I arrived in New York Thursday night to spend a week with the Dowager Duchess. I flew Iberia for the first time and had read and heard so many awful things about the airline that I expected the worst. It paid off. It was the most pleasant trip I’ve had between the States and Spain. The flights — Sevilla to Madrid to New York — were on time, no more or less uncomfortable than any other airline (which isn’t saying much), the crews were great, and even the food was good. I’m hoping I’ll have the same to say when I fly home this Friday.
|THE VIEW FROM OUTSIDE THE PLANE AS WE LANDED IN NEW YORK.
(IT WAS A BIT WINDY, BUT I DON’T HAVE MUCH HAIR TO GET MUSSED.)
Like me, My-Mother-The-Dowager-Duchess does not cook. Unlike me, The Dowager Duchess did at one time (for years) cook very well and still knows how to do it. She also baked every week. I’ve checked the several cookie jars that were always well-stocked in the kitchen. Not anymore. Whenever San Geraldo and I visit, he cooks or we go out. With San Geraldo remaining behind in Spain, we are, as they say, “up a creek without a paddle” (or, as San Geraldo the South Dakotan would say, “up a crick without a paddle”).
|THE DOWAGER DUCHESS KNOWS HOW TO MAKE ME HAPPY.
FRESH BAGELS, CHOCOLATE, AND FLOWERS TO WELCOME ME HOME.
We’ve hit two Brooklyn diners (with individual servings that would feed a family of four). Saturday, The Kid Brother and I walked over to Nathan’s in Coney Island so I could get my fix of hot dogs and the absolute best French fries around. He didn’t complain. I used to eat seven hot dogs at a sitting. I now eat two (and usually wish I hadn’t). So, I guess I’ll never be in the running for Nathan’s annual hot dog eating contest. (I’d need to eat 69 hot dogs to break the record.)
|COLE SLAW AND A HALF-SOUR PICKLE AT PARKVIEW DINER.|
Saturday, before we went to Nathan’s, we watched from my mother’s windows as a storm swept in off the ocean. Powerful wind, rain, and darkness. It was awesome, but passed quickly. We didn’t know that a short time later, after the storm had passed through, two tornadoes (a very strange occurence in New York City) touched down not many miles away. One could actually be seen easily from the Boardwalk where we strolled a few minutes later.
|MY DELUXE HAMBURGER LUNCH FRIDAY AT PARKVIEW. I DIDN’T EAT DINNER.|
I’ve fallen behind on blogging and reading and hope to catch up while I’m here, but it’s not likely. The Dowager Duchess and The Kid Brother have been keeping me busy. He came over again early this (Sunday) morning. He lives about 20 minutes away in an independent-living group home with two other guys a lot like him (although not nearly as neat and organized). He’s much more stable than his older brother. He’s had the same job for more than 25 years (the longest I ever stayed in a job was 5 years, second longest, 3-1/2). He’s lived in only two apartments in the past 24 years (I think I’ve lived in 15). I could take a lesson from him… but I won’t. His apartment is 20 minutes away by bus or subway from my mother’s apartment. An hour round-trip by car when I drive him home! Ah, the joys of traffic lights and driving in New York! And kid brothers who like to have a chauffeur! He’s not working Wednesday, so will come over again bright and early. I have some more pictures of our day in Coney Island and of him back-seat driving today. I promised him I’d post that picture and caption it “BACKSEAT DRIVER.” He promised me I’d pay for it one of these days.
|UNSMILING KID BROTHER WITH HOT DOGS AND FRIES (AFTER HE MUTTERED, “GET ON WITH IT.”)
SOMETIMES HE HAS AS LITTLE PATIENCE FOR MY CAMERA AS DOES SAN GERALDO.
|AFTER LEAVING NATHAN’S AND HEADING FOR THE BOARDWALK.
THE ANNUAL HOT DOG EATING CONTEST COUNTDOWN.
We three had a good (exhausting) shopping and lunching day together. Tomorrow, The Duchess and I will drive to New Jersey (about two hours, almost to Philadelphia) to have lunch with Aunt Matilda. I wrote about visiting her once before (Part 1 followed by Part 2). That was when she still lived on Long Island and we got lost in the wilds of suburbia. This time, Google Maps will be providing the directions.
By the way, I really miss San Geraldo! And so do The Dowager Duchess and The Kid Brother.