When you think of spring break, you think of fun in the sun, bathing suits and sunny weather, right? Well, that is definitely not how I spent my spring break this year. My parents surprised me and we were off to New York city for a week. I had never been before and, boy, was my first trip to New York interesting.
Upon arrival this Southern California beach girl experienced her first crazy taxi cab driver. He had to have been half blind because he was driving on the shoulder of the freeway, running red lights, and swerving all over the street! I looked at my mom like a deer in headlights. She explained that this is how the taxi drivers in New York drive sometimes.
Looking out the window of the cab, I saw so many different ethnicities and cultures surrounding me. The buildings were so tall and everything was bustling with activity, I loved it. There’s not as much diversity at home and being exposed to different cultures and architecture was really fascinating.
Then, we walked to a neighborhood cafe for breakfast. Little did we know that the Governor of New York was sitting in the booth right next to us! Then, the unexpected happened, a car came around the curb, hit a parked car and pushed it up to the restaurant window! Everyone in the cafe jumped up to check it out and then calmly returned to their breakfasts, like it was no big deal.
After breakfast we walked to my dad’s aunt’s penthouse. Right when we walked in I was suffocated by teddy bears, throw pillows, and lap blankets. It was like an antique store turned upside-down! We came to New York to help her bury her late husband Dr. Hugh Barber. After our encounter with the bears, we went to intern her husband.
It was a really nice, small ceremony. I didn’t even start crying until she went over to his mausoleum and kissed her fingers and touched the little mahogany box and said,’Goodbye honey, I love you.’ Then I lost it, just started balling. Next, we went to an late lunch, but Aunt Mary thought it was dinner time.
She had one too many ‘dinks,’ that is what her teddy bears in her apartment call drinks, and she wasn’t making much sense. She kept telling me that Santa Claus is from Barrie, Italy and that she and her husband, Hugh Barber, lived there for 3 years, or 3 months, or maybe, 3 weeks. Honestly, I was trying so hard not to laugh, but I kept looking at my mom and dad and they even had the giggles.
When it was time to go Aunt Mary wanted to take her half eaten crab cake home with her. Instead of trying to put her jacket on first and then take the doggy bag, she tried to put on her jacket while holding it! She got all confused and my dad was trying to help her, but she just kept walking around in a circle trying to figure out where her crab cake had gone to.
After my mom told her that the crab cake was in her armpit Aunt Mary said, ‘Oh, yes dear, thank, than, thank you so much, ha-ha silly me, I guess I see it now, thank you dear.’ After lunch, we took Aunt Mary home and made sure she was locked in so she wouldn’t go wandering around the streets of Manhattan. When we were assured that she was safe and sound, and we were out of hearing distance, all three of us just started busting out laughing!
All of this happened on the first day of my spring break. The first day! Usually on a ‘relaxing’ spring break you wouldn’t fly a red-eye, almost get killed in a taxi, have breakfast with the Governor of New York, see a car accident, visit your dad’s crazy aunt, and bury a man. Maybe in two days, but not all in one!
The rest of my trip was the typical New York visit. Shopping, Broadway, Central Park, but my first day was definitely the one to remember. This trip opened my eyes to other ways of life and urbanity. I was 100% sure I was going to live my whole life in sunny, southern California but now after seeing how much I love New York, I might just have to reconsider.
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