What a weekend it has been! Actually, what a week it has been. Wednesday morning at 4:00 a.m. the phone rang – it was Earl’s cousin Julie from St. Louis. Her brother (Earl’s cousin) Rick passed away at age 43 from a brain anerism. Earl and Rich were close – so we were planning on driving out to Chicago this weekend for the services, pre-empting our planned trip to New York. So on Wednesday night we cancelled all of our reservations for New York and starting making plans for Chicago. Then we get a call Thursday morning – the services are Friday morning, which there was no possible way for us to get to Chicago in time, and the family really understood if we didn’t make it out there. So after some conversation with the rest of Earl’s family in Pa., we decided not to go to Chicago and to go to New York after all. But we had released most of our reservations, so we ended up staying at the Sheraton New York Towers instead of at the Meadowlands. The money was about the same so it didn’t really make a difference.

So we took the day off from work on Friday and headed out about 11:00 a.m. Took a new route for us – Route 8 down to Deposit, and then over Route 17 to the Thruway and down the Palisades Parkway to the George Washington bridge. Very nice and surprisingly quick ride – about 4 hours all told, which was a nice change of pace. Usually it takes about 4 1/2.

Once we got situation in our hotel room we headed over to Times Square and went to the 1/2 price tickets stand just for the heck of it. We ended up getting two tickets to see “Bea Arthur On Broadway: Between Friends” – and it was very, very enjoyable. Of course Bea Arthur is famous for her roles on “Maude” and “The Golden Girls”, but she is even more accomplished on the Broadway stage, and this one woman show was absolutely magnificant, went singing and stand up and storytelling… it was a hoot! We hung around at the stage door afterwards, but she just kind of walked straight to the car, so we didn’t get her autograph, but we did see her up close, it was a little shocking to see how frail she has become. But she still has that fire she’s famous for – and we thoroughly enjoyed her show.

Saturday we headed over to “The Art of Shaving” to use the gift certificate that Earl had gotten me for Christmas. I ended up purchasing the most expensive straight razor they had (he actually helped me pick it out), and I got my complimentary shave and lessons on how to use the razor properly. I felt well pampered. Spent a little more money than I anticipated, but that was o.k. Earl and I had originally scheduled the “royal shave” – which was the full treatment, but cancelled the reservations when we thought we were going to Chicago. I was lucky that they could squeeze in my complimentary shave. I promised Earl he would get the full treatment the next time we were down there. When I get more confident with the straight razor, I’ll take pictures to share here on the web.

After that we headed to the Village. Took a stroll up Christopher Street and surrounding streets as well, did a little shopping, had lunch at the Christopher Street restaurant, which was very good.

We then walked all the way from the Village back to the hotel – 8th to 53rd! Quite a jaunt, but we needed the exercise. Besides, the weather was absolutely beautiful – sunny and 58.

Saturday night we tried to get more tickets at Times Square, but they were sold out, so we went for a nice walk through Central Park and watched the ice skaters and such. We had dinner at The Stage Deli, and went back after our walk for take out dessert. After all, you need to be rewarded after so much exercise – and what’s a better reward than a huge hunk of cheesecake? 🙂

This morning we got up and headed out early – got home around 2:00, which gave us a chance to get the chores around the house done. We watched “Miss Congeniality” on DVD, which is a great movie. Watched a bit of the Olympics before calling it a night.

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