I just arrived back from my weekend visit in NYC with my daughter A. What a lovely visit it was. What memories it brought back from my own wild and crazy single days in the city. (Let’s see that was how many years ago? Too many to count.)

Getting There Is Half The Fun: I left for the city on the 3:40 pm train from NJ arriving in Manhattan just in time for rush hour. I had my little red suitcase(luckily it had wheels) in tow and filled with two boxes – one Post Honey Bunches of Oats and one Capt’n Crunch cereal, three cans of Campbell’s soup and a bag of Pepperidge Farm cookies, plus a few clothes I had brought for the weekend.

I promised my daughter A that I would bring her boxes of cereal, since food is so expensive in the city. (What a good mother I am.) Battling the bustling traffic, the crowds of people moving in opposite directions, and the flights of stairs up and down the train station, I was truly windblown by the time I arrived at Sixth Avenue and 52nd Street where A was waiting for me.

During the course of my 20 minute walk, I had managed to run over a woman’s foot (I wondered why it was so tough to get those little red suitcase wheels off the curb when the light turned green. The nice young woman had her iPod pods in her ears and was bopping along. Then I heard her scream in a very angry and loud tone “what the f–k,” as I appologized and turned my walk into a fast-paced jog. Whew, that was close. I didn’t want any black-eye for the weekend.) and then I almost ran over a pigeon too. I never realized how dangerous it could be to walk in NYC with a little red suitcase.

After a quick subway ride, and four more flights of stairs (two in the subway and two in A’s walk-up apartment building) I finally arrived in her new NYC crib. She had fixed it up nice. I was impressed and told her so, as I headed straight for the bed to lie down after my hectic trip. (Who needs to lift weights at a gym when you have a little red suitcase in NYC?)

Off to Dinner and Off To Sleep: Off to Vinyl restaurant we went to have chicken burgers (we are just two health-conscious cool chicks) and fries (okay, we’re not that health-conscious, especially during a mother daughter weekend) and then back to her room for a good night’s rest…or so I thought. (That’s right, I forgot that’s why they call NYC ‘the city that never sleeps.’ How true, how true.) Since my daughter’s bedroom is on top of a corner bar and faces a very popular street, it is very, very, very, very, very noisy. (Did I say HOW NOISY IT IS? VERY, VERY, especially on FRIDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHTS.)

“You need to use earplugs,” said A. “I always use earplugs.”

“Okay, I’ll put in some earplugs,” I said, as I pushed a plug into each ear and settled into bed. Unfortunately, during the night, my left earplug fell out a few times and I awoke at 4:00 am to the sounds of sirens, honking taxis, and some jolly chaps sounding off outside the bar like it was still 7:00 pm the night before. I tried to push the left earplug back in my left ear, but it was a futile attempt, so I just rested until it was time to go for breakfast at the bagel store.

A Gi-Normous Breakfast: “They have great fat-free corn muffins at the bagel store,” said A, “and they are gi-normous.” “Fat-free and gi-normous? Count me in,” I said. (Oh, we are just two health-conscious cool city chicks) The muffin was so gi-normous, I only ate the gi-normous muffin top, but it was very dry so I had to add a pat of butter (there goes the fat-free diet. Oh well, it was our mother daughter weekend). (Did I mention that while we were sitting outside with my gi-normous muffin and A’s bagel with a gi-normous amount of low-fat vegetable cream cheese on it, that a pigeon pooped on the guy sitting next to us? Lucky we did not sit at that table, another close call – first an almost black-eye from the day before, no sleep, and now pigeon poop. I love NYC.)

Two Shopaholics in the City: After our breakfast, we headed off across Central Park to the westside for our big shopping trip to Loehmann’s. It brought back such memories of when my mom used to take me to the original Loehmann’s up in the Bronx, where I grew up. We would shop until we dropped. We would wait in line to get into the crowded open dressing rooms where you could see what everyone else was trying on and critique each others outfits and bodies. There’s nothing like a mother daughter afternoon at Loehmann’s, only this time I was the mother and A was MY daughter and we were in Manhattan, not the Bronx.

We did our share, as editor-in-chief Anna Wintour said in the March issue of Vogue, to support the economy. “When people stop shopping,” said Anna, “other people lose their jobs. So there is no moral high ground to be abstaining from felicity. That said, shopping differently is a wise response to the current landscape.” How true Anna, that’s exactly why A and I went to shop at Loehmann’s.

And what bargains we found. Theory cropped beige linen slacks, I had to have them. Theory bermuda linen light beige and dark beige shorts, A had to have two. Theory short shorts, a perfect fit for A, and a steal at $10. (Yes, I said $10. A was smiling all the way home across Central Park. Of course, the amount of material on the shorts was about a quarter of a yard of material, so they should not have cost more than $10. But they were Theory shorts after all.)

Our next target was the lower floor, to try on more clothes. A little buttercup yellow cashmere cardigan (oh, so cute for spring). A little floral cardigan too. (I had to have the little floral cardigan too, especially since I had just read in InStyle magazine that florals are part of their Clothes We Love and sure to brighten up my spring. I do want to have brightness in my life this spring.)

A petite-sized Adrienne Vittadini jacket in buttercup yellow was a steal on the hanger in front of me and I knew it would look perfect on my petite body. On my arm and off to the dressing room with me it went, along with a brown and black print bathing suit and matching brown and black sarong (these type of Safari style prints also are on InStyle magazine’s trend watch for spring – hope this trend carries over to summer bathing suits because I bought the suit and the sarong too).

Two more bathing suits for A and a pair of earrings for me, and our shopping expedition was done for the day. We were wiped out and ready for refueling with dinner in Little Italy.

Another Sleepless Night in the City: Pasta and a nice soft pillow to lie my tired head on were all I needed to drift off to la, la land. Or so I thought. No sleeping for me. Did I tell you that SATURDAY NIGHT IN NYC on the upper eastside is VERY, VERY, VERY NOISY? I tossed, I turned, I put the earplugs in both ears and again the one earplug kept falling out of my left ear. Finally, around 2:00 or 3:00 am in the morning (I stopped looking at my watch) I fell asleep. No rest for the weary in NYC.

Mani and Pedi and Homeward Bound: After another round at the bagel store (this time I ordered a wholegrain bagel, no more gi-normous fat-free muffins for me), we both had bargain priced manicures and pedicures (only $20 total for a mani-and-pedi combo, what a bargain. Anna Wintour would be so proud of A and me. Not only are we keeping up our beauty regimen, but we are keeping this little mani-and- pedi salon in business during a very bad recession.) After three dry cycles on my hands and toes, it was back to the train station to board the train back home. (I hopped in a cab this time, I was too tired for any dangerous walks with my little red suitcase).

I thoroughly enjoyed my mother daughter weekend in the ‘city that never sleeps.’ But, when the train stopped in NJ and I drove home, I was so glad to see my long driveway and quiet ranch house in the suburbs. I emptied my little red suitcase and put it away in the closet. Ah yes, at this age, while I so still truly love the big city, I think I love peace and quiet a little bit more.