She is having a huge milestone birthday - 60 - and it seemed like the birthday deserved something special. I couldn't think what to give her that would be memorable so I decided that a trip to the Big Apple would be a memorable gift. So the four of us - me, Robin, Sabena and Zaman headed off for a nice long Thursday to Monday weekend. The trip also coincided with the Belair-Lilliendaal Reunion so I was looking forward to seeing family and friends I had not seen in 45 years.
Robin and I stayed at the Intercontinental and Sabena and Zaman stayed at the Paramount which are less than 5 minutes walk from each other and right in the heart of Manhattan's theatre district. We walked at least 12-15 km each day (according to my Fitbit) and managed to see a couple of Broadway shows too - Something Rotten, which was incredibly hilarious, and Finding Neverland which was sad and happy at the same time.
It didn't matter what time of day or night, the streets were so busy! I don't know how they managed to change those negative stereotypes but they did it. It was well lit. And safe. And friendly. And easy to navigate. And clean.
We went for dinner to the really fabulous Esca restaurant complete with a beautiful courtyard right in the heart of the city. That was a bit of a surprise to me (don't know why). There a a big hotel right next door but the way the seating was arranged in the courtyard, no on e seemed to notice, even thought it was clearly visible.
Then it was off to the theatre. I loved that we could walk almost everywhere (except for going to the reunion in Queens and even then, the subway station was underground of the hotel).
The reunion was a nice treat indeed. One surprise was meeting Gloria and Lynette who I used to attend primary school with. We had a great chat about walking to school together and playing sports on the various teams. And of course they remembered that I had long curly hair which is no longer evident (hair creeps up in direct relation to age).
I hope it won't take another 11 years to make another trip. Somehow I don't think so. Robin had too much fun shopping at Joseph A Banks to let that much time pass.