Sabbatical 2022: Homeward Bound

On the final leg of our sabbatical trip, we stopped in New York to visit friends and family. One of my best friends, Elise, lives in the city, and my sister lives upstate, so we were able to enjoy a mixture of urban and rural experiences for the final ten days of our adventure.

We started off by meeting my sister in NYC. It was my daughter’s first time in the city, so it was fun to be tourists together, and explore some of its many attractions. Some of the highlights included: taking a boat ride along the Hudson to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island; seeing Hamilton on Broadway; visiting the MoMA; catching an impromptu jazz show of François Houle and friends; and eating our way around town!

During the pandemic, my sister and her husband moved out of the city, and they bought a house in the countryside between Hudson and Catskill. This charming community is only a two-hour direct train out of NYC. It offers many of the amenities of the city (arts events, good restaurants, shopping and cafés), as well as proximity to the mountains for activities such as hiking, skiing, and fresh water swimming. We really enjoyed our time exploring the local area. We spent a few lazy days soaking in the sun down at the local creek. We hiked at Hunter Mountain and visited the public art park at Art Omi. We also ate at Feast & Floret in Hudson. It was a delicious, seasonally inspired, and farm to table experience!

After heading back to the city, we were able to enjoy one final special day with my dear friend Elise. It was such a treat to have more time with her, if only briefly, after our recent visit in France. We packed as much as we could into our visit. She is a talented artist and we were lucky enough to visit her studio in Dumbo, Brooklyn. We ate some great Mexican food at Los Tacos Al Pastor and tasted the wild ice cream flavours at Ample Hills, followed with a lovely meal at home with her family. Her son, Linus, runs an innovative company called Komorebi, and he topped a wonderful evening off by showcasing some of his cardistry tricks.

As we prepared to fly home, after three and a half months on the road, my daughter and I were tired, happy and full of gratitude. This incredibly special trip was life changing for both of us; and we returned to Canada different people than we first left. Our sabbatical adventure provided us with the precious gift of time. It removed us from the hectic pace of our normally busy lives and overpacked schedules: reminding us of what is truly important. Each other. This experience brought us closer to one another in a whole new way; and it is a memory that I will always cherish and never, ever forget.

Home again! The circle is complete.

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