I’m back from Jersey and I brought a nasty cold with me. I got sick Saturday night and had a miserable Sunday and Monday. Then yesterday I consumed 5-6 liters of gatorade and various liquids, not including 3 bowls of soup, which I believe improved my condition. I’m feeling a lot better and even went back to work today (not that that is terribly exciting.) So how was the trip?
The first two plane rides to get there went really well. Daniel and I got a bit of a rush during takeoff because it felt a little like being on a rollercoaster. The flight itself was calm. No turbulence and the landscape of clouds was breathtaking. I just zoned out with a book and eventually it felt like I was just on a big bus. I looked up from my book one time expecting to see the road outside the window.
The first day we didn’t do much, just hung out with our Tia and Padrino and met our absolutely adorable 7 month baby cousin Hayley. She is the cutest baby I’ve ever seen. Seriously. She’s teething so she want to chew on everything which makes her even more entertaining to watch. She lurvved Daniel. She stare and stare at him and smile. His facebook status was that he missed her and I joked inwardly that it was because he had no one to stare up at him adoringly anymore. ;p I did leave a lasting influence however. To entertain her I had been making a popping noise with my lips and by the time we left she was crawling around smacking her lips trying to replicate the noise. So cute. And it was better than the wet raspberries she’d been blowing (spraying rather) at everyone earlier. I can’t wait til they visit for Thanksgiving. We also went to this ice cream/gelato place called Rita’s and had a “gelati” which is your choice of flavored gelato in between two layers of vanilla custard ice cream. Sounds a little strange but it was incredibly refreshing.
The second day we went to New York City to visit Daniel’s dream school, the School of Visual Arts. It’s in Manhattan, close to Greenwich Village in nice area. Honestly it was really cool. We toured all the departments which took a total of two hours and a ton of walking (the school isn’t all in one area). It made me want to go to art school. :( Seriously, it did have me seriously consider what I wanted to do with my future. Daniel has his dreams all set. Me, well, it’s more vague. I say I’ll go into the book publishing industry or become a professor but will I really like those? I really think if I could get serious about writing I would love to do it for a living. But wait? “Get serious”? Shouldn’t it be fun? That’s my problem, viewing writing, something I used to do for fun, as a chore. That has to change. Anyway, after the exhausting tour we had some New York pizza at Angelo’s. Then we went to the MoMA, which I must say was pretty awesome. They had a great exhibit on Salvador Dali which included his handwritten notes and films.
The next couple days we chilled and visited my grandfather and his companion (girlfriend, but that sounds weird), who came back from her Florida vacation reupholstered in leather. When she saw me she told me in Spanish, “You were thinner when I last saw you. Oh, but you’re fiiine like that.” Lovely, isn’t she. That’s the thing with old Cuban people, especially the old women. They have no sense of tact, a chronic case of verbal diarrhea, and the women are always fixated on your weight, no matter what size they are. I was called Gordita for several years of my adolescent life. Not exactly wonderful for ye olde self-esteem.
In these days we visited Hoboken, which I’d love to live in. It’s so cute and clean and right across the river from NYC, but expensive. It used to suck but they’ve built up the area and the property values are thru the roof. My grandfather lives in West New York, which is still a little ghetto-y but I liked it nonetheless. His house is exactly the same except messier and with pictures of Gudelia’s grandchildren (that’s her name). We ate at a Cuban restaurant across the street which I really enjoyed, especially the garlic Cuban bread they serve as appetizer. I had a Media Noche sandwich, a cuban sandwich on sweet bread basically. I tried some of Tia’s churrasco (flank steak) with a green sauce (chimichurri, I think) which was excellent. However, I do believe that MY rice is better. : D My only regret is that I didn’t have a batido de mamey (a mamey milkshake, mamey is a tropical fruit) which I haven’t had in years.
Saturday night of course I got sick. Sunday I suffered another NYC excursion, a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (in which I got in trouble 3 times–they’re so uptight, MoMA’s way better) and a stroll to Broadway to see Mary Poppins. I felt miserable, but I was a good sport. I even enjoyed the show, especially when the old Asian woman next to me started singing along–”Ret’s go fry a kite!” I sat thru everyone else eating large quantities of Italian food at Carmine’s while I rushed to the shoebox bathroom every ten minutes. Monday we flew back and these plane rides weren’t so great. Both the planes were veery tiny and we ran into turbulence coming into Nashville. I threw up on each plane, once discreetly in the bathroom and once in the barf bag while sitting in my seat. Not fun.
The trip went by way too fast. I already miss it, and my aunt and uncle and Hayley. New Jersey just feels different from Tennessee. I’m not sure I could actually stomach living in NYC but I wouldn’t mind being near it. I’d like to visit Boston too; my aunt loves it and thinks I’d probably like it too.
I should have cooked for them and shown off my skills. They don’t cook so we ate out 90% of the time. Not that I minded too much. Twice we had these AMAZING bagels from a place in their town. I love the area they live in. It has a small town feel, but it’s close to everything and 40 minutes to the city.
For dinner today I cooked picadillo since I’ve finally gotten my appetite back. We also had white rice and sweet cornbread. Cornbread obviously isn’t Cuban, but since I added extra chili powder to the picadillo to make it spicier the sweet cornbread added a nice balance. Then, even though I was full, I had one of those heavenly Betty Crocker microwave desserts, the fudgey chocolate chip cookie. Now I’m exploding. I guess I got to get back to exercising eventually, but I’ll wait til I’ve made a full recovery. : )