Big news here this week. Why really? I mean, Kings and Queens?
Really--what impact do they have, in the UK anyway, to the government other than the traditional historical image associated with them? Discuss and get back to me. My opinion--I like it! I think there is wonderful romantic notion to the whole royal family thing.

Prince Harry tours around the city honoring the Ground Zero Site and playing in a Polo Match on Governors Island, among other things.

Hi all-- sorry its been a while since the last post. My aunt Janelle and cousins Jennifer and Jamie have been in town and as with other guests in the past who have visited, we pretty much went non stop all day each day leaving me very little time to post our adventures.

They left early this am for Oregon and since I have this week off work, I have some time now to post!

They flew in Friday afternoon and Tom BBQ'd some very delicious steaks for all of us as we visited and planned our itinerary for our time in NY. My aunt got us a hotel room on the East Side so that made the visit even better as we had a "base" to go to and drop off our millions of shopping bags etc. It was great having "slumber parties" and staying up late laughing and talking. My aunt and I are very close in age and have a very close friendship. My cousins are no longer little kids---I was so impressed with them as young women and while it made me feel old, I felt so proud of them and how smart and beautiful they are. I wish I could see them more often (thank goodness for Facebook)!

So--to the summary and quick commentary when relevant (and of course, pictures)!!

We hit ALL of the major sights. Here is a summary and quick commentary when beneficial to the experience:

Top of the Rock

St Patrick's Cathedral

Chinatown (the J's had quite the experiences with secret squirrel purse shopping including: dodging cops with the vendor, climbing down incredibly steep steps into secret cellars full of amazing handbags and walking thru false walls into small rooms filled from floor to ceiling with differnt bags). Very fun!!

Ground Zero: a very humbling experience. Walking through the church across the street that has become a tribute to the workers and volunteers who came out of the woodwork on 9/11 and the many days after who used the church as a home base. Very moving.

Times Square: Jennifer posed with the infamous Naked Cowboy! You have to do it if you have the chance!! The girls loved Times Square-- Jen and I got matching MTV shirts at the store, hit up the M&M store multiple times for multiple samples, experienced the first day of the "Pedestrian Only" Broadway that outlawed cars and instead the city provided old school lawn chairs by the hundereds for people to just sit and relax in the middle of the street.

Broadway: Jan treated us to row 11 center stage at the BEST and longest running show on Broadway: Phantom of the Opera.
This was the first Broadway show for Jen and Jamie and they loved Phantom from the movie remake so they knew all the songs. It was so wonderful!!

Eating: Sushi, over priced Times Square food, street hotdogs and pretzels, small cafe's and of course Starbucks (that was my influence though).

The subway rides. The girls got to be quite the pros at using the metro cards and knowing if we should be going uptown or downtown.

Shopping on 5th (love you Apple store), Times Square, Soho, Greenwich Village etc

Natural History Museum where we got our fill of Dinosaurs and had beautiful access to Central Park.

Just wandering: Upper East Side, Greenwich, Midtown, Little Italy

I know I am forgetting lots of things we saw/did... but you get the idea! Busy few days and so fun!!

Side note on an individual experience I had during this trip in the city that to me is just too good to not talk about:
Tues. am I woke up at 6am coughing (this cold/allergies is really hanging on) and not wanting to bother the J's I threw on my jeans and fleece and headed out to get some tea and cough meds. The city was awake of course, even that early and the sun had just come up. After getting tea I wandered to Rockafeller Center and saw the early birds outside the Today Show and then I headed to St Patrick's for an early morning mass. I loved being in the city and seeing it from a different angle at that time, as well as doing things I will NEVER do again as I cannot imagine why I would ever be up that early again there!! :)

Enjoy the pics and your short week! I have tomorrow off as well so I am looking forward to doing some writing and getting things back on schedule in my real, non-tour guide life. :)


As Tom and I prepare for our first visitors this summer, my aunt Janelle and her daughters (my cousins) from Hawaii, I am busy thinking/planning/plotting the itinerary for our time that we'll spend in the city. I LOVE planning itineraries!! :)

Of course I will blog about all we see and do during their visit, but for today I just wanted to post a couple quotes that appeared in New York Magazine last summer (authors unknown--these were part of a series that encouraged New Yorkers to write in with what they loved about the city). I clipped these quotes out and saved them on my desk to refer to now and then as they make me happy. They describe NY well--at least in a way I can relate to. Not sure what I mean?--come and visit and find out. :)

"Because sooner or later everybody comes to New York: every band, every friend, everybody I want to see."

"The choice to be seen or be invisible."

run like the wind!

Happy Sunday--another day closer to summer and we are very excited! We spent the weekend at the boat and enjoyed beautiful weather Friday and Saturday---but today, we got a bit of a front in and the weather turned a bit chilly.

Yesterday morning Tom, Lisa, John and I ran in the 6th Annual 5K Leukemia Remembrance Run in a teeny town at the shore called Bay Head. This town hugs the coastline and is full of mansions of homes right on the beach and on the surrounding avenues, quaint shops and surfers galore. It was the first time John and I had run a 5K and we had a blast! All 4 of us did well--finishing with what are considered excellent times! :) Poor Tom was even fighting a cold and he did fabulous. It was really foggy in the morning, but the sun soon came out and it was no time before Lisa and I were laying out on the front of the boat!

Here are some pics from the weekend and I'll close this post with this wonderful quote that seems so fitting for our anxious await of summer--- courtesy of the famous American novel 'The Great Gatsby' by F. Scott Fitzgerald:

"It had been a golden afternoon and I remember having the familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer; by autumn my mood would be very different."

Let Summer Begin!!

Hello from the start of summer in what is known as the Tri-State Area!! This weekend we were fortunate enough to have BEEEEautiful weather and Tom and I of course went straight to the boat for our first weekend trip of the season! The new furniture is ready, the boat is all clean, sheets on the beds and the cooler is full. Oh yes... the cooler. You guys don't know this story yet.
Well--its a good one. We went to the boat last weekend just for the day and as per usual, went for dinner with John and Lisa. After our nice Thai dinner we talked ourselves into getting some desert so we headed across the parking lot to Chevy's--the tex mex place. They happened to be having a Cinco de Mayo party so while we drank some cheap Corona beer, we entered our names into a raffle for some various items--most cheesy items like corona beer signs etc. However, the Grand prize peaked our interest---it was a large metal insulated Corona beer ice box that would be PERFECT for our dock parties!!! So we entered then proceeded to visit and pick up some cool give-a-ways like very necessary corona beer cozies that are mini-ponchos (see pic) and light up necklaces. At just about 9 when we were getting ready to leave anyway.... the DJ from the local radio station sponsering the fiesta was ready to draw the name for the big prize. Lisa and I crossed our fingers and she called out........none other than TOM's NAME!!! We four jumped and clapped and high five'd our neighbors (well, Lisa and I did) at the surroinding tables. John and Tom loaded it into the truck and that night John bolted to our dock ready for the next sunny weekend... which takes us back to this current weekend!! :)

So far, all of our dock neighbors that have seen it love it and as Lisa said "what a great way to start the summer!!".

Here are some pics from our weekend hanging out and Tom with the big prize! Have an excellent week.

Hey everyone--another work week is nearly over and its gone by pretty fast for us. I can't believe that just Monday I was one of the lucky ones to have an audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama who was in town for a talk on Compassion and the different Buddhist views on the topic. Even if you are not Buddhist, you cannot help but NOT like this man. He is so peaceful and so happy--it transfers onto all around him effortlessly. His english is excellent, but except for a few minutes in the beginning of the seminar, he chose to speak in his native Tibetan which was then translated into English. I have a great deal more to learn and study on these texts for me to feel as though I know just whats going on and being said--but I look forward to that challenge. Much of what is "preached" in this religion is very much common sense. Its refreshing.

It was a 2 part seminar and took place at the famous Beacon Theatre on the Upper West Side. The line to get in, even for us ticket holders, was wrapped around the building 2 times--its was nuts. All walks of life were in attendance, from "movie stars" to the distinguished looking elderly, to the stereotypical "buddhists" to people like me--- those that look a bit out of place, but wanting to fit in to this grand club.

Later that evening, after wandering the city, specifically near 3rd Ave which is really a great little place to wander, I met up with Gretchen in the Hells Kitchen's_Kitchen,_Manhattan
area for dinner.
She was in town for work and as you know regular readers, whenever she is in town we meet up! It was a Thai place with the fastest service I had ever seen, and good food!! Always great to see Gretchen and I loved hearing about her puppy!

After my big day Monday, the week flew by and Tom and I have been SO busy at work and counting the minutes now until the weekend when we'll be on the boat!! Supposed to be 80 on Saturday and then Sunday I am guessing Tom and the dogs have BIG plans for me since it IS Mothers Day. ;) Believe it or not, I am still sick... ear infection that I hope will get better soon with some different antibiotics. Tom is feeling a bit of a cold coming on though now... :(

Have a good weekend!

Attached are some recent pics, most being from Monday the 4th.
HH himself in a happy photo, but also in person including a wide view of the stage he and the other monks sat on; a window from the famous Palace Hotel (Chuck Bass' room) that stood out so spring like on the drenching rain day that Monday was; the Empire State Bldg looking very mysterious as I made my way home after dinner with Gretchen; Frank snuggling with Tom; dogs on the boat.

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