Saturday began early for I was anxious to see everyone and wanted to get an early start. Kelly and I had gone to bed around midnight and I was up at 6:40 AM. I showered and then headed downstairs to sit on the couch and read until everyone else woke up. Kelly was up early too, and so we waited for vickyandnorm (Norm and Vicky) and kruppenheimer (Lisa) to awaken and get ready. It didn’t take too long but it seemed as though it took forever. However, we were ready to go by 9 AM, which is what I was hoping for, and at that point, we hit the road.
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.)
Today was a day of parks: Central Parks, Amusement Parks and Ball Parks.
I woke up close to 10 AM with no headache but feeling somewhat queasy and unbalanced from the night before. I also had a very sore throat, which was damaged, I think, in the previous night’s regurgitation. Jen and Jason got up and headed over to the old place in Astoria to do one last round of cleanup. My head felt extremely heavy (albeit, pain-free) and I thought laying around wasn’t helping any. So I forced myself out of bed, dressed, headed down all 61 stairs and made my way, bleary-eyed to Central Park, four blocks away.
I wandered around the park for a while, eating a hot dog at the Bethesda fountain in order to get something in my stomach, and then headed over to the small pond over by 5th and 72nd and planting myself on a bench for a while. After Jen called me, I wandered back to their place to meet them. There was more resting, and showering (it was hot and muggy) and then the three of us headed out to the park again, this time for a late brunch at the Boathouse.
We called Jon and Hollie on the way there asked them to meet us for brunch and they agreed. I was extremely quiet all through brunch because I couldn’t shake the queasy feeling. I knew it was all in my head, but I just couldn’t quite shake it. However, after eating as much of my Boathouse salad as I could manage, I did feel better, probably because I had something other than water in my stomach.
We met Kevin outside the Boathouse just after 4 PM and wandered to the west side of the park. Eventually, we made our way to the D train out to Coney Island. The train ride out to the end of the line took about an hour. By this time, I was feeling much better.
Coney Island seemed packed. It was kind of like being at the Santa Monica pier. There was a hot dog eating contest going on. We wandered around the boardwalk, and made our way to the famous wooden roller coaster, the Cyclone. I stared at it lustily, but made what was perhaps the best decision of the weekend: I decided to forego the coaster ride until my next trip to Coney Island. My head still felt just unsettled enough to where sudden drops and turns might have led to extreme reactions. Instead I forced myself to turn away and we headed to the ballpark. (Note: it was not out of fear of roller coasters that I decided not to ride. I’ve ridden everything Magic Mountain has to offer; it was merely the unsettled feeling in my head that forced me away.)
Kevin had gotten us tickets to see the Brooklyn Cyclones, a short-season class-A farm team for the Mets, play against the Hudson Valley Renegades. The games was held at Keyspan Stadium just off the boardwalk in Coney Island. We were seated in section 21, down the left field line. It was a fun game to watch (the Cyclones won 4-2) and after the game, the crowd of 9,303 fan were treated to a fireworks display. It was a lot of fun.
On the long train ride back to Manhattan, I was feeling 100% better than when I woke up this morning, with the exception of a very sore throat. But even that was beginning to feel better too.