I flew out of Salt Lake City on Thursday morning at 10:00 a.m. It was nonstop to JFK and took about 4 1/2 hours. I sat next to a woman originally from Israel who was visiting her in-laws in Idaho. Her and her husband retired nine years ago and now live on a boat cruising the Mediterranean Sea nine months of the year. I was fascinated by her story and her life.
We arrived a little early, but waited a while on the tarmac for the gate to open up. The town car picked me early, so we had a good half hour to wait until Laura arrived from Dulles. We circled the Jet Blue terminal a few times and then waited in the Park and Wait until she called me.
The first night Laura and I had to ourselves and we stayed at a hotel on lower Park Avenue called Park South. After checking it, Laura and I were both hungry, so we walked up to a little Moroccan restaurant that she loved. When we arrived, we found it very crowded with a 45 minute wait. We decided to keep walking around and found a quaint French place down the street. The maître d welcomed us into his restaurant, kissed our hands and swooned us with French accolades. We were seated and ordered our dinner, without any wine or alcohol, and then we never saw him again.
The food was yummy though, as we dined on calamari, caesar salad, mushroom ravioli, hanger steak, pommes frites and bread. For dessert, we had chocolate mousse and a decaf coffee. We talked and talked and talked some more. I love that about our friendship. We never run out of things to talk about. We got ready for bed and watched Project Runway until 12:30 and then I slept straight until 8:00 a.m.
The rooms at the Park South were tiny, but it was a nice bed with a European style breakfast the next morning after we worked out in the fitness center. We checked out a little after 12:00 and walked over to Laura's office, stopping at Duane Reade's drug store for a few items. Laura thought she had left her watch back at the hotel, so I ran back to find it. She later realized she had put it in her purse.
Laura had a meeting until 2:00, so I hung out and read Laughing Allegra by Anne Ford while I waited for Irene to come. She came just as Laura was finished with her meeting. We walked a few blocks (actually, a lot of blocks) to get to the parking garage where Irene had left her car. Irene chauffeured us over to the Yale Club where we would all be staying together for the next two nights.
Irene found another parking garage to store her car for the weekend and we walked over to the hotel from there. I got to walk through Grand Central Station for the first time and was amazed how massive and beautiful this train station was. When we walked around the corner, I took a picture of the front of Grand Central Station with the Empire State Building behind it.
I also loved the old bridge running across the street called the Pershing Square Bridge.
Once we checked in, we puttered around for a while and then slowly got ourselves ready for the evening. We decided to have an early dinner at a little Italian restaurant. Laura ordered beet ravioli (which was beautiful and delicious) and Irene ordered rigatoni. I couldn't make up my mind, so the maître d' said he knew what I wanted and brought out a wonderfully flavored pasta dish with thick noodles, steak and kalamata olives. We all swapped and traded dishes halfway through. Then, for dessert, we shared a tiramisu and warm chocolate almond cake. Heavenly!
It was nice being so close to Broadway from the hotel and it was a beautiful evening to walk. We were attending an off Broadway production called Burn the Floor.
We arrived a little early, so we took a couple of pictures. They teased me because I took a picture of our feet.
I tried to take a picture of the three of us with Broadway behind us. This is what I got. Not too great, as I chopped Laura's face in half.
The show was fabulous though. I really enjoyed it. Burn the Floor was two hours of non-stop dancing. I thought of my friend Darlene, as she was a dancer here in New York over 20 years ago. She would have loved to see it, but also maybe loved to dance in it too.
It was raining when we left the theater. We were just going to walk home, but then decided to take a rickshaw ride back to the hotel. It was my favorite moment from the trip, as we laughed our guts out all the way back. He was crazy, jutting us through the cars and buses on the street of New York. Definitely, a highlight! Wish the picture would have been a little more clear, but really, it is perfect just the way it turned out.
We called our driver/cyclist Lenny and he had a boom box rigged up underneath the rickshaw with blaring techno music. We couldn't stop laughing or screaming! Hysterical!
I realized after we got back to the hotel that some of my chocolate covered almonds must have spilled out into my bag and then proceeded to melt all over everything. Yuck! Bless Irene's heart because she sat and picked all the chunks of chocolate off the inside of my bag in the hotel bathroom. A true friend! :)
We stayed awake talking into the wee hours of the night and couldn't wait for the next day's adventures to begin.
Outside my window...the weather is making a shift tonight and we could see snow tomorrow and Wednesday. It's a bummer too, because the kids were suppose to go on a field trip tomorrow to the pumpkin patch and we had to cancel it.
I am thinking...of the Halloween party that I'm in charge of a Thursday. I need to pull it together tomorrow and get some planning, calling and gathering supplies done.
I am thankful for...being home and having a happy, safe and wonderful trip to New York.
From the kitchen...I've been so spoiled the past four days eating out in fabulous restaurants, delis and cafes that I can't even begin to think what to cook this week. Tonight we had tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches.
I am wearing...black fleece jacket w/adidas cropped sweats.
I am creating...a pile for the Road House Homeless Shelter that I'm going to take down next week for the families in need. I met a woman on the airplane last night who works there. I'm taking some books, furniture, baby clothes and some toys.
I am going...to go put Keaton to bed now. Jacek's exhausted too from going to bed so late last night and then having to get up at 5:30 to go to basketball tryouts for Jr. High.
I am reading...Laughing Allegra by Anne Ford. When I was with my friend Laura this weekend, I went to her work office for an hour while she attended a meeting. She gave me this book to read about Learning Disabilities which is what her nonprofit company raises money for.
I am hoping...to make a pumpkin & maple gingerbread friendship bundt cake with cream cheese buttercream this week and update my blogs.
I am hearing...Cory and Jacek talking in the office and Keaton playing with his new Mario chess set in the other room.
Around the house...I need to do my laundry and straighten up the house. The cleaning crew may be coming this week and we're having a Halloween party on Saturday.
One of my favorite things...Max Brenner's Chocolate Cafe in New York City. (See photo below)
A few plans for the rest of the week... No co-op tomorrow because the field trip was cancelled, but we'll have soccer practice at 6:00 unless bitter cold and snowing. Jacek's tryouts for Jr. High basketball today, tomorrow and maybe Wednesday. Halloween parade and party at Keaton's school on Thursday because there's no school on Friday. Keaton was invited by his friend Max to go a little office Halloween trunk or treat Friday afternoon. Max is Luigi and Keaton is Mario! It'll be so cute to see them together in their costumes. Keaton's last soccer game at 8:30 and then party and trick-or-treating.
It was a perfect day to take Keaton's annual white shirt pictures. He was in a good mood too, so I was able to take a lot of different shots and in different spots to change it up a bit. Here are just a few of favorites:
Looking through the past few posts, I noticed they have been tilted in Keaton's favor a bit. So, here's Jacek's 9th grade picture that we just got back last week. He's so handsome! I know the girls are going to go wild over him sooner rather than later.