12 December 2013

wrapping it up in new york.

As Christmas day approaches, Michael and I find our lives (and our program here at Maryknoll) gradually slowing down. Which is nice. The last nine weeks have been a blur, leaving both of us feeling slightly similar to chickens with their heads cut off. (Not a great mental image.)

what usually happens as a result of our running...

After interviewing last week for an article for the Maryknoll Magazine (to be released in the January/February edition), Michael and I headed back into New York City - Brooklyn, to be exact - to reunite with five of our dearest friends from the college years.

Over the course of about 36 hours, we did a good amount of catching up with one another while seeing a bit of the city. We all slept in on Saturday and woke up to coffee and classic New York bagels. Seeing as it wasn't too cold, we trekked over to Central Park and spent a couple of hours meandering around and taking in the scenery.

We stopped briefly at the Momofuku Milk Bar for a little pick-me-up before settling on El Mitote for a late lunch. Both places are to be recommended. For lunch, if you happen to stop at El Mitote, I would guide you toward the Wild Mushroom Mollete, La Chavela Torta, and naturally, the guacamole. Delicious!

momofuku knows what's up.

cozy inside el mitote.
At this point in the day, it got a bit crazy! We finished our lunch and decided, "Hey! It's Christmas! We're in NYC! Let's go see the tree! It shouldn't be crazy at this time, seeing as it's the weekend and primetime in the afternoon and millions of tourists are here and New York is NEVER known to be too full of humans!"

Yeah, we didn't really think it through.

big mistake!

So we headed over to Fifth Avenue in high spirits, not knowing the fate that awaited us. We hit the corner of Fifth and 50th and found ourselves thrown into a sea of humanity. Literally, more human beings than I have ever known to exist were shoved into about 20 square feet worth of space. We were suddenly fighting for our lives. Now, I'm not by nature a claustrophobic person, but this pushed even me to the limits. We cheered one another on, saying, "Only a little bit more…" and "We're almost there!" when we clearly weren't. I wish I was kidding, but it took us about 22.5 minutes (a.k.a. 21.3 minutes too long) to walk/shuffle/be-pushed-by-the-crowd-around-us to get from 50th to 49th.

pretty much how we felt at that moment.

But we saw the tree.

Once we got to the other side, we rejoiced at our good fortune. Meaning, we were still alive. So we celebrated by returning to Brooklyn and getting some delicious Thai at Cafe Chili. It wasn't the most amazing Thai I've ever had, but it was cozy and quick and yummy, and after the tree experience, that's really all I could have asked (Santa) for.

Recommended: Bags of Gold and yes, you guessed it, Chicken Pad Thai

The next morning, before we all headed our separate ways, we stopped in at Teresa's, a lovely, little Polish diner for some cheap breakfast. I'm sure a lot of their dishes would do the body good but Michael and I ordered the breakfast sandwich with ham and egg and two poached eggs with toast and home fries. Hit. The. Spot.

nice breakfast spot.

Saying good-bye to friends is never easy, but when you know that you're moving to Tanzania in 23 days, it makes it even worse. I shed not-the-first of many tears and on the train ride back to Ossining, started realizing Michael and I would have to start the closure process, whether we wanted to or not. Thankfully, we were able to spend all day Monday with our fellow Maryknoll classmates, discussing how to cope with the impending farewells to dear ones in our lives and how to make "the jump" as smooth but also, as exciting as possible.

To lighten the mood, we had our first real snow! (I couldn't believe it took this long!) We woke up to beautiful weather on Tuesday and ran around snapping pictures like little kids who had never seen the white stuff before.

thank you to karen for this beautiful picture!

Michael and I are feeling more and more in the holiday spirit and truly looking forward to being with friends and family! Our parents are flying in on Friday to be with us in New York for the weekend. On Sunday, Michael and I will head to Minnesota to do cookie-baking, watch A Christmas Carol, and sit by the fire. Then, we'll be in Naperthrill - playing Catchphrase, sipping hot chocolate, and more sitting by the fire.

Since we are soaking up time with family and friends over the next three weeks, we're not sure how much posting we'll be doing. To everyone who has read our blog so far, thank you for your support as we make the big leap over to Africa! We'll see you on the other side!

so long, farewell!


  1. Fun post! Thanks for all the pics and restaurant recommendations. Have fun in MN!

    1. Thank you, Hady! Great to hear from you. We're excited to hear your first stories of life in Bolivia!

  2. Thank you, Hady! Great to hear from you. Excited to hear your first stories of life in Bolivia!