New York City!
Dear, sweet, patient readers. Sorry for the long absences broken up only by short posts devoid of content and drunken ramblings. I had all these plans, but of course, upon landing back in the south I became immediately consumed by work, and all blogular thoughts were crowded out by the need to write write write two different papers ASAP.
But here I am! Did you miss me?
So. NYC. Thanks in part to the travel gods smiling down upon me, I arrived in the city promptly last Tuesday afternoon. (seriously - last week featured perhaps my most efficient, stress free travel experience ever. I don't expect it to happen again, so I tried to fully appreciate it at the time) Tuesday continued to be the perfect day, as I saw the lovely AWB, enjoyed a leisurely afternoon in her company*, then met up with Sid and Sara for dinner in Hell's Kitchen, where we passed Anderson Cooper walking down the street! As I attempted to make eye contact with him, and he doggedly persisted in avoiding said eye contact, AWB just reached out and squeezed my arm. Nice. After dinner it was time for Rent
, where S&S were continually amused by my spontaneous squeeling in gleeful anticipation. The show was amazing, of course, and warrants a post all on its own. Suffice it to say I was tremendously happy, got goosebumps in all the right places, cried in all the right places, and S&S were patient enough to humor me and hang out by the stage door for pictures and autographs. Then we headed to a hotel bar, where darling Sara proceeded to consume one too many cocktails, which just fueled even more reminiscing about the good old days of smith house, before the three of us all smooshed into one rather small hotel bed.
We got off to a nice slow start Wednesday morning, had lunch at MOMA (where we delighted in scandalizing Ladies Who Lunch by having highly inappropriate (and loud) conversation ranging across all topics involving human excretions), then wandered through Central Park, and wrapped up the afternoon at the Natural History Museum (adorable pic of Sid and I pretending to be dinosuars to be posted, along with Rent pics, whenever I get copies from Sara).
S&S headed off to a family dinner party and I met up with AWB for dinner (Ethiopian, which prompted her to comment that I was much more adventurous than I used to be, she never would have suggested spicy food consumed with slightly sour bread to the Megan she used to live with) and then a couple of beers at Fresh Salt
(where drunk middle-aged banker types insisted on telling us terrible jokes, then complained when we didn't find them funny).
Thursday we were awoken at noon (yay for vacation!) to join S&S for lunch (really, you can't go to NYC and not have Chinese at least once) then a stop at the SuperHero Supply Store
. Afterward AWB and I packed up for the highlight (well, ok, second highlight; not much could top Rent) of the trip - The Russian Baths
! (she has been extolling their virtues over at The Great Whatsit
) And I must say - she is absolutely right. I declare myself done with spas, and a (hopefully-soon-to-be) repeat visitor of the Russian Baths! I'm not sure quite what combination of features does it, but something about the place just removes all pretension and self-consciousness, so it really, genuinely is the relaxing experience that it's supposed to be. After an hour or so of alternating between shockingly hot rooms and shockingly cold water I splurged on a soap massage (yay vacation!), sort of like a combination between sponge bath and massage.
Friday I meandered around midtown while AWB took care of some school business, then met several of her friends for a birthday party
(which produced the sappy, yet surprisingly coherent previous post). All of her friends are, as one would expect, interesting and smart and curious - no one ever greets my profession with eager questions, and yet that's precisely what this group did, even jumping in to ask about the Roberts/Lancet paper
. There was good conversation and board games and dancing, and I came away from the evening completely satisfied, except for one niggling bit of self-conscious regret regarding a few moments of belligerent dancing (I kept yelling at people to find the downbeat. sigh. AWB swears it was funny).
We got home around 4am, and thanks to late night snacks, felt fully human upon waking up the next afternoon. AWB filled me with brunch and then sent me on my way. We both needed a vacation, and those five days were just what the doctor ordered. Alas, I fear I have already undone most of what I gained from rest and relaxation, but such is life.
On the way home I finally finished Harry Potter #7, so you'll have that post to look forward to too. Someday...
*I'm sure AWB will laugh when she reads this phrase, as the afternoon ended with a somewhat stressful trip to the co-op. Nevertheless, I stand by my statement.