I would put my Reeboks on and return to the city I grew up in, Worcester, Massachusetts. I would walk around my old neighborhood, visit the grounds of the different schools I attended, and plop down on a park bench and unwrap a bologna sandwich on white bread with relish—my favorite sandwich in elementary school. I would then visit the Greendale library. I was a volunteer there during junior high and loved every moment in that sweet little place.
I would kidnap my husband from work and my son from camp and head to the beach, preferably in a small town near us in Southern California. After lounging in the sun and playing in the water, we would have lunch (insert ice cream here) at one of the nearby cafés. We would end the day with a long walk in the park with our dog Bear, then camp out in our backyard. You can add cocktails for Mom and Dad at sunset.
I would spend it with Leo Tolstoy, reading War and Peace. A few years back, I started this classic on the subway but got very frustrated by the names and shoved it back into my tote. It’s time to give it a second chance.
Patricia Chizom Ezewoko
New York, New York
I have a silver Miata convertible that I love to drive. I would put the top down and sail through the Santa Cruz Mountains (the locals refer to them as “the hills,” since they never get higher than 4,000 feet), over to Highway 1, and then down the coast to Monterey. I would visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium and sit in front of the tanks for hours, utterly mesmerized.
San Jose, California
I would start a day at the spa with a massage, followed by a facial, a body wrap, a manicure, and a pedicure. I remember my first massage in Calistoga—I had never felt so relaxed. Now I save up for a massage at least once a month. Ladies, it’s better than chocolate.
I would spend the day with my 91-year-old Great-Aunt Pierina, learning her recipes. She is truly a fantastic Italian cook. She makes homemade cappelletti and quadrucci, both of which are served with a chicken-based broth, and gnocchi, which she prepares with a red sauce. At the end of the day, I would have the entire family—Pierina, Mom and Dad, Pierina’s children, and their children—over for a feast.
I recently came across the journal I kept while at New York University, in New York City. It made me nostalgic for the activities I engaged in back then: collecting Chanel No. 5 samples from every department store, reading in the lobby of the New York Palace hotel, watching back-to-back films at the Angelika Film Center. If I could, I would spend one whole day with my family walking the city, from Harlem to Union Square, re-creating some of the journal’s adventures—and stopping for Jamaican beef patties along the way.
Queens, New York