Yes, I know it’s almost October, but here’s a little round-up of August, which went by in a blur of guests and trips. Mom came for a week, Kevin came the day she left, and then we were back in Chicago over Labor day weekend to celebrate mom’s birthday. As previously mentioned, Kevin is a good traveler. So when he’s in New York City he is ready to walk… because when in Rome… When we were both at work, he walked from Central Park, all the way down Manhattan, and over the bridge to Anna’s office in Brooklyn. All that while carrying his backpack of clothes.
While I worked the weekend, Anna and Kevin took selfies all over New York City. With the Statue of Liberty, at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Kayaking on the Hudson, and on the “beach” of Williamsburg.
He also carried the laundry bag to the
laundromat. I can’t claim that laundry day was
the highlight of his trip, but as I explained to
him, spending an afternoon in a steamy Chinese
laundromat is an important part of experiencing
authentic New York City. When Anna was at work, Kevin and I walked through Chinatown and down to Fidi where we took the ferry to Governor’s Island. At Governor’s Island we discovered the joy of a rocking chair and a canopy of trees on a warm summer afternoon. Even without lemonade it was perfect. I don’t think I can sit in a stationary chair again without feeling slightly disappointed. In addition to rocking chairs, Governor’s Island has lots of outdoor artwork and hipster playground equipment. And Latin graffiti! Back at home, we were greeted by this dog enjoying a cool glass of water at Blue Bottle. I’ve said it before, but my favorite part about living above a coffee shop is all the happy babies, dogs and people who hang out on the sidewalk and benches in front. Last week I came home from work in the morning and the actress Keri Russell was sipping a coffee at my door step. Sooo New York. But enough of New York. Onwards to our three day weekend in Chicago. Fortunately, Laura and Sean both had Saturday free so they took us, mom an dad, Mary Beth, Maureen, and Marta to their favorite Mexican restaurant. Laura ordered this delicious bounty of food in perfect Spanish. Afterwards we walked over to see Sean’s apartment and then on to Laura’s. Let’s just say that Sean’s apartment doesn’t photograph well so we will skip over that part. (I will say that this is not the poor apartment’s fault, for she has very good bones. However, Sean uses tin foil as a window dressing. Apparently it’s the only way to create pitch-blackness so he can sleep during the day for his nights in the ER. Enough said.) Anna used to be obsessed with giraffes. When we were little I wanted a dog, Katie wanted a cat, and Anna wanted a giraffe to ride to school. Lest we forget, her email address used to be “firstname.lastname@example.org”. But no one try to email her there because I believe she got a bit more professional one about the time she started applying for jobs. This family loves a grocery store trip so we popped in to Sean’s Polish grocery store to admire the 10 different varieties of ketchup one can buy. Who knew? Dad was shocked. Simply shocked. Anna was somewhat unnerved. Katie was unfazed. Finally we arrived at Laura and Marta’s beautiful, sunny apartment. As you will remember from Dad’s birthday party, Sean likes to host trivia games at parties. This time Sean thought up a great variety of trivia questions for the group and whoever shouted out the answer first, won. He was very kind and if one person was struggling, he catered the question t0 them. For example,”What is Mary Beth’s pin number?” Or “What hospital was Laura born in?” The winner of each question did not just gain honor and pride; they got to choose from a wide variety of American vending machine junk food! See, Sean gets a certain amount of money to spend on food at his hospital. And when he couldn’t spend it all he refused to let a single penny go unused, so he spent it all at the vending machine. As you can see there were quite a lot of treats. It’s very admirable how much time he must have spent at that vending machine punching in numbers over and over again to feed his family. I’m sure he got strange looks as well from passerbys. Sean is really a master trivia host. You should hire him for your next party. When you won a question you had just a few seconds to run up to the table and grab your treat. Personally, I think Anna should’ve had a treat deducted for show boating. But in the end she was the overall winner fair and square. While we racked our brains over who the president of Germany is (it’s not Merkel) and what’s the first element of the periodic table, we quenched our thirst with one of Laura’s famous cocktails. When dad got his first answer correct, he very sweetly asked mom which treat she wanted. Now if that isn’t the height of romance then I don’t know what is. The treats just kept on coming…Laura had made a perfect chocolate birthday cake for mom. If there’s one thing you need to know about mom it’s that she doesn’t like fancy mousses and strawberries on her cake. Just plain chocolate and chocolate, please. Not pictured, but don’t worry there were at least five types of ice cream.
Farewell August, you were fun!
P.S. The cover photo was taken on a sister- sushi date in the Lower East Side. Anna and I were all excited about this “Mama said there’d be days like these” shirt. Unfortunately, we’re a bit hesitant to wear it much because if there were ever a shirt that could cause bad luck, it’s this one.