My old stomping grounds

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We had some unexpected free time during the day, so Erik, Nerissa, T & myself decided to head out to Brooklyn and hang out in our old neighborhood – Park Slope. It took a while to drive out there and then to find parking, but it was so good to see the old ‘hood. In that way that cities have, it had simultaneously changed so much while staying exactly the same. I took a picture of our old apartment, hipstamatic-style:

We walked around a little bit and then I went for a run in Prospect Park for old time’s sake. It felt great to get to do my old run loop and it was hilarious how much easier the “hill” was after running in Seattle for so many years. The section that I remember being super steep was like nothing now. (Although jet lag and last night’s wine made it a much “crampier” run than I would have liked… ) Afterward, I met back up with everyone and we headed to my favorite restaurant for lunch: Two Boots. We had lunch on their outdoor patio in the sunshine and it was pretty much perfect. (They have a killer Cajun garlic bread that I’ve missed terribly.) Afterward, we enticed Nerissa into sitting on the mechanical alligator outside the restaurant:

We then hit the road back to Long Island and sat in awful traffic. (We had forgotten that not only was it Friday, but it was Columbus Day weekend.) We were scheduled to attend another family gathering at Paul’s mom’s house about six, so we had been hoping to get back home with a little time to chill out beforehand. Unfortunately, we only had about half an hour of chilling out time before it was time to head over for another big gathering.

This time, it was much more of Paul’s family in attendance. We got to meet his father, brother, half-sister and a ton of family friends, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. It was a lively gathering, but I was a little tired and overwhelmed by all of the family. It was a lovely evening, so we were gathered in the backyard. At one point, Paul appeared on the roof to take a group shot of everyone:

We were then treated to a hilarious exchange between him and his mother as she handed her camera up to him for him to take a picture with it only to have the flash not go off. I wanted to get some video of that exchange, but alas was not fast enough. It was a hoot. The only other downside, was that I noticed my sister wasn’t really talking to me at all. Paul was very friendly and peppered me with questions about my new job and what-not, but she didn’t really talk to me at all. Not sure what’s up with that…

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