When I first found out that my April schedule consisted of 10 whole days off in a row I was actually a little bit bummed. I’m still on orientation and didn’t want to lose momentum. Would I forget the code to the supply room in 10 days? Would I be able to recall anyone’s name? Would I remember how to be a nurse? However, I quickly warmed to the idea of a vacation and booked my tickets for a mini midwestern tour. Somehow I hadn’t been to St. Louis in almost 3 years, so the gateway to the west was my first stop. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring a camera so I’m missing pictures of most of the family. And, yes, now I feel silly for having more pictures of dogs and food than of people.
Everything being a bit last minute, I texted tommy that I was coming when I was at the airport in NYC. Thankfully, he graciously agreed to pick up at the St. Louis airport. I rather love the spontaneous, semi-surprise visit. No one just drops in at someone’s house anymore cause they’re in the neighborhood. You can’t even call people anymore without planning the phone call. So a surprise visit is fun (hopefully my hosts think the same). Tommy arrived at the airport in a black pick up truck with a little white dog (Zeus) on his lap and a beautiful husky (Old Bill Barley Blood Axe) in the back seat.
The majority of the weekend was spent lounging in Big Katie’s backyard enjoying the weather with the dogs and eating. A very perfect weekend for a New Yorker with no outdoor space.
Here are the various poses of Zeus hanging in the backyard: I am a big fan of dogs that like to be cuddled and held like a baby. St. Louis, the birthplace of the ice cream cone, is known for their frozen treats (Ted Drews anyone?) so it was fitting that we spent the afternoon churning our own batch. Molly gave Tommy this adorable vintage ice cream mixer which produced a truly delicious malted vanilla ice cream. It’s even more gratifying to eat ice cream after cranking away till your arm burns. (Tommy may have done most of the work).
Ant and Tommy enjoying the fruits of our labor as Barley looks on longingly. I left for Chicago on Saturday night by Amtrak. I’m sure the view of the Arch will always be exciting. What’s also exciting is being an adult and having the means to buy your own tasteless, over priced pasta and yogurt parfait at the Amtrak dining car. This is what happiness looks like. Laying on the front porch swing in the late afternoon on a spring day in Chicago.
While doing some spring cleaning at home I got reacquainted with a few favorite childhood books. Yes, the “One Last Wish” series about teenagers with cancer may have some morbid titles and seem like a strange children’s series, but they are actually amazing. Sean read them first and passed them down to us over the years. Reading about children in iron lungs is also important for a person’s development I think. The best part of being home is getting that call from dad, “Girls!! Dinner!!” It’s even better in the spring and summer when we dine on the back porch. On the way back to NYC I texted Molly that I’d be coming through Laguardia and could I spend the night? Oh, and “please don’t bother pulling out the couch” (becuase washing sheets is a pain in NYC). But man after you get off an airplane, a bus and walk through the streets of Astoria, this is the most beautiful cozy sight. Laying in the front window listening to people going home from bars and cabbies chatting outside their cars at 4 am made me love NYC even more. Another great thing about sleeping at Molly’s is that you’re greeted by babies in the morning. And one baby that’s begun to talk (Yay Dash!). I also discovered that I was included in the Valentines Day card to Molly and Ronan from Jude. Please note his perfect spelling and punctuation.
It was a great welcome back to NYC and the best way to end a laid back, relaxing vacation.