The Big Apple

Generally, every Christmas season, my family (me, my sister and her husband and kids, her in-laws, and my dad and his girlfriend (my aunt – long story)) plan a trip somewhere.

Generally, we go somewhere warm – we’ve been to Mexico a few times, and Hawaii once. They’ve been to Aruba (I didn’t go that year). We’re not a cold-weather kind of family.

The past couple of years we haven’t gone anywhere. The last trip was to Puerto Vallarta, and that was at least two Christmases ago.

So when my sister called me and left a message saying that she’d made some holiday plans, I was curious. At this late date, any trip out of the country is going to be expensive – usually we have stuff locked down by October at the latest. This year, because of a general lack of funds, I had assumed we’d just be going to the beach or something cheap.

It was a bit of a disappointment, because a good friend of mine, and my sister’s brother-in-law, David, had made comments about marrying his long-time girlfriend Jackie, at Christmas, wherever we ended up. I felt a bit sad at missing that opportunity. Oh, did I explain that David lives in New York City? So he wouldn’t be flying himself, Jackie, and their two kids out to Portland just to go to the beach.

When I called my sister to find out what the plans were, it’s amazing, for all the above reasons, that I hadn’t seen the obvious solution:

We’re going to New York City for Christmas.

Staying with David and Jackie in Long Island (on Long Island? Which is correct?)

I haven’t been to the Big Apple since early 2001 – pre-9/11. Um, OK, actually, that was the only time I’ve been to New York. At that time, David was still dating Jackie but was living in a one-bedroom, sixth-floor walk-up in Spanish Harlem, on (I believe) 102nd and 10th, with two other guys. That was a fun trip, and I would not have believed that three straight guys could share a one-bedroom apartment so easily. Not to mention having a guest for a couple of nights. But having different work schedules helps tremendously.

On that trip I went to the Museum of Natural Science and History, walked up to the top of the Statue of Liberty, and walked around Times Square. This was all pre-digital cameras, at least for me, so I don’t have pictures online. But it was a great trip.

I’m really looking forward to going back to New York. Christmas, my birthday (my 42nd, actually), and, if I can stretch it out, New Year’s Eve.

I know I’ve said this before, but I personally believe that the most romance-filled night of the year is New Year’s Eve. When did Harry meet Sally when they finally got together? New Year’s Eve. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in “Sleepless in Seattle”? New Year’s Eve.

I could go on and on. And it’s my blog – it’s not like anyone’s going to stop me. But for now I’m just going to sit here and ponder all the really cool things to do in New York City during Christmas…

Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments…