[Written on November 13, 2007]
I was up early, 5 AM, and couldn’t really sleep thereafter. Norm and Vicky had some early errands to run and so I was up to see them off and say goodbye. I’d said goodbye to them the night before, and I would say goodbye to them one more time, as they returned sooner than expected.
Once everyone was up, we sat around in the kitchen talking and playing with Damian, until Norm and Vicky returned home. They’d brought bagels with them. I warmed up the car, which had iced over, while we ate the bagels. Once they were finished, however, Kelly and I said goodbye to Norm and Vicky and Eric and Ryane and Damian, and hit the road, heading for New York City.
The GPS got us into town quickly (and once again, thanks to EZ Pass for the quick trip through the toll at the George Washington Bridge). I valeted the car at the Grand Hyatt, where Kelly and I were staying. It was too early to check in (we got the hotel around 10:30 AM) but they held our bags for us, and we hopped in a cab for a quick ride up to 85th and 3rd. We walked to he11o_sunshine and stubiebrother‘s place and made the formidable walk up all 61 steps to their apartment. Kelly got a very quick tour of the place, but Jen and Jason were hungry so we headed out almost at once.
We walked down 85th to Central Park, and then headed into the park and meandered our way to the Boat House restaurant by way of the turtle pond.
There was an hour long wait at the Boat House for brunch, but we found a comfortable place to stand (Kelly even found a place to sit) and the hour passed quickly while we chatted. Jen, Jason and Kelly drank the hot apple cider available for those waiting. I, being opposed to hot liquid drinks, refrained.
We were seated just shy of an hour. The food was, as usual, excellent. Jen and I had the cottage cheese pancakes. The name gave me chills but, in fact, they tasted nothing like cottage cheese. Kelly had the waffles. Jason had a wedge of quiche. I think he was the only one left feeling unsatisfied when we left. He mumbled something about getting a hot dog in the park.
Kelly had wanted to see the showroom that Jen works in so we took a leisurely stroll through the park, down to 59th street, and then over to Columbus Circle where we caught a train further downtown. Jen led us to the building in which her showroom was located, and then up a freight elevator and finally into the showroom itself. I got to see Jen’s desk, including the pretzel she’d left sitting on it all weekend long. It was very exciting.
Kelly and Jen scampered about. Jen pointed out clothes, and made suggestions. Kelly used a spare closet to try on various clothes. She finally opted on somethings that she liked and Jen jotted them down so that she could order them for her. Meanwhile, Jason and I shifted uneasily from foot to foot, making silly comments designed to kill the time. Once again, Jason brought up his intense desire for a hot dog. While at the showroom, Kelly got in touch with her sister, who was going to meet us for drinks later that afternoon.
From the showroom, we caught the shuttle across to Grand Central Station. The idea was we’d check into our room, and then have drinks in the hotel bar. It was after 3 PM when I went to check in, but our room wasn’t ready yet. I pointed this out to them, and with only a minor struggle, they agreed to extend our checkout time to 1 PM tomorrow. I had reserved the “Lexington Suite”, a mini-suite that faced Lexington Avenue. The room came with a bottle of champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries, which would be delivered once the room was ready. The woman at the front desk took my phone number and said she’d call when we could check in.
The four of us went to the bar and found a nice quiet corner in which to sit. I started with a Sam Adams. A short time later, the front desk called and I checked into our room, got our luggage. The champagne and strawberries had not yet been delivered.
When I got back downstairs, Kelly’s sister and her sister’s boyfriend had arrived. We spent a couple of hours together, talking and drinking. It was the first time I’d met her sister and it was the first time Kelly met mine, so there was a kind of symmetry. I had two more beers, both Blue Moon’s. Jen and Jason had a steady stream of beer flowing their way. Kelly had a Blue Moon or two. Four of us (Kelly and Jen excluded themselves) also did a shot of Patron. By the time Kelly’s sister left, I was pretty well buzzed.
Jen and Jason at the hotel bar
After the bar, we headed back onto the trains, this time heading for Union Square. We had dinner at Max Brenner’s, which is famous for it’s chocolate. You can get pretty much everything chocolate there. Kelly, Jen and Jason ordered rather mundane dinners, but I opted for the “Munchies Waffles” which the menu describes as
Warm waffles topped with whipped cream, candied hazelnut crunchy bits, and your choice of two scoops of ice cream. Served with chocolate wafer balls and warm melted chocolate sauce.
Oh, and for dessert I had a chocolate shake. Kelly and Jen shared a chocolate fondue. Jason had something called the Max I Scream.
After dinner (which Jen and Jason were kind enough to treat us to), we got back on the train and parted ways at 42nd street. Kelly and I headed up to our mini-suite (on the 23rd floor) to find still no champagne or strawberries (but that’s okay because I had already reached my drinking limit). We did discover that The Wizard of Oz was on TV. It had already started but we watched some of it. I hadn’t seen it in years and my memory of it was pretty fuzzy.