We flew up to NYC to spend a few days in the city before heading out on the big boat. Thanks to Debra's friend Deb for the drop off at RDU this morning. It was greatly appreciated!!
For this first time flier of JetBlue, I have to say, I liked it. Everything was so simple and uneventful. Flight was smooth and Sofie's favorite thing was that each seat has it's own TV! The Flintstones entertained her for the entire flight. No amusing her necessary.
After arriving at JFK and gathering our bags, I suggested to Debra that we call the "sixes" for a ride to the hotel. (I'd gotten the recommendation off the rfamily forum I became obsessed with pre-cruise.) So, she called 212-666-6666 and arranged a comfy town car to pick us up. We had no idea what the wait would be, but he was there within 10 minutes. While waiting, we had a bit of a teary moment, first for Debra, then for me. Sofie was sitting atop the baggage and she wanted to sing "Seasons of Love" from Rent. She and I started singing it softly and I looked up a Debra and she had a moment and tears were in her eyes, which of course automatically brought tears to my eyes! She said to me, "Please keep doing that with her. Teach her to sing." I know what she was implying and that's bringing tears to my eyes as I type this. So for Debra, know there will ALWAYS be singing in Sofie's life while I'm around!
On Friday, we slept in until after 8am. I love the blackout curtains in a hotel!!! After chillin' for a bit, Sofie and I had her first subway adventure to the zoo. I forgot just how sticky and hot it is down in the subway...yuck. We hopped on our first train and hopped off at the next station, Central Park!! After coming above ground we got our bearings and headed toward the park. Once in the park, we quickly found the zoo. For those of you with kids, you probably know the zoo in the movie Madagascar is based on the zoo in Central Park. It looks very similar to the zoo in the movie and Sofie kept pointing that out to me. We went in to see if we could figure out who Roy, Milo and Tango were, but alas, there's no special placard pointing them out!! We were going to try to stay for the penguin feeding, but it smelled too much like fish and neither Sofie or I enjoyed that smell at ALL! After gagging through that small exhibit we headed for the polar bear exhibit.
We strolled around the rest of the very small zoo, then had the most expensive, yet worst peanut butter sandwich ever made! Luckily Sofie wanted a burger, so she was satisfied and happy. After noshing, we headed to the "children's zoo" part of Central Park Zoo. Pretty uneventful until Sofie and another child crashed into each other while jumping on the "spider web."
As I type this Sofie happily coloring in her new snake coloring book we acquired at Central Park Zoo shop. I'm chillin' waiting on Debra to return from her timeshare meeting. She agreed to do that so we could stay in a nice place for less money. :-)
Later that afternoon Sofie, Debra and I ventured out to Veselka, a Ukrainian restaurant that Debra and I ate at before we knew who Sofie was. Excellent food. I think I had a celebrity spotting. I'm about 99.9% sure that Chloë Sevigny sat next to us(for about 5 minutes, then she moved) at Veselka. She's currently in Big Love and was in Boys Don't Cry, among other cool movies. I would never go over to a celebrity, but I did stare...discreetly!! A very cool New York moment.
After a fine meal of pierogies, stroganoff and a raspberry blintz we headed towards the subway and made our way back to the hotel. (I'm glad I have a good internal sense of direction since the subway stop we were looking for was tucked away on a street that didn't exist from our originating point. I just went with my gut and we got there, no problemo!!)
After resting for a bit in the hotel, I headed towards Brooklyn to hang out with one of my college roommates, Bec. (Debra and Sofie went to see Mary Poppins on Broadway with tickets she'd gotten for free from the timeshare presentation) We seamlessly met in a Metro station and rode towards her neighborhood. We caught up a bit on the ride over and upon exiting the Metro station ran into a friend of hers. We chatted a bit, got a restaurant recommendation and the three of of walked down the street. Her friend left us as she walked to her barber and we continued on to Franny's, a somewhat upscale, yet not, Italian restaurant. We ate a wonderful meal outside, continued to chat about life as if we'd seen each other the day before. That's the quality of a good friend...even after not seeing them for awhile, you pick up as if you'd never been apart. It was a great evening just hanging out, catching up, seeing where she lived and declining a night out at the local lesbian bar! A HUGE "thanks" and a BIG hug to Bec for wonderful evening in her part of New York!
Tomorrow, Saturday, our friends Maya and Laurie arrive from Santa Cruz, CA and we'll all head over to the big boat! More entries later.