Monday, August 22, 2011

Anniversary Weekend in NYC

I went to bed last night with wilted pillows.
I had to make my own breakfast this morning.
No one greeted me when I came downstairs as "Mrs. Fern."
No one hailed me a cab this morning.

I'm obviously going through withdrawals from NYC.

The one thing I cannot get used to is tipping everyone. It's more than cruise ship tipping!

Martin and I don't stay overnight in NYC much. We've actually only stayed the night once before. The city is less than two hours from our house so we usually drive up to Weehawken and take the ferry over for the day.

When we were thinking through where we wanted to go to celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary Martin immediately thought California and I immediately saw dollar signs. So we compromised on New York.

We left Friday morning and headed up. Once we got to the city we checked our luggage into the hotel and headed out. We aren't typical tourist. We love to walk hand in hand around the city and take in the atmosphere and talk. We'll stop at a shop here or there but usually we go with no agenda and stay away from super touristy places. As I said, usually.

We didn't do much on Friday. We ate at an unique place called CRISP. It was uber-healthy. I thought I would be hungry about three minutes after I finished eating but I actually wasn't hungry for about 10 minutes! I had a "burger" and it had hummus and goat cheese on top with fresh basil leaves. It was good but messy.

We got back to the hotel and checked in. The last time we stayed at The Alex we had a two bedroom suite and Jack and Kami came with us. Our hotel was on the corner and our view was like this,

But this time we got a one bedroom suite and our view was like this,

I was a bit bummed but on Sunday we were walking back from shopping and I noticed the building across from the hotel was still being worked on (I say still because I remember them working on it two years ago when we came). There were construction sheets and scaffolding all over it and there was work being done with a jackhammer out in the street. And it hit me, God gave us a stinky view but a quiet side. We were able to sleep and rest without being forced out of bed by crazy construction all weekend (crazy that they actually work on the weekend!). Martin wasn't convinced by my revelation. But I know I was right.

Friday night we ended up staying in and ordering room service because there was a lightening, thunder, and rain show put on by God. We ordered burgers (real burgers for this meal) and watched the show from our not so good window seats. I need to show you a picture of the burgers because they cost more than my weekly grocery bill.

On Saturday, I only had one request. I asked if we could be tourist for a few hours and go on the double decker tour bus. Because he loves me and it's our anniversary and my birthday weekend, he said yes! So we bought our tickets and we stood in this line for about 25 minutes.

It was honestly us and hundreds of our foreign friends. By the way, don't listen to the news about the economy. When you walk around NYC you realize the world is doing just fine. They are coming to NY, spending their money and loving every minute of it.

We hopped on a tour bus with an amazing tour guide. He was dry humored, had quick wit, smart, and loved the city of New York. We learned all kinds of random facts that will make us look smart in conversations with strangers and casual acquaintances.

I took a few pics, one being the World Trade Center Building 1 being built,

Then a picture of the Flatiron Building cause it's cool and I was on a high bus,

And writing in the sky. I'm pretty sure God didn't write this like in Daniel 5 because I bet He's a cursive writer not a dash guy. But it's still cool! It said, "Tickets on sale now" Of what, not sure.

I'll let you know one of our random facts of NYC, the World Trade Center buildings took so long to build because the dude that leased the buildings took the insurance policy out. But the government owned the property because the subway station was below the towers. So when it came time for the rebuild, the government told the dude to pay for the rebuild and he told them they could pay for the first building and he would pay for the rest. The government said no. There is more to the story but you're gonna have to do one of three things. 1. Ask me. 2. Find our tour guide and ask him. 3. Google it.

Saturday night we went to dinner at Ponte's in Tribeca. It was great. The cab driver duped us. I should've told him which way to go but I got that insecure "I'm not a true New Yorker" feeling and let it go and we ended up taking a 45 minute ride that cost us $28, and that was on a $0.50/mile meter. To compare, we went home on a $1.00/mile meter and it cost us $11. Don't worry, he didn't drive us to New Jersey and back, he just sat in Holland Tunnel traffic until the last minute then drove around it. Never Again, I say, NEVER AGAIN!

Here is a great picture of Martin at the restaurant sporting his new shirt, his first purple shirt ever,

This last picture is of my spoils from Anthropologie. We have a store close but it's not as large as the one at 30 Rock. So I took my 15% off coupon for my birthday and headed in. I got two books, one on modern day etiquette and one on random tidbits on life. Then we got more monogrammed mugs (our new "thing") and a new measuring cup thing. I don't know what you call it but it looks like something that would've been in my grandmother Lawson's kitchen.

We stopped by Martin's brothers house in Hillsborough on the way home yesterday and we were home by five. Go us.

It was an awesome weekend. I know these days are short for us. When the kiddos arrive we'll be spending weekend getaways in more economical places like the Hilton. I'm kidding, kidding! But I won't be camping - I'm just not that kinda girl.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Yankee View of THE HELP

I know I'm not a Yankee but I do live up here in New Jersey and last time I checked, it was above the Mason/Dixon line and although I grew up in the beautiful state of Tennessee and had a southern set of parents and two sets of southern grandparents, I have now lived away for eleven, yes eleven years. I am still southern at heart and the longer I stay away the more I realize it.

Last night I went with my mother-in-law to see The Help. I read the book and loved it and like everyone else who has read a book then gone to see the movie, I was nervous. I read the night before that the screenwriter/director grew up with the author so I was excited that there was heart behind the movie.

We went to dinner first and as usual, I talked my poor mother-in-law's ear off. She's just a great listener and whenever I leave her company I always kick myself for not asking her questions and making her talk. We arrived to an almost empty theater. I picked the perfect spot, you know, the middle, middle. And I knew people would sit all around us because everyone loves the perfect spot in the theater, right?

I was observing the people who were walking in. I didn't know what to expect with this movie up here in the North. There were a few couples but mostly women coming in (not surprising). But as I watched them come in, I noticed that all races were coming in. I got a bit excited. I mean, action movies pull people from all walks of life. But dramas and comedies? They are usually divided.

As the movie started I was stoked that no one sat directly in front of us. It was like my own personal screening if I squinted the entire time. I did not.

I loved it. I loved the costumes and sets, the way the screenwriter/director brought parts of the characters together. I loved how he didn't waste his time with developing characters that didn't need to be developed in a movie. But more than anything, I loved hearing everyone in the theater laugh together, cry together, gasp together, and scream together.

It was a great experience.

I am a southern girl and always will be. I say "go catch the bath water" and "I need something to bear down on" and "I fixed this for dinner" and "I usta could but now I can't." My children will probably say these things too.

I am not proud of the racial heritage my southern roots held on to and in some aspects still hold on to. But as I think about allowing my daughter (assuming that God gives us at least one) to one day read and watch this movie, I smile to think that our family will be trans-racial with a twist of North and South. And I know my grandparents wouldn't know what to think about this but I do know my God smiles on it. And that's all that really matters.

By the way, I am not a movie critic nor do I claim to be. The last movie I watched in a theater was AVATAR in 3D. That shows you my frequency in front of the big screen. And you will never see me writing something about that film. Trust me.