Well, I guess that this all began well before Christmas. A certain lady from Oz managed to contact my Cara on facebook. It would have never occurred to me to use facebook for nefarious and underhanded dealings. Really. But some would. She did. And Cara, loving all things nefarious and underhanded got sucked in right away. And so the great New York City planning began.
So, Cara told Tim. That is why, at Christmas, out of the blue, I got a new car. He wanted very much for us to make this meeting, and in his mind, the only thing that would prove to be a major impediment would be the car. Our 'good' car has over 200,000 miles on it. Crap happens to cars with that many miles on it. Sometimes without warning. So I got a new car for Christmas. Never mind the fact that I was flummoxed by this. We'd not discussed it. It was not a new car, but it was new to us, low mileage, but still...we had not discussed it. Mostly, though, what I worried about was that I was driving the good car already. His car was worse, and he drove farther and at night too, so I made him drive the new car. In effect, I gave the car right back to him.
The story continues: As the post Christmas weeks went on, Cara decided that for her last weekend in country, what she wanted to do, more than anything, was for us all to go to Allentown to be with her brother and Brittani. She wanted to go in to New York City, once more before leaving. She wanted to have a memorable weekend. Seemed reasonable. So we began to plan. There was quite a bit of excitement when we figured out that this particular weekend also turned out to be a four day holiday for me. It was also a long weekend for Tim. And completely in the dark about it all, I smiled happily as plans were made.
Friday morning, a baby was born. That started the day out in a happy sort of way (pictures coming of that...no time to download now, sorry, but take my word for it, he is really cute! Stay tuned. Tomorrow, okay?)
And then there was an amazing moment at school, where I found myself sitting nervously in a classroom waiting to give my presentation...uncertain...and as I listened to others, with growing amazement, I realized that not only had I done my presentation right, I had done it well. Very, very well. By the time I stood to give it, I was relieved and confident. Discovering that you are competant? Cool beans, my friends. Cool, cool beans.
Then I came home, snorfed down a bowl of soup, and the three of us headed out, first heading west to see young William for the first time. Did I mention how cute he is? He is. Really, really cute. If I had time to download those pictures, you'd see it too. Come back tomorrow, okay? Tomorrow there will be pictures of a very cute baby on this blog.
In any case, after heading west, we set out once again. Heading east this time. And we drove and drove and drove. Well. For 6 hours. That was a lot of driving for us. My Christmas present drove smoothly.
We got to Dylan's at about 9:30. Tim and I went to bed at a reasonable hour. The young fry went out.
Saturday morning, we woke up to gale winds. Oh, dear heavens. The winds. It was windy. The windows rattled. The door on the front of the building kept banging in the wind. Trees clunked against the side of the house. "Gees," I said to Tim. "This is not such a good day to go to New York. It will be FREEZING!" And Tim said, "They've got it all planned." In a very unsympathetic way.
So I got my shower, and got ready. Then I got the kids up. They blinked at me blearily from their respective sofas. "What time is it?" But they got up and began to get ready to go. I putzed around. "Dylan? Why is Cara throwing up?" He tried to look quizzical. He failed. "This is not a good day to go to New York City. It's cold and windy, and there is something wrong with Cara..." "She's fine," Dylan and Tim said almost in unison.
So we set out. The little jeep was buffeted by the wind. We drove to Hoboken to park the car and take the subway into the city. Cara barfed out the car door twice. Much to the horror of the people sitting in the vehicle next to us. "This is not a good day..." I started once again. "We can do this tomorrow," I said. But no. They would not be disuaded.
We got on the subway. I was a bit anxious about Cara and the subway, but there were no further incidents, although she did stop to get a drink and some pepto-bismol. She also said to her brother, "I told you I could not drink Southern Comfort..." and I smacked his arm. "What?" he said innocently. "She TOLD you she could not drink Southern Comfort..." and he grinned. "Mom," he said patiently. "It's what we do...we egg each other on..." I smacked him again.
We got off the subway and headed to a pizza place, John's pizza, a brick oven pizzeria in an old church. We had reservations for 1. I said, "but I'm not even hungry. We had a big breakfast..." but they ignored me. We went inside, and Cara said, "The rest of our party has not arrived yet," and I said, "What rest of the party?" and Cara said, "I told you we were meeting my friends...." I said, "No. No you didn't. I didn't even know about the reservations, for pete's sake," but she was headed for the door. I was getting a little impatient with her attitude. Dylan said, a couple of times, "So who are these people?" and I said, "I don't know. I thought you knew..." "No," he answered. "These young kids...and he shook his head. But he was also grinning." Next thing I know, I see Cara heading towards some people just coming in the door. People with kids. "Cara has grownup friends?" I thought. "What the heck?" I said. And here's the strange thing. I saw a familiar smile, but I did not pin a name to it. I knew that I knew it. But I recognized Mr. I. I'd seen his picture enough. Bush Babe does not have many pictures of herself on the blog. I was thinking 'that's Mr. I' in a confused sort of way even as I was staring at a very pretty woman in front of me who was laughing and saying "It's Amanda..." "Oh, my gosh," I said. And I looked down and there were Dash and Violet. I said, "If I'd have passed you on the street, I'd have recognized the children immediately. Gosh!" I understood 'gobsmacked'. I was gobsmacked. I was so astonished that I couldn't think of one thing to say. For quite some time. I was gobsmacked.
But there was wine. And there was a trip to FAO Swartz. And talking. And Starbucks. And hugging. These are truly very nice people.
All of them. Even mine. Despite the lying and the Southern Comfort.