Christmas And New Years With Bridget In The Northeast

After the amazing ride from James while hitchhiking from the west coast, Bridget and I were now in the northeast for the holidays. The days leading up to Christmas were relaxing, bouncing between my mom’s place in Connecticut and my dad’s in New York. My brother also flew into town.

We had a Christmas party, a long running tradition on my mom’s side, full of good times, friends and quality beers, Dogfish Head 120 just to name one.

On Christmas Eve my mom took me to a legitimate barber for a haircut that involved a little massage and a shave with a straight edge, worth noting mainly because it was only the second time in five years that I had been clean shaven, the other for a friend’s wedding in California some years back.

Christmas went as it usually did, morning in Connecticut, afternoon to my dad’s, a Lakers game and a big meal. Tasty beers and running around the next day, then back to Connecticut for a day before hopping the train to New York City.

Once in the city the three of us (myself, my brother and Bridget) met up with my dad and step mom at Keens Steakhouse where my dad had brought his grandfather’s original members mug, which surprised and entertained the bartender. Whiskeys, beers, oysters and good times. We got dinner elsewhere, then headed to one of my favorite beer bars in the city, Gingerman.

We went through the menu, carefully choosing winner after winner. Mark arrived later in the night as the family was taking off. Mark, Bridget and I enjoyed another glass or two, then Bridget and I hopped the subway to Astoria where we were staying in Mark’s apartment. Technically it was his apartment, with Carl, but he’d been spending almost all his time at his girlfriend’s place in Manhattan. Carl was there when we arrived, a shot, some catching up, and soon to sleep.

We met up with my mom at Grand Central and spent the day running around with her before heading back to Connecticut. My brother and I had been sat down just a few days earlier as my mom and step dad told us they were getting a divorce, not something that was a big surprise, but this was the main thing on their minds of course as they were sorting through the details.

We skipped between Connecticut and New York in the days leading up to New Years Eve where we toasted at midnight with Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA.

Days later we headed back into the city to see Mark and Sean, watching their rehearsal, joining Sean and Kelly for dinner and drinking bourbon while playing cards with Mark later. We then spent a day going around the city, taking Bridget down to the Staten Island ferry so she could get a decent glimpse of the statue of liberty. We checked out some other spots, making our way up past the dwindled down Occupy movement and up to Union Square meeting with Mark for some beers, watching Bridget do more handstands between bar stools.

After a night catching up with Carl as well, we headed back into Manhattan, this time wandering FAO Shwartz and seeing some more of Central Park before finally driving back to Connecticut.

We’d have a couple more days of bouncing between my parents places, but the call for the road had us. We’d managed to link together Mega Bus tickets, which would essentially be free and ultimately get us to Florida after some stopovers. Holidays, family and my oldest friends were great times, now it was back to the go.

December 20, 2011 to January 8, 2012