Monday, May 22, 2017

Big Celebrations in The Big Apple

I say it every vacation/getaway I attend, and this time is no different; I need a vacation from my vacation. But, that ain't gonna happen, because here I am in Nashville for survivorship scans and a big ole dose of back to the real world reality. Good grief! Say a prayer for me today if you get a minute ... it's always a long day I struggle to get through.

But, setting our sights on what I'm really here to talk about ... NEW YORK CITY!!!  Thursday we got back from NYC to celebrate some seriously special dudes in my life and we had an absolute ball! I've never been to the city in the spring/summer. My family always goes for Thanksgiving, but I was excited to spend time in the city without being all bundled up!  We spent four awesome days frolicking around the city, kid-free, and crammed in as much fun adulting as we possibly could and now I need a nap ... or seven. And you may too after you finish this forever long post.

We had Mother's Day dinner, Sunday at Shane's moms the night before, so the kids stayed there that evening. Hubs and I boarded our plane EARRRRLY Monday morning with a direct flight SDF > LGA. A big ole coffee, trashy mags and my boyfriend - CHECK YES!
The landing into LGA was quite possibly one of the worst descents I've ever been a part of (hello motion sickness), and our cab ride into the city wasn't much better. Whew, gotta love that northeast transit. But, we arrived safe and sound at our hotel, The Hyatt Centric Times Square, and we booked entirely with Amex points *yippeee!* so all is well. Our room wasn't quite ready, so we dropped our bags, took in the sights and smells of the city and headed to Five Napkin Burger in Hell's Kitchen for an early lunch.

As we were leaving the restaurant Shane grabbed my arm and says, "Katie! That guys is famous! What is his name!?" I looked up and sure enough, Eric McCormack, aka Will, from the show Will and Grace.  I tried to snag a pic but got all fan girl nervous and this was the best I got :) haha! But it was a fun start to the trip (in which we would see SEVERAL celebrity sightings!).
After lunch we strolled through Times Square, got a new pair of sunglasses for the birthday boy and waited a bit longer for our room to be ready. Then we headed back, took a quick nap to combat our early am flight and because duh, no kids means you can nap whenever you want! And then got cleaned up to head right back out!
We went to Chelsea and checked out the HighLine and art at the Whitney. The exhibits were ahem, interesting this visit and we'll leave it at that.
After our artsy spirits were fulfilled we walked over to one of my most favorite NYC places, The Chelsea Market, and officially cheers'd to a great trip at Corkbuzz.
Then, we met up with my parents (they'd arrived in the city the previous Friday) and my little brother, Max (who attends NYU), at one of our favorite places with the world's best spaghetti for dinner, Scarpetta. After dinner Shane and I agreed we made a mistake in bringing my family there. It's always kind of been "our thing" and we should have thought about their palettes before suggesting our spot (my dad is reading this and rolling his eyes ... back at ya dude). But, if you ask me, dinner was fab, the company was even better and it was a great kickoff to the trip.
They even brought Shane an early birthday cake and Max his very own "Congratulations" cake. Bravo Scarpetta, Bravo.
The next morning I was officially married to a thirty year old. Happy Birthday SHANE! Hubs and I were up BRIGHT and early again, to stand in line for the Live with Kelly and Ryan show. My mom was always a Regis + Kathy Lee turned Kelly Ripa fan, but I was too young to appreciate the show. However, once I had Bennett, Kelly and Michael became my jam. I really just love the host chat for the first 15 minutes. So when Michael announced he was leaving, and we went through that new person every day host drought, they almost lost me. But, when they announced a few weeks ago Ryan Seacrest would be taking the co-host position I was floored! To be honest. I'm still 50/50 on the decision. I was really pulling for Fred Savage ... but since we had some adult time in NYC I knew I wanted to see it in person.

So, our uber arrived, dropped us off, and my sweet husband woke up early with me on his thirtieth birthday to attend the show! We got in line what seemed like very early enough, started making small talk with some folks and about 20 minutes into the conversation when it started to lull I said, "do you guys watch them every morning?" They informed me where they live (Wisconsin) the show doesn't come on until the afternoon because morning shows take the slots. To myself I thought that was strange, but didn't say anything. And then a few moments later I said "I'm just excited to see Kelly interact with Ryan." The poor girl looked at me and said "Uhm, this is the line for The Chew?!" OHHH NO!
We raced around to the other side of the block, pleaded with the security guards and told them our sob story. They were nice but essentially said, tough luck, that happens all the time. HA! About 35 minutes later a woman came around to scan our tickets and informed us not to worry, we would be getting in after all! YAYYY! (You get tickets online but they do not guarantee seats, they simply guarantee you a chance to be seated -- it's all first come first served and if you aren't there early enough you may not get in).
Our seats were upstairs and off to the left, but we could still see absolutely everything and the studio was super small, so there really wasn't a bad seat in the house.

Guests on the show were Jeffrey Tambor, Ben Falcone (Melissa McCarthy's husband), and they were filming a double segment for some of their summer episodes, so we also got to see Simone Biles and her partner from DWTS.  Kelly and Ryan both interacted with the audience so much. The trivia dancer tryouts were hilarious, watching the producers and cue card interaction was so interesting and honestly, we loved it. It was such a unique experience, but totally worth it.
After we left the building we were blocks away from Central Park, so we held hands and walked through the park because is there really anything more magical? We FaceTimed our littles and sang happy birthday to their daddy together and then made our way to The Boathouse for lunch.
I could have stayed their all day. The weather was AHHH-MAZING, the food and cocktails were on point, the view was second to none, and my date was pretty cute.
It was a birthday lunch well spent.
After lunch we headed back to the room to get cleaned up for another fun evening. We booked five spots on the small batch tour at the Brooklyn Brewery. Hubs is the president of a local brewery, Falls City Beer, we own in Louisville, so touring a brewery as large as the Brooklyn Brewery was a perfect way to spend the eve of his thirtieth.

After the tour, we took a hilarious walk to dinner to meet up with a couple of Max's buddies at a DELICIOUS restaurant joint in Williamsburg, Umami Burger. And again, it was another great night.

The following morning we slept in a little bit (WAHOO) before getting ready for the main event, Max's graduation from NYU!! He graduated with honors from The Tisch School of the Arts and the graduation was held at Yankee Stadium (holy cool) on Wednesday, May 17th. His college salute would be held that Friday at Radio City Music Hall - but Hubs and I had to get back to the littles and down to Nashville - so my older brother and his wife attended Friday's ceremonies (each student is only allowed four tickets to every event because space is so limited).

We rode the subway to the Bronx and it was a sea of NYU purple. Yankee Stadium had replaced all of their flags with NYU flags and we were overwhelmed with pride as we walked up those subway stairs. He moved from our small town in Indiana, to the biggest city in the US, pursued his dream of film making, made friends, excelled, graduated with honors, and was now graduating from one of the most accredited universities. Whew! Big sister moment = all time high. Way to go Maxman!

The ceremony was so neat, and so New York. Performances, songs, speeches, Yankee stadium snacks, and Pharrell Williams was their graduation speaker for goodness sakes. It was awesome! Hubs and I keep quoting our favorite line of Pharrell's from that day - it made us laugh and was such a song lyric and just so NYU: "One day I hope to see one of you in the White House as the next President of the United States. And don't misinterpret what I'm saying here. A President that isn't red, or blue (pause) but a President that is purple, like N - Y - (long pause) - U!"

After graduation, we went to Max's buddies parents' apartment in Tribeca and had a blast feeling like real New Yorkers and celebrating the graduates. Their apartment was fabulous, the view was awesome, and their neighbor is Billy Crystal. It was all a little overwhelming. Then, we were back to the hotel once again to clean up for yet another dinner! We took advantage of our roof top bar at the hotel, Bar 54 and once again I enjoyed my time with this stud.
And then we headed to a farewell dinner with the fam, this time at Cipriani's in SoHo.
 As we were leaving dinner the Paparazzi were everywhere and Cedric The Entertainer was coming downstairs from the restaurant. The paps informed us there were lots of famous people upstairs and their job was to simply wait for them to come in and out. Goodness! One of my longtime friends, Leah, has lived in the city for several years now and met up with us for dinner. After dinner, we headed to yet another roof top bar, 230 Fifth, to take in the sights and sounds of the city and round out the night.
 After saying our goodbyes, hubs and I walked to snag a late night slice of NYC pizza, because what would a trip to New York be without a piece of the pie?!
We closed our eyes for a few hours, and then made our way to the airport to head home and spend the rest of the week with our babies. It was such a fun time and I'm so thankful to have these memories in our book. Another birthday, another graduation, and so much more on the horizon. Thanks New York for showing us a good time yet again.

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1 comment:

  1. So funny - I was just in New York, too! Sounds like you guys had a blast...what a neat speaker for graduation! Congrats to your brother and happy birthday to your husband!


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