(I can always tell when it's been too long since I last blogged because I have to sign in when I go to the Typepad page! Who is this person again?)
I've mostly been busy with work and end-of-year school stuff, but this weekend was just for fun. Sunday was my nephew's wedding in New Jersey, so we decided to do an overnight in NYC with the kids, since we'd have already driven all that way anyhow. It turned out to be a great idea.
We got up early on Saturday morning and drove straight into Manhattan without any traffic troubles at all. It was a gorgeous day—sunny and heading up to the low 80s. We decided to stay at the Midtown Hilton, and luckily one of our rooms was already ready, so we dumped our stuff and headed out.
I had told Andy and Pete what a nice time the girls and I had last time on the Staten Island Ferry, so we did that first. It's really a great take, especially on a nice day. You take a 20-minute ferry ride across the harbor, cruising by the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Then you get off at Staten Island and get right back on the next one and head back to Manhattan. For free. (Why? I can't imagine. They should charge a buck at least. The subway was $2.75 per ride!)
From there we walked to the World Trade Center Memorial. We didn't have time to go to the museum, but we did spend a while at one of the reflecting pools—there's one each on the footprints of the North and South towers. (We didn't realize that there were two, so we couldn't figure out why we couldn't find the names of the people we knew who were on Flight 11 from Boston, but that's because they were at the other one.) It's a very effective memorial, I think—the sound of the water is soothing, and the size and depth of the pool, with the black stones carved with all the victims' names, really felt appropriate and substantial.
Then we headed back to our hotel and checked into our other room and got changed for dinner. I had asked around last week for restaurant recommendations near Times Square and the theatre district. Some sounded too fancy-shmancy, some too far to walk, and when we finally called one that sounded great, we were informed that it was the night before the Tony Awards, so they were hosting a special dinner! D'oh! But we'd heard about an upscale pasta/pizza place (with several locations) called Serafina, so we went there. It was great—homemade pasta and pizza and a funky atmosphere.
Andy had pointed out the Carnegie Deli to Julie, who is a cheesecake freak, so we went there after our filling dinner. Julie got cheesecake, Steph got red velvet layer cake, and Andy and Pete each got a "slice" of coconut cream pie that was bigger than my head. Honestly, they could have shared one and still not finished it. (I couldn't even imagine having one more bite of anything, so I just watched.) None of them finished, but they loved it. Then we waddled back to the hotel and went to bed.
Sunday morning we took an hour or so to wander around Times Square and do some gawking. Then back to the hotel to get dressed for the wedding! It was an easy ride, and we got there early for photos. I'm the short one:
This was the first time in almost a decade that my entire family was together in one place—my parents, all three sisters and our husbands, and all seven grandchildren. And now we have a new member of our family!
The wedding was amazing—one of the most fun weddings I've ever been to. It was our first Orthodox Jewish wedding, and when the kids had asked whether it would be very long and serious (read: boring), I told them, "It will be the exact opposite. When there's reason to celebrate, they celebrate like nobody's business." And I was right. So much music and dancing—and food! I have never seen so much food in all my life. And everyone was so filled with joy, you could just feel it in the air. Really a lovely, lovely day.
And then we piled into the car to head home. And I have no kind words for the Connecticut road crew who decided to block off 2 of the 3 lanes on a chunk of I-84 (unnecessarily, since nothing was going on), causing us to lose an entire hour! And it only got worse, because my sister, who was somewhat behind us, lost closer to 2 hours. Ugh. I reminded the kids that at least we weren't trying to get to the wedding, or to catch a flight, or anything like that, and we had plenty of gas in the car and food in our tummies, so it was very annoying but in the end didn't matter.
Back home, greet the kitties, fall into bed, and Zzzzzz.