E and I are back (as of yesterday) from New York. Brooklyn, specifically, as I chaperoned another Mock Trial team from my high school at the Empire Mock Trial Invitational, and this time E decided to tag along. This was his first trip to New York--in fact, his first trip on the east coast at all.
It was a busy trip--and a marathon of one. We were gone five nights and only had hotel rooms for three of those nights. The other two were travel and/or stay-up-waiting-to-travel nights, so I'm pretty worn down. But once again I got to spend time with some amazing teenagers doing good things, and I got to see even more of New York. Our team didn't end up placing in the top ten because we lost our last round, but two of our kids won top witness awards. One of our students was the highest scoring witness in the competition. As usual, they all represented our school well. I was pretty proud.
(And who doesn't like traveling with polite, smart, well-behaved kids?)
E and I were able to also have a night off (thanks to the other chaperone) to have dinner with our friend James and his wife, Bonnie at a place in the East Village called the Brindle Room. (James and Bonnie got married at the most beautiful wedding in Carmel this year, remember?) After dinner I dragged E all around the city until my feet had blisters and he had his fill of humanity. I was on a mission to see Grand Central this trip, though, and I figured E should see the spectacle of Times Square at midnight. Done and done.
E spent the next day at the Natural History museum and Central Park while I was with the kids. That morning I also had brunch with one of my professors, the lovely Elizabeth Crane. Not only did Betsy deliver on someplace "cute and Brooklyny," as I requested, she herself was just the encouragement I needed to come back home and get to work on the last few weeks of my thesis. I am incredibly lucky to have met so many wonderful people in this MFA program, and it does not escape my notice that I am fortunate enough to have a Betsy in my life. (Or, as my children call her, a "Mrs. Betsy.")
The team wrapped up the competition Sunday, followed by the awards ceremony and the Mock Trial dance (woot woot--I stayed away; I knew I could not control my groove thang and did not want to scare the children). Monday we spent all day being super touristy. Like, double-decker bus touristy. I loved it. I saw more of the city than I've ever seen before.
Did you know the building where the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire was is still there? Until Monday, I did not. Saw it. And the U.N. And the Flatiron Building. And Parson's. And, you know, everything. I SAW ALL THE THINGS.
Monday's sights: lots of Brooklyn via bus, downtown Manhattan via bus, Rockefeller Plaza and Times Square (again), more bus, 9/11 Memorial, took the subway back to Times Square to drop off the kids at a show, some shopping for our kids, then back to the hotel.
After about midnight, Tuesday, things started to get a little hairy. I'm not so good when I don't sleep in a bed or eat on a regular schedule, neither of which was happening that night. I'd say the low point for me was when we checked in at LaGuardia at 3:30 AM and then TSA wouldn't open security for another hour, so we had to sit in the food court with the sleeping homeless people and listen to the escalator screech every 70.2 seconds. (Here's a pic of me, that night.) But, you know. Bygones.
We made it home. Our kids were so happy to see us. We had a wonderful trip. If you need me, I'll be sleeping in my amazing bed for about a week.