i woke to the shout of, “Get up Jul, Dad is taking us to New York with him!”
i didn’t get up. not then at least.
i sat in bed for a few minutes and tried to understand what had been shouted into my room by my sister. but it only sifted around in my brain and mixed itself into the muddled pool of thoughts generated by a negligible amount of sleep and (for a teenager) arising before double digits.
but finally I got up and trudged the two floors up into my parents’ room, grinding my tired eyes with my fists and feeling half asleep.
Mary was beyond excited and brimming over with bubbling girly enthusiasm; the sight of her dead-looking, bedraggled older sister, as joyless as an unexpectedly startled cat, was sinful in her eyes when the prospect of traveling by train to the country’s biggest city was on the brink of becoming reality.
even my Dad had that look of concealed excitement; or perhaps astonishment at the fact that he was taking two teenage girls along on a business trip.
i plopped myself onto my parents’ bed and rubbed my eyes.
details from all sides proceeded to fly over my head like torrents of rain; I was soaked within seconds until someone asked,
“wait … do you not want to go, Jul?”
i mumbled something completely unrelated and my entire family laughed at me while I struggled to pull myself together. it finally happened.
“The train leaves at 1:00 … you have an hour to get ready.”
Wet cat became energized rabbit in a matter of moments – travel, here I come!
~ ~ ~
fast forward to a relatively put-together looking girl speed-walking along the Acela Express train ramp, pleased that her highlighter is poppin’ even though she had 2 minutes to quickly makeup herself.
Dad steers my sister and i onto the train and we seat ourselves at the nearest table. Mary begins our 2-and-a-half hour ride by taking way too many ridiculous selfies. any time is selfie time for a hyper tween.
despite the fact that my earbuds decided to fail me in my time of need, the ride was smooth and many temple run weekly goals were smashed.
and then we stepped outside the station and there it was: city.
windy, towering, bustling, loud, aggressive, beautiful city ~ surrounding you like someone stepping right up into your face.
we climbed into a taxi and inched through the streets and up to our hotel: a mysteriously black-walked establishment with an air of vintage and an eccentric choice of fonts.
the bathroom door was partially see-through (oh my!) and those were the highest ceilings I’ve ever seen in a hotel. the beds were soft enough to suit, however, and we dumped our belongings wherever the most conveniently located surface was.
and then we were off again, out into the cesspool of cars, neon signs, people, buildings, and citiness in general. quite enchanting for those who have lived in suburbs all their lives.
the Thursday afterwards, reminiscing whilst babysitting