Bagels at Isadora - My Family Travels
Macy's Day Parade

I’ve always thought that my parents were too big for their small towns. They were both from towns so small you could throw a rock from one end to the other. Each was at the top of their respective high school class, then they each climbed up ladders of success, and grew up to be big fish in little ponds. They escaped to Washington, D.C. together, after battling my father’s terrible election of 1996, but on this particular morning at Isadora's Café I found the true townies that dwell in each of them.

â–º  semi Finalist 2011 Teen Travel Writing Scholarship

The four of us were on our way downtown for the spectacular spectacle of cheerful displays that march the streets of Manhattan every year. My six layers of sweaters and jackets were ready to see the New York City Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!  If I was going to give up my turkey lunch for this, I was going to see the whole thing, but we were already late, and our family had only made it across the street from the hotel.

I thought to myself, “They might as well have a glowing TOURISTS HERE! sign above their heads,” as they stood there at the counter of Isadora's Café. My sister and I chewed on our bagels while I imagined a line of impatient New Yorkers behind them. Mom and Dad looked almost as tourist-y as the sightseers who wear I heart NY t-shirts and Lady Liberty fanny packs while they pose for pictures with the Rockettes.  My parents were standing at the edge of the vinyl counter, starring at the neon illuminated breakfast menu on the wall, and, luckily, Luis, the man with an tidy black mustache and slick hair net was a relatively patient man.

Mom asked, “So… what do you think you’re gunna get, babe?”

“Hmm. Pancakes. With bacon?”

I said, “Dad. Really? We’re taking it to go.”

He turned back to my mother, “Honey?”

“Yeah babe, to go,” they both looked back at the food.

“Oh, then maybe a bagel,” he said.

“What did you decide on, Kate?”

“Mom, I already ordered my bagel. And I ordered Karen’s. And we got them… And now we’re eating them… What are YOU getting? It’s not like we’re late or anything,” my voice trailed off, laced with sarcasm.

Mom turned back to Dad. “Honey, maybe we can get something warm and toasty to go inside our bagels!” She said as she snuggled with his arm.

“What would you like in yours then, sweetheart?”

“Sausage! And eggs!” She suggests.

“Sausage and eggs it is!” Dad turned to Luis after reacting as if sausage and egg on a bagel was the most remarkable thing he had ever heard, “Sir?”

“Yes, how can I help you this morning?”

“I’d like to know if you can put a sausage patty, with eggs on my bagel.” He emphasized sausage like it was in some bizarre language that most people wouldn’t understand.


“Ok then, that is what I’d like. What would you like, Marty?”

“The same thing,” she said.

“And my wife, Marty, would also like a plain bagel with sausage and eggs.”

I wasn’t really sure why Dad felt the need to introduce her, because there simply are not very many things Luis could have done with that information, if he pretended to care at all. Dad also felt it was very important to restate the order too. Wouldn’t it have been easier to just say “I want two plain bagels with sausage and egg, to go”?

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