Monday, January 17, 2011

Homeland Highlights

Now that I'm back in Romania and have had time to upload my photos and get my life a bit back in order, I thought I would take a minute to write a quick blog with highlights from my time at home.  First was Christmas with the fam. I wasn't home for Christmas last year, so it was particularly lovely to be together! Pretty much everyone on both sides of my family was in town, so it was just great to BE together in one place. However, in taking pictures with my cousins, I realized that I'm the shortest adult cousin, at 5'8" on both sides. How crazy is that? Oh well, I'm still taller than my mom.
Dad's side 

Mom's side (not all the cousins were actually present at this moment, but their presence would only accentuate how "short' I am) 

Mom, dad, and bro

Then it was off to New York City, where I was greeted with the two feet of snow that had been dumped on the city a few days earlier and with which the Powers That Remove Such Things seemed completely unable to deal. It made Brooklyn look very lovely, even if lots of cars had to be dug out. Yes, you better believe I schlepped down to my old neighborhood to get my hair cut. 

Moving on to New Year's Eve and a fun and festive party with friends. None of the crazy Times Square or Out-at-a-crowded-bar business. Just friends, food, drinks, and dancing. Lots of dancing. Will just share one of the many fun pics of the evening.

While in town I obviously had to see a Broadway show. I went with a fellow theatre fanatic to see American Idiot, a show consisting entirely of Green Day songs. I was a little unsure about it, as I'm not particularly interested in Green Day. But my friend highly recommended it, so I thought it would probably be just fine. You guys, it was so incredible. One of my favorite Broadway people was the lead- Jonathan Gallagher Jr. He's just excellent. And Billie Joe Armstrong, real-life lead singer of Green Day happened to be in the show for a few weeks. So that kicked an already intense show up a notch. It was intense and fast-paced and insane and crazy and super-high-stimulus. They encored with this. So great.

I happened to need to walk through Times Square one evening. And I can say quite honestly that Times Square is my least favorite place in NYC and I don't walk through it except out of necessity. It's total insanity. The bad, overwhelming, touristy kind. But I had heard that they built "red stairs" at the top of Times Square, which you can climb up and look out over the mayhem. So since I was there, I thought I'd give it a whirl, go fully Tourist myself (I mean, come on, I took a picture in front of a Broadway poster- what has become of me?!?). Turns out, it was actually pretty cool.

Apparently I picked a great time to go back home, because so many friends either happened to be in town then or were able to specifically come in to see me. It was great to reconnect with so many friends from so many chapters of life.
Drew and Nathan. These guys go all the way back to the beginning. We grew up as neighbors in a podunk PA town of 300 people. Then we all ended up living in NYC after college for two years. Drew is still there, and Nathan is in San Fran

Sally and Meesh. These ladies are two of my three wonderful college roommates. My third, Meg, was also in town while I was home, though not at the same time. Sal and Meesh came for a full weekend, and we ate our way around Greenwich Village. It was fabulous

Emily, Alexandria, and Bridgette. These are dear friends from my NYC crew. Truly beloved to my heart and soul, they have been incredible blessings to me over the past five years, and I think I can reasonably say will be so for many years to come

All in all it was a wonderful, refreshing, encouraging, and restful time back in the homeland. I saw, I ate, I listened, I shared, I slept, I shopped, I hugged, I played, I danced, I reflected, I rested. Mission accomplished. 

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