Tuesday, November 3, 2015

18 Years

On November 1st, Mat and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary.  That is hard to type, actually.  I don't feel much older than the day I got married.  Okay - that is a bit of a lie.  I am typing this at 9:30 at night and I wish I was in bed I am that tired.  I guess I am a little older.

We decided to go away for the weekend.  Mat's parents were nice enough to come and watch the kids and the dogs so that we could go to NYC for three days.  We had a really great time.  We left bright and early Saturday morning (we flew this time), and got home Monday night.  It was a perfect little get away to refresh.  And sleep in without a kid or dog needing attention.

Saturday morning we got to New York at 8am (yes our plane ride was crazy early) and headed to TKTS to get tickets for the one show we wanted to see Saturday afternoon.  We were very lucky with the weather this weekend - it was sunny and in the 60's.  We took the train from the airport to the city and then walked to Time Square.  By 10:15am, we had our tickets for our afternoon show (Something Rotten), and were heading to our hotel.

Mat has been traveling so much that we decided to get a Marriott rewards card, and it paid off.  We stayed at the Residence Inn at Marriott on Times Square for FREE because he had accumulated enough points.  This is a $600/night hotel (which we would never spend) so it was quite the treat.  We saved $1200 in hotel fees by using that card's points.  We were placed on the 62 floor (this is the tallest hotel in America) and there were still some floors above us.  Our ears popped we were up that high.

The room was beautiful.  Large for NYC standards, but nothing beat the view.  The view was amazing.  We could see the river to one side and we could see Time Square from the other.  If we had these room on New Year's Eve, we would have the best seats in the city.  I spent a long time in our room just staring out the window.  We relaxed for awhile (aka - took a nap since we got up at 3:30am), and then at 1pm headed out to get a bite to eat and get to our 2pm show.

Something Rotten as a terrific show.  It was Mat's choice.  We got our tickets for a great price on TKTS and sat in the 2nd row from the stage.  This is the original cast for this show, and so we got to see "the" actors.  The show as funny, and the actors were amazing.  We highly recommend it.  It is a story that takes place in the time of Shakespeare and there are two brothers (the Bottom Brothers - fictional), who are playwrights and trying to outdo Shakespeare.  The play they come up with is hysterical.

After the show, we had a little time, so we went back to the room to drop some things off and pick up our tickets for our evening show. (a play).  We were meeting my cousin, Kirsten (who is a Broadway actress) and her husband, Shawn, for dinner before our evening show.  Kirsten picked this very cute Italian restaurant that had amazing pizza.  Kirsten is always someone who gets me to try new things  (I owe my love of sushi to her).  She ordered an "out there" pizza that had a fried egg on top, and it was delicious.  I trusted her judgement and she didn't let me down.  All the food was yum.

After dinner all 4 of us went to the play together.  The play was "Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime".  I read the book and decided this is the play we wanted to see.  Mat thinks we have seen a play before, but neither of us can remember what.  So my guess is - we haven't ever seen one.  In all the years we have been going to NYC - it is almost always musicals.  That is what NYC is known for.  But I did not want to miss seeing an amazing book acted out on stage.

The show did not disappoint.  It was amazing.  The story is about a teenage boy (about 15) who is autistic.  There isn't much I can tell you about the play without giving away too many spoilers, so I won't say much more.  The cast is small - about 10 actors in all.  It takes place in London.  The stage was amazing.  Very, very unique.  It followed the book exactly, and it did not disappoint.  Even though we were tired from our long day (and the play was 2 1/2 hours), it held our interest the whole time.  I was sad when it ended.

Sunday was our actual anniversary, so we treated ourselves to sleeping in.  It was a time change as well, so that was a plus.  We woke up to a beautiful view and warm sunshine, and then headed down to free breakfast in the hotel.  (let me tell you - in expensive hotels, you hardly ever get complimentary breakfast.  And this one was top notch).  After breakfast we lazed around the hotel until around 1pm and then headed out.  It was in our plans.  We have been to New York dozens and dozens of times, so we didn't need to be tourist.  We needed to lay around without anyone bothering us.  It was the best present ever.

Today we saw Book of Mormon.  We have been wanting to see this show for 3 years.  You still have to get tickets months ahead of time, so we could never make it work before now.  We have had these tickets since the spring.  We were so excited to see this show.  We have the CD and the music is hilarious, so we knew what we were getting into.

If you are not easily offended, like to life, and like campy shows - Book of Mormon is for you.  This show is hysterical.  It is by the writers of South Park so.....enough said.  They are genius.  We laughed and shook our heads the whole time.  I looks around at people in the audience to see if anyone was reacting differently, but luckily - everyone seemed to get the idea of the show.  It was a show (just like the other two we saw this weekend) that I would see again.  We ended on a high note.  Three for three - we don't get that very often.

That evening we had made reservations at a Brazillian Steakhouse.  It was the best food I have ever had.  Really.  It was expensive, and I think if we went again, we would be 1) more hungry and 2) willing to just sit and relax for a few hours so that we could continue to eat more.  The restaurant was underground, which was cool, and it was HUGE.  (which you don't see much in New York).  We started with a salad bar (included in our meal) which had salad, but also had different types of meat (locks, bacon, procuitto) and veggies.  We had read the reviews for the restaurant and were warned not to fill up on that.  Once we were ready, we were given these little cards that had a red and green side.  When we were ready to have our main course, we flipped our cards to green.  That is when the fun began.  Within 10 minutes, I have 10 different types of meat on my plate - every one more delicious than the last (strip steak, garlic steak, ribs, chicken, lamb.....you name it).  We were stuffed in minutes.  So we flipped our cards over.  Then they bring you a side of fried bananas, mashed potatoes, and polenta.  all delicious.  We sat for awhile, and then felt guilty, so we turned our cards over.  5 more types of meat, and then I couldn't eat another bite.  It was so good.

After dinner we waddled back to the hotel for the evening.  Still a big messed up with the time changed, we didn't last long before we fell asleep.

Monday - Mat actually had work to do this day.  He had meeting in NYC (Autism Speaks has offices there), so I was on my own.  He left early, so I took my time and got ready for the day, then went down and had free breakfast.  (not going to pass that up).  I sat and read my book for awhile and ate and watched the people.  I checked out of the hotel, and then headed to the Museum of Modern Art.  (MOMA).  I had made this plan, so Mat had helped me figure out how to get there.  It wasn't far from our hotel, so I walked.  It is a museum we hadn't been to before, we I was anxious to check it out.  I stayed there for almost three hours.  I visited every floor, and enjoyed walking around without having to make sure kids weren't touching anything.  I read the signs on the walls, and looked at the art without having to look out of the corner of my eye.  It was refreshing.

 Picasso's most famous sculpture - Head of a Woman.  They also had his Starry Night on display, but I couldn't get close enough to get a photo - so many people.
 Picasso sculpture that he made at the height of the war in the 40's.  He had to hide this one when Paris was occupied.

At 1:30, I left the museum and headed to where I was going to meet Mat.  My plan was to go into the New York Public Library to see their reading room.  (it is huge and amazing, but it was closed for renovations in the spring when we were there).  Today - I was not lucky again.  The library was closed for a private members party. Figures.  So....thank you to good weather, I sat at the tables right outside the library and read my book and drank hot chocolate, and watched the people.

Mat met me at 2:30, and we started our trek to the airport.  Our flight wasn't until 6pm, but I am glad we left when we did because the airport was busy.  The NYC marathon was on Sunday, and all of those people were going home Monday evening, and they were are at the airport at the same time.

Of course, I was traveling with Mat - the travel jinx - and our flight was delayed.  Not by much, but it turns out that President Obama flew into NY earlier that day and all the flights got a little behind.  We had some dinner and before we knew it, we were on our way home.

We were home by 9pm Monday night.  Just in time to see the kids before they went to sleep (they didn't have school today, so we let them stay up a little later).  It was a great trip.

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