GeGe is celebrating 70 years of life this coming Friday and back over Easter weekend her sister, Aunt M, managed to arrange a BIG surprise visit all the way from back East. GeGe’s brother H and his oldest son came out too. My siblings joined us and we had an incredible weekend. The stories are so rich and deep, I can’t even begin to share here how wonderful it was to reconnect with GeGe’s family and celebrate one of the most amazing women I know. I love her dearly. Below you’ll find some photos commemorating the weekend.
I think I mentioned the fact that B and I tend to be loyalists to places we love. Such is the case with good coffee. There wasn’t even any discussion around the fact that we would be heading back to Stumptown Saturday morning before doing anything else.
The weather was still just as bright and sunny as it had been yesterday and we took advantage of the all that Vitamin D by walking up to Central Park. We stopped briefly for crepes and then strolled leisurely through the park before hopping over to 5th Ave. I am no longer enamored by the upscale neighborhoods of the Upper East side of Manhattan. I actually started getting a little sick thinking about how much money the designer storefronts were displaying in their window cases. To spare both of us from my grumpiness, we walked back to the park and took a longer route back down to the southeast corner.
With some time to spare before our flight to Seattle Bryan found an Irish pub to grab a late lunch at and then we went hunting for DVDs to watch on the plane. That became a slightly more involved process than we were intending and by the time we arrived back at the hotel to pick up our luggage we were calling it close to make the train out to Newark on time. Come to find out, as soon as we had jogged over to Penn Station and crammed ourselves on the very full express line to the airport, our plan was more than three hours behind schedule. Seriously. We have THE worst luck when it comes to the actual traveling portion of taking trips.
Having been nourished at Amity Hall, we made the 2 mile trek all the way back up to Times Square. Although the sun was shining brightly during our entire stay, the temperatures never rose above 40 degrees and when the wind blew we felt it all the way to the bone. This did not deter us from standing in the TKTS line for over an hour to secure tickets to Wonderland which was still in previews. I could write an entire post on Wonderland. Maybe I will…but that’s for another time.
Completely frozen B and I practically ran back to the hotel. To thaw out we cashed in on those free drink tickets and spent an hour sipping wine and nibbling on cheese and olives before dressing for the Broadway show. We walked back over to Times Square and the Marquis Theater. The show was magical. What musical on Broadway isn’t? There was some particularly delightful dialogue and the make-over of Alice in Wonderland creatures was very well done.
Post-show we were both hungry and not ready to settle in for the night. After all, cheese, grapes and olives are really not adequate dinner after the amount of walking we had done. We found ourselves back at Cask because once we discover places we love, it’s hard not to become loyal. A few pints of beer and two fabulous desserts later we finally dragged ourselves back to the hotel.
No alarm clock. That was probably one of the best parts about the trip. Somewhere between 9am and 10am we wandered a few blocks away to Stumptown in the Ace Hotel. There was no way I was going without good coffee. The line wrapped around the coffee bar and extended out into the hotel lobby but it was well worth the wait. Sipping cappuccinos at the window bar was the perfect start to the morning.
Then we strolled down towards Greenwich Village, stumbling upon an outdoor farmers market on our way where we enjoyed a few breakfast pastries. The next stop on our walking journey was the Strand bookstore. I could have spent all day here amongst the endless stacks of books. As it was I managed to escape with only a slim novel by Paulo Coelho.
At noon we ducked into a small chapel off of a beautiful church that, I am sorry to say, I never got the name of. It was Bach’s birthday that Friday and as it turned out one of the clergy played Bach twice a week during the lunch hour and we had stopped just in time to enjoy over thirty minutes of music. We sat for almost as long waiting for it to start and it was probably the longest the two of us have just been still and quiet in ages.
After passing through the NYU campus for old times sake (I once spent a summer living here), we were famished enough to need real and true sustenance. I found us another winning spot…Amity Hall. Down in the basement, seated against the wall where it was quiet we were not disappointed by the beer list and they have the best fries I’ve ever tasted.