"Did you remember to put that load of wash into the dryer this morning?"
"Uh... no. Did you?"
"Nope! Never even thought about it until just now when I realized that everything we have to pack never got dried."
Oops! So the trip was a bit delayed, but it meant that we never got caught in Friday night rush hour traffic, so that's good. The drive down was great. There is just no better place to have a great conversation than a long car ride. No distractions, no obligations, just quiet time alone. And as we all know, unless forced into it, it's nearly impossible to carve out time for moments like that. Anyway, we spent the whole trip chatting and telling stories. Stories that made me cry I was laughing so hard. "Did I ever tell you about the time in 6th grade when I pooped my pants on my spelunking trip?" I nearly puked I was laughing so hard! ("... so now I kind of smell like poop...")
So we arrived at the hotel around 8:45 and immediately dove into pouring drinks and catching up with D & Z. D was the lead singer of the band, and Z and I met when we were band wives - both are in our wedding party. And since they've been campaigning for her run for school board all year long, they were as desperate for a vacation as we were. After catching up, we brushed and polished and went out for a drink at a bar we found around the corner. It was a really nice bar in the W Hotel and we even managed to score some very coveted seats. So we relaxed and enjoyed the scene and our $12 drinks and commented over and over and over again how dreadful it would be to be a single living in NYC! The amount of money and effort one would have to spend is mind-boggling!!
B also got hit on in a comically brazen fashion. A woman saw him from across the room and practically came running over asking him if he was Irish, telling him how cute he was, etc, etc. She was 52, married for 25 years, in from Michigan, etc. More funny quotes for the weekend? How's this one for ya: "Do you do anything interesting other than make love to your fiancee?" Ahhh!!!! She eventually left, but reappeared as we were leaving long enough to grab his arm and ask "Are you sure you're busy tonight?" Bold woman! Good thing I couldn't care less about that stuff and find the whole thing funny or she could have been in a world of trouble.
The next day we opted for something relaxing and low key. After all, we knew there was an evening of clubbing ahead of us, so we thought it best to lay low. So we opted for the Central Park Zoo. As many times as I've been to New York, I've somehow never wandered around Central Park. It really is amazing that there is a 900 acre plot of land smack in the middle on Manhattan. But I imagine it's a necessity if you're expected to survive the concrete jungle.
Anyway, B has a deep love of animals and was ecstatic that he got to go to a zoo. It was unexpectedly beautiful! It's pretty small, but extremely well done. Polar bears (napping, but absolutely huge), penguins, sea lions (who, I swear, have evolved to learn how to pose and be a good tourist attraction), a rain forest house, and best of all - snow monkeys. Specifically, a baby snow monkey. Oh my gosh, I did nothing but squeal and point! So cute, and so tiny and rambunctious! I begged B to get me a baby snow monkey, but he wouldn't. He said that it would grow up to be stronger than me, which was a valid point, so I couldn't really argue it.
B's personal favorite was the rain forest house. ("If I was an eccentric millionaire, this would be our living room!" ) A big house filled with trees and tons of exotic birds flying inches from your head. I had to force him to leave, but we do have enough pictures of birds to fill an entire wall though. If anyone out there wants to do a bird-themed nursery, let me know!
After our zoo adventure, it was "lunch" at 4pm, naps, restaurant research, and getting ready. We went to the meatpacking district for our fancy dinner and our evening out. The boys decided they wanted steak, so we went to the oldest steakhouse in New York, the Old Homestead Restaurant. Like proper New Yorkers, our dinner reservation was for 9:30pm and we actually sat down at 10:10pm. Of course, it was wonderful and yummy and the waiters sang me Happy Birthday. As you can see from the picture, B was painfully full after his steak. (Flashy side note: Z and I noticed throughout the day that NYC is home to the largest engagement rings we've ever seen. Normal looking women with kids and strollers flashing diamonds as big as their children. Our diamonds seemed like "My First Diamond" toys that rich people hand out to children. But the woman at the restaurant won for having a marquis shaped stone that must have been at least 4 carats. Again, young, unassuming looking woman whose hand happened to be dragging on the floor from all the weight it was carrying around)
After our dinner it was time for some dancing. As we're all old and fell into a food coma, we had to end our midnight dinner with some coffee and a little Red Bull from the corner store. Classy! The first place that was recommended to me, Level V, told us that they had bottle service only, starting at $300 a bottle (tax & tip not incl.), and that it was a 2 bottle minimum. Well... OK then! Since 4 people can't spend $800 just to walk into a club, nor can they finish off 2 bottles of liquor without some serious cirrhosis, we tried the second recommendation, Hiro. Hiro was awesome! No cover charge, very cool decor, and packed enough to feel fun but not claustrophobic. Not to mention, as I said on Monday, there were women swinging from sheets! Very impressive, if not a little scary.
So that was it! It was an amazing weekend - so good to get out of town, catch up with old friends, and just have some fun.