As promised, I will finish writing about my East Coast adventure.
Thursday, 8/25: I left Washington, DC for New York City via Amtrak train. I highly recommend. I got a 10% discount on train fare for being a AAA member (I highly recommend that, too, for discounts on train fare and hotel stays, which I got to use quite a few times during this East Coast adventure). Even though I bought coach fare, the seating was sooooo comfortable and the ride was smooth. I looked out the window and watched as the train rolled through Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and finally, Penn Station. It was raining lightly as I finally breathed in the air of New York City. It had been 4 years, but I returned, just as I promised. I took a cab to midtown East, to meet up with my cousins for dinner. The view was breathtaking.
Friday, 8/26: The weather was sunny and warm, perfect for walking around the city. I started my day on the Upper East Side and stopped for lunch at Serafina Fabulous Grill. The service was slightly less than sufficient. They ignored me most of the time, and I had to be aggressive the two times I needed attention (to ask for bread and the check). However, I've had worse restaurant service, and the most important thing to consider when reviewing a restaurant experience is the food, and it was pretty good. I ordered the rigatoni alla bolognese.
After lunch, I walked eastward, determined to check out the Christian Louboutin Madison boutique. I was so excited, and then I was disappointed. There were 2 sales associates working, and they ignored everyone except the 2 customers they were with. There was a cashier, who "helped" me. I use the term loosely because she acted as if me being there was ruining her day. I tried to make friendly conversation, and she would interrupt me. She didn't smile even once and got into an argument with the manager in front of me. Not only was the service awful, but the selection was scant. The only shoe there that even caught my eye (and in which my size was available) was the indigo watersnake Bambou (a thick-heeled peep-toe platform). I was disappointed, but determined to walk away with a pair of CLs.
J and I checked into our hotel in Chelsea and hotfooted it to the Meatpacking District. She was eager to buy her first pair of CLs, and I was excited for her. Also, I brought along my Bambous, hoping to exchange them for something at the Horatio boutique that would make my heart sing. The experience at Horatio was so different from the Madison one. J and I were warmly greeted by the manager, who recognized me from events at the Robertson boutique, where I am a frequent visitor. He was so attentive and when I told him I was looking for python (which isn't sold in California), he showed me several pairs. If that wasn't enough, he produced from the back a dream pair for both me and J: for her, the No Prive in bronze python. For me, the No Prive in batik python! I thought I missed out on this shoe forever, especially when it went on sale and a bunch of girls on the Purse Forum snatched them. And there they were, in my size! We took a photo in front of the store, with our bags.
Our dinner wasn't to start for another couple hours, and we were starving. We saw a classic-looking British delivery cab sitting in front of Tea & Sympathy. As I'd heard of this place before, I was curious to see the inside, and we were hungry, anyway. It's a cramped little place, but with excellent service from women with adorable British accents. I ordered the Welsh rarebit, and J ordered a mushroom sandwich meal:
After Tea & Sympathy, we headed back to our hotel room to deal with the issues brought upon by Hurricane Irence: rescheduling canceled flights, calling our work supervisor, calling family, and figuring out where we would stay for the next few days (we were originally scheduled to fly out the next day). After dealing with most of it, we decided to take a deep breath and get ready for a dinner out at a hip NYC restaurant. After some confusion with our cab driver, who drove us in the completely opposite direction of where we needed to go, we made it to Buddakan. The food wasn't any better than Asian cuisine I've eaten in LA, but the "crying chocolate" dessert (white chocolate ganache with jasmine tea ice cream) was picture-worthy, so of course, we took a picture of it. Does this restaurant look familiar? If you've seen the Sex and the City movie, it should. It's where Carrie and Big had their rehearsal dinner.
Saturday, 8/27: Instead of flying home, J and I wandered around midtown Manhattan. We couldn't believe how empty the streets looked. The rain fell pretty hard, but we didn't let that stop us.
We continued on, checking out the tourist areas: Rockefeller Center, Times Square, etc. Who did we see in Times Square, besides all the tourists, determined to not allow the rain stop their vacations? The Naked Cowboy! He's one brave fella!
Sunday, 8/28: Not much happened this day. I woke up late and had a nice quiet day in Connecticut with my cousin. There were a lot of fallen trees and messy debris in the neighborhood, and lots of people were without power. However, at least where we were, there wasn't a lot to complain about.
Monday, 8/29: My last full day on the trip. In the evening, we drove into the city, and I had one last dinner in Manhattan with J. We ate at Osteria Serafina, which had good service and food. On our way to Serendipity 3 for dessert, we spot a little boutique called Dejavu. They have unusual hours, from 1 to 11 pm, versus the standard Manhattan boutique hours of 10 am to 6 pm. This worked out well for us, as we didn't end up finishing dinner until 9:30 pm. The friendly Dejavu sales associate told us that the hours were set up so that people like me and J would be accommodated. I really did need new dresses, since I'd lost so much weight this last year, and after I tried this one on, I knew it had to be mine. Here I am wearing it with my nude CL Very Prives. Excuse the bruises on my knee. That's what happens when you have to move yourself and your luggage from plane to train to taxi to 4 hotels within one week.
Tuesday, 8/30: I flew home today, a little sadly. I really do love New York. I hope it won't be another 4 years before I return.