This was our first time implementing the birthday choice: party or trip. Having never been to the East Coast, the girl chose to celebrate her 9th birthday in New York City. I had a feeling she would love it because she’s my daughter and a true city girl at heart. She loved it. We stayed at a hip new boutique hotel in Chinatown, near the Manhattan Bridge. We strolled through so many of New York’s cool neighborhoods and ate phenomenal Chinese food, thin crust pizza, steak at Peter Luger’s. We visited the World Trade Center Memorial and boarded the Staten Island Ferry for views of the Statue of Liberty. We snapped an obligatory photo of our fearless girl next to the Fearless Girl statue. And of course we hit up Times Square and Central Park. But the pièce de résistance was our night at the theater.
I wanted to introduce my kids to a Broadway musical and initially picked The Lion King because they loved the animated film when they were little. But then I remembered my first love was The Phantom of the Opera, which I played on repeat every single day for at least a year of my life. My eighth grade teacher got me hooked on it so I was a few years older than my kids were, but that didn’t stop me from getting them hooked a few months before our trip. By the time we arrived to NYC, they were so brainwashed that when we tried to trick them into believing that we had gotten tickets to see The Lion King, they protested, “NOOOOOOOOO!!! LION KING IS FOR BAAAAAAAABIES! WE WANT TO SEE THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA! PLEASE CAN WE SEE THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA? PUULLLEEEEEEASE???”
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! I am an evil genius mastermind. Or maybe my kids are just really easily manipulated. It turns out that this was the fourth time I’d sat through The Phantom of the Opera and it was more tedious to sit through than I’d remembered. I kind of wish we’d seen The Lion King because I’d heard fantastic things about it but never got around to seeing it. I guess that’s karma for brainwashing my kids.