Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Swedes Take Manhattan

Dudes! We just got back from New York City! (Am I the only one who, twenty years later, still can’t write or say that phrase without thinking of this?) Sarianne, Magnus, The Swede, and I packed the kids off to their grandparents’ and flew from Stockholm to the Big Apple last Tuesday and just arrived home yesterday.

The purpose of the trip was to celebrate Sarianne’s graduation from college, which happened, what can it be? Two? Three years ago? So needless to say we had been planning and getting excited for this trip for a long, long time. We had some must-dos and must-sees (in addition to a carefully curated shopping list by yours truly) but mostly decided to take the days as they came and not run ourselves ragged trying to do all the stuff we all wanted to. Instead, we ran ourselves ragged walking.

With no agenda, we walked for hours and hours every day. We paused, had some cocktails, some nachos, some beers, some wings, then walked some more. We did some shopping, took lots of pictures, ate more, drank more, walked more. The weather was amazing. I mean, it couldn’t have been better. I never put my jacket on and I never broke a sweat.

The Swede and I had both been to New York before a couple of years ago and I’d been a couple of times before that and seen some Broadway shows and a lot of the sights, and Magnus and Sarianne were so chill about everything that we didn’t do much sightseeing this time. We stayed at a hotel in Midtown on Madison Avenue (can you just imagine how much I thought of Don and Joan and Peggy?!?) and spent a lot of time in that area, but cut across the island to walk the High Line through Chelsea, spent a glorious morning in Central Park, did some walking around the Garment District, West Village and Flatiron District and, of course, Times Square.  
Some of my favorite moments, aside from the leisurely time spent in restaurants and bars, were the swanky Asian dinner we had at Tao, meeting my cousin Kerry and his girlfriend in the West Village for dinner at The Meatball Shop, and an early morning stroll, just The Swede and I, along the shops on Fifth Avenue while we sipped iced coffee and ate cronuts. Oh, and an especially fun last night in town with Sarianne and Magnus where we shared each of our bucket lists.

The Swedish Church, right around the corner from our hotel. I was elated, nobody else cared. 

I guess I’ve forgotten, after every time I’ve been there, how intense New York is. There are so many people and your senses are being constantly assaulted in so many different ways. For that reason, my very favorite parts of the city were the High Line and Central Park where there was peace and plenty of greenery. It made me really appreciate the simple life that we have in Sweden. How blessed we are to be able to make a trip like that and come home to a place like this.

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