I've been back several times since, once as a tourist with josh and the shaws and the rest as a visitor of my dear friend Inna. Visiting Inna is always nice. Well, obviously, because I get to see Inna. But also because I get to feel like a normal person in a city, not one of those fanny pack toting, sneaker wearing, picture taking americans. Well, who am I kidding, I'll always be a picture taking American but, with Inna, I'll do it in thrift shops and byob french restaurants not jumping in front of every famous landmark you can think of.
Which kind of picture-taking American will I be on this trip, you ask? Well, your answer is... Both! I am meeting Inna and her friend Katie tonight and staying with Inna. We will spend as much time together as possible tomorrow and saturday but she will be passing many daytime hours writing in the library so ill have some nice time wandering the streets on my own. So, actually, ill be a third kind of picture- taking american this weekend, the kind that doesn't because she is a normal person just living in new york. Or something like that. When I told Josh that I'd be on my own tomorrow as well as saturday, his first reaction was this "don't spend $263,626,727 wandering NYC". Well don't worry Josh, my budget is only $163,626,727.
Anyway, on to my third role as a NYC visitor. Saturday night and Sunday, I get to be the touristy tourist I once was with Sam and Nicole. And the best part is- drumroll please- that I get to do this with none other than Nicole!! She and her sister, Kristin, are on holiday up there next week and I'm crashing their party. We will miss Sam but she is in LA doing cool film things. We are going out for Kristin's birthday and having a picnic in central park. And maybe more. Nicole is my other best friend from florida (besides joyce and josh) And she has not made many "I love lucy" headlines recently because she didn't do Ragbrai (and I don't live with her) but now is her time to shine! She is truly special, she lives in Tampa, she just moved back there from Gainesville after finishing her masters in health education, she is planning to do teach for america next year in charlotte or nashville. More importantly, she loves to cook- especially things from her rachel ray cookbook, she does pilates and other womanly gym classes, she has less clutter and junk than any girl I know, she has a really good voice- and loves karaoke, she refuses to wear skinny jeans, she loves board games- mainly because her team always wins, and she has just souped up her bike rosa that I handed down to her last year and is planning to join a bike club in the tampa area. Most importantly, we are going to be together in two days!!
I don't usually like to leave home this frequently. I haven't had a normal work-free weekend with Josh since before I left for Ragbrai. And, of course, this was going to be my first chance to ride Charlie long and hard. But I love Nicole and haven't seen her since May so how could I ever pass up such an opportunity?! And I love the prospect of being a part of Inna's busiest week preparing for year two of law school. (Oops!) I miss Lucy and Charlie, and a normal relaxed life with Joshua but, if you haven't gathered, I'm so very excited about the weekend ahead, and the many versions of tourist Carrie that will partake in it. Rest assured, all of them will take plenty of pictures to share with you.
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