Sunday, October 9, 2011

I [heart] NY

One day at the beginning of August, Todd called from work and asked what was on the calendar the week before school started, because needed to go NYC.  I said,  "Oh, no problem, I was going to take the kids to an amusement park during that time, and spend the night at a nearby hotel, so go ahead."  He said, "Um, no.  It's for all of us.  My boss's boss in NYC is having a party in the backyard of her mansion in Scarsdale and families are invited.  

Now.  Do you all remember that movie "Mona Lisa Smile"?  There is a scene in it where Marcia Gay Harden's character puts the fear of God into her Home Ec. students by presenting a scenario in which their husbands bring the boss home for dinner on the spur of the moment.  She goes on to say something to the effect of "You are being tested as well as your husband.  You may very well make or break that promotion he's up for."  This is what popped into my mind when he asked if I'd like to go.  That, and the idea of keeping our children well behaved in front of all of Todd's co-workers, yikes!!  

The thing that eventually won me over was being bribed by a hotel right at Rockefeller Center and tickets to How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying.  Apparently, I can be bought.  ;)  I still freaked out about clothes and hair for the two weeks leading up to the trip, but it all went swimmingly in the end.

Literally!  The boss had a beautiful pool in her backyard and had hired two lifeguards to amuse [read keep track of so the parents didn't have to] the children.  So, keeping my boys well behaved wasn't so bad after all.  Also, the caterer had planned a dinner just for the children and he basically served them all.   The outdoor kitchen/pool house was probably bigger than my regular kitchen or bathroom here at home.  I don't think I said anything too awful to anyone, and actually enjoyed intelligent adult conversation where I was not mocked for staying at home with my children for over a decade, as I expected.  AND there was a flourless chocolate cake, so this gluten free lady was HAPPY!

We all survived and enjoyed it and then drove into the city, where I finally drove in NYC!!  First time in the 35 years I've been going into the city.

The next day, Todd went off to work and the kids and I ate breakfast and then headed over to the Intrepid where we met Uncle Mark and saw all sorts of cool things!

 We just happened to be at the Intrepid on the same day that there were ASTRONAUTS there from the last Atlantis shuttle mission !!  I had a vague sense that something was happening so, Lilyanna and I got in line while Mark had the boys down in the submarine.  It turned out that before they got out I had the Shuttle flight commander's autographed head shot and then got in line to meet the female Astronaut.  She was very friendly and happy to chat to all the boys while signing.  I tried to tell Lilyanna how awesome it was to meet a female astronaut, but she wasn't impressed.

 A LEGO replica of the Intrepid Aircraft Carrier.

 Mark is a total space program geek, though for some reason knows more about the Russian program than the U.S. program.  He's a little weird, that one.  ;)

No pictures, but we also went to Serendipity for huge amounts of ice cream and had pizza that was like heaven in my mouth.  (I bailed on the gluten free thing for two bites.  It was worth a rash!)

 Uncle Mark took us back to our hotel and we lounged around until Dad got back and we went out for fancy shmancy Indian food at a place called "Mint".  I recommend it.
 The next day, I told the boys I had a surprise for them.  (It wasn't this very odd sculpture in front of an office building.)
 Or going to St. Patrick's Cathedral.  We just passed those things on the way.  Here is the video of what happened when we arrived at the dummy location. [Warning: you may want to turn down the volume for Nathaniel's initial reaction.]

Not only was the store at Rockefeller Center all things Nintendo, the ground floor was also devoted almost exclusively to Pokemon.  Making it my boys' dream store and my nightmare store.  Funny how that works, isn't it?  Still they were really excited and happy, and we basically had the store to ourselves, because the Today Show had one side of the plaza blocked off for an Enrique Iglesias performance.

 And THEN we went to the American Girl Store.  We weren't going to buy anything but Lilyanna ended up with a bitty baby and matching bunny slippers for her and her baby.  She was obsessed with this video at the time we went.

After this, we hopped on a bus and headed down to the village to eat at a S'Mac, a place that does nothing but macaroni and cheese and will make any of their dishes gluten free!  Caleb and I were in heaven!  (It's right across the street from Angelica's Kitchen, the Vegan restaurant where Todd and I took his brother and wife and our two little boys 9 years ago.)

Then we headed over the river to NJ to see Todd's parents.  We took his Dad out to dinner for his birthday, had a nice day playing and chatting the next day, and then Todd and I headed into the city to see Harry Potter  Daniel Radcliffe and John Larroquette.  They both looked like they were having tons of fun onstage, which makes any show a delight to see.  Also, I LOVED the set design of this show.  It was minimal but really well executed!
 Todd waiting for our train back to NJ in the wee small hours.   Btw, the Seacaucus station is GREAT!  It's been practically empty every time I've gone through it!  Although walking to the parking lot in the middle of the night alone is a little creepy thanks to how far away it is from the station.

 And then after church the next morning, we headed back to Ohio, where we jumped immediately into before school conferences and the first day of school.

It is my fantasy to someday live in NYC.  Not forever.  Just for a year.  There's just so much to do.  I'd homeschool the kids and we'd take TONS of field trips.  Sadly, at this point, that looks like nothing more than a fantasy.  But who knows?  Things could happen!


Mom24 said...

That all looks, and sounds, seriously awesome! You do know how to pack a trip with fun and activities. I can not believe I haven't heard about that story from Jacob, hopefully the boys haven't told him about it, I would have no peace. :)

Valerie said...

Awesome trip! Although I wanted pictures of the backyard of the mansion :)

Emilia said...

It seemed gauche to take any. I also wanted to slip food into the diaper bag to squirrel away to the hotel room. Seriously, I want a chef for my next party. He even brought plates and did all the dishes!