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Pennsylvania, Virginia & New York City



It’s been a whirlwind of a week since landing back in the US.

I spent two mellow days with Jamie’s parents in a suburb of Philadelphia. I always enjoy my time with them.  I’m not sure I ever appreciated a warm shower as much.  Spring is just arriving and the weather is perfect.  From there I took a train to Virginia to visit my sister and my teenage niece and nephew.  Catching up with my sister was the best.  I love how my sibling relationships get better with age.  And I got to spend some nice time with my niece, precious as gold when you’re trying to meet with a teenager.  Next time I hope to spend more time with my nephew.

I arrive in NYC after a six hour train ride. Incidentally, my train trips are free using points I earned from signing up for the Chase Amtrak Credit card.  I will inform you when I become aware of an exceptionally good sign up bonus for the Amtrak card and other miles-earning cards.

NYC is amazing as always but I walk myself into a self-induced disability.  I know God hates me because he gave me mangled feet like a warlock.  With bunions.  Which sound oozy and corny and gross, but bunions are just a bone deformity of the foot.  Two messed up feet please.  Hold the ooze and cornyness.  Extra warlocky.  Thanks.  Another reason I know that God hates me is that he put me in a hostel room full of German women, but that’s another story.

I walk over the Queensboro bridge to Manhattan and walk what seemed like every block before meeting up for a quick lunch with Scott, a guy I met on an online dating site (and flew to New York to meet) several years ago.  It didn’t work out romantically, but he’s a good person and it is fun to see him.  I make sure to indulge in my favorite New York foods; some Chinese, hot nuts from the sidewalk vendor, and pizza.  Mission accomplished.

On the way back to Queens, I feel I can not walk another inch.  My feet are pulsing with my heart and my bunions feel like there is a knives in my shoes.  I pass a threading salon and make a survival decision to have my eyebrows mostly ripped off with this ancient hair-removal technique.  Bonus #1: I get to sit down. Bonus #2: It is so painful that I momentarily forget about the pain in my feet.  I don’t even care that my newly manicured brows are as asymmetrical as Ernie and Burt.   Looking at the cup half full, I guess I should be thankful I have feet. Even if they are meant for a warlock.

Today, on the subway to JFK, I am caught between two black men yelling at each other.  One man was making sense and the other was clearly a fraud (supposedly collecting money for the homeless) and didn’t like being called out on it.  I got kind of lathered up and ready to chime in but I took my cue from the New Yorkers who stared blankly ahead like NOTHING was happening.  Mass denial.

Empire State Building

Empire State Building

And then, I had a brush with D-list fame when the son of Gene Simmons, lead singer of Kiss, walked by me in the airport.  I’ve seen him on TV several times.  Tall, tall dude.

Now I am on an AirBerlin flight to Dusseldorf and no surprise here: the flight is full of Germans. The inflight safety video has to be seen to be believed.  I guess no human could possibly be perfect enough for the German sensibility so they use a highly creepy animation of a human to provide me with my safety instructions.  Here’s a little tip Germans: In case you weren’t aware, your culture has a bit of an image problem that goes back a few years.   Portraying German humans  as cold and creepy robots is not helpful.  You’re welcome.

On a happy note I just watched a documentary about Justin Bieber and now, three years too late I have Beiber Fever.

On my way to Palma Mallorca to reunite with Jamie after 40 days apart.

Some of my snapshots from my day in NYC:

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