I've been back from New York since Sunday and so far....no crash. How is it that a day trip to the beach can sometimes lead to a soul-crushing crash, yet this 6,000 mile cross-country trip seems not to have affected me at all? Again ME is determined to run counter to my expectations. Maybe I should start expecting the opposite of what I expect!
I also felt relatively well during the trip, which allowed me to truly enjoy the wedding and our free day in Manhattan, not just survive them. Don't get me wrong, ME was right there with me the whole time, but it wasn't a dominant presence. I still had to sit throughout most of the cocktail hour while everyone else stood and mingled. And of course, I was one of the first ones to leave. But the point is, I made it. And I got to enjoy the speeches, the vows and connect with my extended family. After my wife and I returned to the hotel, I fell asleep feeling grateful for having survived the night without a crash - something I would have taken for granted 14 months ago.
The day after the wedding, our "free day," I considered staying at the hotel and recharging my battery for the flight home the following day. But then I figured, "who knows when I'll be back in New York. I'll probably crash when I return home anyway, so I might as well go for it."
So I went for it.
I accompanied my wife and daughter to the Central Park Zoo, where we met with old friends and their new baby. Of course, I had to sit frequently, sometimes slowing the group's pace, but I tried to compensate by adopting the role of event photographer for the day, which I could accomplish well enough from various benches and chairs.
That night, the wife, baby, and I decided to ventured out to a restaurant near our hotel. I'd asked the concierge to direct us someplace casual, where a baby wouldn't disturb others. He sent us to Dos Caminos, which turned out to be a Mexican dining experience as only New York can do it. (The food was terrible, by the way. I truly believe that most East Coasters have no idea what good Mexican food tastes like.)
But back to the restaurant experience: I wasn't sure if we were in an eatery or a night club, but it was anything but casual. The main dining room pulsed with the sounds of a live DJ spinning club music. Most of the other patrons were dressed for a big night on the town. Most appeared to be on dates. And then there was us: the rag-tag Californians in flip-flops...with a baby...and an enormous stroller...at a quasi night club. I loved every minute of it.
It just felt good to be out in "the scene" again...as cheesy as that sounds. I discovered that New York's vibrancy can be absorbed passively, but enjoyed nonetheless. I don't know how or why I somehow managed to avoid a crash this time, but I'm not going to over think it. I'll just be thankful.
P.S. I didn't end up wearing the nasal filters on the airplane because I'd forgotten them when I packed. But after reading Baffled's comment to my last post, I'm glad. It sounds like they would have been useless against viruses and bacteria.