Remarkably, I'd never been here before. When I was a kid, it was because my father refused to drive into the city and was almost pathologically opposed to public transportation. When I first moved out on my own, I didn't come here because I was always broke.
And then? Well, life got away from me. Often, too, you take for granted the things in your hometown that impress outsiders.
Well, last night I met John and Mindy and her husband Alan for my final holiday celebration of the year. It was my first time here (John's idea) and we were among the last diners to enjoy the holiday menu and see the tree before it came down today.
It was a nice but strange evening. I'm in touch with Mindy regularly and John all the time, but they seldom interact directly. They had a lot to catch up on, and some of it was pretty basic. (Like John didn't know one of Mindy's sons had gotten married and the other engaged.) Also, John was kind of moody. I know his foot was bothering him because he had his cane. I think he felt bad because we three all have vacations planned and he doesn't. John seems happy enough with his day-to-day life, but it's very neighborhood-centric. He goes from home to his local bar (where he is very popular and has lots of friends) and that's it. No travel, no movies or theater, no pets or hobbies or events to discuss. And that's fine, that's his choice. If he doesn't like it, he can change it. (Listen to me. That's harsh, isn't it? There are things in my life I could "just change" but I don't. Why should I expect more from him?)
Oh well. I had fun, even if he didn't. My chicken pot pie, spiked hot cider and Frango Mint cheesecake were frigging AWESOME! And I was happy to see Mindy's new engagement ring (after nearly 40 years of marriage). Her son gave her original ring to his bride, and she so she got a skating rink! She loves it and Alan is so proud.