Just Another Day in Paradise

So, as you can see, I’ve returned from my trip to paradise, aka Key West.  While the Northeast was getting hit by another winter weather event, do you know what we were being hit with in Key West?  Gentle sea breezes blowing in off of the water, as we sat on our veranda, drinking tropical beverages and warming ourselves in the 79* heat, under a brilliantly sunny blue sky.

It was torture.

Snow?  What's that?

Snow? What’s that?

But I missed home.  I mean really, who needs to wake up at 9:00 am and take your key lime colored coffee mug out to your hotel room’s balcony and watch the ships as they sail by, and the busy goings on down on the street below?  Not me, that’s for sure.  I’d much prefer bitter cold temps with wind chills below zero and lots of snow to shovel.  Good exercise is what that is.  None of this lazy, lounging around for me any more!

Key west toes

And spa treatments?  Pfft, what am I, a Real Housewife?  You mean lounge around all day getting a massage and facial while drinking the most delicious (and why didn’t I think of that) strawberry infused water, while being completely pampered and spoiled by the spa staff?  No thank you, I’d prefer to just go to work and get yelled at all day.  Much more rewarding.

Key west spa

And speaking of drinking, I definitely don’t miss the Key Lime Pie Martini, served to me as we dined on a private island just off of Key West, while experiencing one of the most delicious meals I have ever tasted, sitting al fresco and gazing at the gently lapping waters on the beach just beyond the restaurant’s patio.  Nope, that’s crazy talk.  Who would miss that?  Back to just plain old water and sensible meals now that I’m home.  That’s so much better.

Key west martini

And whimsy?  Who needs whimsy?  Key West was lousy with it, I tell you.  From glowing menus, to flashing mugs filled with daiquiris, to viewing a sunset on an island where wild deer roam the beach.  It’s all just a bunch of poppycock!  Good riddance, I say.

Key west menus Key west fat tues Key west deer beach Key west deer

Not to mention all of the celebration!  A person could get a swelled head with all that attention.  Apparently, the hubs called ahead to the island, because it seemed as if everywhere we went, someone was wishing me a Happy Birthday and bringing me treats.  Sparkling Key Lime pie, mid-afternoon room service of champagne and strawberries, mid-afternoon room service of margaritas, with chips & salsa, Happy Birthday spelled out on a dessert, a special birthday menu delivered to me rolled up like a scroll . . . all way over the top and way too much celebratory nonsense for this unassuming, level-headed girl.  I mean really, it wasn’t even my birthday anymore!  For shame, Key West.  For shame.

Key west pie Key west strawberries Key west dessert Key West bday menu

Oh, and don’t get me started on the gorgeous sunsets and outdoor scenery.  It’s enough to make you sick!  Much better to be surrounded by the brown and white that is presently plaguing us at home.  That way, we get to be the ones to shine in our brightly colored snowpants and fuzzy hats!  Who would even notice us in our shorts and sandals, surrounded by all that beauty in Key West?  Nobody.  Nobody would ever see us.  Or find us . . . hmmmm.

Key west sunset 2 Key west island sunset Key West tree Key west blue heaven

So, like I said, it is really great to be home.  In fact, we returned just in time to experience a fresh coating of snow, and it looks like despite a brief respite that is reminiscent of the Key West weather, we will soon return to those winter-like weather conditions.  Who needs Key West?  Not this girl.  Nope.  I’m definitely not dreaming of the day when I can finally retire from my hateful job and move to a bungalow on the island, while the hubs goes out fishing every day and I lay in the sun, relaxing and writing, resting up for my job as a bartender at night in one of the “locals” bars.  Yeah, that’s absolutely ridiculous, and I’m frankly offended that you would even suggest it.  I mean, who am I . . . Hemingway?  Sheesh!

Advertisements

One Year Closer to Death

So, my birthday was last week.  And I survived it.

If you are new here, you might not be aware that I am cursed.  My birthdays typically suck and/or some tragedy occurs on or around it as a result of my bad birthday mojo.  This year, I was going to try to escape the angel of death by being completely and absolutely still, and hoping it would just pass right by me.  I thought I had escaped it unscathed this time.  Until the next day.

(If you’d like a rundown of past birthday suckage, and no, I was not exaggerating about the death part, go here to edumacate yourself).

Actually, this year, the birthday angel lulled me into a false sense of security.  The week preceding my birthday was going swimmingly.  My colleagues took me out to lunch, unprompted, to a very nice restaurant, and actually paid for my lunch.  This is huge, as in preceding years, they have failed to even acknowledge that I had ever been born.  Not just that, but when I arrived at work 2 days before my birthday, I found this waiting for me:

office gifts

It was from my secretary, whom I believe I have previously mentioned as being quite rad.  It contained a bottle of wine, wine glasses, nail polish and plastic utensils.  A bit of an inside joke, there, but basically for my lunches at work.  See?  Rad.

The day prior to my birthday, I actually received a card from everyone at work.  Another rare occurrence that doesn’t happen every year.  In fact, I believe this is the first year that I received it on time, and that I didn’t have to basically give to myself.  That was another fun one.

Then, after work, I ran to the mall to take advantage of a few free birthday treats that I was to receive before the end of the month.  Sephora was giving out a little mini pack of lipstick & mascara, I had a free coupon for a smoothie, and I had received an email for $15 off any purchase at Ann Taylor, so I hit the sale rack and walked away with 2 sweaters for a mere $20.  Once I also completed the few returns I had to make while in the mall, I came out square.  Free mall trip, woo hoo!!

bday mall treats

When I returned home that evening, I found that I had even more birthday treats waiting for me.  There was this huge box that had arrived from my good friend Andrea.  I was doubly impressed that it arrived the day before my birthday, as she is notoriously (and adorably) Post Office averse.  Case in point . . . last year’s birthday package arrived at the end of March.  So, she really got it in gear this year, and made it a day early.  I am very impressed!

bday package

Inside, I found 4 gorgeous martini glasses and some mini bottles of booze.  Hmmm, anyone else sensing a trend here?  What do you think people are trying to say about me with their gift choices?  I cannot figure it out.

After a quick review of the contents of the box, and a quick change out of my work clothes, I then jetted off to have dinner with another good friend and her daughter.  We went to my favorite local sushi place, and she too showered me with presents and bought me dinner.  It was a very good day, to say the least, and it wasn’t even my birthday yet!

On the actual day, I was playing it coy and low key, so I took the day off of work, slept in, and generally relaxed for most of the day.  Granted, there was laundry and packing to do for my upcoming trip, but that wasn’t too much of a chore, considering.  It was a lovely, stress-free day that I quite enjoyed.

Once my kids got home from school, though, the exciting festivities began.  I came downstairs to encounter the kitchen transformed into a tropical paradise.  I was informed that this birthday’s theme would be “warm weather.”  As long as I remained indoors, I could very easily go along with this fantasy.

bday decorations balloon chair bday cake

Then there were the gifts.  For my birthday, I asked the hubs to get 2 things for me . . . a suitcase and new leather gloves.  Since my current pair look like this:

IMG_0127

He came through on both, so he did a great job.  But he didn’t stop there, of course. Because he’s him, and there are always more gifts.  More . . . interesting . . . gifts.  Such as . . .

IMG_0546

Movies?

And then, of course, there was another gift following my own personal birthday theme . . .

IMG_0548

There is gonna be some drinking going on up in he-ah!

And . . .

bday napkins

Classy? Sure, let’s go with that.

Then I opened this one . . . in front of my kids.  Yeah, thanks hubs.

IMG_0544

Front . . .

IMG_0545

Back.

Well, it is the 50th Anniversary edition, so really, it’s a super special gift.  Right?  Uh huh.

The next day I had to go to work.  Which sucked, but I just didn’t have enough leave to take that day off as well since I would be leaving early and getting on a jet plane (don’t know when I’ll be back again) . . . and heading to Key West for 3 days.  Or at least . . . I thought I was.  Until I received the call from school telling me that my youngest son had a temperature and had to go home.  Since the hubs was home that day, he picked him up and took him to the doc’s real quick.  Then I got the text:  Strep.  And then I had to make a decision:  go home to take care of my son or leave for Key West in 4 hours.

At that point, the mama bear gene kicked in big time and I started freaking out.  I didn’t want to go on vacation.  I mean I really wanted to go, but I didn’t want to just leave my sick son with my brother in law while I jetted off to a tropical vacation.  That felt very wrong, somehow, and I also just wanted to go home and hug and care for my baby.  Who, at this point, I wouldn’t see until Monday if we left.  I was so torn.  And I realized . . . the birthday curse had struck again.  Damnit!

Obviously, I came to my senses, after being talked down by pretty much everyone I consulted, including my husband.  My son was on meds and seemed ok, so we decided that we would go.  So, although that damn curse had hit again, this time affecting my poor son, I wasn’t going to let it ruin everything.  The birthday curse would not win this time.  So, we were off to paradise!

What a Big Pickle You Have

The day after all of this happened, I got to meet up with yet another of my bestest bloggy buddies, Jules.  The last time we saw each other was on a hot and sunny day in New York City for BlogHer about a year and a half ago.  The weather was a bit chillier this time, and the location wasn’t quite as urban, but I wouldn’t have missed the chance to see her again, especially since I was on her home turf!

We planned to meet at a very famous deli, conveniently located right next to my hotel, called Harold’s.

IMG_0035

Now, you might be wondering what is so darn impressive about Harold’s that would cause Jules to suggest this as our lunch spot, except for the convenient location, of course.  Well, Harold’s is famous for 2 things . . . the enormous size of its portions and the World’s Biggest Pickle Bar.

What big cakes you have there.

What big cakes you have there.

This was my first visit to the establishment, so I was a rookie to all things Harold’s.  Val had provided a few tips about the place, having visited a few times prior, and Jules had not been there since her teenaged years, so we settled in and looked over the expansive menu.  It was impressive.  And expensive.  A sandwich would run you about $20.  Some of the menu items were upwards of $50.  It was pretty crazy.  But like I said, the portions were enormous and every order came with unlimited visits to that pickle bar I mentioned earlier.

IMG_0046 IMG_0047

Once we placed our order for a very traditional deli sandwich, corned beef, of course, we had time to peruse the inside of the napkin provided.  It was very educational:

IMG_0041

Yiddish 101

As we were waiting for our meal, the people at the table next to us were served their lunch.  The one item was so impressive, I had to ask if I could take a picture of it.  They very graciously allowed it.

IMG_0043

World’s Largest Blueberry Pancake

When our meal arrived, we finally understood why it was a $20 sandwich.  Big enough to share, we had only ordered the one sandwich, and were not disappointed with the amount of food provided.

IMG_0045

That sucker was big enough for each of us to have a half of the sandwich there, then take home the remaining meat to make more sandwiches later in the week.  I don’t know about Jules, but I got three more sandwiches out of it!  Now that’s a value.  Of course, it was lean and tender and delicious.  And the pickles that accompanied it were also fabulous.

IMG_0049

Jules in action, picking her pickles.

But!  Not only did we have a delicious lunch, yummy pickles and fabulous conversation, but Jules even provided dessert!

IMG_0077

Best. Cookies. EVER.

Yes, that is indeed 2 whole bags of triple chocolate chip cookies, lovingly homemade by Jules and given to yours truly.  Diet?  What diet?  They were probably the best cookies I’ve ever tasted in my life.  No hyperbole.  For real.

Sadly, Jules and I had to say adieu, when she dropped me at the train station to catch my train home.  I held out on eating any of the cookies (I was stuffed full of meat and pickles, so it wasn’t too hard), until after I passed Philly.  Sort of a “I made it through the danger zone” celebratory treat, if you will.  We’re not even gonna talk about the fact that I misread the departure time on my ticket, thus almost missing my train home.  Nope.  Let’s just focus on the cookies.  Delicious, delicious cookies.  Mmmmmm.

Thus ends the tales from my visit to the great state of Jersey.  Good friends, yummy treats and gay bars.  What more could a girl ask for?

What I Did on My Winter Vacation . . .

Hey guys, remember me?  The former blogger that used to hang out on here every week or so?  You know . . . the girl with cute toes, bangs, and who occasionally wrote witty blog posts?  No, not ringing a bell?  Well, let me re-introduce myself to y’all then . . . Hi, I’m Misty.  How ya doing?

Since it’s been quite a while since you’ve heard from me, I figured I would give you an update on what’s been going on with me since I last checked in.  Before I get back to my normally brilliant and award-winning posts*, you’ll get this little update post.  Ok?  Ok, then.

* Neither brilliant NOR award-winning.

Val and I had a quick visit right before Xmas to exchange presents and get our toes done.

IMG_9181

Pretty holiday feets!

Even though, technically, we didn’t exchange since she didn’t bring my present with her, but she tells me that I will receive it when I visit her up in Jersey in a few weeks, and really, I was more excited to see her reaction to the presents I bought for her anyway.

IMG_9185

Dr. Hooves!

IMG_9183

Zombie mug!

Since they both received the Val lick of approval, I’m pretty sure I nailed it.  Huzzah!

Once Val was taken care of, I had to move on to the main event . . . the big C!  And this time, I mean it in a good (albeit stressful and completely insane) way . . . Christmas.  So, to get prepared, I needed to wrap.  So, I locked myself in my bedroom, pulled out all the gifts for the kids and family (and husband), and thus commenced a 2 day wrapping extravaganza!

IMG_9215

Although, towards the evening of the first day, I started getting somewhat parched.  Wrapping can really make a girl thirsty!  So, before I settled in for another few hours of back-breaking work (seriously, you sit on the floor hunched over wrapping paper for like 8 hours and not feel like you have a broken back when you finally try to stand up!), I decided that I needed some reinforcements.  Since I was quickly running out of time to whip up a few cocktails I had been meaning to try in preparation for my Xmas eve gathering of family at my house, I figured there was no better time than the present.  So, I whipped them up, got a tray, and carted those suckers upstairs to finish Day 1 of wrapping, while watching a little Elf and getting a nice buzz on.  And let me tell you . . . those gifts looked so good!!

IMG_9218

We had our annual holiday party at work where there was a White Elephant exchange, which should more aptly be called the liquor exchange, since that’s pretty much what everyone brings.  Not that anyone’s complaining!  This was my score:

IMG_9210

The wine is actually from my secretary and the champagne is leftover from a champagne punch made for the party.  Yep, good haul.  Oh, and I also met a little mini-me, in the form of one of my colleague’s kids!

IMG_9212

Twins!

And of course, ’tis the season to listen to festive holiday CDs in your car, made for you specifically by your good friend, Andrea.

IMG_9227

The evening before The Big Day, my kids were keeping close tabs on where that Jolly Old Fat Man was in the world, so they would know when they needed to be fast asleep.

IMG_9239

Training for future careers with the NSA.

Once Christmas morning arrived, as always, it was a normal crazy present-fest in the Laws household.  The kids tore through wrapping paper like it was their jobs, and the hubs and I sat drinking our coffee and putting batteries into the numerous items that required them, with our anxious and impatient children hovering over our heads, ready to snatch the coveted object the moment the cover was snapped back into place.  Good times, good times.

And lest you think the hubs and I didn’t participate in the gift exchange festivities, well . . . I see we haven’t met yet.  Suffice to say that the hubs and I excel at gift giving.  Need proof?  Please refer back to this little item, wherein I gave him a CAR for our anniversary!  Yeah, that’s how we roll.  (On another note, you would think buying my husband a huge gift like that a mere 2 months ago would give me a pass for having to come up with a special Xmas gift for him this year . . . you would think.  Sigh).  Anyway, this was the pile of presents waiting for me from him on Xmas morning . . .

IMG_9277

I was a VERY good girl!

And yes, if you are observant, you will note the 1D wrapping paper.  Last year it was Justin Bieber.  So, at least he’s keeping up with the tween heart-throb trend of the moment.  But the very first gift I opened from him wasn’t very humorous.  It hit a bit too close to home, despite my husband’s claims that the name on the tag is of a very trendy and reputable store in London and that it’s not a joke.  Sure.

IMG_9273

Ouch.

Although, after that unfortunately named gift, there were may more gifts to open and there was much silliness to be found . . .

IMG_9274

Because of my well-known love of fishing, naturally.

IMG_9282

Mmmmm, Bacon!

IMG_9283

Either the hubs realizes my love of both of these mens’ characters on their hit shows, or maybe he thinks I’m a gay man? Meh, probably the first one.

IMG_9289

Well, he got this right at least!

IMG_9285

Um, no. I am SO not a leather skirt kind of girl.

Oh, and you’re probably wondering what was in that big box, right?  (What’s in the box?  What’s in the box?!?!?!).  Well, that gift was not a joke.  Ahhh, the hubs knows me so well!

IMG_9290

Wine party at my house, you guys!!  You bring the wine, and I’ll chill it for you.  Bam!  Just like that.

The rest of the day went by very quickly, and involved more gifts, lots of food and drinks, and too many family members to count!  By the end of the day, as always, the hubs and I were beat and the kids were buzzing like they were on a 3 day sugar high.  Once we finally herded them up to bed, we crashed on the couch and didn’t even come close to getting through our yearly traditional viewing of White Christmas.  I think the hubs was out by Snow (possibly even Sisters), and I only made it until Choreography before I had to shut it off and call it a Xmas.

A couple days later, we took the kids on a quick trip up to New York City for their first time ever.  But, despite only being two days, it felt like a millennium, and we experienced a ton of stuff, so I think I’ll save that for a separate post.  Don’t wanna overdo it on my first trip back into the blogosphere after so long.  I wouldn’t want to pull a hammy!

So, how was your holiday break?  Do anything fun and exciting?  Share with the class . . .

In HER Eyes . . .

When the gauntlet was thrown down by a fellow blog friend, I had no choice but to pick it up and run with it.  Is it gauntlets or scissors you aren’t supposed to run with?  I always get that mixed up.  Eh, whatever, too late.  It’s more of a slow amble anyway, since my entire diet has consisted of cookies for the last two weeks, so I really don’t think I’m dangerous with any sharp objects right now.  Wait, what was I talking about?  Oh, right . . . gauntlets.  I suppose you are wondering what on earth I’m rambling about, yes?  Either that, or you stopped reading about 6 sentences back, and who can blame you.  But, if you are still hanging in there (and really, why?  Seriously, there is something wrong you with you.  Might wanna work on that in the new year), let me explain . . .

I was reading my friend Darla’s blog post today, and laughing hysterically at her ridiculousness, when I came upon the comments.  This is where I then saw another blog friend throw down a challenge . . . on almost every single person’s comments on the post.  Accordingly, I imagine that not much work was being done today at Peg’s place of employ, but it sure was fun to read.  This was her challenge:

Well, after all that work, by both the brilliant and clearly insane, Darla, as well as the evil genius, Peg, I had no choice but to join in on the fun.  Besides, it’s not like I was going to be posting anything otherwise today, so this is just a little extra bonus for all y’all, right?  Right?  Hello?  Oh well, I’m used to talking to myself.  I have a husband and two boys.

Ok, before I get too far afield on this tangent . . . again . . . let me present you with my choice as the most fantastical of all photoshopped wonderment that came from Darla’s twisted and wonderful brain.  I present to you . . . In Her Eyes:

slide123-e1387717534553

Swoon!  Who could resist that face?

Ok, now that I’ve participated, as instructed . . . it’s your turn.  If you haven’t already hit the bubbly (and hey, even if you have), go to Darla’s blog and pick one of her fabulous pictures and feature it on your blog.  And . . . go!

Well, now I’m off to have my own fabulous New Year’s fun . . . game night at my sis-in-law’s house and then in bed by 12:30.  I really do know how to party!  Cheers to you.  See you in the new year.  Have fun and be safe, everyone!

I Got Banged

It was time. 
 
A girl can only go so long in her life without experimenting a bit.  
 
And really, the last time it happened to me, I was just a kid!  Not yet ensconced in the mire of habit and predictability. 
 
So, I did it.  I went a little wild and crazy, and did something different. 
 
And I don’t regret it.  
 
Nope, I’m gonna own it, loud and proud.  I don’t care what kind of labels people may attach to me now that I’ve made the move.  Maybe it’s for the best, after all.  Shows me who my true friends are. 
 
And I’ll tell you . . . I feel different.  As if this one act of daring has somehow changed me forever.  It feels good to be bad. 
 
And lest you judge me, I have to tell you that I just couldn’t do it the same way again.  It was enough!  The same old boring up and down, just the usual, trim and blow I always have.  I’m beyond that.  
 
It’s a new me.  And I feel no shame.
 
Before . . .

Before . . .

After!!

I’m not what you would call a high-maintenance, stylish, Real Housewife kind of girl.  I would consider my style as professional (for work) and comfortable (for home).  There’s not a lot of in between.  Very, very rarely I will wear a dress, but when that happens, it pretty much means that someone is getting married. 

Same thing with my hair.  I get it cut about every six months.  I’ve been going to the same stylist for the last 10 years or so, and each time I go, I basically tell her to do the same thing, with very little variation.  Although, I do consistently ask her to cut it a little bit shorter each time.  She mostly acquiesces, with only the slightest amount of resistance.  Usually, she throws some layers in there, just to give it a little oomph, and I routinely walk out of the salon, looking like this:

Picture 3519 Picture 3796

Lather, rinse, repeat . . . literally. 

I can usually tell when it’s about time to get a cut, because people will start making comments about how long my hair is getting.  Anything approaching shoulder length is “long” for me.  And usually, I get fed up with the  maintenance and blow drying time long before the comments start.  But something was different this time.  I kind of liked the length.  True, I still hated the styling part, but it had gotten so long this time, that I could actually pull it back without it looking goofy, which is not something I am normally able nor willing to do.  Especially at work. 

Picture 12211

Me, at work. In what is essentially a ponytail. Crazy, right?

But, I knew I needed to do something to it, as it was getting a bit unwieldy, what with all the dead ends and such (one very significant drawback to bi-yearly cuttings).  Plus, I had that most magical of days off, Veteran’s Day, where I normally run errands while most of the rest of the country is working or at school.  (Thanks vets!!).  So, I decided that this would be the perfect time to pay a visit to my stylist.

I went in knowing what I was going to do. At some point, the idea had begun brewing around in my head, and now I just needed to be brave enough to pull the trigger.  My stylist was delighted when I told her I wanted to keep it long, with no layers and . . . bangs!  She may have giggled and clapped.  Adorable. 

The reactions have been mixed from family, friends and colleagues.  And even from myself!  One minute, I think it’s awesome, and the next I wonder who that girl is in the mirror wearing the Cleopatra wig.  The hubs’ first reaction was that it was “different,” and when I asked if he liked it, he said yes, but when I followed up with, “would you tell me if you didn’t?” he responded, “probably not.”  This ain’t his first rodeo.

Here are some other reactions I received:

– “You daring hot mama!” 
 
– “Sassy.”
 
– “A new you.  Very cute!”
 
– “Oooh, I like it!!”
 
– “You look 10 years younger” (to which I replied, “Oh, 28.  I’ll take it!” . . . to which she said, “Oh, you’re that old???”  Um, thanks?)
 
– Male colleague standing in my doorway quietly laughing . . . Me: “Don’t just stand there laughing at me, it’s very rude!”  Him:  “No!  It’s just that I’ve never seen you be daring before.  You always just do the same thing.  And . . . . It’s not as fluffy.”
 

Whether it turns out to be a good idea, or bad, it comes down to this . . . it will eventually grow back.  It’s only hair, after all.

The Big Apple Bites Back

As I mentioned last week, the hubs and I took a little trip to New York City this past weekend for our anniversary.  The original plan was to just go up Saturday afternoon and return Sunday morning, but he figured out a way to cut his trip to Brazil short, thus enabling us to get up there Friday night.  This allowed us to do a few extra things, such as have sushi that night at a really great place I had eaten at 2 years prior, sleep in on Saturday, and have all day to explore the city.  All good things.

Once we dragged our tired asses out of bed Saturday morning (the first number on the clock may have been a double digit), the hubs ran across the street to one of about 4 Starbucks on that block, and returned with a much needed latte . . . and a few other things:

Picture 11409

He may have felt a little bad about not really getting me a present (I told him no gifts), since I got him a car and all, so he picked up some chocolates, a tiny cab and a card to go with the latte.  I assured him that we were fine since he was basically giving me NYC for my anniversary, and that was enough, but he’s a gifter.  He can’t help it.

The day was off to an auspicious start as we headed out from the hotel towards 30 Rock to go to the Top of the Rock.  I had never really done the touristy thing in NYC, since the one and only time I was there, 2 years ago at BlogHer, my time was filled with conferencing and some brief walking around (I did get to experience Times Square, which was enough for a lifetime!).  So, this time, I wanted to do as many touristy things as time allowed.  First stop was the closest super tall building we could find, so I could get a view of the whole city.

Picture 11435 Picture 11426

See?  Proof that I was there!  You even get to see the view from up top!  What?  Ok, fine . . . here’s the real thing:

Picture 11591

View of Empire State building and Lower Manhattan

Picture 11595

View of Central Park and Upper Manhattan

And speaking of Central Park . . . that was to be our next destination.  That was the one place that I regret not having the chance to visit the last time I was in NYC, because it was a mere 3 blocks away.  I just never had the time or opportunity.  So, we descended from the 60-something stories of 30 Rock, and landed in the bowels of the building, only to come out on top of the ice skating rink!  It wasn’t quite open yet, but they were preparing it, so it was close.  But I was happy to at least get to see it, even if I didn’t get to skate.  It will happen, damnit!  Someday . . .

Picture 11457

How much did I want to leap onto that Zamboni and ride around the rink? Yeah, that would be A LOT.

On our way to Central Park, we stopped at a Jamba Juice and picked up some smoothies and sandwiches, so we could cop a squat in Central Park and eat a late lunch.  Our dinner reservations weren’t until 11:00 that night (after the show), so we figured we’d eat something and hoped it would do us until dinner (it didn’t).  We opted not to take a horse drawn carriage ride, and instead just hoofed it into the park ourselves, where we parked our derrieres on a grassy knoll and ate our little lunch.  It was pretty bizarre being surrounded by trees and grass and huge rocks and streams, then looking up behind us and seeing massive buildings towering over our heads.  Surreal.  As we walked further in to the Park (which is massive by the way), we began to see some very Central Parky type things.  Basically, if you’ve seen a TV show or movie shot in NYC, you’ve probably seen these things at some point.  This is a very famous walk:

Picture 11485

And this next picture just screams Central Park to me.  As in, this is exactly what I envision when someone says “Central Park,” even though I have never previously been:

Picture 11492

At this point, we realized that we needed to start heading back to the hotel so we would have enough time to get ready for the show.  We only made it about a quarter of the way into the Park , so I definitely want to return and get to experience the rest at some point.  Did I mention that it’s huge?  Yeah.

When we got back to our hotel room, this was waiting for us:

Picture 11527

Very beautiful, and from my husband.  Gorgeous roses, a bottle of really good champagne (we’ll get to that), and my favorite . . . chocolate covered strawberries.

Now, I’m not usually a big champagne drinker, but I figured I’d open it and we could have a glass while getting ready for the show.  But let’s go back and review, shall we?  Because this is where it starts to get interesting . . .

– A latte for breakfast
– Smallish sandwich and smoothie for lunch
– Lots and lots of walking around the streets of New York City

Add all of those together, and you will get two pretty hungry people with empty stomachs.  Even though we had not planned it, we decided to order some room service, since we didn’t think we’d make it until 11:00 without some food.  Well, that was a debacle, as they forgot one of the two things we ordered, so we ended up having to split an ahi tuna wrap.  Which was fine, because that, along with a few strawberries, basically tided us over.  Oh yeah, and we also drank the entire bottle of champagne.  It was just really really good, so I kept pouring more glasses.  We split the bottle, but honestly I probably had 4 glasses to his 3.

Picture 11528

Sooooo good.

Once we were all clean and dressed purdy, we decided to take a cab to the theater.  Now, we definitely could have walked, as it was really only about 6 blocks away (big NYC blocks, but still), but I was wearing some super high heels and didn’t want to take the chance of killing myself trying to hurry in those things, or killing my feet by walking too much.  So, cab it was.  Although, we ended up having to walk about 3 blocks anyway, because the cab driver had no idea where he was going, so at one point we just got out and walked it.  We made it with just enough time to get to the bar, get a “double” glass of wine in a sippy cup, and settle into our 12 inch wide seats for the show (seriously, I got real cozy with the stranger to my left.  In some cultures, we are now betrothed).

Picture 11534

Well, the wine was delicious (and gone by the intermission) and the show was hysterical.  I would highly recommend it, unless you are easily offended, especially by any religious satire, because holy hell, they really go far out there with it.  I loved it.  The hubs . . . not so much.

Once the show was over, we really needed to book it to the restaurant.  In fact, we were so worried about making it on time, and trying to find a cab to get us there, we had to turn down the very generous offer of a backstage tour after the show from a friend’s husband who works sound for the show.  I was so sad, but the hubs was really nervous, so I deferred to his OCDness and we just left right after the end of the show.  We did, in fact, have some trouble finding a cab, so we started walking a bit, hoping we could get one once away from the theater and everyone else who was trying to get one.  However, once we started walking, we realized that we were not that far away, and that we had enough time . . . so we foregoed the cab and just kept walking, which was not the original plan.

So, of course . . . I twisted my ankle and fell onto the sidewalk.  Because, of course.  But, I soldiered on, and we eventually made it to the restaurant.  Where I ran to the bathroom to check the carnage, and saw this:

Picture 11556

So sexy.  And yes, the stockings came right off and were placed into the trash right there at the restaurant.  Because I’m classy like that.

When I returned to our table in the restaurant, the hubs had ordered us a celebratory glass of champagne.  Which was not quite as delicious as the one in the hotel, but was still quite tasty.  Especially after all that walking (and falling).  Then, we ordered a 3 course prix fixe with a wine pairing for each course.  The dishes were delicious and the wines matched perfectly.  However, by the time I got to my third course, I began to realize something . . . I was drunk.  Seriously, it just sort of hit me like . . .  whoa!  Looking back, it was not that surprising, as I had consumed about 3 bottles of wine so far that night, with very little to eat at that point.  The hubs was quite surprised, though, saying “but you train for this!”  But I had to remind him that one glass of wine 3-4 nights a week does not constitute “training” for that level of drinking.  It’s like someone merely training for double A college sports and then told they will be going to the Olympics!  As you might imagine, we cabbed it back to the restaurant and I fell asleep soon after.

But that is not the end of the story!  Oh no . . . because when I woke up the next morning, I discovered this on my upper left arm:

Picture 11600

A HUGE complete and total mystery bruise!  I have no idea where it came from, the hubs had no clue, and I never blacked out or anything the night before, nor do I remember even bumping into anything at all.  When I fell, it was straight to my knee (as you can see above), and I didn’t hit my arm in the slightest.  I have no idea what this is or where it came from!  It is truly bizarre.

So, all in all I would say it was a pleasant trip to NYC.  Despite the falling and the drunkenness and the mystery bruising (!), it was otherwise a fun and enjoyable trip.  I can’t wait to return to do the dozens of other touristy things there are to do there!  What a great city.  I just hope next time, I leave with less blood loss.

Previous Older Entries