New York City 2023

Day 0 | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7

Day 0

Well, for good or bad, this trip was a first for me and my husband. It’s the first time we left the boys home alone for a week. Don’t judge. Now mind you, we’ve both traveled together without them before, but we always had another adult stay with them (like my mom). This time, however, we have abandoned our children to fend for themselves. Ok, not really, but it does kind of feel that way. 

The week leading up to this trip, I made a Costco run AND had Charlie go with me to the grocery store. I think I’m paranoid they will starve in the week we will be gone 🤪 Even though we’ve certainly left them home alone for date nights over the years, we vowed to not leave for any period of time until Will had his license so they could physically leave the house and get down into town. Ladies and gentlemen…..that time is now! 

So please tell me why, with this newfound freedom did I get us such an early ass flight?!?!? Had the car service come at 4:30am and hot damn if I was tired as all get out! Yeah, that’s my southern heritage dripping all out at the seams. So please say it in a southern drawl. 

Made it to the airport with plenty of time before our flight, so spent some time in the SkyClub until it was time to board. Made it to the gate and boarded with ease. Did a quick check on Thelma (was a bit more efficient in my packing and only brought one lovely lady). She was behaving this morning and saddled right up with me on the plane. 

Back to the boys. I really don’t feel anxious leaving them home alone in general. As many parental fails that I’ve had, in general I think Bill and I have done a pretty good job teaching them how to survive. But there is one area that truly has me panicking, and that is them getting up for school. 😩 These boys are so incapable of waking up with an alarm. I just don’t know how they will survive in the wild. 

We have several Wyze cameras all over the house that we use when out of town (one stays on 24/7). Anyway, we decided to put one in each of their rooms that faces the wall that I’m using to wake them up. They have speakers and microphones in them, so I can talk through them. Will said my voice is the only thing that can wake him up….because it’s annoying as hell 🤣 So that’s what he’s getting! 

While walking down the jetway, it’s time to wake them. So the folks near us kept hearing me say “Charlie, it’s time to wake up. Charlie, talk to me.” Then “Will, dude, it’s time to wake up. Are you hearing me? I need to hear a response.” And guess what? I got responses from both of them! Yippee!! 🥳 And they got the pets fed in the morning. AND they got to school on time! I call that a successful launch people!

I think it may be time to get another neck pillow for flying. At one point the flight attendant said they needed to reboot the system. Once they did that I was out. But not in any comfortable way. This was an older plane so it didn’t have the headrest that you can fold up to your ears to lock your head in place. So my neck wasn’t feeling so hot. The guy in front of me had this head wrap thing that went around the top of his head (like a 70’s sweat band) making a pillow he could lean against the side of the plane with. May need to find something like that. 

Because I was sleeping, I missed flying over Manhattan, but got some cool shots flying over I think Long Island? I need to learn my NY geography. We hop in our rental and head to Midtown to our hotel. This whole trip is planned around seeing Depeche Mode at Madison Square Garden and Barb’s birthday (Bill’s sister). So we needed a car for the birthday part of the trip. As par for NY traffic, what should take like 20 min (based on distance) takes over an hour. What can you do? 🤷🏼‍♀️

We get in our room and decide to have a late lunch. So we hit up the hotel restaurant and hot damn! That was a delish lunch! Shredded short ribs & Mac-n-cheese sandwich with Parmesan truffle fries. Yeah, good shit in my belly for sure! 

Then it was back to the room for an afternoon nap. Which we didn’t wake up from until 8pm. Yeah, we were tired. I woke up, put my pjs on then went back to bed. 🥴

Day 1

Today started with breakfast in our hotel restaurant. I was very pleased with mine while Bill’s bacon and cheddar omelette came with the bacon on the outside 🤔. And you will be pleased to know the boys got up just fine for school. Of course with my “annoying” voice coming through the airwaves of the cameras in their rooms haha!

Then I had an appointment with Harklinikken. But let me first take you back a bit to explain this appointment. For many many years (I would venture to say a couple of decades), I have had severely thinning hair. Not where patches fall out, but thinning across my whole scalp. On top of this, my hair is also fine. Meaning the hair shaft itself is smaller in diameter than the average person’s hair. 

Over the years I have tried different things to either help my hair grow or hair pieces to put on top. All with zero satisfying effect. Last fall I was seriously considering the procedure where they take follicles from the lower back of your scalp and transplant them to the top and front. Due to those searches, I was getting bombarded with social ads on the topic. Which THEN had my interest captured by Harklinikken. I decided to give this product/company a try. 

I got my first delivery in November and my first video call mid-December. They took photos through the video call and said my next appointment should be in April. I got a bit giddy and said I was already planning a trip to Manhattan mid-April, so we scheduled my next appointment to be in person. Hence my appointment on this day. 

And the results were good! Lots of new growth in there 🤗 Which makes me very happy. Then it was a warm walk back to the hotel to get Bill for whatever afternoon adventures were to be had. Due to a freak heatwave coming through NY, I changed into shorts when I got back to the room. 

Bill found the Hip Hop Hall of Fame and Museum on Google maps, so we decided to check out. We walk the few blocks over to it only to find it doesn’t exist! Bummer 😕 I start looking at Google Maps and we are only a few blocks from Times Square, so we decide to walk some more to revisit it. Snagged some photos and we decide to keep going up to Central Park. 

I’m starting to get a headache so a bottle of water is in order. Neither one of us are hungry yet, so we get into the park and go to the infamous Bethesda Fountain. We get there and there’s a guy wading in the fountain stealing everyone’s dreams 🥺. Oh well, what can you do? 🤷🏼‍♀️

We decide to exit the park on the east side and take 5th Ave aaaaaallllllll the way back down to our hotel. So basically went from 72nd to 33rd. Just under 40 blocks. Whew we were pooped when we got back!

When we get to our room the AC is not working properly. It was set to 65, but it was 78 in the room 🥵 NOT happy about that after our 5.5 mile trek through Manhattan!! Alas, maintenance came up and rebooted the system so cool air cranks out of it now. 

While waiting to cool off, Bill discovers that Karl Denson is playing in NY! Really?!?! See, Karl was the musical entertainment at our wedding reception. In Colorado. And Karl is from San Diego. So you can see how this is a show meant to be seen with all of us in NY at the same time!!

Karl was playing at The Blue Note. A quaint jazz bar. So most of his set was jazz based. But he did throw down some funk on the last number. Which I was grateful for 😊

After the show it was quite a madhouse on the streets. This place is down by NYU, so LOTS of people out in the streets taking advantage of this freak heatwave moving through NY. We had someone open the door of their Uber ride and take out a cyclist. Then these 2 cops were following around this severely drunk dude who had that severe drunk lean going on. You know the one…where you are walking leaning so far back you are defying gravity. I have no idea how this guy was staying in his feet! Well, ok, he did fall down a couple of times. But the cops were doing a good job making sure he didn’t seriously hurt himself. Or escalate the situation. 

After 2 Lyfts saying they would get us and then ghosting us, our ride finally came and took us back to the hotel. Where I crawled into bed with my aching body parts. Hopefully all gets healed during sleep to get out there again tomorrow!!

Day 2

We didn’t have anything scheduled for this morning (other than my alarm going off to wake the boys back home), so after that circus was over, Bill and I meandered downstairs (unbathed) to grab some breakfast. 

Once back up in the room, I hopped in the shower. Only to have Bill pass out and housekeeping come in and he doesn’t move an inch. Haha! That man can sleep through anything! I only knew it happened because I was out of the shower and could hear into the room. 

By time I finished getting ready, and Bill was snoozing, and a freak heatwave was going through the city, I decided to go see a movie by myself. Landed on 65, as I wanted to see it since it came out. With our Friday Family movie nights almost nonexistent now (with Will working), fresh movies don’t happen too often. So I bought a ticket for one and walked the few blocks to the theater. I’m probably not remembering correctly, but I think this may be the first time I’ve gone to a movie alone in my life. The old noggin’ is getting old so I may have just forgotten. Either way, it was a day date with myself this afternoon. 🥰

This evening we had tickets to see Bad Cinderella. A new musical on Broadway by Andrew Lloyd Webber. So Barb and Marg drove into the city to have dinner and watch the show with us. Quick wardrobe change after the movie and it was off to experience a little Broadway Culture!

Dinner was at an Irish pub next to the Imperial Theater (where Bad Cinderella is playing). I was simple and got fish and chips (which all that greasiness didn’t set well in the ‘ol gut later in the evening). 

For my first Broadway show (like ever in my life – in NYC), I thought the show was really good. The vibrant colors of the costumes was certainly eye candy. The production just went out of preview the end of March, and I think the cast did a wonderful job. The actress playing Cinderella was simply magnificent. And the cherry on top was we had center first row!! So we could see down into the orchestra pit and everything! And the sheet music the conductor was working from was this HUGE book! It was such a treat and I’m truly grateful Barb got these tickets. 

Since Barb and Marg were not staying in the city this night, they graciously played Uber with us and dropped us off at our hotel. I promised to give them 5⭐️s 🤪

Day 3

Today is the big day!! The initiating reason we came to NY in the first place: Depeche Mode!! But that’s not until tonight. We did some other stuff before the show. 

Started with the usual breakfast in the hotel restaurant. And while waiting for our food I got tickets to check out The Friends Experience!! 🤗 Two years ago when they had the 25yr Reunion on HBO, it had me wanting to watch it again. Which is exactly what I did. I watched all ten seasons. Man that was a good show 🥹 So walking through all these memorabilia from the show was really cool. 

Next up was walking over to MSG. We had gotten an email yesterday that you could go in between 12-5pm today to buy merch for the show. We decided to do this so we didn’t have to deal with crazy crowds and lines tonight when we went. I got a short sleeve and long sleeve shirts. But I won’t be wearing the long sleeve out here, because it’s hotter than hell right now with this freak heat wave. All you climate change nay-sayers can kiss my butt! 87 in NY right now is cray-cray!!! April averages are usually mid-60s. And this ain’t the dry heat I’m used to in CO either. The humidity is not as bad as summer here, but not as good as CO. 

Nevertheless, shirts were procured, and we made it back to the hotel to chillax until we left for dinner. Ok, chillax and shower. Biggest bummer was no housekeeping. This is the second day in a row now 😩 I know, I know, first world problems. I understand. I’ll quit my bitching. 

And then….as I had just laid down to take a nap, housekeeping knocks on the door. So it’s head downstairs to the lobby so they can clean our room. Then back upstairs for a much needed nap. 

Traffic was pretty bad for Barb and Marg getting into the city, so Bill and I were able to snag a table in the hotel restaurant before it got stupid busy for a Friday night. We ate our grub then walked the 3 blocks to MSG. And we couldn’t have timed it better. The opening act was just finishing up their last song as we got to our seats. 

This show was bittersweet in that it was my first MSG but also the first show since Andy Fletcher passed away. But will cherish the memory forever. We were blessed with much spinning by Dave, a solo by Martin, and in general a great show. Only bummer for me is we didn’t get to hear Somebody. That would’ve been a cherry on top for this show as it was “our” wedding song at our wedding. Would’ve paired nicely with the Karl show 2 nights ago.

Day 4

Barb and Marg stayed in the city last night too, so today’s adventures were going to be a group of 4, not 2! We got up too late for breakfast at the hotel, so we went to an all day breakfast place nearby, Penelope NYC. Definitely recommend if you are staying in Midtown. Once we got our morning energy, it was a cab ride down to the Brooklyn Bridge. 

Not sure how long the two of them have lived here, but neither had walked the Brooklyn Bridge before. So it was a first time for all of us. And what a free treat it was! I realize this may be a daily commute for some folks, but for this tourist it was really cool to have this experience. From all the movies that have this bridge in it to the spectacular views of both NYC and Brooklyn, it was certainly eye candy. And the weather gods were putting in their great work keeping the rain at bay for us. (and the temperatures down). Finally a break in the heatwave we were experiencing. 

Once in Brooklyn, we walked around the Dumbo area for a bit before catching a ride out to the Brooklyn Museum. While it was a short visit in the museum (we had show tickets this evening to get ready for), the two exhibits we saw were really fascinating. The first was The Dinner Party (by Judy Chicago) where the artist had place settings for quite a few prominent women in history. 

The second exhibit was about couture fashion, Thierry Mugler: Couturissime. And some of these pieces were simply magnificent. The creativity one must have in their grey matter to design these outfits is quite literally mind blowing. All I could do was marvel in their world of wonder. 

Then we were off to slowly scramble back into the city for showers before tonight’s show: Good Night Oscar

For a little back story on this performance. A podcast I love listening to is Smartless. It has Justin Bateman, Will Arnett, and Sean Hayes. Through listening to this podcast, I learned Sean was the lead in this play and initially was just having a run in Chicago. Then I learned it was coming to NY and would be running while we were there! Boy am I glad we got to see it. It was a true treat to experience. Sean did an amazing job playing Oscar Levant. 

Not only is Sean an award winning actor (his character, Jack, on Will & Grace may have been my fav on the show), but he is a classically trained pianist. Oscar too was a talented pianist. So you see where this is going, right? An awe inspiring treat in the production that not any actor could pull off. If you are in NY and it’s still running, I highly recommend checking it out.

Day 5

Today we headed out of the city to spend the next couple of nights down by the Jersey Shore in Asbury Park. Tomorrow is Barbara’s birthday (Bill’s sister), so when we planned our trip, we extended it a couple of days to celebrate with her. But before we left the city, we decided to grab breakfast at the hotel. Boy was that a mistake!

Our first clue that things may not go so well was being seated in a back corner. It was a high top table and the first chair I sat in was missing a rung for your feet. That wouldn’t do (remember, it’s a high top). I switched it out for the chair next to it, and got fucking syrup all over my hands Ugh! I waited for Bill to get back so I could wash my hands. 

Finally the waiter comes over after sitting like 6 other tables. So the other morning I had gotten a breakfast sandwich and it came on a croissant. I wasn’t a fan of the chipotle Mayo that came on it, so I ordered it again, but without the mayo. I like it on burgers, just not a breakfast sandwich. Stay with me as there is a point to this detail. After quite some time, I notice all the 6+ tables that were sat after us have all gotten their food! The waiter finally comes over to check on us and acts surprised we hadn’t gotten it yet. In my head I’m like “Of course we haven’t gotten it, because you forgot to put it in!” So we wait some more. He comes back over to tell us they had mistakenly put the chipotle Mayo on my sandwich and were remaking it. And it would be there soon. Then ALL the tables empty out. And we still haven’t gotten our breakfast 🤦🏼‍♀️ So I get up and go hunt down our waiter. I find him and said I was just checking on the status of our order. Again he acts surprised that we haven’t gotten our food. Finally AFTER OVER AN HOUR (since we first sat down) he brings our food. And my sandwich is on a burnt hamburger bun 😭 I was so looking forward to the croissant!! And that was the shitty start to my morning. Yeah, yeah, yeah….I know…I KNOW! First world problems.

We get packed up and head to Jersey. Since it’s still too soon to check in to our next hotel, we head over to Barb & Marg’s new home. Their home is lovely, and we are so happy for them 🥰 I can’t wait to make family memories with them in their new home in the years to come!! While chillin’ at their pad, I call the hotel to see if our room may be ready early. And it is…so off to Asbury Park we go. 

We are staying 2 nights at the Berkeley. Sadly, when we get there it’s super hazy and overcast, so you can’t see the beach and ocean 😢 But the weather is significantly cooler, so no sweating my non-existent balls off!!

Barb and Marg drove over too and we all went for a stroll on the boardwalk. The street art along the Boardwalk was really cool. They also showed us where they are having their wedding next year. And we can’t wait for that celebration 🎉 Before our dinner reservations, I needed to hop in the shower, so that’s what was next on the agenda. 

Dinner was Indian at a fav spot of theirs. Then it was ANOTHER evening with a show. This time The Wailers. And OMG! It was such a fun time! It was GA tix, so Barb had told us we could leave whenever we wanted. As they played their last song I think we were all surprised we were still there and could probably last for 10 more songs 😂 such a great night! 

Day 6

I really wanted to sleep in and not call the boys to wake them up. But I just couldn’t leave them to their own devices. So I made sure they got up. However, I did stay laying in bed after that call. 

What was supposed to be brunch turned into more like lunch…at The Buttered Biscuit. After a delicious meal, Barb drove us around to see the various shore communities in this area. 

I did good planning my shower that morning before we left, so I didn’t need to get back to the hotel to take one. Therefore, it was back to Barb’s place to wait for Marg to get off work. 

Since it was Barb’s birthday, we had a lovely Italian dinner in Asbury Park on the Boardwalk. Two of their friends, Liz and Diana, also joined us. But that wasn’t the end of the day. 

See, last night while waiting for The Wailers to play, the venue was showing upcoming acts. And it showed Tiffany playing the next night. So Marg whipped out her phone and got us all tickets 🤣 Therefore, we capped off Barb’s birthday with yet another show. And I have to say, we were all surprised at the show. None of us had kept up with Tiffany really over the years, so to hear her rock sound was a bit unexpected. But she sounded good and the band was solid. 

But the night gets another little surprise. Liz ended up getting Barb a meet and greet 😂 So after the show she got to meet Tiffany and take a selfie (all for charity). Since the rest of us didn’t get it, we were kicked out into the lobby and Barb had to wait alone with all the other fans 🤪 And there were certainly some interesting characters that were fans 😳 In the end, it was the end of a great visit. 

Day 7

Today is all about getting home to the boys. As we were driving into JFK, we hear the breaking news that Southwest had asked the FAA to ground all their flights due to some technical issues. I have ever only flown Southwest once, and that was because I was going to a training so the organization I worked with was buying the tickets. I can’t tell you how grateful I was that we were getting our happy little asses on a Delta flight! I really REALLY wish Delta would make Denver a hub. Then we’d get more direct flights to places. But that’s fine, I’m ok with layovers (for the most part). However, it was a direct flight from JFK to DIA. And the traffic gods were also working in our favor as we got to JFK without any issues (I did give myself an extra hour on top of what Google Maps said it would take, just in case). Hey, that’s what Sky Club is all about! Relaxing before your flight 😉

Thelma was behaving and made it on the flight just fine (unlike her last escapade not getting on the connecting flight at JFK when I was traveling from Miami to Denver back in Jan). And she was there at baggage claim when we got to Denver. 

I also have to commend the boys on not destroying the house while we were gone. There was a good amount of dirty dishes we had to deal with, but I guess it could’ve been worse as Charlie said he ran the dishwasher a couple of times. So not bad at all. 

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