A Brief New England Adventure

Winter Island, Salem, MA Copyright 2015 Kat Micari

             Winter Island, Salem, MA
            Copyright 2015 Kat Micari

I took some time off finally, and we decided to take a little trip to the Massachusetts coast. My heart was aching to see the ocean, and so off we went. I planned our route, opting to add an hour on our journey to MA by going through Vermont and New Hampshire, and that turned out to be faster than our supposedly shorter route home along the Mass Turnpike thanks to traffic that reminded us of being stuck on the freeways of California. But that is how a road trip goes.

My son travels exceptionally well, loving to watch the scenery go by and read road signs, loving exploring as much as we do, so we count ourselves really lucky on that front. It is vastly different to travel with a young child than with a baby. More difficult in some ways, because at least a baby and young toddler can be pushed around in a stroller and you can still set a normal pace. A baby is more likely to just fall asleep when exhausted too. Things we’ll definitely keep in mind for our next trip.

But I got to see the ocean for a couple of days, which was glorious, and we spent a day in Boston and saw some old friends. I was able to take my mind off of all of my projects for half the time (I cheated and responded briefly to work email and did some initial research for my next project a couple of the days and my husband scolded me soundly). And I was able to get quality family time in, which we needed.

The Road Trip

I haven’t been present as much online lately, mostly because my time at my day job has been spent prepping my manual and beginning to train a couple of different people with my various duties.  It is unknown as of yet if they will hire a replacement in time for me to train so we’re covering all bases.  Two weeks from tomorrow is my last day!  My nights have been spent doing freelance work, product mockups, or packing.  Not a whole lot of time to spend online.

And in a few hours, I will be COMPLETELY out of contact for a couple of days.  We are getting in the car and headed for southern PA.  My older brother is getting commissioned in the Methodist Church after getting his second masters in divinity.  I’m so proud of him and his family for supporting him in fulfilling this dream.  Unfortunately, his area is SO rural that you can only get cell phone signal at the bottom of his driveway and no internet or cable.  It will be good to see family though.  I miss my nieces and nephew tons.  While we are in the area, we will also be going to Gettysburg. I am very excited to visit the area as I’ve never been.  Hopefully I can get some good pictures and do up a nice post Sunday or Monday.

But the reason for this post is to tell you that I actually really love a road trip.  I like seeing the scenery change around us.  I like singing along with music.  I like having prolonged conversations with my husband with little distraction.  I generally navigate while my husband drives (so stereotypical) but am happy to take over when he needs me to.  And I usually bring knitting or crocheting to keep my hands busy, or a notebook and my husband and I scheme and dream up new ideas.  My toddler fortunately enjoys road trips too, and I like having the excuse to stop more frequently or for longer than a bathroom break to let him stretch his legs and get some pent up energy out.  It encourages us to not feel like we have to rush, and it enables us to take in some of the natural beauty at rest areas and locations we drive through.

I have this odd split feelings.  I long for a permanent home-base, to create a nest to nurture and love my family and play hostess to our friends.  And yet I also long for travel and visiting new places and old friends.

How do all of you enjoy traveling?  I view flying as a necessary evil but would always opt for being in control in the car.  Is that totally an American way of viewing travel?  I don’t mean “control” in the “I can’t relinquish my fate to someone else” but in the sense of we can stop where and when we want.  I’ve traveled by train but it was not very comfortable.  I imagine if we could just travel via first class, my opinions might shift, but maybe not.

Off to NYC!

Tomorrow, my husband, son, and I will be driving to NYC for a four-night trip.  A dear friend of mine from grad school is covering our travel expenses so I can come act as her assistant for a few days, and we’re squeezing in seeing many more of our friends.  While I’ve flown through JFK many times in the past several years, I have not been in NYC itself since February 2005, so we are excited.

This is our first time driving in.  We’re in Astoria for the first two nights and then in Manhattan (parking at the hotel) for the second set of nights.  I’m a tad nervous, but after successfully navigating Los Angeles for many years, we SHOULD be okay.  Traffic can’t be that much worst, right?  Only difference is, people in southern CA actually will let you in if you need to get to another lane/exit ramp.  New Yorkers, not so much.

When we first moved to California, I was amazed at the friendliness of everyone.  I know southern California gets mocked A LOT by other regions of the country, but seriously, even the homeless are friendly and (for the most part) non-threatening.  I was so accustomed to not making eye contact, of minding my own business, of not inviting attention to myself.  Just let me get from point A to point B without anyone harassing me, and I won’t harass anybody in turn.  It was truly an eye-opening experience to live in such a different culture, and it has changed me forever.

Anyway, I’m excited to see NYC with fresh eyes, to eat yummy pizza and bagels, to hopefully soak in a little art and culture, and to fill my much-depleted creative well.  I’m not sure if I’ll have time to post at all while I’m there, but if not, I’ll let you know how it went next Thursday.