My parents suffered from what I call "New England Vacation Syndrome". Common symptoms include a downright belligerent lack of willingness to ever leave New England for any vacation, ever -- instead opting for vacations in New Hampshire, Vermont, or Maine. An offshoot of this phenomena includes buying a camper-trailer, parking it at a campground, and calling that place your one and only vacation spot for years upon end.
Now -- don't get me wrong -- I have fond memories of my campground days. I had my first love (and crushing heartbreak) at a campground. However, there is something pitiful about graduating high school and never once leaving the region.
So, the second I was off to college and out on my own, I jumped at every opportunity to travel. I remember going to New York City for the very first time: my college friend invited me to visit her out in Long Island, and I boarded the first Lucky Star bus I could get. I was such a sheltered creature that I actually gasped when I saw the, "Welcome to New York" sign.
A lot has changed in the eight or so years since I was a meek college freshman. Aside from the obvious graduations, career changes, movings, and -- well -- marriage, I've been racking up travel like I'm making up for lost time (and, in a way, I kind of am). From spending a summer in Belfast to driving from coast to coast to hopping around Italy for my honeymoon. And now, here I am, back in Long Island, to see that very friend get married.
The evolution of things is downright overwhelming. I remember when we were two freshmen, grabbing coffee at Dunkie's together, bemoaning our less-than-stellar romantic lives (we were both caught in incredibly unhealthy pseudo-relationships -- little did we know that, a year or two later, everyone, from middle school to post grad, would commonly find themselves in these situations). Neither of us really imagined marriage being in the cards.
I know the, "woah, time flies and things change," sentiment is not exactly original, but -- oh well. The same way you have to allow yourself to be sentimental from time to time, you have to look back and be in awe of how things have changed. And if they haven't changed much over the years, maybe it's time to reevaluate some things.
On a more journal-y note, we took the LIRR in to the city yesterday and enjoyed New York the way I usually enjoyed Boston: by walking around a lot. We visited the 9/11 memorial (which is easily the most incredibly-done memorial I have ever witnessed), walked through Chinatown and Little Italy and Central Park, before weaving our way through Time Square and back to Penn Station, all in the course of 7 or so hours. We ended up driving thirty minutes away from the city, further into Long Island, to have a somewhat late dinner at a Mexican restaurant -- a place where arroz con pollo is actually on the menu.