Hunting Moments of Relaxation — By Laura Houston
I have discovered the importance of recharging my batteries. This is not a new concept, but it is an unfamiliar one to me. It’s hard to let go. It’s hard to trust someone else with the kids. It’s hard to put on makeup, heels and a pushup bra and venture out of the apartment. My energy is tapped by 2:00 in the afternoon. I wish I could have a date at 10:00am. And not a play date. But a real date.
But I promised myself I would get gussied up and go out. No matter how tired. No matter how fat I feel. So every Friday night my husband and I leave the boys with Lili and go out and play tourist in the Big Apple. I find I am happier for it. And here are a few of my favorite things we have done that make me feel young again:
Drinks on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Right now and only for a very short time they have the Big Bambu exhibit on the roof. It changes every time I see it, and it fills me with amazement watching the rock climbers continue to expand their art form. The drinks are good. The views are legendary.
Catching a Broadway show. There are two that really make me rock in my seat. The first one is Million Dollar Quartet. It’s the story of the night Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins got together for a famed recording session. The music is familiar, but so much more fun performed live. The Jerry Lee Lewis character is the most compelling and at the time the least known. I could have watched him all night.
The other Broadway show that rocks my world is Green Day’s American Idiot. I’ve seen it twice, and it fills me with that long lost teenage angst and reminds me of what it like to feel like I could ride the music anywhere.
A Culinary Picnic: The best picnic I have ever had consisted of a lobster roll from Luke’s Lobster. While standing in line, you’ll rub shoulders with some of the Upper East Side’s famous residents, so the wait is fun. And worth it. These lobster rolls are not drowning in mayo and sauce. No. They are pure, succulent, tender lobster with just a touch of celery salt. Go ahead. Get two. You’ll eat both of them. Pair the lobster rolls with a glass of Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay. Park yourself close to Strawberry Fields or Sheep’s Meadow for great people watching. Finish off your meal with some champagne and a pastry from Soutine Bakery. It’s one of those hidden gems on the Upper West Side. The cheese pastry is my favorite. Get one for breakfast tomorrow. Oh. And their pies make Alabama Grandmothers jealous. Might as well get one of those, too.
Progressive Dinners. There are way too many wonderful restaurants in New York, so why not do a progressive dinner? The Village is our favorite place right now. We go to three different restaurants and have appetizers and drinks. If you have the kids with you and the day is nice, hit kid-friendly TriBeCa. You can hop from sidewalk café to sidewalk café, and no one cares if you spill on the sidewalks.
I don’t enjoy shopping, so I found SoHo to be underwhelming. I have yet to find one of those wonderful boutiques in Manhattan that has nice, beautiful, well made clothing for a reasonable price. And it has to be reasonable. I’m a mom. Anything I wear is going to get ruined by milk, applesauce or spit up. If any readers have any suggestions, I would love to hear them.
I like to think of blogs as a dialog, so if any moms out there have suggestions, I would love to hear them.
And for the record, my very favorite way to relax and unwind is at 5am when Lyle and Wyatt are stirring for the day. I bring them to bed with us, and we listen to their sleepy breaths and their little cries as they brace themselves for the day. It’s an hour of sleepy, dreamy bliss, and it’s one of the magic moments of motherhood.