05.16.2017 21 °C
Waking up this morning we packed our bags and checked out of our Air BNB, leaving them in a locked room so we could enjoy the time we had left in the city. My bag was STUFFED and hardly shut - I did a LOT of shopping. Really grateful that Josh took a bunch of stuff home for me to make room for all of my purchases!
We headed out on the metro and went towards a vegan breakfast spot. Once we finally found it, it was all chained up and closed!! Boo. They must have moved locations as it's a popular spot with many locations, so it's not like they're out of business. With some free street wifi and my trust Happy Cow vegan app we found the next best thing, Peacefood Cafe, which was very close and had awesome reviews. We were not disappointed! They're desert case alone was enough to make us quickly find a seat.
We ordered the tofu scramble and the vegan quiche and tried each other's. So good.
We also ordered two deserts to split... it was our last day, no judging!! Tiramisu and strawberry shortcake, yum. I also maaaay have purchased some take away for the plane...
Next we walked up to Gramercy Park, one of the few Jere hadn't seen yet, and we were surprised to see it was the park in NY that you need a key to enter! It's for the neighbourhood residents and it was noticeable; the park was perfectly manicured and maintained. And no wonder - they have a long list of rules! No sunbathing, no cameras, no pets. No fun it sounds like!
On our way towards the Empire State Building we walked past a palm reader with a nice storefront advertising $5 reads. Why not right?! It was our last few hours in the city and we had cash on hand. We both opted for a $10 read to get a little more in depth, and while it was short, or our read was totally worth it! I would say I'm a half believer half sceptic when it comes to these things, but I totally see the fun in it either way. I won't share all of my read, but she tapped into some pretty personal stuff, and while she was generic, she couldn't have just said that to anybody. Jere said the same! We also thought it was funny that she knew that Jere was single, I wasn't, and a few other details. Totally worth the $10!
We had another hour to kill and one of the thrift shops I loved from Brooklyn has a second location in the city so we walked over to that. After 10 minutes of browsing I had over 15 items to try on!! Oops. I definitely didn't have room in my already stuffed backpack. I narrowed it down to 4 pieces I really liked, and with that our time in New York came to an end! We got the metro back to our Air BNB, changed into travel clothes and took the two subways out to JFK.
I'm sitting on the plane catching up on my blog and am really overwhelmed with gratitude that I was able to embark on this epic adventure. It seems like half a year ago Josh and I touched down in that Ethiopian airport, waiting for our connection to the Kenyan coast. I'm so grateful to have such a supportive husband who let me lead our trip and do all of the things I wanted to. I do have regrets around our time spent in Egypt; I just wished we stuck to our plans and research and did our own touring around. I'm still incredibly grateful we went and totally thrilled we got to do what we did there! Overall our trip was just amazing and my time in New York with friends was such a great way to end my five plus weeks away.
I'm totally not ready to come back to reality. But I am ready for my hundred pound dog to spoon me tonight, to have access to my full wardrobe, and to be back in my own home. I have a whole new sense of balance in terms of the way we live in Canada and I'm incredibly grateful for the many, many resources and basic necessities we have access to.
Starting in Kenya was such a shock to the system, and going from third world countries to the Big Apple was a weird way of doing things, but it did make me more aware of the lottery we win when we're born in a place like Canada! It's a strange balance to spoil yourself with food and new clothes (when I have a full closet at home) when we started in a place where some people have a single ripped t-shirt and no shoes to wear, and they struggle to make enough to buy their rice and oil for the week. Writing it down makes me feel guilty, but it also makes me appreciate the things I have in this life, and maybe I'll enjoy them a little more now.
I feel a bit like I'm rambling, but I just wanted to get down how I feel as I travel back home. I think I'll leave it at this and maybe write a bit more of an overview once I'm back and settled.