so tired...








wow. its been a long time, right? Tom and I have been busy all day every day while Jean has been visiting from Sea-town.
I took a couple days off and Jean and I hit up the must see spots in NYC--non-tourist and tourist spots alike.

We spent 2 days in the city and walked a total of 12.5 miles. We were uptown, we were downtown. We found that underground railroad again in the Brotherhood Synagogue in Gramercy Park (for you faithful readers, I blogged about this in early June), we hit Times Square in the morning and night; spent some time in Greenwich at the Mews (see below), listened to some music in Washington Square Park and acted like locals at the Jekyl and Hyde Bar, and Caliente; climbed to the top of the Rock (afeller Center) and witnessed the best city in the world that I never get tired of looking at from this view; went to a taping of the Colbert Report (Comedy Central) and Stephen Colbert pretty much visited with us as if no one else was in the studio :-) and after finding out we were from Seattle he wondered if we had heard of a slittle coffee shop popular in NY: Starbucks.
We met Matt Lauer from the Today Show (his cardboard twin actually and to tell the truth, we settled for him as our Brian Williams, from the NBC Nightly News, stalking turned out fruitless), saw Keith Oberman tape his show; watched Tim Meadows walk right past us as well as "Meadow" from the Sopranos; bargained for VERY good knockoff purses in Chinatown before stumbling onto a street festival (totally by accident) in Little Italy which had all the nearby streets closed except for someone the cops let through that was driving a bright green Lamborghini and we swear was named "Paulie"; and, met up with Mark, a friend of ours from high school that lives in the Upper East Side, for dinner.

Tom missed out on all this fun as he was at work. :-)
He headed to the boat on Friday night and Jean and I met him Saturday AM. We headed out on a boat trip and anchored out about an hour or so away and just laid in the sun and enjoyed life. We had a downpour (which seems normal for here in the summer) but as soon as it passed, we were back to laying out. We all got some much welcomed sun (especially Jean as she came from the land of the pasty white people). Jean christened the boat being our first overnight guest! We also visited a nearby surf shop and contemplated an 8 am surf clinic on Sunday-- but decided against it when we weighed our other option: sleep.

Today we all (Tom, Jean and I--dogs napped at the boat-- and John and Lisa) hopped in John and Lisa's small boat and headed to F Cove to cool off. It was 90 degrees and SO HUMID. We got there quick in the speed boat and then spent a few hours swimming around (Jean getting stung by some Jelly fish) before heading to the airport.

We had so much fun and I was so happy Tom got to meet and spend time with one of my oldest and closest friends. He enjoyed hearing the memories we shared with him and he understood the silliness that comes natural to two friends who have known each for more years in their lives than not.

attached is a short history on the Mews and also a few pics from our weekend (including a cool one of a reflection of the empire state building, the mews and jean and I with Matt, at the Colbert Report and at the top of the rock). More to come...

The Mews in Greenwich:
Most of these small "houses" are converted stables, built in the 1830s for the brownstone owners on Washington Square and 8th Street. The street retains its original cobblestone paving and is fenced off to pedestrians except for a short time span each day. As Greeenwich Village became popular as a bohemian mecca, artists started to occupy these buildings as studios, but today, as with most buildings around Wash Square Park, these buildings are primarily used as residences by NYU faculty.

dodged the storm



In my opinion, the weather forecasters here are pretty accurate. Usually, its much warmer than what they say it will be and when they say its going to rain, it rains!! But today--they were WAY off! It was supposed to be low 70's and thunderstorms throughout the day but instead it was mid 80's and sunny all day. While John and Tom each worked on their boat projects Lisa and I lounged on the front of the boat for a good part of the day, took the dogs swimming at the little marina beach and then all 4 of us went to dinner at the Sand Bar restaurant (grilled clams in the shell--yum).

At dinner, we sat outside in bar like fashion, overlooking a fishing marina (huge beautiful fishing boats). During dinner we had a bit of a thunderstorm show with lightening and the pounding rain. It passed in about 20 min so all was good. Lisa asked if I felt at home being in the rain and I informed her that we don't really get summer rain storms in Seattle--but when we did, it wasn't the 80 degree temps we have here in the rain. The summer storms here are neat. Tonight, and most nights at the shore, I felt like such a tourist. John drove us around after dinner to other Marina's, small towns with little shops and other sights all about 5-10 min from our Marina. So much to see and do here...

Here is a pic of us girls at the restaurant marina and a small map of the jersey shore beaches/locations for all of you haters (point: when my aunt was out here, she called her son (my cousin Brandon) and let him know we were at the shore wading in the atlantic. he said (and I quote) "mom, does it smell there?". People outside of the tri-state area just don't know how great it is here!!)

boat day


We headed to the boat Friday night, as we do most weekends, and have enjoyed a very nice Saturday here. We took the boat out for a 3 our tour (sing the gilligan theme song here...) and anchored out in the Atlantic and just soaked in the rays. Our neighbors in Morristown came down to visit and we were proud to show them around the boat. John and Lisa have been busy all day so we didn't hang with them at all except for a bit this am. We'll see them tomorrow though and hopefully the thunderstorms being predicted pass right by so we can take the boat out again.

Being down here just gets the beach life in your blood. Within a 3 mile radius there are 3 surf shops I have found so far---real surf shops, hawaii style. My cousin in Kona has picked up Stand Up Paddle---surfing while standing with a paddle (just as it sounds hahaha) and I am trying to get Lisa to get into it with me out here. The boards out this way are $1500 though---a little steep. Maybe we can find some other girls to go in on it with us and we can work it like a time share! :-) Stay tuned for this hobby I have in my sights... In the mean time Lisa and I are going to try and do a surf camp down here at the shore. Tom is a great sport with all of my new ideas!! But Lisa is right there ready to participate so I am doing really well!

We have a good week coming up. Tom is in town (yay)-- I got used to him not traveling so a week away seemed like a really long time-- and on Wed night one of my best friends in the world - Jean is coming to visit. She and I have been great friends since age 14 and I can't wait to see her. She is making the trek without her husband and two boys so its an adventure in a lot of ways for her! I am taking Thurs and Fri off and we are doing the city, the shore, etc. :-)

Hope everyone is having a good start to summer--we absolutely are.

pic attached: tom and I watching the sunset from the front of our boat.

last day of spring





hey everybody! We don't have any big events to report on or any fun activities we have been a part of --this is just a plain old regular update. :-)

Tom has been in Washington State all week--about 90 min outside of Seattle-- at a leadership retreat for work. He has had ok weather there (as its more Eastern Wash than Western Washington) but has been in meetings most of the time so he hasn't been outside to enjoy it. When he gets home tomorrow though, he'll enjoy our weather. Aside from some short yet intense thundershowers the last couple days, today was beautiful and 77 and this weekend and week will hit the mid 80's.

I have been enjoying the weather of course. The dogs and I have been taking walks and being outside whenever possible.
They miss Tom though and begin to act up when he is gone for more than a couple nights so they have been a bit more high maintenance than normal!

My class at NYU is great! After work on Mondays I train into the city and get my fix there by walking and taking in the city-I don't think I will ever tire of it. love the professor and am hoping to be published at some point, hopefully soon! I am learning a lot! We met with a magazine editor just last week which was very inspiring!

This weekend we will of course be at the boat and then on Wed one of my best friends in my life, Jean---since age 14-- is coming to visit! I can't wait. I am taking a couple days off for tours of the city and the shore. You'd think I'd get tired of the city and the shore, but I don't and honestly, with each new visitor I end up seeing things I have never seen before so its a win win.

Tom and I are also planning on going to the tennis US Open tourney in August. Tickets are on sale and the event is in NY so we have no excuse NOT to go! :-)

Well-- that's about it for an update. Hope everyone is well!
Here are some pics from our "file": a NY summer shot at Madison Square Park, the Seattle I know and love and some fun ones from way back of the dogs when they were little.

weekend at the boat






ahhhhhh, what a nice weekend. We headed down to the shore on Saturday morning prepared for a fun weekend on the water and that is just what we got! Tom didn't have too many projects this weekend so we had a lot of time to relax. Saturday the dogs, Tom and I hopped on John and Lisa's boat and headed to a nearby bay to anchor and just hang out and swim. It was very hot and very humid--and the water temp (and we actually took the temp so this is no exaggeration) was 80. It was like bath water! I forgot my camera which I want to apologize publicly for as I would have had a bunch of good pics to post, but I did manage to get a few on my phone so hopefully these will be acceptable alternatives.

We had to take the dingy into shore a few times to let the dogs do their business and that in itself was fun. Ollie and Frank are such good little swimmers--we were so proud. Reeces is a little swimmer too, but Snickers, this weekend anyway--he just finds the shade and hangs out. Attached is a pic of Tom and John with all 4 dogs while Lisa and I manned the blender back on the boat! :-) We finished the eve with a late dinner at the Pilot House--a really cool restaurant near the marina.

Today it was odd weather. When it gets so hot, heat thunderstorms appear and we see lightening and hear thunder and can almost time when the rain will fall ---down to the minute. We had quite the downpour for about 20 min and then the weather was beautiful and high 80's once again. We sat at the top of the boat (inside) to watch the storm--pretty neat.
Tonight we are relaxing at home and getting ready for the work week. Tom has to fly to the west for a work retreat thing so the dogs and I are on our own.

Have a good week everyone and a note for our friends in Seattle: we hear it was finally sunny!! yay! :-)
And Happy Fathers Day to our dads Jack and Jack and also to our great friend Chris: his first fathers day!! :-)

pics* dingy shots (see all 4 dogs), frank and diana, some sun shots.








I am going to fit in Sat Sun and Monday into one entry so hang on...

By Friday, we were loving the city but we had to get to the shore to check out the boat and the "you wouldn't believe it if you didn't see it for yourself" beach. Saturday, it was a whopping 98 degrees and 88 as of 10am when Tom, the dogs and us drove to the boat.
We toured the shore and the Seaside Heights Boardwalk and my mom and aunt loved every second. It was very hot, but it was better than the rain that was falling (and kept falling) in Seattle while they were here.
Tom took us for a 3 hour boat ride after our beach visit and we sat at the front of the boat pretty much the entire time. It was so nice out! We had dinner with John and Lisa that evening and then made the journey home for another night of heading to bed at midnight!

Sunday we shopped till we nearly dropped in Morristown at the famous Century 21 department store. After our fill of designer discount clothes we braved the heat and drove to Liberty State Park and Jersey City to get the premium view of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty. Tom bbq'd his famous salmon for us when we got home and it was a nice "relaxing" day--altho we were very busy once again.

Monday we hit the city again. We went in a bit late that day because my mom made Tom and I each our most favorite pie. You have not had pie until you have tasted my mom's cherry pie (Tom would argue that his apple is better). Yum. Today we hit the 'Top of the Rock' so they could see the sprawling city from all angles. Central Park is amazing from that view as well as when you are physically in it and that was our next stop after walking up 5th and window shopping at the world famous stores. The 97 degree temps didn't bug us much today... but it was hot. The park was crowded, but not so much that it was hard to maneuver through. Everyone was out enjoying the sun and laying in the grass.
After wandering Central Park we hopped the subway and headed down to the World Trade Center site. I had to go to class, so my mom and aunt roamed this downtown area alone. I hoped they would be ok and they were--who knows what adventures they had that I will never hear about!! Crazy! The tame stories shared with me included another century 21, spending time at the wtc site and a visit to Starbucks. Sounds a bit too normal to me...

After my class we headed home and although we were tired and hot and had a busy week, I wasn't ready for them to leave the next day. We loved seeing them and having that time alone with my mom and my aunt was so fun. I had so much time to hear stories from their childhood, their life now---I feel I know them each even better.
Here are some pics and I plan to put our pics to music for them on dvd, so maybe I will post that here.

Have a great evening and its almost the weekend!!

mom and lynne--friday









we headed to the city today and it was hot--but little did we know, it would be the coolest day of the visit.
Mom and Lynne wasted no time adapting to "city ways". They were crossing the streets paying no attention to the signals but instead to the largest gaps in cars also trying to cross. I was very proud.
Today we headed from the Empire State area down to Chinatown and stopping nearly everywhere in between. We rode the subway and got to experience the a-cappella bands that roam the subway singing and charming the money right out of your wallet for their well deserved tips. We saw St Patrick's cathedral (armed with nypd with semi automatic weapons which was a bit odd) and even witnessed part of a benediction there. We hung out in Greenwich village and cooled off with some gellato in Little Italy (after sweating through Chinatown). Tom met us in Times Square (one of their favorite spots) and we went to see the broadway play Hairspray. It was so wonderful-- we all enjoyed it very much.

Here are some pics of our day:

mom and auntie








Hey everyone. Haven't posted in a while-- but it hasn't been because we don't have anything to say! We have been SO busy! I took a few days off to spend some time with my mom and Aunt Lynne who flew out for the whirlwind tour of the tri-state area.
I knew we'd have a great time, but it was even better than I thought. Of course it was wonderful to see my mom--to have that one on one time was so nice. It was great to see Lynne too. I feel even so much closer to both of them actually. Good times!

I have a ton to write about and will do so in a day type format to keep the pics in order.

THURSDAY

We headed to Lancaster County today to take my mom and aunt back to simpler times. I had been there before in October with my friend Melissa, but this time the weather was nicer and we saw many more horse and buggies so thats always fun.
I am not sure how I did it, but I found again the same farm that Melissa and I visited last year. Sadie and Amos had plenty to offer for sale in their home store and we capitalized on that buying fresh bread, jam, homemade soap and pot-holders.
The scenery was so beautiful. I hope the pics do it justice.

*pics: mom and lynne at an amish church, friendly horse, landscape, amish buggy, farmer and beleive it or not... a handicap buggy parking spot. seriously.

wtc







I am really happy to say that I had my first class Monday evening and I love it! Neat to be back in the classroom scene actually. Most of the NYU buildings are in Greenwich Village, but this one is in the Woolworth Building in lower manhattan. This building opened in 1913 and was the tallest building in the city at the time. The World Trade Center buildings were only a couple blocks away and while this building was not damaged greatly, it was without electricity and phone service for weeks after 9/11.
The inside of the building is gorgeous--truly one of the most architecturally beautiful buildings in the city. I am attaching some pics as well as some from just around this area.

Before my class I headed to the WTC site. If you didn't know, you'd just think they were doing normal city construction.
Not much has been developed yet in the empty area. I am attaching a pic. You can't really tell from the picture, but when looking up to the skyline the gap between the remaining buildings is sadly, very large.

Coming from the West Coast, 9/11 was of course extremely devastating. But walking around the site, seeing all the people just walking on the street going about their normal day, or me sitting in my class, it is hard to imagine what it was like for New Yorkers that day. Its still devastating.

Melissa's visit











I have a daunting task ahead of me... once again Melissa's visit, just spanning the weekend, produced so many adventures, pics and laughs that I could write a novel! But I will try and just highlight the main points!

So Melissa flew in Friday night and after a mandatory stop at the luxury outlets in NY (outlets like you have never seen-- many of the stores are just pointless for us to even go into as even at outlet prices, we'd go broke) we met Tom for dinner at our hangout here Tabor Tavern. She got to meet a couple of our neighbors too. The weekend was starting off pretty well and it only got better.

Sat morning we got up early and trained into the city. It was very warm, but overcast and thundershowers were called for. Both of us being from Seattle, didn't even consider bringing an umbrella. Whats a little rain when you are from the rain capital of the world?

Our first stop was at Union Square. Melissa was here in Oct so there was no need to hit Times Square and some of the other touristy sites in mid-town. Union Square on a Saturday in the summer (or spring) is packed with the farmers market, flower market and the art that I love. Melissa was excited to buy some ramps (onion like things that are in season now and only grown in the NE). I had a hard time matching her enthusiasm for them, but glad I helped in making her so happy.
We headed next to Gramercy Park--an area I have never been to before in the city. This area is highly affluent. The actual Gramercy Park is private and requires a key for entry. The apartments around this area are amazing. After stopping for a beverage (at noon) at Pete's tavern--the oldest bar in NYC--we headed furhter into Gramercy. Right about now is where my prior umbrella comment is important. It started with just a couple drops and before we knew it we were running through puddles headed towards an apartment awning to take cover. This rain looked as though if it hit you it'd be painful. We stood here for a good 10 min before we wondered just how long we'd be here.
As we stood here waiting, this older, very short woman approached us pushing her shopping cart and carrying her umbrella. She took pity on us and asked if both of us could fit under her umbrella with her and she'd walk us to the drug store to buy umbrellas (who says New Yorkers are rude?) This offer, while very nice, was pretty much impossible since we towered over her. After politely declining, 'Marian' had a better idea: "go to my synagogue" she said. "They just had a party and there is plenty of food left. Go----eat". Our attire hardly was synagogue worthy... but she persisted and then clinched the visit for us with the information that the building is a national monument and the basement was used for the underground railroad during the Civil War and--it was just around the corner. As the rain let up we left her (not without hearing about her niece who was working at Microsoft and making "bread" and her occasional "fawget ehbout et" comment) for the umbrella stand and then for the synagogue.

Long story short--we were greeted by some very nice people at the synagogue and we were taken down to the basement and witnessed the ORIGINAL underground railroad tunnel completely untouched. We looked past the chairs and tables that the congregation stored there and took in the history as we stepped in and touched the brick and imagined the people and the emotions that passed through this very tunnel. We knew that this would be the highlight of the day.

After some very good mexican for lunch and a visit to a famous cheese shop, grand central station and a street fair that spanned, I swear, nearly the entire street of Lexington (that we can only describe was a tribute to gyros as nearly every booth was a gyro booth) we went to the Morgan Museum/Library. This, became the second highlight of the day.
On display were 3 of the only 50 remaining copies of the Gutenberg bible. They were amazing to see--almost un-comprehensible. JP Morgan, this his house at one time, had an astonishing library that rendered us speechless upon our entry. We saw original Shakespeare, Goethe, Milton, Dickens and so on. Too many to even list. I cannot describe the room to do it even slight justice.

We then headed to the 3rd highlight-- Duran Duran concert in Central Park. After another short, but very wet downpour, we danced the night away to some old 80's classics. What a night! What a day!

Sunday we headed to the shore and spent the day at Pt Pleasant beach laying out and wandering the boardwalk and then heading to dinner with Tom, John and Lisa. Another very full day and the weather was so beautiful! 100% sunny and hot!!

We had such a great time and I wish she lived closer so we could do this wandering more often.
:-)

I am attaching some pics from the city and the shore.
Enjoy!!

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