Travel, Co-Ops and Summer Fun

Sometimes life comes at you all at once and it's just so much fun. The weather is nice, friends are great, work is in check, there's a boy, plans are planned for summer and you're like damn...life is great. That's where I'm at right now.

This weekend I headed up to Boston to visit my cousin and his fiance'. He's been living up there for about six years and no one in the family has been to visit him in the last few years (take a hint buddy, only kidding). I've been meaning to go for a while but you know how it is, work, social engagements, a 3 hour drive...you get busy. But a few months ago I said I'd visit over Memorial Day weekend, and I was sticking to it. Saturday morning I hopped in the car for the three hour journey to see what their New England life was all about. The drive was long, and hot, but my country music and endless supply of Dunkin Donuts coffee kept me going, and I'm so glad I went.

A little background...my cousin and I have not always seen eye to eye, but in the last year or so, that's really changed. We've both matured and grown in ways that have brought our personalities closer together, and his fiance' Morgan (whom I think is the best thing that's happened to him) seems to be a great influence, contributing to our newfound friendship. Morgan is one of those totally cool people that you feel like you want to be friends with even if you just spend a few minutes with her. We've gotten to spend a good amount of time together over the holidays the last few years and I'm glad that we're as close as we are. Getting to spend time with them both, without the rest of our crazy (i'm not just saying this, I love us but we're nuts) family around was really special.

I arrived on Saturday around 12:30 and we hung around the house and made lunch before heading up to the North Shore to explore a little oasis my cousin discovered overlooking the ocean. It was the PERFECT day for exploring and we climbed, dipped our toes in the water, got spider bites, and chatted. After that we headed to the small town of Gloucester where we walked around the cute little shops, got some local ice cream, and enjoyed the afternoon. We barbecued for dinner and made a delicious meal of grilled salmon, asparagus and turnips and ended the night with a bonfire and s'mores (only way to end a summer night). We stayed outside for hours, enjoying the fire and playing with their dog, Dixie, and then we all turned in early tuckered out from our big day of rock exploring and marshmallow roasting, crazy Memorial Day weekend for us. I woke up early the next morning and set out to explore on foot. I went for a great run along a river near their house and snapped some photos of their cute cottage-filled neighborhood. We all went out for a delicious breakfast Sunday morning at a cute diner near their house, and then I was on my way.

                                                                                           New England Cuteness


 
Run-ready

The rest of the weekend was spent at my parents house in White Plains, which anyone whose ever been to can attest is, a seriously amazing summer paradise. The weather turned out to be gorgeous so we hung by the pool, spent time with old friends, power washed the flagstone deck (quite the adventure) and ended the weekend with an incredible BBQ.

My amazing backyard

It was the perfect start of Summer weekend and the warmer weather puts a big smile on my face.

Speaking of smiles...when I first started this blog, I promised tales of dating disasters, but have yet to deliver. I'm happy to report that there have been no disasters as of late (perfect timing I know) but rather just the opposite. I've now gone on two (great if I must admit) dates with someone who for now, will remane nameless.  We met through a friend and it's been so nice to experience dating the way people tell you it should be. Without giving away too much (he's probably not pleased I'm posting about him) our second date was last night (cue blushing) and we enjoyed a great dinner followed by a walk in the park in an attempt to see the spectacular Manhattanhenge (unfortunately the clouds ruined our chances, better luck next time). Despite the extreme heat and my completely out of control sweating (it was really gross hot out) we had a great time and he even held my hand through the uncomfortable temperatures (and aforementioned sweating situation), major points. Ok, that's all you get for now...more on this later should circumstances allow.

In apartment news, since my last post we've seen about ten other apartments and after much deliberation, the supplying of hundreds of pages of documentation, late night scanning, abandoned responsibilities, tearful phone calls and parental hand holding...we signed a lease for a 2 bedroom co-op on west 82nd street. Yay you say, the hunt is over but not so fast... now, we wait. Not for keys, not for approved paperwork, not for rainbows and pots of gold, or a marching band announcing our arrival...but for more hurdles.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the co-op process, which is the large majority of people on this planet (praise your life everyday for this naivety) it's a ridiculous process requiring tax returns, social security numbers, bank information, letters of reference and basically everything short of a blood test, though I'm not entirely convinced the next phone call won't be asking for a vile of the red stuff, only kidding...sort of.

So what is the co-op process I speak of? It goes a little something like this...after the family bond threatening exercise of gathering a ludicrous amount of information that most people don't have sitting around their homes, you submit your paperwork and sign a lease...but wait for it...you still don't officially have the apartment. Yes, you've signed a lease, a legally binding contract, and you've provided enough proprietary information to be the subject of identity theft three times over, but in the land of co-op ville you're still not a member of the club. The real mccoy comes by way of the co-op board. First the review of said relationship destroying paperwork and then, drumroll please, the interview, which conveniently, can take anywhere from 20-30 days to schedule. Now let me break it down for you folks: it's currently May 30, if this giddy up takes the full 30 days, then the PIC and I will have approximately 1 day to hire movers, see apartments, gather new paperwork, submit applications, sign a lease and move or we be homeless, can you spare any change?

Am I being slightly dramatic? Yes. Is there a high likelihood this whole thing could take 10 days? Yes. Are we likely to get approved by the co-op board because we'd be awesome tenants and our guarantors make 1 million times rent? Yes. But what would this blog be without a little flare for the theatrics.

Anyway, back to reality. We've done all we can do and are currently deep in the throes of the waiting game. Waiting with the hope that at the end of this yellow-brick road will be a shiny golden key armed with the ability to let us into our new apartment; A truly charming apartment just 1 flight up in an adorable quiet brownstone complete with a fireplace, tons of windows, an updated kitchen, two decent sized bedrooms, an entire wall of brick and alas...closet space, the NYC equivalent of "I've made it". Dare I dream.

So that's what's going on with me in life, like and family drama. Until next time.