After 185 hours together in DC and New York, Jon and I parted ways earlier this morning. He has some meetings in the city this afternoon and will fly back to London from JFK tonight, so I'm heading home now. We shared a hurried kiss in the subway as we went in different directions and, though it wasn't as histrionic as our earlier goodbyes, this one actually felt harder than those of the past year.
I think it's because we don't have any control over what happens to us next. We'll be seeing each other again for Christmas (and, more importantly, my grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary) in the Bahamas, but the big picture has been taken entirely out of our hands. Since I moved back from London, we've been in charge of our relationship, first through wedding planning and then through preparing Jon's visa application; now all we can do is wait. I know we'll be fine and I'm sure the time until he's approved will fly by, but it's just a little scary.
The goodbye might have also seemed more meaningful than usual because we spent such a wonderfully normal week together - it really did feel like Jon was starting to live in Washington and we were beginning to create little routines and favorites for our shared life. It was certainly a holiday, but our special occasion outings were adventures that we'd probably have enjoyed even if we were both in DC full-time. We discovered Smoke and Barrel, a "beer, BBQ, and bourbon" place that's five minutes away from our apartment, and I introduced Jon to Ted's Bulletin, where we had brunch on Monday morning. We spent a few hours browsing home furnishing shops on 14th Street, talked about where we'd hang the artwork that Jon's shipping over from London, and debated the relative merits of putting a second dresser in the bedroom as opposed to shoving it in our walk-in closet. I invited over some friends on Monday evening, convincing Jon that there are fabulous people in DC and that the apartment is suitable over for entertaining. I think it encouraged him to see himself having a great time in his new town! But the weather on Tuesday and Wednesday was miserable, even by London standards, so we stayed pretty low-key by venturing out only to pick up our race packets for Thursday's 5k Turkey Trot, grab lunch with Dad at Stoney's near Logan Circle, and see Catching Fire at the Uptown. We also treated ourselves to date night at Zentan thanks to a gift certificate I won in a raffle last spring and had the most delicious Japanese-inspired meal!
On Wednesday afternoon, we headed to my parents' house in time to meet the rest of the family. (I was delighted to be reunited with Charlie, who had been banished to the suburbs on Monday morning after an entire night of sleep-related negotiations, but that's a story for another time.) We lit the candles and ate latkes to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah and rested up for the next morning's race.
The Turkey Trot was lots of fun, even if it was absolutely freezing, and it was so great to run it with my whole immediate family. Sarah kept Dad on track and Mom zipped ahead while Jon stuck with me even after I got mad at myself for having taken the first mile too fast. (Note to self: work on pacing! I think I'm going to invest in the Garmin 210 because I clearly have no concept of what my body is doing without technological help.) I came in at 38:45, which is a bit slower than I'd hoped for but I didn't mind so much because we ran against the wind for the entire last mile! We definitely worked hard for our Thanksgiving feast later that day.
Jon and I stopped by the mall on Black Friday to do some Christmas shopping - I think he was a little disappointed not to see crazed Americans trampling everything to get at the sales - and managed to check almost everyone off our list. We returned to our apartment around dinnertime and tiptoed into the delicate dance of learning how to navigate a kitchen together before walking up to the National Zoo to see the Zoo Lights and then taking the bus down to Dupont Circle to catch up with old high school friends over drinks.
We drove up to New York on Saturday morning with my grandparents, giving thanks for a painless experience on I-95 and the New Jersey Turnpike, and then headed out again almost immediately for a wonderful party in Connecticut. The next morning felt slightly less magical than the night preceeding, but Jon and I were determined to take in as much of New York as possible so we set off for a day of ambitious walking. We covered almost 6.5 miles in about 6 hours with a stop at Cafe Luxembourg on W70th for brunch with my dad's side of the family, where we had a Jon Hamm sighting, a meander down 5th Ave and through Rockefeller Center, a brisk stroll on the High Line, and a late lunch in Chelsea Market. Jon and I closed out the day with Japanese tapas at Rockmeisha Izakaya in the West Village with my good friend Nora and her Jon.
Nana and Pappy and Jon and I shared a leisurely breakfast at their apartment this morning and then we set off on our separate ways. See you soon, DC and parents. Until next time, New York. Jon and Sarah and grandparents, I'll meet you in the Bahamas in three weeks!
(I did try to keep my phone away for most of the time I spent with my family and with Jon, but I'll be the first to admit I have more progress to make on that front...)