Well, I meant to get a whole week of blogs in order before going on vacation, but I didn’t. Woops. We are officially on vacation for a week and I will try to update you on our latest adventures and positively panicked life, but I won’t be back to a regular schedule until next week. If you miss me, you can always check Facebook and Instagram for some adorable beach baby pictures!
So far, Luna has gotten to see her Grandparents (my parents) whom she has not seen in 4 months, her great grandparents whom she has never met and a million other people who love and adore her. There are 20 something people here this week so Luna is getting A LOT of attention. It’s wonderful, Husband and I basically have to do nothing. Talk about a vacation.
In one day Luna has been in the ocean, gone on a bike ride, tried solid food, played in her new pool floatie and floated on a boogie board. I can’t even imagine what the rest of the week has in store.
Stay tuned for tips on beach travel with a baby, adventures in road tripping, new reviews and giveaways, postpartum updates and heck of a lot of adorable beach baby photos!
Last weekend, Zoey, Husband and I went to the Park Avenue Armory to see Ann Hamilton’s latest installation “The Event of a Thread”. We stupidly went the last weekend of the exhibit and had to wait in line for almost two hours, but it was very much worth the wait.
The exhibit was in a gym-sized room full of large wooden swings all attached to a giant white piece of fabric. Anyone and everyone were welcome to swing and pull the fabric back and forth. If you weren’t swinging you could lay on the floor and watch the enormous piece of fabric flow above you.
There were lots of other little things to see and I know there was a big symbolic meaning to the installation, but I had to leave too quickly to babysit some of my favorite kids. Now, I am just too mentally exhausted to explain anything with deep meanings. You can read all about it on Zoey’s blog though.
Plus, I made you a little video so you can really see what the show was all about. My favorite part is the view of the fabric flowing from above our heads, so magical! Enjoy!
There is still one more very important part of New Fantasyland that I have left out of my Disney blogs: Under the Sea: Journey of The Little Mermaid.
When we got in line to enter this ride I was in awe. Prince Eric’s castle looked amazing as we entered, and as the line moved we were taken through the docks, and under the sea.
Because we were there for the Pass-holder Preview there was basically no line. However, we walked very slowly through the entire queue because it was so picturesque and entertaining. Disney made this line interactive to keep us all entertained as we wait for the ride. Throughout the line were windows displaying “under the sea” type scenes. In each scene was an object that didn’t belong, a plate or cup for example. When we spotted something that was out of place we would point to it, and a cartoon crab would appear and take the object away! Crazy!
When we finally did get to the ride, I was a little disappointed. It was beautiful, sure, but also very very similar to the Finding Nemo ride at EPCOT. You take an under the sea adventure in a clamshell through a dark-ride surrounded by the famous characters and scenes from the movie. Nothing was wrong per say…I just expected more originality with a new Disney ride.
When we got off we decided to ride it a second time to a) give it another chance, and b) to video the ride for you! I just had my little Canon PowerShot, but figured I could capture the gist of the ride.
Boy, did we get a different experience the second time around….
I guess there are a few quirks that still need to be worked out before opening day!
We were very satisfied with a second ride. After all, in all our Disney trips we have NEVER had to be escorted off a ride.
So, check out Ariel next time you find yourself at Disney, you never know what may happen!
My favorite Disney princess has always been Belle. She is smart, witty, caring, longs for adventure, and could care less what others think of her. My favorite part of the movie is when Gaston tries to marry her and she refuses because he’s an ignorant jerk constantly followed around by 3 bimbos. I used to pretend I was Belle, reading all day, daydreaming of far away lands, and playing around my cottage full of crazy inventions. My love for Belle and her small town in France made my experience in New Fantasyland a little nerve-racking. If little details were off, characters poorly portrayed, or story elements missing I’d be thoroughly disappointed.
As I entered Belle and Maurice’s home at the entrance to “Enchanted Tales with Belle”, I felt like I was being transported right into the movie. The house was decorated with old books, dressers, water pitchers, churners, and all of their possessions.
The back room was Maurice’s, and full of his many inventions, and attempts at inventions. At the front of the room was a large roped-off mirror acting as a focal point. The young man leading the tour asked us lots of questions (all geared towards children), when a little boy finally shouted, “So is that big mirror going to do something!?”
Turned out the big mirror was magical. After we all said a couple magic words, the mirror came to life! Scenes from the movie played before our eyes, and before we knew it the mirror had stretched to seven feet tall, and transformed into a door! As the door opened we could see straight into the beast’s castle!
We walked through and entered into a dressing room with Wardrobe, the talking dresser. Wardrobe was phenomenal! She was so realistic that I began to believe she was an actual talking dresser. She informed us that we were going to put on a little play for Belle: her and the Beast’s love story. She gave several of us different parts to act out. I got the part of Mrs. Potts.
We were then taken into the library. Here we sat and received instructions from Lumiere, the candelabra. We were to surprise Belle as she entered and act out her story. Moments later Belle graced us with her presence and we all put on a show together.
My favorite part was her interaction with the little boy playing the Beast. He roared ferociously as he came up from behind to scare her, but when she begged for him to let her Father free, he just nodded his head, wide-eyed, and in awe of the Princess…even though he was supposed to be tough and tell her “no”.
It was so fun and magical. Every child in the room was so thrilled to be in the castle and playing with Belle. It was really special for all the families. I (obviously) was dreaming of the day we get to take our own kids to meet Belle. I can’t help myself! Disney is cute kid central (also bratty kid central, but I ignore those children); it’s impossible not to think about a Disney vacation with my future children.
Our kids will either be thankful for having awesome parents who know everything about the parks, or resent Disney and us for forcing them to go every year. Either way, we’re going!
Husband and I put together a video of our experience with Occupy Sandy yesterday. It was difficult to get a lot of shots because there was A LOT of work to do, but it’s a good compilation of our experiences yesterday. Keep in mind, this is footage from only Coney Island, and a little at the hub in Brooklyn. The devastation is so much more than what you’ll see here.
Have you ever been to visit a new friend, a distant relative, or even a co-workers home and immediately felt at home yourself? You know, the type of warm home with big comfy couches, friendly words, loving photos scattering the walls, maybe an old cat rubbing against your leg, and the smell of coffee coming from the kitchen? Some places are just more inviting and welcoming than others, and when I find a place I feel comfortable, it’s a place I am sure I will be returning.
Recently, Zoey was searching for a used bookstore in our neighborhood and came across this video. Now, watch the video…seriously. It’s only 3 minutes and it is WORTH it. Promise.
Interested? I thought so.
Zoey looked up the owner of this secret bookstore, AKA Brazenhead Books. Michael is the owner and he invited us over at basically anytime we desired. Apparently, he hosts little get-togethers, or salons, often that usually go into the wee hour of the morning. We decided to go visit his book store/residential apartment on a Saturday night at 10pm.
We buzzed his apartment/store and waited anxiously to be buzzed in and walk up a few flights of stairs to Brazenhead Books. The door looks just like the door of any other small residential home on the Upper East Side, much like my own, but when the door opened we were immediately transported to a crazy magical dusty crowded world of used and collectible books.
Michael greeted us with a hearty handshake, a warm smile, and an offer to make ourselves whatever drink we’d prefer. He had an assortment of liquors and wine on the edge of crowded table with a few empty glasses nearby. He smoked a pipe and was still in the middle of a casual conversation with two girls and older man who were obvious regulars. They sat around chatting about friends, birthdays, their families, and the lactose-free ice cream they were eating.
Michael invited us to look around as he poured himself a glass. Zoey, Husband, and myself, began roaming the stacks and piles of literally floor to ceiling books. Every square inch of this apartment is used to store books. In case you did NOT watch the video (shame on you!), I’ll summarize the history:
Michael grew up working in used books stores, loved books, and loved selling them. As an adult he had his own used bookstore, but it eventually became virtually impossible for this sort of store to survive in NYC. Michael’s book collection moved to his home, and continued to multiply. A few years ago, he got a new place and turned his old place into a secret bookstore for other book lovers to discover and enjoy. He does not care if you come to look, shop, or just visit over a cup of whiskey. His passion is keeping used bookstores and this type of environment alive in the city. You can find him via phonebook or Facebook.
I could have spent hours and hours searching through the endless supply of literature, which is kind of the point. In the middle of my hunting Michael began talking to us about himself and his store. I tried asking him about where he acquired his books, but learned more about his dogs (one is a rescued greyhound!). He was so honest and approachable. I felt like we’d been friends for years. I wish that I had that sort of charming personality that put strangers at ease and allowed them to see that I care about each one of them and their stories. Instantly, I understood why the other 3 guests would come back again and again to hangout with Michael.
Michael has managed to put his soul and personality into his business. He is a beacon to others who are full of passion and determined to live their dream. I am happy to have met him and thankful he welcomed us into his homey store. I may be slightly obsessed with my Nook these days, but I still love the way a new, or used, book feels in my hands. I will definitely be making more trips to Brazenhead Books.
When we first got to our rental beach house in Hilton Head, SC we thought “Holy Crap this place is enormous!”. We ran from room to room to room to room. The place has 8 bathrooms! After checking out all of the rooms and opening every drawer in the kitchen, we went outside to check out the deck.
The second level deck was equipped with a grill, sink, bar, several chairs, 2 tables, a hot tub, and the teeniest pool you ever did see. This little bitty pool in the middle of our giant house became the running joke of our vacation. The funniest part being that it was a very poorly constructed infinity pool.
From the outside it looked so lovely…a nice gentle waterfall flowing over the edge of the deck into a fountain on the ground.
However, the second anyone stepped into the pool it caused a wave to rush over the edge, miss the fountain, and land in the grass and flower beds below. Considering we picked up on this little fact pretty quickly, you’d think we would all be extra careful in our little pool.
No, we are all children. Instead, we decided to make the biggest wave possible, and flood the entire yard.
Our immature ways didn’t end here. We basically spent all of our pool time figuring out new ways to play with the ridiculous pool/fountain. Sometimes we’d make up games, like “Who can avoid getting knocked over by the wave” or “Who can fill their cup the fastest”. Other times, we would just force each other to stand in the fountain or swim across while everyone else jumped in the pool.
We may have been wasting a lot of water, but we made up for it by recycling our plastics. I think that evens out.
I love animals. I even like birds. In fact, I had a pet bird when I was little. It was a cockatiel named Spikey. Maybe, Spikey is where my bird issues began. I LOVED animals as a child. I wanted to be a veterinarian, live on a farm, and rescue every animal I came across. Also, I wanted to hold and snuggle every animal, including Spikey.
Birds, however, do not enjoy snuggling, or even being pet. I found it very difficult to interact with Spikey. I took it personally, and never understood what Spikey had against me and my cuddling ways.
I had issues with parrots too. The pet store in my hometown was my favorite place in the mall. They had hamsters, mice, guinea pigs, and rabbits out for people to hold and cuddle anytime! I often stayed in the store snuggling these rodents while my Mom racked up the sales items at JCPenny.
My favorite snuggle partners were the bunnies, which were also the most challenging. You see, two giant parrots guarded the bunny container. These parrots sat on top of perches above the bunny home, and angrily squawked and pecked at anyone who reached their hand towards the bunnies, namely, me.
Getting a bunny out was like going shopping with Husband. He screeches at me, tries to knock the item out of my hand, but I still get what I want in the end.
The parrots never physically hurt me, but they scarred me, emotionally.
Costa Rica is known for having some really beautiful birds. While traveling through Costa Rica we stopped at several places that kept birds in a bird type sanctuary or in a rescue facility. The first place we visited with birds is called the Peace Lodge. I chose to keep my distance from the birds, but Husband had different plans.
He decided the best way to get over my fear is to enter the Toucan house. Can’t you see the excitement on my face?
My Mom-in-law happily allowed one on her arm. So, Husband tells the worker that I too would love a toucan on my arm.
Even as we walked around the grounds and Zoey spotted a pretty bird in a faraway tree, you can see the fear in my eyes as I curl my hand towards my face… It could attack at any moment!
I know this fear is irrational, but I still chose to spend my time with the butterflies instead. I think that’s a good start to working my way up to birds.
By day four I had a real break through. We visited the Animal Wildlife Rescue and Reserve in La Fortuna where we got to volunteer and meet and pet lots of wild animals. At the end of the tour we were allowed to feed the animals after preparing their food. I REALLY did not want to miss out on any aspect of this, so after skipping the first 10 birdcages, I finally entered one.
I’m not the only one who conquered a fear. Zoey and Mom-in-law went zip-lining (although Zoey has done it before, and Mom-in-law only did the beginning..). Still counts.
AND Peter, Dad-in-law, and myself did the Tarzan swing! The Tarzan swing is a terrifying free fall where the rope catches you at the end and you wind up swinging up as high as the tree tops, just like Tarzan. Attached is my video. Spoiler alert: I scream like a fool.
Our entire trip was thrilling. I don’t think I’ll be adopting a bird anytime soon, but maybe I’ll actually look at them next time I visit a zoo.
Customarily, I am a VERY festive person. I have been know to wear heart stamped leggings on Valentines, detailed costumes every Halloween, Bunny ears on Easter, wear red and green and tinsel the entire month of December, and eat Mexican food the whole week of Cinco De Mayo. So, it should come as no surprise that I love St. Patrick’s Day!
This year has been a little more challenging for me to be my festive self. I no longer work in an elementary school, so it’s not as easy or acceptable to come to work dressed like a leprechaun. Boo.
I figured out a few ways around this obstacle by painting my nails green, wearing green jewelry, and a Mickey Mouse tee where he’s dressed like a leprechaun. I was feeling better, but not complete…. Until Zoey and I devised a plan.
You see, we have been planning to start our own YouTube channel for a while, but have not had the right idea, time, or motivation to start. Until now. Thanks to the enthusiasm surrounding March 17th we felt invigorated. We finally had an idea for a great video.
After work Saturday, we met for a lunch/planning date at a little restaurant between our two apartments. We were supposed to spend the whole lunch brainstorming, but spent half the time playing with my Instagram and drinking Bellini’s (for extra courage and confidence.)
As we ate, the streets literally filled with people dressed head to toe in green and shamrocks. There are several Irish Pubs in the neighborhood and by lunchtime, people were lined up in the streets waiting to get inside. We decided it was now or never.
We started by walking up and down the street waiting for the perfect group of people to walk by, and for the self-confidence to walk up and start interviewing complete strangers. Once, we started it all flowed perfectly.
I am simply amazed at the number of people who were willing to talk to us, dance for us, kiss people for us, and all on video no less. I love these people!
Today, we locked ourselves inside and put the compilation of crazy videos together.
Done! Our YouTube Channel is TheNYG’s, our show is Hey! Look at us. We are super excited to make more videos.