huzzah!). Yes, I'm currently watching the Syracuse vs. Duke championship match (go Cuse!!!!!). But I know, you want me to get back to the wedding. I can say that the cocktail hour and the dinner itself was a dream for every meatatarian in the world (which is what I am). And pesto infused mashed potatoes? Sold. The other greatest moment besides the actual marriage of Chris and Mark was that Mom and I finally got to meet Chris' family from Hawaii. It was pretty heart-warming when they embraced us like we were family (since Chris was pretty much my family in Hoboken). During the speech Chris' father made, Mom and I were acknowledged for coming as far as we had for the celebration (though he froze in the attempt to pronounce Mom's last name...hilarious). Also, to be reunited with people from my childhood/tween years...that was amazing as well. Such a beautiful wedding...even with the whacked weather and the trek Mom and I had to do since neither of us drive.
Sunday was airport day. My cousin, Kasia, hung out with us before dropping us off, and everything was going smoothly...until departure time came. We were stuck on the runway for a good hour before we could take off. Naturally, Mom and I freaked out, because we were already going to cut it close with the shuttle and Shadow was already home by himself. But all went well, thank the gods. Since it was JetBlue, I was spending the flight in between the Mets game and the women's D1 NCAA lacrosse championship match (I went for UNC...congrats ladies!).
Now, I enjoy the beauty of DVR, watch the men's lax championship match, and de-New York-ify myself. I will print out book 2 for editing sometime this week, and it'll be back to work for me from that point on. I also have to prep for the next two weeks...I apparently have a mystery visitor coming to my end of the world. Exciting.
On a final note, what's a recap without some snapshots, eh? Enjoy.
I used this spot as an underground tunnel for an urban fantasy storyline once.
My first writing spot ever.
My first Mets game! Thank you again, Agnes!
In a way, this statement is true: I came all the way from New Mexico to see Matt Harvey and David Wright.
A GMC Eagles reunion! <3
Congrats Mark and Chris!