The Happy Recap
It had a little bit of everything we love and then some. First of all, we were wise to take Amtrak since it meant the trip back and forth would be stress free and we could relax.
We arrived Friday night and hit Modell’s in search of post season Mets gear to wear. Deb found something but nothing was in my size. After checking in at the Hotel Lexington, we settled in at their bar, Raffles, for a drink, dessert, and to enjoy their three-piece jazz band.
Saturday was sunny and cool, perfect for wandering the Big Apple. We strolled downtown, meandering here and there, stopping at the Mets Clubhouse Shop only to leave disappointed. We made our way down to Union Square and their farmer’s market which was nice to browse. Normally, this was the weekend where we’d be in Rhinebeck at the annual Sheep & Wool Festival. Instead, we found one stall with wool and lamb products so that would have to suffice.
After checking out one more Modell’s (we’re a determined bunch), we headed back uptown and got ready for our afternoon. We paused at Barnes & Noble so Deb could snag a book then had genuine, good, hot New York City pizza.
We had excellent mezzanine seats for the matinee of Something Rotten which is just a delight and a half. It’s funny for most but truly hysterical for those who have a deep experience with musical theater. The leads – Bryan d’Arcy James, Christian Borle, and Brad Oscar – were simply marvelous. Two and a half very well-spent hours. As belated birthday gifts go, this one was wonderful.
After a quick stop to change at the hotel we headed out to Citi Field, taking the Number 7 train, feeling a part of the 7th Line Army. The place was packed and the energy was high, as was the wind. We arrived with the temperatures around 49 degrees and dropping with a 12-15 mph wind that bit through our clothing, despite the numbers of Mets-branded layers we wore. We couldn’t enter the stadium without stopping by and visiting Robbie’s memorial brick.
Once inside, clutching our orange rally towel, we hit the shop and finally found me a matching post-season sweatshirt, which did come in handy. We wandered the various levels, headed out to the food court and enjoyed a bit of barbecue. Eventually, we took our seats all the way up in section 507, out in right field. We were second to the top row and we quickly made friends with the surrounding fans.
Kristen Chenoweth happily sang the National anthem then Keith Hernandez tossed the ceremonial first pitch and we were off. As you know by now, the team’s Dark Knight, Matt Harvey, was dominant and the offense bested Jon Lester. We endured the wind and the chill, high fiving every strike out and run, shivering and keeping score. It was a truly special experience and I am delighted my principal and fellow English teacher convinced me to splurge on these pricey seats.
We had to, though, since Deb wanted to attend mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. We packed up, checked out, and wandered down Park to a Swedish restaurant where Deb wanted to have brunch. As we were being escorted to our table, I thought we were headed for a two-top and I was looking around the sparsely decorated place to figure out where to stow the suitcase.
As a result, I missed the table full of friends, who had arrived as Deb’s surprise to me. She insisted on our oldest friends who were in the area and at our wedding, with one exception. As a result, there was my childhood best friend, Jeff, who I have now known 51 of my 57 years. He was accompanied by his wonderful wife Debbie. There was my brother-in-law Jim, Deb’s oldest pal Judy and her husband Matthew, and our dear friends Bo b& Laurie Rozakis.
I was stunned, left speechless, and delighted. For the next few hours we laughed, ate, talked, ate some more, and had the best time. Ever.
As a result, we whiled away the final hour or two in Manhattan before boarding the train home where we happily had a few final hours together before returning to routine.
It was a little bit of everything we love and best of all, did it side by side as it was meant to be.