Travel was not as bad as it could have been. Not only were we taking Hongmei with us, but the other Chinese au pair in the area was getting a lift with us as well. At times I was very glad we had an extra au pair in the car. I failed to get a ferry reservation on time for the way down, but we did have one for the way back. The ferry is the way to go, and it turns out that Google maps agrees.
One thing that came up on the trip a couple of times since I now have a GPS and so many people get directions from the internet is a long-time pet peeve. My parents house, the house I grew up in, is in North Babylon, but it’s in a small section of North Babylon that uses the West Babylon zip code, thus many a web site will automatically “correct” the address to West Babylon, and the GPS won’t find the address unless you claim it’s in West Babylon. I find this hugely, incredibly annoying. I grew up in North Babylon, New York. North Babylon. There are many, many things that I am not so fond of about the town I grew up with, but it’s not like the next town over was any better. Is it too much to ask that computers learn to deal with the little zip code issue properly and give my childhood home its correct address?
I indulged in some serious nostalgia on Thanksgiving morning and watched the parade for the first time in years. We used to watch the parade every year, if for no other reason than every channel that serves NYC covers it live the entire time. I’m actually not a big fan of parades, but its one of those traditions you love because of the familiarity of it, not the actual content. After the parade we took advantage of the cable TV and watched the “Tanksgiving” special on the military channel for a bit. Mom did just a turkey breast instead of a whole bird, which was the right amount of food; I’m probably the only one who prefers dark meat to light and I’m not a huge fan of turkey either way, so it was a net win.
Aside from eating we mostly spent the weekend hanging out. I took the kids and Hongmei up to Belmont Lake on Friday, and Warren and my Mom walked there with Margaret on Saturday. Saturday night my parents looked after Duncan while Warren and I took Margaret into a dance in the city. We had a really good time. Margaret surprised me by not only letting Warren and I dance a few dances by ourselves, but she actually danced with other people. The New York crowd wasn’t used to seeing a two year old at a dance, and actually clapped when we danced carrying her. (Folks in Boston are jaded by now, they’re just used to me dancing with a 30 pound child in my left arm.) I got to dance with strange men, and they were good. It was great. The only drawback was that the music was a bit louder than it needed to be and gave me a headache, but I held out until 11pm, which is crazy-late for me these days.