Posts Tagged ‘birthdays’

empire state of mind

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

On Saturday morning, Crockett and I flew to NYC. Yesterday was Crockett’s birthday, and we decided on a trip to celebrate.

Well, theoretically we flew in on Saturday morning. In practice, we flew on Saturday afternoon. We were supposed to land at 2:30 and have plenty of leisurely NY time, but instead we had one plane with hydraulic failure (experienced only on the ground so more irritating than terrifying) and one that was missing the drink cart, and somehow, we ended up landing after 7 pm. Crockett accurately pointed out that we could have had drinks in NY if they’d just taken the damn plane off the ground, but whatever. Thanks, United.

We did make it, though!!

The night before we left, we ran into someone at The Empire who said he made the Carnegie Deli his very first stop in NYC at any given time for the Reuben. Since Crockett loves a Reuben, and the deli was walking distance from our hotel, we hit it up when we were starving, exhausted, and ready to enter the New York state of mind.

The Reuben was literally the biggest sandwich I’d ever seen in my life. Do you SEE Crockett’s face, above? This is is ‘what the hell have I gotten myself into’ face. I had a bite (you know, to help out), and I wasn’t super impressed. However, I hate corned beef, so don’t trust me.

I decided to eat cheesecake. With cherries.

What. I was on vacation. It was good! Except, I don’t really like cheesecake either. I just ate it because I felt like I was in NY and I should and literally nothing else on the deli menu appealed to me. Airplane stomach, I guess. I actually threw in the towel pretty quick after this, but I did carry the rest around in my purse for the rest of the night before it found a home in our hotel fridge.

This is where Crockett gave up. I have to tell you, NY threw us a curveball with this restaurant. We thought we were prepared, stomach-ly, but we absolutely were not.

We walked this off, heading down to Times Square. My purse still smells a little bit like corned beef, too.

This is going to sound like a segueway, but it’s not, I promise. Our seatmate on our flight was a fellow named Thomas Maloney, a fact I remember clearly because he looked like Santa dressed as a cowboy, he had a million and one awesome stories, and he gave Crockett a bright yellow business card that said ‘Thomas Maloney, Capitalist’ on it. He was fantastic, and he was headed to New York because his son, Toby, had just opened a new bar. We were impressed, thinking this kid was making a play for success in the big big city, but no. The younger Maloney is a wildly successful bar-maker dude, and his newest bar is called Pouring Ribbons. We didn’t know about all the amazing press Pouring Ribbons was getting, or that they had the American Bartender of the Year slinging drinks, and we hopped on the subway (whoo hoo, my FAV part of NY) and headed down to the East Village to check it out.

It’s halfway up an empty street, above a liquor store, and when we showed up there was a line of people outside the door and a cranky bouncer. We waited a few minutes, asked if Thomas Maloney Capitalist was still there (he’d told us he was going to stop by Saturday night), found out he was gone, and got sent up the stairs. I don’t know if it was the name dropping or not. Ok, fine, I don’t think it had anything to do with it, I think it was just our turn, but I like to think that we got special treatment. I’m nerdy like that.

You guys, the food on this trip was delicious, but the cocktails? They were consistently AMAZING, and the ones at Pouring Ribbons were nothing but indicative of what was to come.

I had three.

The one above was a Death and Taxes, a gin and grapefruit drink with brandy and… I don’t even know. Magic.

The tall goofy one here is a One Flight Up – you can’t really tell, but there’s a layer of Campari at the bottom. I love the crazy sweet bitter thing Campari has going on – as Crockett said, it’s so gross but SO GOOD. (I think he actually said funnier things than that, but I was on my second drink after a very long day, people. Think of something hilarious and then credit him with it.)

That’s a rye drink of Crockett’s being stirred in the background in a beaker, btw. The actual mixology process here was fascinating. If we hadn’t been making friends, we probably would have just watched our bartender Troy work all night. We were making friends, though – this guy was here for a bartending contest! Turns out he didn’t win, but he was cool. It was easier to chat people up in NY than I expected, y’all.

I

At about 1:30, we headed back to the hotel. I’d super casually mentioned that we were in NY for Crockett’s bday when we were checking in, and we were upgraded to a deluxe studio on the 19th floor. Thanks, Hudson Hotel! This was the view from one of our three (!!) windows. I pictured a room with one window overlooking a brick wall, so this was basically the best thing ever.

‘Studio’ meant we had two chairs and a couch, as well as a bed. I took full advantage of the couch the second we walked in.

The interior of the hotel is kind of trippy. You take this green escalator up to a foyer that has a clear roof, covered with ivy. There’s an enclosed but outdoor bar behind the desk, and a big library that’s also a bar off to one side.

The art in the library is all enormous photographs of cows wearing hats. COWS. Wearing HATS. New York is so cool.

Our room really was amazing. This photo was taken from the bed at some point in the late afternoon. The other two windows are to my right, and they both had sills deep enough to sit on. The siding made it feel cozy, like a boat, except without the sea sickness. Best of all worlds.

This is the door, the bed area, and Crockett, looking like he’s trying to hold me up with a remote control. He confiscated it from me because I was manically changing the channels, trying to figure out what show is best to watch on two TVs simultaneously.

This was the terrace below one of our windows. The hotel has a 15th floor bar, but it’s closed for renovations – I suspect that’s what we were looking at. Our room would have been a whole different thing if this terrace had been open. Louder and more full of booze, for sure.

This is another secret terrace that we didn’t find until we were on our way out. Cute, right?? It was only like 50 degrees, though, so we didn’t really feel like chilling (ha) out there.

So, first night in NY? Fab. Hotel? Fab. And it only got better from there.

Sixty

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

My momma turned 60 years old yesterday!

Wait, let’s back up.

I sort of feel like I’ve been all cookies all the time since Valentines day, so yesterday I decided to start off with a nice fruitful smoothie instead.

Mmmm, smoothie. I finally bought Grape Nuts, so I’m back to my yogurt/milk/frozen banana/blueberries/Grape Nuts combination. Crunchy and delicious.

Crockett left last night for two ski trips. It’s all very exciting – first he’s going to Vail with some old friends, and then he’s driving to Crested Butte with some other old friends. All of these friends are men, so if you’re picturing nine days of snowboarding, cigars, and scotch, you’re probably not far off. At least, that’s how I picture it. Perhaps right now they’re sitting around discussing how much they miss their girlfriends. Who knows.

We had some crucial Costco shopping to do before he left, so we ended up nibbling on Costco snacks and eating a late lunch.

We’re still working our way through the Asian Cabbage Casserole from Sunday. I swear to god it’s actually multiplying in the fridge, and now that he’s gone the remaining servings are up to me. Making an appropriate amount of food for two people is proving to be something of a challenge – more than twice what I needed alone, but less than a full family size.

Then, it was BIRTHDAY TIME!


That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. My wonderful mother turned 60 years old yesterday.

See her, there towards the right, already getting ready to walk away and welcome more guests?

One of her good friends put together this great party in the back room of The Cactus Wheel in downtown Louisville. There were 30+ people there, and we had margaritas and all sorts of fun. My mom is a competitive sprinter and cyclist, and most of her friends are as well, so this was a room full of athletic fabulousness.

She got all kinds of fun cards and presents.

That’s my hand-drawn hilarity in the top right corner.

In case you were wondering.

Crockett came by to say happy birthday to my mom, before he took off to pick up his friends from the airport. He and my dad had a beer and talked about all the crazy athletes in the room.

I had tilapia tacos, which were great. I think we overwhelmed the Cactus Wheel’s tiny kitchen, because the food came out in fits and spurts and mine took an awfully long time. It’s a small restaurant, and 30 people ordering at once must’ve hit them hard. Everything was good, though.

We had cake (also courtesy of my  mom’s lovely friend Valerie). And then? Things started to get a little goofy.

Like, helium sucking goofy.

I gave my mom a new updo, appropriate for her new age, and, then I went home. You know, sometimes grown ups don’t want their kids around to witness their goofiness.

Happy Birthday Mom!