HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Welcome to 2012. I hope you spent the last night of 2011 in a way that bought you happiness. For me, that meant dinner with my family at a local restaurant and in bed by 10:30. Not terribly exciting, but perfectly satisfying.
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the ball drop and that’s A-OK with me. I’ve always found New Years Eve to be overrated. Besides, I didn’t need the ball to ring in the new year, I had my neighbors to let me know exactly when that moment occurred. All I can say is that my neighborhood must be getting younger because I don’t remember ever hearing as loud a ruckus as I did last night or as many guns being fired (which was a little worrisome).
While my New Years Eve wasn’t spent in Times Square, my eve before New Year’s Eve was spent in the Big Apple for a trip that centered around the Christmas Show at Radio City Music Hall.I haven’t been to New York City in years, like over twenty years, so everything felt new, including the crowds. Apparently, the week before Christmas and New Years is very busy. I suppose it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out but I was unprepared for just how crowded everything, from McDonald’s to the American Doll store to the sidewalks of 5th Ave, was. I think a stranger explained it best when I overheard him say to his companion, it looks like someone stepped on an ant hill.
Here’s a quick recap of our trip through the lens of my little point and shoot (which is on its last legs and showing it) and my sister’s camera (thanks). We took the morning train from a nearby station, a quick hour ride, which the kids loved and arrived at Penn Station where we took a cab to Radio City Music Hall to pick up our tickets at Will-Call. With some time to kill before the show, we quickly took in the sights around 30 Rock before hitting McDonald’s for lunch.We decided the tree and the ice skating rink are much more impressive on tv. After lunch, we walked to the American Doll Store but the lines were so long my sister decided she would not have time to shop if we wanted to make it back to Radio City Music Hall in time for the show. Thankfully, Little Lady is not into American Dolls (a phase I would be happy to see her skip).
Next stop, the whole reason for the trip, Radio City Music Hall. What a fabulous place! Everything about it seemed glamorous, from the main foyer to the bathrooms. It was easy to envision a time when everyone dressed for the theatre and women spent intermission in the lounge of the ladies room reapplying their make-up, smoking cigarettes and powdering their noses.The show was fantastic and very involved, fireworks, 3-D animation, live animals, a bus, and of course the show topper (for Second Son) cotton candy. After the show, we hit the streets again, this time headed towards FAO Schwartz, where there was a line to get into the store.
Little Lady had passed out by this time and so while my husband parked it outside the store with LL in his arms, the boys and I braved the inside. Unfortunately, it was so chaotic and hot we only lasted a few minutes and only saw this much of the big piano.Hoping to bypass the crowds, we headed down to 6th Ave to walk back towards Rockefeller Center, passing the iconic Plaza (a place I had always hoped to stay, oh well) along the way.For dinner we hit Ted’s Montana Grill, a great choice for kids and great choice for us. Eating out, while away from home is always a challenge for people who have food allergies. You really are putting your life (or your child’s) in someone else’s hands. I had called prior to going to the restaurant to make sure they could accommodate my son, which they said they could and was reassured once at the restaurant by our waitress, who told me, “we take food allergies very seriously.” The fact that the meal was enjoyable and safe, just made the day that much better. After dinner, we took a rather harrowing (and overpriced) cab ride through an even more congested city to Penn Station. Miraculously, after splitting up briefly after dinner, we all made it back on the 6:10 train. After quite a bit of pokiness on the way home, the kids were safe and sound in their beds by eight.As a family (mom, dad, sister, brother-in-law, nieces), we had been talking about making this trip for years. I’m so glad it finally came to fruition. As my mom remarked as we all sat at the dinner table satisfied and weary after a great day, “I can’t believe we’re in New York.” Believe it, baby. We made it!
Happy New Year! It’s going to be a great year!