I’m home! Only for a week, most of which will be spent in
- Upgrade: yes, folks—all this mileage is coming in handy. International business class is the way to travel. Not only is there lots of free stuff, there’s also great movies. I partook lots of the movies I’ve missed since moving abroad (because movies come out months later and we don’t have TV, so I don’t see advertisements for the new ones): Slumdog Millionaire, Doubt, Vicky Christina Barcelona and Eagle Eye (unfortunately I slept through most of the first).
Chicago: customs in is quick and efficient—and the border control officer always, without fail, says “Welcome Home” while stamping my passport. I can’t tell you how good those words sound, especially when you’ve been gone for a long time. Chicago
- Chicago, Part 2: beeline for the nearest newsstand and rapidly purchase US Weekly, People and In Touch (and Tylenol to quell my raging headache and low-grade fever… no doubt left over from the stomach flu the day before…). What can I say… English celeb rags are rubbish (to borrow a term from my host country); only because they have celebs that I have no knowledge of… who knew crappy celebrity magazines (with celebs you know) could be so addictive.
- Approach to NYC: somewhat new pattern for American Airlines; flew up from the south over Staten Island and got some breathtaking of my favorite city, starting with the Verrazano Narrows bridge (once the longest suspension bridge in the world); north across Brooklyn with the New York Harbor and Miss Liberty herself just off the left wing of the plane; followed by The Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, and up the East River towards my beloved Queens and views of all the greats: Empire, Chrysler, Central Park... not so bad for a welcome home, I’d say.
- Good radio: upon getting into the rental car, I immediately reprogrammed the radio to all my old NY favorites… I must admit however, most of the ride was spent singing along to Lite FM. Yes, I am that girl… one of these days I'll be "that mom" that kids are humiliated by because I not only listen to “old people” music but sing very loudly along with it. There was some NPR in the mix (I miss NPR), but once I stumbled across Delilah (oh, come on, I know you’re with me), that was it for the duration of the 2 hour drive.
- EZPass: there’s been an upgrade to NYC Hertz rentals since I was last here—EZPass installed in all cars—meaning no more lines at the tolls! Okay, so there’s a $2.50 service charge (per day, not per use), but still—that baby saved me probably 30 minutes in travel time.
- Road work: okay, so I know that’s not something most people would class as “a highlight” but there’s something about something you love (or are nostalgic for) never changing. In this case it is the Van Wyck / Cross Bronx /
interchange. This has been going on at least since I moved five years ago. It made me chuckle as I drove past. Whitestone Bridge
Thankfully I’m back to NYC on Friday for a long weekend—whoohoo! I have a long list of things that I want to do (mostly to do with things I want to eat… oh, Papaya King, how I’ve missed you)—but I’m up for the challenge. Hurray to being home!