Sunday, December 31, 2017

Adam & Mommy Take NYC...

I was so excited this year to be able to bring Adam up to NY for my office Christmas party. The stars aligned with him being out of school and it just seemed like the perfect opportunity to spend some quality one on one time with my first born - something we sadly don't get to do all that often - note to self for 2018 - do more of this. 

Even though I knew for about a month that this was happening I kept it a secret from Adam and Al was the one to break the news two days before we left. Adam was out of his mind when he saw the note and was so excited when he asked me "Mommy, is it really true? Am I coming to NY with you!?" I'll remember that for quite some time. 

We left bright and early on a Tuesday morning and Adam had no issue jumping out of bed at 5:50. He was so excited. In the car he had my iPad to use and instead of watching movies he chose to listen to the soundtrack to "Hamilton." Be still my heart. I was listening to podcasts but by the time we hit Jersey I was ready to also listen to "Hamilton" and it was a mother and son sing-a-long all the way to Tarrytown.

Our first stop was my office where everyone was so excited to see Adam. He'd stopped by a few times before and this time they couldn't get over how old he was (don't remind me!) He was given a tour of our offices and warehouse and even given some UE Systems swag - he was loving it. 

After that and a fun deli lunch with some colleagues it was off to the hotel. Adam still thinks hotels are this magical place - just like I used to think when my dad stayed in them all the time - and I'm happy to have him hold on to that magic. He insisted on wearing his Santa hat at check-in and was thrilled beyond belief that I scored us a room that opened up to the pool area. This kid was living the life. After a dip in the pool it was time for a shower and then a Christmas movie while he chilled in bed wearing his bathrobe - he admitted he felt like he was Kevin from "Home Alone 2." 

From there it was off on a date night with my buddy in the big city. We took the train from Tarrytown and arrived in Grand Central Station about 45 minutes later. I love that Adam still was mesmerized by being on a train. 

We then walked to 5th Avenue in search of the Rockefeller Christmas Tree. Along the way we spotted the beautiful and "Snow White" themed windows at Saks 5th Ave. The tree was beyond belief and Adam was thrilled. We watched the ice skaters - and questioned how anyone would want to stand in such a long line - then made our way over to "The Today Show" set - I hear they're hiring...

We snapped pics in Times Square & the "Hamilton" sign - Adam was sad we weren't seeing it but was promised a visit in the summer - my boss is the best. 

My date took me to Guy Fieri's restaurant in Times Square - yes, I know that's kind of a lame thing to do but here are my reasonings - 1. We've been there before & we know it is good food. 2. We've been there before & we know it is clean. 3. We've been there before & we know the restrooms are super clean. Case and point - Adam left the restroom (after I had to wait a few moments) & came out exclaiming "I felt like I was in paradise - they were playing Jimmy Buffet on the radio & showing Chopped  on the tvs." Yes, we are raising a Food Network fanatic. 

Our night wasn't over though - from there it was time to hit Broadway & see "Wicked" with a bunch of my colleagues. My boss got us the best seats - 6 rows back in the middle of the orchestra - wow! What an experience for Adam! This was my 5th time seeing "Wicked" and it did not disappoint - Adam was loving it, I was loving it, it was just amazing all around. An unforgettable night to be sure. Even though it was a late night - our train didn't pull out until 10:50 - it was one to remember - and Adam was all smiles. 

After a great night's sleep - after our late night chit chat session over a viewing of "The Santa Claus II" - Adam & I went for breakfast in the hotel. Hot chocolate was just what Adam needed to get him up and about. From there it was back to the office where Adam got a tutorial on how our equipment works from his buddy, "Star Wars" Sean. He also got to do some work for our shipping department - it was pretty much the cutest - he asked Gary if he could work - he said yes - and 2 minutes later he's pushing carts around, putting labels on boxes, and getting UE Systems equipment prepped and ready to ship out to customers around the globe. Pretty cool. 

Adam's fun day didn't end there. While I was attending our formal Christmas party, my colleagues wife, Donna (whom Adam had met several times before) took Adam for an adventure I can't even imagine happened. They went to a museum learning about the Hudson River then went off to a Winter Wonderland park where they got to ice skate, go on carnival rides, eat cinnamon rolls, drink hot chocolate and get lots of fun toys - what could be better!? (I'm still waiting on pics from that evening but I'll post them later if/when I get them from Donna)

Meanwhile, I was hanging with my colleagues at Tappan Hill - a swanky spot in Tarrytown that Mom has mentioned was a hot spot for her in college - small world right? I just love it there - it's so festive and it's great to get that face time with colleagues, service providers and the owners of my company. 

At the end of the day we were all back together again for some night caps. Adam got to bid a farewell to his buddy "Star Wars" Sean and the rest of our crew. I'm glad he got a chance to reconnect with my colleagues and to get an inside peak into what my company does - maybe one day he'll be working there!

Merry Christmas UE Systems! I'm proud to work for you!  

Navy Band Christmas Concert...

Last year (see here) Uncle Mark, Adam and I went downtown for an amazing Christmas concert by the Air Force Band - it was a last minute treat that neighbors down the street offered to us and it was magical, & amazing and fully of Christmas spirit. I said to myself that day that next year I'd make a note to log on and "buy" (the tickets are free) tickets for us to go again this year. One mistake...I forgot it was the Air Force Band and had the Navy Band concert and ticket sale date on my calendar. Whoops. Luckily it was a mistake that was more of an opportunity - turns out the Navy Band is awesome and they put on an awesome concert. 

This year we brought along Grandma, Aunt Kathleen, Olivia & Uncle Mark as well. We also learned from experience last year and got to DC in time to sneak over to the National Christmas Tree which Adam had never seen. He was in awe of all the trains and we loved seeing the special Virginia tree. 

The concert itself as I said before was super festive. We picked out seats pretty up close and it felt like they were singing right to us. There was even a surprise visit by Santa - I loved looking at Adam when Santa walked onstage and capturing that look of Christmas magic on his face. 

In the end, if we had to vote, we'd pick the Air Force Band concert as the winner - so I'll be sure to mark my calendar next year with the correct concert - though we still send kudos and our standing ovation to the Navy for a job well done!