Monday, January 31, 2011

"OPEN YOUR MOOOOUTH!" or, World Traveler Visits New Jersey

My middle sister, Amy, age 21.88, is pretty cool. A few years ago, she lived in Japan, teaching English to Kindergartners. A couple months after that, she attended school in Sweden for a semester. Two years ago, she and I visited Morocco. Last year, she moved there for six whole months and Mom, Dad, and I visited her. (Oops. There's a blog thread I never finished. Heh.) After all of that exciting travel, guess which exotic location was next on her list???

NEW JERSEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!


She arrived late one Thursday, exhausted, but excited to see her favorite (ahem, only) older sister and of course, Faraday.

Welcome to NJ, Amy!!

I greeted her with a crayon-ed sign, because that's the best!

We slept in. I made her a latte and a green smoothie. I headed off to lab for a few hours and left her with Faraday, my laptop, and the espresso machine (the girl's a barista, when not touring the world; she'll need seconds).

While flapping away with FORTRAN, I received this adorable picture:
Amy and Faraday

That evening, ten friends, Amy, and I had dinner at the most amazing restaurant in the area: Banzai Hibachi Grill. We always order the hibachi dinner, which comes with salad bar, soup, fried rice, noodles, shrimp, and two or three of chicken, scallops, or steak, PLUS ice cream (red bean or green tea are the best). We also have to get warm sake, because that's amazing. So much food. SO much. It's all grilled right in front of you with massive amounts of garlic by super enthusiastic chefs who ridicule you the whole time! Awesome! They make flaming onion volcanoes, blow fire all around, squirt cooking alcohol into your mouth with condiment squirt bottles, and throw vegetables at you. (The last two actions are accompanied by "OPEN YOUR MOOOOUTH!!!", which became the catchphrase of our sister weekend.)

Here is our chef (and Meg):

One always leaves Banzai reeking of garlic and with enough leftovers for at LEAST one more filling meal. Love it.

Saturday morning, dearest Amy and I took the train up to NYC. Dear, eight-degrees-Fahrenheit NYC. Yes. It was cold. We stepped out of Penn Station and froze. We found the nearest Starbucks and warmed up.

We froze in Times Square:
We freeze in Times Square.

We found Magnolia Bakery in Rockefeller Center and warmed up:
Mocha cupcake at Magnolia Bakery in Rockefeller Center
Chocolate orange!
Chocolate orange.


We visited a few more stores and froze. We warmed up in the Olive Garden. (Soup, salad, and breadsticks for girls on a budget, baby. Plus lots of seating in the theater district. Plus clean, empty bathrooms.)

Finally, it was time to line up at the Minskoff Theater for the matinee showing of the LION KING!!!

It. Was. So. Cold. Have I mentioned? Can you truly understand how cold the single digits are? Probably a bunch of you can. Minnesotans and Wisconsinites. *shivers*

Me with Mufasa

We had terrific seats, right in the center and near the front of the mezzanine. We sat next to a darling three-year-old boy, who remained quietly enthralled the entire show. The Lion King was incredible. COMPLETELY incredible. Rafiki opened the show with her (yes, Rafiki is played by a woman) unbelievably strong voice and gave me goosebumps.


The animals slowly and majestically lumbered on stage from all directions; some were even up with us! The entire thing was so gorgeous and inspiring that I choked up for most of it. I know, I know. I felt a lot like this (thanks Piper!):

BUT I AM SERIOUS. YOU SHOULD GO SEE IT. IT WAS WORTH THE EXORBITANT AMOUNT OF MONEY IT COST. (But Ticketmaster Person, you are the lowest form of human being for charging me $2 to email the tickets to myself.)

Later that evening, Amy the Sweetheart bought me dinner! We had yummy Turkish food at Akdeniz. I've been there a few times (including with our brother David) and it is always delicious. (The servers aren't bad, either...)

Chilled to the bone, we decided to hoof it and catch an early train home. Good thing--we were exhausted.
Sleepy girls on the train home from NYC

Sunday, we went to church, where she got to meet some more of my friends. We enjoyed an afternoon in Princeton, wandering around and seeing The King's Speech (TERRIFIC).
AMy enjoys frigid Palmer Square

That night, we made pasta and watched Hamlet with David Tennant and Patrick Stewart:
Pesto pasta, grapes, and wine!
Faraday the Shakespeare Cat

Monday, I skipped lab. We were bums. She made bacon, I made smoothies and dirty chai. We watched Doctor Who with Faraday.
Smoothies, dirty Chai, bacon.
Bubbins watches TV with us

We may have had Cheez-its for lunch.

Then I drove her to the airport. :(
Amy Loves Heem

The beauty heads back to Morocco soon. I love you, Amy!

1 comment:

Steffi said...

Hooray for sister visits and hibachi!!! That sounds like such an amazing extended weekend. And I love the sign you made for her :)