Monday, September 05, 2005

Home and Back

I am back in my little apartment in Queens, half-heartedly trying to make myself realize that vacation is actually over and I have to go back to work tomorrow. After an internet-free week, I have decided that updating my blog is the perfect way to stay in vacation mode for a just a wee bit longer. So a few highlights from my Arkansas trip:

Wednesday Arrive in North Little Rock around 9 p.m. For the first time in my entire life, I was actually met at the airport. For some reason, people are always late or lost when they are supposed to pick me up. This was a huge turning point for me! I was ecstatic to see my mom, and almost as ecstatic to meet her new dog, Charlie. If you've kept up with my blog, (or have known me for more than five minutes,) you already know that I think my mom is the coolest mom in the world. I have now come to realize that she has the coolest dog in the world.

Thursday Wake up early, go for a five mile run with my mom in Emerald Park, where I am reintroduced to hills and humidity. Later in the day, my mom had to go to work, so, left to my own devices, I allowed myself to be reintroduced to the television. Who knew watching stupid tv could provide such bliss? The people my mom work with covered her shift so we could hang out more. She came home early, and we got Chinese food - Arkansas style. I love eating in New York, but sometimes you want something that is as far away from authentic as possible. I have come to terms with the fact that people in China don't eat crab rangoon, but I still say it's my favorite Chinese food!

Friday Wake up early, go for a six mile run with my mom and a few of her friends. This time I am better acquainted with the hills and humidity. My mom had to go to work that afternoon, so I let myself get better acquainted with the tv. (I have come to the conclusion that this little contraption is quite dangerous. I don't understand how it can just suck me in like that!) That night, my brother took me to Carlisle, Arkansas (about the furthest you could get from New York City) to show me his new house and take me to a Carlisle High School football game. I was bitten by at least 147 mosquitoes while my brother and I played our favorite game of "What Do We Have in Common?" We have yet to come up with an answer, so if anyone would like to pose a guess, you're welcome to do so!

Saturday My mom and I go volunteer with Katrina Assistance and Relief Effort. It was amazing to see so many people working so hard to help those who have been displaced after the hurricane. In the few days that I was in Arkansas, I saw countless groups who were raising money, collecting donations, and opening up their homes to refugees from Louisiana and Mississippi. There were many families and children helping out in our location alone. In just one hour that we were there, we unloaded at least 30 cars filled with all sorts of supplies and received over $1400 in donations. And that's just in one small location in Little Rock! There is so much good being done that is not being covered in the media right now.
After working for a while, my mom and I decided to go and buy supplies that seemed as if they were being overlooked. We loaded up her Jeep with dozens of bags of pet food and feminine products. My favorite comment from volunteering was a little girl (she couldn't have been more than five) unloading a box of pads from our car, and turning to her mother "Ooohh...baby stuff." Unfortunately, I didn't get to hear her mother's entire explanation.
Afterwards, we ate lunch at Corky's (oh, how I've missed pulled pork,) then two of my friends from my Memphis days, Eve and Katrina, came for a visit. We spent the rest of the day laughing, eating, and exclaiming over Katrina, who will be a new mom in five short weeks! Favorite quote from that evening comes from my very sweet, non-drug-using friend Eve: "If I was a drug addict, I'd be a huffer. I love the smell of bleach." Close second came from Katrina, who was responding to Eve telling us about a book she read in college where the women withheld sex so that men would stop going to war. Katrina: "Oh, no no no, not me. There would just have to be war."

Sunday We take Charlie for a hike up Pinnacle Mountain. I took a ton of pictures so my friends (all Arkansas virgins) could get a little peek at what it's like down there. Later, my mom and I spent much time laying around the house. After spending so much time in the one bedroom apartment that I share, I was really loving having so many choices for rooms to sit in. So we migrated from room to room, and talked nonstop. That evening, we went to a Hash House Harriers run. I don't even know how to describe it, but it was a blast. Let's just say that after three miles of running around (somewhat lost), we ended the run by drinking beer, singing the most sexually explicit songs I've ever heard, and dodging water being squirted from one runner's penis-shaped watergun. It was a unique experience all-in-all.

Monday Leave North Little Rock at 5:30 a.m. For the first time, as I'm flying into NYC, we actually fly over Manhattan. It was great to see the five burroughs from 39,000 feet. I could see the Verrazano and Hell's Gate bridges, both landmarks near places I've lived. I flew over Central Park, and directly over the Hudson. It is remarkable how small this city actually is! And, I was two for two...my roommate was at the airport to pick me up. We went directly to lunch, at Himalaya, a restaurant that's been open for all of eight days and serves authentic Tibetan food. My first hour back was fabulous!

This is my longest blog, and if you made it through it all, congratulations! I could write a lot more, but I'm going to take my hands off the keyboard for now, and get to work preparing for the new school year.

1 comment:

Jim said...

It sound like you had a great time. Now that you are going back to work, is there any thing that you need for your kids? I remember last year you had asked for some items. Barbara and I love your cockroach story, we laugh for sometime about it and also commented on how well you write. Keep me posted on your life, Love Uncle Jim