There was one final stop to make before getting back to New York where our journey started almost 8 months ago. That place was Washington DC/Maryland and Virginia. We have a bundle of friends there most of whom date back to Brigitte’s college days. We planned on 3 nights in the area and knew we’d be perpetually surrounded with friends and good times. There was much to catch up on, new baby additions to their families, new houses, the latest news, and seeing their toddlers for the first time in over 8 months. It’s amazing how quickly kids grow and begin to develop their own personalities. On our last night we did a group dinner and reunited with friends we last saw almost a year ago at our wedding. Time seemed to have quickly slipped away..
The drive up New York from Maryland was uneventful. If anything, it was grey and cold. Winter had finally caught with us, no more escaping it. Trees on the side of the road (completely devoid of leaves), brought on a feeling of melancholy; we realized how dearly we missed the sun, not to mention summer-like temperatures. The only good thing was that traffic was actually moving. And as we hit the New Jersey Turnpike we quickly took notice of the lane expansions (finally right!). On approach to the Holland Tunnel a thick cloud-like fog obscured our view beyond Jersey City. Manhattan’s skyline remained somewhat a mystery. But to the right I could see Lady Liberty, an undisputed beacon of freedom, an emblematic New York City landmark, or simply put, home. As we emerged from the tunnel, concrete blocks filled our view and led us east towards Brooklyn. As we made our way cross-town on Houston St. downtown seemed normal, New Yorkers still marching to the city’s crazy beat and cabs everywhere. Finally the noise level accentuated by sirens began competing with the volume on our radio dial. We were back alright, this was it, New York City. But something inside of us didn’t click.. it all felt surreal. Had our journey really come full circle? Was this really it? Did 8 months just fly by (by the proverbial blink of an eye)?
As we laid our heads to sleep that night we found ourselves questioning whether our journey even happened. Finding comfort in sleep just didn’t seem practical and it later proved unlikely. We’ll just have to readjust (I kept telling myself), as with anything else..