The American Experience, Part I: Travel, Weddings, and Numbers

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The last two weeks were one gigantic adventure. My amazing wife and I did so much in just a short period, and I can’t stop talking about our experience. For two weeks I learned so much about myself, family, travel, the world, and so much more.

I can’t wait to talk all about it in the next several posts.

American Travel

Now, I’ve spoken in the past about my dislike of travel. Unfortunately, I certainly can’t say that has changed too much. Packing is still a pain in the butt. Airports are still awful and traveling by plane is easily the most expensive way to be treated like a dirtbag criminal. And I write all of this while moving my body back and forth just to stay awake after another night of sleep massacred by the devil we all know of as jetlag.

But I’ve come to learn a few more gems about travel I’d love to talk about. We’ll get to that soon enough.

Kicking the Crap out of Sciatica

The first piece of good news: The last time I traveled was a bit over a year ago. The trip was plagued by my vicious sciatica. The initial flight was unbearable. The car ride to follow was the worst my sciatica ever got. And the pain was a dark cloud over the entire experience.

And to be sure, this was not a pain-free experience either. However, by the time I finally made it back to my good ole Jerusalem apartment, I couldn’t believe how good I felt. So there’s another feather in the cap to my recovery story. The goal now is to be 100% by next summer, just in time to make my next travel experience the best I’ve ever had.

American Marriage

wedding

A major theme of our trip was marriage. Not just the celebration of our own incredible experience (we celebrated our one-year anniversary while abroad), but the date of our trip was so Devorah and I could head over to Pittsburgh for one of her closest friend’s weddings. And there’s nothing quite like seeing the joy on your spouse’s face as they experience the joy of others.

Love was truly in the air.

Happiness and Tragedy

Now, my wedding last year was one of the most remarkable days I or anyone could ever experience. Everything was nearly flawless… with one tragic flaw looming over every minute of an otherwise perfect day.

Just weeks before my wedding, I received news that still gets me a bit teary-eyed. My father had a fall, and due to his injuries, my parents wouldn’t be able to attend my wedding. My parents mean more to me than I could ever convey in a simple blog post. To not have them at my own wedding was almost more than I could handle. But ultimately I dusted off my shoulders, and the show went on.

But little bits of sadness kept with me throughout the whole year.

Until now.

Married at City Hall

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For the longest time, Devorah has thought it would be fun to have a civil City Hall wedding in New York City. I always liked the idea, but with a few tweaks and some good luck, the idea was taken to the next level. We decided that not only would we get married at City Hall, but we would do so on our one-year anniversary.

It was just us, my parents, and my brother. We all got dressed up and not only did we experience something fun and entertaining, but we got to essentially right one of the most complex wrongs in the previous year. I couldn’t be more grateful that my parents were at least there for our second ceremony.

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And who knows where the third one will be!?

Wedding Night of Champions

But the evening didn’t end there. We went out for a thoroughly mediocre dinner in the city. My Yelp review: “We left hungry… but at least I’m broke now.” (The low point of a night that got better by the second.)

And then we proceeded to perhaps the most fun place in the world: FAO Schwarz, where we played with every toy in the known universe. And capped the night with dancing away on the ultra-famous oversized piano.

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We decided it would be fun to spend the remainder of the evening all dressed up, which was quite the fantastic decision. Everywhere we went people saw our clothes and Devorah’s bouquet, and everyone from passersby on the street to clerks at FAO Schwarz got super excited when they found out we just got married.

A Thing of the Past

People reacted like newlywed couples were a piece of a joyous past, lost long ago. It was a pleasure to bring smiles to so many faces.

And I know what you’re thinking. Those Jaffes and their disingenuous pretending like they just got married. Well… OK, I get your point… But seriously, go away. It was fun. And I’d do it again!

But I digress.

The whole day and evening were magical. And we finished off at a quaint and mysterious hotel in the city.

253 Revisited

Before we got our room number, I joked how amazing it would be if we got room #253. It would certainly fit the craziness that has been the previous year. For those new to the party, 253 is the numerical value of both of our Hebrew names, and a number that just seems to follow us wherever we go.

I was ever so slightly disappointed when that wasn’t our room number. But hey, how often do extreme and twisted coincidences happen for people anyway?

And then I stood frozen in the elevator as I realized the significance of the room number we had actually received, #506.

“Babe, the room is 506,” I said. At first, Devorah was confused and didn’t understand why that was at all relevant. And I just looked at her waiting for it to hit. Knowing full well it would.

506 is 253 + 253.

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True Magic

It was the perfect symbol of us coming together as a fully united couple. Any two idiots can get married. But it’s something special when two people love the hell out of each other significantly more than they did a whole year earlier.

That’s true magic.

That is absolutely something worth celebrating!

And that’s just the beginning of the tale of our adventure in America.

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The American Experience, Part I: Travel, Weddings, and Numbers

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