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You & Me in NYC: A Spontaneous Trip Home to D.C.

June 28, 2011

In May, Washington, D.C. native Leen Zada won free summer housing in New York City in EHS’s You & Me in NYC promotion with Internships.com. Leen now interns for the nonprofit Participatory Culture Foundation, but this week, she documents a botched attempt to drive home and surprise her family.

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The George Washington Bridge carries I-95 from New York into New Jersey, onward through Philadelphia and Baltimore and, eventually, Washington, D.C.

By Leen Zada

This past week, one of my good friends, Aya — whom I’ve known since we were kids — came from Montreal to spend the night while she was on her way to Jordan. We were both so excited, since we had planned to visit each other this past year and it never worked out, but somehow it finally worked in New York. Who would’ve thought?

We went out that night and woke up early the next morning since we were limited on time — she had to be at the airport by 7 p.m. The entire day was hectic and rushed, but extremely fun.  We shopped for a bit, walked around Times Square, and went to the Empire State Building, which has a phenomenal view!

One thing I really like about my internship is that they allow me to work from home or a café, so the day that I had to go pick up Aya, I worked from home until I had to go get her.

I love the fact that so many places deliver food here, so Friday night I ordered some Arabic food because I was craving it so badly. I’m a very spontaneous person, and while I was eating, I started thinking to myself that I should go back to D.C. on Saturday to visit my family and surprise them!

Since my twin brother Basheer was coming in from London that day and my mom was having a big dinner gathering, I found it to be the perfect time to go.  I called my dad, and he thought it was a great idea as well.

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Leen's friend Aya came to visit her in NYC for a day on her way to Jordan.

Well, nothing went as planned, and the only person that was surprised to see me was my little brother. I walked into his room while he was expecting me to be in New York — his facial expression was priceless!

My mom was getting her hair done, so I thought I could go grab some Chipotle while she was gone.  Little did I know she would come back home before me, find my car missing from the garage and find my bags in my room.  Right as I was pulling into the driveway, I got a text from her saying, “Where are you?” and I knew she had found out.  It was poor planning on my part, but either way, she was very happy to see me.  It was great seeing my family and good friends for the night and eating my mom’s delicious food (she is the best cook ever), but I was definitely ready to head back to New York!

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