Good Monday morning!
My little jaunt to NYC last week was just what I needed. I never get sick of that wonderful city. The history, the energy, the food, the friendly people...
The trip in was a little nuts. It was St Patrick's Day. Adam warned me it might not be the best day to travel, but I said, "It's just St Patrick's Day, its not like its some major holiday or something!" Hehe, I was so wrong! Between getting off the plane and getting to my hotel, it was 3 hours! That's mostly thanks to closed off streets in Manhattan for parades, performances and crowds of drunken revelers wearing green. Even the airport shuttle driver was dressed up and, frankly, he was so short and squat he really did look like an Irish leprechaun...with a German accent. It's a miracle I didn't barf because he drove like a complete maniac and some of the other passengers brought in fast food to eat, which stank up the whole vehicle. Gag!
Fortunately, things went smoothly after that. I was in a suite hotel so I could make my breakfasts and lunches in my room. I was lucky enough to find the Fairway grocery market, which is FANTASTIC!!! Oh my, I think I may stay in this hotel (The Marmara Manhattan) again, just so I have an excuse to visit Fairway. I was in absolute gourmet/healthy food heaven!! And the prices were relatively reasonable too.
I was thrilled to find natural maple extract, something I have not been able to find in Canada for years. Makes sense since we are the friggin' biggest producers of maple syrup for goodness sakes!! I picked up 2 bottles, plus a bar of Lily's stevia sweetened chocolate for each of the girls.
After my 3 hour trek to the hotel, I was pretty wiped, so I just got food, and hung out at the hotel and had an early night. If that sounds boring, than you are clearly not the parent of 2 young children. It was glorious.
Tuesday I went to see my Grandma Ruth, Uncle Ed, cousins Elyse and Martin visiting from Albany, and their son, David, visiting from Chicago (where he's doing a medical residency!). We hung out with my grandma, who was mostly sleepy the whole time, and then went out for lunch at a quintessential New York diner. The kind we don't have too many of in Canada. We're not really a diner culture...
Later, I went to see a movie (another treat I only ever seem to do when I travel). I wanted to see Monument Men, but it wasn't playing at the right time, so I saw The Single Mom's Club by Tyler Perry. It was okay...a few funny moments.
Wednesday I went to see my grandma and we had a great visit. She slept for the first half hour but then got up for lunch and was very alert. She introduced me to everyone as her granddaughter, which is good because on past visits she sometimes calls me her niece. She invited me to sit on the sofa with her in the hallway of the nursing home with her after lunch and is still feisty enough to make biting remarks about people's behinds as they passed. Not that I condone that, of course, but its somewhat comforting to know that part of her is still in there somewhere.
After I left my grandma, I took the subway down to the Jewish Heritage Museum.
I enjoyed it, but I think after seeing the one in Washington, D.C., its hard for anything else to compare. It does have a lovely contemplation room overlooking the water where you can see the Statue of Liberty.
Then I walked up to Tribeca. I went past the 9/11 memorial and thought about visiting, but it was absolutely crazy with long line ups and, to be honest, I was hungry and getting food was my priority, so I saved it for a future visit. Eventually I made my way back to the hotel and ran myself a hot bubble bath (again, a total rare treat for any parent!). I made dinner and put myself to bed for my last night in the city.
Thursday I didn't have time to do much besides walk around the corner to find little gifts for the girls, before the shuttle came to pick me up. As sad as it always is to leave, it's also nice to know that no matter how many times I return, there will always be more to see and do. What an amazing city!