Sunday, June 26, 2011

full circle in a year

a year ago i bought tickets for gooch and i to attend a new kids on the block concert at radio city music hall.  it was so much fun that i determined we needed to see it again - thank you cheap stub hub tickets.  during this second concert in june of 2010 at radio city the boys from boston did a little impromptu backstreet boys i want it that way to turn the mid 30 aged crowd of women into a frenzy.  suddenly and very surprising they raised the curtain behind them to reveal the backstreet boys were in the house.  the stars then aligned and the two boy band groups joined together for the remainder of the song.  gooch always reminds me that my face changed to one of pure glee and excitement when i saw the boys arrive.

fast forward to a year later and the tickets were purchased to NKOTBSB in new jersey on monday june 13th.  zipcar was reserved and packed with late 20s/early 30s friends all ready to rock it out with the super group that was now from boston and orlando.  the show was so much fun!  i knew as soon as they did a mash up to coldplay's viva la vida that things were going in the right direction.  

thank you NKOTBSB for reminding me how much fun it is to turn into my adolescent self who thought that joey mcintyre had the dreamest blue eyes.  only thing that would have made it perfect was if gooch had been there with me.  at least i knew she got to enjoy it in DC with her sister.

gilmore girls love fest

i did it!  completed watching all seven seasons of the awesomest gilmore girls show.  it was so fun to head back to stars hollow and the lives or lorelai and rory.  the total duration of the stars hollow journey was about four months and a total of 157 episodes. 

gilmore girls is funny, charismatic, dramatic, heart warming, study of family relationships and just all around awesome.  a big yay for luke & lorelai, rory & logan, richard & emily, sookie & jackson, kirk & lulu, babette & maury, lorelai & christopher, paris & doyle, rory & jess, emily & her revolving door of maids, miss patty & the grand old love known as show business, lorelai & max, etc.  also loved all of the clothes worn by lauren graham & alexis bledel.  seriously had some killer ensembles.

...and now what to watch next?...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

charleston girls weekend

here's a few words to describe charleston, south carolina - historic, lovely, hot, bright, charming, hot, considerate, hot, relaxing, fun, hot, culinary, humid and beautiful.  oh wait, did i mention it was hot?

netter, doc and i headed southward to celebrate the amazing accomplishment of doc in earning her doctor badge and the all important white coat.  we chose the first week in june to hit the streets of charleston and guess what, it was hot!  i mean melt your face off hot.  coming from new york i thought the south couldn't be worse but i was wrong.
dear aunt jan-baby, uncle john b and my NC tar heels loving cousins, i truly admire your ability to be outside for longer than 15 minutes during the summer in your hometown of charlotte, nc without wanting to throw yourself into the nearest body of water to cool down.  i'm sure you know this already, but i can teach you that the modern day inventor of the air conditioning unit is a lovely man from albany, ny named willis carrier.  i think we will all be in a line in heaven to give that man a hug. love, me
our first destination was to dive into the southern cuisine at the waffle house.  very filling and so cheap!  afterwards, we headed to boone hall which is the home of the amazing oak drive.  the trees are exquisite as was the homemade key lime ice cream with crushed graham crackers.  our house tour guide was in full hoop skirted glory.  we had a great time but were completely ready to feel the glorious a/c blasting in our faces.  the evening ended with a stop at the local piggly wiggly where we got the piggly wiggly card and saved some dollars off our choices of bagels, strawberries, animal crackers, granola bars and bottled water.  then we headed for a scrumptious meal at my cousin jess' recommendation of jim 'n nick's BBQ.  since it was around the corner we were game to give it a go.  that's where we fell in love with the cheddar biscuits and lemonade as previously blogged. 

next day was all about more plantations.  we started at magnolia plantation which is renowned for it's gardens.  highly enjoyable to walk around the grounds, see the home's interior, get lost in a hedge maze and see quite a few alligators and other wildlife up close.  after magnolia it was off to the formal gardens of middleton place.  the grounds reminded me of the beauty of the gardens in places like london, paris and budapest.  loved the dairy, reflection pool, small chapel and animals on the farm.

did i mention that through all of these activities it was in the mid 90s and super humid?  oh i didn't; well it was very hot and very humid to the point of pure exhaustion from being outside in the sun.  while eating lunch at middleton place at 3:30pm i located a local water park that unfortunately closed at the very early hour of 6:00pm on a saturday.  but we were desperate so after lunch we packed up and headed there to use our recently acquired piggly wiggly card to get a $3 discount on the price of admission for a total of about 85 minutes of water sliding, wave riding and most important of all, lazy river lounging.  we were literally the last people out of the lazy river.  they had to ask us to leave.  one of the most refreshing moments of my life and worth every penny of the $16.99 price for 85 minutes of pure happiness.

sunday we slept in.  ate breakfast together while chit chatting.  changed into our swimwear and followed the masses to the beach.  found a free parking spot in the shade of a tree (very important!) and hiked to the coast.  slathered on the sun screen and began the melting process.  after about 10 minutes of laying out we couldn't take it anymore so rushed for the water.  the water was amazing!  very warm and clean.  at one point dolphins swam right by us about 20 feet away.  it was fantastic!  so relaxing and it helped me maintain my summertime glow.  might have left with a severe left forearm sunburn.  kids, always wear sunscreen and reapply after being in the water.

that night was the dinner celebration of doc at husk restaurant.  all of the food was amazing except the bacon corn bread.  never thought i'd say this but there are some things that bacon shouldn't be added to for "enhancing" the flavor.  corn bread is definitely one of them.  and we all looked really cute in our sophisticated skirts and sandals.

monday we slept in.  ate breakfast.  doc and i headed to the slave mart museum for a little history lesson.  picked up a little lunch from the very cute bartender at another fabulous restaurant called 82 Queen.  doc had the best suggestion of all to stop at jim 'n nick's to pick up the addiction inducing lemonade.  then it was pack up the jeep.  stop at walmart for large bottle of aloe vera gel with lidocaine for yours truly.  drop off car at airport.  get through security and wait for flight.

doc and i had a little stop over in atlanta where we grabbed some chili's appetizers for dinner and then boarded our flight to la guardia.  and then the trip ended and we sent doc to utah for her trek to her new home and life as an intern at the university of michigan.

love my friends so much.  love my friends who will travel with me.  love to see new places.  and love to learn the name of the modern air conditioner inventor - willis carrier.  i love you willis carrier and wish you a magnificent mansion in heaven fully equipped with central air.

boone hall plantation

doc enjoying the refreshing taste of homemade key lime ice cream

slave cabins at boone hall

jumping with glee on the oak tree drive to boone hall

this is what absolute heat and exhaustion looks like

magnolia plantation

swamp at magnolia plantation gardens

famous bridge of magnolia gardens

hugging a very large tree

magnolia's historic places plaque

magnolia garden

formal gardens of middleton place

middleton place plantation

update to summer "to do"s

UPDATE to my 2011 "to do" summer list (in no apparent order):

1. see Lion King on Broadway
2. enjoy Shakespeare in the Park - preferably all's well that ends well
3. attend Museum Mile Festival on Tuesday, June 14th (museums along Museum Mile are open late and free with cool street artists, musicians, etc all along fifth avenue) - completed in the rain (see # 13)
4. play tennis in Central Park
5. finish my photography course with my final photo being a night shot of the Brooklyn Bridge
6. attend Super Saturday Men's Semifinal matches of the US Open - tickets purchased for Saturday, September 10th in section 315 row Y
7. get a spa pedicure with extra massage once a month - June's pedicure done
8. eat at Grimaldi's in Brooklyn at least once then take a ride on the water taxi
9. celebrate my birthday with something fabulous! - plan in place to celebrate with fabulous activity
10. grab a group to enjoy philharmonic and opera in the park - Philharmonic in Park cancelled :(
11. rent a bike to ride the trails of Central Park
12. dip my feet in the water of the Atlantic Ocean - spent a glorious Sunday at beach in Charleston, SC
13. see the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art - spectacular exhibit at the Met; loved the 15 minute wait to see it and never knew how clothes can transform into art until viewing the Alexander McQueen show
14. begin my weekly Wednesday Rock Band open house for friends
15. enjoy a performance of Broadway in Bryant Park for lunch on a Thursday - lunching with friends every thursday to enjoy all the free broadway as possible starting july 14th

i'm a Mormon

i joke that i ran away from home when asked how a born and bred west coaster made her home in new york city.  in many ways it isn't a joke.  i did run away from what was comfortable, status quo and kind of predictable.  i wanted to spread my wings in a place where i would encounter countless people who weren't like me.  hence why i chose new york or maybe new york chose me.  but new york has never affected who i am and want to become.  being Mormon defines me as a person.  all of my decisions are based on my faith and knowledge that i am a child of God. 

currently being mormon or anything related to mormons and our personally cherished beliefs is up for discussion, research projects, pieces in national publications like the new york times or washington post and musical theater productions.  the biggest thing on broadway right now is a musical called the book of mormon.  this show swept the tony awards and is currently the hardest ticket to get.  a couple of people have asked me if i would go/want to see it.  i truly support the statement of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in regards to this production: 

"The production may attempt to entertain audiences for an evening, but the Book of Mormon as a volume of scripture will change people's lives forever by bringing them closer to Christ."

i don't need to spend hundreds of dollars to be entertained by artists mocking and defiling what i hold sacred but i also don't judge those that do see it.  that's the most wonderful thing about life...we get to choose.  the gift of free agency is such a powerful tool and is what brings us individuality.

the interesting little sidenote (as told by my stake president on sunday) about the musical's dominance of the great white way is that now hotel chains throughout the city are contacting the Church's public affairs office requested hundreds and hundreds of Book of Mormons because guests are stealing them from their hotel rooms in prestigous and pricey hotels like the ritz carlton and waldorf astoria.  who knew The Book of Mormon would be a souvenir item in new york city?  pretty sure God was the One in the know. 

there is also a new billboard gracing the bright lights of times square.  the Church has begun it's "I'm A Mormon" campaign throughout the city.  i love this campaign because it shows that each member of the Church is a person like their neighbor trying to be a good person, make right choices for their circumstances and love their family.  we aren't fire breathing, stone throwing, crazy people who should be thought of as odd.  although i think we have the best possible differences from the majority of humankind - eternal families, healthy lifestyles, fidelity, integrity, strong work ethic, devotion to God, personal revelation, and of course, The Book of Mormon. 

i embrace my differences from my co-workers, friends and commuters.  it's the reason i left the happy valley of utah/arizona to come to the big bad city.  it has been so fantastic to watch the Church grow in the city and embrace it's presence in pop culture with dignity and integrity

Friday, June 17, 2011

this week's simple moments

1.  number of hours slept on sunday night will generally be the normal amount for the rest of the week
2.  a trip to jersey twice in one week...thanks a zipcar
3.  water leak under bathroom sink is now in week 2
4.  rock banded and just danced with neighbors on a sunday night
5.  bought music by the carpenters to remind me of my stress free childhood and family summer vacations

deep end of honesty

this post marks my 82nd for the year.  the exact same amount of total blog posts for 2010.  i'm on a blog roll (get it...ha ha).  so here goes my 82nd post...

while at dinner with texas spencer and his EY colleague at the scrumptious John's Pizzaria he mentioned he enjoyed a blog written by the wife of a friend because it was "real" and she was "honest".  his statement made me reflect on if my blog posts showcase my "real" emotions, activities, thoughts and impressions as well as if i fully dive into the deep end of honesty or just wade in up to my knees.  after much internal reflection i decided that i am "real" and honest on this blog but at the same time choosy when it comes to what i write about and send into the world of cyberspace where my mother's eyes can view it.  i think my personal reflection result means that i'm a pretty positive person and grateful for my blessings.  but don't get me started on the topics of tourists in the city, when someone doesn't do what i want them to do, walking slowly, disorganization, chewing with your mouth open, not being ready to order your food when you reach the register or an attitude of entitlement and condescension. 

this blog isn't really meant to be my personal journal where i can practice signing my name with the last name of my current crush - i think Pinky Reynolds has a nice ring to it (i'm looking at you Mr. Ryan Reynolds).  instead it is to give friends and family a bird's eye view into my travels, adventures, thoughts, things that make me laugh and decisions i'm making.  i hope you'll continue to join me as i highlight moments, activities, thoughts and impressions of my long term relationship with new york city.

Monday, June 13, 2011

be still my beating heart

a man who can sing, dance while cracking a joke make my little black and cynical heart go pitter-patter.  watching neil patrick harris and hugh jackman duet on last night's tony awards tugged my heart strings and made me want to pay any amount of money to see these two men sing, dance and crack jokes in person.  love me some triple threats.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

this week's simple moments

1.  thin mint cookies over vanilla ice cream is my current favorite treat
2.  any kind of bad weather shuts down the subway and bus service
3.  taxi line at La Guardia airport isn't horrible if you arrive after 11pm
4.  very windy conditions in times square can make it difficult for the skirt i was wearing to not fly away
5.  dinner with old friends makes me very, very, very happy especially if they can expense it.  thanks texas spencer!
6.  the new york public library no longer accepts book and movie donations
7.  spent two hours in best buy and didn't buy anything
8.  nylons with flip flops is not a good combo
9.  is $104 a lot to spend for unlimited subway and bus service in five boroughs
10.  it's definitely summer based on the fact i shave my legs more than 3 times a week

Monday, June 06, 2011

souvenir from the south

been in charleston, south carolina for four days. it was a great trip. learned that the south is very very warm. as doc said, she is naming her first born AC. totally agree that the inventor of AC deserves a huge hug and kiss in heaven.

we wanted an authentic experience so I asked my cousin Jess for a few recommendations since she is one of the coolest born and bred southerns I know. she recommended eating at Jim n nick's BBQ to enjoy their cheddar biscuits. we went there on the first day of our trip and enjoyed some highly enjoyable food but fell in love with their lemonade.

after ordering food for lunch from 82 Queen we made a special stop to get another round of lemonade from Jim n nick's. truly the only thing I bought as a souvenir was an order of cheddar biscuits for the plane and a large icy cool lemonade. thank you charleston. more to come about our adventures in charleston once I'm home and ready to blog, blog and more blog.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

summer "to do" list

we are in the sixth month of the year 2011.  how did that happen?  i think my trip a month plan has contributed to time flying by with the greatest of ease. 

summers in the city are always full of gleeful activities and attractions.  have begun to contemplate my "to do" summer list.  always try to jot some things down that i've wanted to do in the city but just haven't gotten around to in last 8 summers so decided that this is the year!  and some things are just so much fun that you have to do them every summer; example = US Open

my 2011 "to do" summer list (in no apparent order):
1.  see Lion King on Broadway
2.  enjoy Shakespeare in the Park - preferably all's well that ends well
3.  attend Museum Mile Festival on Tuesday, June 14th (museums along Museum Mile are open late and free with cool street artists, musicians, etc all along fifth avenue)
4.  play tennis in Central Park
5.  finish my photography course with my final photo being a night shot of the Brooklyn Bridge
6.  attend Super Saturday Men's Semifinal matches of the US Open
7.  get a spa pedicure with extra massage once a month
8.  eat at Grimaldi's in Brooklyn at least once then take a ride on the water taxi
9.  celebrate my birthday with something fabulous!
10.  grab a group to enjoy philharmonic and opera in the park
11.  rent a bike to ride the trails of Central Park
12.  dip my feet in the water of the Atlantic Ocean
13.  see the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
14.  begin my weekly Wednesday Rock Band open house for friends
15.  enjoy a performance of Broadway in Bryant Park for lunch on a Thursday

that is my list as it stands right now.  any and all are welcome to join me on the above.  here's to another great summer in the city.