A Weekend in NYC—And A Big Surprise! Part One

I’m pretty sure that I mentioned to you that Bonaparte and I were headed to Manhattan for an overnight stay.  My daughter, Oona and her boyfriend, Sam were spending the weekend in The Big Apple because she has a week of business meetings and her boyfriend, Sam, had only been to New York for day trips.

Casual Summer City Street Style!  Camo and sandals!!

It was a great plan to be able to get together since we don’t get to see each other that much anymore.  Cincinnati isn’t that far but between her busy work schedule and business trips, it’s not easy.  And so, this weekend was special.

Will we all get to see the skyline up close?  Read on….

But—it didn’t start out that way….

Thursday evening, I fell asleep early.  Work’s been knocking me out—with sitting in front of a computer all day and problem solving and multi-tasking, it’s tiring.  And at around ten-thirty, Bonaparte woke me up to a ringing phone.  It was Oona and she was incredibly upset.


My beauty sleep was interupted!!

The weather in Cincy was horrific.  And because of this, all flights out of the airport were cancelled.  Oona and Sam’s flight was cancelled.  She had a meltdown, I was on the verge of a meltdown too, but they took a risk and rented a car to drive to New York.  It was a smart move because they couldn’t get a flight until Sunday.  There goes the weekend. Right?  Wrong!

With a few hours’ sleep, both woke up early for the ten-hour drive and by afternoon arrived at their hotel downtown.  We stayed in the Marriott East Side in midtown.

Image result for marriott east side nyc

We love our Marriott Hotels!

And so, the weekend went back to being a good one because at least we would all be able to have dinner together. More on this later!

Our Saturday started out with Bonaparte bringing Chippy to Doggie Day Care early; I got ready and we were off to the City!

Dress was street casual for me.  I packed my olive-green pants, a white tee and a camo tee. I like to have a choice with shirts.  My Rondini bikini sandals and a simple black dress were packed for dinner.  In fact, the camo scarf that I ordered from Amazon arrived Friday and I was able to pack it to wear with the dress!

Here’s a better look at what I wore for traipsing around Manhattan on a hot July Day! I went with dark hair as per Bonaparte’s request.  I’m wearing Estetica’s Wren!

And to be comfy but not sloppy, I wore the new skinny camo jeans that were purchased at Old Navy with a white tee and Tropezienne sandals, also by Rondini.  The sandals are perfect for walking around because at almost ten years old, they are broken in to perfection!  Any tote bag was left home because when traipsing around cities, a zippered bag is my preference.  My leather Longchamp bag was perfect because it carries a ton of stuff and matches both pairs of sandals!

The husband, ever the planner, made a wise move.  He ordered tickets for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in advance and we had three-day access to any Met museum.

Access to the entire MET family is a great deal–and purchasing in advance means no lines!

Since check-in at the hotel wasn’t until four in the afternoon, our plan was to hit The Cloisters when we arrived over the GW bridge and after that, drive down to the Upper East Side to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The weather was absolutely beautiful as we arrived at The Cloisters.  If you aren’t familiar, The Cloisters is uptown in Ft. Tryon Park.  Nestled in the Fort Washington area of NYC, it’s just below the Inwood section where I lived for years.

At 10:00 in the mornin’, Bridge traffic was pretty bad–but it’s to be expected!

We drove up the Henry Hudson Pkway. I can’t begin to tell you how many times, I’ve passed these buildings…

And we exited at  Fort Tryon Park–my old neighborhood!

The view from the short walk from the parking area to the museum is spectacular.  A good view of the boats on the Hudson and New Jersey!

And I’m so ashamed to say that in all the years I lived in New York—from Queens to Long Island, then to Brooklyn Heights, then the Upper West Side then to Inwood, I had never been to The Cloisters.  Bonaparte was rather perplexed as to why I hadn’t been to this wonderful treasure of a museum and I really had no answer other than a meek shrug and an “I dunno”.

At The Cloisters Museum.  Bonaparte makes his way up the steps..

This exhibit, Fashion and the Catholic Imagination was fabulous–and it wasn’t about the imagination of girls in Catholic School Uniforms either!  Here’s a look.  Jean-Paul Gautier.  Alexander McQueen and others’ designs are showcased and beautifully curated because they blend in so well with the structure of the building and the surrounding artifacts.

Among the designers showcased were Alexander McQueen and Jean-Paul Gaultier

The exhibit was incredibly well-curated..

A Catholic Bride…

And another–I felt like I was in The Sound Of Music when Maria married Captian Von Trapp!

Fashionable hats on cast iron poles look like caps from Nun’s habits!

And I really don’t know why I had never bothered to go there because it is astounding.

A Unicorn tapestry

Iconic detailing

Stained Glass Windows

Mary and the Holy Child

A centuries-old Mary and Child

A Walk through the courtyard.

And a better view from the garden

It’s a quiet treasure apart from the city stress and noise.  It’s in one of the most bucolic areas of the city on a hill overlooking the Hudson river.  The views are incredible.

A great view of an almost hidden GW Bridge from the Terrace

A great place to find solace in The City!

Another tidbit of greatness is that the parking is free—which is unheard of in Manhattan!  The earlier you arrive the better your chances of a decent parking space though.  We arrived at the right time too because when we left at about noon, the crowds were arriving.  Bonaparte was thrilled to hear many people speaking in French—I was surprised because I hadn’t realized that so many French were visiting New York.  I thought they would all be down in the Cote d’Azur!

I even treated myself to a book of the Saints!!! Be still my heart!!!

We took the long way downtown by driving down Broadway.  It still gives me great pleasure to see all the colorful boutiques, local ethnic restaurants and markets and the daily activity of life during the summer months.  That’s what I miss so much—the activity.  Always something to do. Somewhere to go.

By the time we arrived at the Met, the crowds were deep.  Summer tourists and out-of-towners like us, as well as locals were seeking cultural refuge…and air conditioning! Thanks to the smarts of my husband, we didn’t have to wait on line!

The crowds were moving in at the Met.  The woman behind me was yelling to her friends to hurry up.  I love New Yorkers!!  We’re a loud but fun bunch!

This is just a sampling of the admissions line!

TIP:  Heading into New York City?  Whether for a vacation stay, a long weekend or a day-trip, buy tickets to museums in advance.  You’ll escape the long lines and have more time to enjoy exhibits.

The Met was hosting an exhibit on Versailles—and I think we caught it on the last day.  B wanted to see this exhibit and after we saw it, we both agreed that if you’ve been to Versailles in France, the exhibit was average.  But if you’ve never been to the Palace at Versailles, the exhibit was pretty interesting.

The Three Louis of Versailles.  Louis Quatorze, Louis Quinze and Louis Seize  of the French Nose!

Some authentic Versailles ensembles. I love the striped number and that guy’s coat. I would so wear that now but I think I’m too large for it. Those people were little nuggets of fashion!

I’m obsessed.

And the thought of how to steal this DID cross my mind!


We liked the Eugene Delacroix drawings exhibit better.

I’m a huge Delacroix fan. I think he’s an underrated talent and it was such a thrill to see an exhibit dedicated to his drawings.

A Delacroix watercolor

And, we spend a good portion of the afternoon looking at, and admiring, many of the great works of art.



Picasso–I could have spent the entire afternoon here.

Back out to the heat and to get the car!

Need a cab?  Go to the museum and grab one!

By now it was just about  an hour till check-in at the Hotel. We got into the car and drove the forty odd blocks downtown. But first we made a stop at La Maison du Chocolat on Madison Avenue.  We made a macaron purchase and ate eight of them during the drive. I have no shame.

The macaron were bagged in pairs.  We ate four pair!

We passed the most beautifully embellished florist..

And my sons’ old school!

I have to admit, The Marriott East Side is location, location, location at it’s best.  On Lexington and 49th Street, it’s convenient for a walk up to Rock Plaza, Central Park, Broadway, tons of shopping and is just steps away from the subway.  Getting a cab is easy too.

It’s not a super-luxurious hotel and it isn’t a flea-bag either.  It’s an upscale hotel in an older building—and that means character and charm.  The staff is crazy-friendly and incredibly helpful.  The room we had was off the beaten path.  On a floor with limited rooms and our room was fantastic—up 33 floors and quiet.

The view from the room

We dropped our stuff off and went for a little walk up to Rock Plaza!

30 Rock. Where Roman works..

And NBC News–where Jake worked before moving to L.A.

I own the City!!!

So, here’s the thing.  We decided to take a rest before we were to meet Oona and Sam.  We figured earlier in the day that we would meet for a drink at about 6:15 then walk to the restaurant around seven.

With Bonaparte taking a short nap, and me perusing social media, I was somewhat surprised when the phone rang minutes before 5 o’clock.  It was Oona.  She wanted to know if there was a bar at the hotel.  When I said yes, she answered that she and Sam were on the way.

I quickly got dressed—and had no time to change into my other wig!  Bonaparte woke up and I explained that Oona and Sam were meeting us earlier than expected but he could nap a bit longer and meet us down at the bar.  He decided to come with me.

Another phone call to let me know that Oona and Sam were waiting at a table in the Hotel Bar.

When we got to the table, Oona and Sam looked so cute! They didn’t look like they drove ten hours from Ohio to NY either.  Youth! Anyway, Oona hugged me then showed me something.

It was on her finger and it wasn’t a band-aid either.  It was an engagement ring!

OONA GOT ENGAGED IN CENTRAL PARK!!!!!!!!!!  She was born in NYC and she became engaged to be married in NYC’s Central Park.  Sam proposed in Central Park!

The ring. I was shaking so hard I couldn’t get a decent photo…

After a bit of the bubbly, I was able to calm myself down to take this photo!

Well—I let out a scream so loud that the entire hotel staff practically came running.  I proudly announced that my daughter got engaged and we were gifted with a complimentary bottle of champagne! How great is that?

What a surprise on this wonderful weekend.  I’m also gaining a great son-in-law too!

The cute couple!  I’m so happy for them!!  Oona and Sam are a great couple!

We all had a delightful dinner at Le Relais de Venise.  I’ve written about this restaurant before.  It’s become our “go-to” restaurant in the city after Les Halles closed.  The menu is limited to salad, steak and frites and dessert.  And the steak is cooked (or in my case barely cooked) to order and it’s just one of those restaurants that you know you’ll get a consistently good meal.

This joint.  It’s now “our” go-to!

After Kir Royals, we started off with salad…

Followed by steak frites and that sauce is to-die-for..

Profiteroles for dessert!  YUM!

Oona and Sam, still beaming, were headed out into the evening for more celebrating downtown and we went back to our hotel.

Part Two Continued Tomorrow………




About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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41 Responses to A Weekend in NYC—And A Big Surprise! Part One

  1. Toni says:

    What a wonderful weekend you had and congratulations on your daughter’s engagement. I just know once she starts shopping for a wedding dress, your stories are going to be great.😊

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Toni! Thank you so much! Hahahaha. I already have a blog post in mind about ugly Mother-of-the-Bride dresses. The search for mine has begun!!! And I’m sure Oona and I will be debating about wedding dresses too!!! XOXOXOXOXOXO

  2. Fiona says:

    What a fab weekend! The Versailles exhibition looks fascinating….and I have been there, but it was about 35 years ago and I can hardly remember a thing. The meal in Le Relaise de Venise looks exceptionnel! You must all be so excited about the forthcoming wedding, what lovely news. Xx

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Fiona! The exhibit wasn’t bad if you need some memory refreshing!!! Oh that meal. It’s gonna be a while till I consume heavy sauces for a while–Gotta get in wedding shape!!! XOXOXOXOXOX

  3. Nancy says:

    Congretulations on your daughter! What a lovely photos!

  4. Penny says:

    What a great time you’ve had and those museums! So good. Congratulations on daughter getting engaged. Btw, since that ….GDPR I’ve been having issues with WordPress. (Also Blogger but that I solved. I an only comment using Firefox) At the moment I’m logged in to WordPress but it won’t let me ‘like’ you. I’ll see if this comment disappears! Lots love xxxx

    • Catherine says:

      HI Penny! So far–so good with seeing the comment! WP can be challenging at times because any issue I’ve had took forever to fix–for the money I pay, the customer service is questionable–but I’m so used to WP that I can’t be bothered to change to another host. And thank you! Miss Oona is beaming for sure!!! XOXOXOXOXO

  5. Julie says:

    Your a fabulous writer in how you described your holiday. I felt I was right there. It was great you got to see daughters ring in person,nice looking couple.

    • Catherine says:

      Thanks Julie. Your comment about my writing made my day!!!Oh. I was thrilled to be a part of the celebration!!!! It was very touching for me! XOXOXOXOXO

  6. Lise says:

    Congratulations on Oona’s engagement!! Exciting times ahead 🙂 You look so stylish in camo. Lise

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Lise! Thank you so much!! LOL. While Oona is deciding on a dress to wear, I’ll be deciding what hair to wear—!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XOXOXOXOXO

  7. Judy says:

    You tell this like no one else could, Catherine! What a lovely surprise and what a happy day! Congratulations all round.

  8. hipchick66 says:

    Congrats again, and thank you for sharing all of those wonderful photos! I needed that this morning, since I just brought Mom home from the hospital and it’s much harder than either of us thought!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Lori! Glad to give you some fun time with the pics! But I’m happier that your mom is home!! Here’s to a quick recovery for her!!!! XOXOXOXOXOXO

  9. Miss Bougie says:

    Ohhh, proposal in Central Park!!!! Likey, likey very much! Hugs to the couple.

    I love the Met and every time we’re in NYC we pay a visit. We’ve been to the Cloisters aeons ago, when we were expats in the city. I remember liking the countryside feel of it and, if I remember correctly, the Tiffany art exhibited. It took us ages to get there by bus from midtown.
    Love Midtown too, so close to everything. It is our old stomping ground as our apartment was at E51st and 2nd Avenue. All the memories…..only good memories!

    Can’t wait to read part II.

    • Catherine says:

      Hey B! Yeah–one thing about the Met is that it’s never boring and no matter how many times you go there, it’s always a great time! Bonaparte used to live in the 60’s on the UES. I was on the Upper West Side until we moved up by the Cloisters–and I’m so ashamed that I had never been there. It was such a beautiful time!! Always good memories of living in NYC!!! XOXOXOXO

  10. Ellie says:


  11. Denise says:

    Amazing pictures…congratulations to your daughter! What a terrific surprise!

  12. Pingback: A Weekend in NYC—And A Big Surprise! Part One | Atypical 60 – International Badass Activists

  13. Sandra says:

    Congratulations on your daughter’s engagement. They do look like a lovely couple. I love the Cloisters and visited many times. We lived in Westchester County for 31 years, so it was an easy drive.

    A destination wedding in France would be ideal!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Sandra! Thank you–oh, they make the greatest couple. It’s wonderful to see them together and they will have a special lifetime together too! I used to drive to Westchester to go shopping. The old John Wanamaker, Central Ave……lots of good memories! XOXOXOXOXO

  14. Marsha Calhoun says:

    Such happiness! I love it.

  15. Jeanne says:

    Congratulations!!! I was getting almost as excited as you, reading along!

  16. Charlotte says:

    Congratulations! Looking forward to Part II. Always love you weekend stories.

  17. Juliet says:

    Congratulations to Oona and Sam!!!! he is an absolute keeper – what a wonderful romantic proposal, they look so cute and so happy. And what a wonderful weekend – I am loving the museum and the food/macarons, you need to be our tour guide – seriously we can all come and wander about and have the best time. Looking forward to part2!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Juliet! Thank you so much!!! He definitely is a keeper and he’s a great guy too!!! The weekend was just fabulous–I’m so comfortable when I’m back in NYC. I love city life–never boring and you can walk forever and always be entertained!! It’s a crying shame that the middle class got shut out and it has become a bastien for the wealthy. I despise developers!!! XOXOXOXOXOXO

  18. Juliet says:

    p.s totally love a bit of cloister, there is something about them – gorgeous

  19. I’m so happy for you all. Congratulations! Now the fun begins.

  20. Gialately says:

    Are you looking for things to do in Queens this month? Check out my list of things happening in the borough I love so much!
    If you like what you see, please share the list with family and friends who also love to know what’s going on in Queens! Drop a comment on the post itself if you have time 🙂

    • Catherine says:

      OMG. Thank you so much Gia!!!!!!!!!!!! I was born in Queens–Rockaway Beach and my dad was a cop in the station house across from Playland–I think it was the 100 or the 101. Ozone Park till I moved to L.I.!!! I’ll check this out. Thank you!!!!!!! XOXOXOXO

  21. emjayandthem says:

    Loved all of this, and especially the delight and joy you have for your daughter’s big news! Wonderful!! 🙂 MJ

  22. Irene says:

    Congrats to your daughter on her engagement. Out of all the wigs I have seen in your articles, the one you wore to New York is my favorit,

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