When I told my frequent international flyer friends that I was flying American Airlines, they told me I'd picked the wrong alliance. The epitome of first world problems, I figured it couldn't be that bad and I was right. Turns out, American Airlines has upgraded their domestic flights to be quite comfortable. I think this has been my best cross-country flight ever, and that's from the girl who moved from California to the East Coast at the age of 17.
But the funny thing about the flight was the number of dogs INSIDE the cabin. I travel about 50% of my time and this is the first time I've seen 3 dogs on a plane and no kids. And even odder, none of them barked, left a little present or otherwise disturbed fellow passengers. Apparently there are now very loose rules regarding the definition of a "helper pet" so more and more people are bringing their dogs on planes. This may also be correlated with the rise in people getting dogs rather than having children. So far, I prefer the dogs to children on planes.
This trip back to my old home of 8 years was one of my better visits. I chose to avoid the hectic - catchup-with-everyone-I-possibly-can-for-5-minutes - approach to my typical NYC visits. Instead I tried to be there as if I was still living there and did some of the simple things I used to do. And coincidentally, Spring arrived when I got off the plane from London, so I had two gorgeous Spring weekends bookend a freezing cold work week.
I had bagel brunch and Rosa Mexicana brunch with my girls. And we are over our cupcake phase, so I walked past Magnolia Bakery without stopping.
I discovered an Australian cafe called "Little Collins" on 54th and Lexington that served Flat Whites. Anyone who's been to Melbourne and misses the coffee should go. The beans aren't perfect, but the barristas know how to froth the milk.
I went to a broadway musical: Violet. Which made me clap, smile, inspired me to love me despite my flaws and made me cry at the happy ending. Everything you want from a musical.
I spent a sunny afternoon on the lawn in Central Park under a cherry tree in full bloom and chased my friend's 2 year old as she pursued her obsession with other people's kites.
I had dinner with my NYC bestie at our favorite neighborhood Italian restaurant where you are crammed together like family and get judged when you order a medium bodied wine.
I ran around the Central Park reservoir, twice, and this time I wasn't running to escape emotional pain. I was running because I'm training to hike Mt. Fuji this year. (Not climb, mind you, important distinction).
I spent an evening planning my Japanese trip with friends who are willing to meet me on the other side of the planet, a rare and precious thing.
And I just finished reading "What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding" by Kristin Newman, an advance copy courtesy of Peggy - the story telling and book maker. This book was written with me as it's target audience. It references "Eat, Pray, Love" and also has a happy ending. I enjoyed her stories of adventure and self discovery. I have come to similar conclusions as she did, but took less drugs and slept with less men to get there. I appreciate that she included Jordan and Whitsundays in here destinations - favorites of mine. My favorite line: "but the networks all balked at a show set in another country. Americans, they feared, wouldn't relate to people who wanted to do something as crazy as leave America." Indeed, craziness!
Read it when it comes out if you are the type who is either still single and seeking - or if you are settled and looking for a story of adventures so you can live vicariously and justify your choice at the same time.
I feel so lucky to live in a time when people can bring their dogs on planes and women can travel alone around the world and come home and write fun books about it.
And now I'm on my way home to my best friend and perfect travel companion who I only met because I was willing to go out and have an adventure alone. Is it time for me to write my book?