Today, I embarked on a solo vacation – to New York City (New York City?! Get a rope.) – squeee! The moment I set foot inside the United terminal at O’Hare, I was smiling. The promise of travel adventure is always exciting, but even more so when I have no one else to answer to. I smiled as I sailed through TSA PreCheck (doesn’t everyone?) in the comfort of my good airport walking shoes (Bernie Mevs + my custom orthotics – I know, I know, too sexy), found a sandwich to take on the plane, then changed my mind and decided to make the better choice of a chicken sneezer salad, made a pit stop, filled my water bottle, and got in line to board the plane. While waiting, I was treated to a full-on hot flash. Yes, friends, I’m at that age. Officially. Saw my doc yesterday to confirm. I’m debating whether to blog about this whole thing or not… if enough of you tell me (either in the comments below or via my FB page: www.facebook.com/biselblog) that you want to hear my take on “the change,” I’ll be happy to oblige. Frankly, I think that not enough people talk about it, making it a horribly lonely experience for too many women. But, if you think it’s TMI, maybe, just maybe, I’ll keep it to myself. But, you KNOW I’ll make you laugh about it. Just sayin’.
Ah, but I digress. Back to gate B6. I was in the last boarding group, so I wasn’t at all surprised that they ran out of overhead room by the time they got to us, and handed over my roll-aboard for baggage check. I felt so lucky once I boarded and found my seat. I sat on the aisle, next to two very nice women. We chatted a bit, then I settled in to watch a movie… Crazy, Stupid, Love. I’m not usually a fan of either Steve Carnell or Ryan Gosling, but this was a cute movie! Unfortunately, the United entertainment app cut off for landing about 15 minutes before the end. I do hope they have the same movie lineup on my return flight.
I grabbed a cab to the hotel (like you do) and got myself settled in. I had brought a bunch of toiletries, but I do believe I’ll use what they have to offer here – it’s all bliss branded and delicious smelling!
And check out this mini-bar of snacks!
Anyway, I felt zero compunction to do something too touristy upon arrival – I just decided to chill. I ran to Duane Reade to grab a few things, then found my way to Beekman’s for a bottle of wine (Layer Cake – a fine-budget Argentinian Malbec – bottled in Napa) to enjoy later in my room. In the process, I found a couple of promising looking places to grab a quick, healthy meal. I may be on vacay, but I’m still doing the grownup eating thing. Especially since I need that fuel for all the urban hiking I’ll be doing over the next few days.
After all that, I changed out of my travel clothes (yoga pants and a hoodie, of course), and into something more presentable. I put on makeup, ditched the backpack for a small purse, and headed out for dinner. I took the E train to meet my brother-in-law, Max, for dinner.
We went to Bann for Korean BBQ. I’d never been to a Korean BBQ place before, so it was an adventure all on its own. We started with a couple of appetizers: Jang Aw Bun (steamed buns with eel teriyaki) and Bann Ga Ri Bi (minced sea scallop & Korean pine mushroom baked in a light shrimp mouse). The latter arrived in seashells atop a bed of flaming (I think) salt. Both of those were amazing.
After apps, we had salad with a delish sesame dressing, and our entrees. We shared an order of Ya Che (assorted veg) and an order of Bul Gogi (thinly sliced ribeye), with some sticky rice. It all came raw, and they lit the little grill in the middle of our table so we could cook it ourselves.
It’s kind of like fondue, but on a grill instead of submerging the food in scalding oil or broth. Let me tell you, it’s dining experiences like this that make me a little sad to be living in strip mall suburbia.
After dinner, we walked a few blocks towards Times Square, until we found me a cab.
I headed back to the hotel, where I found a very hoppin’ bar scene with a DJ making the bass resonate throughout the lobby. Yeaaaaah. I’m not young enough or hip enough for that scene. I wisely took the elevator up to my room, grabbed some ice, and began writing for you lovely people, a VERY chill glass of malbec at my right hand. Some say it’s gauche to put ice in your wine. But, if I’m going to buy a $16.99 bottle of red, I’m having it as cold as I can make it!
More to come…. But for now, I’m going to sit back and watch my Cubbies.