today diana went into the city to see my good friend Matt who is visiting NY. He now lives in Seattle, but went to grad school at Columbia in NY so he knows the city very well. We only hung out for a few hours, but it was great to see him. We walked thru Central Park (right by the Dakota, where John Lennon was shot--see memorial pic) and thru Strawberry Fields and other parts of the park on our way to a VERY authentic pizza place West of the Park called Patsy's. I think its official: Central Park is my favorite part of the city. I love walking through and feeling away from the city, but glancing up and seeing the beautiful skyline buildings pop up thru the trees. Today was 65 and sunny again and its hard to find a complaint with a day like this in the city.
After I got home Tom and I went to pick out some new lights for the kitchen and hallway and he is installing them as we speak (what a handy guy!)

Go Jets!

Today after we saw Melissa off at the airport we headed to the NY Jets game vs the Bills. The Jets and Giants , although NY by name---play in NJ at a shared stadium (known as Giants stadium---not really fair...) Anyway--- its an old stadium, but the tickets were great and the it was a perfect fall football game: not a cloud in the sky and about 60. The view of the city from the Stadium was amazing.

Tom installed a couple lights in the house this evening while the dogs and I played. Now we are relaxing and I can't imagine wanting to do or be anywhere else than at home. Busy last few days!!

road trip

Today, Saturday, Melissa and I took a step back in time and went to Lancaster County, PA to see the Amish. We had been wanting to for a while but being on the West Coast its a pretty far trip. Its only a 2 1/2 hour drive from our house but we stopped at a few places on the way and back so it was a pretty full day.

The Pennsylvania Dutch Colonies were great! A bit more toursity than we imagined... which was disappointing, but we got off the main drag and went into the back roads where the lifestyle we expected to see including horse-drawn buggy's were much more common (see pic). In Bird-in-Hand, PA we stopped at an Amish farm ran by Amos and Sadie. We visited with Sadie as I purchased some homeade apple butter and hand made pot-holders. We visited a bit and then were on our way. I wish we could have stayed longer and visited more.

On our way home we spotted a road sign in southern PA with exit information to Valley Forge. We didn't realize it was n PA and thought we'd see how far out we'd have to go to see it. It was only 4 miles out so of course we went. It was beautiful. We saw the Valley where all the soilders camped and waited out the Winter during the American Revolution. The pic attached is the monument for the only grave marker that was discovered out of all the deaths that occured in the Valley that winter.
We saw George Washington's headquarters and drove under the 1st covered bridge in the country.

It was a beautiful day--sunny and 70--so that made it all the better!

Tom spent the day at the Shore working on the boat! He loved that of course! It poured rain this am--but got sunny for him!

One of my best friends, Melissa from Seattle, came to visit Wed night and is staying thru Sunday afternoon. Since she got here we have been going non-stop--barely stopping for sleep. Well-thats not true. We both love to sleep in so we did ok there.

Wednesday night she and I hit up the favorite East Coast department store, Century 21. They have designer fashions at a discount and we took full advantage of that discount---both scored beautiful leather jackets. We also tried on a $4K, yes $4K, skirt by Valentino that both of us found hideous...but since it was marked down to a mere $669 we thought we'd try it just in case it was the perfect fit.. ha.

Tom met us for dinner at one of our fav Italian restaurants, Pazo Pazo in Morristown, which has the best risotto ever, and we had so much fun!

On Thursday Melissa and I caught the train to the city and our adventure really began. After finding our very cool boutique hotel near Times Square, we headed to the 'half price same-day ticket sale office' for Broadway plays. As we closed in on the very long line, we were approached on the street by an honest looking young guy that had GREAT tickets for the hottest play in NY right now: Young Frankenstein. Both of us, used to negotiation as it is our profession, began basically breaking down the entire ticket right there making sure the price we were working with was valid. As we glanced to the ticket line, which didn't open until 3pm and it was already 1 30 and the line was long, we weighed our options: 1) we wait in line for probably 3 hours at a minimum to get hopefully good seats so some Broadway play for around $80 each, or 2) we risk the small amount of money he was asking for the hippest play in town and figure we are taking a risk (even theough the tickets looked very real and we negotiated the heck out of them) and the money is worth the chance for us to have 3 hours of our life back in the city as tourists...
So we did it. We bought them.
(You have to keep reading to find out if it was a go or no-go...)

After our gamble, we headed uptown towards Central Park. We shopped at some "designer fashion for less" stores, stopped at Bryant Park, window shopped at stores that we would max our credit cards out at with one purchase, ate lunch from a hot dog vendor at Rockefeller Center (checked out the skating rink that was open for skating!), took a self guided tour of the most beautiful church in America--St Patricks Cathederal and then finally made it up to Central Park.
Central Park is so beautiful! We walked and walked--yet in all only made it through about 1/3 of the park. We passed "The Pond", the "Ball fields", the skating rink and beautiful bridges. We took a break at the 'Tavern on the Green' and then got our hurt feet back on the road to head to the Metropolitan Museam of Art.

As we stopped at the "Lake" in the park, Melissa had a great idea to hire a rickshaw! The best $20 we ever spent! We rested our feet and risked our lives a bit as we traveled the wrong way on many of the NY roads dodging taxis. But it was exciting!
The MET was AMAZING! They had many exhibits but the Egyption exhibiit was the latest and greatest and----it was. We loved looking at the artifacts and then found our way to the Roman and Greek sections which were equally as great in my opinon. We will definetly go back there.

We were getting close to theater time (or not) so we needed to get back to the hotel fast. The best way: the subway. It was rush hour and the subway was everything you'd expect a NY subway to be at rush hour, but we pushed and shoved our way with the best of them and we made it back to the hotel with time to spare for a quick drink and snack at the nearby Hilton Hotel. (We had to take the Service elevator to the bar... but thats another story).
As we approached our theater for the 8 show time, we were a bit nervous, and preparing ourselves for possible disappointment---but as we cleared the ticket taker---we knew we were golden!
The play was one of the best we each had ever seen----it was amazing! We loved every second! What a deal!
I can't possibly say enough about this play--so, just go see it if you have a chance.

After the play we hailed a taxi back to the hotel and were ready to power down until we realized that it was only midnight and the Empire State Building was open until 2am, so of course we headed there for a late night viewing of NY. WOW! It was cold--and a bit windy, but so beautiful! What a day!!

Our second day in the city was filled more with shopping (soho, chinatown, Macy's-the World's biggest store) and some great time spent in Little Italy including lunch at the 1st Pizzaria in America and some spots where they filmed the Godfather. We went into a very authentic italian cheese shop, which was probably Melissa's favorite part of the trip (see pic) and a bakery with world famous canolli's.
It started to rain just as we got our cupcakes at Magnolia bakery (which made the taxi hailing especially fun as we were both drenched and standing in the middle of the street trying to hail a cab--but it was great!)

We got home at around 8 and Tom greeted us at the train station! Nice to see him of course! :-)

the boat!

We spent all day at the Shore cleaning the boat. It was 80 degrees and a perfect day! Tom scrubbed the outside and I worked on the inside. We still have some work to do, but we'll do most in the spring.

Here are a couple pics and I think you will be thinking the same as we are... THIS is late October??

still summer in the ne

Just when we thought fall was here... I think I got a sunburn today. It was mid 70's today--and supposed to be up to 80 by Monday. We LOVE it and have been enjoying it! Last night we went into Manhattan for a charity dinner with T-Mobile. Tom's team raised 220K for a charity called City Year, that assists schools in the neediest parts of NYC. PS149 was the school chosen and it was a great feeing to hear the principal and the city year voulenteers speak about the results of the contributions.
It was fun--I saw some of the Suppliers I work with and met some of Tom's new team. Made 2 new potential friends which is always a bonus! :-)

Today we went down to the Marina we chose for our boat (beginning in the Spring). Its in Brick, NJ and it is a beautiful area. The slip we have is perfect with no boats in front--so a clear shot to "park" as well as to view the sunsets.
We met our marina neighbor John who--get this-- has two mini-dachshunds! We met them and they are the same size and coloring as Frank and Ollie! He gave us some good recomendations on doggie life vests.

Tomorrow we are headed back to Neptune, NJ where the boat currently is, to clean it up some to get ready for winter storage. In Brick next winter, we may just keep it in the water year round instead of taking the boat to Florida, but we haven't decided yet. Its quite a community at the Marina in Brick----get togethers etc. We are looking forward to it.
I also plan to lay out a bit after cleaning up the boat--since the temp will be 80!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-)

Other than that-- its a pretty mellow weekend for us. Just getting the last few boxes unpacked and relaxing a bit. I need to post pictures--I will soon.

** pics are of the woods just off our front yard and one of the living room (excuse the dog paraphernalia)

Well... almost all moved in. All day Friday, Saturday and Sunday we unpacked, organized, built stuff, shopped etc which all ended up adding up to two very happy people (minus the sore muscles/backs) and two very happy dogs!

We love it here! Its the perfect size for us and so private (the woods in the pic are just 30 feet away from our front door) but close to some really nice shops (Starbucks, Gap, Banana, etc).

We really only have a few things left to do. Tom is building up his "man space" (shop) that is in a finished room off of the garage and I am getting my yoga/workout space all set up as well. We still have to hang pictures and new lights in some spots, and put together our offices, but that's about it. Tom got the BBQ all set up on Saturday so we grilled the last two nights. We really missed that while living in the apartment.

We have even decided that we really like the blue paint in the dining room--it goes well with our dark furniture. Of course the kitchen needs paint as does our bedroom. The bedroom is a sky blue color and far too, I don't know, "cartoon-like" for a Master. We aren't exactly excited about painting--we had our fill at our old house... but we'll see.

I do miss Morristown and the walking everywhere, but here, the gym at the clubhouse is SO nice that it inspires me to workout! Also-- we have the woods to hike in and Tom found a great trail to take the dogs on. (Those shops are within walking distance too, much to Tom's dismay)! :-)Besides, we are only a few minutes drive to Morristown, Madison and many other townships if we choose to drive there and then walk (which we have already talked about doing!)

Our friend Melissa is coming out next week and I can hardly wait. My cousin Malea is planning a trip in Feb! We can't wait to show people around our new area!

More pics to come later...

We just took possession of the new house today at noon and already we have made excellent progress on the removal of some of the ugliest wall paper you will ever see. We spent 2 hours tonight pulling it off and it wasn't that bad. The majority came off quite easily. We'll finish the rest tomorrow--but will wait a bit to paint. One project at a time. :-)

Summer is over

NJ finally caught up with Seattle for fall weather---sort of. At 9am today it was 81 degrees. At 3pm it was 62 and pouring rain. Its nice though... because I know in a few days it will be sunny again--maybe not warm, but sunny!
Today had the sea trial on our new boat (read: test drive) and it was SO much fun! We took it (I mean her) out on the Atlantic and went down the Shore passing Bruce Springsteen hotspots Asbury Park and Deal, NJ. Some pics are in the "PHOTO" tab above. Tom has his list of to-do projects to fine tune some of the electronics (for those that know Tom well, you know this is something he is looking forward to doing. I am already planning on what pictures we will hang up and where I can get some great boat accessories for decorating! :-) With the boat and the house--I am not sure which is more exciting at this point. Wait---yes I do. The house!

We cannot WAIT TO MOVE!!!! Tonight we have our "walk-thru" at the new place and its getting to the point where we are counting down by hours as to how much longer we are in the apartment. We close tomorrow at noon and then have all types of appointments set up (carpet, cable, window coverings, movers) that will take us through Friday---and of course beyond.

Saturday is the annual NYC Dachshund Day parade (fact: the most popular dog in NYC based on owners surveyed is the Dachshund). It is doubtful we will go since the movers will have just dropped everything off on Friday, but perhaps I can talk Tom into it. I know he really wants to go. :-) haha.

Diana had a great visit in Seattle. Seeing friends and family and spending time with Zane and Chloe was great. Zane and Steph and I went to the Aquarium on Friday and then I had dinner with my friends Deb, Chris and Laura. On Sat I headed (as did my entire extended family) over to Yakima to surprise my Grandpa on his 80th birthday! It was a fast trip as I caught my flight home Sunday afternoon, but it was so nice to see everyone. Tom was sorry he missed it---but he was ok about not missing the plane ride. :-)
Some photos are posted! :-)
The pics above are from the boat. Captain Tom and the Shore.

Familiar sights

Being back in Seattle has reminded me that many of the common sights here, seen on a daily basis, just don't exist back east at the same level. For instance, the Save Darfur/Save Tibet/Save A Tree bumper stickers on 3 out of every 5 cars, fleece on nearly ever person you see (which I love and I am preserving this fashion statement back east), constant reminders to recycle and of course a Starbucks on pretty much every street. It doesn't make it better out here, but I do appreciate, and somewhat miss, the laid back, environmentally conscious, free-spirit attitude that is the general aura of Seattle.

Today has been a great Seattle day. It poured rain and hail this morning, and then the sun came out for a really nice (but chilly) afternoon/evening. I spent the day in the Green Lake area, and then had a really fun visit with my cousins that live on Capital Hill. I closed out the day by stopping at the most famous hamburger place in Seattle--Dicks-- for a quick bite to take me back to my UW days. My trip overall has been nice. I miss Tom--this is a long time to be apart, but I have had a lot of time to visit friends and family. Aside from today, the weather has been awful which makes me SO happy that we do not live here anymore. Tom and I really enjoy the change of everything in the east. Its funny--- I feel so much pride talking about NJ/NY to my friends here---but I am very quick to tell anyone back in NJ that even seem semi-interested, that I am from Seattle. I will always be proud of being from Seattle, even if it does rain a lot here.

Back in Seattle...

Diana is in Seattle this week and is happy to see everyone, but ITS COLD HERE. I had to break out the sweaters and buy a pair of boots. I had dinner with my folks and tonight am going out with the girls for some fun and gossip!

Tom is enjoying the 70's and 80's that NJ/NY is still seeing. I hope its still warm when I get back. It was tough to leave there on Sunday: there was a street fair going on that day right in Morristown. I love that kind of stuff--oh well, next year.

Some developments as of late:
(For those that don't want to hear mushy romantic stuff, skip to the next section), Tom is so sweet! I love him so much! He scored me an unlocked iphone! He knows I have been wanting one since they came out and he worked some magic. I was so happy! After a few technical bumps in the road, caused by me, it is working great and is an amazing device!

We met some great friends! Tom knew Bill and Suzanne Diaz from when he lived here a while back. We went to dinner with them last weekend and had a great time! Suzanne and I are going to look into yoga and I am looking forward to hopping the train with her for some adventures in NY.

Finally... and perhaps the biggest and best news... we bought a boat!!!!!!!
We have had our eye on this boat for a few weeks and we thought it had sold. The deal ended up going sour so we had another chance and we got it!
Its a 40ft Silverton Motor Yacht (1996) with hardly any hours on it. It is in immaculate shape inside and out. We'll redecorate a bit and there are a couple of technical things Tom is going to replace. It has two cabins, 2 heads, a hide-a-bed, full kitchen, tv's, a/c and heat, a big deck and plenty of spots to lay out in the sun! :-)

We wanted a boat that we could relax on and entertain on and this is the perfect one!
We'll keep it in NJ for the winter and through next sumnmer. We'll decide next winter if we'll move it to Florida or not.
We are very excited and already can't wait to start working on it to make it our own. I am on the hunt for life vests for Frank and Ollie. :-)
I will attach some pics to the photo tab, but here are a couple.

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