NJ & NY: Season's Greetings!

The holiday season this year has been quite something that I've never experienced before! I've been introduced to Thanksgiving and I also went out for a lovely meal with my loves from the airport. I dreaded this part of year back when I started work at the airport but I don't know why I was so stressed about being away from home this holiday season?! Xmas, it's going to be great! 

The holidays are a time for family and friends, due to me being on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean friends have become family in a really lovely way. My Honey Bee's have played a beautiful part during this holiday season. In November, Leah welcomed me to her Thanksgiving celebrations. The British don't celebrate this holiday so it showed me something totally different. I loved my first Filipino Thanksgiving. I remember the amount of food that was laid out on the table and the customs that made me take a plate of food home, a custom I didn't argue with! OK! Things have changed so much this year I just don't know where all the time has gone?! I'm ready for whatever comes my way because life is a challenge that we just have to keep fighting! Newark has got under my skin, I want to leave but in the same breath I don't so I will enjoy this time of year. I'll leave the staff party out! Yes, I was utterly wasted Brit! 

The night was set for myself, Fiorella, Valerie and Leah to meet for a Peruvian meal in the heart of New York City! I made my way over from Newark to meet Valerie and Leah at Journal Square PATH station, where we caught the train to 33rd St to meet Fiorella outside a random Starbucks close to New York Penn Station. As we all stood in front of Madison Square Garden we could feel the electric love from the Christmas lights that shone bright in the city. At Starbucks I became 'Jonny' because I must speak with such a crazy sounding accent?! Pio Pio was so busy but we got lucky with our cosy compartment, we loved our food and the time spent together chatting endlessly was priceless! I have been officially Peruvianised? The food was absolutely amazing! On our way back to the trains and buses we took some time in Times Square, we saw Britney up in lights and shared a timeless and precious moment together. Don't worry my loves for we shall be reunited soon! I love you all so!

I felt it was key to encapsulate what a NYC Christmas should really be, so I ventured to 'The Rockefeller Center' to see the Christmas tree. It did feel like I was starring in the 'Home Alone 2'! The atmosphere was perfect, so much so little flakes of snow started floating through the nights sky. I knew that my current American adventure would be coming to a close soon so I wanted to make sure I saw everything I could in the time remaining. Enjoying a Christmas away from home felt good to know that I could do this again in the future. I kept to my route and kept the time in mind, that Hurricane Sandy has made getting the PATH train quite difficult indeed! NYC has been an amazing place to live close to and to also experience the festive season!

What would you define as the traditional Christmas meal? Turkey and all the trimmings springs to mind, yes with Brussels Sprouts. I decided to break from tradition and go for some Vietnamese food, I went back to Pho88 Vietnamese Restaurant for my usual meal, it was a great break from my usual Christmas meal. Pushing my homesickness to one side I went for a cold Bubble Tea, setting my first Christmas Eve away from home to be the best yet! Happy times they have been so far and I will refuse to let that change on the 25th of December! Whatever happens next year I can assure you that I won't be taking the NYC Subway from Canal Street to make the last PATH train back to Newark! I don't know why I was worried being away?! Christmas Eve 2012 was so amazing!

Christmas Day will see me greeting the VS17 flight from London Heathrow Airport. I volunteered to work as a couple of months ago the thought of Christmas wasn't something I was looking forward to. My placement year has changed me slowly but surely and I actually looked forward the Christmas period because I knew that when this time of year appeared I only had a few weeks to go before I would be boarding my Virgin Atlantic flight. But fast forward to present-day, I don't see working on Christmas Day as a bad thing at all. Who do you know that had the opportunity to say 'Happy Christmas' to one of Virgin Atlantic Airways A340 aircraft's? Even though I won't be at work until 9pm in the evening I'll be good till then. I shall look back at this year and smile, I have had such an amazing time this year, so I'm going to enjoy this Christmas whatever the big day brings! Welcome to EWR! It's Christmas in the United States of America!

I'm looking forward to the big day really, before we attend our shift me and Valerie will spend Christmas Day afternoon together! She graciously invited me along to her friends house to be a part of their Christmas gathering. Americans tend to open their presents in the evening so we won't encroach on their family time. I'll be calling my family to wish them a 'Happy Christmas' so that will be emotional but I'll just be quick to make sure there's no tears before bedtime. I'm sort of looking for to a different Christmas Day, it will be a novelty to have a lie in as traditionally me and my brother would be up at the crack of dawn, that was a few years ago though. From our Peruvian meal to that Thanksgiving evening I've had some amazing holiday times with my beautiful friends. Ditching Bilston for the Rockefeller Center and Bubble Tea in Chinatown was an amazing experience that I'll forever cherish! Literally, I ate Vietnamese food in NYC on Christmas Eve that's bloody fantastic!

It's Christmas! Why Did You Take So Long?!

Joseph Harrison


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