I wrote a piece about traveling in Scotland with my picks on where to stay, eat, visit, explore, what to bring etc. It's accompanied by some of my photos.
07 October 2014
I've been threatening to crash my cousin Sarah's place in the country for years. A place to escape the city periodically is essential to one's sanity and is something Sam and I routinely crave. We finally managed to invite ourselves up a couple of weeks ago.
Sarah's house is north and west of the city, right near the Deleware Water Gap and just across from Pennsylvania. It's supposedly about 2 1/2 hours from Brooklyn but for us with Roan about a 4 hour drive. How does one quick lunch break and and several emergency pee breaks compute to an extra hour and a half? I just don't get it.
Once we got there, however, all was glorious. We were greeted by Gunnar, a very enthusiastic and noisy pit bull who seems unaware of how intimidating he comes across when he's really just SO glad you came to visit and is hoping you will throw a stick for him 60-80 times. Trailing behind was Casey, 15 years old, blind and deaf but sweet and silky as can be.
We had a lovely weekend sitting on the porch, as one does in the country, walking on the open rocks of the Delaware, and hanging out with Calvin and Chip, Sarah's horses. I don't think I've ever really felt so much that horses really are like gigantic dogs. They nuzzled up to us and followed us around begging for treats. Roan went on a ride through the woods. He absolutely loves horses, not the easiest hobby to sustain in Brooklyn, so this was a delight.
Every visit to the country opens up the ever mulled-over question: to buy a country house or not to buy? In the week after we've been upstate I can pretty much guarantee I will find Sam house surfing on the internet. "Look at this one!! It's got a barn and 50 acres! It's like $60,000!!! Oh, wait, it's near Canada". Sigh.
Two weeks later I got an email from Sarah that Casey died. He told her he was ready, she said. How lucky we were to get to spend that last fun filled weekend with him! He was very smitten with Roan although he could hardly keep up with him. Still there was some lovely snuggling. RIP Casey.
|Gunnar, the welcoming committee|
|Sarah's beautiful old farm house and Gunnar with a log|
|Delaware Water Gap|
|Sunday Morning Paper|
|Calvin and Chip with Sarah and Roan|
|Roan gets a lesson|
|Gunnar at the end of a very exciting day|
|Sam and Casey|
Posted by Micaela at 11:27 AM
23 September 2014
The Light Writing Project at Extreme Kids happened on Sunday and it was, I think, a huge success. We had 28 families participate over 4 hours. I don't think Sam or I sat down for one second that entire time.
An acquaintance from my magazine years managed to connect me with an equipment rental company who donated everything we needed to create an enormous black arch to shoot in to. Originally I thought I could maybe beg for a free blackout cloth but Mike at Root was like, "How about some 20ft long blackout curtains? Autopoles, you want autopoles? I'll throw in 6 of them just in case! And a ladder! And keep em as long as you want!"It is just so heartening when people are happy to give you stuff for a worthy cause. I made a thank you note.
It went so seamlessly and most kids seemed to know exactly which light - up tools they wanted and what they wanted to do. Lots of the parents got in on the action too. Here are some of my favorites from the day:
Posted by Micaela at 9:37 PM
10 September 2014
04 September 2014
Roan had his first day of Pre-K today. I am convinced that somewhere, somehow, in the universe Lula is bringing good luck to this kid. Not only did he land a highly coveted spot at PS20, which is across the street from our house, apparently he got THE best teacher and the best classroom. It's a huge classroom, as big as our apartment, with beautiful wood paneling, a big bay window (covered in safety gates of course), and even a fireplace (which they don't use- but still!) It's a very old school so it looks well loved but for a NYC public school that's pretty fancy.
We tried to meet as many other parents and kids but it was a bit of a whirlwind. A very good, happy vibe, a fantastic variety of people all looking a bit hesitant but excited. Glorious weather. Name tags. Forms to fill out. Pretty much exactly the same as I remember my first day of school. I think the first day of school might be the most universally uniting experience ever.
Posted by Micaela at 11:30 AM
31 July 2014
27 July 2014
We had quite an eventful evening on Friday. Thursday night my mom came out to Brooklyn to watch Roan so that Sam and I could go out. We went to dinner (Buttermilk Channel, very good) and then to a movie (Snowpiercer, outlandishly improbable but entertaining).
Then, in a fit of generosity, my mom offered to take Roan back to her house for Friday night. Two date nights in a row??!! Yes please. Off they went. I spent the morning looking up Things to do tonight in a desperate hope that something remarkably and uniquely New York would be happening that required no advance planning and little money. Eventually I hit on the idea of going to Coney Island. Classic date night! Perfect!
Alas, a bit too perfect. At 6pm I got a call from Sam; my mom and Roan were walking back from the park on the UES when she tripped and fell. On Roan. And her wrist, which she was pretty sure she had broken. An ambulance was called. Date night would have to be postponed.
Apparently it was a bit of a scene. Roan was pretty freaked out and his back was sore and my poor mom was in pain. Some kind ladies in a hair salon gave Roan a lollipop and called an ambulance. As soon as my mom told Roan he was going to ride in an ambulance he perked up. The paramedics were fantastic, apparently. They took the injured parties to Lenox Hill, where my mom used to work.
It certainly pays to have connections because my mom and Roan got first class treatment. My mom knew all the doctors and nurses attending to them and by the time Sam and I arrived Roan had introduced himself to everyone and was having a pretty grand time with all the fuss and excitement. He had a bruise on his back but was otherwise fine.
My mom, on the other hand, did not get off so easy, but for what could have happened was remarkably lucky after all. She broke her wrist but it was her left wrist and it was a clean break. She was fast tracked into a private room and a jocked up orthopedist set her wrist (which was NO fun but my mom, knowing what was about to happen, quite literally bit the bullet) and gave her a splint. We thought she might get a blue cast to match her hair, but in the end just a splint (which is way more comfortable, although not blue).
All the while my mom was far more concerned about Roan ("I think my elbow went into his back! Ask him if his fingers or toes are tingling!") and the fact that she spoiled our date night. Oh, mom, that's so mom of you.
I stayed with her that night which was a good thing because in all of the excitement we hadn't really considered how tricky it would be to do everything with one hand. Taking out/putting in contact lenses? Opening childproof bottles? Typing? Not so easy. But she's a trooper and she's resourceful and above all unflappable.
The hardest part now is to get her to rest and not do stuff. When I checked in yesterday to see how she was coping she said "I'm bored!" I hope she feels confident enough to have Roan stay over as soon as her wrist has healed, not so much for us but because, if anything, this incident proved to me not that she is fragile but that she is one tough, capable broad.
|Roan on his throne|
Posted by Micaela at 1:42 PM