Friday, August 13, 2010

Meg(h)an Fun!

This week, my friend Megan has been visiting us. You may remember that last year, in celebration of 20 years of friendship, Megan came and spent a whole week with us. We had such a wonderful time - we did some touristy stuff, we shopped, we dined, we saw a show, we caught up on life. It was great. So, I was very excited when Megan told me she wanted to come visit me again this year! This time she only stayed four days, but it was still very nice. It's always great to have a friend in town.

Megan arrived at Port Authority around 10:30 a.m. on Monday. Achilles and I went to meet her, and brought her back to the apartment for a bit. We made some lunch and did a good bit of catching up right off the bat. Megan is just one of those friends who, no matter how long it has been since you last saw each other, you can pick right up in conversation as if a day has not passed. And that's just what we did!

After relaxing a bit we headed over to the east side for something I knew I had to take Megan to do: dessert at Serendipity. Remember when I nearly overdosed on chocolate there with my friend Amanda in January? On that day, from the moment that Frozen Hot Chocolate first hit my lips, I knew this place had MEGAN written all over it. So, we went. And we were not sad.

When we arrived they told us it would be about an hour wait, but we got in after only a half hour. We had a nice little table towards the back. Learning from my past mistake, we skipped a chocolate cake "appetizer" and opted for strawberries and cream instead, to mix up flavors. Plus, that makes it healthy. (Fruit! Duh!) Of course, we also each ordered a Frozen Hot Chocolate - Megan got the original, and I tried the mint. HEAVENLY. Thanks to our lighter "appetizer," we were actually able to finish our entire goblets of chocolatey goodness. (Although maybe I should not be admitting that, because they're huge. Don't judge.) Needless to say, Megan was pleased and Serendipity was an awesome way to kick off the week.

Strawberries and cream, and two Frozen Hot Chocolates. Try not to drool.

We are ready to dig in.

After Serendipity, we walked off our chocolate/cream/fruit down Fifth Avenue to Bryant Park, stopping for some quick shopping along the way. We were headed to Bryant Park for a Movie in Bryant Park (another NYC To-Do List item!). That evening's movie was The Goodbye Girl, starring Richard Dreyfuss. We arrived shortly after the lawn opened to movie-goers at 5:00 p.m., and we grabbed a good spot. We spread out our blankets and waited for the movie to begin at 8:30. Eric came by to say hello when he got off work, and he was nice enough to pick up a Chipotle dinner for us, too. He didn't stay for the movie, though. All of our waiting around gave us even more time to catch up, and in such a beautiful setting. It was a gorgeous evening.

In Bryant Park, with the Empire State Building behind us

Crowds gathered for the movie

Ready for a movie!

More of the view from our spot

Before too long, the movie started and we settled in. I have talked before about how I love outdoor movies - the crowd gets so into it and it's just such a fun setting. We enjoyed the movie, and afterwards walked home through Times Square just so Megan could get a little taste of the lights and energy. Always a fun time! We spent the rest of the evening relaxing at home and making plans for the rest of the week.

On Tuesday, we took our time getting ready in the morning, then left and went to the Richard Rodgers Theater to get tickets to In The Heights for that evening. We got a great deal on orchestra seats, so that was a great way to start the day!

Richard Rodgers Theater

We then took the train down to SoHo for an afternoon of shopping. We got off to a bit of a slow start, but both had some success at Uniqlo. By the time we finished there, we were getting pretty hungry so we started our walk north towards S'Mac, that macaroni and cheese restaurant Eric and I tried back in March. Again, we were not disappointed. I tried the Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese and Megan had the Napoletana, which is what I had last time. Both were delicious, although the Buffalo Chicken was a little hot for my taste!

Buffalo Chicken and Napoletana Mac & Cheese

After lunch we went back to the apartment to relax for a bit. Shopping in the heat can really wear you out! We just bummed around and watched TV until it was time to get ready for the show.

Our seats for In The Heights were great! We had a perfect view and I loved the show. I had heard some of the music before and was vaguely familiar with the story, but didn't know too much about it. I really enjoyed it - it was very high energy, and I liked the music and the dancing. Corbin Bleu (of High School Musical fame, I'm told) played Usnavi, and I thought he was good. Apparently he will be leaving the show next week, and the new headliner will be past American Idol winner Jordin Sparks in the role of Nina. I would definitely recommend this musical!

View of the stage from our seats

Rather unflattering self-taken pre-show picture

On our way home from the show we stopped at Blockbuster to pick up a couple movies: Date Night and Leap Year. We watched Date Night that evening with Eric, then called it a night.

Wednesday started with another relaxed morning. We lounged around and watched Leap Year, had lunch and then got ready to hit the town. We took the train down to Chinatown so Megan could do a little "cheap purse" shopping, and she was successful! I picked up a pretty little folding fan to keep in my purse, which I have been wanting for some time. We also wandered through Little Italy a bit, then headed back up to Midtown.

Mulberry Street, a/k/a Little Italy

Meg(h)ans on Mulberry Street

When we got back to my neck of the woods, we stopped to pick up some Crumbs cupcakes (a must for any NYC visitor), pretzel M&M's (Megan was singing their praises so we had to try them), and another movie for the night (Sherlock Holmes). Then we went back to the apartment and ordered in Italian food from a local restaurant called Maria Pia. Eric was home in time for dinner, and we had a very nice meal and more great conversation. Then we put in the movie and that was the rest of our night!

Thursday was Megan's last day, unfortunately. The weather was pretty dreary - much cooler, but drizzling off and on all day. We didn't let that stop us, however, and went down to meet Eric in Bryant Park for lunch for the last installment in their Broadway in Bryant Park series. The rain died down pretty early on in the show, which was nice. So, we enjoyed our lunch and listened to performances by performers from La Cage Aux Folles, American Idiot, Mamma Mia, Mary Poppins and West Side Story. They were great! (Side note: I learned that my husband has never seen the movie Mary Poppins. I find this unacceptable, and coupled with the fact that he also never saw The Lion King, I feel a Childhood Movie Marathon is in order.)

"Official" photo of us in Bryant Park before the show, trying to stay dry!

Cast of Mamma Mia

"Tony" and "Maria" from West Side Story

Enjoying the show!

VIDEO: A short clip from West Side Story

After Bryant Park, we made a stop at a brand new NYC establishment: Pop-Tarts World. Why should M&M's and Hershey's have all the outrageous store fun, after all? At Pop-Tarts World, you can use their Varietizer machine to build your own customized packet of Pop-Tarts, design a custom t-shirt, buy lots of Pop-Tarts crap merchandise, and order such delicacies as Pop-Tarts Sushi (which is, of course, minced Pop-Tarts wrapped in a Fruit Roll-Up). It was quite the scene. Unfortunately, the line was too long for me to sample the Pop-Tarts Sushi as of yet, but trust me, it will happen. It's too ridiculous not to try. How can I live in a city that offers such a divine culinary creation and not partake of it?

Exterior of Pop-Tarts World

The Varietizer Machine

Pop-Tarts in a classic NYC photo

The menu, which in addition to Pop-Tarts Sushi, includes other delicacies such as Pop-Tarts ice cream sundaes, Pop-Tarts trail mix, and Rice Krispies treats with Pop-Tarts pieces.

And of course, since we couldn't possibly let one day go by without shopping, we took the subway uptown to Michael's and TJ Maxx. I somehow ended up with a pair of utterly fabulous new black patent pumps, and then we came home. Megan packed up all her stuff (quite a feat, considering all the shopping we did!) and then it was off to Port Authority to bid her farewell.

All in all, it was a wonderful visit! I'm so thankful to have a friend like Megan, and so glad she was willing to come visit for the second year in a row. I hope we can make this a tradition and continue with these nice visits! Thanks for coming, Meg!

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