The holidays



HNY dear readers! Hope you had a lovely Xmas. I’ll tell you about ours later but here’s the thing; saying goodbye to my sis Helen was very tough but the only bit of silver lining was that we could head off for our booked trip to the USA to see our lovely daughter S, son-in-law E and beautiful grandsons E and N after two whole lockdown years.  Before returning back to the UK for Hel’s funeral. It was hell of a bookend vacation.

Of course it was necessary to go through all the covid tests and preparations but to be honest it wasn’t too much of a pain despite some last minute delays to our test results.  We did ensure to have records on paper as well as on our phones, which was the smartest thing we could do. We had an early morning flight which was fine (we stayed overnight at our fave hotel local to the airport). We had no problems checking in etc and skirted through the controls. The seats we had in premium were perfect. The flight, despite the masks, was great too. The reality is that you can take them off to eat and drink and having three meals plus several glasses of wine meant the mask- wearing ordeal really wasn’t that bad. The chief air stewardess took a liking to us too and gave us gifts for the boys and extra goodies.

Because we flew with an American airline (Delta) we arrived in the arrivals hall without the delays you get flying British Airways or Virgin. And the normally officious immigration guy didn’t even check my paperwork nor passport. He just welcomed us back to NYC. Wow. We were through inside half an hour, bags collected and into the reception area where our daughter Sars and fab grandson E was there to meet us with a huge welcome Nana & Grandad banner which the boys had made. Ahh. We got a cab quickly and headed to our daughter’s place in Manhattan – our first visit to this, their new apartment, on the Upper West side. It was absolutely lovely with great views out and seeing E and grandson N and new dog Bella was a treat too. Check out these views…

 

Bearing in mind we hadn’t seen the guys for two years we focused most of our time just spending time with them doing the simple things, getting the boy dressed in the morning and taking them to school, getting breakfast sorted for Sar and E, doing some shopping, picking the boys up from school, helping them with their homework, getting dinner sorted, getting them bathed and pj-ed etc. It was like going back 5 years when we lived in Manhattan with the guys and we loved it. We so missed them during lockdown so every minute with them was treasured.

We did also do some grown up stuff of course. Caz and I love shopping in NYC and we bought some fab stuff in Pottery Barn and Williams & Sonoma. I had the most incredible birthday out there; breakfast in the famed Jewish restaurant Barney Greengrass with its smoked fish and latkes…

 

Later we went to MoMA which is just sensational with the most insane art and design collection…

Then we had some sensational cocktails in the Baccarat hotel bar which was crazily cool and expensive. Caz and E headed back up to the Upper West side  whilst Sars and I headed over to the Whitney art gallery, which was equally stunning. We got a cab ride home with the craziest taxi driver who just wanted to shout at other drivers, only just avoiding running over cyclists and pedestrians and he must have been close to having an in-traffic heart attack. It was scary, thrilling and fun. He got us back in double quick time and received a lumpy tip. We had a lovely take away to top things off. What a day!

Having done most of the big collections I went to a fab local museum called the New York Historical Society just down from Sar’s. It was fab. Nobody in there. I sat in the Oval Office, saw some great 60’s album cover posters, witnessed a great exhibition on Ruth Bader Ginsburg and loads of arty stuff like this huge Picasso…

 

But what we probably enjoyed most was the Thanksgiving Day Parade which started outside Sarah’s apartment. We went up to the roof and had a mile long view and the street level view was just fantastic too…

So we had  a simply wonderful time with our  NYC family. Here’s the thing; the guys came over for Xmas and 5 of us got covid. Sigh. I won’t tell you what a torrid time the guys had trying to get negatively tested to leave the country but it was  a huge hassle.

But here’s the good news; we are hoping to re-join Sars and the boys in a week’s time. It feels unreal but we’re just going for it.

impetuous paulie

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About Paul

Having decided on a change of life by moving home from the UK to Italy, this is the story and thoughts of a man on a personal journey from the Blackpool Tower to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, in search of la dolce vita. After several olive harvests he's now back in London but en route he shares his very personal perspectives on life.

5 thoughts on “The holidays

  1. Just checked to see if Pasta Pauli is back with us and what a lovely surprise. Have missed all your little anecdotes over the past few months, such a pleasure to read your news again. You have had a heck of a roller coaster since we last heard from you and we both hope that B is improving. Got my new hip four weeks ago and have progressed from crutches to walking stick so really pleased with developments. Love to C.
    J and C

  2. Hi again John

    Just to say we are over in NY and daughter Sarah was asking after you both yesterday, she sends her best regards. Take care old friend and love to C.
    PP

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