In NYC, picking the perfect tree is a bit more, should we say complicated?
Step 1. Find a Christmas tree lot.
Not hard, you can see they are just about on every street corner, though you may have to look around for the good deals. We found our steal of a deal at our 6th lot. Whew. Lotta walking.
2. Find a strong man to carry your tree home. You may have to beg and make a deal, especially if you live almost a mile away.
3. Invite your strong tree delivery man inside & out of the cold.
It worked for me!
4. Viola! And there you have it.
Our Christmas tree this year.
We might have overdone it...the branches of this tall balsam pine almost reach our ceiling and take up a big chunk of our living area. But we love it. It sure has made us feel all Christmas-y every time we see it!
Only 1 more day until we leave our tree and our NYC home to go home for Christmas!
my cute sister kristin & her husband blaine came to visit us for thanksgiving. as it was their first time in nyc, we had to make sure to give them the full new york experience.
broadway shows + backstage tours + brooklyn bridge + central park + yummy restaurants + shopping + weekend brunch + the macy's thanksgiving day parade.
i think we wore them out! the week went way too fast & we were so sad to see them go.
so sad, that as we were saying our final goodbyes at the subway station, we were both crying as the subway started to leave the station. it was then that we realized that i still had kristin's purse dangling from my arm! what followed was 60 minutes of a high speed chase--subway rides & running through the ny streets to try to get it back to them so they wouldn't miss their flight.
the good news: we made it & they made their flight
the bad news: no extra days with them
we can't wait to see them again with their new little baby this time!
Finally, a peek into our big debut EUROPE! Now if I can only get this blogging thing under my belt...
First stop...London, England.
After much anticipation for our trip, begging for practically a sabbatical from work, & stressing over packing exactly 2 backpack style bags to travel Rick Steves' style (how hard is it for a girl to pack exactly 2 pairs of shoes, 1 pair of pants, and 5 shirts for 17 days?? I may have squeezed in a little bit more...Kyle did find out eventually) we made it!
On the first of what would be many flights, a cute elderly lady next to me asked where we were traveling & with a twinkle in her eyes said, "Oh, what a fun honeymoon! You are such cute newlyweds!" She just made my day.
After very little sleep, we jumped on the Hotel Hoppa, dropped our bags at the hotel, and hit the city running! We did not want to miss a thing! I immediately loved the English accents & loved catching glimpses of places I had always dreamed of seeing and we topped the night off with a fabulous performance of Les Mis. Even though we were both guilty of dozing off a little during the show...However, for the rest of the trip we caught ourselves humming and singing the music.
After a ride on The Tube, my first view of the city.
The majestic Big Ben
We loved the warning site to the right "Watch out. Horses bite."
Kyle wishes I would have sported my leopard print dress & heels that day like our friend...
Our fantastic guide on the bus tour
Not the best picture of us at Les Mis. However, a perfectly nice stranger was literally down on his knees, in the street, with oncoming traffic I might add to snap this shot. We were too afraid for his life to ask him to take another one!
Yes, it's true. Kyle & I have been wanting tickets to see Shakespeare in the Park (Central Park) all summer long. The only catch is that you must wait in line for tickets. At the beginning of the season, showing up at 6 am would pretty much guarantee you tickets at the 1 pm handout time. But due to popularity, Kyle and I showed up at the corner of 81st & Central Park West at 9:30 pm, the night before & were still 100th in line! We toted our air mattress, blankets, pillows, games, and snacks and set up camp for the night.
It was a little scary at times as we were literally sleeping on the streets of NYC with...well, those who usually sleep on the streets of NYC. However, when else would we ever get to "camp" under the stars in this city?
After much waiting, sleeping, and many card games of golf (you cannot leave the line ever except to use bathrooms)...we proudly got our tickets and enjoyed a fabulous performance in lovely Central Park.
So, in a response to my last blog post, my cousin Jen said,
"hmm...when my sister-in-law took a 6 week break from blogging, she was pregnant."
Nope...I am not pregnant.
So why the 6 week blogging hiatus, you might ask?
13 visitors, 23 days playing host in the big city
3 beach trips to 3 different beaches & even an island! (can we say beach=paradise??)
1 weekend getaway to Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, & West Virigina complete with amusement parks, a Victorian B&B, exploring small towns, and camping in the beautiful national park at Camp David (Kyle surprised me for my birthday and even packed my bags!)
playing the "cheerleader wife" role at Kyle's weekly soccer games
2 goodbye parties for some wonderful friends leaving the city
a night at the Yankees vs. Mariners game with friends
2 completely amazing outdoor concerts in lovely Central Park (featuring the Met Opera, the Philharmonic Orchestra, & the Shanghai Orchestra)
more than a half dozen picnics in the park
Ellis Island day trip to see the Red Bull Air Races
countless bike rides
a weekend camping trip with friends...hammocks...tin foil dinners...s'mores...lakes to swim in...
my first ever race in Central Park the "Corporate Challenge" where I ran alongside 24,999 other people
booking tickets for our 17 day escape to Europe & planning all the "must sees" in London, France, Switzerland, Greece, Venice, & Rome, which just happens to be less than 5 weeks away!
and now I am taking off to camp outside of Central Park with Kyle ALL NIGHT LONG to get tickets to see The Merchant of Venice at Shakespeare in the Park!
Maybe tomorrow after we get our tickets (and after I crash for a mid-afternoon nap), I will post some pictures of all our summer adventures...
I am not promisin' anythere here...but just maybe I might.
So there you have it? Good enough excuse for my lack of blogging? Maybe not. But it has been one wild and crazy summer that is for sure!
Nothing like escaping to the beach on your day off, right? In a quick 1 hour train ride, the landscape was completely transformed from skyscrapers and yellow taxi cabs to sandy white beaches and turquoise waves. It was amazing!
We spent our beach day getaway relaxing in the sun with great friends, playing games, tossing footballs, chatting, laughing, enjoying delectable food, and just chillin'. Because sometimes you just gotta get away from city life & hit the beach.
We loved exploring Liberty State Park & I still can't decide what was the best part...
arriving by car (riding in anything but those swerving yellow taxis is a novelty out here)
our stroll on the pier with the sea breeze blowing in our faces
the awesome view of our 'home sweet Manhattan' in the distance
catching a glimpse of Lady Liberty herself
or seeing the spectacular sunset (as much as I love the city, it certainly isn't known for sunsets. Usually the tiny specks of color sparkling through the thousands of towering skyscrapers is as close to a sunset view as we get)
Loved my experience in Boston! Although it was actually my slowest marathon performance ever and although the course was deceptively difficult, it was incredible!
The energy, the enthusiasm of the crowd, and knowing I was accomplishing a lifelong dream.
I was lucky enough to be there with my biggest fan, Kyle, and also to meet up with a good friend from high school & her husband. Waking up early, riding the bus together, pinning our official race numbers on our gear...it was definitely so nice to have someone to share the pre-race jitters with!
Thousands of us lined us in Boston Commons for an hour bus ride to the Athletes' Village, and from there we chilled until the race started. On our way to the starting line, someone had a magic marker, so Jami & I wrote our names on our arms which was the best idea ever! As we ran, I felt like a hero as the crowds would chant my name and little kids held out their hands for you to slap them.
Might have had slightly more energy at the finish line this day than when I crossed in the race!
Our all-star husbands: getting up at the crack of dawn to get us breakfast, race to the pharmacy for last minute items, and follow us to the park to take pictures of everything!
Crowds waiting in the crisp, cold morning air to get on a bus.