So by the time you read this Sam and I will be in NYC as I need to drop her off at Columbia for summer school on Monday.  Seriously she’s living the “life of riley”…17 years old and spending a big part of the summer in New York attending one of the most prestigious universities in the United States.  I wouldn’t want it any other way!

This is such a well deserved reward for all of her hard work at school, she always wanted to be know less for her athletic abilities (of which she had plenty), and more for her academic prowess.  She ended her Year 11 with a 91 average in a curriculum heavily laden with mathematics and the sciences so I’d say she has accomplished her goal this past year with flying colors.

Sam was seven when I first took her to New York and from the very first time she has been totally enamored with the hustle, bustle and excitement that makes NYC so wonderfully appealing.  As well, it’s been a frequent venue for many of our father – daughter weekends away over the years, and from the very get-go she has always said that she would live in New York when she was older.

I would just laugh it off in those days, but now not so much.  She is totally making her dreams come true through hard work, perseverance and self belief and have no doubt that if that’s what she wants – she’ll definitely make it happen.  It’s incredible to see watch your kids grow up and become adults, my only question is “where did the years go?”  I mean seriously…it feels like just yesterday that we visited New York for the very first time.

As always we’re well prepared for our trip and have a table booked at her favourite restaurant…the Tribeca Grill.  Yep, where the who’s who of New York come to dine, l’m sure it has nothing to do that Robert De Nero is the owner.  She loves the feel of the old world supper club atmosphere, its also a chance to dress up and rub shoulders with the cool and famous.

Another of our traditions for our road trips is that we pack the car the night before and have everything ready go, prior to our 3:30 am start.  Yep, your heard right!   🙂   This means zero traffic and can be at the border in about an hour and a half, before stopping for breakfast at the Denny’s just outside Binghamton, NY at around 8:30 am.  Then from there its only three hours into the city.

New York for lunch!

Sam already has plans for the afternoon which includes a trip to the University bookstore to see what sports clothes and memorabilia she can buy in advance of starting school, cos’ you know its going to be the Bank of Dad, before strolling around the campus and orient herself to the lay of the land.

This time we decided to stay at the Lucerne Hotel on the upper west side, especially given the proximity to Columbia plus I’ve always had a fascination for the Lucerne, but never actually stayed.  Built in 1904 this Terra Cotta masterpiece has been a landmark since it opened on the corner of 79th and Amsterdam, and I know Sam can’t wait to check out this architectural gem.

Another big advantage is that its only a short walk to the subway and therefore a perfect location, moderately priced with a lot of old world charm plus its not inundated with lots of tourists or crowds of people milling about nearby which is the case if you’re in midtown.

Actually its the perfect spot for a weekend getaway if you’re so inclined. 🙂

We always have a long list of things to see and do when we’re in NYC.  Sam even wants to go up to the top of the Empire State building, which was surprising cos’s she’s not a fan of heights and so its been years since she’s been up.  For landmark places like this its important to go early, like first in line early so that you can see it without the crush of humanity nor have to wait in a long long line.

After that we’re off to hike the Brooklyn Bridge and then check out the Dumbo (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) afterwards for some iconic photo opportunities, and then figure out where to go for lunch.  I’m sure we’ll be hungry by then.  Saturday night I have tickets for UCB (Upright Citizens Brigade) in Hell’s Kitchen (9:00 pm) show to see some of the best Improv comedy in the city.  Lots of Saturday Night Live stars started out here including Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to name just two, I’ve been a few times and love it.  Such a treat for Sam!

I’d also like to head up to Harlem at some point, stroll along the High Line and definitely potter around the Gansevoort Market in the Meat Packing district…  Fortunately we have three days of exploring ahead of us with lots of things to do especially off the beaten track.

Getting local is the best part of a trip like this, and I know Sam will have all of our eating establishments figured out in advance of our trip.  She’s already mentioned breakfast at Sarabeths which is only a block north from the Lucerne and although there are a handful of these restaurants in NYC its a local delicacy and well known for its breakfasts,  home made jams and bakery delights!

All this rolled into spending a fabulous weekend with my daughter…I mean what could be better!  Until next week…