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August 2012

Vacation!

August 15, 2012

My parents were just in town for a whirlwind visit. It was so nice to see them! We were so hoping that we would have Mata Hari in shape to take them out for a sail, but alas that was not in the cards. Nonetheless, we did manage to have a great time while they were here. Between the Yankees game, the Vanderbilt mansion, a fancy vegan dinner in the city, MOMA, the Met, and sailing with our friend Rene, I think it’s pretty safe to say we wore them out!

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Mom and Dad chilling with the Waterlilies at MOMA.

After we saw the latest Batman movie (surprisingly good…and Anne Hathaway was a great Catwoman!) we went to Dirt Candy, a funky vegetarian restaurant in our old ‘hood. It was a tad cozy (only 12 seats!) but the food they turned out was pretty darned amazing, especially when you consider that it was all vegetarian. I think Dad was happy because he could eat an entire meal that was vegan (it can be challenging to find vegan fare when you’re on the road!) and Mom was happy because it was tasty and inventive!

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Dad’s coconut tofu dish. Mmmm!

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Rich’s dish: buttermilk-battered cauliflower and waffles.

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Mom’s was chard gnocchi and had an interesting smoky flavor.

 

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I had the grits and tempura battered egg. Yum!

We finished with yummy desserts: popcorn pudding for me and Dad and rosemary cotton candy for Mom and Rich. I liked both, but the rosemary cotton candy was a big hit! Dad even tried it, though I’m not sure he was a fan.
The next day we had lunch with my friend Pat, which I think was a highlight of the trip for my parents. Pat, in customary fashion, came bearing gifts for everyone. We all had a lovely time gabbing away over lunch at our go to Soho spot Spring Street Natural.
Despite the fact the Mariners lost, we enjoyed our Friday night Yankees game. It was about 90 degrees and a billion percent humidity when we arrived, but you’ll be happy to know that it eventually cooled down to about 88 degrees and a billion percent humidity by the time we left. Too hot, but we had fun anyway! The new stadium is pretty neat, but I got the feeling Dad and the guy behind us who was born and raised in the Bronx preferred the old one. A lot of history there! But these seats were maybe a tiny bit more comfy than the old ones. Just sayin’! Rich, a real Yankees fan, contented himself with talking trash about the Mariners the whole time (not that he’s ever been to a Yankees game since I’ve known him).

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On Saturday we spent the day getting lost on the way to visit the Vanderbilt mansion in Hyde Park, New York. When we finally arrived we learned from our quirky Park Service tour guide that it was recently decided that all park ranger uniforms should be polyester because it looked better than cotton. Not so comfy on a scorching day like this one, but hey, no wrinkles! She also shared with us that this was the most modest of all the Vanderbilt mansions. Of course this austerity didn’t keep Mrs. Vanderbilt from making sure her boudoir was a replica of Marie Antoinette’s. They were Vanderbilts, after all!

The next day we finally got Mom and Dad out on the water on our very gracious friend Rene’s boat. I think everyone had a great time, and Dad didn’t have the slightest bit of seasickness, possibly due to Rene’s insistence that he be at the wheel the whole time. Dad didn’t seem to mind. He told me he was excited to finally get to take the helm on a sailboat with “one of those really big wheels.” Good thing we went on Rene’s boat since ours will never have a wheel, big or otherwise, if Rich has anything to say about it!

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For their final night in town we went to dinner at Bistro la Source, this cute place in our neighborhood that has a nice garden. Thankfully it had cooled off a bit (that’s right, just in time for Mom and Dad to go home) and we had a lovely dinner outside. Since it was all-you-can-eat mussels night, Mom and I both gave them a whirl. Dad and Rich abstained, choosing the veggie ravioli and a pork dish, respectively. Though a mussel or two from our plates may have found its way into Rich’s mouth as well. We washed it all down with a tasty French white (except for Dad, who had iced tea). A delightful evening!

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Afterward we walked down to the waterfront for one last glimpse of the New York skyline, something we never really got to see from the East Village.

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Such a short, but action-packed visit! We miss them already.