february 12th – nyc

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okay, folks.  even though the winter holidays aren’t too far behind us in the rear view mirror, i decided it was time for a vacation for phillip and i both.  actually, i decided it last fall when i planned the surprise as his Christmas gift, so it’s been many months in the making.  i just love surprises!

anyway, about this time last week i was hailing an uber to take me to the marta station.  a quick ride later, i met phillip at the delta baggage drop to check-in for our evening flight to our fabulous destination:  new york city!  yes, we were headed north to the city that never sleeps for a lovely five-day trip.  after leaving our overpacked luggage with the attendant, we made our way to the tsa precheck line like the local celebrities we are (or hope to be some day).  i do a fair amount of air traveling for work, so all those flights and miles have added up to some luxurious perks like precheck.  i felt so spoiled waltzing through the metal detector with both shoes on and my light jacket thrown over my shoulder.  ah, to be pampered is such a privilege!

we munched on some subway sandwiches in terminal t, and it wasn’t too long before we were boarding our md90 with all the other passengers.  as i walked down the aisle, i double-checked my boarding pass.  “phillip?” i asked.  “are you sure these are the right seats?  these are comfort plus.”

“yes, this should be us.” he replied.

“oh, okay.  well, let me get situated and out of the way.”  i moved into our seats and crouched under the bulkhead while other people shimmied by us.  we got our carry-ons safely stowed below the seats in front of us, buckled up, and sat back for take off.

phillip and i sat discussing our lucky circumstances, convinced that we were able to upgrade to comfort plus for free because of my status.

“well, isn’t that just the best thing you’ve heard all day!” i exclaimed.  i immediately grabbed the drink menu to decide what free drink i would enjoy.  funny how i can so easily adjust to a life of ease…

once we were up in the air, phillip and i both enjoy a quality glass of wente red wine.  it was the perfect drink to help us unwind from the work week and gear up for a great vacation.

cheers!

cheers!

soon enough we had a great view of all the city lights before banking left and coming in for a smooth landing at the laguardia airport.  we had arrived!  as t swift likes to say, “welcome to new york!  it’s been waiting for you!”  ah, such a sweet welcome!

we gathered our bags and took our first step into the frigid northern winter air.  my oh my, was it cold that night!  thankfully the taxi line wasn’t too long, so i was able to throw myself into a cab and shield myself against the wind pretty quickly.  we cruised along and about twenty minutes later found ourselves at the stoop of phillip’s sister natalie’s apartment in the upper east side (also known as the ‘ues’ as i would come to find out).  she was kind enough to last us stay with her during our visit; needless to say we were grateful for her generosity!

once inside hugs were exchanged and we received kisses from her sweet mini beagle wyatt and handshakes from her friends matt and hannah.  phillip was pretty wiped from an exhausting week at work, so he went ahead and turned in for the night.  the cold city air had perked me up, though, so i joined natalie, hannah, and matt for a nightcap.

we first hustled over to a local watering hole at the supply house.  as matt ordered the first round of drinks, the ladies claimed a table near the window.  i was worried i’d be cold, but it turns out the bench i was sitting on was right over the heating unit for that part of the bar.  ooh, son!  my tooshie was super warm while we were there!  if i’d had to, i probably could have curled up and laid my head right there for the night.  luckily that wasn’t the case, but if my life had depended on it, it wouldn’t have been the worst.

the bar had some great tunes playing (who doesn’t like katy perry and coldplay) and the discussion and laughter was abundant.  as the evening grew older and we emptied our glasses, the fun drew on a little longer than any of us had planned.  but hey, when you’re in new york on your first night, how are you supposed to pass up a few fireball shots?  exactly!  we finished our last drinks and found ourselves hungry.  after all, it had been a while since any of us had eaten, so food was the obvious choice.

matt led us to one of his favorite spots in town, the midnight express diner.  the four of us squished into a teeny booth and immediately downed our glasses of water.  hydration is the key, kids!  the waiter brought us menus and we looked them over as we ordered drinks.  now, an adult beverage wasn’t really necessary at this point in the night (or morning, should i say), but natalie wanted to have a drink and no one should drink alone.  i kept the trend with a whiskey ginger and tried to decide what to order.

the menu here is monstrous and i wasn’t quite sure where to start.  all i knew was that some chicken tenders sounded awesome, so i ended up ordering a plate of them a la carte.  hannah put in an order for some waffle fries covered in cheese, and i’d be lying if i said the waiter didn’t look at her with some skepticism.  regardless, he brought out a plate of them slathered with american cheese and they didn’t last long.  you’d think we hadn’t eaten in weeks!

we scarfed down the chicken and mozzarella sticks and breakfast wrap and tried not to make too much of a scene in our stupor.  i can’t say with certainty that we were successful but hey, it’s new york on a friday night.  what else would you expect?

we finally made our grand exit with a couple of nutella and peanut butter crepes in tow.  i couldn’t return back to the apartment without something for phillip.  i mean, i knew the odds of us tiptoeing in quietly were slim to none, so i figured if we were going to wake him up that it would be less disruptive if we offered him some tasty food.  turns out it worked like a charm.  🙂

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