I am just back from a trip to New York to see my mother; I got far too little sleep, and therefore came home a day earlier than I'd been thinking of, but am glad I got to see people.cattitude
and I took a train to New York Tuesday morning. My mother lives in London, and is currently in the US to see us, her sisters, and my brother. I'd hoped Mom would come up here for a few days, but she asked if we could come visit her instead, because she is finding travel more wearing than she used to. (My aunts live in New York; Cattitude, Adrian, and I are here in Arlington; and my brother and his girlfriend just moved to New Orleans.) My aunt Lea didn't want to put four people up for three days, so Mom got a hotel room reasonably close to my aunt's house.
We spent Tuesday afternoon and evening with my aunt and her husband: tea, conversation, and dinner (we had Chinese food delivered, because we wanted to make things as easy as possible for Lea and Dave). My cousin Janet came over near the end of our visit, after saying she didn't think she'd be able to make it because she had a class. (Conveniently, the one dish the rest of us hadn't especially liked was very much to her taste, so everyone was well fed.)
I was pretty worn out by the time we left Lea's (and was thinking that I should have insisted on leaving slightly sooner), but we talked a bit more before bed.
And then everyone else went to sleep, and I just lay there: every time I got close to drifting off, I was interrupted by a siren. (I think most of them were ambulances headed to Bellevue.) By the time that ebbed, the cold front was coming through, and the wind was far too loud for me to sleep. (This isn't usually a problem, but I'm not usually on the 29th floor.)
As far as I can tell, I didn't sleep at all Tuesday night. I got through Wednesday, mostly, on stimulants, protein, and sheer willpower. Since the hotel is near the Second Avenue Deli [which is no longer on Second Avenue], I had matzoh ball soup for lunch; everyone else had sandwiches to go with theirs. From there, we went to the American Museum of Natural History, because I hadn't been there in ages, and it was too cold a day for me to want to walk around the Bronx Zoo.
That was fun: we went to the special exhibit on Cuba (which I think I liked more than Mom, Andy, or Adrian—I spent quite a while looking at various kinds of anoles] and to the Hall of Rocks and Minerals (an old favorite of mine and Catittude's, to the point that when I needed to sit down, I pointed across the hall and told him "I'm going to go sit by the big amethyst" and he knew exactly what I meant. Before that, I helped someone who was using a walker and, when we asked if he needed help, said that he'd been told there were gems and couldn't find them. So I said "I'll show you," led him up the relevant ramp (the hall is broken into lots of different levels, connected by stairs and ramps, not all of them obvious) to the Star of India, a well-known and very fine large star sapphire.
Dinner that night was at a sushi place that had odd ideas of what "chirashi" and "don" meant: in both cases, instead of raw fish on a bowl of rice, they served a platter of fish and rice, and put spicy mayonnaise on the rice. I tasted it, realized the problem, and asked for some plain sushi rice instead, which they brought, but while the fish was reasonably good, I doubt I'd go back there even if I lived in the neighborhood. I think I got between five and six hours of sleep that night: I tried going to bed early, but found it difficult not to listen to the conversation in the next room. (Again, this was nobody's fault, and when I asked them to lower the volume, they did, and came to bed soon after.)
Adrian took a bus home Thursday morning (so she could be back in time to teach), and Cattitude and I had lunch with my mother and then caught an afternoon train. Home in time for dinner and to reassure the cats that we still love them. 42itous
very kindly came in to feed them and keep them company, but they seemed a bit agitated when we got home. However, Molly spent most of the night curled between my feet, and both cats were much calmer by morning. I was glad to be back in my own bed, and got about nine and a half hours' sleep, which has helped a lot.
(I realized yesterday that I had cheerfully done one of my balance exercises—standing on a moving subway without holding onto anything—on no sleep the day before, on our way to the museum. Successfully, and on the way back I realized I was more tired and sat down. However, the fact that this worked doesn't mean it was a good idea, and I had known
my judgment was not at its best for lack of sleep.)ETA
: Looking at the news this morning, I saw that Amtrak had a "minor derailment" [sic] at Penn Station this morning, which was still affecting train travel to and through the city a few hours later, which made me suddenly and perhaps irrationally more pleased that I came home yesterday.