After spending most of the week on Long Island, having fun and cooling off in the pool, it was time to head back to Westchester for Gary and Liz’s wedding. We loaded up in Pop-Pop’s “Shaggin’ Wagon”, as Steven calls it (which is straight out of National Lampoon’s Vacation with the wood paneling on the sides). Cadence loved hollering out the colors of cars and trucks passing on the expressway, and screeched with delight every time she spotted an airplane in the sky.
In the 10 years I lived in New York, I must have traveled these roads a hundred times, and I have to admit, I got a little sentimental as we drove.
We crossed the Whitestone, laughing about the road construction that seemed to have taken up exactly where it left off the last time we visited three years ago. And, as always, I couldn’t help but to stare at the New York City skyline, rising up out of the heat and smog, as we passed. Yeah, I saw the sign about cameras being strictly prohibited, but it was worth the risk to get just a couple quick shots of my favorite city in the world.
As we crossed into the Bronx, we passed Co-op City, where I taught high school English for two years at Truman High School. Ah, the memories! I was hoping I’d have time to see a few of my old colleagues, but our whirlwind trip went by too fast. Next time for sure.
And then, we were making the last familiar turns, taking us back to a place that, even after all these years, feels like my second home…
It’s safe to say that Cadence felt immediately comfortable. We’d barely been there an hour and she was trying to take over the reception desk in Feth Hall and answer incoming calls.
Then, she tried knocking when I pointed out Dr. Nakhai’s office door. Unfortunately, we had to miss her on this trip, since she was spending the summer with her family in Iran.
But, we did manage to break and enter and snap a few photos in Dr. Nakhai’s office to surprise her with when she returns. I don’t know about you, but I think Cadence looks right at home.
By that time, we were starving, and decided to take another short roadtrip to our favorite restaurant in Westchester County–the Candlelight Inn in Scarsdale. I’m telling you folks, I’ve eaten a lot of hot wings in my day, but the Candlelight’s are, without a doubt, the best wings in the world. Yes, the world. I know that’s a bold statement, but I’ll stand by it. If you think you’ve got better wings, feel free to send me a sample for comparison, and until I find better hot wings, I’ll remain a staunch endorser of the Candlelight.
This little land yacht was parked in the lot when we arrived, and I had to snap a picture because I love it, and I want one.
Just one quick pic, and then we headed inside. It had been three years since our last order of Candlelight wings, and that was two years and 364 days too long!
Please excuse me while I lick my computer screen.
Later that evening, we met up with the Kennedy’s and the Palkewick’s back on campus. We ate our fill of New York pizza in the air-conditioned bliss of Joan and Mike’s apartment, before strolling across the street with the kiddos so they could play a bit before bedtime. And tell me, is it just me, or do these pics look like they could be on the movie poster for “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”?
The kids gave the playground equipment some half-hearted attention before ditching it altogether in favor of the water hose Joan found behind the building. It was after 6 pm, still in the 90’s, and huuuuuumid! Little Josh tore off his shirt and Cadence immediately followed suit. Katie tried, but Joan put a stop to it before she could lose her sundress. We all had a blast watching our kiddos play and thinking that it didn’t seem all that long ago that we were the ones “playing” on campus. Time sure flies when you’re having fun!
And I was super excited that we were able to find some time for a late evening playdate with my old friend Anette, her hubby Alex, and beautiful daughter Ella. Miss Ella is just a month older than Cadence, and the two of them are peas in a pod. They both love singing and dancing, especially to Karmin. They enjoy cartoons like American Dad. And they can both work an Ipad better and faster than 97% of adults. After so many years, it was great to catch up with an old friend and finally meet the amazing little girl I’d heard so much about!
The next morning, we headed over to the Meyers’ house for breakfast. Aaron and Alissa made us waffles and the kiddos had a blast playing. Even having a playdate earlier in the week and then having breakfast, I only managed a handful of photos and completely missed getting pictures of Alissa and beautiful baby Elle, since she was down for a nap. I’m bad about forgetting my camera when I’m having fun. I gotta work on that!
After dropping Steven at the campus so he could meet up with Gary and the groomsmen to get ready for the wedding, Cat, Nathan, and I headed over to the Filippelli house for some good old-fashioned fun. We only managed to get slightly lost on the way, but made it there in plenty of time for the kiddos to play and have a blast in their very own self-made bounce house, right in Christin’s living room. All you need is a well-inflated air mattress and an end table capable of holding the weight of three young children. Instant fun!
After thoroughly exhausting herself playing the the Meyers, the Fillipellis and the Grayboschs, I was shocked that Cadence actually made it through the wedding without some sort of meltdown. But she held on like a champ and didn’t fall asleep until I strapped her in her carseat after the ceremony. I told Foerth to hang on for a long ride. The reception didn’t start for almost an hour and a half, and I planned to drive around as long as Cadence kept sleeping. We cruised through the familiar streets of Bronxville, Tuckahoe, Eastchester, Mount Vernon and Yonkers, reminiscing about our college and after-college days as we drove through our old stomping grounds. We drove past old apartments, past the Cross County Mall, which had received a major (and much-needed) facelift, past the old bars and restaurants and movie theaters and grocery stores we used to frequent. Somehow, things had changed, and yet, remained very much the same.
Cadence woke just as we were arriving at the Bronxville Field Club for the reception. The short sleep revived her, and she was off and running with sweet little Ella almost as soon as we let her out of the car. The two ran non-stop during the entire outdoor cocktail hour, chasing each other up and down the hill, showering each other with grass, and having races. It was adorable.
And Ella managed to sneak over and get a quick hug or two from the groom as he mingled. Aww! We love Gary!
And here’s my hubby the groomsman, looking so very handsome.
Please try to disregard the fact that his fly is hanging wide open. He’s not sure how long it was hanging open. I guess the professional wedding photos will tell.
And here’s a GQ shot with our buddy Papsin…
Of course, Cadence and Ella had to take a spin around the dance floor with Christin the minute we headed in for the reception. And the kept dancing and dancing and dancing…right up until they were so exhausted that they just laid down in the middle of the dance floor. At that point, we decided it was time to take our leave, wish the newlyweds congratulations, and head back to the hotel room for the night.
Before heading back to Long Island to spend the final day of our vacation, we made one last stop at the Candlelight to pick up an order of wings to go, and met up with my former roomie Katie and her husband Brian for a little picnic lunch and hanging out time at the campus. Cadence and Katie became fast friends…sort of like her Momma did. 🙂
The hubbies, chilllin’.
Cadence taking Katie for a walk.
Aww! I love these crazy kids!
And of course, Steven had to snap a picture of Cadence hiding behind the tree and doing her “business” before we left.
And that’s all folks. My camera was officially retired for the trip after this shot because Cadence ended up being sick and feverish our last day there. I’m glad to say though that in spite of a CRAAAAAAZY security line at the airport, we made it home, safe and sound, without any trouble.
Now, it’s time to start planning next year’s trip, because we all agreed that three years between visits is way too long to wait!
Until then, we’ll miss you New York!