Wednesday, March 4, 2009

My Mom in Manhattan

Thanks to everyone for your kind words and thoughts after yesterday's post. I'm still kind of down about the whole thing, but I am feeling a little better. I know things will work out.

And that's enough talk about it's time to talk about my mom's visit this past weekend! Get ready for some pictures! First, however, I would like to mention that I was able to get our apartment completely unpacked before our guests arrived. I was so proud of myself. And our apartment rocks, if I do say so myself!

Our dry erase welcome for our guests

We had a great time overall, although things got off to a later start than anticipated. Their flight in was delayed by quite a bit, and they ended up having to check luggage that they had planned to carry on because there wasn't room in the overhead bins. It was a mess. So, instead of arriving via bus at Port Authority around 8:30 or 9:00 as planned, she and Gary got there around 10:30p.m.

Eric and I walked out to meet them and walked them home through Times Square. We took some pictures and made some stops in the M&M store and Toys 'R Us, then went back to our apartment, had some drinks and snacks, and played a little Rock Band. It ended up being a late night - we got to bed around 2:00 in the morning! That's late for Eric and me these days, and practically unheard of for Mom and Gary.

Mom and Gary in Times Square

Gary having some fun in Toys 'R Us

Mom and me in front of the giant Barbie Dreamhouse in Toys 'R Us

In the M&M store (Gary's being an "M," in case you're wondering)

Saturday morning we got up and moving pretty early. We started out the day by walking down to 42nd Street, where we took the shuttle to Grand Central to start our walking tour.

With Mom on the subway

The men on the subway, having a super candid conversation

With Eric and Mom and Grand Central

Grand Central

After checking out Grand Central we walked to Eric's office, stopping for some pics of the Chrysler Building along the way. We took Mom and Gary inside Eric's office to get the full tour.

Eric's office building

Eric pretending to be hard at work in his office

From there we headed over towards Rockefeller Center, with a quick stop into the American Girl Store on the way. As a child, I had two American Girl Dolls, and my sister and cousin Molly each had one as well. We loved them, and my mom loved them too. We had a good time in that store! Although we were sad to see that they discontinued my sister's doll! The others were still there, though.

With Mom in front of the Felicity display (she's one of the dolls I had)

We then decided we needed a quick rest, and the timing was good because our next stop was St. Patrick's Cathedral. My mom took pictures while the rest of us sat and rested our feet for a bit. Then we moved on to Rockefeller Center, where we took some pictures and then purchased our tickets to go up to the Top of the Rock.

St. Patrick's Cathedral

Rockefeller Center

Mom and Gary at Rockefeller Center

With my husband

Before going up to the Top of the Rock, we walked to Magnolia Bakery and got some cupcakes and hot chocolate. So delicious! We also took Mom and Gary by Radio City Music Hall, then finally went back to Rockefeller Center to make our way to the top.

The Top of the Rock was probably one of the highlights of the weekend. It was a little hazy, but the view just cannot be beat. We spent a good bit of time up there enjoying the scenery and taking pictures. As a result of this visit to the Rock, we were able to figure out which building in the view from our apartment is Rockefeller Center! So that's something cool we can point out now.

Looking south from the Top of the Rock

Mom and Gary at the Top
A hug from my husband
With Mom

Clear view of the apartment from the Top of the Rock!

Fun souvenir photo! (We're supposed to be "falling" off that beam, in case that doesn't come across right)

After Rockefeller Center, we made our way north on Fifth Avenue to FAO Schwartz. We had a great time there! My mom and I had a wonderful time looking at all the dolls (the boys loved it too, I'm sure), and we showed them the Big Piano. The highlight, however, was the candy section. My mom and I were standing around wondering what green apple licorice might taste like, when a salesperson happened on by and handed us a piece to try. She explained that you're welcome to sample anything you like (with the idea that you're going to buy some later, of course). Well, we went on a sampling rampage. Mmm, a tasty snack! (And in case you're wondering, green apple licorice is delicious!)

With Mom and the FAO Schwartz doorman

The candy section! That toy soldier you see is made of over 150,000 jelly beans!

After leaving FAO Schwartz we decided to head back west through the lower portion of Central Park. Naturally, more pictures were taken. After we left the park we stopped for a late pizza lunch at our favorite local pizza place, then went back to the apartment. We were exhausted!

Eric, Gary and me walking through the park

Mom and Gary by the bridge

This picture was quite a topic of discussion over the weekend. We're "candidly" watching the ducks in the pond.

Pizza at Casabianca

We spent the evening relaxing at home. We dined on Eric's homemade sauce and pasta with meatballs and French bread, drank some wine/whiskey and played a rousing game of Catch Phrase, which was quite entertaining! Then we retired for the evening to rest up for the next day.

Sunday morning we got a little bit of a slow start. We relaxed around the apartment, and I made breakfast frittatas for us. Gary even helped Eric hang our big picture in the living room, which was nice. Then we all got ourselves ready to go and took the subway downtown to Battery Park. We walked around down there then made our way to Wall Street and the Stock Exchange, and then to Trinity Church. We spent quite some time in Trinity Church. It's really beautiful. We then continued on to Ground Zero.

With Gary, Mom and the Statue of Liberty

Fun with statues in Battery Park

The Wall Street Bull

Wall Street/The Stock Exchange

Trinity Church

Cemetery at Trinity Church with some very old headstones. The church was founded in 1697!

Mom having some statue fun on our way to Ground Zero

Ground Zero

That concluded our downtown sightseeing, so we got back on the subway and went back north to Times Square. We stopped so Mom and Gary could pick up some NY sweatshirts as souvenirs, and bought some nuts from a street vendor to snack on. Then we got in line at the TKTS booth to get discounted Broadway tickets for that evening. After much deliberation we ended up with tickets to Mamma Mia.

Just hanging out on the streets in Times Square

In line at the TKTS booth

With our tickets in hand, we made our way back to the apartment. We did make a quick stop to pick up some paint sample sheets because we're thinking of painting the apartment, so that was fun! Then when we got home we ordered in burgers and fries and had some drinks, including Bailey's and hot chocolate.

We were relaxing and about to get ready for the show when my mom checked her email to print out their boarding passes for their early Monday morning flight home. However, it was then that she found out their flight had been cancelled and they had been rebooked on a flight out on Wednesday! Isn't that crazy?! So she and Gary got on the phone right away while we all got ready for the show. Gary even stayed on hold for the whole walk to the theater, and up until it was time to take his seat.

The show was wonderful! It was really a lot of fun, and ended with the audience standing up and dancing in their rows. We laughed and laughed and had a wonderful time. Definitely a good way to turn what had become a stressful evening around!

Mamma Mia at the Winter Garden Theater

After the show

However, when we left the theater, we started to understand why the flight may have been cancelled. It was snowing. A lot. I had known it was supposed to snow and probably would be doing so by the time we got out of the show, but it was really snowing. Just pouring down and accompanied by crazy winds. It made for a very unpleasant walk home.

When we got home Gary immediately got back on the phone to try to get through to the airline. Meanwhile, we checked the computer and found out that they were anticipating 14 inches of snow in NYC overnight! Whoa. Gary eventually was able to get them booked on a Monday evening flight to Orlando, but we all wondered if that would even be possible if the snow continued as predicted.

And the snow did continue. When we woke up Monday morning, it was still coming down hard. This is the scene we woke up to:

Looking down across the street from our living room window

Looking SE from our window. The left photo is the view on Monday morning. The right photo is the view on a sunny day for comparison. Quite the difference, no?

As the morning wore on, the snow did start to die down a bit, and the rescheduled flight was still showing up as being "on schedule." So, we were optimistic. I had a hair appointment scheduled at 2:00p.m., so Mom and Gary left for the airport when I left for my appointment. Apparently although they boarded their plane on time, it didn't take off for over an hour because of all the de-icing that had to be done. Then they had to rent a car and drive back to Tampa from Orlando to pick up their car, and then drive home. So they had a long day of traveling. I'm glad they made it safely!

It was a great visit! We had a wonderful time and did lots of good sightseeing. Thanks for visiting, Mom and Gary! Come back soon!

Thank-you from our guests!

1 comment:

Becky said...

My dear Meghan,
This is a fabulous synopsis of our stay with you! Once again, we had such a wonderful time, and you and Eric are the best hosts ever. Thanks for your terrific hospitality and tours.
Much love,