Back in the days when I used to blog more often, much of what I wrote were anecdotes about my day-to-day life. One of the reasons I’ve blogged less often is because I started to feel like “Who gives a shit about my day-to-day life?” That’s the kind of thinking that led to me writing almost never, though, and I’ve since realized that me writing almost never = bad. Thus, I’m going to write about my day-to-day life when the mood strikes (or maybe even when it doesn’t), and you are more than welcome to not give a shit, but I still need to write more often, so let’s make a deal: I’ll be fine with you not giving a shit so long as you’re fine with me not giving a shit that you don’t give a shit. Deal? OK then! Let’s continue!
We’ve been looking forward to taking the kids on an overnight trip to New York City ever since we brought them on their first visit to the Big Apple a couple of years ago. Thing is, an overnight trip for a family of four to New York City isn’t the sort of thing that fits easily within one’s budget … especially when one’s budget isn’t an actual thing that one has … due primarily to the inconvenient reality that one must fund one’s budget with, you know, funds.
Enter: my super generous mother-in-law, who believes no grandchild of hers should be denied the right to experience Manhattan like a visiting dignitary just because that grandchild’s father has so far proven inept at pulling down the kind of cash it takes to facilitate the royal outing she envisioned.
Which is how we and she — as well as my brother-in-law, niece and nephew — found ourselves in the middle of Times Square last weekend, staying at the Marriott Marquis. Let us gaze out the window of our surprisingly large hotel room, shall we?
Have I mentioned that I love me some New York City? Because I love me some New York City.
Of course, no trip to Times Square is complete without a visit to my favorite hidden spot of all time … and my knowledge of its whereabouts is something for which I praised myself, loudly and repeatedly, to everyone within earshot, for the entire duration of our time at said establishment … an establishment that continues to be shockingly empty every time we go there.
It was while we were at this swank restaurant/lounge that I took the picture shown at the top of this entry, as well as the following picture of the royal children gazing down upon their kingdom …
… and this shot of a particularly photogenic bit of decor:
After we finished our three-gazillion-dollar luncheon (a price I was more than happy to pay seeing as how the rest of the weekend was taken care of by my previously mentioned super-generous mother-in-law … a fact I keep mentioning because, yes, I’m sucking up to her, and can you blame me?), it was off to the theater to see “The Lion King” … and, as anyone who knows me can tell you, the only thing I love more than a Broadway musical is a Broadway musical whose audience is filled to the brim with other people’s kids!
I figured the show would be entertaining enough that enduring it for the sake of my children wouldn’t be altogether torturous … and there’s something to be said for having low expectations, because I was blown away by the entire production. Seriously: it was awesome … so much so that I almost didn’t notice the incessant talking of the little brats behind us … and I’m referring, of course, to the parents.
Following our theater experience, we piled into a nearby Italian restaurant for a three-hour feast, then bundled up and braved the cold for a walk around Rockefeller Plaza.
Sufficiently frozen, we called it a night and headed back to our respective hotel rooms … and I’d take the time here to tell you about the absolute stupidity that then ensued with our sleeping arrangements for the night, but my head (and probably yours too) would implode from the vacuum created by the sudden and total disappearance of all logic and reason. Suffice to say that the one of us who is 5’11” and weighs 180 pounds slept on the fold-out love seat, the one of us who is four feet tall and weighs half a pound slept in a double bed by herself, and the one of us to whom I’m married shared a bed with the one of us who is a jumbo-sized 11-year-old boy who normally sleeps in a bed by himself, thereby guaranteeing that neither he nor his mother slept a wink. (It is worth noting here that none of this was my idea, and that there very clearly needs to be a power shift in our family dynamic.)
Fortunately, happiness and bliss returned the next morning as we all headed over to the Empire State Building.
Actual conversation in the hotel lobby before we split into two groups of four and hopped into separate taxis:
Mother-in-law [worried about our group getting separated from her group]: “OK, let me make sure you have the address…”
Me: “It’s the Empire State Building. I’m pretty sure if I get in the cab and say ‘Empire State Building,’ he’ll know where to go.”
(You’ll be less than shocked, I’m sure, to learn that I was correct.)
Upon arrival, we headed up to the 86th-floor observation deck …
… which was cool and all … but, hey, the 86th floor is where everybody goes, and we can’t have these kids — nor, quite frankly, me — experiencing this breathtaking view like regular, common folk, now, can we? NoooOOOoooo. Fortunately, if you look up …
… you’ll see that there’s still some more of the building above us! And wouldn’t you know it? Generous mother-in-law sprang for us to go all the way up to the top-deck observatory on the 102nd floor!
That little platform in the picture above has a small, black arrow painted on it, the words above which read “CENTER OF PATTERN” … and when I imagined myself being the person responsible for centering this thing while hanging off the side of the little spire in which I was standing, more than 1,000 feet above the pavement, I peed my pants a little.
Fortunately, we left shortly after my pants-wetting incident, so my discomfort didn’t last long, and we soon were headed back to suburbia. And in less than two hours, we were home. Which, incidentally, means that we live less than two hours away from New York City … a place I like so much that I’m even happy to be there when it’s freezing outside.
Yes, I just used the words “happy” and “freezing” in the same sentence … which should give you a pretty clear sense of just how much I love being in Manhattan … and just how likely it is that I’ll be returning to that island very soon.