The Renaissance Hotel was lovely. It had only been open for two months, which I loved, because it meant that not a lot of people had bathed in the tub before I used it. The decor was really hip. The lounge on the second floor opened up to 57th Street below, so we could sit out and eat while we watched the city. The concierge was amazing and recommended fabulous places to eat. So, he was right on that I would love a trip to New York for my birthday, after seeing my friends in Boston.
I have to admit that I did NOT love the $33 bus ride from Boston to New York. Specifically because we were seated across from some ignoramous group of Kappa-Gamma-Gamma-Somethin-Or-Others who had a total combined brain cell count of about three. And I wouldn't complain about how annoying they were, because I slept for most of the ride, except for when I was awakened by shrieks coming from their bonnie-belled mouths when they saw the projects. Cause that was just so cute and urban for them, and they'd heard all about them on P Diddy's songs, but now they could tell all their friends that they'd seen "the real thing"...yay. So again, aside from my abject hatred for socially-challenged sorority girls, it was OK.
The restaurant that the concierge sent us to was Aqua Dulce. Which means Sweet Water in Spanish. And boy, was it ever. The decor of this restaurant was to-die-for. I wanted to steal all the furnishings and have them put in my house. I took my camera in to the bathroom, and almost snapped a picture, till someone walked in and I thought that that would probably seem kind of creepy- taking pictures in the bathroom. Each wall was tiled differently. It was an open kitchen. The seats were a grey linen, backed with blue velvet with brass nail heads. There was a lot of cool, ornate wrought iron. The banister was a clear plexi glass. The chandeliers were awesome. OK, I just typed like two more pages of details about this restaurant's decor and then realized how lame that is to read for the people on this earth who are not obsessed with interior design, like myself. So, I will finish by saying it is hip and you should go.
I am also going to spare you the moaning that came from both of our mouths when we had incredible ceviche, grilled shrimp on cane skewers, homemade guac and chips, fall-of-the-bone meat with chimichurri sauce, and roasted chicken. With a desert of caramelized bananas and ice cream. Oy. Oy. Oy. Next to Buddakan, this is my favorite.
So, after a great dinner, we went to go see the show Hair, and I was impressed. I thought it was going to be all fluff...like Peace, Love and Rock-and-Roll. But it was much deeper than that. The only thing that I had heard about the show was from my Mom, who said that she'd seen it in the 70's, and that there were naked people in it. So, naturally I was pretty thrilled to go. And yes, we did see a lot of naked people on stage. But it was just a moment. And, it was lovely. I mean, really- when did naked bodies become so...strange to us? So, it was fun to see Gavin's friend naked. Did I mention that his old mission companion was staring in this show? Yeah, and he was excellent.
So, the show was rockin' and fun, and bitter-sweet and sad. The lead, played by a man who is also named Gavin, reminded me of my Dad. He plays a boy who is conflicted about the Vietnam War..as was my Dad. And as a child, I had the opposite example in my Grandfather, whom I lived with, who would have signed up for war with the Canadians in a moment's notice, if duty required it. Cause that was his honorable nature. And so, to have a Dad who didn't want to run off to war, and was actually kind of against it, was to-be-honest, a little embarrassing. I just didn't get him. I thought that maybe it was the whole hippy movement. I mean, who wouldn't want to just lay around and smoke grass, while you twirled daisies and looked at the clouds? But there was so much more to it than that. Differing ideals, differing presidents, differing truths. It was a clash of the cultures...this generation who had fought in World War II, and their kids- who were not as ready to leap in to battle. You can see it from all sides. So, instead of swaying along the whole time...which I still did do a lot of...I was seeing my Dad in his twenties...and having a new sense of sympathy for the decisions that he was faced with and the honor in which he dealt with them.
After the show was over, we met the cast. Gav and Will wanted to grab some drinks and catch up.
...but not before he signed autographs. Isn't that crazy...that I know someone who signs autographs??..and I just saw him naked?...this night rocked!
When the night was ending, on our way to hail a cab, a darling young man in a restaurant saw us walking with Will and started screaming, "HAIR, HAIR...OMG, I LOVE YOU HAIR!" And Will just turned and looked at him...like he gets this all the time. And when the young man asked for a hug, Will not only let the boy throw himself all over him, but he hugged him back. And you could tell it was the best moment of the boy's life. Will is a true rock star. I'm not the only one who thinks so.
Other highlights: After sleeping in, Gavin and I walked around the city, in the sun, and admired the architecture. We got a great meal at a local place...hello, french toast and bacon I love you. And how can you go wrong with a Cuban sandwich for breakfast, I ask? I got some cheap sunglasses on the street. I met with a dear friend that I'd known from Boston, and caught up.
And then..it was time to head to the airport. I could tell that it was time, because I was cooing at all the miniature dogs that were walking (or being carried) around the city. Gavin started to wonder if there was something wrong with me. I mean, really?...toy dogs? Am I eight? No...I miss my kids. And in New York...those were the closest things to kids. So, enough playing peek-a-boo with the toy Maltese. We're going home.
And remember when I said that Gavin gets me? ...yeah, enough to get me bumped to first class. Thank you Gav. So, along with a hot towel and kiss-ass service, I watched Talk Soup with my husband on our flight back to Utah... where we were greeted with happy kids, and a baby who had not slept well for Grandma...and a lot of unpacking.
Worth every minute.And in case I don't mention it that often...I really enjoy my husband. Really.