Thursday, July 29, 2010

Where Has 2010 Gone? A Look Back at 2nd Quarter

2nd Quarter which means we can tell people that we are having a baby! Fay named her Mimi for Mini-Michelle and Tom announced it to world on Facebook!

Our 10 day trip to Argentina for fun and JCI was amazing! We must have ate a cow, walked 20 miles and toured 2 countries! We climbed a 125 step light house, sweated off at least 15 pounds, got a couple of massages and had 1 car accident on the long drive to Rosario. Home for 4 hours and then it was off to Maine! Never a dull moment!

In May, we went to see Jen Lancaster in Birmingham, one of my favorite authors and my new BFF! This reminds me of our other celebrity adventures - chasing Ethan Hawke down a NYC street, running into a mean Renee Zellweger on a flight from NYC to DTW and helping Grasshopper pick up his papers that were spread all over first class cabin floor.

Now, it was time for the Yankee games! It reminds me of Spring Training, when Tom and I were sitting in the 9th row of the Yankees - Tigers game and I kept waiving at Derek every time he looked my way. I must have intrigued him so much, he finally tipped his cap to me and the teeny boppers behind squealed in delight!

USJC Convention in New Orleans was a blast! I got to finally go to Mardi Gras World! There is something about lots of bright floats, free cake and lots of picture opportunities that make me giddy!

NYC at any time! Running around the city visiting favorite haunts - Dashing Diva for pedis, Ruby Foo's for Chinese and Magnolia Bakery for cupcakes! Memories of the Puerto Rican Day parade with Amanda and Jamie, the Gay Pride parade with Wendy and trying to hobble around NYC on crutches spring to mind! This trip had some new adventures also - a Carnegie Hall tour with tour guide Bennie Goldstein and a fun trip up the Rock with some friends!

Let's hope Mimi has the travel bug like her parents!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Where Has 2010 Gone? A Look Back at 1st Quarter

January 1st started right - playing Beer Pong with Ray, Meghan and Meghan's parents. Reminds me of the snow storm when I was in college when my Dad and I set up a liquor cabinet on the floor and decided if we are stuck at home, we might as well drink. Picture my Mom standing over us, shaking her head in disbelief, but finally joining us.

Birthday Extravaganza on January 3rd where there is always too much Chandon involved. It usually requires a driver to take us the 2 miles to PF Chang's for a drunken Chinese lunch, followed by Starbuck's, Sephora and then passing out of exhaustion.

JCI January Board Meeting - karioke, too much sake, freezing my a** off as they prance us around STL and make us take pictures outside. Oh, and don't forget the Korean bombs!

National President's Meeting in Paraguay - tromping around summer camp in 95 degree heat, not feeling well. Learning that Carnivale was a full contact sport!

February 1st - Finding out we are pregnant and having to keep the secret to ourselves - cruel and ununsual punishment! Also, explains how crappy I was feeling tromping around the Paraguan jungle (see above).

Superbowl Party at my employee Tom's in Maine - eating about a pound of freshly cooked scallops and wondering why I did not feel well. Using the Designated Driver excuse as a reason not to drink.

Birthday Party at Rojo Mexican Bistro - using the "I gave up alcohol for lent" excuse as I was not drinking at my own birthday party. Do you see a theme here?

Bon Jovi Concert on St. Patrick's Day - Kid Rock showed up - do I need to detail how I turned into a stark raving lunatic when that happened?

Tom's Birthday Party - a bonfire in March, not our smartest idea ever, but fun, none the less!

A real vacation - non-JCI - can you imagine how geeked we were! 4 baseball games, swimming and sun burning and loads of putt-putt. Were we in heaven? No just Florida!

A busy and first quarter - it was just the start of a whirlwind year!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Another Crazy Night in the City

Well for my last night in White Plains, Amanda, Jamie and I decide to go see the play "39 Steps" at the New World Stages Theater. We met at Grand Central where I had just ate the most expensive club sandwich of my life at Cipriani Dolci for $19.95. This experience left me cheated. In what universe, does a club sandwich not have bacon? Well apparently is this hoighty - toighty world, a "club" sandwich (I use the term lightly) is really a chicken salad sandwich. As I said, I was pissed and unsatisfied.

We stepped out into the oven that is Manhattan and started our quest for a taxi. Apparently, taxi stands at Grand Central are really rickshaw stands and there is no such thing as a true taxi stand. As Amanda and I played Frogger, back and forth across the street, it took us 25 minutes to get a cab up to the theater.

The theater was really a warehouse with 5 theaters all showing plays at the same time. We should have known we would be in for a treat when some of the other plays playing were Avenue Q (the porno puppet show), the Gazillion Bubble Show and Naked Boys Singing. We headed to the basement, the land of no cell phone reception, secured some overpriced snacks and took our seats.

First up, the man in front of us had huge hairy plumber crack. Eyes could not divert as the train wreck continued to get up and down several times through out the night. Next up, the 2 girls who crawled across to their seats, sat for 5 seconds, crawled back across up and were never seen again. Then, we had the prerequisite old couple who decided that the row and seat numbers on their tickets were just recommendations and proceeded to take people seats and then act shocked when the true ticket holders arrived and demanded them to get the f*ck out of their seats.

This was not Broadway. There were no elaborate sets. There were 4 people playing 150 characters, transforming props from 1 thing to another. There were references to other Hitchcock plays, there was a plane chase scene that involved planes on a stick diving and weaving chasing a stick man on a horse. But at least it was memorable!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Raucous Restuarant Week in NYC

Last night, we went into NYC for Restaurant week. We were excited to check out the Davidburke Townhouse. Once we were able to secure a cab from Grand Central Station, which was like a marathon as we shifted from corner to corner scurrying to nab a cab before someone else took it, we were off to the restaurant.

We arrived on time with a reservation for 4 but only 3 of us were there so they sat us at a table for 3. 10 minutes later, our 4th person arrived so we were shuffled to a 4 person table, leaving our bread plates behind :(.

That's when the fun started! The new table was in the bar area, which was very crowded and noisy. We were sat by an old married man (in his 60s) lounging on the banquet with a very tanned younger woman who was not his wife. Whatever, until they decided to examine each other tonsils during our dinner. Needless to say, it was very distracting. We were never so happy to see other diners get their food.

Next up, a girl fell down one of the steps into the restaurant and hit her head on the hostess stand. They gave her ice, got her up and then made her go recovery outside on the bench. Seemed a little odd to me to send a possible lawsuit out into the heat to recover instead of getting her a freakin' table and comping her dinner.

Finally, came dessert. Our 4th member got his dessert before the rest of us. The waiter was trying to explain why he got his dessert first and it looked rough. The ice cream was melted all over the strudel and the dulce de leche sauce was already poured on the dessert. It looked like a drippy mess, something not quite right for this chi-chi restaurant. Things got more interesting 5 minutes later when our 2nd apple strudel came out like a piece of work, ice cream in a nice ball, sauce poured on the dessert at the table.
A little Nancy Drew work and I found out that our 4th person got a recycled dessert. The lady next to us had ordered the same dessert and when it arrived, she said she did not want the ice cream or the sauce. They brought her a new one and the one our friend got was obviously taken back to the kitchen, sat for 5 minutes and then was tried to be passed off as a new dessert. Are you kidding me? It was an apple strudel swimming in juice and it was totally unattractive. The waiter is glad he did not put THAT dessert in front of me, I might have stabbed him with my fork!
All was forgiven though when the Lollipop Cheesecake Tree arrived (see the picture below). This yummy Dr. Seuss concoction made us forget about all the crazy misadventures of dinner and the bubble gum whipped cream made me feel like I was Willie Wonka!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Is This Truly Happening to Me?

Maybe it is because I am six months pregnant, maybe it is because I think 95% of the world is stupid, but my trip to NY for work was one crazy ride. First, we get on an airplane in 85 degree heat and the air does not work when we are on the ground. WTF? I was melting like a Popsicle at the pool. I was jammed into a commuter plane with no first class, sitting next to huge woman who should not have been able to sit in an exit row because you could not even see the door no less jump out of it! The stewardess then decided that an hour and a half flight was not long enough to serve drinks to 50 people so there was not even a drop of water to be had! I was parched like the Sahara!

Once we arrived, it was a wrangle with the GPS who thought we were in NJ, not NY and we finally made it to the hotel. I dropped my co-worker off (kicked her out of the car) and I was off to get Amanda and go to a Yankees game. The train was packed with a bunch of yuppie families going to Yankee Stadium, as well as a few guys drinking 40s from paper bags.

Once we got to the stadium, the real fun began! We were in front of 2 women who talked non-stop about everything but baseball. Do you think I care that the teenage daughter is reading to dyslexia patients this summer, I don't think so! The guy next to us started to nod off as his Philly cheese steak sandwich was ready to fall over Amanda. Then him and his buddy rushed to get up, walked down the steps, where he promptly threw up and blocked traffic for a good 15 minutes when they got it cleaned up. We saw our buddies in the parking lot on the way out. Still not sure what happened there as there was no alcohol that we saw.

Once that drama was over, the chatty Cathy behind dropped an entire pretzel with mustard down Amanda's back and then proceeded to rub her like crazy trying to get it all off her. Amanda smelled like mustard the whole way home!

The piece de resistance of the evening was we were set by a midget! For those of you who know me, I am deathly afraid of midgets, so that could be a whole separate blog. That just capped the chaos off! Only in New York (and to make matters worse, the Yankees lost 10 - 2).

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I Feel Like Carrie Bradshaw

Recently, I was in NYC for a meeting and had half a day to wander around the city with no clear direction/activity in mind. What does that really mean? It means I ended up tired and hot with blisters on my foot from my swollen feet rubbing against my Skechers but you know what, it was awesome!

I left my hotel on 57th and 7th with 2 goals in mind - lunch and then a pedicure at Dashing ch Diva on 71st and 2nd. First up, lunch at Dean and De Luca where I had a pastrami panini which to me embodies NYC. It could not have been any better if I was at Katz's Delicatessen. From there, I started wandering, passing by my favorite haunts. I passed Dylan's Candy Bar where Wendy and I ran around getting hopped up on sugar. I passed Bloomingdale's where I had a total makeover before Molly's wedding in the city. I went into Serendipity 3 to get a frozen hot chocolate to go only to find out that they don't do To Go. They are missing out on a whole new market!

I finally made my way to Dashing Diva, an oasis in the 90 degree heat. This reminded me of my trip to NYC with Mary Jo (but that itself is it's own story). As I drank my complimentary bottled water, sat in my pretty pink chair and had Social Climber lacquer applied to my piggies, I had to sigh at the fact how contented I was. I love NYC. It gives me so much energy and the possibilities are endless!

As the week progressed, I alternated between tourist (going up the Rock), avid fan (soaking up the atmosphere in Times Square) and an old friend (going to Ruby Foo's, finding a Starbuck's on every corner, cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery). Even though I am married and having a baby, the city brings me back to my single days and my crazy trips to the city with Wendy, Mary Jo, Lori, Scott, and Tom. It is like a friend that no matter how long you have been away, it welcomes you back with open arms.

While Carrie Bradshaw might be more glamorous in her Jimmy Choos and Manolo's, I guarantee she can not be any happier than I am when I am wondering the city reliving great experiences with friends and trying new and exciting things!