This past week went by in a blur. Wednesday morning I was in the office for about 3 hours, then hopped in a cab to O’Hare for what was supposed to be a quick in-and-out work trip. We had a presentation to give in New Jersey on Thursday morning, so the plan was to fly to New York on Wednesday afternoon, have a nice dinner that evening, do our thing on Thursday and come straight home.
Ah, the best-made plans…
Apparently Wednesday was Barack Obama’s birthday, which meant he wanted to come home to Chicago for a day or two. Which mean that all of O’Hare was shut down because the flight plan for Air Force One is top-secret, and no one knew when he would be landing. We sat in O’Hare for four hours, drinking and answering emails on our iPhones and wondering if we would ever get out. By the time we landed at La Guardia, got our rental car, and drove to NJ to check in to the very nice Governor Morris Westin, it was 11:30 pm. So much for a nice dinner out!
The next morning, we did our one-hour presentation, and then hopped back in the car to drive back to La Guardia. Somehow this involved us driving right through Times Square–I was navigating, and I have no idea why we went that way but we did. The traffic was horrible of course, and everything everybody says about New York City drivers is totally true–they’re scary! I snapped this picture with my phone while we were sitting in traffic.
By the time we got to La Guardia, navigated the insane car return system, and got to our gate, we were so ready to be home. We boarded the plane, settled in, and the captain came over their air with one of those classic airline announcements. There were bad storms in DC (where we had to make a connection back to Chicago) and we were going to back away from our gate and sit on the runway. He estimated we’d sit for 3 hours (because that’s the limit of how long they can make you sit) before returning to the gate and gave us the option to get off and make other arrangements. We took the option and ended up booking a flight for 9 am the next day.
As disappointed as I was to not get home that night (and a little stressed due to a couple of big meetings the next day that I had to reschedule), we did end up having a nice evening. We found a nice hotel back in Times Square (and thankfully took a cab there!), did a little shopping, and had a wonderful dinner at ViceVersa. If you find yourself in Manhattan and are looking for a relaxing, fresh, filling Italian dinner, I highly recommend it.
I started with a small plate of spaghetti with fresh crab. Why oh why have I never considered putting crab meat into tomato sauce before?! It was so simple and so good. I will definitely be making this on my own at some point. For my entree, I had sesame seed-encrusted salmon with mashed potatoes and spinach. Also very good, but with the small plate it was just too much food. Still, we ordered dessert. I chose cheesecake and was highly disappointed. It looked like cheesecake and had the right texture, but it was so overly sweet that I couldn’t eat more than two bites. Despite that, I’d absolutely go back to ViceVersa. And select a different dessert.
Our flight the next day was thankfully uneventful. I even made it to a meeting downtown that I was convinced I was going to miss. After all of that, I was desperately in need of a weekend!
I don’t have any new travel planned until Labor Day weekend (we’re going to a wedding out of town). Between now and then, I’m going to soak up every minute of being home and get back to regular cooking for sure.