Friday, April 13, 2012

Crazy Trip to New York

A couple of weekends ago, we went to New York City to look at sailboats. That right there makes this sound like a strange trip, but the boats were actually in Connecticut and Brooklyn. Yes, there are marinas in Brooklyn, what can I say?

Anyway, we decided that if we were going to drive all that way, we might as well spend the night in the city. Since I had a hair appointment Saturday morning in Andover, we decided to drive there together and then continue on south.

Right before we got to Andover my phone rang. It was my hairdresser, wondering why I hadn't shown up. Although my calendar said the appointment was at 11, it actually was at 10. She even sent me a confirmation and I replied, but did I notice the time discrepancy? Nope. My hair is going to be pretty shaggy by the time my rescheduled appointment occurs. So that's weird thing number one.

We have been using Lee's nifty little iPhone as our gps, but something strange was going on. The sound wasn't working and we couldn't figure out why. Between messing with the sound and the navigator not paying attention at a crucial juncture, we missed our turn onto I-84, and continue west on I-90. We would have eventually gotten back on track but it was out of the way, plus we ran into traffic from an accident, so we decided to take the back roads.

This was both good and bad. It got us out of the traffic jam and headed back in the right direction, but we ended up with about 30 miles of 25 mph roads. Yes, they were your typical darling New England towns, but we wanted to get to New York before dark. We also figured out that if we unplugged Lee's phone from the auxiliary power the sound would work. Weird thing number two.

Finally we made it to our hotel. We took Harper for a little walk to a nearby dog park and watched her gleefully chase balls. Back to the hotel to get ready for dinner, but all of a sudden we realized that Harper's paw was bleeding, all over the white hotel room bedspread! This is where having a neatnik husband really comes in handy. While I purposefully worried about Harper's foot, Lee inspected her paw (just a small cut between two toes), and cleaned up the blood. We watched to make sure the bleeding had stopped and she wasn't limping, and then left for dinner. Weird thing number three.

Lee had chosen a sushi restaurant down in TriBeCa. Our hotel was at 11th Ave and 48th Street, but it didn't take too long to get there. But when we talked to our matre di, they had no record of our reservation! This was REALLY strange, because some restaurant had just called Lee to confirm. Fortunately he was able to call the confirmation number and figure out where he had actually made the reservation. Apparently when he was doing his sushi research he was debating between several different restaurants and just got his phone numbers confused.

Unfortunately the restaurant where we actually had the reservation was on the east side, at 401 73rd St. So what's another $20 cab ride? At least they were willing to hold our reservation. Weird thing number four.

Once we got there, it turned out to be a tiny Japanese restaurant. We sat at our little table, ordered saki, and let the server know if there was anything we didn't eat. This restaurant operated on the principle of omakase, which basically means chef's choice. They would bring us the sushi and we would eat it, with no decisions necessary. I told them I didn't like sea urchin, and Lee said he didn't like salmon. That was it.

The sushi was really, REALLY good. It was some of the best sushi I've had since the Tsujiki Fish Market in Japan, and that's really saying a lot. There was also a lot of it. We watched the table next to us, since they were a little ahead of us, hoping that we would get to the end of the meal before we exploded.

I was sitting with my back to the rest of the restaurant. The single aisle for the servers to pass was right behind my seat. Suddenly there was a crash and searingly hot liquid poured down my back! I screamed and frantically plucked my now very hot and damp sweater and shirt away from my back. A server had just spilled hot tea down my back!

The restaurant was silent, the other patrons stricken and shocked. I whispered to Lee that I really wanted to remove my shirt. The staff must of heard me as they quickly ushered me to the bathroom and handed me a stack of icy cold towels. I considered later that it must be standard issue for a restaurant to keep damp towels in the freezer, since burns are probably fairly common in a restaurant kitchen.

I quickly removed my sweater and shirt and applied the towels to my back. My back was red, like from a sunburn, but the towels really helped. Fortunately my outfit was black, and although it was damp the stains didn't show. I kept applying the towels as the pain gradually subsided. No blisters, and I really wanted to finish my meal. A little sheepishly I returned to my seat.

Our server apologized profusely and immediately told us our dinner was on the house. He hadn't been the one that spilled the tea. The other server had disappeared, and didn't show up again for the remainder of our visit. Poor guy. Since they were all Japanese he probably had to go into the back and kill himself.

My back hurt some, but the sushi was still delicious, so we finished our meal without further mishap. As we left the restaurant the manager came out into the vestibule, apologized yet again, and handed me an envelope. I asked for their card, in case I ended up at the doctor's or my sweater was ruined. In the cab on the way back to the hotel I opened the envelope to find a $100 bill! I could hear them pleading "please don't sue us"! But I'm not the suing type, and really no long term harm done. We will probably go back there again, but I think I'll sit with my back to the wall next time! This definitely qualifies as weird thing number five.

In the morning I went for a nice run along the Hudson and then we went to look at the boats. The first one was not in good enough shape for us, but the other two had things we liked even though neither one was "it". For those of you with some boat knowledge, we are looking at 10-20 year old Erikson or C&C 38's. Sometime in the next year we'll probably find the right boat, and my husband will be a happy sailboat owner again.

We made the drive back to New Hampshire without further incident. We were both really tired. Although its only a 4 hour drive, it had been an adventure-filled weekend. I guess we were feeling our age.

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