Did I tell you that I got to take Julia to see Newsies in New York for her graduation gift? Kind of a selfish gift, I know. But she was excited and I was excited and it was fantastic but I'm getting ahead of myself, so back to the trip...
We drove to New York with the plan to check into our hotel in New Jersey then get Julia and I over to New York in the late afternoon with enough time to explore before going to see Newsies. And then the Lincoln Tunnel happened.
I know I need to let this go, but maybe talking about it will help. We all loaded into the van on the New Jersey side and headed for the Lincoln Tunnel so the kids could see how Buddy the Elf got to New York City. ("First, I went through the seven levels of the Candy Cane Forest... Past the sea of twirly, swirly gumdrops... And then, I walked through the Lincoln Tunnel.") The GPS started going wonky on us at this point, taking us in circles, which we should have taken as a sign of bad things to come. It took us nearly an hour just to get to the entrance of the tunnel (this was on a Friday, at 3 in the afternoon, so we should have seen it coming) where the toll booths were located. As we pulled up, the toll collector asked for $22. The sign posted on the toll booth said that $22 was the rate for buses and that passenger vehicles cost $13 to take the tunnel, so Allen asked him why we had to pay the bus rate. The guy just stared at him, looking annoyed, not answering. I leaned over and asked, "Can you explain why we have to pay $22? The sign says it's only $13 for passenger vehicles. We aren't a bus." He transferred his death stare to me, still not speaking. After great effort to get him to speak Allen asked, "Are you scamming us?" The man responded, "You don't have enough money for that." We finally (very reluctantly) just paid the guy the $22 and asked for his name, which he refused to give. Once Allen returned to the hotel later he looked up the fee schedule where it explained that "Buses, minibuses, and any two or more axle vehicle designed with a seating capacity of ten or more persons, including the driver" were charged the $22 fee. Why in the world couldn't he just tell us that? We still don't get it.
By the time we resurfaced in New York, it was too late for Julia and I to explore much. But we did get this picture before finding a place to eat.
We went to The Counter on Broadway and ordered some custom-built burgers. We also wanted a milkshake to share, but we couldn't decide on a flavor. Our server was a tall, tattooed, muchly-muscled young man who we asked for a recommendation on shake flavors. "I like the Birfday Cake Shake" he told us matter-of-factly. It seemed really out of character, and I thought I may have misunderstood (it's pretty noisy EVERYwhere in New York City) so I asked, "Which shake?" He repeated, "The Birfday Cake Shake. You know, with birfday cake flavor and sprinkles on top?"
Seriously, how could we not order it when we made him say it twice?
After dinner? Newsies. YOU GUYS. Dreams come true once, maybe twice. But this being my third time in the Nederlander Theater to see my favorite show, ever, and to share in that excitement with my Julia? There are NO WORDS.
The cast had changed some from the last time I was here (the original cast is still my favorite) but that did not matter because I felt the same magical excitement at waiting for the curtain to rise as I had before, maybe even more so when you combined Julia's excitement with mine. Everything about the show was just... just awesome. (No words, remember?)
After the show we walked to Times Square amid the largest crowd I have ever experienced. We had to link arms not to lose each other and push through hordes of people to get anywhere.
Then our knight in a not-so-shiny white van came and saved us from the crowds and we did a little nighttime driving tour of Manhattan for the whole family to enjoy. Apparently it was trash collection night and we learned pretty quickly that if you're stuck behind a garbage truck you are seriously stuck until they want to move. We got to watch these guys load trash into the truck for a good half hour before they drove on enough for us to get past them.
I was really hoping to see Central Park this time around since I still have yet to make it there in the daylight, but no such luck. You know what that means, right? I'm going to have to go back eventually.