Friends in DADA and I headed to New York City for what became a weekend of awesome.
I woke up at bloody early o’clock on Friday morning, rushed around, and drove to Delma’s house, where I waited until we were all assembled to leave for the bus “station” in Washington, D.C. We ended up getting there probably an hour before we needed to, but that meant we were first in line for our 10 AM bus and we got to stand in the shade under the tent, for which I was grateful.
The ride to NYC on MegaBus was pleasant. I got some prompt writing done, slept for a few hours (to make up for only getting about 4 hours the night before), checked e-mail a couple times, and devoured the latest issue of Out on my iPad (John Barrowman goodness on my way to Broadway; it seemed appropriate).
Despite a longer-than-usual stop in Baltimore (the MegaBus before us had broken down so there were more people than seats when we got to the Baltimore pick-up spot) we got to NYC around 2:30PM, right on time. We had a late lunch at Mustang Harry’s (seemed an appropriate place for Harry Potter fans to eat, and there was a poster of Richard Harris inside to boot).
Then we checked in at our hotel. We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn at Times Square, just a few blocks from Times Square. My room was on the 14th floor with a gorgeous view of the building next to it and the alley below. If you leaned and turned your head, you could kind of see a sliver of the sidewalk and street in front of the hotel.
I dropped off my luggage, checked for bed bugs, called home to report I was safe & sound, and then waited for everyone else to get settled in. We took a cab (limo?) to FAO Schwarz by Central Park. They supposedly had a big Harry Potter display, which I was eager to see. It was sort of disappointingly small and sparse:
But I appreciated the effort and the presence of Harry Potter items was definitely a nice welcome to NYC. We poked around the store for a few hours: Smurfs, candy, Big Piano, LEGO, children’s books, doll houses, stuffed animals, etc. I ended up buying a few keychains and my first Series 5 LEGO minifig (I felt the packages until I found the FAO Schwarz appropriate London guard). I very nearly bought a gigantic box of Nerds for my boss, but I wasn’t sure how to get it home and she likely would have killed me :-)
Kacy and Kassidy headed out to go to a Broadway show. I tried to get in contact with one of my BookCrossing friends in NYC, but to no avail. And Delma tried to get in touch with her nephew, but it was POURING rain and he wasn’t game to venture out in NYC traffic to get to us in the rain. So Delma, Marisa, and I headed back to our hotel and did dinner around the corner at a little Italian place one of the bellmen at the hotel recommended.
The food was really yummy but a bit too expensive for me, so I only ate half and saved the rest for dinner the next night (which I knew was going to be tight time-wise anyway). The restaurant had a piano bar and live entertainment. I was serenaded twice by the owner(?) and it seemed like the whole family, even the little 2 or 3-year-old danced and went around asking each table if we were enjoying our meal. The inside was gorgeous—murals and paintings on the ceiling and walls to make you feel like you were in Italy. It made me wish my family had a family business (though that wish was fleeting, once I considered the economy).
It had stopped raining when we left dinner, and I turned in early (fell asleep trying to write an Ace story for a prompt) so I could get an early start Saturday morning.