Back in January, I got to escape to NYC with some of my friends.  I’ve had this on-line parenting group I “hang” with since Julianna was about 18 mos old.  A while ago,  a bunch of us that are trying to figure out how to heal our damaged aging bodies started chatting about diet and digestion and decided to take our poop talk off the board.  One of those, Emily, had access to an apartment in NYC, so we all booked our trains and planes and headed out for a weekend of high-fat eatin’ and elimination discussions.  It was awesome.

Nell came up from Charlottesville and we’d planned that I’d catch her train at BWI.  Nell is, apparently, Amish and does not have a cell phone, so we just planned for her to be in the last car possible and I’d get on in the last car and work my way forward.  As it happened, I missed the train.  The stationmaster called “last call” as the train pulled away, which was not particularly helpful. They put me on the next train, which was an express, and I got to whip past the old steam powered train Nell was on (because she’s Amish).  That got me to Penn Station first, with no earthly idea where I was going.  Eventually, Emily and Michelle arrived from LaGuardia, Nell arrived on her iron horse and Jutta came in from JFK.  We got to stay in Chelsea, in a apt at the Episcopal Seminary.  It was sweet.  If severely overheated.

Mostly, we hung out and talked about food.  We also played Settlers of Catan.  I developed a bit of a Catan addiction.

The Red Hat Society Settlers of Catan Club

I’m a little horrified by all the purple.  that wasn’t planned.  We’re just old.  And, as it turns out, when you are old, you will wear purple.

I met a college friend and a friend of hers that I befriended through Facebook (I’m SO modern) for lunch one day.  Alyssa is just one personality disorder away from being eligible for Project Runway, so she gave me a map of all the good garment district stops.  That night, we all went to the Upright Citizens Brigade (suprise guest?  Mike Birbiglia!  Woo!) for some improv.  The next day was our day for walking around the garment district area.  Of course it was a flipping monsoon.  Seriously.  The rain was horizontal, we were drenched.  But we made it to Mood (store where the Project Runway folks shop, for those who have no taste in TV).  Michelle and I were on a mission, the others flashed-back to childhoods spent waiting for Mom to finish up in the fabric store.

Look!

I didn't get that one in the end. But I came close. I made it work.

See Swatch the dog on the chair? Tim Gunn scratched his head. And so did I.

When we came out, we squelched over to our lunch reservation at Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill.  This was every trash can in NYC:

We figure everyone buys a $5 umbrella, carries it until it dies, trashes it, buys another.

NYC, where the sidewalks are paved with gum.  And urine.

The meal at Mesa Grill was yum.  When we came out, the rain had stopped, but I decided I couldn’t drag non-sewers to any more fabric shops, so I’ve saved that map for another day.  Instead we strolled back toward Chelsea, courtesy of my Google Maps navigation:

seriously. Best invention EVER.

Popped into one of those museums that NYC is so famous for:

Okay, we just went into the gift shop.  They wanted $15 admission.  I don’t think there’s THAT much to say on the subject to justify that cost, so we didn’t go in.  We just headed back to rest our weary bones.  And play some more Catan.

We drank wine, we ate a LOT of cheese, we laughed a lot.  It was great fun and I’d like to do it again.

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