Saturday, April 26, 2008

New York, New York, it's a hell of a town...

When last I wrote we had left D.C. and our wonderful friends behind for the bright lights of Broadway, Times Square and the great city of Manhattan. We arrived Tuesday afternoon after an uneventful, yet nice train ride. We took a short cab ride to our Hotel, The Milford Plaza. We went to check in, and were told that our room wouldn't be ready until 3:00. With an hour to kill we decided to take a walk around Times Square and find some lunch. After having a super lunch we headed back over to the Hotel to get our room key and get settled before our first show. At this point it was about 3:30. The woman told us our room still wasn't ready and could we return after 4:00. This was getting ridiculous. We got the 3:00 thing, as that's normal check in time, but now we were told after 4. We decided to wait it out in the lobby. At about 10 minutes after 4 Jeff went to check on the room. It still wasn't ready. Jeff started to say something about the delay when the manager walked up and told the woman to provide an upgrade. We got to the room only to find that they had just given us another room of the same type that we reserved. What a ploy. This is not a place I would recommend staying. The shower wouldn't maintain any hot water, the room was musty and old and the overall hotel is under construction and the people aren't very friendly. Anyway back to the important parts...

Once we got settled we showered and headed to our first show. This one was a surprise for me. If you remember in my last post I mentioned that I heard Robb say something about Laura Linney? While, I now know why he said her name. Jeffrey took me to see the preview of Les Liaisons Dangereuses starring Laura Linney.

As the show is still in previews it isn't perfect. Although the female cast was spot on. I have never seen any iteration of this show, so it was all new to me. Linney was phenomenal. I have always loved her and really enjoyed seeing her in the role of La Marquise de Merteuil. It's hard to describe this character without ruining the plot, but she was spot on. The male cast had a lot of work to do. The lead, Ben Daniels (Le Vicomte de Valmont) was really great until the second act. The fight scene was laughable, and not done well at all. I only hope that they continue to work on this and other areas. In one month this show should be flawless.

After the show we went back to the hotel and spent a great deal of time discussing the show. Jeffrey being a very skilled actor had much better points then I did, as I am easily entertained and don't look as deeply as he does. We woke up the next morning, had some breakfast and got dressed for our first of two shows. After picking up the tickets for the Matinee of November, starring Nathan Lane and Laurie Metcalf we grabbed a slice of New York Pizza. We then proceeded to the theater to see David Mamet's new play. I don't believe that I have laughed so much, or enjoyed theater like this in a long time. If you get the chance to visit NYC this is definitely a play I would recommend. Nathan Lane plays a fictitious (although the character resembles my interpretation of GW) President. Laurie Metcalf is his Lesbian chief speech writer who has just returned from China after adopting a little girl with her partner Daisy. The show just goes from there onward. It is hilarious!!

After the play we headed back to our hotel to rest a bit before dinner and our evening show.

We had a wonderful dinner and headed over to the Shubert for Spamalot. Clay Aiken (from American Idol fame) is currently playing Sir Robin, and I have to say that I was prepared to hate his performance. I assume that because I had such low expectations that was the reason I really enjoyed his performance. This is Monty Python at its best. It is hysterical with great bits and overall great performances. We know the music, as it's something we own and have listened to a few times. Seeing the production was just extremely fun. It was kind of funny to see the people that come back again and again. As we were trying to exit the theater the woman sitting next to me asked if this was our first time seeing the show. I told her it was and she went on and on about how many times she had seen it, how she brought her daughter the previous Saturday for her sixteenth birthday, and purchased a picture with Clay Aiken. It's that time of year where Broadway Cares, Equity Fights AIDS collects money at each performance. Clay was offering signed Polaroids for $250.00 each to raise money. I have to assume that Spamalot is raising the most money based on the number of people purchasing these pictures. We were not included. Anyway after escaping the lady we headed over to Sardi's for dessert. We had a nice dessert, a good cup of coffee, and some New York Theater history. All in all a fantastic day and evening.

We woke up late the next morning and showered and packed getting ready to check out of the hotel. Once checked out and our bags stored we headed over to Central Park for a little Geocaching. We found a couple of fun geocaches, took a couple of travel bugs and headed back to Times Square for one final cache before we got a cab to the airport.

All in all we had a fantastic vacation (to see a couple of pics check out Robb's BLOG here), and are glad to be home. We spent all day yesterday resting (I slept most of the day) and are refreshed and ready to start the weekend. It's back to work Monday, which is a good thing. New boss (again), and new challenges ahead of me.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Washington D.C. - The first part of our vacation...

As my vacation comes to a close I thought it best to break up the two parts of my trip. There is so much to tell, and each part was so different this was the only logical choice.

The day before we left was spent running around ensuring we had everything we needed. This was also spent with me dealing with the departure of yet another manager. This was a personal choice, not a layoff. This also means that when I return from vacation on Monday I will have a new manager. This will be number 5 over the course of one and a half years. Oh well, you never know what change will bring. Now, on to our trip.

We arrived in D.C. to much fanfare. OK, it was Robb and David greeting us with the camera, taking short video and many pictures. What an amazing way to arrive in D.C. Jeffrey met Robb and David 10 years ago in Taipei. We have spent a lot of time with them over the years, and couldn't wait to arrive. We went back to their beautiful townhouse just outside of the capital. After unloading our luggage we sat around for about an hour and talked. We then attempted to go to sleep to adjust to the time change. We woke up the next morning, having slept in a little. We wanted to give them an opportunity to watch Survivor. We didn't want Robb's BLOG readers to have to wait for his Survivor BLOG. OK, that's not really the reason, but it sounds nice... :)

We spent the day walking around the mall. We went to a couple museums and mostly just caught up and talked. We stopped and got some lemonade and sat on the lawn and talked some more. We had a nice dinner at a local restaurant in their area and just hung out. The next day David was our host, as Robb was taking a class at the hospital. Something to with death or dieing (Robb is a Nurse). We went back to the mall, as I was really trying to get into the Capitol. We went to the Library of Congress and stood in awe of the glorious building. We took pictures (where allowed), and were able to review Thomas Jefferson's first draft of the constitution. What an amazing piece of history. I discovered at this point that I had acquired two rather large blisters on the balls of both my feet. UGH! We did start the day in Dupont Circle looking for a couple of Geocache's. We had planned on spending Sunday geocaching, but we didn't think the weather would cooperate (we were correct). After the trip to the mall we headed back to the house for a quick nap and then out to some really fantastic pizza.

On Sunday we split up. David and I went to the Holocaust Museum, and Robb and Jeffrey played in the rain. My Mom is a member to the museum and provided me with two tickets. This was great, as we didn't have to wait in line, nor did we have to wait for a specific time. I know a great deal about the holocaust, but this exhibit really brings it all into perspective. The horrors brought about are things that we have all seen on TV or in the movies, but seeing these things in real life just drives it all home. Hearing the propaganda, and hatred reminds me the power of one man. At one point this woman behind me asked why would he put pink triangles on homosexuals, it just didn't make sense. I almost said something to her, but decided that this was my time to explore and experience. I only hope that as she progressed through the exhibit that she learned the answer to her question. It's a very emotional experience and I recommend visiting the museum should you be in D.C. The final stop in the exhibit is the Hall of Remembrance. This is where I teared up. All the lives lost to such horrors. All the lives impacted by this, those that survived the camps, and those that lost their entire family. It's something we must never forget.

We left the mall after that and headed home. The rain was coming down and we were all wanting to be dry. We spent the evening in eating fondue (AMAZING!!), and after many visits I finally made my "Friend Frame." I am still impressed at my creativity. I always say that Jeff is the creative one, but this frame was awesome (if I do say so myself...). Monday was our last day in D.C. and David had to work. Jeffrey decided that he wanted to explore by himself. I think he just didn't want to move as slow as Robb and I move. Robb and I made one last attempt to get into the Capitol, but to no avail. We thought, "Monday, rain, no one will be there," boy were we wrong. Oh well, it just means we have to go back. At that point I was just wanting to rest and enjoy the time with Robb. We went to lunch by the house and took a nap. Naps are a good thing, especially when you are on vacation. I woke up to Jeffrey, Robb and David laughing. I heard Robb say something about Laura Linney, and then it got quiet. This last comment will tie into my New York BLOG coming tomorrow. We took Robb and David to the Ugly Mug pub for dinner, went back to their house and talked until it was time to pack and go to bed. Robb took us to the train the next morning ready to embark on our short but packed trip to NYC.

We had an incredible time in D.C. If you haven't been, go. It's our nations capitol and there are many wonderful sites. You may not have the pleasure to hang our with two of the most amazing people ever, but it's still worth the trip. The highlight was spending the time with the boys and just hanging out and talking. I am glad that Jeffrey went to Taipei so many years ago. Not because he brought some amazing gifts home, but because he brought Robb and David into our lives.

Stayed tune for NYC - The end of our vacation...

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Nothing In Particuliar

A couple people have asked me why I haven't been writing lately. I suppose I just haven't been inspired. I was going to break down Obama's speech on race, but decided that it wasn't that significant to me. I am not sure why I haven't been inspired, but can only think that I have been so busy at work that when I get home the last thing I want to do is sit down in front of the computer. I may still breakdown the speech, so you'll just have to wait and see...

The rumors are flying all over my office lately, and that just makes me crazy. Some of them I hope come true, others I just hope are rumors. The point being that nothing is set until I hear it from the horses mouth. I am getting ready to go on vacation in a week and a half and can't wait!

For the first time in I don't know how many years Jeffrey and I are taking a vacation just for us. We are heading to Washington DC to see our most wonderful friends Robb and David. We haven't seen them since the last time they were in LA, which must have been a couple of years ago. When we were deciding where what to do about a vacation we weren't sure what we were going to do, Hawaii or somewhere else. When we contacted Robb and David they told us that they hated Hawaii (a complete lie), and that the ideal vacation spot was Washington DC. They then followed that up with a wonderful book on Washington DC for Christmas. That was how and why we decided that this was the prime vacation spot. We will spend a wonderful few days checking out things in and around DC, but most importantly we will spend them with the boys. We have been there a couple of times and always find new things. I only hope that this time I get to tour the Capital building. We will leave DC and head to NYC for a quick two days where we will spend our time in the Theater District. I think we are seeing three shows in two days. I will write all about our adventures when we return. If you want to hear about the DC part I can almost guarantee that Robb will post something first. He's better at this BLOG thing then I am...

I will try to be more diligent in my posts going forward. I hope that everyone is well and enjoying life!!

Remember: Be kind to God's Children...