Saturday, August 15, 2009

Girl Power 2009---NYC

"Girl Power Weekend" is what my college girlfriends and I call our yearly reunion. The weekend is comprised of girls who met our freshman and sophomore years at Ohio University (1993-95.) Each GP is guaranteed to bring laughter and re-connecting, reminiscing and "catching up" time. Of course, we find sightseeing, hiking, or fun adventures to partake in to make each weekend unique. The first several reunions were held at various Ohio locations. (All of the girls except for Michelle H. and I still live in Ohio.) I hated that I was unable to attend the first few. But, DH and I were newly married. I had minimal vacation time from my newly acquired first post-college social work position, and we didn't have extra $$ to spend on airfare.
I've managed to attend a few reunions throughout the 11 we've had and I always LOVE spending time with my girlfriends again.

This year, we were able to have a 4-day weekend in New York City. I was able to fly from Columbus, OH with 3 of my college buddies. (Emma spent the weekend with my parents and on outings with my sister, Laurel.) Once at LaGuardia, we met our friend, Vicki who had flown in from the Cleveland area. The 5 of us had previously arranged a driver to take us to our hotel.

Friday July 31st:

Michelle R., Vicki, Randi, Me, and Kasy

Notice the "Girl Power" t-shirts Kasy purchased for all of us. Michelle R. and I cracked up when we were going through the airport and an airline worker asked us if we were going to a "Girl Power Convention?" ROFL!

Michelle H. lives in Brooklyn and works in Manhattan. She planned to meet us at the hotel the afternoon of our arrival. Little did she know we were planning a surprise bridal shower for her, as she is engaged to be married this fall. Prior to Michelle H.'s arrival, the rest of us went to the Crumb's bakery and selected 6 delectable ginormous cupcakes (cookie dough, cappuccino, key lime, and peanut butter cup flavored among others.) We did our best to decorate the hotel room and get Michelle's gifts ready.

Photo after the shower. L to R: Kasy, Michelle H., Me, Vic, Randie, Michelle R.

Bus Sightseeing Tour: That afternoon, we braved the overcast weather and went on a tour of NYC. The $$$ for the bus tour were very well spent. Our tour tickets enabled us to get off and re-board the bus for up to 24 hours. Thus we were able to "see" New York, and get off at the sights that most interested us. And, when it finally did rain, we were given free ponchos! :)

Kasy and Vic

Randie and Michelle H.

Michelle R. and I

Sights from the top of the double decker bus...

City Hall?? LOL...I can't remember what this building is.

We learned that all apartment buildings over 6 stories high have their own water towers.

This sign cracked me up, because OF COURSE people still honk in the city!

Sign for our bus stop...the Gray Line.

I took this photo in China Town. It makes me giggle. I would love to know what the sign writer means by "BJ," as I am certain at only 99 cents, it's NOT what I'm thinking.... *Blushes.*

The United Nations Building. (The flags are not up, because the UN wasn't in session.)

Saturday August 1st:
On Saturday we were able to go shopping and eat lunch in Soho. We then toured St. Paul's Church and the World Trade Center areas. I spent the summer in NYC back in '92 and hadn't been back since. I was floored and saddened by the difference in the skyline. SO tragic. St. Paul's Church was across the street from the Trade Center. There are many amazing tributes at the church, which were left in the days just after 9/11.

That evening we went to the Upright Citizen's Brigade comedy club. We watched their improv skits. Only $10 and they were really good!

Did I mention that on the way to the comedy club, I tripped on an uneven sidewalk and fell flat on my face? Well almost on my face. boobs, stomach, and hands, knees, and the top of my feet were all touching the cement, as I was face-down on the ground. I don't know how I didn't hit my face! I scratched open my right pinky, left ankle, and banged up both knees. (In fact, as I type this, it is 2 weeks later and my blasted right knee STILL hurts!) The worst part was, this all happened in front of a floor to ceiling restaurant window. Once I did the initial "Am I okay?" and sat up, I realized there was a dining room full of people staring at me. Embarrassing!! Who says I don't know how to live it up in New York?

After the comedy club, we went to Dallas BBQ restaurant. Delicious!

Me with the giant mojito my friends bought for me because they felt badly that I wiped out.

Then we subwayed back to our hotel. We hung out at "The Met," the bar inside our hotel. (I fondly dubbed it the "Regal Beagle" because it reminded me of the swankiness Jack Tripper used to visit.)

Sunday August 2nd:
We had Dim Sum brunch at a Chinese restaurant called Jin Fongs. I was nervous at first. Sadly, I eat like an 8 year old and am not super fond of Chinese food. Luckily, Michelle H. is a Dim Sum guru and was able to teach us all the ropes. I was able to leave full and even found something new that I like---it looked like sweet pulled pork inside of buttery biscuits. Yum!

The little barrel-looking dishes are what the restaurant workers would push around on the Dim Sum carts. They were stacked, in columns. Pretty neat!

Our bill

After brunch, we walked to view the apartment front from the HBO series "Flight of the Conchords." (Which I hate to admit, I know nothing about, as I've never seen the show.) Then we went souvenir shopping at the Pearl River Mart.

A highlight of our trip was when we saw the matinee showing of the "Hair" musical. We had a blast! (And though we knew there would be full-frontal nudity, I don't think any of us were anticipating full frontal nudity from the ENTIRE CAST in their number just before intermission. Verrrrry interesting!)

Michelle H., Randie, Me, Kasy, and Michelle R. with a "Hair" poster outside the theater

That night, Randie and I walked around Times Square for a bit. It was awesome! Many of the stores there don't close until 1 a.m., so the streets were still crowded with people and vendors even though we didn't get there until after 11 p.m.

Me in Times Square

Sunday August 3rd:
We went to Rockefeller Plaza to try to get on TV as part of the audience/crowd at the "Today Show." (Trivia: Host Matt Lauer is an Ohio U. alum!) Randie and Vic DID make it on the show, though the rest of us didn't.

Matt Lauer in the center of pic

Al Roker

After the "Today Show," we said good-bye to Michelle H. The rest of us separated for some shopping and sightseeing before catching our afternoon flight back to Ohio. (Michelle R. and I went to the American Girl store----very interesting and pricey and to St. Patrick's Cathedral---beautiful with exquisite stained glass. We then had 10 minute chair massages at the salon inside our hotel.)

The GP group at Rockefeller Center

We had a super time!

(Note: Thanks to Kasy who is a professional photographer by trade, so most of the "group shots" with all 6 of us were taken with the timer feature on her camera. She is also the clicker who captured the photos of all of us in bus ponchos.) :)


Parenthood For Me said...

That's great you guys are able to get together. Love the BJ pic.

tbonegrl said...

Looks like so much fun and the pics are great!!!

Beautiful Mess said...

I'm totally giggling like a school girl at the "BJ" picture. My friends and I are always taking random "found p0rn" pictures and send em to each other.

Looks like you all had an AMAZING time! I'm so glad that you're able to do that. Looks like so much fun!

Mrs. Gamgee said...

Gah! My blogroll isn't updating like it should, so I'm late to the party!

It looks like you had a blast! None of my college friends have ever gotten together like that, altho we have talked about it.

Sunny said...

Wow, what a trip! It sounds like so much fun! Memories to be treasured, for sure. :)

Miss La said...

Just FYI: Your unknown building is the Met Life Building ( not City Hall (
Fun pictures-- though I miss the shower cap one! ;)

sklay723 said...

What an awesome trip, and so cool that you captured all the great details. Seems like the best part is the memories, and you can pull the pics out and reminisce anytime you want!!! So glad you had a great time. :)

Jen said...

that looks like so much fun! great pictures

Carrie27 said...

I was chuckling like one of my students when I saw those signs. Hee hee

Heidi said...

Oh - I'm so jealous! That looks like so much fun, and I've never been to NYC! Thanks for the comment on my blog! :)

Danifred said...

Oh, how I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE NYC!!! It looks like you got a lot done in a short amount of time. Thanks for the Regal Beagle reference, that made me giggle :)

Mommy (You can call me OM) said...

Oh. So much fun. I was reminded of the show Pushing Up Daisies and the episode Dim Sum, Lose Sum (or something like that). You can watch it online at ABC. :)

Thank you for the comment on my blog. Perhaps one day you'll start another blog which provides you with more insulation from the real world. :)


looking4#3 said...

Looks like you had a great time. I wish I knew you were headed my way......I would have LOVED to meet you for a drink!!!!! Oh, maybe next time.

Lavender Luz said...

Awesome trip. Love the signs!

If you'd had that giant mojito beFORE the fall, it would make a lot more sense!