Celebrating 40 Fantastic Years!

Happy Birthday To Me!
Today is a day when I can totally get away with being a wee bit selfish and not feel a bit guilty about it.  (You know, as opposed to the other 364 days of the year when I'm completely guilt-ridden over my selfishness)  

It's a day that I can get away with doing absolutely anything that I want to do (that doesn't involve anything illegal), and nothing that I don't want to do (Well except for taking a princess to her first soccer practice, and going to another insane school board meeting which will accomplish nothing except for giving me a birthday headache).  I don't have to share chocolate, and I can have as much Mt. Dew as my body can tolerate.  (Not really different from any other day, other than the guilt-free part)

At this point, I'm thinking it's a TacoBell for lunch-genealogy-filled-kind-of day.  

Nope, there are no crazy draped in black celebrations, and there are no "lordy lordy look who's 40" signs on the front yard...at least I don't think so...

{pausing to look out the front window}

But doesn't this milestone of turning 40 deserve something special...something different...attention worthy....ever-so-slightly spectacular?

I'd say the whole hullabaloo started last Tuesday - one full week before my birthday!  (Didn't I tell you I was a firm believer in the birthday week?)  It was a typical day, Mr. D. was still on vacation, and I was looking forward to a day of not running anywhere, and not doing anything except sitting in the chair while a certain hair stylist worked her magic on keeping me looking fabulous for my age.

When I returned home, the house was a bit of a buzz, and D-man let it "slip" that he and his siblings were spending two nights with grandma & grandpa.

Hmmm...very interesting piece of information!

We dropped the kids at the in-laws and Mr. D. began the process of annoying me with questions like "So...whaddya want to do?" (What do you mean what do I want to do?)  "You've got 2 days without the kids, what do you want to do?"  (Ummm...steak dinner would be an awesome start, then mexican food, then Taco Bell, then back to mexican, and another steak dinner - sound good?)

Okay, so that's not really how the conversation went...at least my end of it.  The fact is, for the next 2-3 hours he completely teased, tormented, and tortured me with the idea that he had obviously planned for something and I had no idea what it involved.  

I don't like being out of the loop.

FINALLY, he relented and told me it was a 7 hour trip - well that's easy!  Obviously, we were spending time with friends and family back in Ohio! ... Except that's only a 6 hour trip, but since I had absolutely no idea how his mind was working, I just went with it...and then I guessed somewhere up in the middle of Canada, and then a return trip to Gettysburg.  Finally I just gave up and drew an imaginary 7 hour radius and began naming every place that was within that 7 hour trek.  I was so busy naming places that I completely missed it when he answered "Yes"...


Manhattan, The Big Apple, The City That Never Sleeps....and most importantly....

(That's right, go ahead and break into a little song and dance number...I'll wait...)

I was completely in shock and awe and giddy with excitement and the questions started to fly...Where are we staying?  How long will we be there? What were we going to do?  (What do you think we're going to do?) I can think of about 60 things to do...and most of them involving musical theater in some form.  (Narrow it down to one.)  Well that was easy...and just too good to be true. 

No, Idina was no longer on stage in the role of Elphaba, but I am just that big of a fan of the show that I  knew who the leading actors were who were currently playing the lead roles, and I was giddy at the thought of actually seeing them do their thing...yes there were other musicals to be seen - The Book of Mormon, Newsies, Jersey Boys, Mamma Mia, Chicago, Phantom (Just to name a few...) But no, none of them would compare to seeing Wicked actually on Broadway in the theater where it's been for the past 9 years.  I packed my "Elphie-Green" Wicked outfit, did a crazy-quick Wicked-green pedicure, and slept all of maybe 10 minutes that night.  

It was an insanely quick trip...arriving at about 2pm via The Lincoln Tunnel (omg...I hate the Lincoln Tunnel!  A tunnel that goes UNDER the river?), we spent a few hours wandering the east side of Central Park which included eating a New York hot dog from a vendor there in the park, then it was back to our room where we cleaned up, and set off in my first cab ride down 5th Avenue towards the theatre district.  Whhheeeeee!!  That alone was an adventure all by itself!

Wicked was amazing - this was the 4th time I've seen the show, and by far, this was the best performance with each character giving a superior performance in their own right.  Afterward, we walked through Times Square taking in the massive amount of electricity that it gives off, and stopping at a deli for a late night snack - New York City pizza and a New York bagel for breakfast in the morning.  Grabbing another cab and we were back at our residence for the night.

Did I mention it was a New York City walk-up on the Upper East Side that we stayed in?  A fantastic  old apartment building, with small apartments that the owner rented out for the night for visitors to the city (like us!) It was like we were locals living in the neighborhood and coming home for the evening. No fancy, schmancy impersonal chain hotels...this was just real Manhattan.   

Thursday morning, Mr. D. woke me up at 6:30 the next morning - which nearly got his head handed to him on a platter, until he explained that there was a lot to see and only a little bit of time to see it in - yes, we had to return for the monkey children by the end of the day.  ugh.  We set off for 42nd Street, parked the car, and started walking (note to all those planning on visiting Manhattan...do NOT park in front of the Pfizer building...even if you pay for a parking ticket to park there, you can NOT park there.  Just saying'...).  

In the next four hours, we saw the sights:
  • The United Nations
  • Grand Central Terminal
  • The Chrysler Building (Which does NOT have an observation deck, and there are no trap doors on the decorative eagles outside the building, despite what you may have seen in MIB3).  But the dude working the turnstyle at the elevator was very friendly and we had a nice conversation with him!
  • The New York Public Library (an amazing building and pure fate that we walked into the building through a random door, took a random staircase and ended up in the ...TA-DA!  Genealogy department!  Mr. D. wouldn't let me walk through all of the bookshelves....party-pooper.)
  • Bryant Park (very cool to see greenspace in the middle of this "concrete jungle")
Alas, our time was up, and we had to leave the city - sadly...through another tunnel.  (Seriously, does anybody else get freaked out over the idea of water rushing the tunnel while driving through at 55 mph or is it just me?)

A brief visit across the river in New Jersey to catch a glimpse of Ellis Island and The Statue of Liberty (well, just her butt really - we didn't have time for the official ferry cruise, so we just caught what we could see from where we were at.)  That is definitely on the list for next time.  Mr. D.'s great-grandfather came through Ellis Island, and the genealogy history geek in me needs to experience that.  

And so ends the tale of my early - yet fantastic birthday celebration.  And for all of you who need the visual...enjoy this little video of my "One short day in the emerald city...."


(I have some chocolate and Mt. Dew to enjoy.)



Anonymous said…
So happy that you had a great Biethday....