The truth is, things were not very well planned. Rob and I had thought we would have an early morning start with them but, as it turned out, they couldn't get into the city from NJ before business hours (or perhaps they were trying to avoid rush hour which, let's be honest, is perfectly understandable). And then they would not stay all day but leave shortly after one in the afternoon. And here we'd just bought all this stuff for them to enjoy in our hotel room before we headed out to dinner with them. Oops.
We headed off to Grand Central Station where we had planned on meeting. Further evidence of "our" poor planning: Kelly and Michael arrived in Manhattan at Penn Station and we could have easily met them there. However, the arrangement was that we would meet them at the Big Clock in Grand Central Station. Rob wasn't sure I'd found the right Big Clock because, as he exaggeratedly said, "I could put that in my pocket."
In spite of his doubting me, a native New Yorker, Kelly and Michael found us at the not-quite-as-big-as-Rob-thought-it-would-be-clock and that was when we found out they wanted to catch a train back to NJ at 1ish. That still left us plenty of time together. Time to grab some breakfast at a place in Grand Central before walking north on Fifth Avenue to St Patrick's Cathedral.
Rob really wanted to see the cathedral because he was raised Catholic and is also Irish. Kelly and Michael were likewise raised in religious homes. I remember my mother taking me to the cathedral when I was a child. I don't know if she was still holding onto some residual faith herself but she had raised me areligious so these trips to the cathedral were like visiting a museum for me. I remember lighting candles and such but it all had no meaning beyond something one did in this place.
We eventually made it to the New York Public Library Main Branch but we didn't go inside. To the best of his ability, Rob kept me away from books for much our trip.
While Rob took pictures, Kelly took advantage of the time to sit and relax. It's easy to see the two of them are related, both of them relaxed, laid back, calm. Of course, Michael kept suggesting we should move north, that Rob and I could find a place in NJ, that Rob could find work easily, that if I were working from home it wouldn't matter where we live, etc.
We walked through the Garment District on our way to Penn Station, which is where we found these two large bears sitting on a park bench. Michael got a better picture of the pair but this will have to suffice. We reached Penn Station early enough for us to sit down and have a snack. Kelly and Michael ordered some appetizers and drinks while Rob had water and I had a vodka and orange juice. Much kissing and hugging as we said our good-byes and Rob and I took the subway back to our neighborhood.
The Ray's Pizza of my fondest memories is no longer in business but we found another not far from the hotel and we went there to grab a pizza to take to our room. It was not good. No, that's not quite right; it was not good enough. The pizza I remembered was so heavy with cheese and such that you couldn't lift it without the cheese sliding off. You had to eat the first few bites with a knife and fork until everything set. I was understandably disappointed and, after such a long day fighting a losing battle against a head cold, I ended up going to bed around 5 and falling asleep very early, with hopes of feeling better in the morning.