Saturday, July 26, 2014

Not quite a bite, more like a nibble

On our drive home from Boston, we made a quick (really quick, 20 hours quick) side trip to the Big Apple.
You may or may not know this, but a few years out of college, I moved to NYC.  I lived in Manhattan, worked at NYU and Cooper Union and had some of the best years of my life there. 20 years ago I first got bit by the NY bug and its never left. Living in the City helped me grow up, take responsibility for myself, because it's true... if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. I still consider myself a New Yorker.  I know that is a stretch... but I just love NY.
So, naturally, one of my dreams has been the day I could be in the City with my whole family.  I feel like in order for my kids to know me, truly know me, they need to experience NYC- with me!  Obviously, 20 hours is like a bit of a joke.  But I'll tell you what, I soaked in every last minute of being there.  We saw a few friends, stayed in a great studio apartment on the Upper West Side, I took the kids to Time Square (and only experienced minor anxiety. Ha.)  Its one thing to be street savvy as an adult, it's another to take your mid-western kids to Time Square in the middle of 'summer holiday'.  *Side note* I'm pretty sure there are NO Europeans currently in Europe.  They are all strolling around Time Square.

Steve met a friend for coffee near Time Square, which meant the kids and I were on our own for a few hours.  I just had to take them to Toys R Us.  Olivia declared, "It's like heaven on Earth for kids!"  True.  And it's pretty much a third level of hell for parents.  But what can you do? 
Speaking of heaven on Earth, we also went to the Hershey's store.  Everyone gets a kiss as they enter.  Now that is my kind of welcome.  We were SUCH tourists.  I missed the photo op as my kids all tried on the foam Statue of Liberty hats that I've made fun of my whole adult life.  We ate street food and ate dinner at a diner in Time Square.  (Which is another thing my 24 year old self would have totally mocked and scorned.  "How can you bring your kids to the City and go out to eat in Time Square...are you crazy or just stupid?") 

Well... It actually was part of my plan!
When we finished our stupidly, over-priced plain buttered noodles at the diner, Steve met us at the Theatre. 

Because a second, equally dreamy dream of mine was to take my kids to see Les Mis on Broadway.  (I know it may seem like an odd and potentially inappropriate choice to take two 6 year olds and an 8 year old to. Feel free to judge me, I can take it.)

My kids have been interested in the music and story of Les Mis for the last 2 years.  They know all the words to most songs (except the ones that are not appropriate and we have to fast forward.)  They have seen the PBS 25th Anniversary special and we painstakingly explained the story line (fielding lots of questions.)  They have seen the movie (with again said parts fast forwarded.)  I can't explain it, but they love it.  And I love that they love it.  It's my favorite show of all time (closely followed by Wicked.)  That will be our next stop.

When we went to Disney World a year and a half ago, we gave them a chance to guess where we were taking them before we got on the plane and they were actually disappointed when their guess of "To see Les Mis on Broadway" was not the correct guess.  Weirdos.

 It's a long show.  3 hours.  And not to brag (ok, just a little) all three of my kids did AWESOME.  They were glued to the stage.  They sang along (a little bit to the annoyance of the Europeans in front of us.)  I let the tears roll as I soaked up the gift that it was to be living a dream.  It was magical and all I hoped it would be.  The revival is really really great.  This is probably the 6th time I've seen it on Broadway, but the first time since the revival.  I am SO glad they brought it back. 
As we left the show we ended up exiting through a particular door that led to the stage door where the cast leaves through.  I happened to overhear someone say, "Yeah, if you stick around most of the cast will sign your Playbill and even take photos."  Well...

How can you pass that up?

Olivia got into it.  She met nearly a dozen cast members.  They were SO great with her!  Because there were no other kids in line to meet them, they really went out of their way to sign the Playbill, get in pictures and even interact with the kids.  "What did you think of the show?"  "How old are you?"  "What did you think of little Cossette and little Garoche?"  I was so impressed by their talent and their kindness to make this a memorable experience for my kids (and in turn for me.)

What is particularly miraculous, Olivia had terrible strep throat the night before.  24 hours before this picture she had a 102 degree fever and sat on a sofa crying because she felt so bad.  I was crying too, because I knew how much money we had spent on these tickets and it was enough to make me cry if she was going to be sick for this! 

God bless antibiotics.  Within two doses, girl was rolling around Time Square and mingling with Marius.  Thank you, Lord, for answering so many prayers in a short 20 hours.

The whole thing was seriously a dream come true. 

I'm ready to go back. 

Instead of heading back to NYC, we are actually packing up the van and leaving for Camden, Maine early Monday morning.  I think we need our own show : Keeping up with the Koproskis. 

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