A last hurrah to Christmas 2016

Our plans to drive to NYC on Christmas Day were unavoidably changed, but that’s okay.  We’re free, now, to come and go as we please.  Here at Sonnystone, we’re still walking around going, wow you really don’t have to go to work, as we do the same old things we’d always do…put away the decorations, bring in the firewood (though it’s been unseasonably warm), and eat up the leftovers.

The Leftovers are from our Christmas Eve get-together with the Jrs.  Olivia and Samantha spent the night with us on the 23rd, and we met up with their parents for breakfast the next morning at IHOP.  (good enough, but I wish Eville had more diners)   Returning to the Acres, we quickly got down to serious christmas business:

Opening presents…

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Playing with new toys…

Not just New toys, but old games, too…

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New toys are great, but Samantha currently loves the harmonica the best.  Since she figured out how to make music with it a couple of months ago, she comes in pointing and asking  for it every visit.  She insists that I play one with her, and we’re quite a duo, but with or without me, she doesn’t let go of her blues harp.

We’ve got it all put away now and we’re busy working on the laundry room remodel…wait, did I say We?  I’m still putting everything back where it was (where was it?) before the holidaze, planning some trips, and vowing to not make any resolutions this year…like I never do.

New York at Christmas – 2016 Edition

Ya’ll know that I fill my new-york-minutes to the brim, but I think this trip was over the top.  I arrived at noon on Thursday, 12/15, but I’m going to take you through the 30 hours between 7:45am Friday and 12:45pm Saturday.  Get comfortable.

Emma, a 5th grader, attends a new school this year, and I had the opportunity to visit during an all-school holiday assembly.  The Town School has a mellow vibe and their approach to teaching is just what Emma needed.

After the assembly, Eric went off to work and Melissa and I had some breakfast and conversation, then ambled back to 333 so Melissa could change clothes.  A quick donning of the gown, and we were off again to Lincoln Center and the 2pm performance of Messiah.  My seats were Perfect, 6th row center, and I could make eye-contact with my choral friends, smiling and winking.  The performance was just as good as you would expect from the NYC Philharmonic, conducted by Alan Gilbert. When it was over, I sneaked out the side door and around to the stage door to wait for Melissa.  I had just arrived, standing about 3 feet from the door, pulling on my gloves, when the door opened.  I looked up and saw a man emerging, nice suit…shifted my gaze further upward and met the eyes of….Alec Baldwin.  Wow, I thought, that’s Alec Baldwin.  My eyes smiled, his eyes nodded…1-3 seconds of acknowledgment that, yes, indeed, he is Alec Baldwin.  The young fella following him closely said, there he is, and they strode off to the waiting Escalade (it’s all about escalades).  I admired him as he walked out into traffic and slid into the car…nice suit…

Melissa soon appeared, and after a nice catch-up with a friend, we grabbed a cab back to her apartment.  She did another costume change and we ubered over to St. Joseph School, where Eliza’s Drama Club was having their Christmas Play.  The play was a little short on plot, but full of enthusiastic singing and dancing.  I don’t feel the least bit biased when I say that Eliza rocked her moves the best…

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Eric and the girls went out for dinner, but Melissa had to work that night and took me with her.  Her “job” was at the Mariah Carey concert.  You may have heard of Ms. Carey, the Queen of Christmas.  She does 9 shows at the Beacon Theatre every Christmas, and recently the Gotham Group, for whom Melissa is some fancy title, started doing her social media work.  So it happened that I took my trusty Nikon (which is, by the way, quite antiquated,  and someone should start a fund to buy me a new one), wore my film/team working pass, and pretended like I was a big-time photographer/blogger covering the show.  I was snapping like a papparazzi, so there are way too many pictures…Here’s the best…

While Melissa was upstairs with the Talent, I hung around backstage, eavesdropping (and occasionally joining in) on conversations, working on my Long Island accent, or was it Brooklyn?

Empty house, from center stage…

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But, wait, there’s more…  We woke up Saturday morning to about 2inches of snow, the pretty kind.   We arrived right on time at Radio City Music Hall for the Christmas Spectacular—and Eliza stayed awake the entire time!!!

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This is worth staying awake for…

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We followed up the show with some good grub at Bill’s Burgers,

then came home to find that Eric had put up the Christmas Tree and lights…

The following 24 hours…

Eliza had started in with a cough that really annoyed me, and I soon heard some wheezing.  Long story short, she had pneumonia, diagnosed Sunday morning at the NYC version of MEC.  She got a breathing treatment, some antibiotics, and slept all day.  I went to church with Melissa after the doctor visit, then met up with Emma at the Barnes & Noble.  She helped me pick out presents for her and her little sister and we spent the evening back at the apartment playing.  Eliza was feeling much better and able to go to her Polar Express Pajama Party on Monday, when I flew out on a flight that arrived Early in Evansville…charmed, I’d say.

New York at Christmas–the sights, the sounds, the Love…

Peace