One of my girlfriends from business school got married this past weekend in New York City. Brad and I really wanted to go but figured we wouldn’t be able to make it with David due only 2 weeks before the big day. The combination of David coming 3 weeks early and me not breastfeeding, made it technically possible to leave the kids for a weekend and to attend. Folks moved heaven and earth for us to go this weekend and we had an incredible time. It was wonderful reconnecting with Brad, sleeping(!!!), seeing good friends, and getting to be a part of our friends’ fabulous wedding day!
We left early Friday morning after only a few hours sleep the night before. My dad slept over Thursday night to start taking care of David at 5:30am when we left. My dad did all the overnight feedings with David and early morning wake-ups with Noah. My dad is a saint and I owe him BIG time!
Another good friend from school paid for our hotel room for the weekend at the Westin Grand Central. It was fabulous! We had a view of the empire state building from the 23rd floor and a spacious room (which is hard to come by in NYC!). The lady at check-in even gave us vouchers for free breakfast. Not having to pay for two nights in Manhattan sorta of tipped the scales on us being able to afford flying up for the weekend. Thank you Vanessa for the very generous gift!!
After checking in, we walked around the city and grabbed lunch at a delicious little Cambodian eatery. I had a tiger coconut shrimp sandwich and chipotle corn. I miss unique, character-filled, foodie places like this. This does not exist in Allen!
|num, num, num|
Walgreen’s Latisha – Pow!
|My new lashes and new friend Latisha|
On our way back to the hotel we ran into some other friends from school that we didn’t know would be at the wedding. It was crazy running into someone you know in big ol’ NYC! They brought their son who is Noah’s age and it made me miss Noah so much! In fact, any time I saw a picture of a baby, or saw a kid, I was super homesick for my kids. Brad had to keep reminding that we would be home in just a day or two and to enjoy this rare break without them. It didn’t really stop me from talking to every kid I saw all weekend…that’s normal right?
That night we got to go to the rehearsal dinner at a posh restaurant/club called Lavo. It was good catching up with more folks from school. It was a bit strange fitting my new world of cancer in with my old friends from Boston. Many people said they had been keeping up with the blog, when I didn't even realize they knew about the cancer. They were all so sweet about it. The dinner was a par-tay with a DJ and dancing. At one point while on the dance floor the DJ played a Ke$ha song with the lyrics “let’s make the most of the night like we’re gonna die young, we’re gonna die young, we’re gonna die young”…funny how even pop songs hit you differently after getting cancer at 29…
Friday night Brad and I slept for…drum roll…ELEVEN HOURS STRAIGHT!!! STRAIGHT!! ELEVEN!!! I haven’t slept that well in months! I felt like a new woman- like I could conquer the world! Saturday I must have told Brad how happy I was about a million times. Amazing what a good night’s rest can do for you!
After lazily rolling out of bed, we made our way downtown to the new 9-11 Memorial. It was very chilling seeing the 3,000 names of men and women that lost their lives on the planes, towers, and as first responders.
We decided last minute to see a matinee performance of the Lion King on Broadway. What a wonderful decision that was! Seriously it is SUCH a good show. The costumes and backdrops/props were pure genius. I’d love to meet the brains behind such creativity. The voices, instruments, and effects were all so beautiful. No wonder the show has won so many awards. I highly recommend it if you are ever in NYC!
Stephanie & Andre’s Wedding
We quickly went back to the hotel after the show and got ready for the big night. The wedding was black tie so Brad had an excuse to wear his tux and since I’m one month postpartum and nothing fits right now, I had an excuse to rent a designer dress (yay!). The wedding was next to Central Park so we got to snap a few pics before heading over to the event.
Brad and I feel fortunate to have attended so many wonderful friends’ weddings. They have all been so special in their own unique ways. This one however, takes the cake for being the most impressive event that we’ve ever been to. This is not surprising knowing who planned it though. The bride, Stephanie, was known for planning events/performances at school. She single-handedly pulled off the end of the year annual talent show (a HUGE production with a budget of 100K+) and planned the annual Spring Gala where our school rented one of the Newport Mansions and had 400+ people attending (who knows what the budget for that was!). She hosted a baby shower for me during school and had favors for all the guests that included chapstick with my name on it. So you get the idea that she is really good at this type of thing?
First of all, the wedding was at the Metropolitan Club in Manhattan, which is gorgeous. Every wall/ceiling/column/staircase was a work of art. We were greeted with a cool glass of sparkling water and a harp/violin/flute/clarinet orchestra as we entered into a lounge. After seeing a few more friends that came in that day, we were invited into an impressive room with the most beautiful hoopa you’ve ever seen. Check out those roses!
The ceremony was beautiful and Stephanie made coming down these amazing stairs look effortless. It was fun getting to yell “mazltoff!” after the groom, Andre, broke the glass. After the ceremony, we moved into another room for the cocktail hour. They had a raw bar for the ages- jumbo cocktail shrimp (that I had an un-classy amount of), de-clawed crab, scallops, and oysters that were shucked while you wait. I told Stephanie that the decorations, food, music (live-Brazilian band) were all fabulous, she told me just to wait until we saw upstairs (spoiler: she was right).
Apparently her dad (Mexican) was upset that they were having Brazilian (her mom’s from Brazil) music for the cocktail hour so he decided to hire a Mariachi band for the guests as we moved from the cocktail hour to the ballroom for dinner. Ah-mazing!
Outside the ballroom there were hundreds of hand-crafted chocolate truffles that looked like real flowers. There was a flower arrangement that spanned the length of the table- crazy! The cake had fondant flowers that I actually thought were real flowers until half way through the evening when I realized they were sugar.
The ballroom was stunning. The arrangements were 10 feet tall and had the most exotic and unique flowers. The dozens of orchid stems in each arrangement were the tamest part! The band was in-cred-ible. There were 6 singers that each could have been their own solo act. They had a horn section and killer guitarist. Often times I would stop dancing and just stop and watch them. They were SO entertaining! They could play current top 40 hits, Jewish songs, Latin salsa/samba, old classics, even rap! They even changed outfits half way through the night.
Stephanie looked amazing the whole night. Again, not surprising since she is probably one of the prettiest people I know to begin with on a normal day. She had a fairytale ball gown on for the wedding and a flowing gown on for the reception.
The whole night was so magical. We had a blast and stayed until the very end at 1am. We were able to hang out with bride and groom a lot more than we typically get to at a wedding. They made us feel so special and thanked us multiple times for making it to the wedding. They are an awesome couple and I felt so honored to be there!
Sunday we definitely took it easy. We went to a late brunch with a friend at a French bakery. It was so sad to say goodbye to her. I wish we lived in the same city as her and her husband. Such good people!
We had a little time to kill before our flight home so we took the subway to walk the Brooklyn Bridge and get a few photos.
We are so thankful to my parents for watching both tots all weekend. It is pretty brutal waking up in the middle of the night to care for your own newborn, much less someone else’s! Noah is a ton of fun right now but he goes non-stop and pretty exhausting. Caring for both for three days in a row was a tall order, so thank you Mom and Dad!
On Thursday night, I wondered if we were crazy trying to take on a 3-day trip with everything we have going on right now, but in the end I’m so glad we ended up going. It was fabulous getting to see and be a part of our friend’s wedding day, catch-up with friends I haven’t seen since graduation a year ago, and spend some much needed quality one-on-one time with Brad.
One of the best things about the trip was truly getting my mind off of cancer for the first time since I was diagnosed. I went whole hours at a time not thinking about it. Spending time with Brad, having fun, and getting good night’s rest are very rare these days and I appreciated all of those things during our time in NYC!