Wednesday, January 30, 2013

New York New York!!!

Every time I say New York! in an excited way, I think of the Pace Commercial where they say New York in a Southern accent like totally disgusted.  I just can't help it.  But anyways, I joined Nick in New York a couple weeks ago.  And it was awesome.  I would have preferred about 20 degrees warmer, but I have been getting used to the cold in Portland this year (don't get me started complaining about the crappy weather here because its hard for me to stop). Regardless, the weather wasn't too bad and I had a blast cruising around New York for a few days.

Some of the highlights:

1.  I got to walk around for two days by myself (while Nick was at work) and I loved it.  Figured out the subway, got aggressive with my taxi hailing skills, figured out the general vicinity of where things are, and just tried to soak it all in. And. . . I walked, a lot (which is good considering we pigged out at the restaurants there).

 2.  The first hotel we stayed at was the Eventi right in Midtown just a block off of 5th.  The view of our room was the Empire State Building as you can see above.  Thank you kindly Phil for your generosity.  The second hotel that we switched to once Nike was done paying was a Moroccan dump in the Upper West side.  I did not take any pictures of that place because I couldn't fit my camera in the room.  And I was busy trying to not inhale too much second hand smoke.

 3.  Walked through the Central Park zoo one day on the way to the MET and wanted to have Briz with me.  Anytime I saw fun kid stuff, I wanted my little pal with me.

 4.  We headed over to 30 Rock, just so I could say 30 Rock on my blog and feel somewhat closer to Tina Fey.  We did the Today Show thing, but we got there when nobody cool was there, so it wasn't that exciting.  I tried to look ugly so I could get a makeover but we missed that too.  After that, we waited in line for standby tickets to Jimmy Fallon.  I was so excited because Joy Formidable was going to be on the show, but we didn't get tickets.  I was very disappointed that day.  (Our dream was to go to the Colbert show, which apparently is pretty easy to get tickets to, but they weren't shooting any shows while we were there).

 5.  At Grand Central Station.  Nick was excited about the whisper wall and I was excited thinking about all of the movies and shows that have been shot there.  On the top of my list, Felicity in the best episode ever.

 6.  At the Natural History Museum.  We went there twice because each time we didn't have long enough.  The second time was way too packed and I couldn't handle all of the kids.  Ah!!!

 7. We went to FAO Schwartz on 5th and it was awesome.  This is the picture with the Zoltar machine from the movie Big.  Honestly, I wanted to be a kid when I went in that store.  And I also wanted a lot of money.

 8.  Nick and I rented a tandem bike and rode around in Central Park.  Some of the best things about that were a) when I tried to drive and almost drove into the pond b) Nick and I tucking our socks into our pants c) A lady yelling at Nick and calling him a dumbass for riding the bike on a path (Nick was upset pretty much the rest of the night that we weren't both yelled at).

 9.  We walked by Ground Zero.  It was crazy how different it looks from the last time I was there in 2005.  It's exciting.  I didn't realize they were putting up 4 new buildings.  Nick and I enjoyed some trash talk to terrorists in general.  Take that terrorists!  You knock down two buildings, we'll put up four in its place. Bam!  (Is that inappropriate?)

 10.  I think my favorite thing was walking across the Brooklyn Bridge and eating at Grimaldi's in Brooklyn under the bridge.  YUM!  I am still dreaming about that pizza.

 11.  We ate at Serendipity's.  It was fine.  But definitely not worth the hour wait.  We ate at some amazing places: Serafina's, Norma's, the Four Seasons, and this was probably my least favorite (I guess it's all relative).

 12.  We went to the Chelsea Market.  There were cool little shops and and nice to get out of the busy part of the city on a busy Holiday.

My last favorite thing was seeing Jersey Boys.  The star of the show was the original main character that had won a Tony Award for his performance and he was phenomenal!  We tried three nights to see Newsies or Book of Mormon with the lottery, but no luck. I am so mad we never won lottery tickets that I am pretty sure I will try it again next time I go.  I'm not giving up!  Plus, I can't resist the chance to win $30 tickets to Broadway.

Returning Home

As much fun as going to New York City was, returning home has been . . . interesting.   It's like starting all over with our rules, chore chart, rewards, consequences, all of that.  And Briz seemed to grow up to the age of 14 while we were gone.  She now loves saying things like, "You're being rude," when I tell her to do something and "Leave me alone!" as she slams the door.  Awesome.

She cries and whines at the drop of a hat, although the crying is generally fake, dramatic crying where she throws herself on the floor, but there are no tears and if I happen to utter the word treat or candy she miraculously stops.  

Luckily, she makes me laugh enough and gives me a fair amount of hugs and kisses to balance it out for the time being.  But I am tired!

Monday, January 28, 2013


I was able to take a last minute trip to New York a couple weeks ago.  Nick had to go there for a week for business and we figured it was a cheap way for me to get out there, so of course I hopped on the chance.  I was very nervous about leaving Briz, especially because it was so last minute but luckily we have some amazing family close by that are so generous and were willing to take care of her for a few days. 

It was particularly fun because I was able to roam around the city by myself for two days.  And then Nick and I had three days together.  I loved just walking everywhere, although I would have liked it a bit more had it been slightly warmer.  I also think I finally figured out the Subway system!  It helped that is WAY more clean than the last time I went (no more vomit or urine smells.  horray!) Nick and I were staying in midtown just a few blocks from Times Square and the Empire State Building so I felt like I was close to everything.  

One of my favorite things I did was go to the MET.  I had never been so I was pretty excited.  Being there was a bit nostalgic and reminded me of going to the National Gallery in London.  We used to go there and study paintings regularly for our Humanities class.  I wish I would have brought something to write with while I was there (plus its nice to sit down cause my feet were getting tired).

Art is amazing to me because it can change over time.  I have never had an affinity to Roman sculptures, but I fell in love with them.  I also loved all of the Picassos (never thought I would say that) and I saw them in a way that I never had before.  

Here are some of my favorites:

My favorite sculpture.  It was just sitting in the corner, not of anyone infamous, just a Roman woman.  But I thought she was so beautiful and the detail in her dress was incredible. If I had any skills in sculpting and I wanted to sculpt an angel, this is how I would do it.

 My friend, Lanae had actually told me about this painting before I went, and said she loved it.  Looking at a picture of it on her phone didn't really get me too excited.  But it is a very powerful painting in real life.  What you can't see from this distance is the mother has tears coming down her cheeks and the expression on her face is all just so real. I almost cried when I saw this painting.

 Don't remember the artist, but its not Monet.   Basically a Monet copycat, but I loved this a little bit more because the use of color to create light was incredible.

 I liked this Degas because its very understated.  Love the light and the way he captures the movement of the fabric. Of course, who doesn't love Degas? And if you answered "me" to that, we can no longer be friends.

 Don't remember the artist on this one either, but I was very moved by the realism of this.  It's a little heavy, but it made me think about the crucifixion in a way that I never had before.

 Even though I have seen a few of the same series of paintings from Monet, it is still so beautiful.

 I had never seen this Renoir before, and I love Renoir.  He might be my favorite.  It's between him and Rembrandt.  Either way, I love this picture because I love how he captures the spirit and energy of the event.

 I don't remember the artist again, but I thought this was a great painting.  I love the colors and the body language of the couple.

 Another Monet that caught my attention.  I am just amazed at the reflection of the trees in the water. This seemed so simple yet so elaborate at the same time.  And it just came across as poetic in its symmetry.

 They had the coolest pianos and harpsichords in their musical instrument collection.  I couldn't believe how ornate this thing is.  Nuts.

 I think this may be Cassat.  I love most things she painted, but again, this was a new one I hadn't seen and I love this simple moment that she caught.

 A harpsichord from the 1400's.  Holy cow.
The front of the MET.

Enough with my thoughts about art.  I loved it.  Loved it loved loved it.  It was such a treat to be here by myself for a few hours.  Wish I was in better museum shape so I could have stood twice as long.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Daney Dooey

Baby Dane and Mac came to visit.  Mac is going to be having baby boy number two soon so we have started evolving Dane's nickname to Daney Dooey.  Briz, in particular, is a big fan of the name. Briz loved having him and Mac around.  She loved laughing with him, singing to him, taking baths, and she even was able to play dress up (although Dane didn't love it).

Next time we see Dane he will be a big brother.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The day after Christmas, we headed over to Midway to the Westover cabin.   It was gorgeous and fun to just be all together.

The icicles hanging from the cabin were a big hit with the girls, particularly when Nick showed them how they could be used as swords.

Last time Briz went on a snowmobile was two years ago and she screamed the entire time. This time, she couldn't get enough of it.

We went on some fun family snowmobile rides.  I think I am progressively becoming wimpier as I get older. I kept telling Nick to not go too fast, to which Briz would respond, "Come on Dad, go too fast!"

Briz was blinded by the snow.  Again, we are not used to brightness.

Putting their game faces on, getting ready to head out in the cold.

I took this only to make Grandma Julie mad at me. She never wants pictures taken of her, but someday she will be glad :) 

Making snow angels with a gorgeous view in the background.

Britty's so cute.

Forcing Kloey up the sledding hill.

Pops was the sledding engineer.  And things got a little crazy.

As you can see.

Thumbs up is tough to do with gloves on.

Sledding action shot.  

Snow hugs!

Brittany wrestling with Grandma Julie in the snow.