Wednesday, June 12, 2013

NYC: The Toohigs vs. Tropical Storm Andrea

Since HG has proven to be such a good traveler and she claims she can speak ‘New York’ (she must have learned it from Peggy and Grandma), she and I jumped on the chance to join John in NYC for a business trip last week. I have to say that traveling with her makes airport security so much easier. All the agents chit chat and flirt with her, help me carry things, get us to a short line, etc. The same can be said about hotel valets, restaurant managers, etc. Everywhere we went, people stopped to talk to her- made for a wonderful first impression of NYC for her!

I took a half day off of work on Thursday, and we caught a flight around HG’s naptime. She slept for a little over an hour and was a doll through the forever-long line for a taxi, even telling me to ‘have patience’ as I impatiently waited to get through a crowded gate in baggage claim. As we waited, the rain drops began to fall. Tropical Storm Andrea was blowing into town. We got to our hotel, threw our bags in the room, and headed straight to Serendipity 3 for frozen hot chocolate and chicken nachos for dinner (in that order). The 45-minute wait and downpour demanded nothing less than a very special, indulgent dinner. She was fascinated looking at all the crazy things hanging from the ceiling in the restaurant. We got back to the hotel right after John wrapped up his dinner meeting. I’ll never forget HG running through the hotel lobby screaming, “DADDY!!,” and John bending down to scoop her up.

On Friday, John surprised us and took the day off! With the pouring rain, I never could have made it (and still had fun) without him. First, we went to FAO Schwarz, and HG bypassed the big piano (scared her for some reason) and headed straight for the Barbie section. She quickly chose to take home a Barbie doll on a bike and never changed her mind, nor ask for anything else. It was a dream come true. Then, we hailed a cab and headed to the American Girl doll store for lunch, and she picked out a bulldog and fluffy pet bed. Lunch there was so well done- the service, food selection and presentation, the whole experience.

Later, after a monstrously long line that thankfully moved quickly (HG was such a trooper in her rain coat and boots), we checked out the dinosaurs at the American Museum of Natural History. (P.S. For future reference, once you make it in the door, there is a kiosk to buy tickets right inside the door to the left with NO line.) Helen Grace was in hog heaven and ran from skeleton to skeleton, pointing and jumping with excitement. After a few hours, we were exhausted and headed back to the hotel for a nap.

Our concierge made us reservations at Blue Fin for dinner before we went to see Cinderella on Broadway on Friday night, and we were so impressed. The restaurant was right in the middle of Times Square and just a few blocks away from our theatre, and the food and service were amazing. On the way to the bathroom, Helen Grace and I ran into the manager who asked us about what show we were seeing, etc. As we came out of the bathroom, he stopped me and handed me a card with directions to the theatre and a bag of treats to enjoy during the show- caramel popcorn and chocolate chip cookies!! I was shocked!

We can’t say enough good things about Cinderella- it was a fabulously done show, and two nights later, it won a Tony for Best Costume Design in a Musical. (Cinderella, Laura Osnes; Prince Topher, Santino Fontana; and the fairy godmother were all nominated for their roles as well). HG only had one freak out moment at the beginning of the show, thanks to a dragon and a tree giant, but once she realized it was all fairy tales and happy endings after that, she enjoyed it. The songs, costume changes, set, acting- everything- were so well done. When we walked out of the doors after the finale, the intensity of Tropical Storm Andrea slapped us in the face with a wall of rain, so we hightailed it to a cab and back to the hotel to wring out our drenched clothes.

During the night on Friday/early Saturday morning, I noticed the lights flicker and then go out. Sure enough, when we woke up around 8 a.m., we found out that the breaker room in the hotel basement had flooded and knocked out power to the whole building. At least the sun came out on Saturday morning, so we were at last able to make it to the Top of the Rock for a high level view of NYC. I highly recommend checking this place out for the amazing three observation levels and great picture-taking spots. Praise the Lord we got to see some blue sky too! We soon had to pack up our bags and catch our early afternoon flight, but HG was excited to finally get to go to the top of that ‘really tall building.’

We weren’t able to ride a subway, but she thought it was pretty cool to hear it rumble under the sidewalk. And we never made it to Central Park, so we’ll add those two things to our wish list for our next visit. She *loved* holding the elevator doors open and punching the buttons. And for my memory sake, I didn’t have time to order an ID bracelet for her, so I made a necklace with heart and number beads that had my cell phone number on it so that someone could find me if we were to get separated. Thankfully, we didn’t need it, and I sure can breathe a lot better now that we are safely home! So very thankful for a fun, first NYC trip with lots of happy family memories!

Photo Jun 06, 2 12 02 PM IMG_4172 Our view of the back of St. Patrick’s Cathedral on MadisonIMG_4175 Serendipity 3IMG_4176 Photo Jun 07, 9 35 02 AM FAO SchwarzIMG_4178 American GirlIMG_4181Photo Jun 07, 11 03 56 AM Cheers!Photo Jun 07, 11 21 22 AM IMG_4185 IMG_4188 Photo Jun 07, 12 10 59 PM Photo Jun 07, 12 46 08 PM Waiting, waiting, waiting to get in to see dinosaursPhoto Jun 07, 1 04 15 PM She was ‘fishing’ and ‘caught’ Mama’s foot!Photo Jun 07, 3 17 33 PM IMG_4190 IMG_4192 IMG_4200 Trying to decide which was harder- the dinosaur skull or hers?IMG_4204 IMG_4207 Dinner at Blue Findinner w daddy blue fin Times SquareIMG_4209 Ready for Cinderella!IMG_4210 Photo Jun 07, 10 28 24 PM Photo Jun 07, 10 28 32 PM View from Top of the RockIMG_4213top of the rock IMG_4217 IMG_4226 IMG_4229 IMG_4232Tuckered outplaneplane2

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