(originally published on April 26, 2013)
I wish I could say things have completely returned to normal here in Boston. They haven't, but things are better. Much, much better. Thanks for asking.
The weekend before all this madness overtook our lives, the Mr. and I had a wonderful whirlwind 26-hour trip to New York City.
Our LimoLiner tickets were about to expire (left over from our Hurricane Sandy-cancelled trip to watch our friend run the NYC Marathon back in the fall) so we decided to make use of them as we could. A last minute idea, we could only find room on the 12pm bus to NYC on Saturday. I work on Patriots Day and the Mr. wanted to be here for the Boston Marathon, so we had to return on Sunday. 26 hours was all we had.
The LimoLiner is quite nice and only accommodates 28 people. It's spacious and comfortable, has free wifi and snacks, and drops you off conveniently in Midtown.
We stayed at the Strand (also in Midtown) and it was perfect for our short stay. The rooms are tiny, but if you are only going to be in it to sleep for a few hours, who cares? Plus it had a fabulous surprise I'll share with you at the end of this post!
I keep ongoing lists of things I want to do in places I want to visit so it was really easy to plan out this trip for maximum capacity. Our first stop after dropping off our bags was Laduree, of French macaron fame.
There was a line there, of course, but it was well organized and they gave us a laminated sheet of all the flavors available so we could select them easily. Look at all the pretty boxes and ribbons! The people working there seemed to be trained in a special placing-of-macaron-in-box flourish they did with their hand. Totally intimidating and if I didn't want those pretty little cookies so bad, I would have ran out of there.
We ended up with a box of six. Basically because the Mr. suggested four and I always want more than whatever he thinks is appropriate. It's a little thing we have going. My favorite was the lime basil version.
We passed this awesome place on the way to our next destination. A "snack bar" with a fuzzy flying pig sign? Going on the next NYC visit list!
Here's the Bombay Sapphire martini, which came with a giant pitcher of martini refills. OK, it was just the extra liquid from the shaker but seriously, it never ended. The Mr. said to me, "I've never seen your face get so red." He's never seen me drink 6 gallons of gin.
My low tolerance for martinis aside, the place is AWESOME! The walls are painted by Madeline artist, Ludwig Bemelmans. Right in front of us was this familiar sight. The place filled up quickly, started to buzz with conversation, and then a pianist started to play. I was swooning, or maybe just swaying at this point! He even played Take Five, which I captured for you here on Vine. Make sure you turn on the sound!
As soon as we finished our drinks, we grabbed a cab to Ray's Pizza for what my husband promised would be fantastic New York pizza. He grew up in Jersey, right outside the city, and will fold in half anything that even slightly resembles pizza. I've seen him fold one appetizer barely two inches in diameter. "When in Rome," I said, and joined him in the folding. (Although I would like to point out that pizza tastes better when the first thing that hits your mouth is cheese. Just sayin'.)
This dog with the interesting fashion accessory was waiting outside the entire time.
The Mr. and I then walked a few blocks and encountered more interesting creatures on our stroll.
I really wanted to see the scales of the universe at the Rose Center for Earth and Space at night. We must have walked around in circles for over an hour while we waited for the sun to set and the planets to illuminate. I thought the earth would look a little more earth-like so we waited much longer than necessary. Thanks to the Mr. for indulging my little obsession.
We then headed back to our hotel, where we took the elevator to the roof.
Where THIS was waiting for us! The retractable roof was open at the Top of the Strand and a really awesome DJ was playing. I think he was 12, but who isn't these days? Here's a little snippet on Vine.
And that was only Saturday! Look for part two next week!