Oh, New York City. I had such low expectations for you. I thought you would be rude, dirty, too fast-paced, cliche. Instead, you were friendly, clean, sunny, and you let me set my own pace. I thought you would be judgmental, but instead you are full of diversity and individuality. I thought your subways would intimidate me, but I am entranced by the efficiency and ease at which we could navigate your streets. You are interesting, approachable, everything and nothing that I thought you would be. I am in love. But seriously, I am.
Almost a year ago when Erin approached us with the invitation to join them in Brooklyn for Adam’s 30th, we reeallllyy reallllyyy wanted to, but we were a little squeamish. We were only just about to buy a house, start a new undergraduate program, change jobs and live off of support for Andrew to work at Midtown this year. Traveling was not at the top of our priority list, to say the least. But Erin and Adam are two of our dearest friends, and they had just moved up to Philadelphia permanently, and we missed them. So we deliberated, tried to figure out if we could go on a budget, and finally decided that Adam’s 30th birthday pretty much trumped all reasons not to go. So we decided that we would put aside a portion of my tips each week and if we had enough money by the time Erin needed a final RSVP, we would go. October/November/December rolled around and our little stash felt comfortable enough to make the leap: so we committed. We were going to Philly to surprise Adam for his birthday, and then we were going to Brooklyn for the weekend. Erin is a mastermind + professional wife and slowly saved penny by penny without Adam knowing for a solid year.
Had it not been for the Bedenbaughs and how dear their friendship is to us, we probably would not have traveled at all this year. Making the decision to keep stashing travel money in spite of a tight budget, home maintenance issues, etc. was difficult – but seeing them and surprising Adam was the carrot dangling before our eyes. Now, having made the trip and back at home, I think we both have seen the enormous value in traveling together and taking more risks/adventures. Traveling seems less extravagant, and more of a privilege that we want to start saving for each year. Andrew and I both are fascinated by new places, finding hole in the wall restaurants and bars, but more importantly the time in the car chatting or listening to music, the hiccups along the way, the sowing of the plans and the reaping of the rewards together is a marriage and friendship builder. Sharing that with each other and with such sweet faraway friends was such a blessing.
There were so many more sweet details to the weekend than I could have captured – wandering quiet streets in Brooklyn, one rowdy, wine-filled game night, a Blues duo in one subway station, a Mariachi trio on one train, a Glen Hansard-esque acoustic singer in another station, the fun conversations while waiting on dinner, the gritty and pretty details on each street, THE RADIANT FLOOR HEATING WHERE WE STAYED. Hopefully you will enjoy what I did manage to capture!