Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Just say "butt" Dad, we're all friends here!

Darn internet. I just blogged almost all of Thursday, went to save it as a draft, and it disappeared into cyberspace. Shmer. Here we go again.

This is a picture of genius David Hyde Pierce and his band of…his band singing about his brave deeds. Or lack thereof. Those of you who are Monty Python enthusiasts may recognize this scene as “Brave Sir Robin.”

Anyway, the final leg of the trip!

DAY SIX, Thursday
This day started out with a tour of the New Amsterdam theatre, where we would see “Lion King” later that night. That was lots of fun, and there was lots of cool history to it. It’s a beautiful theatre. It was the theatre that Fanny Brice and the Zeigfeld Follies started in, so I had a nice little “Funny Girl” moment. Boss (Sis. Bossard) said something really funny during the tour; our guide was talking about the necessity of lightweight set pieces for “Lion King” since their so big, so most of them are only as real as they absolutely have to be. Boss looked at our tour guide and said “So this is a political theatre? Since you use false structure?” Heh heh.
After that, I went off to do a little more exploring of Times Square by myself. I found an awesome “Spamalot” umbrella at the ENORMOUS 4-STORY Toys r us, and I found bliss at the Hershey’s factory/store. Actually, I already knew the umbrellas were there; Ben found them the day before so I just went to get one.
I was absolutely EXHAUSTED, so I went back to the hotel to take a nap. I planned on sleeping from about noon to 1 or 1:30, but I think you all know where this story is heading. I woke up at 6:00. I know some of you must be thinking oh no! What a waste of a day in NYC! But really, friends, it was a necessary six hours of sleep. It was the longest consecutive stretch of sleep I had the whole trip. And I didn’t really have plans for that afternoon anyway.
I walked down to Times Square for “Lion King” with JD and Christian, and on the way we stopped at a little Korean bakery that was near our hotel. Christian had discovered it earlier in the week, and had eaten there at least once a day since. We grabbed a quick something to eat on our way to the show, and boy am I glad Christian discovered that bakery cause heck that was good eatin’.
“Lion King” was fantastic—visually stunning, if horribly acted. They played to the kids a little too much, but the dancing, set, and costumes were all spectacular. This show also got me noticing and thinking a lot about something I’ve never really taken interest in before…PUPPETRY. All of a sudden, I’m fascinated by it. Maybe that’s what I’ll do my theatre history project on…
After the show, a group of us wanted to take the Staten Island Ferry. There’s really nothing on Staten Island, but it’s the ferry ride that we’ve been told we must do—city skyline at night from the bay and all that jazz. JD was going to come with us, but one of the girls in our group was REALLY sick (strep throat—how lame is that?), so he went back to the hotel to give her a blessing.
The rest of us booked it to the subway because it was our last night to do it, and the last ferry leaves Manhattan at 11:30. When we got off the subway at the Staten Island ferry stop, it was 11:27. So we SPRINTED. Off the subway, up the stairs, down the street, through the ferry station and onto the boat! Christian swore at this jerky guy in the ferry station, cause we were OBVIOUSLY sprinting as fast as we possibly could, and he was yelling “Come on come on! Hurry up! I gotta close these doors, I’m goin’ home, come on kids, quit takin’ your time!” But we made it! We tumbled onto the boat, and for at least the next ten minutes, our legs could barely hold us up and we could hardly breathe, we were so winded. Christian also spent that 10 minutes continuing to curse about that guy, but after he got it out of his system, he was a gentleman and apologized to the ladies in his presence for his rude language. Which was hardly necessary, because as soon as we successfully got on the boat, it was one of us girls who panted “That was damn impressive.” But kudos to him for his chivalry.
And it was totally worth it—the view was incredible.
It was also way floppin’ COLD, so on the way back, half of us went inside and talked, instead of enjoying the view from the deck like we had on the way. I ended up having a long, insightful, and somewhat humorous conversation with my friends Ben and Cameron, about Mormons and their innocence. It was a really interesting discussion…about how innocent Mormons should be before and AFTER marriage, where you draw the line between innocence and naivetee, what you should talk about with your fiancĂ©e before marriage, etc. etc. It was interesting to hear guys’ ideas.
And that was Thursday!

Along with Wednesday, this was my favorite day of the trip. I spent the entire day with the Merrill family and/or Ben. We started out in the morning by going to the TKTS booth to see what tickets we could get that night. I mentioned earlier that I had left that night open. Well, instead of “Spelling Bee” on Wednesday night, some of the others had gone and seen “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” Ben had kind of wanted to see it, and everyone else’s rave reviews convinced him to see it on Friday for sure. I had already done everything I wanted to, and he was going to be going alone, so we decided to go together. We ended up taking a couple of the Merrill kids, but that’s a different story, and one that I’ll tell later.
We ate an early lunch at a brick-oven pizza place, yummy, and then attempted to head back at the subway. Unfortunately, there was an open air market going on along the way, and that was just bad news. Once again, the womenfolk had to STOP and BUY THINGS. I can see why, ladies, it’s not like there aren’t ten THOUSAND other booths exactly like this, selling the exact same things, at the exact same prices, ALL OVER MANHATTAN. Oh wait a minutes, there totally are. So I stood around with Roger, Sam, and Ben while we waited for the black hole of shops to spit out the others. It took a while, but at last, they were done.
Next stop, the Metropolitan Museum of Art! We only had about 2 hours there, but I could have spent several more DAYS there. For one thing, the place is totally a maze; I was lost most of the time, and ended up at the galleries I wanted to see mostly by chance. For another thing, THERE’S SO MUCH STUFF. We all split up, and I attempted to head straight for the “Arms and Armor” exhibit. After searching for about 15 minutes, I decided it didn’t actually exist, and gave up. I turned around to find my way somewhere else, and there before me was an enormous hall FILLED with armor! I dropped my map, and my jaw and just stared. Poor 11-year-old Sam told us later he was bored the whole time in the museum. You should have come with me, Sammy, I looked at SWORDS, AND FOILS, AND RAPIERS, AND ARMOR, AND GUNS, AND DAGGERS! It was way cool. I thought of you guys, Mom, Ray, and Beckah…you would have loved it.
After taking in my fill of violent weaponry, I explored the Egyptian art, Greek and Roman sculpture, Eastern European decorative art, Middle Ages religious art, American paintings, and European paintings. Once again, seeing art in real life simply cannot compare to seeing a picture in a book. I saw Vermeer’s “Study of a Young Girl”…it was incredible! (For those of you who have read or seen “Girl With a Pearl Earring”…yeah, it’s THAT painting.) I was just in tears, I was so amazed by my surroundings.
After we left the museum, we took a couple of TAXI’s to the Metropolitan Opera House. Yeah, we rode cabs in NYC. Pretty awesome. In a terrifying sort of way. Anyway, we toured the Metropolitan Opera House, which was pretty cool, and very LARGE, but I think our tour guide kept forgetting that we told her that ALL of us were experienced in theatre and music, because she kept explaining things like what a greenroom is, and what a stage-manager does, and the difference between the costume dept. and the costume shop. She got on my nerves. But it was still cool.
Directly after that, Ben and I kidnapped 9-year-old Eliza and 11-year-old Sam to take them to see "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang." This was done with their parents' knowledge. We were totally playing Mom and Dad for a night. I told Ben that and he replied "I'm not playing Dad. I'm playing smack-down." But he's totally going to be an awesome Dad one day, and couldn't "play smack-down" even if he wanted to. We were all kind of hungry, so we stopped to get a little gourmet Manhattan cuisine at the local McDonald's, and then proceeded to the theatre.
The show was amazing, and so much fun! Chip Zien was in it, of all people--he played the origonal Baker in Broadway's "Into the Woods." The special effects in the show were absolutely mind-boggling. The car FLEW OVER THE AUDIENCE! A full-size classic car! It was the perfect fun little show to end the week with.
After the show was over, Eliza wanted to meet with everyone for dinner, as one last celebration together. After having a quick "family conference," =) we decided to go to the theatre where our friends Christian and Mallory were seeing "Hairspray" and wait for them there. I don't know why, but Eliza was WIRED after the show. It was crowded, so I was holding her hand as we were walking through Times Square, and she was singing at the top of her lungs and dancing around...I don't know where she got all that from! Sam kept turning around to say things like "Eliza! BE NORMAL!" Ben and I both sort of had headaches and we were super-tired, so we were content to just smile indulgently and let 'Liza work out all her energy. We ended up waiting outside the theatre for Christian and Mallory for about 45 minutes. Eliza's level of energy did not diminish once during that entire 45 minutes. For a while, we were all playing...I taught Eliza how to do the robot, and Ben taught Sam how to give the best piggy-back rides. (Apparently there's a science to it.) But after awhile, Ben and I just sort of stood back and let the kids run around like crazy in the 10-foot length of sidewalk in front of us. It was useless to try to control them at all, so I just enjoyed watching their insanity and tried to make sure Sam didn't completely obstruct Eliza's airflow or anything like that.
FINALLY, the others came out of the theatre, and we met as a BIG group once again at Roxy Deli for cheesecake. It was very fitting...that's where we went the first night, and here we were again on the last. After eating and chatting, the Merrills all went home and a few of us remained and talked for a long time about what we've learned and the experiences we've had. We knew it was our last night, so we wanted to make the most of it. We ate the best things we could find on the menu and talked until 1:30 in the morning. It was really the perfect ending to our trip.
We had to get up the next morning early enough to leave the hotel by 5:30am. I still hadn't packed or anything, so I almost didn't go to sleep at all that night. I packed until 3:30am, went to sleep around 4:00am, and woke up at 5:00am! And now we're starting to overlap into...

DAY EIGHT, Saturday
EVERYTHING was funny to me this morning. From the dorky dialogue JD and Christian were dubbing over the news as we watched it in the lobby, to Ben's intelligent and/or ridiculously stupid puns. The day was spent traveling and sleeping, but there was one exciting adventure...the crazy faucet in the boy's bathroom at JFK airport.
Ben came back from the bathroom while we were waiting to board the plane and told us that he had just seen the coolest thing. He said he was done going to the bathroom and was washing his hands, but it was a motion sensor faucet. After he had finished and the water turned off, a little trickle of water ran down the length of the faucet and over the sensor, so it turned back on. After a minute, when the cycle was complete, the water turned back off...and a little trickle of water ran down the length of the faucet and over the sensor, so it turned back on! This cycle continued for at least five minutes, and Ben just stood and watched it. Everything is amusing at 6 in the morning. =) Christian stole the video camera and got it on tape.

And THAT, my friends was the itinerary of the trip! Pictures and final thoughts to follow, in the last and final blog entry on the NYC experience!


Anonymous said...

Blog, blog, blog...
Southeast Iowans, beware. "Blogging" is going on all around you. There are blogs for moms - like the simple yet info-stocked site Busy Moms Online, blogs about dogs , like DC dog news, and there are blogs ...

online survey

Beckah said...

Yay! What fun! Except I kept reading stories and thinking that you had already blogged about it, cause you told me on the phone, so I was confused for a while. But I want to see pictures, yay! What an awesome experience, I hope I have one like it someday. Sweet.