So busy!

Hello everyone! Its been a crazy last couple of days and we have scrunched in SO much that I almost don't know where to start... but I will give it a try!

Our great friends Gretchen (someone I am sure is my long lost sister) and Doug came to visit from Santa Monica for a long weekend. Gretchen has some business in the city this week but they came early to visit with us and some other friends of theirs. Tom and I drove into the city to meet up with them Sat and Sunday and the time flew by TOO fast!

After meeting for some cocktails Sat night and then a fab dinner at Bar Americain (a Bobby Flay restaurant for you "foodies" out there)

...we headed to the Tony Award winning show In The Heights. Last year this show won Best Musical, one of the highest honors a production can receive, Best Score, Best Choreography as well as Best Orchestrations.

Instead of me writing a review, I figured I'd post what the In the Heights web page has down for detail on this wonderful show!

WELCOME to the show that won Broadway’s highest honors by first winning its heart. WELCOME to the next chapter in the classic American story on stage. WELCOME to the kind of musical that comes around once in a generation. A musical that builds on the best traditions of theater while forging into fresh new territory. A musical about the importance of home, family and finding where you belong.

In the Heights tells the universal story of a vibrant community in Manhattan's Washington Heights – a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open, and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music. It's a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams and pressures, where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions you take with you, and which ones you leave behind.

This synopsis describes the feel perfectly. The set was so creative with life like bodega's (corner stores), car service companies and hair salons complete with apartments above the businesses where the residents of this neighborhood lived and worked and flew the flags from their original countries off their rod iron fire escapes.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Manhattan area, Washington Heights is way uptown, past Central Park, past Columbia University and up to 181st street right near the Bronx. The subway can take you all the way... its definitely a different feel for the visitor compared to the "run of the mill" Times Square, Empire State, Greenwich Village tourist spots, but very much part of NY in history as well as in our modern day.

It was a great show and we left feeling fortunate for being able to experience a show that is very different from anything playing right now. Above are a couple pics from the In The Heights website and one of us getting ready to see the show!

Today Tom and I headed back out to the city and had plans to hit some museums with G & D as it was very rainy... but instead, we ended up hunkering down at an Irish Pub near Central Park to watch some football!! It was awesome! Doug and Gretchen had already been to a couple museums on this trip and since Tom and I can go to one any time, we felt our time was better spent visiting, laughing and cheering for the Jets, Giants and Vikings (well, Gretchen cheered for the Vikings :)

Such a good time with friends and as always, I LOVE NYC--I love every bit of it. Maybe a post is due that just lists the things that make NY so perfect in my mind... :) Wait for that.

We went. We visited. We laughed. We enjoyed. We are home.

Our trip to Washington (State) went off without a hitch, complete with 84 channels of real time tv via Direct TV on our flights for $6 (BEST $6 I ever spent) and no airline delays.

We were pretty much on the go the entire time. We started out in Yakima, Wa (home of my grandparents of my birth for all of you factmongers out there) for a family reunion! It was sunny and hot and we had so much fun visiting with all of my relatives. Some pics of the reunion are attached... but my photoshop gifted uncles have taken SO many more, so... stay tuned for more "creative" pics.
There may be some Karaoke pics...

After getting back to the West of the Mountains after the reunion (and did I mention how wonderful it was to see mountains again--- Tom and I both miss that out here in the East) we spent a bunch of time with my immediate family. It should come as no surprise that the stars of that show for sure were Zane and Chloe--our nephew and niece. So CUTE. Auntie and Uncle treated them right as always with presents and kisses and Uncle even had a chance to go "camping" (in the living room) with Zane.

We spent the rest of the week visiting with my folks, seeing TONS of friends---TONS---- and actually having some time for Tom and I to play tourist in Seattle which was nice---actually have never done that before! :)

We made it home late last night and picked up our babies first thing this morning from the Doggie Spa. We missed them so much!!

Also-- side note-- having moved to the East Coast we have made some great Jewish friends and the Jewish presence, being very prevalent out on this side of the country, the Jewish holidays are very well known among all faiths and acknowledged equally to all other holidays (what a breath of fresh air that is!!).
With that said-- Happy Rosh Hashanah!

*My home town!

*Two of my oldest and BEST friends and I: Geoff, Michele & Diana

*Group dinner at Icon Grill in Seattle!

*Our dear friends Deb, Chris, Lauren and baby girl due Nov 6.

*Friends: The "guys" and the "kids". Our friend Jack holding Chris and Deb's toddler Lauren, Chris holding Jack and Cathy's baby Melina and "Uncle Tom" holding... the toy we brought for Melina. Where are Frank and Ol when we need them!!??

*Dad teaching Tom the finer points of B Ball

*Bocce ball "Dream Team"

*Zane & my cousin Ryan climbing the tree

*Di & Caitlin

*Tom, my brother-in-law Jesse and my brother Grant

*Di, Mom, Steph, Chloe and Zane

*Uncle & Zane

*Auntie & Chloe

8th Anniversary

You know, I hesitate to use the word "anniversary" for the heart-wrenching events in our lives... but I guess there is no other word.

The 8th anniversary of the September 11th attack on our nation is upon us and its a very solemn day of remembrance for Tom and I--as it is for most I assume.

For the past few years, to mark this day in history, I post the following information and website. Take a look.

As the website states, please take a moment to post your personal plan to perform a good deed, volunteer or engage in another charitable activity in observance of the newly established September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance. Help create a wonderful legacy that honors the victims and those who rose to service in response to the attacks on America.

Reflect. Thanks.

... to grandmother's house we go. Isn't that how that song goes?

Tomorrow Tom and I set out to Seattle for our first trip back together since moving out East and with NO work or office visits on the agenda. It will be nice to visit with my family and our friends. We miss everyone so much. Of course we won't see all the people we'd like to--we have to visit in shifts it seems, but we'll get to see a few on the list! One stop is in Yakima, WA where we are having a family reunion. My mom's side of 8 kids, most with kids and some of those kids with kids will be there and we will of course be visiting with my grandparents who still live in Yakima (see how I tie this in with the blog post title?-- haha).

We are looking forward to seeing everyone and I will post pictures for sure. Be prepared for cheesy family fun pics that when you see them you will surely think to yourself "I guess you had to be there".


Just for fun--here are some very vintage family reunion photos to get everyone in the mood!

little known fact...

My mother-in-law Bev notified me that the US Open is the SINGLE largest sports revenue generator in NYC--that means more $$ than the Yankees, Mets, Knicks, Rangers, Islanders and the NFL Football teams that make their home here.

Thanks Bev!

Also-- there was a huge upset in the Open today with the women! The Americans are holding their own.
Tonight is Andy Roddick! Am I addicted?? Yes!! :)

This folks, is tennis lingo , well the love part--of course meaning a score of "0" in the game.
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Roddick (as well as Venus Williams, Serena Williams etc) are also tennis terms: the names of some of the greatest players to ever live and--------- I SAW ALL OF THEM!! So exciting!!

The US Open is going on right now in NYC (to be specific--in Flushing Meadows in Queens). Tom and I have really gotten into tennis since we've moved here and this is our 3rd US Open (well, watching on TV or on the big screen tv's they set up at Madison Park in the city as well as playing)... but this year also marks my first IN PERSON visit to the event!

Our friends Cora and Brian belong to a tennis and golf club out here and Cora was able to get free tickets to day 2 at the US Open. I took the day off work and she and I (and about 10 others from their club) hopped into a limo coach bus and we were on our way to Queens.

I can honestly say that this was THE best sporting event I have ever been to--and I have been to what I think are epic sporting events. It was extremely organized, clean, open and felt like a festival of sorts. We had tickets to the day matches at the Arthur Ashe stadium (the main arena there) but the tickets also allowed us free roaming ability to walk the grounds to shop, see Tennis auctions, eat, visit, sight see AND see all of the constant action on the other 15 courts on the ground. Aside from the "official" courts--there are practice fields on each side of the grounds and these turned out to be my favorite part of the day.

Our tickets allowed us to see the 2 main afternoon events (televised) and these matches were amazing---but in between the matches and even during, we'd walk around and visit the practice courts. Here, all of the players, ranked and unranked, are practicing for their matches-side by side-just like at a park or high school.

We were elated to see Roger Federer (#1 in the world), Andy Roddick (#5), Rafael Nadal (RAFFA!!! #3), Venus (#3) and many others practice just like they were having fun--which I am sure they were. We were front row watching them (and they rotated out and in all day depending on their personal play schedule). To get a front row seat to see any one of these players, not to mention all of them, play a real match would be amazing--but hard to get. Here, at the practice courts--we saw them all and up close!!

My fave is Roger Federer followed closely by Nadal and Roddick---and in case you are wondering, it just happens to be a coincidence that I like them and that they are all gorgeous -- seriously, purely a coincidence.

Anyway, the US Open goes until I think the 12th so turn on ESPN 2 and check it out-better yet, plan to come out for the 2010 Open--you will see us there for sure! I have to bring Tom next year! I added the US Open link too! Get addicted!!

Here are some awesome shots we got while there. The weather was also PERFECT. 77 with zero humidity.

*me & cora
*me and Roger
*RAFFA. Nice.
*Roger Federer leaving practice
*Venus practicing with Roddick in the background (nice backhand)
* the globe art form originally constructed for the 1961 Worlds Fair. Gorgeous setting.
*some of the other courts
*view of NYC from the arthur ashe stadium (and a couple of the practice courts)
*andy roddick sweaty and shirtless. Its hard work being 5th in the world.