a thanksgiving visit. a half-week party.

my parents came to visit last week.

a few things you should know:

1. i've lived in new york for 5 1/2 years now

2. i worked extra shifts over this holiday so that i could ensure a week's vacation at home (in texas) come christmas time

3. in all those 5 1/2 years i don't know that my parents and i have ever had a truly successful visit, here

i cried on the phone to my mother two nights before she came. there is this thing known as guilt, of which, as a catholic, i am well versed in. and usually the visit is an experiment in how guilty i can feel for not having enough time or energy to give to my family.

but the monday before the arrival i cleaned and scrubbed and bought new champagne glasses, and thought, come what may, i'm ready.

it got off to a rocky start when my parents arrived too soon, and i forced them to wait in the car until i had arrived home and arranged some flowers--in my mind the flowers were more important than anything else. but they took a catnap and seemed in good spirits. so i pulled out the new glasses and we toasted family, togetherness, and stolen naps.

from there we walked to the new leaf cafe, which truly set the mood for the entire trip. the restaurant was gorgeous and unlike anything we've ever experienced here in the city (which became the theme for the rest of the week). it felt like we were dining in an over-sized cabin nestled into wooded green. the food was delicious and we left giddy with excitement over our find.

thursday morning found the three of us around the television watching the parade (my absolute favorite thing to do as a child) before we set off for aunt mary beth and uncle steven's home where we would join with three of my cousins: sean, ryan, mike--and sean's fiancee sarah--and of course my brother, connor, who drove down from his new home in boston. thanksgiving day was filled with laughter, copious amounts of delicious food, and the tail-end of the movie Rudy (only one of the greatest films, and no doubt the greatest soundtrack ever), not to mention a rousing round of celebrity (a game much like charades that's now become a family tradition).

i worked all day on friday, as i had on wednesday, but my nuclear family came into the restaurant for drinks, before i sent them on their way.

after working a half-day on saturday, i joined mom and dad in the west village where we were going to see the a production of thorton wilder's our town. it was there, next to the theatre, wait for me, that my parents stumbled across the restaurant one if by land. let me first say, the it is located in aaron burr's old carriage house. you know that i love history, yes? and aaron burr was one of the names i contributed to our game of celebrity (mentioned above). the restaurant was perfection. to be fair, we stayed only at the bar, but the lit christmas tree in the corner, coupled with the live piano music, the vintage couches, and the sense of history...well, i was in heaven.

one if by land was followed by a remarkable our town, a rousing round of gelato, and walk through the west village.

this visit was divine. it felt like we all showed up for the party, you know?

and now i'm counting down the days until i get to go home. 19, to be exact.

what about you all, how was the holiday?