On the road through the years

Road tripAs I write this, we’re driving down to Washington DC to attend a wedding. Things sure have changed from the days of MapQuest and driving as a couple to today’s GPS and the boy seating in front and me relegated to the back.

I remember how we used to fight because I failed to prompt the turn or exit in time until I got the rhythm of reading the directions and calling them out. These days, any wrong turns are more because of the kid talking over the audio prompts or an outright miscalculation of the driver.

I still travel with my bag of “go-to” items… Paper towel, folded plastic bags, sanitizer, snacks, water, baby wipes. And there are the chargers, the various handhelds, the iPad, etc. the technology actually came in handy today as the boss started texting me early this morning. While I am happy he misses me, I worry that I’m out at the wrong time and day and start feeling guilty. I am lucky that he is generally very mindful of reaching out to me when I am out of the office, so when he does, I pay heed.

But back to being on the road.

I don’t know about you but I like visiting the rest areas. The ones in Maryland, in particular, have been recently renovated and Angelo says that they feel like you’re in an airport food court. I like browsing the convenience stores for postcards and other souvenirs. During the last trip, I got some wood-mounted postcards that were quite a find. We also got the tiniest snow globe magnet of New Jersey for my nephew, Art.

Each trip is different even if we have a familiar destination we’ve driven to and from before. This one’s been easier for the usually car sick 10-year-old this time around, thanks to his sea bands and meds. I let him sit in front and enjoy the drive with his Dad behind the wheel. I sit at the back and do my own thing.

We usually seek out the Cracker Barrel restaurants along the way, but we were in a rush to get going given all the traffic we hit, we’re postponing that for the trip back.

Autumn says hello

My mornings see me getting off right about here-- and at times I can't avoid the compulsion to snap a pic before heading to work.  In every season, in every kind of weather, there's always something camera-worthy here.  #bryantpark #mynyc #mynewyork #ManhThe mornings are definitely getting colder now, but I am still trying to resist the urge to take out the coats. I am trying to make do with my warm sweaters, and today when we were in the low 60s, I put on one of my fall blazers. I’m trying to hang on to the last vestiges of summer.

Don’t get me wrong.  I actually love autumn.  The changing colors and the whole dramatic reveal as Mother Nature ushers in winter is always different, but never any less awe-inspiring.  I take the most pictures in the fall, when even simple fallen leaves can provide quite a compelling subject.  Or maybe I just like taking pictures.

Things seem to be slowing down a bit as the days get shorter.  Where we used to have the sun setting at past 8pm, it can be dark much sooner now, as early as just 6pm.  Both the nights and the mornings are colder, and the whole landscape is changing.  And before you know it, the year has ended.

Yet another reminder that time goes by so fast.

I would love to do my Central Park walk this autumn again. The last time I indulged was last year, and I didn’t get to snap up that many photos because Angelo was with me.  I was busy keeping an eye on him as we made our way to his favorite portion of the park where the rocks form a natural jungle gym for the kids who live in the city.  That was difficult, and the day ended in a not so good note — but I have high hopes for this year.

I’m going back to Central Park this year — on my own — to walk the paths at leisure and take as many pictures as I want to take.  Maybe do it with one of my photo buddies like Didi.  I hope to do it more than once so I can catch the glory of the Bethesda Fountain with different angles of natural lighting, and catch the sunlight as it streams down The Mall as I search for Jim Henderson’s park bench.

I’ll keep my autumn goal to that: Two trips to Central Park.  Have to get some comfy shoes to walk in — because I wouldn’t want to do that walk wearing my high heels.

I used to walk a lot with friends just to talk.  Fe and I used to walk from Legaspi to Salcedo as I lugged my law books wearing three inch heels and dressed according to the code in law school.  In high school, I would walk around the quadrangle just talking to my old friend Lilay whom I miss.  It has been years since she passed, and I recently “met” her now grown son via e-mail — but there’s a part of me that will always remember that time we were such great friends.

15 years in New York and I have yet to fully explore the Park.  Not that I think it can be done in one season, but it would be nice to get myself walking to parts of the park I haven’t explored before instead of being confined to the usual and the familiar.  Autumn would be a great time to do that.

My Thursday felt like Friday.  We’re heading back to DC tomorrow for a wedding on Saturday.  I think the boy is more excited than the Ninong-to-be Dad and me.  I have been teasing him that I’m looking forward to dancing with him, to which he shook his head from side to side in disagreement.  I guess not.  Or he might yet indulge his favorite girl.  (He says until he finds a wife…)  Yet another precious autumn memory.