Friday, February 05, 2010

Rhode Island & New York Cousin-Palooza Tour

Cross / Jones Tribe

Jeff & I got better at planning the Xmas trip this year. We got super cheap tickets, reserved parking, and even got a rental car back east for rock bottom prices.

And when I say we, I mean I did it. Yeah, I hooked us up with some good deals this year.

The only aspect of our trip that I might have miscalculated was the red eye. We decided to get Zack in his PJs and get to the airport very early, let him fall asleep there, and then read while waiting for the flight to board.

Instead, we chased an excited toddler around the airport lounge for two hours. He stayed up until midnight, when our plane left. Finally he did crash and slept pretty much the entire flight.

Lidia, Caroline, Frank, MJ

My cousin Frank came to visit with his family. This was our first day there, on December 26th. Frank lives about 40 minutes away and it's been great to get to see him on these trips. We pretty much did what you're seeing here in this photo--sat and jabbered for an hour and a half about family. Pretty cool conversations when your family contains a bunch of geniusy loonies who build robots. Always fun to hear about that stuff.

Hugging the doggie

Miso the dog and Sesame the cat

Zack pretty much hated wearing a coat.

We were also better prepared for Zack's travel sleep issues. He ended up sleeping with us most nights on the air mattress in Maggie's room.

Jake at Johnnie Rockets

Jake before Johnnie Rockets:

I don't want to go. I don't like it. I went there in 2006 and didn't like it. There are no Happy Meal toys. Ew. Gross. What's that smell? I don't like this place.

Jack inside Johnnie Rockets:

This is so good! This is delicious! I don't just like it. I love it! What? Oh, I made that up. I wasn't here in 2006. This is my first time here.

Ah, Jake. We had a lot of fun with him on this trip.


Jake and I built this. Later it fell on its face and looked
like it had passed out drunk.

Jake. A fairly representative picture of him, actually.
And Maggie, just taking it easy as usual.

Mason and Zack on the steps.

Peter & Casey's place. How the hell did they get that wreath up there?

Shoes! Jeff got a new pair on the trip. I found this picture while
assembling this post and thought it was kinda cute.

Mason with box on head and Zack with two cars in hand, as usual.

I dig this picture of us even though it's a little blurry.

After the Rhode Island Xmas chaos, we drove to New York in a snowstorm. Jeff was a trooper. Actually, Team Cross travels well. We really managed the whole time to have fun.

Zack and my pal Victor Varnado

We had a fun little get together of friends at a local deli. I didn't get pictures, but Victor, my friend Ray, cousin Meghan and Jeff's friend Jordan were there. Ray brought his beautiful daughter. All my friends had babies in the last two years! Well, except Victor. Get on it, Victor!

Chillin' with Meghan & Matt in their awesome Upper West Side pad

Meghan and Matt were fantastic hosts. I'd forgotten how small New York apartments are, but we felt totally comfortable in their space. They've really worked hard to make it their own and they're in an excellent location, right next to Central Park.

Meghan and Dale, the best dog ever
(and a very pretty rug which we heard a horrifying story about)

Aunt Ruthie!

I got a bit sick on this trip, but I had promised Aunt Ruthie I would visit her. I was pretty close to her and my Uncle Sid back in NYC. Sid passed away recently. Ruthie is in her 90s. I stayed in their building when I first moved to New York and ate bagels and bialys with them every day. They really helped me out. They also cracked me up.

So as we were driving down to Brooklyn, I got so ill I threw up in the car, on the scones Meghan had given us for the trip, and on my own pants. But I refused to turn back. We got to Ruthie's and I powered through it. The only tough part was that I kept having to refuse food, which for a Jewish grandmother is like repeatedly getting stabbed in the heart. But I could not eat a thing. Luckily Zack stepped in for me and had some eggs.

My Jewish Puerto Rican cousin and his Indian baby mama.
This side of the family is pretty United Colors of Benetton.

I'm a big fan of my cousins Sean (in this pic) and Mark. So glad I got to see them this trip. They are the coolest cats and best dancers at any family wedding.

I can't believe we didn't get pictures of Mark's place. Or Mark or his daughters. I think we were simply too dazzled by Mark's life. Seriously, how anyone can afford such an amazing condo in Williamsburg--he must be doing very, very well. And he shares geek genes with Jeff, so they got along great. Perhaps he is involved in organized crime, but I won't judge, because he said we could stay with him next time we're in NY. We'll be downstairs in the playroom/office/guest room/ media room. With the giant projector TV. That's right.

Mark also took us to a great Peruvian restaurant and gave Zack a toy. I'm telling you, this is a great person to know in New York, and I'm related to him.


Jeff is the best husband ever. He surreptitiously snapped a few shots of Uncle Sid's art collection. The most mysterious item to me in the group is the green father and son portrait. Sid was a generous guy, a lover of cheesy jokes, and a fabulous great uncle. But anyone who knew him could tell you he was an old school racist. So I really don't get that picture.

One of my favorite conversations with Uncle Sid:

Julie (not so long out of a prestigious institution of higher learning): I notice a lot of your paintings have this recurring image of a road curving off in the distance.

Sid (who doesn't know what a thesaurus is): Eh. A lotta paintings have roads in 'em.

Just an awesome picture of Zack.

Visiting Elise, an old work friend of Jeff's

Elise works in an amazing loft space in DUMBO. Crazy views of the city.

Our alma mater

We kept saying we'd visit Columbia when were were in NYC. And here it is!

We spent a lot of time here.

Mc Bain Hall, where Jeff & I first met, in Brenda Wanger's room, of all places.

Zack at Columbia

Since it was nap time, we didn't get to actually go on the campus, but we did drive by it.

On the way back from New York to Rhode Island, we stopped to cure some mid trip antsy-ness at the Mystic Aquarium. This is one of my favorite Zack videos ever.

It's February already?

We have a tradition of not posting enough pictures, and 2010 is looking no different. Still more to come from our Xmas trip to the east coast, but meanwhile here's one notable shot from the big family photo shoot (above) and some fresh stuff from yesterday's trip to the playground.