....a month later, because that's how things work around here these days.
But! We went to New York like every year, had a killer time, slept way too little, came back vaguely miserable due to exhaustion, and can't wait to do it again next year. This New York trip will always be the most nostalgic for me because coming home from NYC two years ago was when I found out I was pregnant with Beck. I'll always remember feeling like garbage the whole weekend but kind of not caring because I love the city so much. We got home after 3 hours of sleep that Sunday, peed on a stick, and cried because Jay hated his job and mine was just meh and also three hours of sleep. Clearly we have slept since then and got better jobs and wouldn't trade Beck's timing for anything, but that memory now comes flooding back every time I'm in the city in April.
But I digress. This year! Highlights. Every year we spend one day with our friend Dan (and his family, but they weren't around this year!), and one day doing Varsity Vocals work for the show. Then we go home on Sunday! Sometimes we add a night, but now that we have Beck that isn't really feasible anymore. This year we left that kid with my parents, and it was the best and the worst all at once. We definitely needed the time alone, and it's just.so.simple. to be out in public without a child. But, we wanted to show her every cool thing and cuddle her all the time, so suffice it to say we were happy to get home to her.
On Friday when we arrived in the city we ate lunch at our favorite chain-but-still-good Korean BBQ place, Gyu Kaku (the one in Times Square, but I prefer the one in Midtown). Then we checked into our hotel which was....affordable?...but fine, and made our plan to meet Dan. We had Italian for dinner (not sharing the restaurant name because honestly it was just fine), dessert at a random bakery that Dan loves, and beer at a Biergarten that was super cool but also getting a little bit...sloppy...by the time we got there. We were doing a thing where we wanted to go hang out with my coworkers but most of them were doing a different show SO couldn't hang out until after 11. We'd been up since 4am so we had to pry our eyes open. But! We made it, went karaoke with 30 singers, Jay fell asleep in the booth, and we barely lived to tell the tale of being up for 24 straight hours like the hooligans we can't be anymore. It was well worth the exhaustion because of how much I adore my Varsity Vocals coworkers, and it is just a crying shame that we work all over the actual world and can't see each other all the time.
Saturday started way too early for everyone that had been karaoke (so, everyone), and I barely made it to our company brunch at The Smith on time. We've gone there for a few years now and it is delicious every year. Breakfast Pot Pie is my go-to, but this year I got the Sicilian Baked Eggs and they were fabulous, and I don't even like eggs. Then we headed to The Beacon Theatre to meet with the competing groups and get preparations made for the show that night. I took a break midday to have a quick lunch at Parm (hadn't been before, so worth it), grab Jay and get ready for the show, and then showtime! The afterparty for the show was wayyyyyyyy uptown at Bernheim & Schwartz, and while we were fully exhausted by then the atmosphere and even late night food offerings were great! Staffing a party of 1,836 performers and staff can be a challenge to say the least, and we had good experiences Saturday night with all of the staff that served our table.
On Sunday we mercifully slept in until about ten, which is the latest we've slept in...ever? Definitely since having Beck. We had a slightly late flight so we got to go Queen of Sheba for Ethiopian before we left the city. It was highly recommended by the interwebz and I thought it was great, Jay thought it was OK. With places where we aren't terribly familiar with the food offerings I always wonder if we don't order the right thing, our taste buds aren't acclimated to what we're eating, or any number of other reasons why we may not love something. We ordered the sampler (Taste of Sheba on the menu, there's a veg option too) and got to try several different dishes, and I loved everything we tried. Different vegetables and meats, mostly stewed, hints of curry and tons of spices - YUM.
After another tiny walk around the area of the city where we were staying we headed home, and luckily had no delays getting back to our child. It was another packed, fun, exciting, too-short trip in the books, and we already have a list of things we didn't get to do this time for next year. It's so cliche, but the list grows and grows each year, in the best, most fun way. Until 2018 (or hopefully later this year, but that's a different story)!