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We travel for many reasons. Many times it’s for work. I’ve been lots of places for my job and seen some interesting things, both work related (the astronaut training pool in Houston, for example) and culturally related: catching Los Lobos at a small theater in Denver, Robert Craig in a bar in San Diego, Patti Smith in Atlanta, Rembrandt in DC (one of these things is not like the others). Of course, we also pack the bags for the traditional reasons: the lights of Paris at Christmas, a honeymoon to remember, meeting interesting people. Many of our trips carry the double bonus of doing interesting things and seeing extended family at the same time. With family members, we have sailed in the British Virgin Islands & Belize, skied in Utah and Montana, and rafted the Yellowstone River. Feasting on crabs and corn in Baltimore is always a good time. And a couple of weeks ago, we met up in New York City for the weekend.

When our talented niece from Bozeman (whose blog can be found here) told us that she was attending a blogger conference in NY, and that she was bringing her Middle Son, we were all over it. Her brother and his partner live in Harlem and our best friend from our youth lives in Midtown, so it sounded like a chance to meet up with friends & family, see some sights and spend some quality time with our loved ones. And perhaps enjoy an adult beverage or two. To make it even better, the Salt Lake contingent (our niece’s parents) decided to join the festivities. Game on!

The Montana crew did pretty well in the big city. Niece got lost a couple of times while navigating the subway, including getting on the wrong train and ending up in a sketchy part of the South Bronx. She persevered and ending up walking to her brother’s place in Harlem. Her son proved yet again why I hold him and his brothers in such high regard by buying the strangest piece of fruit I have ever seen while we were in Chinatown and, later that night, slicing it up himself and presenting to the gathered family in a most beautiful arrangement. I sure wouldn’t have done that at his age!

Highlights of the trip? Taking the Boy to the Top of the Rock. Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge on a beautiful morning. Wandering Central Park listening to the many buskers playing their music. Strolling the High Line (a beautiful park created from an unused stretch of elevated train tracks). Several excellent meals, made so by the company we kept. And the people watching! We never, ever get tired of watching the beautiful, strange and sometimes scary faces of the city, ranging from the girl in her too short skirt walking up 5th Av. to the mother/daughter heading to the beach on the subway. And one of the city’s best-kept secrets? New Yorkers are friendly! Every time we looked at a subway map people stopped to see if they could help. I struck up a conversation with an off-duty security guard about camera equipment (prompting an eye roll from my spouse). And the girl on the A train sitting across from us when we were heading to Harlem after dinner one night. She watched our niece and her son attempting pull-ups on the subway car grab rail and, after I caught her eye and we shared a laugh, trying it herself (and doing better than any of us).

Low point of the trip? Leaving (and not knowing when we’ll see them again…however long it may be will be too long).

Empire State Building, NY, 2010

The Montana Contingent, Brooklyn Bridge, NY, 2010

Family, NY, 2010