Thursday, July 10, 2014

Girls' Day Out in NYC

I'm writing from the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont (that's really what it's called!) where Robert and I arrived yesterday for a wedding.  We are staying on a gorgeous lake and everywhere I look the only colors I see are green and blue ~ trees, mountains, water, sky.  Truly beautiful.

We returned home from our trip to New York City at 3am on Tuesday morning, mostly due to traffic merging to one lane repeatedly along I-95 which was a fairly frustrating end to a really fantastic day.  I am also learning something about myself through several similar late night bedtimes over the last year or so, and that is...

I. Need. Sleep.

Oh my goodness.  We're now three days out from the NYC trip and I am only just now feeling somewhat recovered from the exhaustion.  Sadly, the problem can't be remedied through sleeping in the next morning either, because evidently when you are old you lose your ability to sleep past the hour of 6am.  And three hours of sleep is simply not enough to function the next day with any amount of patience or kindness or perspective.  Pretty sure I was in tears over many important and monumental things on Tuesday ~ like why Trader Joe's has to be out of coconut oil for the 4th or 5th week in a row and why everyone in my house keeps walking past the lone sock at the bottom of the stairs instead of picking it up and putting it with the dirty clothes. 

Clearly I was tired, and yet Tuesday was not a day for resting, but a day in which many, many things needed to be accomplished in order to leave for a wedding on Wednesday at noon and leave my children behind at home for five days. I did it to myself, which is usually the case.

But we're not just going to a wedding this week.  On Friday morning, after the Thursday evening wedding, we'll go straight to Gordon College for a week of youth camp where Robert will serve as camp pastor.  This meant packing for 11 days away from home and including things like a coffee maker, muffin tins, sheets, towels, hangers, and an ironing board. Robert's truck is parked in our host's driveway and the bed is packed tight with Rubbermaid containers with nearly everything we normally use to function for a week. (think The Beverly Hillbillies.)

In spite of the fatigue and the pressure of gearing up for yet another big week, we did have a wonderful day in New York City, so here's a bit of a recap:
 We arrived at Grand Central Station around 10am and began to trek up 5th Avenue, stopping to shop along the way ~ Gap, Sephora, Build-a-Bear, Strabucks, and more.
We didn't go into Cafe Grumpy, just stopped for an appropriate pose. 
Snuggling with Unicorns at Build-a-Bear. They are REAL, ya know. Kayla is adamant about this.
We packed a lunch and ate in Central Park near Columbus Circle.
After eating and giving our feet a bit of a rest, we walked to an Argo Tea Cafe at Columbus Circle and each tried a different iced variety.  Sadly, they were out of sparkling water, which is the main reason for going there, in my opinion.  Good thing it was Monday and not Tuesday, or there may have been tears shed over the shortage of water bubbles.  Somehow, I survived the crisis even though a Moji Mint Tea is NOT the same without bubbles. Neither is a Green Ginger Twist.  So sad.
Times Square!  People Everywhere!
 After spending (a disproportionate amount of) time in the M&M store in Times Square, we were met on the sidewalk by a man carrying this python who offered to let us hold it for $5 ~ or $10 (which he said would make him happier), but no one wanted to hold it.  When we asked if we could just pose with him holding the snake, he agreed, and then somehow managed to wrap the snake around Izckra while they stood posing and then remove himself totally from the picture. Though she is smiling in this picture, the other four or five deleted photos reveal her horror.  She mustered up some bravery and smiled for this one with the girls.

So crazy.  We wondered if this was even legal.  Shouldn't you need special training and a permit for carrying large dangerous snakes around in large crowds of people?  Oh, New York...
 We got to see many of the latest fashions...
Ride the Times Square Toys R Us ferris wheel...
 Snuggle with minions...
 ...and visit a very tiny, but fairly famous bakery called Babycakes.  Everything in the bakery is soy free, vegan, gluten free and made with ingredients like agave and coconut oil.  It was the end of the day, and fortunately for us they needed to get rid of some "cupcake toppers."  We were happy to help them with this problem and each indulged in the top of a cupcake dolloped with nearly an inch of their delicious icing.  Mine was carrot cake.  So good.  We also bought an eclair, a Madeline, and a doughnut.

We asked the girls working there if they had served any celebrities, and they had, but more than that they had filled orders for some big names ~ like Russel Brand ~ ha!
 After hanging out at Babycakes for a little while, we taxied over to Risotteria ~ an Italian restaurant featuring gluten free everything ~ pizza, paninis, bread sticks, and desserts.  My friend from elementary/middle/and high school, Mike, and his wife, Wende, and one of their three girls joined us.  They are so sweet, and this is always a fun reunion.  We missed the older two girls who were away at summer camp, but thoroughly enjoyed getting caught up on life and sharing pictures and talking about how time flies. Mike and Wende live in Tribeca, where Taylor Swift recently bought an apartment just around the corner from them.  They hadn't met her yet, but lots of their friends had pictures of their Taylor sightings and meetings.  Mike offered to let us stay with them for the night so we could stake her out, but we decided to save that for another visit.
 The last thing we did was something that one of the girls in my small group at church recommended ~ thank you, Chelsea!!!  I didn't know if we really had time, but mentioned it to Mike and Wende at dinner, and they also heartily recommended it and showed us where to have the taxi take us. It is called the High Line and is a walkway along what used to be an elevated train track in the meatpacking district. It is a wide walkway, with landscaping on either side, and including cute benches, lounge chairs, and wooden bleacher-type seating all along the way.  It was a beautiful evening, and so there were tons of people sitting out eating take-out food and enjoying the summer night.  We walked the whole thing from 14th to 30th street and were able to see at all times the Hudson River as well as parts of the NYC skyline.

Along the High Line
From 30th street, Grand Central Station is a quick cab ride away, and we arrived just in time to hop on the 9:39pm train back to Greenwich.

 Pretty sure they were just playing possum here, as they were still giggling and acting crazy for the first hour of our van ride in one-lane traffic back to Massachusetts.  But eventually they fell sound asleep until we arrived back in Springfield at 2am.

Exhausting, but so worth it!  Kayla kept saying all day, "I just love this, Mom.  I love it here."

Now...off to lunch in this quaint little Vermont town, and then a 3pm wedding.  Onward to Gordon College tomorrow morning where we'll hang out with 500 teens come Monday.  Whew. See ya soon!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So fun! Glad you got to see Mike and Wende and their littlest one. Love, K&J