On Christmas Eve day, Mom and I went grocery shopping and did some browsing of Austin Street. Later in the afternoon, we went into the city for fun and hijinks.
Our first destination was the Magnolia Bakery, home of delicious cupcakes. We got turned around a few times on the way, darn those Greenwich Village streets. Before we turned the corner to the right street, I turned to Mom and said, "Want to bet a cupcake that it's closed right now?" She agreed. It was about 3pm. Across the street, a horde of about 30 people came along, eating cupcakes or muffins or something. Spurred on by a shred of hope, we arrived to the storefront. It was not only locked up right then, it WILL be closed until Jan 3. Argh. Anyway.
We found a nearby bus and went up to Rockefeller Center. We spent awhile walking around there and taking pictures through the throngs of people. It was very pretty and very crowded. Mom wanted to go ice skating there, but I checked the prices: $17!! Plus, wait out in the cold for who knows how long? No way. So we ate some grocery-bakery items in the concourse instead.
We also caught the mini light show at Saks; the front of the building (facing the Rockefeller tree) was decorated in big lighted snowflakes. Every fifteen minutes, speakers blared a slightly rock-and-roll version of Carol of the Bells and the snowflakes danced on and off. It was neat.
From there, we walked down Fifth Avenue, then cut over to Times Square, then walked down to Herald Square to look at the Macy's lights. Everything was closed by then, but the lights were pretty and lots of people were about.
We had a buffet/deli dinner around the corner, then headed home.
Christmas Day we got up and opened presents. My students gave me two picture frames, a bottle of perfume, and a set of three porcelain angels. Cute! Stacey gave me this hilarious pretend travel book. I got fleece jackets from Grandma and Mom, and a fleece bathrobe from Dad and co. Mom got me a few more things too, like pajamas, Harry Potter goof glasses, a set of Paris Walks cards, and some Paris-themed kitchen things. Merry Christmas!
Mom was eager to walk around my posh neighborhood, and it was a sunny day. So she wore her fur coat (shut up, you can do that here), and I wore her long white quilted coat, and we gawked at the huge houses in Forest Hills Gardens. Wow. I want to find out some history about this neighborhood; are these houses fifty years old? A hundred? More than that?
The street ended in a T with Union Turnpike, which took me by surprise. We walked north and finally came upon Austin Street. A few stores here and there were open, and we had a tea in Modus Vivendi. The family next to us were parents (slightly foreign mother and fast-talking, wired father) and a high-school daughter. The dad was trying to convince the girl that she should not only study abroad, but do her whole university career in Europe. She was all, stop, Dad, I'm not going to do that, so just stop talking about it. Later, Mom struck up a conversation and we talked travel for a bit. It was funny.
From there, we kept going on Austin Street and saw Phantom of the Opera, the movie version. It was okay. It followed the show quite well. The music was great, but parts were pretty cheesy. Some of the dubbing was off a split second, and all the costumes were cleavage-heavy. Minnie Driver was the lone, welcome comic relief.
At long last, we got home and ate dinner. My cousin visited from Manhattan, we all caught up on life and stuff. It was nice.
And now it's Sunday. Mom cut my hair, it feels very nice. Got rid of all the rough ends, yuck. Today we're thinking of perhaps shopping the after-Christmas sales, and/or visiting Central Park.