Deep in the heart of Chelsea
Because Mike and I are ferocious multi taskers as well as people who regularly blur the boundaries between work and life, this is a working vacation for both of us. Today and tomorrow I am attending the ASJA (American Society of Journalists and Authors) Writers Conference and next week Mike will go to work at the Google New York office.
Oops. Now you know where we are: Manhattan.
Yes, we just went to Manhattan last September and now we're back. We like it here. We still have the double dang double stroller, which prohibits mommy from entering quaint storefronts and spending lots of money, but that's probably a good thing. This time we're staying in Chelsea, which is basically the Castro of Manhattan. We're in an apartment I like so much I started saying things like, "So how much would this place cost to buy?..."
We did our usual travelling routine, waking up at the crack of dawn and taking the first flight out of SFO. The kids were about as well behaved as a one-year-old and a two-year-old can be, probably better. I'm happy they don't have ear pain when we travel. I remember having horrible earaches when I took planes as a youngster. We brought them crayons and washable markers and Play-Doh for the plane. Oh, and movies on the laptop, although they weren't so interested in sitting still. No big crying fits or "massive blowouts" (technical diaper-related term) so life was good. Basically, the plane ride was yesterday and I now have forgotten how much it hurt. Kind of like how I've forgotten about the pain of childbirth. (Sorry, this is a mommyblog.)
We had an insane amount of stuff to get through security since Mike had two laptops and I had one. Oh, and I'm totally bragging when I write that. A three laptop family! We're so wired we'd probably go insane if we travelled to some place that didn't have Interweb access. The first thing we did when we entered the apartment was search for the router. Found it! Interweb access was established. Life was good.
Last night we had dinner at Dallas, a barbeque joint in Chelsea. And mama, that joint was jumpin'! We ate ourselves into a painful state. We started with two Texas size drinks; I had a pina colada and Mike had... some fruit margarita thing. They came with test tubes stuck in them filled with extra rum as well as plastic dolphins, which Emily correctly identified. (Where does she learn this stuff? Am I a better mom than I think or should I thank TV?) The kids had orange juice and Thomas learned how to sip from a straw! Very exciting. Then we had a gigantic plate of veggie tempura. As his entree, Mike had the biggest chili corn dog you've ever seen, prompting some "only in Chelsea" jokes. We're bad. I had fried shrimp and baby back ribs. With rice. And cornbread. And the rice had green onion sprinkled on it. It's kind of hurting me just to think about it.
At the restaurant, I was reminded of why I love New York City: the people. There were black folk, white folk, straight, gay, Haitian, Mexican, so many different types and colors and styles of people all laughing and joking and drinking fishbowl sized drinks. The energy was amazing. There was no way the kids could compete with that so they just sat rather quietly, ate their food, and drank their orange juice. It was one of the more successful night out with kids we've had in a while.
I'm writing this from the Grand Hyatt Hotel next to Grand Central Station. I'm on my second cup of conference coffee and life certainly is grand. I'm a tad tired from the time change and sleeping in a strange bed, but I'll live. Okay, I should go to the bathroom and go find a seat. More on the conference and all of that work-related stuff later.