08 February 2006

feeling brave

In a few days I will be making my annual pilgrimmage to the big city, New York, for the big show, Westminster. I love New York, in really small doses. Being able to combine great shopping, ridiculously good eating, and a dog show with catching up with friends I don't get to see nearly often enough is making me giddy. Last year I was very pregnant and very uncomfortable, and rude people who would not give me a seat on the train did not help, but I still managed to have a good time. This year should be even better, with MANY fewer trips to the bathroom.

Of course, the downside is leaving Oliver for nearly four days. The only other time I left it was for just over 24 hours. We all survived. This time I am a lot more worried, despite his eating lots more regular food and drinking various beverages fairly reliably from cups.

I am more than happy to share with CD a glimpse of what I went through last month when he went away for 11 days. Wrangling baby and dogs solo is a challenge, even with Oliver in school on weekdays.

Another negative is being apart from CD on Valentine's day. I hate this part. He proposed on Valentine's day in 2003 so it feels WRONG for us not to be together. It does give me the chance to leave a little something for him to open on Tuesday, and for him to sneak a card into my suitcase. I always come back with truffles from my favorite chocolate shop and hope he forgives me.

The whole trip is a delicate act of cramming in as much shopping, food and dog stuff in a short period of time. It will be a minor miracle if we get it all done.

The shopping agenda includes the usual: Zitomer, Petit Bateau, House of Ralph and Zabar's. And a new addition, Astor Wines, in an effort to end my quest for a nice bottle of Germain-Robin brandy to replace the one I left in Walla Walla in 1997 because the movers wouldn't accept it.

For restaurants, we typically eat very well on the weekend, only to subsist on Madison Square Garden hot dogs on Monday and Tuesday. Due to my very late arrival on Saturday, we are limited to lunch and dinner on Sunday. We are going to try Rosa Mexicano for lunch, and return to Artisanal for dinner. My heart skipped a beat as I typed "Artisanal". I've been thinking about it for weeks. So much cheese. So little time. My arteries are surely clogging from the mere thought, but what a way to go.

This is the first year in a while we won't be going to Union Square Cafe. I will really miss eating there, especially when I bite into that MSG hot dog. Maybe we could sneak away for lunch on Monday....

I usually try to arrive early on Saturday, for maximum shopping, eating and schmoozing. I'd planned to minimize time away from Oliver by leaving late on Sunday, forgoing the food and shopping to just do the dog show. Alas, it was unbelievably expensive to do that on USAirways, who I swore I'd never fly again since they no longer accept non-cabin animals. So, problem solved. I'm flying via Detroit, saving a bundle and not giving any business to USAirways. The only bad part is the additional time away from my boys. Maybe a lot of chocolate and cheese will make me feel better.

Let's not forget about the sleep....I may get to sleep uninterrupted, for hours at a time, for the first time in about a year. Oliver plunked his head on my bladder in month seven, and since his birth, he has not let me sleep more than about five consecutive hours, so it really has been about a year. This could be a really great trip.

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