Denver - I was to fly out at 745 am onto Denver by 10, leave by 12 and get into La Guardia by 5 something. Well, the heavens decided to pour out snow into the Rockies that day so we were actually caught in a snow storm. Our dear pilot (who was literally in charge of our dear lives at that time), was so good at updating us... probably more to limit inquiries from his passengers, he gave us a blow-by-blow account of what was happening in the Denver airport. He kind of tried to distract us from being impatient as we were hovering in the friendly skies for practically 2 hours! We couldn't land as Denver only had 1 runway open, so we were all in a cue. We ended up landing about 1230 pm. And since I was really hungry and thought that I deserved a good lunch, I went straight to Wolfgang Puck Express and chowed down a Chinois salad (it really was just Asian Chicken Salad with a french twist, I guess). Oh, and I have to check my connecting flight! I felt safe doing this after my lunch since our pilot already forewarned us that all the connecting flights out of Denver were delayed anyways)!. True enough, my flight was not until after 2. Good thing I've been to this airport in October, I knew exactly where to find the restroom, good stores, good coffee....There! I left Denver at 230, flight was around 5 hours, so I got to La Guardia almost 8 pm.
New York New York
Day 1 ----- Luggages were delayed too, plus I had to wait for my car service. My first day in NY, really started at 9 pm when I got to my friend's apartment. Yes, I stayed with another very good friend of mine from college. She's single in NY, so it was perfect! She lives in Manhattan (btwn 1st & 2nd Sts), near the brownstones and mind you, in the same street where Martin Scorcese lives! I really thought I'd see Leo (Leonardo di Caprio), but no luck! I was lucky Grey's Anatomy had a re-run that night (she's an avid fan), so after a little rest and a tour of her apartment, we dashed out for some Cuban dinner! Good food and sangria! After dinner, she brought me straight to Times Square -- Broadway! Oh, the lights were fantastic! The billboards created such a party atmosphere for me! We rode the subway to another area onto where we were having dessert. It was quite a walk, but it ended in a quaint street and a cafe with this big lighted tree in front of it. She goes, "do you remember this?" I go, "o-k".... "Let's go inside...." It turns out to be the same cafe used in the movie "You've Got Mail" where Meg Ryan sat to do her emails.... The name of the cafe is Cafe Lalo. I guess it was an artist who owns it as it had all the artwork "by Lalo" all over the place. They had good coffee and of course, very good dessert! We rode the subway back to my friend's place and yes, I got my own Metro card!
Day 2 ----- Since of course, we had a veeeeeeeeeery long night which ended in the wee hours of the morning, we started our day late. Around 11 am our old friends from college showed up for our pre-lunch get together. It was nice to see folks you haven't seen in such a loooooooooong time. These 2 friends of ours migrated to Canada a few years back and they had brought their 2 little ones with them. We went to lunch and oh, amidst all the chit-chat, almost forgot that we had a wedding to go to at 3. We hurried up since we had to primp up for the wedding.
Wedding ----- We rode the cab to the West side (we came from the East), went through Central Park and on to the Church. At the church I found my other good friend from post-college days (yes we went through 4 years of higher education) whom I actually haven't seen in 7 years! With that, you realize that its nice that we've been emailing and touching base on the phone, thank goodness! We saw our other friends from college (whom I haven't seen in 10-15 years) and we tried to contain all our excitement (including our excitement over seeing two actor- celebrities (they're a couple) from our hometown). Then of course, we were happy to see our couple-friend who were getting married! After the ceremony and picture taking, we headed to the reception --- guess how, yes, through the subway once again.
Reception ----- Oh my, nice nice nice! The reception was at The Grill at Bryant Park. After giving our coats (and getting our little claim stub), we headed to the cocktails area. Wine flowing and hors d'oeuvours unending! Food was great, I had a grilled halibut with veggies and something like rice but the texture was like hashbrowns. Nyummmmm. My other friends had the filet mignon of course, which looked really good too. Oh, dessert, absolutely delectable! A light chocolate cake with warm chocolate syrup and strawberries on the top and the sides. The bride and groom's parents (mostly the dads did the talking) had a lot of good and inspiring things to say. We were all touched by the show of friends and family, of course. They are indeed a very happy and deserving couple! I'm truly happy I went and was part of their special day. Our mini-reunion continued in a neighboring bar where we all were happy to spend (or drink?) the rest of the night away!
Day 3 ---- We headed for brunch (apparently, in NY, brunch is from 10 am to 4 pm, o-kay!) at like 12:30 pm in a french cafe on the southside, I believe. I had crab cakes eggs benedict, coffee and mimosa. Was really yummy. This brunch was with the mini-reunion group less the bride and groom of course. It was fun chatting and updating each other with developments in each of our lives. We all realized though that we still talk and communicate as if we just saw each other yesterday (figuratively speaking of course)! That was good as now you realize the kind of friends you've had all these years. The experience was sweet and worth a thousand memories. After brunch (and after the rain in NY stopped), we headed to South of Hudson, more popularly known as SOHO. We walked 20 (!freaking!) blocks (and more), but I actually hardly noticed this as we were chit-chatting the whole way. Also, I was busy looking at the environment, parks, houses, buildings, cars, people, clothes, shoes, everything! We went to the meat-packing district (which turns into a party zone at night), got to see places featured in Sex In the City, took pictures everywhere, walked towards TRIBECA, then into SOHO. We saw most of the shops from the outside, only went to the Apple store to use the restroom, checked out L'Occitane, went to a Scholastic store to get my kid's halloween costumes and some gifts, then, we all ended up in another cafe to finally sit down and chat once more (after 3 hours walk that is). You can't blame us though, didn't I say we haven't seen each other in like ------- 15 years?
After our goodbyes in the subway as we headed either home or to other parties, we exchanged cellphones and email addresses and promised to all keep-in-touch!
That night, my friend and I went to dinner at another friend's house (whew, she has a really nice apartment by the river (overlooking NJ)). Her apartment is a Trump one (yes, owned by "the" Donald Trump) so it has one of those concierge type of set ups. NICE! (Wait, did I tell you her 2/Bdr unit cost about $900,000$@!) We met some of their friends, with little kids, had a hearty dinner of our hometown dishes, and more chit-chatting. We headed home after but not without going around town. I got to see Rockefeller Center, Rockefeller Plaza, went into a MET store, saw NBC studios (where they have the Today show), Radio City, St Patrick's Cathedral, Park Ave, Madison Ave, 5th Ave, Lincoln Arts Center (where they hold events for the NY Opera, NY Ballet & NY Philharmonic), a glimpse of Fordham U, Time Warner (first ever mall in NY City), the Trump Hotel, the entrance to Central Park, and all the big name stores! We tried to have dessert at Serendipity but it was packed!
My last night in NY was a blast, went around, and I just had fun with my good ol' friend. Our conversations filled up all the missing parts of my trip --- with missing, I mean: not seeing Liberty, Ground Zero, the Empire State Building and other well-known tourist spots. But, it was all worth it, besides, missing those spots, give me all the more reason to go back to the Big Apple. And this time, with my hubby! With my kids? Ahhhh, maybe in 3 more years.
Day 4 ---- was travel day again, bye New York, hello California (oh gosh, you can't imagine how I missed my 2 little princesses, my king and ------------ steamed RICE!