"The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep."

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Big Apple Weekend

Early Saturday morning Beth and I boarded a plane bound for New York City and in so doing, escaped these little town blues for a weekend away with our wine / dinner friends; Don & KOM, Calvin & Beth and Ward & Pam. Having traveled together previously – Vermont, Montreal, Jamaica and Italy – our four couple group had no doubts we were in store for yet another good time together.

While the others opted for the Hilton closer to the theater district, Beth and I stayed in a quaint little hotel in midtown called Hotel 31. It reminded us of hotels we visited in Europe – small rooms, smaller elevators, loads of charm, character and ambience. A half a block away was great little cafe where, after checking in, we sat outside for a while and enjoyed tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil drizzled with balsamic vinegar while taking in the sights and scents of the Big Apple.

Returning to our room, we dressed and soon departed in order to meet the other members of our group for a phenomenal meal at Cascina, a wonderful Italian eatery and then it was on to Broadway to see “The Pirate Queen.”

Based on the life of one Grace O’Malley, an Irish heroine who led an extraordinary life as a pirate, chieftain, lover and mother in 16th Century, this story relates her quest to protect her people and save her one true love. In so doing, she embarks on a “thrilling voyage that climaxes in a heated confrontation with the one woman more powerful than her... her fierce rival Queen Elizabeth I of England.”

Featuring original musical scores, remarkable sets and creative costumes, the production was quite good. Making it all the more special to our group is the fact our friend and fellow group member, Kathleen O’Malley is a direct descendant of the infamous Grace - and if you knew this fiery redhead as we do, you’d not be surprised.

Sunday found Beth and I separating from the group for the day as we opted to pass on the Greenwich Village food tour in favor of walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, strolling the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, enjoying Prospect Park and searching for some of Beth’s ancestors in Greenwood Cemetery. As a result, I must have walked 10 or more miles which more than made up for not getting a run in this weekend but it didn’t matter. We had a wonderful time together.

Later in the afternoon, we caught the subway back to Manhattan where we showered, changed and soon headed back out to meet our friends at the Chelsea Piers for a New York Harbor dinner cruise.

If you visit the city, I highly recommend this as a must do activity. While certainly not cheap, all agreed this was money well spent. The food was superb, the service excellent and the sights unrivaled. In addition to the spectacular view of the NYC and Brooklyn skylines and the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, the vision of the Statue of Liberty from this perspective was in a word, overwhelming.

Having been stationed on Governor’s Island in New York Harbor in 1976, I saw this magnificent statute every day, yet on this night, the close up, illuminated view from the water was more beautiful and inspiring than I ever recall.

All in all, it was a great weekend for all of us, but it was especially wonderful for Beth and I, for it was us time we really needed.

"You are the ship my life sails on." – Grace O’Malley, The Pirate Queen


Beth said...

Great links attached! I had a fantastic time! Thanks....
xoxo :)

Amy said...

You have such great adventures! And tell the tales to go with them so well!

Fe-lady said...

Never been to the APPLE, but sure want to go some day...thanks for the tips. I will remember them!