WHAAA? It’s totally April, amigos.
And I have been delinquent in a whole lot of my regular things. But I have such good reasons.
Good Reason #1: I went to New York with Kids 1 and 2 and 7 other cute high school kids and a bunch of adult chaperones for a week of theatre madness. It was fabulous in almost every way. Here are some of the wonderfulnesses of the week:
* 4 Broadway shows, in ascending order of awesomeness (Wicked, Peter and the Starcatcher, Newsies and Matilda). If you have a chance to see Matilda on Broadway, TAKE IT. Best. Show. Ever. It was the kids’ favorite, hands down. Sweet, funny, sassy, technically fabulous, desks rising out of the ground, lyrics that made me gasp in envy, stunning kid actors. (I hated Mrs. Wormwood, which was, I understand, the idea, but I still hated her and her songs, just so you know I’m being honest here — we could have left out her dance competition number completely. And lost nothing.) Bertie Carvel, you can be my Miss Trunchbull any time. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. LOVED. “Sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty.”
* Excellent food, including a huge dinner at Juniors, which I did not finish, and a slice of raspberry swirl cheesecake, which I did. I also attempted to eat a street-vendor hot dog. I made it half way. Hot dogs are just a little too bouncy-feeling for me.
* Kid 2 slipped her kneecap off to the side. It’s really best if I don’t describe the actual injury any further. It was nasty, I’m telling you. But guess who has 2 thumbs and is a tough guy? That’s right, my Kid 2. Chaperone Uncle Steve got her a knee brace and she feasted on Advil for the week, and it really didn’t slow her down at all. She didn’t miss any of the shows, the food, or the touristy-business. She even let me help her walk a bit (for a few hours) and let the cute boys who came with us help her a lot more.
* Canal Street. We bargained like the best of them. Came home with clothes and purses and jewels and NYC kitsch.
* Touristy fun business: We stayed in Times Square, which is pretty much the best touristy idea of them all. It never got dark until we pulled the curtains. Party All The Time. We went to Ground Zero memorial, lovely, and went to St. Paul’s church, where lots of 9/11 rescue efforts stemmed. We toured the American Cathedral (St. John’s), awesome. Natural History museum = great, Top of the Rock and NBC studio tours = equally great, Staten Island Ferry is still my favorite (and free) view of the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street with its architectural loveliness and bizarre bull sculpture, the slowly greening Central Park, and miles of subway.
* We had a dance workshop with one of the Newsies. His name is Adam Kaplan, and he was the loveliest guy – so modest and humble and the kids were stunned to be learning from A REAL BROADWAY ACTOR. He’s playing Morris Delancey, a bad guy, (and understudying Jack Kelly) but that didn’t stop us from loving him (some of us to a greater extent than others). He gave the kids loads of his time (especially considering that he performed 2 shows later that day), answered questions, and gave advice. His best words? Go to college. Finish your degree. And there’s no room for Divas. Be nice to everyone. He was terrific, and I hope we see his name all over the place. (He came out for a stage-door visit after the show, and he was so gracious to our kids, posing for photos and signing play books.)
Want to know what happened then? We came home. And did a great deal of laundry. And packed our suitcases back up for Spring Break in Disneyland. Were you there? Probably you were. Everyone else was.
IT WAS FABULOUS. Again. And we wore all of us out. Kid 2 continued to be a major champ despite her braced leg, and we had fun waiting in long lines (and avoiding other ones). First night we drove to Vegas, stayed in a hotel, and then toured Hoover Dam. It’s pretty dam cool, was the consensus. (I know.) Then we went to casa Jacobson, where the lovely Melanie and her family hosted us with gumbo and live music and all kinds of good company. We snuck out early, took our Utah Mormon kids to Starbucks (scandal!) for pastry breakfast, and hit the parks. Along with all of you, apparently. Three days later, we were glad about the following: Comfy hotel beds, the new Cars Land Racers ride (single rider line), World of Color water show, the fireworks, lots of fun rides, and that we all still liked each other. (True test of a good vacation.) Disneyland with big kids is easily as fun as Disneyland with small kids, with the added bonus of no tears, no diapers, and no need to wait in princess lines. (Although, I almost got in line just to check out Merida’s costume wig. SO AWESOME.)
So… how’s your April?