On a more practical note, and the answer to the question of 'Where the Heck Have I Been'.....I've been busy. Busy. Busy. Busy. Yes, aren't we all.
My particular brand of 'busy' has involved a promotion at work (new CEO, departure of my boss, new position and title for me, now managing 20-30 people, yikes!), travel across the country, trips between Florida and Dallas, vacations in Key West and New York City (could those be more different?) and visits to South Texas to see the best darn parents on the planet. LOTS going on, almost none of it doable without the invention of air travel and flying machines.
I just returned from another trip to the Big Apple. This one was combination business/pleasure -- business for my husband and pleasure for me. We took friends along, and that always makes it more fun. The men worked while the women walked, walked, walked the City (the best way to see it). (This is highly unusual, because I am the one usually working...so a nice change.) Shopping in the Diamond District (score!) and the wonderful little boutique shops in SOHO (where I could probably spend all day). Over to the Lower East Side for some discount shopping that was a complete waste of time (don't bother with Orchard Street, IMHO). Through Chinatown, Greenwich Village, brunch in Central Park, lunch in Little Italy, dinner at Balthazar, downtown to Ground Zero to pay some respects, a Broadway night of 'Jersey Boys' (fabulous!). I feel like I landed in a tub full of NYC, marinated in it and soaked in as much as possible in 4 days. Fabulous, once again. The City does not disappoint. It is probably my second favorite city in the world, just after London, with Rome not far behind. All so very international and cosmopolitan, so much to see, so much great food to eat (yum!) and such fabulous people-watching. I feel like a citizen of the world when I'm there. Oddly, I feel refreshed when I come back from NYC.
I also just spent some time in downtown Chicago, another great city, another great place to eat and watch people, another center of culture and cosmopolitan activity. But I must say, I never get that NYC feeling there, I just don't.
I often wonder how one tiny island on the Hudson can house one of the world's centers of fabulousness in everything. How did it all land there? How did that happen?
It seems that I never tire of NYC, and I'm not sure why.