While Roan was at a photo shoot for the new Appaman catalogue (which by the way I have a copy of and it is superfine, with my cute little blondie mugging it up in a very hipper-than-thou way). Lynn, who is one-half of Appaman mentioned that her family would be leaving town during December, and that if my brother, Mr. Fatty himself, wanted to visit he and his crew could crash at their place. Let me just explain something to anyone who has never lived in New York. This offer is the Holy Grail of offers in friendship. Traveling to NYC is crazy no doubt, but when you add in lodging, it becomes even supercrazier. Lodging for eight? Cuckoo. I texted my brother with the idea, and he jumped on it.
I admit that I hadn’t quite thought it through. There were eight of them, three of us, and four of my sister, Lori’s family. When we would go places together there would be fifteen of us. Anyone who has been to NYC, particularly during the tourist-laden Holiday season would tell you that’s just crazy talk. Undaunted, Elden bought about one-million-dollars’ worth of tickets for various Broadway shows. He informed me they would be in “full tourist mode”, and also asked if he could skip packing for his twin daughters and just have me shop with them for a Winter Wardrobe? I of course, instinctively knew the basics of the wardrobes would come from H & M, with the high-impact items coming from Appaman (Hey, I’m not only their friend. I’m a fan!). Duh. And I started worrying more about getting around. What are the chances I can successfully board and exit various subway cars with a crew of fifteen? I literally had nightmares of my nieces and nephews barreling down the F Train tracks, fingers pressed to the glass. I also worried about food. How do you feed fifteen people? How do you get them out of the door in a reasonable amount of time? How do you agree upon what to do where to go and when to see things?
It was easier than I thought it would be. The Utah clan was a natural at getting through the turnstiles and onto various subway cars. They weaved in and out of crowds and stuck together – we never lost anyone – which if you knew how amazingly packed the city was, is totally merit-worthy. They were happy to eat the delicious street vendor hot dogs, pretzels and knishes. They smiled at pizza and bagels. Elden listed all the things we did here, so I won’t repeat it. I actually don’t recall a few of those activities so it could be that I blacked out parts of the trip. But only parts. That’s also merit-worthy.
The thing I walked away with though was the distinct feeling that my brother is happy. The last few times I’ve seen him, the circumstances were so dire. This trip was such a treat to see him smiling, joking, laughing, and excited to see new things. I took Elden and his girlfriend, aptly called “The Runner” on my usual run. It was the first time I’ve been running with him, and it was awesome. At one point, Elden uttered the phrase “Alpha Female please slow down”. Though it was directed at The Runner, it gave me a great big smile because I was next to her, and with my feet being fueled by sibling rivalry, hope for the New Year, and general competitiveness, I’m pretty sure this was my best performance on the six mile loop.