Having back to back birthdays is never easy. I worry about Jenn's upcoming birthday on my day and she is busy making sure I have a great day just a day before its her big day. Regardless over the almost eight years we have been together we have managed to work it out exceptionally well.
Each day Jenn and I have woken up and looked at the weather to make sure our itinerary jived with the upcoming forecast and adjusted as needed. Since today was forecasted to have rain on and off for the entire day we decided that a carriage ride in the park would be best done in the sunshine so we switched the American National History Museum for today. We woke up at (surprise, surprise) around 10 AM and began to get ready for the day. We were feeling exceptionally lazy this morning and since it was Jenn's birthday we laid around for as long as possible.
We made our way out of the beautiful Surrey Hotel at around noon and made our way through central park and on over to Central Park West down to the Lincoln Center on 65th street. However we didn't make it all the way to 65th before realizing it was time to stop for a much needed birthday lunch. Since it was Jenn's pick we went to a really quaint little Italian Restaurant called Bello Giardino on 71st street. We were seated in this really quaint back patio with a roof filled with grape vines and ceiling fans to keep it cool. Jenn had spaghetti with meatballs and vanilla ice cream and I had penne alla vodka with a house salad. Both of our meals were fantastic, super rich with flavor, and just an all around great experience.
Jenn Walking Through Central Park
Jenn Sitting at the Italian Restaurant Ready for Her Birthday Lunch
Enjoying Jenns B-Day Lunch
Delicious Vodka Pasta
Jenn's Spaghetti with Meatballs
Eating at Bello Giardino
From the really nice lunch we walked down to 65th street to the Lincoln Center to pick up our tickets for our symphony that night. We picked those up and then walked all the way back to 79th street to the American National History Museum. The weather today was a good ten to fifteen degrees cooler then the past few which made walking everywhere much more bearable. The museum itself was actually a lot of fun. Both Jenn and I walked around making up much of our own versions of history for many of the different areas of the museum.
One of the big highlights for both of us within the museum was the dinosaur section. They have some of the biggest dinosaur exhibits around and they are truly breathtaking to look at. Not only are the bones in amazingly good quality but their recreations and stature are incredible. One of the things we got free with the City Pass besides skipping all of the lines was an IMAX viewing of "Journey to the Stars". We missed our designated 3:30 showing but were allowed to come back and see the 4:30 which we did and were kind of bummed we hung around to watch it. It was an incredible quality of video but I think both Jenn and I were snoozing a bit during the thirty minute long performance.
Standing in Front of an Awesome Dinasour
Jenn Showing Her Inner T-Rex
When we got out of the museum the weather took a huge turn for the worse and started pouring rain. Jenn in a skirt and a blouse was in no way dressed to walk the mile back to our hotel so she nabbed us a taxi (nailed it again) and we got back to the hotel safe and sound.
We had around 3 hour gap between the time we got back to the hotel and when we needed to leave for the symphony so we ordered a pizza and picked it up a few blocks away. This is our first and only time eating New York pizza on this trip so we were both pretty excited about it. Walking to the pizza place wasn't bad it was pretty dry and was only sprinkling rain. From the moment we picked up the pizza it started to pour again and being the two smartest people in New York we didn't bring an umbrella with us so we pretty much ran back to the hotel. The good news was the pizza survived and we chowed down on it right when we got back to the hotel. According to Yelp we got the pizza from one of the best in the Upper East Side but neither Jenn and I loved it. It was good don't get me wrong but it wasn't the amazing pizza that people have raved about.
A Big New York Pizza
Chowing Down on A Gigantic Pizza with a Coke
We had about an hour or so to get ready for our symphony that started at 8PM. Both Jenn and I have always talked about going to a symphony but have never been to one. When we booked New York that was one of the things that we said we wanted to do while we were here so Jenn booked us tickets to a symphony called "Mostly Mozart." Let me just say that Jenn looked absolutely stunning in the dress she wore for the symphony. It might have been raining outside but you would have never known it by taking one glance at her. She had only wore this dress one other time on our Europe Cruise in 2008 and it still fit her like a glove. When we went to get a taxi about 30 minutes before the start of the performance it was once again coming down cats and dogs outside. With the help of people staying at the hotel (Jenn couldn't help due to her dress) we were able to nab a cab and make it to the symphony with plenty of time to spare.
Jenn Never Ceases to Amaze Me
Jenn as always did not let us down with amazing seats for the symphony. We were in the box seats almost directly above the orchestra and somehow managed to get the box all to ourselves. The symphony itself was incredible to say the least. The music was amazing, the environment electric, and the experience was simply memorable. Although the performance was almost two hours long it felt like 15 minutes. They had a few songs with two famous violinists, and a few more with a world renowned opera singer. It definitely ignited a flame in both of us to get out and experience more symphonies in the future.
Sitting in our Box at the Symphony
Getting Ready for a Beautiful Symphony
From the symphony we grabbed a taxi in the pouring rain and headed back to our hotel to pack for our 5:45 AM flight home tomorrow. You couldn't ask for a better way to not only finish off Jenn's birthday but also an amazing trip to The Big Apple.