Tuesday, July 13, 2010

New York City - Of vacations and friends

I've always believed that life is how we make it. And what better way to spend our journeys and write our journals or life stories with the little adventures we experience and reuniting with friends whom we have not seen for a long while.

This was what this vacation was all about.

New York City was my first stop in my US vacation. Despite the fact that this was 4th trip to the Big Apple, all the previous trips were work related. Getting a break from all the stress of having to see patients was a breather. Seriously, while some of the people reading this blog may be patients or parents of patients - I hate to admit the fact that the routine clinic and classes and office work was burning me out.

The weather in New York City was picture perfect when I arrived. It was, after all, the 4th of July weekend. All stores were on sale, there was Macy's fireworks to watch, and the weather was great! The week before, the city had a heat wave and the day after I left, another heat wave! Talk about experiencing delays, I am still grateful that I didn't arrive on the day they shut down JFK for around 5 hours due to a bomb threat. I heard from the concierge at the hotel that they had guests that were still on the airplane because JFK had a bomb threat and the airport was closed to everyone. All passengers were kept on the plane for hours while the airport was cleared and flights were delayed.

I had a grand time enjoying Central Park, Good Morning America (live) with Mary J Blige performing, watching Wicked on Broadway, having dessert at Serendipity and Cafe Lalo, the Peruvian chicken at Pio Pio, Asian fusion food at Momofuku, roaming the Chelsea and Queens area, shopping at Woodsbury Outlet, going up the Empire State Building, having dinner at the Rockefeller Center, having lunch at the Trump Tower, shopping on Fifth Avenue, enjoying the 24/7 Apple Store in the heart of Manhattan, having breakfast in bed at the Sofitel New York, watching the Twilight Saga "Eclipse" at Times Square...it was truly a memorable vacation.

What made it more memorable was the fact that friends that I had missed in the longest time had taken time out to meet up, in spite of their busy schedule, for lunch or dinner. And this was more than I could have bargained for in New York. It was a "reunion" that made me recall the days when they were my students/residents. As a matter of fact, nothing could have made me happier than seeing them successful in their own field of specialty.

When I boarded my flight for Los Angeles on July 5, I felt a sense of separation anxiety. Has the trip ended so quickly? There was still so much to do, so much to see, so much to experience. But this was only my first stop.

As the flight took off to my next destination, I resolved that I shall make plans for my next East coast vacation again.

There is a character in New York City beyond the lights and sounds and food and fun that beckons you to come back. And they are the friends you have made in your journey called life.

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