Today we had a lovely Mother's Day outing in New York City! Our day started off with a lovely brunch buffet at Brasserie 8 1/2. I've been to Brasserie, but had never been to Brasserie 8 1/2-- and it was a really nice surprise! I will say, buffets are always a little bit stressful (it always seems like a bit of a shark feeding frenzy) but the staff was wonderful and they made sure the tables were full of goodies! Some of the stuff included: little take out containers filled with Chinese chicken salad, mini pulled pork sandwiches on Cinnamon biscuits, carving stations, an omelet/crepe station (where the Husband and Miss B scored a chocolate/banana/strawberry crepe), shrimp, bagels and lox, fabulous garlic fingerling roasted potatoes, an assortment of salads, pastries, and other breakfast items including eggs Benedict, sausage and bacon. Let's not even discuss the dessert buffet! It included little hostess-cupcake like mini cupcakes with ganache frosting, peanut butter pie, espresso pie, all sorts of petite fours, strawberry cheesecake bites, chocolate/pistachio cannoli, etc., etc.
After brunch we walked up to the Central Park Zoo and went to the Children's Zoo and the regular zoo. The Children's Zoo is always a lot of fun... as for the regular Zoo... on our map it said: "Snow Leopards! New!" When we walked over? The Snow Leopard habitat is still under construction. The Snow Leopards are in Queens, or someplace, because they're not at the Zoo! After that I wanted a discount! But, all was well after the Zoo when we hit up a Mister Softee truck and got a swirl cone. That made up for the absentee Snow Leopards!
Then, while Miss B. napped in the stroller, we walked around midtown since it was such a nice day. We headed over to 52nd Street and went to Mario Badescu so I could pick up some of their Vitamin E Hand Cream. I had gotten a sample at Christmas time and it really does a great job on dry hands... What a nice surprise when I said I'd take the regular size container and it was all of $8.32! How can you beat that?
Then, we walked back and picked up the car and headed home. On the way to the Holland Tunnel we saw Jon Stewart with his daughter walking on Hudson Street... I submitted it via blackberry on Gawker Stalker so we'll have to see if it makes the cut as an update! While waiting in traffic on Hudson Street the Husband decided to call in to 511 and find out about traffic info. The call was over the bluetooth so it was on speakerphone in the car. The traffic update system through the turnpike and the bridge/tunnel authority is an automated system. The man on the automated system kept asking us to clarify what bridge or tunnel we wanted information about. Every time the Husband would shout "Holland Tunnel" Miss B. would follow immediately with "No-no!" (or it could have been Nonna, we're not sure) so the conversation was something like this:
Automated Attendant: "What Bridge or Tunnel do you want to find out information about?"
Automated Attendant: "I'm sorry, I didn't get that, what bridge or tunnel do you want to find out information about?"
AA: "I'm sorry, I didn't get that, did you say 'Holland Tunnel'?"
This went on for a few minutes. With the Automated Attendant occasionally varying its response and/or kicking us out of the queue... with things like: "If you want to return to the main menu, press star!"
Finally, the Husband started hitting the mute button on his phone quickly before Miss B. could utter out her response and we eventually got the automated man to tell us that there were no traffic problems in the tunnel. By that time we were at the merge to enter the tunnel.
On the way home we stopped at Stewart's drive-in in Rahway (but not before our beloved Garmin sent us off of the Turnpike on to Route 9 South and over the bridge to South Amboy). Nothing says Mother's Day like a chili cheese dog, California cheeseburger and a bunch of crinkle cut french fries!!
All in all, it was a good day!