Day four of our New York City vacation. Carnegie Hall day! We slept in (still on West Coast time) and at 11:30 AM went across the street to the Ben Ash Deli to have brunch. The sandwiches are out of this world huge. Here’s a shot of the club sandwich Ron ordered.
And here he is trying to eat it.
Tummies full, we headed out toward 5th Avenue. Our first stop was the Lindt Chocolate Shop. They have an ENTIRE wall of chocolates, floor to ceiling!
Spent a pretty penny on chocolate, then headed back to the “Avenue.” (Don’t I sound just like a Manhattan local? Props to me!) We didn’t have a lot of time as Jenna had to be at the hotel for a 2 PM dress rehearsal, so when we passed the Shoe-Shine Man on the street corner, we hesitated. But her boots needed polishing, so Jenna stepped up on the platform and had her first on-the-street shoe shine experience.
Her boots have never looked better!
We raced back to the Wellington Hotel, and dropped Jenna off with the choir. Here’s Jenna with her friend Julianna before the show.
It was just Ron and me now, with several hours to kill before dinner at six. I’d been wanting to see the American Museum of Natural History, but my family’s not big on museums. Ron really didn’t want to go, but I dragged him along anyway. The animal dioramas are amazing. Here are the lions:
Here is a pronghorn antelope:
Here’s Ron while I was enjoying one of the most amazing museums in the world:
Actually, at this point in the day I was pretty tired too, and wanted to rest also. We didn’t stay long at the museum, and grabbed a taxi to get back to the hotel and give our sore feet a break. (We West Coasters aren’t used to all this walking!) Rested up a bit and got dressed for dinner and the Carnegie. I was looking forward to meeting an old friend of mine from high school and college who I hadn’t seen in over 30 years, Tim Knotts. Tim and his wife drove to Manhattan from New Jersey to meet us for dinner at the Porterhouse Restaurant. We also met my brother Christian and his wife Andi and son Cassius. Dinner was great, but a bit rushed as we didn’t want to be late for the show. Good thing we got to the Carnegie when we did, as the Valencia Vikings Choir was first up. We got there just in the nick of time! Jenna looked wonderful on stage, and the venue is amazing. We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside, but here’s a shot of Carnegie Hall on the front of the playbill.
The Valencia Vikings Choir is heads and shoulders above the rest, and I’m not being biased. They are one of the premier choirs in the nation. Here is the write-up on the Choir in the Playbill.
Of course the choir kids are talented, but the Vikings Choir wouldn’t be where they are today without the direction of Christine Tavares. Christine has had a tough year, and is in the process of getting divorced. But she still manages to care about each and every one of the choir kids, and coax amazing sounds out of them. She is an incredible musician and teacher. Here is what the Playbill says about her:
The evening was over too quickly, as was the trip. We had to be up early the next day for our flight home. I love coming home after being away– it was heaven to sleep in my comfy bed after several nights on a hard, lumpy one. The dogs and cat went crazy when we walked in the door– they must have missed us as much as we missed them! When I unpacked Jenna’s suitcase (she had a lot of homework so I did her the favor) Oscar climbed in. He must have thought we were leaving again, and wanted us to take him along this time.
But even though the vacation in NYC flew by, we made memories of a lifetime. We had a great time with family and friends, toured Brooklyn and Manhattan like locals, enjoyed an incredible Broadway show, and ate at some fabulous restaurants. And the vacation was capped off by a lovely jazz concert at Carnegie Hall and seeing our daughter on stage.
I can’t imagine it getting any better than that.