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:

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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.

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

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View of Empire State building and Lower Manhattan

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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 . . .

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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).

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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:

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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:

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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.

If I Can Make It There . . .

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Saturday is the hubs and my 11th Anniversary.  That means it’s been 11 long blissful years of legally bound matrimony.  It also means that we have yet to murder each other in our sleep.  Now that’s a reason to celebrate!  Woo-hoo.

We’ve actually been together for 17 years in total.  And in the beginning of our relationship (pre-kids) we used to do all sorts of fun stuff.  Like go to movies, dinners, plays and travel all over the place.  However, in all of the time I have been with him, and despite my many hints, requests and pleas, we have never been to New York City together.  I always imagined a trip up there around the holidays, where we could ice skate at Rockefeller Center in front of a huge, gorgeous Xmas tree, see a Broadway play, have a fabulous dinner, and just generally tour and enjoy the city.  Except for 3 days at BlogHer last year, I had never been.

But all that will change after this weekend!  We are going up just for the day to see a play and have dinner, then we will return Sunday morning.  I’m really looking forward to it, as you might imagine.  Because, except for that pesky ice skating thing (still a bit too warm), we will pretty much be doing all the things I imagined us doing.  I’m even hoping for enough time for a quick trip to the top of the Empire State Building.  But, we’ll have to see when our train arrives.

It makes sense, actually, as 11 years is the steel anniversary.  So, the train will be made of steel, the cab in which we will ride to our hotel will be made of steel, all of those very tall buildings in the city are made of steel.  See, it’s perfect!

So, as you can see, this isn’t a real post.  It’s more of a “hey, I have nothing to write about, but I should have something next week because I plan to do some fun and interesting things this weekend” type of post.  You know, one of those.  See y’all next week!

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Two Anniversaries

Today is the anniversary of the first day I started my current hellish job.  Twelve years.  It feels like an eternity, but it doesn’t quite qualify for that status.  When I started this job I was a wee tot.  I was 26 years old, about a year out of law school, dating my husband (we wouldn’t be engaged for another month), and living in a small condo with my dog.  Kids were not even on my radar at that point.  And you know what?  I loved the job.  It was the first job I ever had that I was actually excited to go to.  I looked forward to getting out of bed in the morning.  And that lasted for a few years, which is quite a feat considering how jaded and burned out I am from the same job at this point.  But at the beginning, I couldn’t be more satisfied with my employ.  I wasn’t paid much, being that I was a public servant, but it was enough to pay my bills and was the first really substantial and consistent paycheck I had ever received.  Things were good.

Cut to about 10 years later . . . a marriage, a house, 2 kids, another house.  Life was different.  Fuller.  But now, I wasn’t jumping out of bed in the morning to go to work.  Getting out of bed was a herculean effort.  I was heavier, in many ways.  I was more weighted down.  And I was searching for something.  I didn’t know what I needed, but I knew that I needed an outlet.  A different path.  A distraction.

Thus this blog was born.  Two years ago.*  Actually, 2 years ago as of 3 days ago.  I missed the actual date.  I feel a little guilty that I wasn’t paying attention closely enough to recognize the blog’s actual anniversary date.  Sorry, girl.  It wasn’t an intentional slight.  I’ve just been . . . weighted again.

I never wanted this blog to feel like an obligation.  Something I had to drag myself out of bed to do, like my current job.  I love to write, I love the blog and I especially love the blogging community and the myriad of close friends I have made since beginning this journey.  I would never go back, and don’t regret one minute of my time as a blogger, despite the negative connotations that the word may have in general society.  As I’ve stated before, I found my tribe while blogging, and it was the best thing that could have happened to me at the time. It made me finally feel like I belonged to something, and that there were other outcasts and introverts out there that knew just how I felt.  I didn’t feel so alone anymore.  Like a stranger with my face pressed up against the glass of society, looking inside at the “normal” people.  I didn’t need to stand out in the cold any longer.  I had finally found my people.

All of this is to say that I just don’t really know what path this blog will take in its 3rd year of existence.  Maybe it’s just a pedestrian case of writer’s block.  Or possibly in my cyclical ebb and flow of creativity, I am in the far reaches of my ebb.  Maybe it’s just the heat.  Whatever it might be, I have not felt like I’ve had much to share lately.  I was trying to steer the blog in a new direction for a while, focusing on more actual writing, and less goofy pictures of people dressed badly.  I think I was moderately successful on that path for a while, but now the well has run dry of ideas.  I’ve been trying to dredge up something, anything, but alas, there is naught.

Seriously, that last sentence up there.  Could that be any more pretentious and dense?  This is what I’m dealing with, people. This is where my mind is.

So, for now, I would not expect much to come from the blog.  I am going on vacation in a couple of weeks, and hopefully that will prompt my storytelling juices to flow once again.  A trip to the beach with my crazy extended family is always good for a story or two.  If something strikes me before then, I will definitely share.  But I can’t make any promises.

And to all of the newbies who have recently followed me, I know.  Bad timing, right?  But I want to say thanks for coming along on this journey with me, even though nobody knows where it will take us yet.  And I promise that I will get back to it, and hopefully will produce something worth reading again.  It just might take me a bit to get back on that horse.  Hang in there, if you would.  To new and old, good friends or hail fellows well met, it may be a bumpy ride, but it will be one worth taking . . . at least I hope so.

See you soon!

*(If you are new here and want the full history of how I actually started the blog, check out my 1 year anniversary post).

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