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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

New York

As I mentioned in my last post, my grand-uncle passed away. Uncle Eddie was the last of the brothers to pass away. Aunt Margie however, is the last of the generation and she is still alive. When I found out he had passed away, I was devastated. I was however, able to go to his funeral service. Along with that, I also got to meet my family for the first time. This is the family that lives on the east coast. It was a good trip overall. Everyday was pretty much a party. I left on Friday and spent the entire day traveling. I took a shuttle to the Salt Lake airport then on a plane to Baltimore, then to Long Island, New York. It was such a long trip there. When I got to the airport, I wasn't sure who to look for. I was told that my cousin would be picking me up. Joe, one of my other cousins, told me to look out for a 300lb cuddly teddy bear that's a paramedic. I got my luggage and looked around aimlessly for a good 10 minutes. I then happened to look out the window and there was someone pointing at me who fit the description I was given. I went outside and was greeted with a huge hug. The craziness then began. The traffic in New York is absolutely horrible. I guess it's not so much the traffic as it is the other drivers. After about 20 minutes, we got to my cousin Mark's house. There was food and lots of alcohol. A little after midnight, Joe and I convinced everyone that we needed pizza. It needed to be authentic New York pizza though. Off someone went to get it for us. It was a blast meeting everyone. The funeral was scheduled for the next day at 10:00am. I didn't get back to the house I was staying at until about 3:00 and I had to be up by 7:00. It was a crazy night and I was tired the next day.
The next day I got up and was so tired and didn't feel good at all. I showered and got ready, but it took me quite a while to do so. I finally stumbled down the stairs and we left. We got to the funeral home and bagels were waiting for us. We pretty much had a tailgating party before the viewing. I only took a couple bites of my bagel and then went inside. It was weird to see my uncle lying in the coffin just as I saw my grandfather doing so just 18 months ago. It was hard for me. Really hard. After the viewing, we went to St. Hedwig's Catholic church for the mass. That was hard for me as well. After the mass, we headed to the cemetery. It was raining outside and it was really cold. Everyone was given a rose and after the priest said a few words each person went to the coffin and through the rose. We then went to a restaurant for lunch. I thought I was really hungry, but apparently I wasn't. The ravioli and the soup was good and I was able to eat it. When the main course came though, I wasn't too hungry. After everyone ate, my cousins, Joe, Mark, and Skippy gave eulogies. I cried through all those. We raised our glasses and said our final farewell to Eddie. Then Joe made a comment about all those people there not being able to say bye to my grandfather. He then had everyone raise their glasses and give a final farewell to him as well. It was so touching. After we ate, I went with Mark. He showed me my dad's old house. I thought that was neat. We didn't go in though because it was dark and cold. The house is for sale and I want it bad. It's a nice place that has gone up in value a lot over the past 40 years. We came back to the house and just lounged around. Then it was time for another meal. We had kielbasa, stuffed cabbage, and pierogies. It was to die for. (No funeral joke intended.) After dinner we played a few games and called it a somewhat early night. I didn't make it to bed before 2:00am the entire time I was there. The next day I got up and got ready and we headed back to Mark's house. We ate breakfast then watched a little football. I called the Realtor and was told there was an open house. Mark, Denise, Andy, Jerard, and I all went for a ride to the house. It was amazing on the inside. I didn't think it was as big as it looked. The price tag was huge too. The house that my grandparents sold for about $30,000 is now selling for $499,999. I couldn't believe that!! That's a huge jump. When we were done there, we went to a deli that Eddie and Emil used to own and also to my dad's old middle school. It was cool to be on my dad's old stomping grounds. After my tour of Bethpage, we headed back to Mark's. I was feeling tired so I took a nap. Dinner was cooking and we were having mussels. I had never had them before but I tried one. It was like eating a slug and I couldn't manage to get even one down. It was all right though. At least I tried it. I started to feel really sick that night and threw up everything I had eaten that day. The next day I slept in but still felt sick. After I got ready, we went to a lighthouse and then to the beach that was just below the lighthouse. I wanted to go shopping, so we did. We went to a new outlet mall that was built. They had a ton of ritzy stores from Juicy Couture to Betsey Johnson. It was insane. After the mall, we went to a truffle store. I got some Cookies and Cream ones. They are amazing!! I was then taken to the airport. That ride home was rough. I had a migraine and felt like puking on everyone and everything. My flight to Chicago was decent. I slept the entire way. The one from Chicago to Salt Lake was delayed though. That was a bad sign. I had to catch my shuttle at 10:30 and was told we wouldn't land until well after that. When we were circling the airport I texted Michael and told him to call. He did and the shuttle was waiting when I arrived late. I slept on there as best as I could. I was glad to finally be home though and to be sleeping in my own bed. Overall it was good a trip. I was glad I met my family.... finally. I so want to go back and party it up with them.