In between the two voyages of the damned, I got to have some actual fun (yes, amazing). First, of course, spending time w/my mother, siblings, niece and others. Friday, Mum, my sister and me took a trip up to New York on AmTrak, which is much fun (certainly a lot easier than the flying was!). We got a 25th-floor room at the Times Square Marriott (awesome view!—though on the 40th floor, my brother and niece did even better), walked around Times Square a bit, then went to dinner at Sardi’s (goat cheese ravioli, mmmmm) and took Mum to Billy Elliott. Based on the movie, it’s a spectacular dance show and we really enjoyed it. Afterwards, we went to another restaurant where I tried a carrot cake/cheesecake (cheesecake with layers of carrot cake mixed in). I enjoyed that too. The trip home was much the same except for the announcer’s accent: “Newark” in his voice became “arriving at Noork.” And there was much laughter, rehashing of old family stories and telling my niece childhood memories of her dad. All in all, a great time was had by all. More than good enough to justify those flights.