There's no amount of books, blogs, or articles that could prepare a man to spend a week in New York with his in-laws. That's not to say I wasn't excited to visit the Big Apple (I was) but 6 people in 1 hotel room for four days adds up to one litmus test of my standing in Maggie's family.
The only other concern I had going into this trip revolved around what I was going to do if a quarrel broke out. I had yet to witness a full-fledged Caldwell brawl that did not involve Maggie and I yelling at each other and making everyone uncomfortable. We escaped unscathed, but there was a toilet-clogging issue and an incident of poor navigation by this guy that pushed us to the brink.
That being said, here are some wonderful pictures taken by my wife with some attempts at humor by me.
Like a true Hoosier, I planned our entire NYC trip around when and where we were going to eat. Every TripAdvisor article I read consistently mentioned Sarabeth's as the premier place to stop. If you like brunch, then make this a priority when you visit. If you don't like brunch, please feel free to stop reading and unfollow me because much of what I do revolves around brunch and brunch-related activities.
The Ladies. The Lasses. The Dames. Props to them for maintaining a smile after four-ish days of C+ humor from yours truly.
I had always assumed that New York City was just a sprawling ground of homeless people and dirty pavement. While that's partially true, this little corner (not too unlike many other little NYC corners) reminded me that there's so much more to NYC than what you assume.
Well, that's it. This picture proves I'll never be cool again. (The Dockers look sharp, though.)
Taking pictures on the Brooklyn Bridge: A time-honored tradition since 1883.
(They've had cameras that long, I checked.)
I look like I'm chaperoning an elementary school field trip. (Khaki game still strong, though.)
I know this is the touristy of all tourist things to say, but the Brooklyn Bridge was remarkably cool. The views are breathtaking, and I kept thinking how people managed to put this together with hammers and planks.
I don't think my wife has ever looked at me the way she is looking at this cupcake.
9/11, a day that has shaped and changed all of our lives, has never been something I could quite comprehend. I never had to survive so much as a house fire in my privileged life. After visiting the 9/11 memorial, it all became real. It's a heavy and touching tribute to those who gave so much, and everyone needs to see it at least once.
The Tree at Rockefeller Plaza. Bigger and more beautiful than I could've imagined. I'm not sure it's possible to take a bad picture of it.
(Although there were many tourists who tried. Myself Included.)
Just your typical American family.
Sidebar: When we arrived at the Today Show, we spent countless moments pondering and debating what our sign should be. I came up with several ideas (all shot down for various reasons), but I thought "Kotb is a Hot B" was surefire gold. To NBC's relief, my vote did not make the final cut.
Hoda Kotb is the greatest selfie-taker, and there is no close second.
Full Disclosure: My family growing up was, and to my knowledge still is, a Good Morning America family. But to each their own.
Willie Geist, everybody. (Under all that makeup.)
It looks like we photoshopped a giant head on his body.
True story, Matt Lauer shook my mother-in-law's hand. Twice.
One of the first observations I made during a "Morning with the Stars [of NBC]" was the excessive amounts of makeup plastered on the anchors' faces. I'll admit, even though I grew up with four sisters, I've never been a great observer of the makeup. But when your face looks like something from Jim Carrey's The Mask, it puts show business in perspective. I mean, I can barely survive a day wearing my wife's moisturizer. I walked into a Sephora once and immediately had an allergic reaction. And by allergic reaction, I mean a ten-year-old-boy-shopping-with-mom meltdown. So a life covered in Maybelline sounds like a disaster.
Vest Day Wednesday.
I've never thought of myself as a "puffy vest wearer," but I am hoping to improve my fashion slowly but surely. Plus, Aladdin wore a vest. And Han Solo. And Clark Gable in Gone With the Wind. And Shrek.
So, I'm now as fashionable as Shrek.
Also, this is my Linkedin profile pic. Take from that what you wish.
This picture of subway tile turned out much better than I originally anticipated. I've learned that when my wife stops in the middle of a New York subway to take a picture of the wall, you do not ask questions.
Doesn't this picture look like something you'd see on an inspirational Pinterest post?
Loving yourself is learning to smile in the rain.
On every trip, Maggie and I aim to locate a used/rare bookstore to see what we can find. I'm still looking for a 1st Edition Great Gatsby. It was no Shop Around the Corner, but it was still a blast to look around.
Christmas in New York has always been an experience I've wondered about while watching many classic Christmas movies. Whenever I ask people their opinion about New York City, usually a negative response follows. "It's dirty." "The people are insane." "Don't take the Subway." Now, I'm not here to profess my undying love to the city where dreams are made of, but our trip to NYC exceeded expectations on multiple levels.
- New York City has a certain buzz about it. I couldn't help but feel like there was always something going on, some type of adventure I would miss out on if I called it a night and went back to the hotel.
- There's a never-ending list of great places to eat. (And a never-ending amount of digits in the bill.)
- Ice Skating in Central Park with your wife is romantic until she undercuts you, dragging you to the ice while she somehow remains upright.
- Getting dressed while sharing a hotel room with your in-laws is tricky business. That's all I'll say about that.
- Visiting new places is almost always enjoyable. Yes, even New York.