December 11, 2015: On the Third Day of Christmas...

Christmas in New York
On the third day of Christmas, my true love sent to me...

A fabulous weekend in New York City with friends who are best of the best. The Snide's. Goodness and fun oozes from this couple.

As we boarded our flights from our respective home bases of Columbus and Omaha, texts were flying back and forth on plans for our first day in NYC. Like kids readying for a visit to Santa, excitement was abound.

Cindy and Rick, of the Snide duo, have been long-time friends. Garrett knew them first through a business peer group and later introduced me. Our couples journey started as we sat by each other at a group business dinner in Toronto, Canada. It has since been five years of laughs, traveling, and general 'over-40' amusement.

Although the base of our commonalities start with an authenticity in friendship, we share similar life stories. Second marriages, lots of combined kids, and the resulting blending of families. Our love for life and for our life partners is aligned. And our life challenges along the way that come with our life stories, very similar as well.

We have shared many joint travels together. Although some have included our combined kids, most others have not. Our destinations have included Dallas, Orlando, Toronto, San Antonio, Chicago, Annapolis, Pismo Beach, and Yosemite Park. Not to mention various ski trips to the Rockies and visits to Columbus and Omaha. Now we can add NYC to the list. Our latest adventure.

Our main attractions yesterday were a Rockettes show and a visit to Rockefeller Plaza. The 'in between' was filled with some great food and conversation. But our night of fun continued with each couple taking different paths. Although not the planned route, sometimes life puts a fork in the road.

Rick and Cindy had a full night with a Comedy Cellar show and late dinner at Minetta Tavern. Garrett and I, on the other hand, ended up in an urgent care and later at a Walgreen's near Washington Park. In a nutshell, the sinus infection I have been battling, coupled with lack of sleep as of late, had finally caught up to me.

I ended up with an antibiotic and over nine hours of sleep, after dining on Whole Food take-out in our hotel room. Glorious. I'm a new woman ready for a fun-filled Saturday.

And my healthcare experience in New York City, you ask?

It was actually quite good.

The urgent care is part of a chain called CityMD. We walked about ten city blocks to find our destination. It was clean and well run. Our full experience, from walking in the door to leaving with prescriptions in hand, was less than an hour. The Walgreen's was a mega store, selling sushi and made-to-order smoothies.

Nothing happens in life without a story or a laugh. At least not for me. Here are two quick ones before a close my little synapses of our day.

As Garrett and I sat in the urgent care room, the sweet young nurse asked me the variety of questions needed to update my demographics files. She was foreign, but spoke good English. When she reached the question, 'What is the reason for your visit', I gave her my answer.

"We are visiting and touring. Seeing the sites."

Silence filled the room as she seemed confused. I wondered if her English wasn't as good as I thought and she didn't understand. But then I looked at Garrett and he appeared puzzled too.

"Sandy, she wants to know why you are visiting the clinic, not New York City."

We all laughed at my very blond moment. And although she was happy to hear we had fun plans for our weekend, she ultimately typed into the computer 'sinus infection'.

Our Walgreen's wait sets the stage for my second story. This time, I didn't say a word, but was an observer of the humans of New York. As we were waiting for our prescription to be filled in the pharmacy area, an older gentleman joined us. He shuffled with a cane and struggled to find his seat in the 'waiting section'.

With a sigh of relief when he finally got situated in his chair, he pulled out a paper bag covering a large can. In an explosive moment, he opened the can with an eruption of beer suds shooting all over him.

"God damn it anyway! That was a good beer."

Without another word spoken, he threw a newspaper over the mess on the floor after he casually shook off his arms. Later he drank from the now-half-filled covered can after the suds had settled. And then he picked up his completed prescription in line before me with can in hand.

Only in New York.

Today is purportedly SantaCon. It is a mass gathering and pub crawl where thousands of people dressed as Santa pour into the city. Rick and Cindy witnessed this last year. Based on their visual description of the event and the 65 degree forecast, today is bound to be an interesting day.

AND most importantly, today is Cindy's birthday! Let's do this....

Garrett and Sandy's dinner for two last night
(prescription sprawled to the left, Garrett's foot to the right and edge of my hotel robe at the bottom)


  1. Wow what an amazing trip you guys went on, I love the city life during the festive season, all the lights and decorations, really brings home the idea of family and celebration. My husband is coming back from Europe soon and we will be celebrating his birthday together, I really look forward to when we can be together again, thanks.

    Eleanor Briones @ U.S. HealthWorks - Milpitas


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