And just like that, we are back in NYC.
During today’s magnificent nor’easter, where umbrellas are turnt and the wind is pushing us around like a bully, I have this moment to reflect on our visit to LA.
“Just like that” included 30+ hours of flight delay, our worst flight experience ever. This was 4.5 hours trapped on a plane that never took off, countless pilot announcements that assured us that “once we get to the de-icing machine” we would be taking off and then getting timed out due to FAA regulations, getting to the hotel at 3:30 am after the shuttle was delayed, schlepping loads of luggage on ice-covered stairs beyond the hotel parking lot, and living at the airport the next day after checking out of our tiny hotel room.
I am beyond grateful for no one getting sick despite the exhaustion. In fact, the boys hardly noticed the plane delay as they were content, watching airplane TVs directly in front of their mugs for hours upon hours.
This was baby girl’s first flight outside of my womb. Dramatic first flight experience. She hardly cried out on the plane despite usually sleeping only in her crib. She was just happy to sleep on my body, whether stuck on a plane or camped out the next day waiting for our make-up flight.
I had a talk with my oldest that traveling is a huge blessing in that it takes health, time, and money to be able to swing it. When this monstrous delay hit, Micah thoughtfully said, “We had the money and health, but not the time.”
When I was pregnant with Olive last year, we opted to travel to Orlando instead of LA for various reasons. One of the reasons was that LA is always loaded for me. It is my Sliding Doors city, though I never aspire to be a Gwyneth in any form. This could have been my other life.
So, visiting my hometown always makes me more emotional than traveling elsewhere. It’s a trip to drive around the places I grew up. Memories flood me as I recall moments, as blurry as they may be.
It almost seems like fiction that I was ever 20-somethang, meeting up with girlfriends, working my first full-time job in West Hollywood (you mean I gotta do this almost everyday!?), eating sushi complete with soy sauce, wasabi and ginger from my lap while stuck in traffic on Sunset Blvd., commuting from Chatsworth to UCLA for graduate school, blasting POWER 106 while cruisin’ the Valley. Or even before then, attending high school and being a teenage girl feeling all them feelin’s. Junior high when it was still called junior high, all the way through when we first immigrated to Koreatown LA when I was almost five.
And when I’m back with those I lived those moments with, my NYC life seems like it was all a dream…until I look at the husband and three New Yorker kids who are living proof that NYC happened…and is still happening.
I used to think that staying in your hometown wasn’t truly living and drooled at my globetrotting girlfriends’ experiences but I now see the beauty of staying close to home as good things are often right under your nose.
I am super grateful for all of life’s moments and while the “L” word is sacred to me, I can honestly say I have love for everyone that has ever been a part of my life in some way, those who were visitors and those who remain.
Only the good Lord knows where we might end up next. I would love more sun, slower pace, lower cost of living, nature, nature and more nature, people of color, good public schools, at least one fat life-giving job, and people to do life with. (Kevin said most of my list points to Florida but NO, please NO!)