We arrived late Friday night and caught up while also watching a movie for which my cousin Tim had written some music. Katrina had procured some awesome NY bagels for us for breakfast and ran out to get some more in the morning. How wonderful to live so close to such good bagels :-) Tim had to work so Brice, Katrina, and I headed out to check out Central Park and the Christmas storefronts. We hit some of the highlights of the park; the Bow Bridge, Strawberry Fields, and ice skating rink. The line for FAO Schwartz was insane for someone without kids to wait in, but I was considering it... We were most impressed with Bergdorf's displays--out of the ordinary, but amazing elements. One was entirely paper!
We headed over to the Village where Tim works and grabbed some lunch on the way. Tim had a break and was able to meet us for a cold walk on the High Line. The High Line is an old elevated train line turned into a park. It's a pretty cool concept. We made plans to meet up again for dinner at Five Napkin for burgers. Katrina, Brice, and I headed back uptown to the stores and shopped in an insanely busy Macy's and saw the light show at Saks. We watched the skaters at Rockefeller and saw the big tree. It was your basic chance to check "NYC at Christmas" off the bucket list.
Katrina & Tim on the High Line overlook.
Five Napkin was busy when we got there, but Tim winked at the waitress or something and got table. We enjoyed some great burgers and an appetizer of deep fried pickles and pastrami--very good. Then we went looking for an authentic NY dessert and found a place rated highly for its cheesecake in Times Square. It just happened to be next door to The Lion King so we got a chance to see where our show would be the next night. The four of us headed to a bar for a drink and to warm up in the bitter cold and then headed home. (Tim was especially glad he'd bought himself a new hat that day.)
Sunday morning Brice and I paid a visit to the Met. We saw some very small fraction of it in the couple of hours we were there and then taxied over to Carnegie Hall where we saw a free concert of the American Symphony Orchestra, thanks to Katrina who was working the show. Tim met us there and was able to enjoy the show with us. We actually left during intermission to do a bit more sightseeing and Tim took us down to see Ground Zero and then new WTC being built.Tim and I being rebels in the "No standing Zone". That's the new WTC.
We also walked down to the waterfront and enjoyed a nice sunset before heading back up to Risottoria's for dinner. The pizza and breadsticks were great and we were apparently very lucky to get a table in this popular, but small restaurant. Brice had a hankering for some canolis so we stopped at a bakery and picked some up to enjoy pre-show. Tim helped us grab a cab and we were off to Broadway.Brice and me at the waterfront. Tiny Lady Liberty back there.
The Lion King was a great show and we had high expectations since we'd heard from several people about it. I was impressed with the creativity of the costume designers in creating all of the animals--all kinds of things I never would have thought up myself.
Afterward we walked over to Grand Central Station to grab a train back to Brooklyn since we hadn't gotten there yet. The next morning we enjoyed some more great bagels before heading out. It was really nice to have such a short trip home, too.
I got home in time to attend my work Christmas party and gift exchange and Brice's oldest brother Brian arrived to visit. He and Brice hung out and when I got home I made dinner for us and we had a nice evening together. Brian hadn't been to visit us at our home before so that was nice.
About 4:30 AM I got a phone call: my sister-in-law was in labor and at the hospital! The next day was a pretty exciting one as I texted back and forth with Ashley and eventually just my brother. I got a text at 4:59 PM (EST) that she was pushing and my countdown began. The closer it got to two hours (a basic guideline I had gone by over the years) the more antsy I became. I (finally!) got a text at 7:05 PM (EST) that my nephew was there--arrived at 4:59 PM (Mountain time)--exactly two hours later. His name is Gabriel Benjamin and he was 8 lbs 7.3 oz. Ashley and GB were both just fine.