I was up early, 5 AM, and couldn’t really sleep thereafter. Norm and Vicky had some early errands to run and so I was up to see them off and say goodbye. I’d said goodbye to them the night before, and I would say goodbye to them one more time, as they returned sooner than expected.
I was up at about 7:30 AM and headed for the train station at 8:15, after saying goodbye to Jen (Jason had already left). They are coming down to D.C. on Friday so I will see them soon.
I had to wait for 3 crowded #4 trains before I could squeeze on, but I got to Penn Station by 9 AM, and upgraded my Acela ticket to first class, once again. The train ride home was quick and quiet and I headed straight into the office when I got in.
Jason left before 5 AM this morning to head to a NASCAR-thing that one of his client’s was sponsoring. Still, Jen and I were up pretty early and headed out for a walk in the park. We stopped to watch a few innings of a little league game, and then meandered through the park until we reached the Boathouse Restaurant, where we stopped for brunch. As usual, the Boathouse brunch was delicious. I had the steak and eggs, and it was the first time I can recall ever ordering steak and eggs off of a menu.
We continued through the park, finally relaxing on a bench for a while. Jen had called Jon and Hollie to see if they were around and they called us back while we were sitting, and we headed over to their place to visit. I got to meet William for the first time, who is a very cute, extremely well-behaved baby. And I got to see their place now that their kitchen remodeling was complete. We spent a few hours there and then headed back across to the park toward home.
We decided to stop at Mustang, and sat outside next to a large street fair on Second Ave. We had some drinks, and went through plenty of appetizers and desserts, spending a couple of hours sitting, talking, people watching. It was a lot of fun.
Jason got home later in the evening and we headed to a local Italian place for dinner and by that time, I was pretty beat. We watched some TV after we got back to their place, but it wasn’t long before we were getting ready for bed.
When I got to Jen and Jason’s the apartment was already filled with the smell of cooking. Jen was making dinner and it was worth the wait (we watched the Yankees game while we waited. When dinner was served, it was delicious. he11o_sunshine will have to describe exactly what she did, but she made a pork dish of some kind with an outstanding sauce, and a spicy broccoli side, both of which had me digging for seconds.
For dessert, we took the train to Union Square and headed into Max Brenner‘s. If you’ve never been there before, and you love chocolate, then you must make a pilgrimage. Almost everything on the menu is chocolate (Jason even had a chocolate beer!) and delicious!
The evening air was almost Hawaiian in it’s quality and we decided to see if we could walk from Union Square back to Jen and Jason’s place on 85th, and only stopped because Jason has to get up very early in the morning and needed to go to bed.
I was able to use one of my free upgrade to upgrade to Acela First Class. I’ve ridden Acela First Class once before, last year and it’s actually pretty nice. Those who’ve ridden the Acela train know that the entire train is business class, and very nice. The advantage of First Class is (a) a free meal and (b) free alcohol. The seats are a little nicer and there are single seats in parts of the first class car which have a little more room. The ride is just under 3 hours and I plan on watching episodes of The Office, and perhaps doing a little reading.
The First Class lounge is nice because you can board the train first, there are comfortable places to sit, free, wireless Internet, and of course, free soft drinks and snacks. It’s also well-air conditioned, which is nice considering it’s close to 90 here today.
I was up at 8 AM this morning, and headed to IHOP for breakfast. While there, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do this weekend. I had fun at happy hour last night, but had no plans this weekend. I wasn’t in the writing mood, and didn’t feel like going to see a movie. I put off any decisions until I got my haircut. When I got home, I called he110_sunshine and jkashlock and asked what they were doing. Not much today. So I decided to head up to the City.
I’m on the 2 PM Acela, so I have about an hour before I have to catch a taxi to Union Station. I’ve got a few things to take care of here and then I’m on my way. It’s warm here and in New York, and I’m packing light, since I won’t be gone for very long. But it should be fun. I called vickyandnorm to see what they were up to and to see if they might want to meander down into the City tomorrow and hang out for a while. They graciously agreed to talk about it and see if they could make it. Hopefully they can. I haven’t seen them since their second wedding back in April and likely won’t get to see them again until late July at the earliest.
I was up at about 8:30 AM and feeling pretty good. I slept well in the hotel room and the skies were bright and clear. I pulled open the shades and Jen and Jason were awake shortly thereafter. We met AJ and Denisse at the hotel restaurant, Olives, for breakfast and the breakfast was quite good. The only mishap–and the only mishap of the entire weekend–was that Denisse lost her cellphone at breakfast. More than likely she left it under a napkin that was cleared away.
We headed up to Jen and Jason’s place and then to the park via 2nd Avenue. We stopped at Coldstone for shakes, but I was the only one who managed to get a shake because they ran out of milk. Several blocks later, however, we came to a Maggie Moos and everyone else got shakes there. We cut over to the park on 72nd and ended up by the Boathouse and then Bethesda statue. We were there for a while, and then wandered past the elms, heading for the south end of the park and then back toward the subway, where we finally split up, AJ and Denisse to head back to the hotel and then to the bus for the ride home, and Jen, Jason and I back to their place.
Back and Jen and Jason’s I was feeling pretty sick and so I took some medicine and rested for about an hour and a half before heading off to the airport. I checked in and was at the gate about an hour before the flight, and boarded quickly once called. The flight departed a little late, but got into Dulles just after 9 PM. I was feeling terrible at this point. I retrieved my luggage, bought some Advil to take, and headed home. Once home, I sent a message to work saying that I was taking a sick day. Then I took some NyQuil and headed off to bed.
It was a fun weekend and I’m glad I made it through most of it feeling pretty well.
The eight of us (AJ, Denisse, Jen, Jason, Kevin, Vicky, Norm, and myself) all met the W at Union Square around 6:30 PM and after checking into our rooms, decided to head straight to the restaurant because the bar at the hotel was packed. So we packed into two taxis and off we went. We arrived outside Rockefeller Center at about the same time, took some photos and then headed to the elevator and up 65 floors to the restaurant itself. We had reservations for 8 PM, but since we wanted a window table, we agreed to wait a little longer. We headed for the bar and had drinks. I can’t remember what everyone had, but I had the Planter’s Punch, which I first discovered when I was at the Rainbow Room a year ago, and which I had not had since then. It was excellent!
We were seated about 40 minutes later and we did have a spectacular view of the city. We also had about the best service I have ever had at any restaurant I’ve ever visited. Our table captain was outstanding (and I was sure to give him a very good tip). Norm ordered a few bottles of wine for the table. Meanwhile, we sat around chatting and enjoying the view. The restaurant was crowded but it seemed like we were getting the full attention of our waiters and table captain. We ordered appetizers and then main courses. I had the grilled sirloin, which must have been in the neighborhood of 16 ounces and was excellent! When the meal was over, our table captain brought me a slice of chocolate cake and ice cream with a candle, and everyone else ordered dessert. All told, it was a terrific dinner, the more so because so many of my good friends were able to be there.
We must have left the restaurant at around 11:30 PM. The Rainbow Room proper was hosting a Bar Mitzvah and for those people attending, they were giving away half-dozen boxes of Crispy Creme donuts. It was either Jason or Norm (I can’t remember) who walked up to the donut station and took a box of the donuts, as if they had attended the event. That was pretty funny too.
When we got outside, it was raining pretty hard out, and of course, we couldn’t find a taxi. We tried for a while, but no luck. Finally, we found one and put the girls (and Norm) into it and they headed back to the hotel. The rest of us (me, Kevin, AJ, and Jason) made for the nearest subway and took the subway back to the hotel. We shared a drink at the hotel before calling it a night. It was a terrific evening, and it went by far too fast. I look forward to doing it again next year.
(I took a few pictures, which you can access on Flickr by clicking the image above.)
I headed to the NYSC with Jason this morning at about 8:30, determined to get in a workout and determined to work out some of this cold. I did my usual 5 minute workout and then headed to the free weight room to do my workout.
I woke up just after 5 AM, once again feeling a little feverish. I took some Advil. But I wasn’t tired and I didn’t even try going back to sleep. I browsed online for a while, killing time. I noticed this morning that I have a few more regular cold symptoms. So maybe it’s just things happened out of order for me. My cough was slightly more pronounced and I have some nasal congestion. But none of it is too bad, and I am definitely going to the gym this morning. I’m not missing 3 days in a row.
At 7 AM, I grabbed the keys and headed over to the corner diner on 85th and 3rd to grab some breakfast. I had scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns and toast, with a tall glass of chilled, freshly squeezed orange juice. That hit the spot.
After breakfast, I walked around the block to the grocery store where I picked up a tooth brush (I forgot my tooth brush at home) and some day-time cold medicine. I took the day time cold medicine as soon as I got back here and now, I’m just sitting around waiting for Jen and Jason to wake up.
Our plane pulled away from the gate on time last night at Dulles. The pilot said wheels-up to wheel-down time to La Guardia was 39 minutes. We taxied toward the runway and as soon as I heard the engines spin down, I knew what was going on: another ground-stoppage in La Guardia. This happened the last time I took this flight too.
For those not familiar with the terminology, a “ground stoppage” is when air traffic control halts traffic into an airport that hasn’t already taken off from their departure points. This usually occurs when the skies are so busy that it becomes difficult for ATC to handle all of the traffic. Last time, we were held on the ground for 15 minutes. This time, we sat there for an hour. It was after 8 PM when I finally arrived at La Guardia. Fortunately, it did not take long to get my luggage, nor did it take long to get a taxi and I was at Jen and Jason’s just after 8:30 PM.
We headed over to Jackson Hole for dinner and then back to Jen and Jason’s place to hang out for a while. Jen and Jason gave me my birthday presents, which were awesome! They got me five books, all of which were copyrighted in 1972, the year I was born. There were 2 Isaac Asimov books, a collection of stories by Frederik Pohl, a 1973 yearbook (covering 1972), and the March 1972 issue of F&SF. I was really overwhelmed!
Jason ended up putting Jackass on TV. I’d never seen the show before and found it to be so utterly stupid that it wasn’t even funny. But Jen and Jason seemed to like it. I took some medicine last night and was pretty tired and we made it an early night. Lights out around 11 PM.
I’m feeling better. Not 100% but no fever. I got a haircut. I’ve done the laundry, gassed up the car, cleaned up the house. I had a phone meeting with my new accountant today. She’s going to prepare my taxes this year. Nothing new or complicated, but maybe I can write off some writing expenses now that I have sold a story. I don’t know what those expenses might be, but she can help. Also, she can help plan for next year. They don’t take taxes out of the checks you get for selling a story so I need to plan ahead.
I’ll be heading to the airport within the next hour or so. I’m trying to decide what I want to listen to in order to pass the time. It seems like it’s between R.E.M. and Def Leppard and because I was listening to R.E.M. earlier today, I think Def Leppard is going to win out.
We are all going to be meeting at the W in Union Square before dinner tomorrow evening. Unfortunately, strausmouse and rmstraus are not going to be able to make it to the dinner after all, but they have a good excuse. Like being 8+ months pregnant.
I have a 5:40 PM flight this afternoon. Maybe I can get an earlier one? SInce I’m lugging a suit along, I have to check some luggage because it’s a small airplane (a CJ-200 or something like that). But I’m hopeful that I’ll be at jen_ashlock and jkashlock‘s place before 8 PM.
A few more things to do and I’m outta here…