A few weeks ago Erica sent me a message on gchat- "Want to hear something so, so sad?" She then forwarded me an email that Spencer had sent out to all her friends inviting them to a surprise party on her birthday. Unfortunately, she accidentally saw the email (entitled something like ERICA'S SURPRISE BIRTHDAY PARTY, so it was a little hard to miss) and totally ruined the surprise for herself and she was totally heartbroken.
A little voice in my head said, "Hey, YOU could be her surprise party..."
Erica and I moved on to talking about shoes but I promptly sent Janssen a message asking which airport is closest to Erica's apartment and told her I was thinking about flying out to surprise Erica for her birthday. Janssen replied, "I wonder if I could make it..." to which I responded WE HAVE TO DO THIS.
My head almost exploded from excitement and the stress of secret keeping for those 3 weeks. Between texts and gchat I am in near constant contact with Erica and it took every ounce of self control I possess to NOT tell her. Fortunately, I am also in constant contact with Janssen so she got the nonstop texts from me about how excited I was.
See, I've never actually been to New York. Or met Erica. I mean, yes, we talk constantly but ours is a friendship built on the internetz and we've never had a face-to-face meeting.
|Well, we've met now!|
Erica's husband, Spencer, is the best. When an internet stranger emailed and asked if she could stay for a weekend he said, "Sure!" He told Erica he had some things planned for the weekend after her birthday so she needed to not make any plans. And then he gave her ZERO details, despite her bugging. At one point Erica texted me that Spencer was in "rare, RARE form" because this was SO unlike him. Even more points in his favor: he cleaned the apartment AND made dinner in preparation for our arrival, since Erica was clueless. That Spencer. He's a good one.
Unsurprisingly, it was just about the best weekend ever. Erica was shocked. SHOCKED. Like, clutching her phone in the lobby of her apartment building saying, "oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my gosh" over and over for AGES while I awkwardly stood there in a birthday hat with my hands up in "Surprise!" position. She spent the next hour poking me to make sure I wasn't some kind of crazy advanced hologram. Janssen was Surprise Part Two a few hours behind me and Erica's reaction was just as amazing.
|Surreptitiously texting Janssen under the table while waiting for her to arrive.|
And, of course, there are pictures. Many of them.
|I was super brave and took public transportation from the airport BY MYSELF. Where is my badge of honor?|
|Once Erica recovered, we took a little walk to the reservoir near her apartment.|
|It boggles my mind that people are this talented.|
|Walking the Highline.|
|Doughnut Plant. Will never look at grocery store doughnuts the same way again.|
|Clockwise from top left: creme brulee (everyone's fav), raspberry, tres leches|
|Lunch with our lovely Babble editors!|
|My lovely (petite!) editor, Lindsay.|
|The Babble offices|
|We couldn't NOT go to Tiffany.|
|Taking Janssen's outfit photos in Soho. This is why we need to be neighbors.|
|We didn't get a cronut but we DID use their bathroom.|
|I had to. For the sake of comparison, you know? We also got a creme brulee cookie.|
|This was the day we walked (no joke) 10 miles. We are iron women.|
|Sunset over the Hudson. I need to move here.|
|I drank the New York kool-aid. Hard.|
|We met up with Hediyeh, who I met freshman year of college and now knows Erica and Spencer in NY. It's such a small world.|
|Morning view of the reservoir.|
|A morning walk in Central Park|
|I can't say for certain but this was possibly the best thing I ate while I was there. Liege waffle with speculoos ice cream.|
|Shakespeare Garden (I believe?)|
|From Belvedere Castle|
|I have now had Laduree in both Paris AND New York. Still think the salted caramel is the cat's pajamas.|
|Lunch with friends from freshman year at Cafe Sabarsky. German food! New to me!|
|Central Park killed me.|
|And I'm dead.|
|We made a trip to the Natural History Museum where I took a bunch of pics for my boys. They thought this one was hilarious.|
|Maybe my favorite part of the whole trip...standing under the Brooklyn Bridge and looking toward Manhattan was absolutely drop-dead magically amazing.|
|The anthropology major in me LOVED the Met.|
|More public transportation!|
|We even caught a parade on 5th Ave!|
|Caught a fantastic exhibit on children's literature at the New York Public Library.|
|The original Winnie the Pooh and friends. We were a liiiittle bit teary over this one.|
|Buildings disappearing into the fog|
|The flatiron building!!|
Janssen and I kept saying this weekend couldn't have gone better. Getting there and surprising Erica went SO well. The food was SO good. The weather was ridiculously nice. We walked through so many AWESOME places (also, Erica mapped it and we almost walked a marathon). We had SO much fun together!
After Aaron heard about all the amazing things I ate he was ALL about going to New York with me, so now I have to go back. Darn.