On Friday the husband and I had the chance to do a whirlwind overnight trip. He worked so hard this year, earning an award with his company and the all-expenses-paid awards fancy-people gala that goes with it. All expenses paid - like airfare for both of us to NYC, a luxury hotel in Manhattan, transportation everywhere, open bar, dinner, and dancing...there and back all in about 24 hours. What?! Who are we? He got this once before but at the time we had a little one who was too big to take with us but too little to leave home without us. It was really important for him to be there and while Ben is still nursing, he's so good natured and old enough that we were pretty sure he would do just fine for one night without us. So we took off!
I normally love flying and traveling but got a bit nervous and weepy right before leaving. The idea of not being able to get right home to the kids if we were needed was a little hard. The overnight snowstorm (in April!) and learning that the U.S. had just bombed Syria (and we were on our way to Manhattan) didn't help nerves anyway. Thank you to those who prayed after I posted my request. It helped. Once we were about half way there I felt much better.
We got picked up at the airport by a fancy chauffeur and were brought to the hotel. We only had a few hours before the gala so we had to get ready pretty soon after arriving.
When it's just the two of you, you have to settle for hotel hallway selfies if you want a couple shot!
The reception and dinner were at...The American Museum of Natural History! There were a bunch of luxury buses that brought all the honorees over. It was a really amazing venue.
Drinks and appetizers in the space room (which probably has a much more official name). I didn't get many great pictures as we were mingling and meeting people like fancy people do.
And being served amazing appetizers like this apricot stuffed with pistachio-sprinkled goat cheese. We couldn't eat half the stuff because Friday in Lent (apparently the higher ups aren't into Catholic liturgical awareness ;) but it was still a treat. It did feel weird doing something like this so close to Holy Week but that was out of our hands and it was important to be there. We chased around the Catholic-friendly app platters and tried not to look suspicious. (But it was 7:30 p.m. without any dinner or real lunch! SO hungry!!)
Once the hour reception was done, the jazz band that was playing led us all upstairs to the ocean life room where we would have dinner.
So weird but so neat.
And we ate our dinner with a life-size blue whale hanging over us. As one does.
Since everything was free, I decided I could buy a sparkly little number for the occasion. (Ha, off Amazon!)
Fancy desserts. The meal wasn't super filling because apparently fancy meals aren't supposed to actually feed you ;) But it was good and we sat with some colleagues of Brian's and played the "You have how many kids?" game.
Posing with some crustaceans obvs.
There was a band that played all throughout that was pretty good. The singer closest to us was beautifully pregnant which was cool.
All around the room were random displays such as these photogenic life-size walruses that were next to our table and watched us while we ate.
After dinner we danced which is my favorite. You guys, they had legit professional dance-encouragers there. I'm sure there's a more official job description for them but they were two girls in flapper dresses and two guys in tuxes dancing with everyone and getting people onto the floor. Like, they're job is to go to events like this and dance. Best job ever. The husband and I talk about crashing weddings just so we can do that!
Best shot we could get given the lighting. It really was a fantastic fun night.
We had a short sleep and then up for breakfast at the hotel. Speaking of which...
This was our room view. Hi, Central Park.
We had half an hour between breakfast and the ride taking us to the airport so we went over for a very quick walk in the park.
The sky was perfectly blue and gorgeous. That's our hotel with the red sign on top.
And then into the van, into the airport, onto the plane, over the state, and right back home. The boys did really well here and had a great time at my sister's house. Ben woke up a few times during the night (as he's gone back to doing lately) but John Paul is able to put him to bed and shared a room with him. When he woke he thankfully just wanted to be walked and went right back to sleep each time after just a minute or two of John Paul walking him. We've all got some sleep to make up which should hopefully happen just in time for it to be thrown off by the Triduum liturgies :)
It was such a fun little treat and I'm so grateful for and proud of the husband who worked so hard and earned it. Hope you all have a blessed and beautiful Holy Week! I'm off to clean, do lessons, shroud some statues and pictures, and then clean some more...