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The Pizza Was The Worst Part

I survived. I made it through the 10 days - albeit with some aches and pains (if you read my previous post - you heard about the bed), but they were wholly outweighed by the joy I found everywhere else.

It's hard to really describe the feeling - a feeling so comfortable, like when you finally find that perfect pair of jeans - and you get what all the hype is about - and the soft denim hugs you and feels like it's supposed to be there...that's kind of like what it was. It

I was amazed at myself still knowing the back roads, the ins and outs and ups and downs (if you've never driven around Westchester County - it's literally all of that - old roads originally designed for carriages, that wander in and out of neighborhoods, with streets that don't handle rain particularly well, but if you know them well enough - you actually can take the high road to get to where you're going. There's always another way to go.

For most of the time I was there the weather cooperated, except for a couple of days here and there. Oddly enough, when I decided to take the official nostalgia tour, to drive by my old schools and home, the sky just opened up and cried. So hard you could barely see out the window. But upon return to home base up there, the rain ceased, and the sun came out. If that's not the universe sending a message about moving forward, I'm not sure what else would be.

I did catch up with old friends, picking up seemingly right where we left off almost, if not actually, a decade ago. I did find some new routes to places I thought I knew every way to. I went to some places I'd never been and met people I've only ever known through a computer. I saw the skyline from a perspective I've never seen, and shared laughter and love with family - my own by blood, and quite a few by marriage. I hit the pavement of the city and hiked through old pathways now densely covered in green in the suburbs. I ate foods from my past that tasted as good as I remembered, and explored new cuisines created by new takes on old ones. I watched in awe as my daughter took the lead in the city, and I felt such relief seeing my reluctant son not only enjoy the experience, but express that he'd like to return. I listened to my newly retired folks try figuring out what do with their newfound time, as I plugged away on my laptop in the thick of my working life. I watched my littlest flower girl exchange her own vows with the other half of her heart and witnessed my children connect with their cousins. I shed some tears of both joy and grief, and I gave my kids some basis of their own history, taking them to the places their father lived when he was a boy. We spread some of his ashes in and around the places he used to be.

I left NY feeling very peaceful, very full. It's a feeling I haven't felt in a long time. It's almost a visceral shift - a new way of looking at things - of appreciation, of gratitude. Was it coincidence that the trip was over Rosh Hashanah - the Jewish new year, the beginning of the Days of Awe - a time of introspection and reflection? Maybe.

It was just what I needed. And if you know how I feel about pizza - particularly New York pizza...and I did have some and it was'll better understand the title.

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