The story of the past week starts out almost 10 years ago, when I met one of my most favorite people in the entire world, Emily. I was 21 and freshly graduated from college, and newly living back down in the Valley with Autumn and Shirley. It was an amazing summer full of going out and being young, and enjoying the "in-between," those months wedged right between receiving my degree and figuring out what I wanted to do with my life.
Emily and I met through friends, and after exchanging many messages over Myspace I went with one of those long-time mutual friends to her house. It was serious friend-love-at-first-sight and we clicked into inseparable mode immediately, spending every waking moment together that summer running around Phoenix, going to shows, baking vegan treats and being silly as only two young girls can be with little to no responsibility in their lives. I was assistant managing the Aveda store at Fashion Square then, so I was enjoying the easy life of summertime retail hours, and we would stay up late every night giggling and talking to boys on AIM and just enjoying each others' company. It was amazing.
But the next year came and I met Hank, and she had things going on, and life took over. We drifted. But I thought of her all the time and missed her more than anything. And so as fate would have it we reconnected and realized that nothing had changed at all. We were still those same girls, and our friendship was still there. Over the next seven years we'd work hard to get back to where we were, and now looking back I am so grateful that we didn't give up. I feel lucky to have so many amazing memories with Em over the past decade and feel so fortunate we are always making more.
Emily is one of those people that lights up a room when she walks in. She's beyond positive, never speaks an ill word about anyone, and she inspires me in every sense of the word. She's truly a soul-mate sister of mine and whenever we're together a part of my heart feels whole again. I'm so grateful for our friendship.
And so this past week I spent five days in New York with Em, at her and her wonderful husband Jesse's place in Brooklyn. I'd visited her in NYC numerous times but this was by far my most favorite trip yet! One of the best things about visiting Em is that she is just as health-conscious and fitness-oriented as I am, so any time I am with her we make time for working out and eat mainly healthy with a few treats here and there. I love that I always go home feeling better than when I arrived, and it's just so neat we're always on the same page.
So I left on Friday morning pretty early, after having an extra-long goodbye with little Henry (I cried, he was like "BYE MAMA!" and all smiles, of course! haha). I flew on a direct flight and headed straight over to Em's, and got there around 8pm. Our original plan was to stay in and catch up, but some of our friends had some celebrating to do, so we decided to head out for the night. We ended up having SO much fun, and it was great to toast to our friends' success and run around Brooklyn for awhile. We ended the night in Chinatown at a karaoke bar singing Barbie Girl at 3am, so I think it's safe to say night #1 was a success.
The next morning we woke up and walked over the Williamsburg Bridge and into the city to take a class at Physique 57. It was awesome and I worked so many little muscles I didn't even know I had. We ate lunch at one of my favorite spots, Souen, then walked around some more before headed back to get ready for the night. That night (Saturday) we were celebrating Emily leaving her job and starting on a brand new adventure, so a whole bunch of friends got together and we ate dinner at Taco Chulo. We spent the rest of the night sitting around and talking, and it was a really wonderful evening.
Sunday morning was Coney Island day so Ashley, Whitney, Emily, Jesse and I took the train out to Coney and spend the day on the beach and riding rides. I surprised myself and actually rode The Cyclone. Let me tell you, it was horrible. I'm glad I did it - I mean, when else will I be able to ride an 85 year old rollercoaster?- but it felt like being in 10 car accidents, all in a row. Ouch! After Coney we were so exhausted so we grabbed some Mediterranean food and went to bed a little early.
Monday Emily, Ashley and I headed down to the Jersey Shore. It was amazing. It took us hours to get out of the city in our rental car but it was still great to just sit and talk. We were stuck behind a truck with a huge ad for rice on the back, so if you're curious about any details regarding a 10lb. bag of Basmati rice I'm your girl! NJ was awesome though- one of my favorite place in the world- and the rain waited until we were on our way home thankfully!
Tuesday was my last full day and it was a jampacked one- Central Park, a delicious lunch at Le Pain Quotidien, some shopping at Lululemon and ending the afternoon CrossFitting at Black Box NYC. We did Fran and for those who are familiar with that...it was brutal. We walked out of there so happy we did it though and ready for my last night in town! We ran home, got ready, and went out to Roberta's to meet friends for pizza and to soak up the last bits of hang out time. It was a perfect night and a perfect end to this trip.
The past week was awesome. I missed Hank and Henry like crazy of course, but it was also so amazing to be able to have this time to myself and recharge. I'm thankful for it, and so grateful for Emily and Jesse and all of my favorite NY people who made my visit that much more special. My heart is so happy.
Here are some photos from my trip. I decided not to take my big camera around so I could soak up "living it" more than documenting it, but I did try and take 5 or 6 photos with my phone everyday. Here they are, all in one place! Enjoy.
at the airport, waiting for my flight // celebrating these wonderful guys // our night in a nutshell // pre-5 miles // so excited to finally try a class here // lunch at Souen- vegan and macrobiotic // Em and Jesse // a HUGE burrito // old friends are the best friends // babely Ashley // Coney-bound! // the hat club // Cyclone time // beaching it on Coney // Wonder Wheel // banana and peanut butter oatmeal with Chia seeds // Jersey Shore bound // my favorite // Ashley and Em about to rollercoaster it up // Mighty Mouse! // their very first Rita's // photobooth fun // love NJ so much // Dunn-Well Donuts. Vegan. Delicious! // one of the best salads I've ever had // Central Park // Black Box NYC CrossFit. Pre-class // delicious vegan ice cream from Soft Serve Fruit Co.- just fruit and water with a bit of agave // Roberta's with my favorites // sweet Rory // end of my last night- love these people // last view of the Empire State Building from Em's window in Brooklyn before I left Wednesday morning