Four months into the covid-19 pandemic and we were each going bonkers, albeit in different ways. My work as an attorney for the New York State Court system had gotten super busy. Though I was working remotely, it was non-stop and intense. Dave, on the other hand is a teacher. He taught remotely for the last number of months, and then the school year ended abruptly without the usual end-of-school-year fanfare. Poof – just like that the year was just over – and now he was unsure of what he felt, and certainly didn’t feel the normal excitement of the summer months ahead of him.
We normally went away on a trip to somewhere new and wonderful right after his last day of school. This year, it was to be Budapest, followed by Hawaii, and so many other places, but this year was the furthest thing from normal.
We spent four months living in a small New York City apartment mastering the skills of instant pot cooking, ordering food from Amazon and Whole food, cheering for essential workers from our apartment windows, shivering at the frequent sounds of ambulance sirens, washing off everything in creation, watching Cuomo’s daily briefings, watching seasons come and go, listening to Dave practising on his bass guitar, coloring each others hair, working side by side, doing laundry together, and god knows what else. I don’t know exactly why, and I apologize, but I rarely felt like blogging during this tumultuous time.
Dave was fearful of leaving the building. He wore massive goggles and two masks on the rare occasions that he left the apartment.
He ran daily on the rooftop of our apartment building. Sometimes, I joined him on the roof. Other days, I walked briskly on the quiet streets of New York City, or in Central Park or along the East River near Gracie Mansion. I listened to outdoor running programs on the Peloton App or meditations from Headspace or Calm.
Often we had happy hour on the rooftop (until the building closed the roof for renovations this summer – now we sometimes have happy hour sitting socially distant from others in Carl Schurz park).
I tried to remain sane and balanced throughout these frightening times. I was mainly successful. Even as New York City entered various new phases, we have stayed close to home. We’ve only gone to Trader Joe’s or Costco a few times. We’d both lost close friends due to covid-19, and are still terrified of the virus.
So, after four months, I had developed a bad case of cabin fever, and wanted – no, needed – to get away somewhere – anywhere – that was quiet and pretty. I’ve never worked remotely beyond my apartment, and wanted to give it a try before I get called to return to my little office in a courthouse in lower Manhattan. Dave, on the other hand, was more reticent about traveling, or doing anything for that matter. He was a little frozen. My first choice would have been to visit my father, who is 93 years young and living in an assisted living facility in Massachusetts. However, he’s still on lock-down, so our daily Facetime visits will need to suffice for the time being.
Finally, we settled on Mystic Connecticut, and it was a great choice (except for the traffic on I-95). It’s a beautiful historic town, with scenic hiking trails, pretty streets and great restaurants, with outdoor seating. Plus, I got my lobster fix in too.
I’ll write more about the weekend soon, with plenty of photos and discussion about our stay at the Hyatt Place Mystic Connecticut. Although I cannot compare this little trip to Budapest or London, it was just what the doctor ordered under the circumstances. Dave thanked me for forcing him to go away. As he later described it, he was stuck, and getting away was actually a godsend not only for me, but for him as well.