Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Well, I kinda gave up on blogging when NO ONE read my blog. Isn't that the point? But, low and behold, a sole, kind stranger ran against mine and actually read it and left me a note. And it looks like he left a note in every one elses blog too. Too funn; but it did get me interested again. This is how it works, eh? Thanks anyway Juicy Fruit for pulling me back in. I think this 2006 will be a wonderful year! Yea!

The family and I just returned from our annual trip up North. Yes, the same one where we traveled LAST year (unbelievable) on Super Bowl Sunday.

The kids were off school the week after New Year's for the first time in many, so we were actually able to be in New York for Ukrainian Christmas (Jan. 7). Since my oldest son, 16, usually gets to take a friend with us, the hub and I decided the 12 year old may enjoy some company this time. He decided on his next-door neighbor friend who is 11. He's an aspiring actor; so we thought this would be a great adventure for him. We added a short stay in the city--gotta love NYC after Christmas, if you can't make it before.....take advantage of all the sales!!

We left on Tuesday, and since the tickets were free because the hub travels the world so much, we had to connect through Cincinnati. No biggy. We ate a leisurely lunch and headed to our gate about an hour before departure. DELAYED two hours!! Major yuk. I happened to glance over across the hall to see the earlier flight to Newark, destined to leave when we first arrived, was still there and boarding. Leaping across the hall, I ran up to the desk and asked if there were five seats available. Our lucky day. How's that for a New Year's beginning! Although, we all were scrambled across the jet in different seats, we arrived in Newark just at sunset. The hub and teenager decided to stay back to grab the luggage that was coming in a couple of hours, so the kids and I jumped in a taxi and headed East to the Big Apple. What a joy it is to watch a newby in New York arriving for the first time. The city looks kinda small from across the Hudson, but once you ascend from a tunnel (or descend from a bridge) and enter the little world within itself, you can see the real size and power of all the buildings and people. Of course, the Empire State Building being the most beautiful, it is one of the first ones you see. And, it still had the red and green lights at the top lit for Christmas. I knew it was going to be a wonderful trip for all.

We were staying at the Essex House at Central Park South. It has good location and is an absolutely gorgeous old deco hotel. We had stayed there before, but this time we upgraded to a St. Regis suite which gave us more room for three kids. When you enter the hotel, you feel transformed. It's just that lovely. There are bellhops at every turn to help with any need. No real need to hit the concierge. Our room was on the 38th floor. 
We faced the city with a view of Central Park the right. In front of us was the CNN building and the new Time/Warner towers were straight in front of us. Needless to say, the view was great and the kids felt they had been lifted up to the clouds.

The hub called a short time later to say that our "original" flight had been cancelled and they were headed in to the city. Our luggage would be delivered to the hotel when it arrived. Joy. Who needs to freshen up after traveling all day? Oh well. I've learned over the years to let these things go. They are out of your control; and hey, we made it. No worries.

My teenage son's girlfriend and her family were in the city, amazingly enough; so we had made plans to have dinner with them. We had frequented the kid-famous "Jekyll and Hyde Club" several times and thought everyone would get a kick out of it. It's one of those NYC "theme" restaurants. It's in an old building, dressed up in all the hauntings you can take. A lot of fun for the kids and grownups alike. It took forever to get a table, guess since there were 8 of us. Had to wait on little Inez's birthday party to end........c'mon kid, hurry it up! After waiting for an hour, I guess, we finally were seated. Let me just add, you really don't go to J&H Club for the food. So, we all chose our basic burgers and salads. The kids are able to "purchase" one of those really tall (like two feet!) glasses that they can take home with them. So, of course, they did. After sitting and talking for a bit, my 12 year old lets out a shriek and pushes his glass away. "There's a ROACH in my glass." Well, were WERE in a haunted house type deal, sooooo I thought maybe it wasn't real. Unfortunately, it was. Major YUK. "How to put a damper on Dinner in one word--ROACH!" Geesh. The waiter was very non-chalant about it. "You are in NY," he said. Lovely. That's the way to play up your city! haha. The company was nice, and we went on to have a nice time, but I doubt I will ever frequent that place again. Ew.

We walked back to the hotel and said our goodnites to the girlfriend. Since we didn't have any p.j.s to sleep in, I had to run around the corner to get a couple of men's Tshirts at Duane Reeds, the local pharmacy in New York. How fun is it to walk around the city late at night and see everyone up and about? Lots! I love it. And how much MORE fun is it to stop off at the local whiskey joint (Whiskey Park) to have a couple of nightcaps before heading off to bed? Most excellent!! Awww, to be in the city again. Sigh. (P.S. I found a bottle of musk oil straight from the 70s! I hadn't seen this type of musk since early 1980. My mom is a die-hard musk wearer, so I was tickled pink when I came upon that at Duane's. Only in NY!)

It was also a joy to enter the Essex House and be greeted by the doorman, the bellman, the elevator man......and so on. Felt like Greta Garbo in her heyday. (Hey, we can all fantasize, right?!!)

The room windows open in the Essex House (most NYC windows don't), so it was nice to fall asleep to the cool air and sounds of the hustle and bustle of a city alive. We all had no problems falling asleep. Gotta love life.

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