Brenda & I went to the east coast this past Thursday, our makeup trip for our postponed christmas Visit. Our christmas Visit was postponed due to weather. Perhaps in honor of that fact, we encountered more goddamned weather.

Booked on a noon flight Thursday, our flight pulled back from the gate promptly at 2:15 so we could sit on a taxiway for another 45 minutes before departing. Upon arrival in the NY metro airspace, we commenced a precision hold for another 45 minutes before landing at Newark NJ. Upon arrival, the NJ Transit train we boarded for New Brunswick was horrifyingly similar to the one I left almost two years ago when I finished my tour of duty, but at least this one arrived on time -- unlike the one we tried to take the next day to Philly. That one was delayed -- thanks to similar weather we experienced when we postponed out trip back in December in the first place -- 30 minutes, then 45, then disappeared from the planet as the one after it was delayed, then canceled. My brother-in-law picked us up and eventually we arrived at my sister's house. I am here to tell you that New Jersey Transit's Northeast Corridor Service is as horrible as it ever was, and I hate the entire miserable corporation with every fiber of my being.

The trip was good, overall, delays notwithstanding. We saw family and friends and saw some old neighborhoods. Unfortunately we did not get to see everyone, but our shit was delayed so what do you expect? Sorry John, Davis, Lisa & Pete, and the gang at RDG.

The big revelation was this: I love where we live now. Yes, New Jersey is where I grew up. Yes, New York City is where I was born, and where my ancestors immigrated to. Yes, the New York/New Jersey Metro Area is where the majority of my family continue to live. And, big yes, I hate when people smugly compare one living situation to another, but you know what people? I earned this, and I wouldn't trade it.

Most of my family back east still don't quite get why we love it out here, and I understand that; after all, back home we have cold cuts and the Yankees. But here, there is less shit on the sidewalk; people are, on the whole, nicer; the weather is, on the whole, nicer; there is less horn-honking; less attitude; more bike paths, mountains and beer. And that is the nicest way I can say it. I spent the last five days compiling a long list of sense memories of what I don't miss, but it's silly to list them here. Suffice to say it's a long list.

I'd say I'm done with New York, but we all know life doesn't work that way. Time will tell. But I'd like to say that I felt a palpable relief when I saw the Front Range out the window of our plane on arrival, and I breathe easier out here. I'd like to stay right here.