Monday, February 27, 2017

Weekend in the City

Early last week, Andrew realized that a voucher he'd received for a free night's stay in a Hilton property was expiring on Sunday, so we made a last-minute plan to spend Saturday night in the city just for fun. We were all excited. Lucia and Greta couldn't wait for our "city day," and we started off with a deli lunch on the Upper East Side and then a visit to the Met--the girls' first time. It was so much fun. We started off with the Temple of Dendur and the mummies. L&G loved wandering into the tombs and seeing all the hieroglyphics. Lucia was enthralled at the idea the real dead bodies were inside the wrappings. (I have no idea if this is true. My knowledge of Ancient Egypt needs some brushing up.)

Next we went to the European paintings, my favorite part. L&G were drawn, morbidly, to the religious paintings showing the crucifixion. "I want to see another one where Jesus dies," Greta kept saying in a loud voice. They also liked a giant painting called something like The Fox and Wolf Hunt, with men on horseback and their dogs stabbing and biting snarling wolves and foxes. And there are a lot of paintings of different grisly wars and battles, with plenty of swords. Next time perhaps we'll steer them to Degas.

There was, of course, much more to see, but we didn't want to turn the visit into a forced march, so we headed next to the hotel to check in. We stayed at the Conrad, way downtown, in a two-room suite. L&G were ecstatic. They always love hotels and this one was particularly fun. We regrouped, then set out for a long, long walk to Chinatown for dinner at Joe's Ginger. The girls walked like they haven't spent the last four years being driven around in suburbia--nary a complaint. They devoured their dumplings and lo mein. They each tried a soup dumpling for the first time.

The walk back to the hotel was the weak link of the weekend, since we got caught in a torrential rainstorm. We had umbrellas, but they did little good against the driving wind and rain. We were drenched by the time we got back to our room.

After we tucked the kids in, Lucia asked if she could read out loud to Greta after we left their room. It was pretty cute to hear her reading a couple of chapters of Heidi Heckelbeck to Greta.

Breakfast the next morning was a highlight for the girls. We ate a breakfast buffet at the hotel, in the stylish dining room. We were seated at a table flanked by two ornate sofas. L&G were awed by getting to drink water from goblets. Lucia was even more overcome by the fact that the waiter refilled her glass *without her even having to ask.* I lost track of how many croissants they ate. They loved the "fancy" breakfast--both said it was their favorite part of the weekend.

We checked out of the hotel, and let the kids play at a nearby playground for a while. We'd planned to do one more thing before heading home, but it was so cold that we decided to call it a successful trip and just get the car. We stopped at Ikea on the way home to get spec sheets for our basement kitchen cabinets, L&G were thrilled to buy a plush kitten, and that was that. A super fun spontaneous weekend away.

This morning, Greta was resisting getting up--she'd crawled into our bed and seemed intent on staying there. She told us she wanted to go back to the hotel, because we all got to stay in one room. How cute is that?