tom calls Frank and Ol members of the WWF--wiener wrestling federation.
Here is a little video. :-)

we love spring!!

spring has definelty sprung here in the tri-state area! today it got up to 65 and even this evening at around 5 30 it was still that warm--I walked the dogs wearing just a t-shirt, flip flops and running pants! What a great feeling! Tomorrow is supposed to be back down to more reg temps for this time of year (high 40's) but even then, its sunny and that is so wonderful.

Tom is on his way home. He was in Virginia last night for work. His flight there was delayed 4 hours and coming home, delayed 2 hours. Air travel is getting so horrible lately and sadly, the delays become something to count on! But, he'll be home shortly and hopefully he doesn't have to travel for a little while now.

We are in wedding planning mode now and are having so much fun! My sister and friends are all giving me some great ideas (thanks Deb and Melissa who should quit their day jobs and become wedding planners)! We plan on having a very small intimate wedding and we will be sending out announcements and pictures for all to see! More to come on that. We are so happy to be getting married!!! As our friend Dave said to us-- when you finally meet that right person, you really know it. :-) That is so true --we are so lucky to have that knowledge, that feeling. (I know... so mushy!) :-)

Attached are some more pics from Laura's visit. International Pillow Fight, us at the top of the rock with central park in the distance and us in front of the fountain at Bryant Park.


sorry to have waited so long to write again. Laura and I pretty much were on the go the entire time she was here so I had no time. We did so much and had so much fun, this entry can't possibly capture the easy-going feeling we had covering Manhattan nearly from end to end--and by foot! (We only rode the subway once)! Laura, as most of my visitors, fit right in quickly to the fast paced city life. It was Spring Break last week so the city was extra packed.

Friday and Saturday the weather was perfect. Blue sky, hardly any wind and lots to see and do of course. In those two days we hit Central Park (the ice rinks are still open, yet we saw the first sign of blooming flowers), Bryant Park, saw A Chorus Line on Broadway (we bought the tickets Wed night for 100 each and we were center stage 3 rows from the front! Deal!), stopped by the Strand a second time (we are addicted) and the highlight was going to the "Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Center). We were up 67 stories and with the weather perfect we could see everything. The view of Central Park is my favorite and Tom and I plan to head up here each season and get pictures. We also made Union Square a main destination. There is always something happening there with the Farmers Market and artists as well as the bands that are coming out of the woodwork now that the weather is getting nice. We witnessed (and dang near joined) a very large Tibetan rally against China (if you want more info on this or my opinions... please email me and I will be glad to discuss) AND in another area of the park the annual world wide pillow fight was going on. It sounds crazy and it sort of was. Mostly college age kids took part and tons of pillows and feathers were flying everywhere. Union Square also is the main area for local artists to gather and sell their art. We chatted up a boy I have bought from before that is from Vancouver, WA. He is a wonderful photographer and trying to put himself thru art school in New York.
We also rummaged thru the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market on Saturday and enjoyed the people watching and some of the antique items. It was such nice weather. We closed out the visit with a very nice dinner with Tom near our house. He spent Saturday at the boat installing some electronic gear and running wires. He loves doing that!

Attached are some pics from the weekend (central park, empire, tibet rally and the cry to boycott the beijing olympics, the flat iron building) and I will attach more soon.

On Sunday we had the most un-traditional Easter that we have ever had. After taking Laura to the airport, Tom and I headed into the city and went to Spamalot on Broadway. It was so funny. Pretty much non-stop jokes and if you like Monty Python, even just a little, you will like this play. So, instead of Ham for Easter, we had Spam.
Happy Monday! More to come soon!

wandering ny

hey everyone! happy Thursday! today laura and i got a late start (intentional) and headed into the city at around 1. We wandered aimlessly for the most part but headed uptown to the usual popular spots including madison park, union square, washington park etc, etc, etc--it was wonderful: blueish sky, not too cold and lots to do and see. This is one of the best times i have had in the city. While I love seeing the sights that make NY famous, I love just walking around and finding things accidentally. Lucky for me, so does Laura.
As I said, it wasn't too cold today, but very windy, so at times we'd duck in somewhere to wait the gust out (or to shop). Of course the Strand (famous bookstore with miles of books to browse through) was a stop and we could not depart there without a few purchases each. I picked up a NY coffee table book for all of our visitors to thumb thru (who am I kidding--its totally for Tom and I too gaze at... and our visitors :-) as well as a book on publishing. Laura picked up one of the most classic classics of all time that I highly recommended--A Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde.
We also thumbed thru all of the Strand's recommended books and shared our personal views on some of the books and got ideas for future reading material. Laura has read a bunch of books I have not and likewise so that was a great experience.

After Strand we headed to Greenwich Village so I could show her my new school!!! Thats right--I am officially a student of NYU now! With Tom (and Laura's) support and my own desire, I have enrolled in a couple courses this summer. The classes are in the late afternoon one night a week so my job will not be interrupted. I am so excited to take classes that I want to take rather than what I have to take. They are both writing classes taking me back to my undergrad days as an English major. I am very excited and felt proud and happy showing Laura around the NYU campus (which is the streets of Greenwich Village and the Washington Square Park area).

We ate at 'Mexican Radio', a restaurant I have been wanting to try since Tom and I saw it on our first visit to NY back in August. Its a Mexican restaurant (duh) named after a song by Stan Ridgeway of Wall of Voodo fame (80's music). The atmosphere was great--kitschy mexican cool and they played the Shin's--a band Laura and I love--so all was good, including the food. The waiters were mute we think, or perhaps Laura and I were just talking and laughing too much for them to get a word in... haha.

After dinner we headed to the Soho Apple Store. I encourage anyone that says we are in a recession to take a visit to their nearest Apple Store. Holy cow-- it (and all Apple Stores) was packed and we could barely maneuver thru the tons of customers yet stand in line for a purchase. It was quite the techy NY experience. After that (and plans to go to the really cool glass cube apple store on 5th near Central Park tomorrow) we caught the Q train and headed to Penn Station to come home.

Tom got home just as we did (he flew in from DC tonight) and I was so happy to see him! While he ate some dinner, Laura, he and I visited and then just relaxed and watched some TV. Laura and I are crazy party animals tonight and while Tom decided to head to bed, we stayed up and surfed the net, visited, talked about books and laughed about whatever... real crazy! haha
What a great day. :-)

I will load some pics tomorrow. Have a great Friday.

mid march already?!

Wow! hard to believe that the first day of Spring will arrive this week! What a welcome event! It actually seems like Spring already with the trees starting to bloom (actually, our area is behind Seattle--when i was there last week I saw that most of the cherry trees were already in full bloom).
Tom is in Charlotte for quick 2 night trip. I am so glad that most of his trips are short. Tomorrow my friend Laura from Seattle is flying into town! I can't wait! I am taking Thursday and Friday off to hang out with her. We are going to hit the city of course, but in a low key way. Laura has been to NY before and has seen all the main sights so I think we'll hit the museum circuit, head to the famous Hell's Kitchen Flea Market (Hell's Kitchen is an area in Manhattan), maybe see an off-Broadway show (Tom will probably meet us for that!) and wander around Central Park. We are playing it by ear for sure--I am really looking forward to being in the city with no must see destinations.

I am crazy busy at work--but I love it, so that makes things manageable and with Tom gone, I end up working late which benefits me, my boss and the dogs who get to stay up late with "mom". Win-win-win!

I will write later about Laura's visit and all of our great flea market treasures! :-)

added a slideshow

hey everyone-- We added a slideshow of some pics that will automatically shuffle thru as you are on the blog. enjoy!

I am so happy to be home. After sleeping for like 12 hours last night, I am feeling a bit better. Tom is at the boat today so I have the house to myself and am taking it easy! Its about 60 degrees right now at 6 pm and I love it! I hope everyone is healthy or getting healthy!

the plague

I had a great week in Seattle--except for the plague that has hijacked my body along with nearly everyone else in this area. I came down with a terrible cold on Monday and except for a few outings with friends and family last weekend before it really hit me... most plans I had with friends this week were cancelled; either they were sick, or I was. I was very happy I had a lot of time with Zane and Chloe though. They are so fun! I love hearing Zane's imaginative stories and songs which he is eager to share with "Auntie". As Zane sings, Chloe dances and laughs along. Very cute.

Work, even though I was a bit under the weather, was great. We had long meetings, but the outcome was totally worth it. Our group has grown over the past few months and the time we had really allowed us to bond. We also did events in the evening and we had a lot of fun.

Tom is in Puerto Rico tonight and will be back tomorrow afternoon. I too get back tomorrow after leaving Seattle early in the morning--not looking forward to that flight!

Sorry this entry is so short. More to come when I am off my nyquil/sudafed/afrin cocktail.
Here are a couple pics though of my time in Seattle: pre-sick.

melissa, lauren, adele(lauren's baby)and me
my sister and Chloe
matty, laura and myself having "blunch" at endalyne joe's in west seattle

dinner with todd

I had no time to recover after Malea's visit. After dropping her off at the airport I headed back into the city for dinner with one of my closest friends, Todd (you may recall from a past post that he and his wife Kyla came to visit us in Nov when they ran the NYC Marathon). He was in town on a layover on his way to the Dominican Republic and I was happy I had a chance to hang out with him. Unfortunately, Tom couldn't join us for dinner as he was flying back that night from Virginia.

We ate at an eclectic little Thai restaurant on the edge of Greenwich Village where we were pretty much the only patrons. That concerned us a bit at first, but the food was pretty good tho and since we had the place to ourselves we could laugh as loud as we wanted (and I did that a bunch)!
After dinner we opted to walk back to the train station rather than take a cab. It was a wonderful night for a walk. We covered about 30 blocks but it felt like much less. It was 60 degrees or so at 10pm and the streets were populated, but not crowded.

Seeing the Wash Square Park Arch lit up is amazing. It was a perfectly sunny day and on sunny day nights--the arch looks its best. That combined with the Empire State Building lit up as well as the bustling cafe's and restaurants-- its hard not to love the city on a warm spring night. After a late night coffee at Starbucks, I caught the train home and Todd headed to his hotel for his early morning flight today. It was so great to see him and catch up!

This week Tom travels once more, this time to S Carolina, but thankfully just for one night! I though am heading to Seattle on Saturday to visit with some friends and family before a busy work week. I hate being gone that long from home, but if I don't go a couple days early--I don't get to see as many people as I'd like. I wish Tom could come, but he has to travel to Puerto Rico a couple days next week. :-(

Have a good rest of the week! :-)

pics: the arch at night

Here is part II and we actually did so much these last two days that there could be many more parts, but I will summarize!

Saturday we shopped again, but this time it was warm, well, relatively speaking. It was near 50 and it felt like a heat wave after Friday. Instead of the "regular" shops that the "meek" go to, Malea and I headed into Chinatown. We hopped the subway like old pros and that is such a great way to maneuver the city!
Now I like to think of myself as bit seasoned in this part of town--I feel confident in the black market browsing and the odd sights... but this trip was definitely different than any other time I have been there. First off, Chinatown is an interesting area of the city. Here is some tidbits of this area" in case you have never been: As you head uptown on Broadway past the eclectic Greenwich and shopping mecca Soho, you approach Canal Street. This is the main road in Chinatown and as with every distinct section that the city has, Chinatown has a much different feel and look than its surrounding neighborhoods. Its the largest population of Chinese in the world outside of China. We didn't come to Chinatown just to browse... Malea came with a want list of purses for her friends and family. These aren't just any purses--but the sweet knockoffs that I think make up most of the purses you see people carrying around the city. We were ushered into the normal hidden back rooms of shops, but we also were taken into the bowels of the area, walking for what felt like forever through the most authentic parts of Chinatown including bamboo merchants, little flea market shops that sell pretty much everything you would ever want--and a lot that you don't and very authentic food markets (read:smelly fish and butcher shops) and the scents that escaped from these shops were not always the most pleasant (Poor Malea, being 4 mo pregnant the smells didn't do her any favors in this part of the city--especially when we came across a slightly sour smelling barrel of live large frogs for sale. See pic). All in all, it was a successful shopping day in Chinatown. Right up there with the purses, the HUGE bag of slightly damaged Fortune Cookies that Malea bought for $2 was quite the deal. We closed out the day with a nice lunch at Vincent's in neighboring Little Italy and then headed home.
Sunday Tom drove us into the city and dropped us right in Times Square. It was near 60 and we were so happy to be warm. We did some shopping but mostly sight seeing at Bryant Park, Union Square and Strand Bookstore. The highlight of the day though was Madame Toussards Wax museum. We had a great time laughing and posing and I have posted some of the least embarrassing pics.

We had a wonderful time and Malea really lucked out with the weather! It was great to visit with her and nice to have a couple days off from work!

I attached some pics. Malea with Oprah, the Rock and getting ready to catch F train at Bryant Park. Chinatown and the frogs. Me cooking something up with Rachel Ray and then hanging with Bono. Even in wax, he is just cool.

Watch out Seattle... Malea is crossing the busy streets with no regard to the cross walk signs (a total local move) and bartering with the most poker faced Chinese knock-off purse sellers you'd ever see. She is a fast learner.

I don't know where to begin with my description of our trip to the city. I am going to do it in 2 parts.

Thursday after I picked Malea up at the airport we went to Jersey City so I could proudly show her my favorite view of Manhattan from across the Hudson. It was beautiful weather---but very cold. She was a bit shocked at the painful burning the 7 degree temps brought to her exposed skin. Safe to say, we didn't hang outside for too long and opted to head home and hang out with Tom and the dogs. Frank wouldn't leave Malea alone! He loves her!
That night we were wishing that we would have made reservations to stay in the city at least one night... but we didn't feel like paying the average cost of 400 a night for a dinky hotel (see past post from Melissa's visit).
Just for fun we went online and believe it or not, found a 4 star Radisson with a view of Broadway in Midtown for 200 a night! Whew! Deal of the day!

Friday we took the train into the city. It was again, very cold. Very cold. Sunny... but did I mention cold? We were bundled up with at times just our eyes showing with our hats pulled down and our scarves pulled up, but we pressed on! We did one of our favorite indoor activities to stay warm: shopping. The Macy's in the city is the biggest store in the world--its size is amazing. There are 8 floors complete with a large Starbucks inside the store (in the handbags department, conveniently) and other restaurants on some of the other floors--even a McDonald's.

Malea is the best bargain shopper I know and since that skill doesn't seem to rub off on me, sadly, she protected her title and found some great deals! Looking back, the cold really slowed us down some and we spent most of the day just leisurely shopping in and around Times Square.
Friday night we went to Hairspray on Broadway. Since living here I have gotten to a few wonderful shows but I honestly think that this was the best play I had ever seen. It was Malea's first and she's going to have a hard time topping this one. My aunt Toni (Malea's mother-in-law) got us great seats 12 rows back, center orchestra.
Any other place but the theater, if we were any closer to the actors, we'd be guilty of invading that little invisible bubble of private space we all put around us. The actors never seem to make a mistake and the talent they have and effort they put forth is incredible to watch. We both said later that we caught ourselves smiling many times during the play. Norm from Cheers very successfully was Tracy's mother (a role traditionally played by a man on the stage and movie productions) and everyone loved him. He received a very deserving bouquet of roses at the end.

After the play, around 11, it began to snow. It was such a perfect moment. It was beautiful and we were energized from the play and the lights and sights to see in Times Square. We walked for prob half a mile until the snow (now mixed with rain) started to pick and we decided to just hail a cab. Easier said than done on a snowy Friday night just after about 80 or more shows let out for the night!! After walking a bit more we spotted a soaking wet young guy that appeared to moonlight as a rickshaw. Lucky for us, he had a cover over the cabin. Of course,it cost about 5 times what a cab would of cost, but it was worth it! Everyone needs to see their life flash before them at least once on a rickshaw in NYC--you cannot put a cost to that?! I was very proud of Malea; as our driver dodged taxi's and pedestrians and we said silent prayers that this boy would peddle us safely the 12 remaining blocks to our hotel, I only saw her shut her eyes twice from fear. Pretty good for a first timer--and in the inclement weather! We got back to the hotel and after giving the boy a generous tip hoping he'd use it to purchase a rain hat, we stayed up late visiting, gossiping and laughing and I cannot tell you how great it feels to have some friends from home out here. :-)

end of part I.
*pics: us at hairspray, malea in jersey city with the empire state building behind her, a couple of times square and then again in the hotel. the windows you see behind her once opened so one could go out on the balcony... but the Radisson has since bolted them shut. Probably a good idea for the crazy's-- but for us normals, it was a bummer.