Yesterday morning Monkey awoke to a brightly wrapped package on her bed. She opened it to find a lovely blue dress inside, picked out especially for her to wear on our date to the ballet.
When she saw it, she looked up at me, batted those baby blues, and exclaimed “Mom! It’s perfect! Thank you!” Excitedly she donned the gown and we began preparations for our trip into The City for George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker“. (Those preparations included spinning like a ballerina.)
It was the first time either of us had been to see the New York City Ballet and we were both very excited. I have wanted to take Monkey to the ballet for a long time now, but waited for her to get old enough to appreciate it. She certainly did.
We got all dressed up, snapped a few pictures together with the fancy camera (which was not coming to NYC with us so I wouldn’t have to keep track of it), and began our adventure.
We drove off to the train to NYC anticipating sugar plum fairies and hours of time just the two of us. We played game after game of I Spy on the ride into the big apple. Our train was delayed a few times by a broken train before it, but we managed to get into Penn Station with an hour left before our show. Sadly this meant we had to discard our pre-ballet lunch plans in favor of timely arrival at Lincoln Center, but Monkey was too excited to care. We dashed up the stairs to 8th ave, stuck our fancy hands in the air, and hailed a bright yellow cab. She cuddled up to me in the back seat as we rushed twenty blocks to our destination. We pointed out pretty Holiday displays to each other while we rode. When we arrived we oohed and aahed over the big Christmas tree out front and snapped a few pictures.
We got to Lincoln Center 45 minutes before curtain, which left us with enough time to grab milk and cookies at the Starbucks on the corner and have a little snack by the fountain before the ballet began. Monkey really enjoyed sitting by the water and watching all the people go by. She kept pointing out little girls in red coats.
Once we finished our snack we headed inside to the gilded theater and marvelled at the lovely lighting, Marble floors, and towering balconies. Sadly, they didn’t allow any photos inside the theater, even when the performance wasn’t going on, so we will not be able to share the interior of the event.
During intermission we took a picture with a snowflake, which we will add to a scrapbook page, along with our playbill and ticket stubs. Monkey and I both really enjoyed the ballet. Afterwards we walked for a while, grabbed a pizza at a little diner, then spent 45 minutes looking for a cab that would take us down to Penn Station. Every cab we caught was heading uptown until a we finally caught one a few blocks from Times Square. We looked at all the bright city lights while weaving in and out of traffic and I promised to take Monkey back to see the Hersey’s store another time. Once we were safely on the train back home we whiled the time away by talking about the things she did when she was a baby and cuddling.
All in all, it was the best christmas gift I could imagine having.