A mini vacation

This past weekend I went to Boston to visit one of my good friends from Mizzou. I had an absolute blast and am so glad I went.

Friday we went to Fenway Park (the Sox were away) and took a tour, got lunch at a famous baseball bar, walked around Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, ate pizza and canolis in the North End, and hung out with some of his high school friends. Saturday we slept in, took his dogs to the park, watched the USA in the world cup, walked around and got dinner on Newbury Street and went to visit friends at Tufts (also met girls from Chicago and Kansas City. Weird!). Sunday we went to Harvard Square for lunch, window shopping, seeing the campus and Frisbee in the park.

It was a great weekend and a needed break from NYC, and in thinking about it more, I take away a few things.

The reasons it was so wonderful:

1. I was with a really good friend with knows my history. As much as I enjoy the people I’m hanging out with and fully expect to consider some of them best friends after this summer, I wasn’t good friends with any of them coming in, and it was nice to spend time with someone I’ve known since day one of freshman year. There’s a different level of comfort there.

2. It was nice to be with a family. That’s pretty simple.

3. I had creature comforts: Big bed, big bathroom. Clean sheets and towels. Fully stocked fridge. TV and couches. Miss that stuff.

4. Someone else made the plans and navigated. As much as I’m a planner and have a solid handle on my NYC directions, it was a big relief to let someone else take care of all those details and just be along for the ride.

5. I hung out with guys. I didn’t realize until being there, and spending my time with mostly college boys, that I’ve been with all girls, ALL girls, since coming to New York. Even at work it’s pretty much all women. And even though most of my best friends have always been female, I do miss guy friends. It’s just a different dynamic.

Some things this teaches me about my life in New York:

1. I need to let myself take a break. I’ve been so go-go-go in my weeks here that I forget to slow down and refresh once in a while. This weekend was great for that, and it wasn’t until my bus to Boston that I realized just how tired I was. So I’m determined to slow down a bit so I don’t get burned out. I need to just accept that I might not see everything in ten weeks.

2. I’m not a tourist anymore. I wanted to get the sightseeing done first, and I pretty much have. And the things I haven’t seen, I’ve kind of lost interest in. I’ve been to nearly all the landmarks, all the neighborhoods and all the parks. I’ll still enjoy the walking and exploring, but I now want to spend my weekends going to beaches and islands and other areas, living more like a local.

3. I miss open space and green. Central Park is great for this, which is why I run there multiple times a week, but I am a girl who loves being outside. I love sunshine and beaches and parks and sky, so my only major complaint about NYC right now is the lack of openness. There are little patches of grass, but they’re just that. Sometimes I feel so squished in the city. So …

4. I need to get out of the city sometimes. New York is great, don’t get me wrong. But it’s also crowded and concrete. I need a break from streets and smog every once in a while. When there’s a breeze, it’s city breeze: hot and stuffy. And when your apartment is cramped, too, it’s hard to relax there. I need to go to beaches more because lying on the beach was the only time I’ve really felt able to spread out.

5. I don’t sleep well here. At all. My apartment often feels stuff, there are three others in the room, it’s never completely dark and there’s sporadic noise all through the night. So yeah, not sleeping so well.

6. I need to work at a magazine with a co-ed staff. As I mentioned above, I hadn’t realized that I’ve been in an estrogen-packed environment for three and a half weeks. I love the way people interact when both genders are around, so I’m going to need that at my future employer.


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