New York, a Canadian Christmas and a brand new New Year

Thank god!

New York, New good they named it twice!

Actually, I think it could do with a little investment really, especially the roads and pavements, but enough of that for now!

Of course our speedy visit to pick the kids up and to play tourists for a few wonderful days, wasn't without drama!

Course not, don't be daft!

Look folks, it is what it is, right? Drama and 'we' go together like peas and carrots! Anyway, why would you want to read 'we went to New York, it was fun, the end'......I think not!

So here goes!

The day before our travels we 'pre Christmas cleaned', did the Christmas decorating until we were utterly exhausted and the packing for our trip sort of didn't happen. Instead we watched crappy movies and drank too much wine!

This meant an early morning panic and resulted rather hurried morning mess really! Never mind eh but with a ten hour drive ahead of us, we had to dig deep, find some energy and soon but before I regale you with tales of New York, here's now:

Its the 22nd of December and I still have shopping to finish and guess what?

I have the bloody flu AGAIN! Third year running!

Boo Hoo!

I've denied it for a couple of days and kept calm and carried on, stiff upper lip and all that. Of course it hasn't worked and it's all 'woman down' now, call for HELP!

Darn subway germs! Way to 'peopley' for me in NYC!

I've just walked in the snow with the dogs for a couple of miles and then tried to do some food shopping, silly me! Now I'm bed bound and worried about the next few very important days.

I have tissue stuffed up both nostrils and the one thing I wish I had bought today, is some TENA LADY! I've literally coughed and sneezed up my Coccyx!

Oh dear god!

I do blame those Yankie germs! Also there's a beastly strain of Canadian flu doing the rounds here and I'm afraid I might just have caught it!

Lucky me!

Anyway, our ten hour car journey to NYC began after dropping the dogs off for some away SPA time. Can't say I wasn't concerned about Fizz but it seems she survived quite well in the end. Bertie however, seems fatter than ever! I think he eats his and her dinner!

Whilst getting the dogs out of the car to go to the Doggy Spa on travel day, I realized the bag of travel food could now be moved back to the boot, only the butter chicken I'd made had leaked all over the place! There was this nasty rancid, stale curry smell permeating the whole car! The seat was sticky and not a wipe in sight!


Some lucky bean was getting to sit on a sticky, smelly, curried seat on the way back!


We got to the border quite quickly and the agent on the desk was a bit foxed by our right hand drive car. Always breaks the ice! He also let me get away with all my GF food but confiscated two grapefruits and two clementines!


No clue!

Then he sent us to be finger printed before finally letting us past!

The first half of the journey was quite relaxed and pretty actually. Very festive and it was all snow and pretty houses for miles. Uneventful, until we had to stop for petrol.

My man decided to use the 'pay at pump' thing and very soon found his card locked in the machine! The horror! Oh I also forgot to tell you, I left my purse at home! Oops!

He hadn't even been asked for his pin number but the card was trapped and the girl at the counter wasn't helpful.

'You'll have to come back in the morning when my manager is here' she said giving us a gummy, toothless smile and walked away!


What to do?

He decided to pre authorize his one and only other card and fill up anyway. Whilst he was ordering coffee, I just pressing the cancel button.


The card was well and truly stuck and I had vision of it popping out later and some lucky bugger clearing out or bank account!

I walked away looking for something to eat in the Garage shop............nada. It was the start of 4 days of Coeliac woe. Eating crap and having constant stomach ache. It was either that or starve!

C'est la vie!

Suddenly the card was released and the hostage situation was over!


On we travelled, eventually arriving in a shady part of New Jersey at the airbnb, which was okay really. Clean and tidy.

I'd wanted to stay in the New Yorker again, but the teen insisted on her own room, meaning we needed three bedrooms.

It did us just fine.

Once we got to the apartment it was time to find food. A quick walk in the dank and drizzle and we realized everything was shut, except for Dunkin Donuts and 24 hour ice cream! Time to make an order through UBER EATS.

Finally, we rammed some Indian food down our necks and we were comatose just ten seconds after the last mouthful!

The bed and pillows were blissful! The sirens were not!

The next morning the kids would land at 9.30am and we timed our leaving the apartment right to ensure we got through traffic to JFK in good time. Only they landed 45 minutes early and we got stuck in traffic anyway!

Eventually we got to them and our adventure began! They showered, rested and eventually we went out to eat. After that we got the ferry and then walked in the damp smog to the World Trade memorial.

Very poignant. The last time we were in New York was in 2004 and the rebuild has begun, so it was good to see it all finished. Just like the D DAY beaches in Normandy, France, the atmosphere of remembrance gets to me every time.

The weather was hideous. The visibility was practically zero!

The next day after a good sleep, a blocked toilet and a request for bagels, we headed out again. Our son appeared to be on a mission to walk through downtown New York as fast as he could! Finally, exhausted and late in the day, we were heading towards Central Park for a carriage ride, when a snow squall hit!

It was a total white out for exactly 30 minutes! The snow had the texture of sand, very strange indeed, but soon it was over and we headed back to the apartment. The temperatures continued to dip to -17 and the insides of the car windows iced up! It was all quite odd! For a few hours it really felt like that Hollywood movie, The Day After Tomorrow!

It was so good to see, two out of three of our kids! All above 18 now so no babies left sadly. Our son brought his best girl with him and so the car was a little packed to the rafters! Still, we managed!

The journey back was quite different as to knock some time off the journey, we took the boring toll roads. Two lots of 10 hour journeys and racing around New York, really took a toll on my tum! Talk about water retention and then some! I feel like a water bed!

I really don't think I will offer to share the driving going back......And so we are here, back in Toronto and getting ready for the big day, but we of course are missing family and friends.

Also missing those usual Christmas food items. Finding an uncooked ham to play with has been impossible so far and the sausages......well! It's times like these I wish I could nip to Waitrose, hey ho!

We do tend to long for the familiar when far from home....don't we?

Anyway, from my table to yours, wherever you are in the world, god bless you and keep you safe. A very merry Christmas and a happy New Year to you all! Here's to some new and exciting adventures in 2020!

Lots of love

Donna x

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