|Grand Central Station: the adventure begins!
The background. During the huge, never ending project with late hours and lost weekend that MTG worked on through the winter, I said, “If I survive this, I’m taking a vacation.” (Yes, he worked the long hours, but I wrangled the children. I get the vacation.) He said, “You should go see Lori.”
Lori was my supervisor when I was lobbying mumble mumble years ago, and she is one of the best people on the planet. She found another one of the best people on the planet to marry and together they had a superb child. Just…awesome. Said child was two months old when last I saw all of them. She is now 5. That’s really much too long.
Anyway, I contacted her and said, “Can I come?” and she said, “Can you! SQUEE!” (Incidentally, she didn’t know that what she was doing was squeeing until I explained it to her. I don’t know what to think about that.)
|After the show! Still very cold.
Although she’s near Albany, she suggested a quintessential NYC experience, since my previous trips into the City had been brief, work related, and not all that much fun. This time was also brief, but instead of work, we had all the fun one could cram into 29 hours.
Of course, New York City and Broadway are synonymous, so we went to see Mamma Mia. After lunch at Rosie O’Gradys, we stood in the very cold line for tickets. I was wearing flip flops and shorts in the 80 degree Texas weather before I left for New York. I’m not sure my body appreciated the temperature difference. After getting the tickets, we decided to go get drinks and a snack at South Street Seaport. This required a short subway ride and a five minute walk. Right when we decided we ought to leave, the bartender disappeared. So we were running a little behind schedule. Not to worry, Lori sprints! Nobody checked, but I’m not really much of a sprinter. But we made it with a minute to spare. Literally: one minute.
Mamma Mia was hilarious and very singable. Who doesn’t like ABBA? (If you don’t, I’d rather not know. Don’t make me feel poorly about you.) After the show, we got turned around a bit looking for the Pig and Whistle and ended up at the Mean Fiddler.
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|Lori’s Guinness on the left, my Half & Half on the right.
The Mean Fiddler was a fine establishment, but all the children–I mean patrons were a wee bit on the young side. So we finished our beers and headed to more age appropriate climes. Incidentally, one of the reasons I love New York so much is that you can always get Guinness on tap. Guinness is the most beautiful drink on the planet. A properly poured Guinness will stun you with it’s beauty. And then it’s so delicious; it’s like eating a loaf of bread. Guinness, my friends, is goodness.
So we left the Mean Fiddler and ended up at another pub whose name escapes me at the moment. They had live music, which was fun, and also a dining room further back, so we could eat and talk. We did a lot of both over the 4 days. Baked macaroni and cheese with bacon. That’s all I’m going to say. Our first 13 1/2 hours in NYC was pretty jammed packed.
On the second day, we went to church at Times Square Church. It was jammed packed. Who would’ve thunk there would be a overflowing church in Times Square? But there was and I wish all God’s blessings on them. After the inspiring service, we sprinted (seeing a theme) to the hotel to make the noon check out, stored the bags, and then got directions to some good NYC pizza. For the record, I think I prefer New York style over Chicago style. But to each his own.
After lunch and some warm our frozen blood coffee, we headed toward Rockefeller Center. We met Elmo and had our picture taken. Why not?
|I was lax on taking pictures; a giant red Muppet is a good reminder to take more.
We got to the ice rink just as they were closing it for cleaning, so we did some window shopping. I shall probably do an entire post on the Lego Store at Rockefeller Center. It was truly impressive.
|Hat headed pictures are wonderful.
As I blogged a couple of days ago, I’m not the most stable skater on ice. I did okay though, only falling–and taking Lori with me–once. I did get clipped in the jaw by another skater while attempting not to fall. It probably would have hurt less had I fallen. Also, I used muscles that aren’t in normal usage, and they registered their complaints to management.
After skating, we shopped our way back to the hotel to pick up bags. Throughout the weekend, Lori kept saying we had to stop in at the Toys R Us to take pictures. I thought, but didn’t say, “We do have Toys R Us in Texas. I’ve been there.” I should have known to just trust Lori. There’s a Ferris Wheel in the store. Yeah, we don’t have that at our store.
We had just enough time to grab our bags and, wait for it, sprint to Grand Central to catch the last train out. At the station, it finally dawned on us how very exhausted we were. But we talked all during the leisurely train ride to Poughkeepsie and a not too long drive back to Albany. Some day I’ll have to blog about Tom Tancredo’s refusal to shake my hand, and about Lori meeting Ann Coulter but not remembering it. (I was there, too, but I remember it.) Good times.
We finished up my stay with lunch in Saratoga Springs. It was an excellently excellent trip, over too soon. Hopefully, they will come see us before too long. I can’t wait til Lori invades Texas.