Thursday, April 8, 2010

Heading North...

So Erich and I hit the road on Tuesday afternoon to start our New York adventure. We decided to take the scenic route through the mountains via Interstate 81. The very best part of that decision is the detour through the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

Before I went to PA School, I was fortunate enough to earn my Master's Degree in Exercise Science at James Madison University, so I feel I can claim a little ownership of that part of the world. Erich had never spent much time in the Shenandoah Valley, so we decided to make our first stopover in Bridgewater, Virginia - significant, too, because my dad went to college at Bridgewater. It was awesome to walk through campus and take in the springtime sights, not the least of which was the football field where my dad made a few tackles back in the day. And the Crimson Inn is a must if you're ever in need of a place to stay in that area.

After a quick breakfast at the aptly named Jess' Quick Lunch on Wednesday morning, we were back on the road. From Bridgewater, our road trip was just over six hours to the heart of Midtown Manhattan. Looking at the map ahead of time, I noticed that the Gettysburg National Military Park was not too far off the highway. This stop proved to be not only well-timed for stretching our legs, but unbelievably beautiful (and moving) as well. We decided to take the auto tour through the battlefield, which allows you to drive your car along paved paths snaking through the 24-mile route. We took several stops along the way to walk along the same grounds those thousands of soldiers covered during those three fateful days. And of course, our tour concluded at the cemetery where good old Abe Lincoln gave a certain address a few years back. Truly, Gettysburg was an amazing place to visit. Our only regret was that we didn't have more time to spend there.

But we could hardly wait to get to the Big Apple! Our trip through the Lincoln Tunnel and into Midtown Manhattan was a little adventurous, to say the least, but it's always a ton of fun. We were so happy to see my sis, Sarah, our fantastic hostess for the week. Once we got settled, she took us for a great dinner at Penelope. And of course, because it was Erich's birthday, the night called for a little celebration. For us, celebrating included Sarah introducing us to the most amazing cupcakes ever, courtesy of Crumbs. Unreal! She and I were able to tear ourselves away from our respective Cookie Dough and Peanut Butter Cup treats long enough to snap a picture of E's Devil's Food cupcake, complete with a musical birthday candle! Hard to beat indulging like this while sitting on Sarah's balcony overlooking the Empire State Building on a spring evening...

Erich and I started our day today at Starbuck's (naturally) before heading over to Sid's Bikes NYC. This bike shop is super cool - and it probably doesn't hurt that they sport the orange and black colors, just like all CLM-wannabes. From Sid's, we walked over to Herald Square, down to Times Square, and then to Central Park for a rest. We grabbed lunch at a delicious Asian fusion restaurant before swinging by Niketown and the Apple Store. Our ultimate destination for the afternoon was 30 Rock, as in Rockefeller Plaza. My wicked-fun sister hooked us up with tickets to a taping of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. And it just so happened that his guest for the night was Tina Fey - love her. Amy Poehler, Seth Myers, Mario Batali, and Justin Bieber rounded out the lineup. Very, very cool way to spend the afternoon!

We had a great dinner tonight at The City Grill, then grabbed our dessert nightcaps at Magnolia Bakery. You just can't beat having a live-in guide to NYC! In the morning, Erich and I will drive up to Cambridge for race registration, then he and the Cervelo will preview certain parts of the course. When she's finished with her work week, Sarah's taking a train out of Penn Station to meet up with us in Saratoga Springs tomorrow night. And then, as hard as it is to believe, Race Day will finally be here!


  1. Penelope was my favorite place for brunch!!! I lived just down there street from there! Jealousy.

  2. Oh, man. Penelope was DELICIOUS. I've heard about their brunch from my sister, too, but their dinner is so yummy.