New York

The grand New York post!

We left Saturday at the leisurely hour of 10:30am for our 1:30pm flight. It was nice not having to scramble to get everything together, but it was a shame to lose a whole day to travel. Thu and I took the SouthAndEastBayShuttle.com and although they took pretty good care of us, Sunnyvale was the first stop so we had to spend a lot more time getting there than anyone else. The flight took less than the expected five and a half hours, but with time change that meant we didn’t land until about 10:30pm. We arrived and figured out the AirTrain and LIRR to get into Manhattan, where we met Tabitha and Kyra at the Penn station. We had soup and hot chocolate before traveling up East Harlem where Tab lives.

On Sunday we went with my sisters and the roommates to morning brunch at Isabella’s at 77th. The place was very nice, if crowded, and you get a drink included with breakfast (starting at noon). New York is cold in November, but that’s not so inconvenient as the extreme HEAT indoors. Seriously you guys, the thermostat is not binary. After brunch we went to a craft market to stock up on cold weather gear and I got some fingerless gloves that transformed into mittens. They were quite practical but Christian said they were girly. I had seen someone with a British accent wearing some on the train the night before, so I decided not to let it bother me.

In the afternoon, my sisters had plans to see a play starring Harry Potter so we went to the Nintendo Store and to the Empire State building. We got to the top just as the sun was slipping behind the horizon, so it was very neat. We went shoe shopping briefly because Thu’s feet were starting to hurt and we saw the Times Square new years eve ball inside Macy’s! Then we headed up to 107th for a restaurant called Thai Market which was very good. To finish the night, we went back to Tab’s place to start making an Apple pie for Thanksgiving dinner.

Monday we had breakfast at Tab’s house and then went walking around the north part of Central Park. We tried to go to the New York museum, but it was closed on Mondays. We did see the conservatory garden which was quite different now in the cold than it was in June when I was here.

At 1:30, my parents landed at JFK so we headed back uptown to meet them as they came off the bus. Knowing they would be hungry when they arrived, we went to Reggio’s coffee shop in the Village where the first cappuccino machine was brought over to America. Then we all went to the Pod hotel to check out the rooms and to get Thu and I checked in. We went back to Tab’s for dinner prepared by Chrystelle and some games and then Thu and I had to take all our stuff to the hotel at about 11:30.

On Tuesday I had gotten tickets for the family to see the Rockettes, which my friend Michelle was an assistant choreographer for. We met for bagels in the morning, but the rain made it hard to eat around the cart so we found shelter in a public building. The show was very impressive, and a good time was had by all. Thu and Christian came with the family. We found the same Brazilian restaurant our family ate at last time we were in NY, but I was not as impressed this time. In the afternoon we went to St. John’s cathedral and Columbia university. Then we wanted to try to get somebody tickets for Wicked through the lottery so we all entered our names. I won! Thu and I grabbed some Pizza while the family went to China Town for Dim Sum and to meet our friend Becca at the bus station coming from Boston. The show was fantastic, and the seats were superb.

Wednesday morning we decided to go to the Moma museum and Dave’s friend was able to hook us up with free tickets. Most of us stayed for a while to keep out of Tab’s way while she prepared turkey dinner but Mom went back early to help. By about 5pm we were all back at here place helping and getting her small, but not so small, apartment ready for eating Turkey. Dinner went well and we had plenty of food. We had planned on seeing the parade balloons being blown up this night, but we were too tired from eating.

Thursday morning we got up early so we could get to 66th street 2.5 hours early. Crowds grew and grew until there was standing room only and everyone kept warm by proximity. Finally the parade started and we saw classics as well as new acts. I saw Rick Astly and yelled out “Rick Roll!” He looked directly in my direction and looked horrified/dismayed, as if I had ruined a magic trick. Turns out he later disappeared into the cartoon’s float he rode on and rick rolled the entire nation in front of Macy’s.

After the parade we enjoyed mob-rule to get onto the subway (Someone had opened the emergency gates and everyone flowed in, despite the illegality of it but who was going to stop thousands of people trying to get on the train?) We rode up to 90th for Starbucks and Carmines for our second Turkey. This time we had the Balches and Rebecca, so an 18lb turkey was all that would suffice. Since we got there early and had Christian with us, we had excellent service and plenty of company.

At this point, some went home to nap but Mom, Dad, Thu and I went down to Belvedere castle and WTC. Then we met up with the girls for ice skating but were too tired to join, and just watched. Somehow, my parents had enough energy to join the girls for a movie but we decided to go home and finally sleep off the turkey.

On Friday morning, Thu and I packed up and went up to Tab’s apartment at 120th and had breakfast with Mom, Dad, and Kyra as they prepared to fly home. Then we went with Tab to do some Black Friday dress shopping, and some excellent pizza at Patsies in the village. We got some cupcakes and then went to karaoke for drinks and songs with Dave, Chrystelle and Christian and of course Tabitha. Then we stumbled over to Mojitos for more drinks and guac, before finally heading home. We tried to watch Wall-E but only got through the Presto short and Up teaser trailer.

On Saturday, we went to the central park and Columbus circle to try and see the indoor snow. It never did snow before we went back to Tab’s to make turkey sandwiches and prepare for our flight home. Although the seats in Delta flights are really hard and we were surrounded by Russians who didn’t follow the airline educate, we got home without too much problem. The plane got home 45 minutes early, but we circled the airport for at least that long before getting back home.

Our vacation didn’t end there, because Sunday was our scheduled Couple’s massage at Watercourse Way in Palo Alto. What a great way to end a high-impact vacation! I have never felt so rich– not wealthy like I had lots of money but upper-class like I was some great thinker or beloved figurehead. The steam room, dry brushing, massage, hot stones and hot oil really took out the knots from cold, stressful walking and sleeping of the week before.