My time in Cleveland was great, however. I took shockingly few pictures (really, none other than a couple from the plane coming and going, for shame!), but the weekend was quite nice. I left New York Saturday morning after a measly three hours of sleep the night before. Hello, crazy exhaustion. I planned to sleep on the flight, but the crazy flight is only about an hour long, so by the time you're in the air, it's about time to come right back down again.
And get this - there were five people on my flight to Cleveland. FIVE. Including yours truly. I kid you not, the flight attendant actually came around and personally told each of us where our nearest exit was. It was crazy. I have never been on that empty of a flight. I have no idea why they didn't cancel the thing.
Of course, then we got in the air and the pilot came over the speaker and said "Current temperature in Cleveland is four degrees," and then it all made sense. Clearly everyone already got that memo (except for us five poor souls) and were all "oh heck no, forget that" and skipped out.
And then, we landed 40 minutes early!!! What kind of bizzaro world was this?
View of Cleveland from the plane - downtown, Cleveland Browns Stadium, and a rather chilly Lake Erie.
My Gramps picked me up at the airport and took me back to his house to warm up with some of his amazing homemade chicken noodle soup (Gramps makes the best soup!). We spent the rest of the day watching TV and chatting, with a break for more of his gourmet cooking: barbecue chicken, sweet potatoes, creamed corn and salad. Yum! It was so nice to spend that day just talking with Gramps. I usually see him with the rest of the family, so it was great to have some one-on-one time. We talked about what's going on in my life, and what's going on in his life, and he did quite a bit of reminiscing, which is always wonderful to hear. I love to hear his stories. He really has had a very interesting life, from his days as a boy in a one-room schoolhouse, to his time in seminary, to his courtship of my Nana, to the call in the 1950s that brought him to settle into his current home in Parma Heights, Ohio, where he served for years as Pastor of Divinity Lutheran Church. He's a good man, that Gramps!
Speaking of the church, Sunday morning we hit the 9:00 service. At that service they gave the second-graders their Bibles, which is a ceremony I still very vividly remember going through myself 21 years ago. I still use that Bible, too.
After church it was back home for Meet the Press and leftovers for lunch, then ESPN and reading until playoff football started. Then at 5:00 my good friend Megan picked me up for a visit, which was great. We went to the mall (and stopped at the Godiva store for an absolutely to-die-for chocolate raspberry drink thing), TJ Maxx and Target for some shopping, then stopped by her parents' house so I could say hello to them. From there we went to her place for a while to relax and catch up, then she brought me back to Gramps's house in time to catch the end of the Jets/Steelers game (boo, hiss to the Steelers!).
And that was pretty much my weekend! The next morning Gramps took me to the airport, where I got on yet another rather empty flight (although this one did have a whopping 20 people, three of whom were airline personnel catching a ride). We had to wait in line for de-icing before taking off, but then we got on our way and landed early yet again. I took the subway home and was reunited with my poor, cold little dog, and life got back to normal!
De-icing planes at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport
Our turn for de-icing!
As much fun as I had, it was good to be back! It was rather cold in NYC this weekend, but it was even worse in Cleveland. We're talking wind chills in the negative degree range, which is just not okay with me. It was the kind of cold that chills you right through your coat as soon as you step outside. Uggghhhh.
Which brings me to a whine. I'm angry at winter.
I mean, there's just no other way to say it. I'm ticked off. Why is this winter thing still happening? Haven't we done this for long enough yet? I have been cold for, like, months straight. When I was walking home from the subway station on Monday, it was involuntary-cursing-out-loud cold. And that's the worst part of it, you see. Because in New York, it's not like you can just go from your heated house to your heated car to your heated destination. This here is a walking city. That means you need to be out amongst the awfulness. There's no escaping it. You just have to walk around and feel it.
And, it snows all the stupid time. Last week I heard via Twitter that NYC usually gets an average of 20 inches of snow each winter, but as of last week, we were already at 32 inches. And we got more after that, and even more today. In fact, it has snowed on me for my morning commute for the last two days, and it sort of icy snowed on me on my way home today. NY1Weather tells me that we already got four more inches of snow today, with another five to seven expected tonight. COME. ON. That is just enough. It's not even pretty anymore! It's just making me angry.
This was my view on my walk to work today. Don't be fooled by the charming Upper West Side Street. This is not pretty. This is TORTURE.
This has been a rather hard winter, and I'm tired of being cold and wet and irritated.
Remember the days when we wore shorts? Remember the days when we would sweat? Remember when we could watch outdoor movies (although Bryant Park is doing an outdoor winter film festival) and picnic in parks and wear summer dresses and sandals? Remember when we needed sunblock? Remember grass? Remember flowers? Remember when we didn't have to wear tights under socks under leggings under jeans just to stay warm? Remember when tropical cocktails didn't seem out of place? Oh, how I long for days gone by...
I remember last year at this time, when I was gearing up for a two-week, nine-island Caribbean cruise with my sister in February. How has my life gone so horribly wrong that I am not doing the same thing right this very moment?
And it's only January. Still. IT'S STILL JANUARY.
I'm not sure I'll make it till spring.