First things first: I gained about 2.5 pounds while on our trip. It could have been worse (DB gained 5) due to eating bread pudding three days in a row. Oh, and ice cream. And some amazing pasta. Uh, and can't forget the vino. So, I'm pretty happy overall that it wasn't worse. This is entirely due to the fact that I went to the gym twice while in NYC (yay me, exercising on vacation!) and the fact that there is a lot of inadvertent exercise in NYC just with all the walking a person does.
The trip was really great other than the overeating:
We left on the redeye on Friday night (which I swore years ago that I'd never do again and now I remember why) on Virgin America (fantastic airline and we got a great rate) at about 9:30 pm...got in to JFK at 5:30 am and to my sister's by 6:30 am. I got about 3 good hours of sleep because we each got a row to lie down in. The kids were up and excited when we got there and that kept me going through the morning -- that and three cups of coffee (my heart was beating so fast from this unaccustomed caffeine that I thought it would jump out of my chest...NOT a good feeling) and refusing to sit down at all for hours (DB sat down and promptly feel asleep in the chair).
My niece Muffin had a basketball game about 11:30 so we went to cheer her on -- she was ON FIRE: made almost half of the points for her whole team!! She's a very tall girl (5'3" at only 11 years old) and it was so much fun to watch her! After the game, we headed for some NY pizza (no, I didn't have any, but did have more than one garlic ball while everyone else ate). Then DB and I left the rest of the family out doing errands while we headed to a store to get me some waterproof shoes because my Uggishes were leaking to the point I was walking in a puddle (I SO do not miss rain). After that, we headed back home for a nap. Slept a couple of hours (after getting my caffeine-induced heartbeat to slow down) and I was completely refreshed. We went to a Columbia girls' basketball game Saturday evening and that was super-fun too even though DB and I were still jet lagged.
On Sunday Muffin, my sister and I headed out for some fantastic bargain shopping in Harlem. I managed to buy some stuff for a lot more than just me. ;-) The boys stayed home to play and rest. At 3, my sister, brother-in-law, DB and I headed down to Tribeca to see a compilation of short films including one that my bro-in-law had acted in a few years ago. We had a ball on our grown-ups' night out -- the films were generally fantastic and then we went out for grown-up dinner (I had salad, thank you very much).
Monday morning I got up with my sister at 6:15, took the kids to the bus, then went to the gym. DB had a meeting in NJ so we rented a car for a couple of days. I went down to Grand Central Station to meet a very old friend (who I worked with when I first moved to NYC in the early 80s) and it was great to catch up with her. We both thought the other person hadn't changed at all. :-) We ate at a fabulous restaurant in the great hall at Grand Central -- I had a shrimp and saffron soup and a scallop dish. As with lots of fancy and expensive places, the food was very small! ;-) Which was a good thing, as you will see later...
Monday afternoon was Muffin's big show -- she was in a performance of Snow White at her school. It was totally adorable and she was beautiful in her costumes as a deer and vulture (although, of course, I thought she should have been Snow White as she was MUCH more charismatic and talented than the girl who played SW!!). After the show, the huzzahs, the flowers, etc., the whole family headed to dinner at Carmines which is a fantastic Italian homestyle restaurant on the Upper West Side. We ate...and ate...and ate (good thing, my lunch was small)!! Started with salad and fried (eek) calamari. Then on to two pasta dishes (my favorite was the simple angel hair with garlic & oil). And, of course, some wine. Oh yeah, and two huge desserts (we all shared all the food) -- an amazing sundae and the first (and best) of many bread puddings. We were all stuffed, but it was delicious and we made sure to walk to and from the trains extra-briskly.
Tuesday we got up early and headed out to Woodstock to see one of my best friends who just moved back there from here. It was about a 2-hour drive and it was great to see her and her new place there. I had never been to the town so we had a good time strolling down the main street and doing a little shopping. And, of course, we ate lunch. I ate pretty well (Indian scramble eggs, a slice of dry toast, a salad)...until dessert. Yes, we just HAD to split another bread pudding (not as good as the first). Oh yeah, and I HAD to have that small Carvel cone at the rest stop on the way back to the city, right? ;-) We got back to NYC about 6:30 to be able to see the kids before bed (my nephew who is almost 6 and so adorable insisted on me doing the book reading with him that night...awwww!! he's a great reader already...he read at least 1/2 a book to me!) and to watch American Idol all together. My sister makes this amazing popcorn and we all had our own bowl of it while we watched tv. It was probably less bad than eating chips, but not by much...but we all had a great time and the kids each got to stay up a little later than usual since it was our last night.
Yesterday, we got up early again (I guess there is no such thing as sleeping in when you have kids to get off to school!) and I joined my sister again in getting the kids to the bus where I said goodbye until they come this July to visit. Then my sis and I headed to the gym again. Take that, ice cream, bread pudding and popcorn!!! Grrrrrrr. Then DB and I did some laundry, watched some of the news about the NY governor's scandal, then headed downtown to have lunch at the restaurant where my sister works (in a museum). That was a really fun last thing to do in NYC this time -- the food was fantastic (including a very yummy chocolate banana bread pudding which was TEENY) and it was fun to get to see my sis at least a little bit more before heading back. We grabbed a cab from there to get back to the airport for our 5 pm flight home.
I loved Virgin America -- they have live tv to watch from the minute you get on the place, you can buy movies and there are also games in the back of every seat. DB and I got an exit row and really could spread out. We got home about 8 pm LA time, but that was pretty late NYC time (especially after getting up at 6 am!) and I had to stay up for a few hours to read through my 175 work e-mails that accumulated over my three days away. Sigh...
I'm still feeling pretty tired today, but have yoga tonight. I'm glad for that because I had some TERRIBLE pain on Saturday and Sunday in my left (bad) leg. Not sure what caused it, but I hope my teacher will be able to diagnose it when I tell her about it. My back is still really tweaked from that period of time..
It's good to be home...and back on The Drastic. :-)