Posted on December 28th, 2016
It was hard to get on the plane in New York this morning (and not just because we had to get up at 4am). It feels so unnatural to willingly take a flight for a destination 3,000 miles away from your family—but here we are, back in Seattle.
My family officially moved to Manhattan in September, so this was our first holiday season in the city. One of my brothers lives in the city, too, and my other brother wrapped up his first semester of college to spend his break in New York, too. Rather than trying to force old family traditions in illogical or unfamiliar settings, we tried building new ones. Thanks to my dad’s meticulous planning, we had a packed itinerary and with fun around every corner.
Thursday was fairly low key as I was working remotely, but Friday I took the day off to focus on festive preparation. Ian and I went on a 12 mile run that started downtown and took us all the way up Broadway and through the full Central Park loop—we’re excited to have completed our last long run before the marathon! Hannah, one of my best friends, came over in the morning to make cookies for Santa. At Ian’s request I tried a molasses cookie that I did not execute as well as I had hoped but had a nice flavor, and the macaroons were delicious. On Friday afternoon, my mom and I did a little shopping in Soho. We couldn’t bear to leave Gracie behind, so she rode along in her trusty tote. After family dinner on Friday night, my brothers, Ian, and I went on a sibling research mission to 10 Below to try Thai ice cream rolls. Nothing brings people together like trendy desserts.
Suddenly, Christmas Eve was upon us! Ian and I picked up a bunch of bagels and cream cheese from Tomkins Square, our favorite, and we hosted a brunch in the morning for our favorite New York friends. On Saturday afternoon, we finally got to see Hamilton.
I’m one of those people who prefers not to listen to the soundtrack before seeing a new show, and I had been very patient with Hamilton, too. Given how much I had built it up in my mind, I was a little nervous it wouldn’t live up to the hype, but it surpassed even my highest expectations. So rarely are we exposed to things that are not only innovative and challenge us but that we also truly enjoy and find pleasurable. This was that perfect marriage for me!
Saturday night we visited the historic Tavern on the Green before going back downtown for Christmas Eve service at the even-more-historic Trinity Church near my parents’ apartment. Coincidentally, Trinity is where Alexander Hamilton attended services and is buried, so it was a very Hamilton-centric day.
Our Christmas Day was quiet and nice, except for an early afternoon jaunt to Madison Square Garden to watch the Knicks lose to the Celtics. With the Christmas/Hanukkah overlap this year, I made latkes as part of our otherwise traditional little Christmas dinner dinner. As a surprise, I also had our favorite holiday pies from a shop near St. Louis overnighted for dessert. It was the kind of day where we didn’t even open presents until 8pm simply because we were too busy enjoying one another. A far cry from waking up at 5:15am to see if Santa came 20 years ago!
Since Christmas was a Sunday, Ian and I had Monday off, which allowed us to get pre-marathon pedicures with Hannah and go to another Broadway matinee. A Bronx Tale had some great talent, but I confess the writing didn’t do much for me. As a final east coast goodbye, Ian’s parents and two brothers came up from Virginia for a big Rapp-Nightingale dinner at The Odeon. We were so touched by the effort they made so that we could spend just a few hours all together.
I’ll be sharing a bit more from our trip tomorrow, but in the meantime, I have to unpack and go to bed– I’m jetlagged, and I’ve been up for 20 hours and counting!