June 23, 2015

Coming Back to America: New York City

The #SwagVilUSA quest has begun!

Our week in New York City was marked by a lot of relaxing and walking.

We learned how to navigate the subway system and street grids, even during the cloudy and rainy days.

We gave World Trade Center 4 the new name of Sky Building.

We loved stumbling upon old churchyards and their previous parishioners.

We took in the bright lights and sounds of the city.

We were privy to free seats at both a Yankees game and Smalls Jazz Club. (Thanks to Marc's relative, Al, and our great friend, Tanya!)

We took advantage of the free Staten Island Ferry for front row views of the Statue of Liberty.

We ate at European restaurants as often as we could. The Belgian "Wafels & Dinges" was a favorite.

We wandered through Central Park and drank a lot of smoothies.


But we didn't see anybody famous or go to the top of any buildings.

By far the most intense moments were spent at the World Trade Center memorial pools. Overhearing parents tell their young kids about what happened. Seeing name after name after name engraved into the edges. I remembered those planes crashing and September 11th like it was that very morning, and it was upsetting. I hope everyone feels these emotions when they go to the memorial. I also hope that the new World Trade Center 1 building inspires the planet to look terrorism in the face and never back down.

We both experienced several instances of culture shock this first week back in America. Every summer it gets more severe the longer we live in France. It's a part of the trade-off in living abroad. We have an amazing life overseas, but every month away from the USA creates a gap between us and our home country.

But we know why America is great, and even if it isn't where we choose to live anymore, we can still appreciate this incredible nation that raised us.

And where better to do that than in Washington, D.C.?! That's what's up next!