RRL and I were so blessed to get a week of just enjoying each other away from the responsibilities of home. While we certainly missed our boys, this break was much needed at this time in our lives and we were so thankful that we could make it happen (with special assistance from Nonna on the homefront)! Everything about the trip just fell in place. We were able to fly on miles, stay with some VERY generous friends in Manhattan, and score free tickets to the Open. We spent the week in a nice balance of seeing the sights, eating some amazing food, and getting some much needed R&R. There were a few mornings when I slept later than I have in YEARS. Here is a quick *haha* day-by-day recap (it might take more than one post):
the day to learn a few lessons
On our first day in the City we had tickets to the Yankees v Red Sox game- the last time these two rivals will meet in the Old Yankees Stadium. It was so cool to be part of this historic occasion. We did learn, though, that just because it is much cooler in the City than it is for us at home, the sun is still shining. Despite one application of sunscreen, I got FRIED. I'm usually a little OC about sunscreen so this was a big blow to me and I learned to carry sunscreen with me everywhere I went for the rest of the week.
After the game we headed to Brooklyn for some amazing pizza at Grimaldi's and ice cream at The Brooklyn Ice cream Factory. Both were recommended in our Frommer's book (don't leave home without one) and both certainly lived up to the hype! Our original plan had been to get our pizza, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge for sunset and come back for ice cream. Sounds romantic, right? Well, after over an hour of looking for Grimaldi's, RRL found a hotspot to connect on his iPod Touch and we realized that restaurant was indeed right between Front and Water St (as we had been told) but there were Front and Water St on both sides of the bridge. NICE! From that point forward we learned to rely heavily on the iPod and never think that we could just wander until we found something.
What follows a delicious dinner and dessert better than a movie? A MOVIE UNDER THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE! Again, sounds very romantic and the scenery certainly did not disappoint (looking up at the lights on the Bridge, sailboats on the water, sitting in the park with a perfect view of the skyline, snuggled up with my husband). The movie, however, was The Shining. Watching a man try to kill his family while I am far away from my boys was not my idea of fun, so we left early.A most unfortunate event occurred as we were leaving Brooklyn. Thinking that after a whole day of subway hopping we were experts, we accidently "hopped" onto a train going to Queens...and rode it about 30 minutes the wrong way. We arrived home 1 and 1/2 hours after leaving the movie. Good thing we didn't stay until the end of the movie and that we learned from then on to read the signs before anyone hopped anywhere.
Something is brewing and 'bout to begin
We each had one main thing we were especially looking forward to and Friday was mine. I was like a kid waiting for Christmas all day. Just a few weeks before, after much on-line research, I had finally found affordable tickets to see Mary Poppins on Broadway. This has been high on my "list" since it opened. RRL was very gracious to make it a really special time for me and did not complain at all as we sat down in the middle of a bunch of families with little girls (none of whom were nearly as squirmy with anticipation as I was)! The musical did not disappoint. IT WAS AMAZING and left you just believing that maybe, JUST MAYBE, the magic of Mary Poppins has a little truth to it.
Before the show we went to eat at a super yummy restaurant in Little Italy. We had been told to meet Antoine at the door and he ushered us to our seats with kisses and Italian hospitality. It was great (not to mention some of the best food I've ever tasted).
A dream come true
RRL's "big day" was Saturday...a whole day of Tennis at the U.S. Open. We saw an amazing line-up of players all day, including Venus, Serena, #1 ranked Nadal, Mike and Bob Bryan, and the fun upset match between Mardy Fish and James Blake. It was a LONG and very hot day of tennis that didn't end until after mid-night, but it was a lot of fun. It was so special to get to watch RRL enjoy it so much after waiting so long to be there.
We also had the fun surprise of having the Brackeens join us for the weekend, including the Open. She does a great job on their blog of talking about the amazing day and also accurately described the only downer of the day as "the expensive/horrible food...more expensive than an airport, worse than a school cafeteria!" Because of that, we asked around and were excited to find out that there was a "Spanish Restaurant" not far from the tournament that we could walk to between the day and night sessions. Unfortunately, this is what we found:
It smelled as bad as it looks (I think that poor dog might be next). We went back to the $10 hamburgers.
Can you believe it? All of that in just 3 day! And there is still more to come. Stay Tuned for:
Sometimes you pay for the experience
Our favorite NYC attraction
Just a walk in the park