Overnight trip to Manhattan

My wife and I planned a quick getaway trip to Manhattan for Thursday Dec 26th and Friday December 27th. The “David Cousins” (Joshua, Lily, and their 1st cousin Sofia) would all be sleeping over at the grandparents’ house (my in-laws.) 24 hours to ourselves? What to do? Go out and do stuff, of course. The only wrinkle was that we also had to drop off the Toyota for servicing — had to get the front & rear brakes replaced, and some work on the transmission. We would drop off on Thursday morning, and pick up Friday afternoon.

We packed a single suitcase Thursday morning for ourselves, got the kids dressed and packed, and drove them to my in-laws. After dropping them off, we dropped off the car to Toyota. One more errand, and we were on our way. We had originally planned to take the train up, but we didn’t have time for a slow local train all the way to NY Penn. Our simple plans for the two days were to see a Broadway show, relax in the hotel, and eat some good food in the city. It’s been a nine years since I last went to see a Broadway show. To be specific, the last time was in May 2004 when we took my mother-in-law to see Mamma Mia! Yes, that’s a long time. My wife saw The Lion King a number of years ago, but it’s certainly been nine years for me. Anyway, I was a little worried about paying an arm and a leg for theater tickets, but we were able to find two tickets for Rock of Ages, Orchestra seats, right smack in the middle, for about $140 a piece. Not outrageous, I guess. Could have been worse. I heard Lion King tickets are almost $200 a piece.

Traffic was decent getting up until halfway through the Lincoln Tunnel, but it was pretty bad the rest of the way throughout Midtown. We somehow lucked out finding a parking garage on 46th St that had one last vacant spot for our  car. We dragged our suitcase about a block to 45th St to the Millennium Broadway Hotel. I’d stayed in this hotel way back in 1998 during campus recruiting– PwC put me up there for one night during the their interview process. Really nice, but too bad that I was enjoying it only by myself. You can disagree, but most of the fun of having a hotel room is having someone else with you to share the experience. Oh, get your minds partially out of the gutter. I booked the room online after much searching, and got their “Premier” room for a comparatively reasonable rate. Believe it or not, hotel rooms are expensive in Midtown around the holidays. 😉

Dropped off the bag with bellman, grabbed some quick sandwiches from a nearby deli, then hustled over to 43rd St to the Helen Hayes Theater to see Rock of Ages. In short, I thought the musical was fantastic. Great 80’s music, irreverent jokes, some breaking of the fourth wall. Great time. I was also perversely amused by the woman sitting next to me who laughed extremely loudly after every penis joke. After the show, we went back to the hotel to retrieve our bag, and stand in line at the hotel’s front desk. Get to the front of the line, and the attendant asks me whether I was a “Premier guest.” Huh? Uh, sure? Tells me to walk around to the other side of the hotel for the Premier Tower. Curious, we roll over there, and wow, nice lobby. Two desks for checking in guests, separate bellman, no lines. We get up to our room, and nice view. We relax and watch TV, made a reservation through Open Table for Victor’s Cafe for some Cuban cuisine. I admit that I fell asleep for a little while, but now feeling refreshed, we made our way to the restaurant for dinner. Good food. After dinner, we had no plans of running around. We went back to the room to change, watch some TV, and get a good night of sleep.

Next day, I went to the hotel gym, then we checked out and got some brunch at the Brooklyn Diner on W 43rd St. We figured a diner was nice and simple, but I should have known better. When I opened the menu and spotted this item on the lunch menu:

15-Bite All Beef Hot Dog           $20.95
hand-cut french fries, sauerkraut, brioche bun; served with a glass of champagne

A $20 hot dog served with a glass of champagne? I guess tourists will pay just about anything.

After brunch, we made our long route through traffic in Midtown, the NJ Turnpike, and local roads to pick up the kids, the Toyota, and finally to home.

It was a good two day break from kids and cats and cleaning the house. We should do this more often. The last time we did this was 2006! Way overdue, my friends.

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