I lie here in bed next to my snoring husband as I hammer out this post on my iPhone. It’s a quarter to 9 in the morning and I’ve already pottered around the house doing some chores – mostly laundry and lunch prep. We got home close to 11pm last night after flying out of New York State through Syracuse airport. We had originally gotten tickets in and out of JFK but the trauma of driving through New York City traffic after we arrived summoned our courage to spend another $2k to change our exit arrangements. So unlike the previous trips, we never ventured back into the city again.
Our first stop was Nanuet where T’s grandmother still lived in the house his mother grew up in. It’s been there since the 40s and T’s Grandfather Swanson built it. We however checked ourselves into the Candlewood Suites, just 5 minutes away from that house, and stayed 2 nights. Good price, very nice amenities, updated interior, clean and spacious. So I don’t know what the fuss and low ratings for this place is for. And considering that we’ve stayed in at least 4 other hotels this year, I can say that we have a good idea of what decent accommodation entails.
Christmas Eve was a cosy and quiet affair – just Grammy, T’s mom and the both of us. We had some spaghetti and meatballs, opened some presents, ate cookies and cake, then watched tv.
On Christmas Day, we had brunch at his Aunt Kathy’s house (I also met his cousin Ray and his wife Sveva, who are doctors who live in Maine, for the first time) then we drove over 4 hours across upstate New York to Cato, near Syracuse, where T’s mom recently bought a house. One woman, 9 acres of land and a 3 bedroom house. Gulp! We spent another 2 nights there with her – a quiet Christmas dinner after a long day of driving, then the next day she showed us around her new hometown. We also went to her favourite junk shop – Ruby’s Antiques and Gifts. You see, as a retired nurse, she has a lot of time on her hands and she’s always itching to create and fix things up. Most of the furniture in her house were bought and refinished by herself. And other than gardening, she loves thrifting.
Our last visit with T’s east coast family is another 3+hours drive away in the Adirondack region. His mother’s brother Uncle Joe owns 100 acres of land there and has recently added a huge mansion they custom built. They had an existing cabin which they use as a weekend retreat and hunting lodge for years. We had such a nice time with even more family – his cousin Patty’s family (husband and 3 kids) were there from Massachusetts too.
And because the main house isn’t all completed yet, there wasn’t enough space to house all of us, we got to spend 2 nights in the cabin!! I thought it was a bit exciting and a bit scary all at once but I’m so glad we had the opportunity. I’m actually alright sleeping anywhere as long as I can take a hot shower and wash my hair in the morning after I get up. But a hunting cabin in the woods is pretty darn cool!
And that was our Christmas in New York. My favourite part about Christmas is family, then maybe followed closely by the feasting hahaha…