An Escape from Orange County

I'm very sorry it's been so long since I've written!

We decided to take a much needed vacation after the crazy holiday season. We packed up our bags, stopped the mail and the paper, found a loving home for our sweet pup to stay in during our absence, and headed out to the airport at 5:00am, ready for our trip. Apparently we needed a reminder that we are most definitely NOT in charge here, because our flight was cancelled, and not just temporarily, mind you, but for a week! And so we headed back to our quiet, dog-less, mail-less home.

After a week of this strange "stay-cation" of sorts, we finally boarded another plane. We barely made it out of Orange County, into the air, across the country, and into New Jersey, just before another blizzard struck and all flights behind us were cancelled again! Upon our return, I realize that it is much more likely that this forced relaxation at home was probably exactly what we needed to fully enjoy our amazing but whirlwind journey.

We spent most of our vacation with Prasad's delightful nephew, Avi, his beautiful wife, Tasneem, and our sweet niece, Amita. They have a lovely home in New Jersey and were the perfect hosts. They live only an hour from New York City, so we were able to go in frequently and knock several items off of my bucket list! 

One of those items was to see Rockefeller Center all dressed up for the Christmas holiday season. I was sure I'd missed it, thanks to the debacle with our flights, but it was still adorned with everything Christmas when we arrived! So there's one item checked off the bucket list. Only a few more to go...

During our stay,  we visited another nephew, Abhinav, in Philadelphia for a few days. We stayed in Old Town and loved this quaint, picturesque town! It reminded me of a European city, with cobblestone streets and sidewalk cafes. The snow was falling lightly enough that we were able to walk all about the town, even happening upon a movie being filmed with Bradley Cooper! (sigh), until we found the best restaurant in town, Le Parc.

Parc, as you may infer, is a French restaurant situated on the edge of a beautiful park. Tables had been set up just outside the restaurant, but it had started to snow and so the tables were piled high with fresh snow. What a beautiful sight that was. We opted to sit, snow-free, inside by the window and enjoy our meal. The meal was magnificent, but the true highlight was being able to gaze outside and watch children dressed colorfully in their snowsuits, playing on the white snow, people bundled up, walking their dogs, and just enjoying nature. It was a work of art.

I adored Philadelphia, Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and all. I was captivated by Elfreth's Alley, the oldest street in the country! It was a tiny little street with tiny little houses. We were able to go inside a couple of them and I could not believe how small these houses were! It shocked me more to learn that people are living in these houses still! 

Ah, if it weren't for my brood back here on the West Coast, I could easily see myself living in Philadelphia. It is charming and close-knit, and you have all of the conveniences you could desire, yet the access to New York City is easy and quick. It is like having the best of the big city without living just within it. 

I truly can't wait to head back to that side of the country again. It was stunning, breathtaking, and a lot of fun.

However, for the moment, I am very happy to be home.


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