The Distraction Trip

by thoughtsatlarge

imageThe snow is finally falling in Vermont. We seem to have brought it with us. We have been here for two days now and have had a wonderful time with my cousin, Martha, and her partner, Eric. We ate our way through Waterbury and spend a great night at my cousin Mark’s bistro where we had the most amazing seafood etouffee. We were not able to hit all of the top places we wanted to see, nor were we able, because of the lack of snow,  to ski. However, the inn we stayed at was charming and had a fireplace which we kept roaring whenever we were around. Tonight we will have dinner again with my cousin and see a mountain lodge at the base of the ski lift.

Prior to Stowe, VT, we spent four days in NYC and had the best time. We saw three Broadway shows and three movies while we were there and spent a terrific Christmas with Lisa’s cousin Sue and her family. The plays we saw were, in order: China Doll, starring Al Pacino; Therese Raquin, starring Kiera Knightley; and Hamilton, starring its writer and creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda. Each play was better then the last and all were wonderful in their own right. We also saw the 70mm roadshow version of Quentin Tarantino’s new film, The Hateful Eight, the limited release new Michael Fassbender/Marion Cotillard version of MacBeth, and the new Tina Fey/Amy Poehler movie, Sisters. The Hateful Eight was terrific and MacBeth was flat out incredible. Sisters was entertaining and that’s usually all I ask for in a movie.

We walked around New York and took cabs when necessary as the rain fell and we witnessed New York’s warmest Christmas ever. We saw the tree at Rockefeller Plaza, ducked into St. Patrick’s Cathedral for a few minutes and spent a wonderful afternoon with Sue, her two girls Bella and Jackie, and her husband Phil, who knows more about the art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art than any docent working there! We also spend several hours at the Museum of Modern Art where Sam took us to the pieces she wanted us to see after having done a considerable amount of homework at the hotel to make the most of the limited time we had at MoMA. Speaking of the hotel, we stayed at the Library Hotel located one block from the New York Public Library and Bryant Park. The New York Public Library had the most beautiful Christmas tree displayed in the lobby’s. Lisa and I had stayed at the same hotel about ten years ago when we first took the kids around NYC. Each floor of the hotel and each room on each floor is based on a specific section of the Dewey decimal system. When we were taken up to our room this time, Sam noticed right away that it was the exact same room we had stayed in the last time, the Law room. And the same as last time, at the end of each night, before we turned in to sleep, we would head to the second floor to have a cookies and a drink. What a wonderful hotel.

This trip was an attempt to distract us from the holiday season at home with all the trappings we usually associat with Lisa. I knew we could not avoid all of the feelings from which we were suffering because there is a giant hole in our hearts where Lisa once lived. Overall, the trip has been somewhat successful as we have had some fun and know that Lisa would want us to laugh. Still, the loss is still fresh and we miss her incredibly. So many times during the day something will happen that we will want to share with her or we think how much she would have enjoyed something. I don’t know when (or if) that feeling will ever subside. We are doing the best we can right now and know we still have a long way to go before the hurt turns to happy memories.

And now we have just tonight left here in Stowe before we head off to Rhode Island to spend a few days with family and friends. We will drive to Rhode Island tomorrow morning leaving behind some great family and great memories. One of the main reasons for our trip to Rhode Island is so I can drive around to look at condos. It is our intention to move back to Rhode Island after the kids graduate from the University of Texas at Austin. Rhode Island is home to us and while I don’t know where the kids will end up for grad school or what their future holds career-wise, it will be good to go home. If home is where the heart is, then we need to get back to Rhode Island. I don’t know where in Rhode Island we will end up, I just know that it’s home.