There is always much excitement before a trip to New York City, despite the regularity of our visits. Will we drive, take the train or the bus? Where will we stay? What plays will we see? Where will we eat? Will we visit the Metropolitan museum? I will have Maya and her friend Belina with me, and Eric will join us on Saturday to attend Maya's debut concert at Merkin Hall. She won second prize at a competition a few weeks ago and she plays the piece she won with at the recital. This time it is Bach's Concerto in A Minor. She has been practicing daily, and it feels as if it is coming together. I believe I am more nervous than she is, and the anxiety is ramping up. We will travel by car or train or bus ( I have yet to decide) after work tomorrow, stay near Times Square, and focus on activities that children are excited about. I did not expect Belina to decide to come with us. She has been hesitant to sleep over at our house for months, and when she does stay, she will often call her father to pick her up and bring her home early. When her father called today to confirm her decision, and asked about details about our trip, I was surprised and delighted. It will be a completely different experience for Maya with Belina with us. Tara will travel with us to stay in her dorm and get back to rehearsals and school. Maya will have to prepare for her concert ( I am not sure how one prepares for this) and dye Easter eggs for Sunday and the Easter Bunny, who will have to be informed that we will be in New York and not home in Baltimore. This is not the first time that we have had to inform the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus that we are celebrating away from home.
This has been Maya's winter break, and this is the first year of her life, or at least since she was three years old, that we have not gone skiing for her break. She has been on skis almost since she could walk, and looks forward to our ski week all year. We return to Snowbird and Alta in Utah each year. I stay with a friend at the base of the mountain, and when not skiing visit each of my Salt Lake friends, and it becomes an intensely social and active week. I love skiing, and unfortunately with our trips to Ecuador and our plans to prepare our house to sell and move in less than three months, a ski week just did not fit in. Now that the ski season is almost over, I am lamenting having missed skiing this year and likely next, since there is no snow and no skiing in Ecuador. Perhaps we will have to head for Chile for a ski week in the middle of the summer (and their winter).
I had been worried about being so far away from New York City and Tara when we are away on our sabbatical. But now she has made a decision to volunteer and attend university in Quito, so I will have ner close by and safe. No more visits to New York City as planned. I will have to make up for that when we return.