The sun hasn’t risen over Georgia yet and I’ll be on a plane north when it does. The end of a holiday always brings a wave of emotions. Sad that the time with family is ending. Happy that I’ll be back with my A. by Wednesday evening. Looking forward to 36 more hours with my friends in Boston. Less than thrilled about the return to work. It’s all hitting me now. Happy/sad/tired/worried/excited. I’m trying to push through and channel all the feelings into productivity and excitement.
I can’t believe it’s December. Can you? I hope you had a lovely holiday. Mine was pleasant and filled with family fun, which is both refreshing and exhausting. You all know what I mean. I’m thankful for many things this year and a great Thanksgiving trip.
And yet… I’m still reluctant to say goodbye to this place. It’s too pretty for words, isn’t it? Heaven must look a little like this.
I’ll shake that feeling off, though. Looking forward; no looking back.
Today, I am thankful for a flight back to a town that I adore. Tomorrow, I will be thankful to be hugging the man that I love in the city by the bay.
“And so my prayer is that your story will have involved some leaving and some coming home, some summer and some winter, some roses blooming out like children in a play. My hope is your story will be about changing, about getting something beautiful born inside of you about learning to love a woman or a man, about learning to love a child, about moving yourself around water, around mountains, around friends, about learning to love others more than we love ourselves, about learning oneness as a way of understanding God. We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and the resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn’t it? It might be time for you to go. It might be time to change, to shine out. I want to repeat one word for you: Leave. Roll the word around on your tongue for a bit. It is a beautiful word, isn’t it? So strong and forceful, the way you have always wanted to be. And you will not be alone. You have never been alone. Don’t worry. Everything will still be here when you get back. It is you who will have changed.” – Don Miller
I don’t know about you, but that quote gives me chills. “Leave.” Tonight, I’m doing just that. I’m headed to Boston and then Georgia and then Boston and back to San Francisco. I’ll be here checking in on the blog off-and-on over Thanksgiving, but I’m not making any promises. I want to spend the next two weeks soaking up the time with my family and friends. Giving thanks for many, many things this week. I hope you are too.
Brunching on a Saturday morning in New York. Ah, it felt so good. We woke up and cabbed down to the West Village from the Upper East Side. We strolled into a lovely restaurant (I don’t remember the name) that had a very Restoration Hardware vibe and were seated immediately; we had a reservation.
We’d gotten a group together, so there were 6 of us piled around the big table and we were hungry. The menu was simple. Either you chose individual items and drinks, paying their full price, or you chose the prix fixe, which got you an entree and unlimited drinks. Unlimited meaning as many as you want, any kind you want, switching whenever you like. For two full hours.
“To heck with it,” We agreed after pondering for a full two seconds. “Let’s get the prix fixe.”
And that’s when the pitchers of mimosas and strawberry bellinis started arriving. Followed by cups of steaming coffee and Bloody Mary’s for the spice lovers. Anything we wanted to drink was out in a jiffy and the waiters were generously refilling our cups whenever we blinked. And when we ordered food, most of us got the steak and eggs with potatoes. Why not, right?
It felt extravagant and we were giddy by the time we left, heading out into the sunshine of the West Village and walking towards the High Line, a public park built high on a historic elevated railroad track.
We strolled the High Line for a while. It was my first time and I loved it. I couldn’t stop starting at the sights around me and marveling over the pathway above the streets.
Our journey ended at a Georgia bar so Anish and I could meet an old friend and root on our Bulldogs. We spent the afternoon there and the Dawgs won, so we went out to pre-celebrate Anish’s birthday at a popular ramen place, Ippudo, that we’d been dying to try. We put our name in, went to a nearby bar to play a game of pool in the interim (1 hour wait!), and then came back when they were ready for us.
Soft pork buns with a touch of sweetness for appetizers and then the main event–steaming bowls of ramen in front of each one of us. We dug right in and barely spoke until we finished.
It was late by the time we fell into bed at Kevin’s that night. We had eaten our way through a Saturday and it felt just right.
I just realized that I never posted about our trip to New York! I was caught in the whirlwind of moving at that point and telling you about that weekend slipped my mind. We couldn’t leave the East Coast without taking one last bus trip down the coast to the big city. We stayed with our dear friend Kevin, as usual, and filled the weekend to the brim with good friends and food.
We stepped off the bus late Thursday night right into the hustle and bustle of Midtown, in the heart of the city that never sleeps. Lights were blazing, people were out and about, and we both immediately breathed a sigh of relief. We love that city. We stretched and sighed and stood up a little taller, walking from the bus stop uptown with purpose. In command of New York. Our New York.
Here’s how spent our Friday, in photos:
Brussels breakfast tea and brunch at Le Pain Quotidien, my favorite.
A reunion with Anish’s sweet cousin.
Dessert after brunch: the BEST banana pudding on the planet at Magnolia’s.
A dinner date with this handsome man at an old favorite in Brooklyn: Chimu.
Beef hearts! Just as good (or better) the second time.
Red snapper covered in seafood. To die for and perfect to share.
Friday night spent at a Burlesque festival in Brooklyn — a new experience to say the least!
Catching up with our good friend Megan after a year too long!
Friday was everything I needed. Slow and casual. Our only plans involved a lot of good food, and you KNOW I don’t mind that.
Saturday was for brunching, but I’ll tell you all about that tomorrow.
It’s moving day! The expression “running around like a chicken with its head cut off” has never resonated with me so much until today. I’m working, we’re shipping the last packages, and by the evening, we’ll be on a plane headed West.
I’ll be back in a few days after we get settled and I catch my breath. If you want to keep up on the most recent happenings, follow me on Instagram (@tmerck). You’ll at least be able to see all the food I’m eating out there.