We don’t spend enough time on planes.  So we scheduled a trip within a trip, a quick pop up to the east coast, smack dab in the middle of our first Austin home leave.  Our purpose was to see family; well, to show Miles to family and friends.  After the whirlwind of our first week and a half in Austin, it also served as some much needed downtime.  Huh, rest during vacation.  Interesting concept.

We arrived in DC to near freezing temperatures and a steady mist falling from the sky.  To these tropical island expats, this was heaven.  We donned pants, sweaters, scarves, gloves, hats and zipped Miles up in a green marshmallow coat.    It was perfect weather for hanging out in GG’s apartment, emptying the cupboards, and for a little museum time at the National Mall.  Not such perfect weather for viewing the cherry blossoms at their peak, but we made sure to do some of that too.  The rest of our time was spent with GG (Tim’s Nanny to our generation), Tim’s Aunt and Uncle, Tim’s childhood best friend and his wife.  Miles slept like a dream, and we did too.

April Fool’s morning, we took the Amtrak three and a half hours to New York City, where we met up with Tim’s brother at Penn Station.  After a pizza fix, we made it out to his apartment were we shared a two bedroom with him, his girlfriend, her sister, and her sister’s fiancée.  Again, freezing temps and rain (we even saw a handful of snow flakes!) and more downtime on the day we arrived.  We had an adults’ dinner out the first night and actually got to bed at a decent time.

The next day dawned perfect – 50 and crystal clear.  We headed to the upper east side for brunch with our dear friends from China (via the midwest), and then walked through Central Park to the zoo where Miles had the most exciting hour of his life.  He was running, laughing, pointing, squealing with delight at the animals and ingenious kid-focused props around the tiny childrens’ zoo.  From there we headed to Brooklyn brewery where, thanks to a sweet connection from our native New Yorker, we jumped the block-long line and got a private tour of the brewery with free beer!  Miles wanted desperately to get into the vats of iodine used to clean the brewing mechanisms, but we held him off with offers of blueberries, which he ate by the handful this whole trip.  From there, we headed out for more pizza (Vinnie’s – heaven) and gelato (GROM – extra dark chocolate and hazelnut) before heading back up to the ‘burbs to sleep.  Long day!  We took a slow start to the next day which dawned equally gorgeous, taking Miles to the park and enjoying breakfast at a local diner.  We boarded yet another plane, and Miles slept most of our 4 hours back to Austin.

We arrived home to more pizza (Chicago style this time), and a warm, fragrant Austin twilight.  It felt good to be HOME.  Pictures coming soon.