Allow me to brag a bit, please.
I just had the most fabulous vacation. It's the first time off I've taken in a good long time -- in terms of actually going somewhere, and I guess I needed it more than I thought. And it was only a weekend!
I managed to cram about five days worth of indulgence into about 48 hours. My plane left Long Beach about 9:30 Friday night and I got into New York JFK about 5:30 a.m. I figured out the Air Train and the Long Island Railroad, then took a taxi from Penn Station and by 7 I was at Liz's apartment in the West Village.
But this was no ordinary weekend away, it was a girls' weekend, and packed with fun because it was girlfriends meeting after spending too much time apart. I hadn't seen my friends in nearly two years.
Essentially, we ate our way through lower Manhattan. Normally, we would have drunk our way through as well, but we didn't really indulge, and I'm not sure why. Jet lag on the part of the Parisienne, perhaps?
I volunteered to get the girls fresh bagels because they were still half asleep, and because, hey, they were fresh New York bagels. We all went back to bed afterward, and then up at 11 to start the whirlwind weekend.
We were surprised by a beautiful day and took full advantage. We brunched, we shopped, I had Italian ices in a paper cup, we went up to the incredible roof garden to take in the view. We had Champagne as the sun set, we went to a too-trendy (but surprisingly good) French place (Pastis) in the Meatpacking District. We had hoped to have more drinks on another rooftop -- a lovely hotel bar -- but the shopping went on too long, and after dinner, we were all ready to drop.
Sunday it was cold and rainy, but we forged ahead. We headed to Chinatown for dim sum, stopped at an amazing pasticerria in Little Italy beforehand and I had an incredible eclair ... (yes, yes, enough with the superlatives!) I hated to walk away from a cannoli, something I've only recently discovered, but I figured an eclair before dim sum was indulgent enough. Isa, meanwhile, was in heaven with an Ialian espresso.
We also hit the Italian deli for fresh ricotta (and fresh mozzarella the day before) before heading to the Golden Unicorn for dim sum. It is well-known enough that when we gave the address to the taxi driver, he knew the name of the restaurant. There was such hustle and bustle -- women with carts pushing through the crowded tables -- and an incredible variety of dishes. Afterward, we went back into the rain and went for a foot massage. There must be dozens of them and how Liz chose the one we ended up in, I know not.
A foot massage always sounds like a fabulous idea, but in reality it kind of hurts. (Ok, it does hurt) But five of us managed to endure (including Kelly's husbaned, Herve, and I'm guessing he's no longer interested in being invited to participate in girls weekend activities). It's a weird mixture of tickle and outright pain. The Chinese woman who was giving me a massage -- 30 minutes -- explained that she wasn't rubbing all that hard so I should stop flinching. And that everyone , Chinese or otherwise, was more sensitive on the right side. I wonder if this is true?
By now it was late afternoon and we went on a mega quest for discounted designer ware. We ended up at a store called Century 21, which is like a Marshall's on steroids with designer stuff to boot. The store was four floors and was the size of a Macys. It was exhausting and just overload. Too much too much too much.
To rejuvenate, we headed to a great little restaurant called Home, which specializes in local (New York Hudson Valley) and artisanal food. It was really, really good and we were joined by yet another ex-Paris girlfriend. I'm sure I will dream of that macaroni and cheese for a long time.
Then back to the apartment, a quick packing job and a short rest -- I had a plane to catch at 8 a.m. and had to get up at 5:30.
It was too fast and yet leisurely, jam-packed and yet I didn't do everything I wanted. But it was awesome.