Sunday, July 10, 2011

Practically a second honeymoon

Josh and my 12th anniversary is tomorrow, but we've already celebrated. We paid one of our favorite babysitters, who is home from college for the summer, to watch the girls from 3:30 on Saturday until nearly noon on Sunday. Josh and I went into the city, where we checked into the Hotel Allegro.

Not only is the Allegro a charming hotel with a good location, they offer wine, sangria and snacks from 5-6pm and free coffee (and the Sunday New York Times) in the lobby in the morning. After getting acquainted with our small but luxurious room (a comfy bed and Aveda amenities for the win), we enjoyed our glasses of wine and walked east to State Street. We popped into Zara, where I bought Josh a new dress shirt and tie (his dressy wardrobe is very limited--not surprising for a SAHD kind of guy).

Our dinner reservations were at GT Fish and Oyster, an easy walk to River North. Since we hadn't called far enough in advance, our options were the communal table or the bar. Seeing a family with sippy cup-wielding kid at the former, we opted for the bar. Turned out to be a great choice as our bartender was friendly, knowledgeable, and easy on the eyes in a George Clooney kind of way. Also? The food and cocktails were delicious and they sent us a free cheesecake pannecotta for dessert.
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We walked around the downtown area, pausing over the bridge to gape at all the boaters--everything from posh party boats to speedboats full of sunburned families. We headed back to the hotel giddy with excitement and a sense that we were really getting away with something. After all, we didn't have to put anyone to bed! And no one was going to wake us up at 6am!

But the anniversary surprises didn't stop coming; we opened the door to our room and found a bottle of bubbly and a box of chocolates, courtesy of the management. I think I have the front desk guy to thank for that. He asked if we were checking in "for any special occasion," and I said "Yes, our anniversary." Both he and the bartender at GT looked surprised when we told them which anniversary we were celebrating. And I guess by today's standards I was something of a child bride.
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The next day was just as glorious. We slept in, read the newspaper and bused it over to The Publican, one of our very favorite restaurants (and scene of last year's anniversary) for their Sunday brunch. If you get there right at 10am, you can be seated right away (we got a choice table outside). There's also ample free parking there at that time.

The kids did just fine--they had so much fun, in fact, that they didn't want their sitter to leave.