Up at 3:30 am – shower, dress, stuff jammies in the suit case and dive into the car and get to the park n’ ride.
4:30 take the bus toBoston
6:00 take the bus toNew York
10:30 get off the bus and immediately get into a cab (this NEVER happens) and get dropped off a block from the hotel and drop the luggage at the Fairfield Marriott. Joked around with the extremely friendly, funny and helpful General Manager and her staff while we checked in. (So the place is not a lot to look at, but the General Manager, staff and location are unmatched, and I could not believe how quiet it was.)
Then we went totally off the grid and traveled to our favorite cheap jewelry stores, then up town to the Time Warner center. Cache didn’t have Coreena’s jacket, so we walked over to theColumbus Circleholiday market. It was funny because we thought at first it was tiny. So VERY not! My favorite find here was “Chewing Not Allowed” chocolate truffles. Wow.
Then we head to the Plaza http://www.theplaza.com/dining/palmcourt/ for tea. Sadly, I didn’t realize that when I switched times and couldn’t get the 3:00 seating, we could no longer get high tea. Never mind. We got the Chef’s buffet. Wowsers. But even better than the really great food, the absolutely gorgeous surroundings was our waiter Fariz. He was awesome!! Attendant without being annoying. Funny, smart, helpful. Just wow. No chance to feel the least bit awkward about being at “The Palm Court.” Apparently he overheard a chance comment from Coreena about my birthday and so we were both surprised at the end of the meal when he brought out a little plate of tea cakes, chocolate and a chocolate dipped strawberry with a candle and “Happy Birthday” written on the edge of the plate. But the best part? The VERY best part – was when the piano (way on the other side of the room which I couldn’t even see) started playing (beautifully) and Fariz started singing (badly) Happy Birthday. It was AWESOME!!
Then we strolled down 5th Avenue to check out the Christmas windows: Bergdorf Goodman, where we checked out $695.00 and $3290 Mahnolo Blahniks; then on to Saks Fifth Avenue which had some interesting windows, the light buckles on Fendi, the decorations on Tiffany’s, and Elizabeth Arden’s red door.
All of the above took long enough that we headed over toRockefellerCenterto check out the tree (and the massive crowds).
Then we hoofed it back down to the hotel (walking all 12 blocks) and found our bags had already been taken to our room. But wait it gets better. We got to our room and I found a lovely notecard wishing me a Happy 50th! But wait it gets better we also had two cupcakes from Crumbs and two bottles of water.
Right back out again to walk over to Artisanal. There aren’t enough adjectives to describe this place. It was pretty empty when we got there (5:30) but was fully crowded by the time we left (around 7:00). The food was beyond amazing. The wait staff very friendly, and this time Coreena admits telling them it was my birthday trip, so another candle (this time next to my crème brulee) to blow out. Happy Birthday came this time from my table mates. It was fun too because there was a lovely little girl celebrating her birthday as well and just as we left we got to join in singing happy birthday to her. A couple fromWales(originally her fromLondon, him fromScotland) sat next to us and Coreena was in heaven (owing to her linguistics paper and their lovely accents).
So back to the hotel. TODAY ROCKED!!