Bright Lights, Big City

Yesterday I made it home after a trip to New York City.  I attended a writers’ conference at the Marriott Marquis on Times Square.  The location couldn’t have been better.  We were in the Broadway district and were surrounded by electronic billboards and people.  Lots of people.  Fast moving people.  I loved that.  It seems that I am always in a hurry and race-walking to my destination.  Part of me finally felt at home among the throngs of people who had somewhere they needed to go…NOW!  Evidentally, I looked like I belonged there because while walking in Central Park, 2 people stopped me to ask directions.  Or maybe they asked me because I looked friendly.  Or both.  Who knows?  It’s always good to know that you don’t look like a serial killer, even on a bad hair day.

Traveling with strangers is kinda like a box of chocolates.  You just don’t ever know what you are gonna get.  On this trip, I hit the jackpot and spent my time with 3 great women.  We all have kids in middle school, and like a group of people who have survived a terrible event together, we bonded immediately.  They are attractive, smart, funny, and nice people that I am glad I had the pleasure to meet.  The best thing about them is that they are writers who also like football.  And by football, I mean real football– SEC football.

The  weather was like a spring day in Louisiana, I think.  I can’t remember the last time we had spring.  The high was about 82, with no humidity.  I walked for 2 hours one afternoon from 3-5 and barely broke a sweat.  Can’t walk to the mailbox here at home without looking and feeling like we have spent 10 minutes in a sauna.  Yesterday’s high here was 103 with a heat index of 115.  Some people call it Africa hot, I call it damned miserable.

The conference was well-run and I will benefit from attending.  Yet, with all the positive things about my trip, I was still glad to get home.  I love AEX!  There are 2 gates and 1 baggage claim.  Divine simplicity.  I got off the plane and it wasn’t a 30 minute hike clogged by slow-moving people trying corral their 2 kids while eating lunch and manuevering everything but a port-a-potty.   Left the terminal and immediately entered the parking lot.  I was on the 2nd row (of about 10) to the left.  I recognized 2 vehicles in my row:  1 St. Mary’s parent and 1 NSU faculty member.  Not sure where my sister was parked, but I know her vehicle was also there.  Travelling is a great experience, and so is coming home.  The mundane and familiar make up the bulk of our days, and I am okay with that.

Thanks to Susan for inviting me to share her room and her friends.  Thanks to my family for making it possible for me to go.  Thanks to Mark for making home such a great place to return.


About oldhwysixwest

I'm currently pursuing a PhD in accounting at LSU. I also write fiction when I can (usually 4 am).
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2 Responses to Bright Lights, Big City

  1. Susan Sands says:

    Traveling together after all these years was such a fun experience–especially to a place like the RWA conference and NYC. A couple of little girls from the woods off Hwy. 6 West; who would have thought we’d have found ourselves hustling around the big city, attending Broadway shows, and rubbing elbows with famous authors?

    I’m thrilled you were able to make the trip, and look forward to more adventures on the horizon. While I didn’t recognize any cars as we navigated the Atlanta airport, I did breathe a huge sigh of relief at re-entering my familiar bubble as I passed my grocery, kids school, and ice cream shop. Home is indeed a great place to return.

  2. I get stopped for directions all the time. I think it is because we actually make eye contact with people. I was amazed that out of all the folks on the busy sidewalk, people would stop ME for directions.

    Glad you had a good trip. Can’t wait for you and the family to come up.

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