I returned home from break to find the majority of my classmates ridiculously tan and griping about the cold. I laughed, because I was as pale as ever (I swear, my foundation is called ‘freaking pale’) and completely acclimated to the cold, having spent the week back home in New England. I hadn’t seen my family in Connecticut since late August, so I felt it was high time to head home for some family time. I had a few appointments for mission stuff, but the rest of the time was reserved for hanging out with my family, which was such a blessing.
On Friday evening, I got to spend some time with my grandparents, which was so nice as I hadn’t seen them for months. It was great to be able to catch up over dinner (that I didn’t have to cook!) and talk family stuff. They dropped me off at the Lynchburg train station in the morning, which is about an hour from Buena Vista. I had all these plans of taking the 10+ hours of travel time to study for exams and get caught up on my reading, but honestly, I napped the entire way. I woke up to take a few pics out the window because I was bored, pick apart an apple scone, and transfer at Penn Station, which was absolutely nerve-wracking for a girl who is overwhelmed by masses of people and a time frame. I essentially found the nearest kind-looking, unhurried people I could hear with a strong Bostonian accent. I felt rather clever. ;)
On Sunday morning I headed to Cromwell for church, then returned home to ‘officially’ start my break. I didn’t count Saturday, because that would have involved including a day of being curled up on the seat of the train, looking a mess, stressed out, and utterly exhausted. I figured I ought to start my break out properly.
Monday began with a trip to the dentists, which made me realize that waterboarding is, in fact, legal in the United States – just take a trip to the dentist after 2 years without visiting! Doctors appointments went fine, as did fillings later in the week.
Dad, Kerri and I headed to New York City for a day to see Jersey Boys, which was absolutely fantastic. I’m 90% sure that I was the
youngest person in the audience to know each of the words to the music. I grew up with stories of my nana being a dancer in American Bandstand, and how she [allegedly] went to high school with Frankie Valli. I’ve always loved Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, so it was the perfect pick (thanks, Kerri!). Needless to say, I adored the whole thing, and was really impressed 1) by how spot on the guy who played Frankie sounded in terms of that iconic falsetto (he’s even closer than the original Broadway cast), and 2) how great their Jersey accents were. Living in Virginia, I’ve come to appreciate a proper Jersey (or Boston, or New York) accent, and good old-school music. Valli, Sinatra, the Temptations, the Penguins, Louis Prima, the Harptones… all of them.
Before the show, we stopped at a little corner bakery called Pie Face. It was so cute, and the little apple pie I had was delicious (I especially like that they marked the flavor by using a letter as the mouth of a smiley face). It was small, standing room only with no chairs or tables, but a few cases of fruit pies, meat pies, sandwiches, and pastries. Heaven! I’ll take a mini pie over a cupcake any day, rain or shine. Especially if it has a cute little face.
After seeing the show, Dad, Kerri, and I explored New York a bit. We stopped by the M&M store to buy squirt some chocolate for a St. Patrick’s day package. We went along our way, filling a bag with m&ms in the colors of the Irish flag and a bag of purple m&ms. It was chaotic, filled with people darting around toting bags of m&ms. We get up to the counter, and the cashier rang them up after weighing them, and gave my dad an obscene price. He definitely complained about it for the rest of the week – and he’s definitely getting some for Father’s day (love ya dad!).
We ate dinner at the Hard Rock cafe, where I got to see Billy Joel’s motorcycle. Such a Joel nerd, it made me so happy! After dinner, we headed to Union Station to catch a train back to Connecticut. Everyone on the train up was talking about how worried they were about the storm headed for the east coast, so we expected to wake up the next morning with a blanket of snow. No such luck – until Thursday night/Friday.
On Friday morning, I had an appointment to have some fillings done, and after that, ShayLea picked me up (with a cup of Dunkin’ Donuts hot chocolate and gloves!) and we headed off on an adventure, first to Mystic Village to pick up some “Irish swag” (her words, not mine) for St. Patrick’s day, as well as to explore a bit. I swear we were the only one there besides some of the shop owners and the ducks in the pond. It was gorgeous with the snow, but most of the shops were closed. We ended up driving out to Colchester and stopping at the Dinosaur Place en route to Plum Tomato. She’s become a great driver, and I was impressed with her snow skills. It was such a blast!
I took the train home and spent most of the time either looking out the window or studying for an American Warfare test I had the next day (cruel, right?). I realized that I watched the sun rise in New England, and set in the south, and it was a bit of a weird feeling, but at the same time, very cool.
It was great to be able to go home for a week, especially when I haven’t been back in Connecticut for so long. I realized that I’m definitely a New England girl – I miss driving along the coast, the trees along the highway, and the culture of it all. It was a bit like returning to civilization after being hidden away in the mountains of Virginia for so long. I love Virginia, but I’m a Northerner at heart I guess.
Not that I love Virginia any less!!