This may be a record stretch of time between posts. A month! So much has happened and so quickly so let me start from the beginning.

July 3rd we packed up the kids' stuff and set them up at the grandparents' house. Then I packed up for an evening in Addison to watch fireworks. We also had a friend over for dinner beforehand. David, Minister of Invisibility, joined us from dinner all the way through Kaboom Town. He was so handy! I loved the extra set of hands and eyes and comic relief he brought. I highly recommend getting a Dave if you can find a good one.

Both kids really loved the fireworks. They especially loved playing in the fountain area near the center of Addison Post.

After fireworks, we managed to knock out both kids asleep in the car, transport them to their beds at the grandparent's then sneak away without incident. woo-hoo! Vacation begins!

The next morning, Rusty's dad takes us to the airport. Our flight is on-time, no incidents, we land safely, wait forever for our checked-baggage, get a metro-card. w00t!

While waiting for our first bus ride into the city to catch our first subway ride of our trip, we are asked by two people for directions and reassurance that our bus line connects to the subway station. Grinning to each other, we loved that we didn't look too much like tourists.

From here, I'll skim the surface of our trip because let's face it, I slept a lot, drank a lot, walked a lot, and forgot a lot already. I was nerdy enough to jot down every place we ate at as an informal guide of do/don't based on our trip. Of course we climbed the Empire State Building (104th floor!), saw the remains of Ground Zero, walked through Battery Park, caught a few movies, FAO Schwartz, Central Park, The Apollo in Harlem, got lost a lot, got sore feet, sunburned and moderately well rested. So here it is, our trip from a diner's perspective. :-)

July 4th - Day 1: Check in at our hotel then walk towards the Hudson River to discover lunch at Half King. I had the Shepard Pie- delicious! On the other hand, maybe it's because I han't eaten anything and was ravished that this pie was so great. Anyway, it has a nice patio and hours before fireworks, you'll be swarmed by cops. I think NY has at least one cop for every three people. Fireworks were something to behold. Six barges shooting same-time. y entire peripheral view was filled with a fantastic fireworks display. Later I grabbed a drink and snack at Hounds Tooth. I don't recommend them. My mai tai wasn't right and their MSG Strawberry was retched. Jake's Saloon near our hotel gave me a Blue Island martini which washed away the awful taste of the other place.

Day 2: Near the Guggenheim, we found EAT on Madison Ave. This was my most memorable meal of the entire vacation. I ordered a tomato goat cheese quiche w/ a small side salad. The quiche was awe inspiring. I must find a way to reproduce this at home for myself. Moving on, that evening we accidentally found a sushi place that was recommended to us: DooZo. Just a block from Washington Square, it was understated from the outside but the food was shockingly good. I loved their Mango Tongo so much I went to a table of patrons afterward and recommended it to them before they ordered. The magic of this place is cheap food, good quality, quaint atmosphere. Nuf said.

Day 3: Petite Abielle had the benefit of being next door to our humble Chelsea Inn. I loved this place for breakfast though it got pricey in the menu and choice were limited. But the place was cute, had a patio in the back and great service. While touring Coney Island, Rusty was anxious to eat a Nathan's Famous hot dog. It's a hot dog. I failed to be moved. On our way back into lower Manhattan, we happened upon Crumb Bakery. Ah yes. I got an obnoxiously large cupcake. That night we noshed at Harvest Brewery where I had a great veggie burger and Rusty had a stack of appetizers. And we both had beer.

Day 4: Lunch at Boom Cafe near Wooster and Spring Street, where real Italians eat. The servers are family and speak at least English and Italian, probably French and German too knowing European standards. Rusty was brought nearly to tears at his lasagna. It WAS amazing and I was a bit jealous that I ordered a mere pizza. That evening we boarded a dinner cruise boat the Bateaux. It's a smallish cruise ship with a glass roof, dance floors, decks, and bilingual waitstaff catering to your every need. We got great pictures of the Brooklyn bridge from below, the Statue of Liberty at sunset and of course a sparkling New York skyline with a full moon rising. After the cruise, we wandered toward Times Square again then slowly walked back to our hotel.

Day 5: I think I ate at Petite Abielle again for breakfast. Then Patsy's Pizza for lunch. The pizza here isn't New York style street vendor goodness. It was upscale cuisine and so yummy! I recommend this place BEFORE you do through Dylan's Candy Bar across the street. We spent three hours wandering through MoMA (which wasn't enough time) before pit stopping at the hotel. Now, let me diverge a moment and touch on alcohol. We went to Tailor on our way to find dinner. This trendy bar is worth a visit. They experiment with alcohol making foods and drinks that no other bar does. I came out feeling toasty and happy. Dinner was at Baluchi's, Indian food. Definitely worth a mention, this place was very good food, reasonably priced and progressive atmosphere. Before catching a comedy show, we grabbed drinks at Olive Tree and Caffe Reggio, home of the original cappuccino since 1927.

Day 6: I don't remember breakfast (c-store egg sandwich?) but I do recall Katz Deli for lunch (ya know, where Meg has her fake orgasm) for some authentic New Yorkness. People rushed, the place was packed, there was just enough service to keep you happy, oh and the pastrami is like nothing you'll get anywhere else. And the pickles. We also grabbed some dessert sweets from Russ & Daughters a few doors down. After walking miles and miles, discovering China Town and making one last run through the SoHo/NoHo strip, we had dinner at a sushi dive. Rusty had seen people lining up outside of some sushi shop called Satsuko. Don't bother, it wasn't very good, the place was cramped and nothing original on the menu. Move along people, nothing to see here! We finished our night exploring the area neighboring our hotel and stopping in a bar/restaurant for drinks. I wished the night would not end.

Day 7 We left for Dallas sad that our cool temped days would be harshly replaced by scorched Earth. No more eating at cafes, diners, and fine restaurants. No more waiters, discoveries of interesting foods and meals prepared from scratch for ME. No more $50 lunch bills, I don't miss that. No more hidden treasures and local legends and unique dining. No, we were headed back to Dallas where all coffee is homemade or Starbucks, food is almost always made at home or cost $50 for all four of us at dinner maybe once a week. Back to our normal lives. *sniff* I'm so glad we went to New York City and will forever cherish my memories.

Check out pictures and commentary captions here.

This concludes my marathon NYC post. I'll resume to normal regularly posted blog entries.

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