Wednesday, December 19, 2007

shopping scenes

Wednesday night I met three of my dearest friends for dinner. It was a slightly surreal experience. The Texan among us selected the restaurant - a Texan bbq place in Chelsea. She must have been trying to give us a little flavor (Texas style meaning a HUGE flavor) of her home state because I thought I was transported from Manhattan directly to Texas as soon as I walked in the door. I was the first to arrive in the shoulder-to-shoulder waiting area/bar. I was carrying a lot of stuff and was suddenly very hot and feeling claustorphobic. I was a little disappointed that there would only be three of us because Ruby never responded to our email exchange. But before I managed to squeeze up to the hostess I spotted Ruby hustling her way in the door. Such a great surprise! We put our name on the list and I was handed one of those buzzer things that are popular in overcrowded suburban chain restuarants but so rare in NYC that JooYun didn't seem to know what it was.
Joo and Katharine (our Texan) arrived soon after Ruby and I managed to plant ourselves and our bags on a couple of seats at the bar. We debated embarking out in search of a back-up restaurant but decided a 30 minute wait was worth staying put. The time flew quickly as we caught up and soon enough our buzzer was vibrating across the bar lighting up with festive red lights. Ruby and I were not really prepared for this place. We were expecting to sit and be served. Instead we were handed meal cards we were told several times not to lose and herded to a table. There was pandamonium all around us and I had the distinct impression that at least 80% of the room's population called Texas home. There were tall rugged outdoor looking men and very small, overly made up, big haired women. We quickly learned that in order to get food we took our meal cards to the meat station (where you ordered your meat by the pound!) and the side table. Ruby and I decided to share a few side dishes and both selected ribs, which were placed on butcher paper, weighed and handed to us partially wrapped. I felt like I was at the butcher. I was carrying our tray of sides and some man offended Ruby when he remarked "that's a lot of food!" Whatev, if he's Texan he was probably impressed. Who knows.
There was a lot of confusion back at our table as we tried to get plates and get rid of our over-sized trays that were crowding the table. Unfortunately I don't have the photo of Ruby with our butcher paper wrapped ribs but believe me, she looked pretty overwhelmed by it all!
The food was good and it was so nice to relax with old friends and catch up before we all went off in our different directions. I provided the dessert - cupcakes from the dessert party! And we lingered bouncing from topic to topic. I am disappointed in myself for not getting a group photo of us.
After dinner Ruby needed to go to Macy's to finish some more Christmas shopping and I agreed to go with her with the caveat that I would flee if things were ugly. It was 9:30 by the time we arrived and as she said, it really was open until midnight and thankfully the rest of Manhattan had not figured this out so we were able to shop in a kinder, gentler Macy's. We had a great time selecting jewelry for her sister, jewelry for ourselves (who else is going to buy me jewelry? besides, it was all 50% off!) and other last minute items. We were both surprised at how much more enjoyable and easier it is to shop with a friend . . . even if we are enablers.

I snapped a couple of Christmas scene pics while we were out. This first one was in the Manhattan Mall (yes, we have one mall). We didn't actually shop here, the subway dumped us out here and we walked through to find our way outside to Macy's. The fountain just made me laugh - kind of a unique way to decorate, just dump a bunch of bulbs in the water!
I took this photo in Macy's, it doesn't quite capture the full effect but you get the idea -- lots and lots of poinsettias.
Speaking of poinsettias . . . a big WHOO HOO to the Utah Utes for winning their 7th straight bowl game in a row!! I blame them for keeping me up until 1 am last night. I was trying to pack, do laundry and watch the game all at the same time. Unfortunately the game kept drawing me back to my couch and all of my stuff was strewn out between the living room and bedroom. I hate packing. Especially for long trips. Plus, I feel I keep getting judged for hauling home a GIANT suitcase. But how else am I supposed to carry all my gifts home? And winter clothes are bulkier and what about boots? Seriously, how can I go home for 9 days with only a small rolling case?

Okay, I'm done with that. My flight leaves at 7 tonight but I am leaving for the airport at 3:30 out of an abundance of caution because I expect the drive to Newark will be ugly and I don't want to repeat the horror story of Thanksgiving last year when I nearly missed my flight home to to terrifying traffic getting out of the City.

With any luck I will be snowboarding tomorrow, hanging out with the family Sunday for church, extended family party, etc., last minute shopping on Monday and then enjoying a restful Christmas day so I may not be in touch for a few days. So in case I don't get a chance to say it later, I will say it now:



Beck said...

Have a safe, relaxing trip home and a Merry Christmas!

Tiffany said...

I love the pics! Go Utes! And I know by now that your flight was not as smooth as was hoped for!

Merry Christmas!

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