Light!

After being in Tennessee for less than a week I got my first opportunity for a review! Yay me! One of mine and Husband’s favorite Nashville attractions is Cheekwood Art and Gardens, so when I was offered the job of reviewing their new exhibit, Light, I made plans to go immediately.

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Light is an exhibit by Bruce Munro that uses various materials (including recycled plastic bottles) and hundreds of miles of glowing optic fibers to light up the grounds of the botanical gardens. Exploring the hundreds of acres during the day is a beautiful and relaxing experience, but seeing them transform to an iridescent field of flickering lights is awesome.

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My plan was to arrive to Cheekwood before sunset, see the grounds in the daylight, at dusk and at dark. We left with plenty of time, but as we arrived we were greeted by Cheekwood staff before we even reached the gates. They told us that all the lots were full  and we would have to park at a church 5 miles away! There, a shuttle would pick us up and transport us to the gardens. The gardens were so full, that there were two large churches 5 miles away that were being used for parking.

Irritated, we drove to the church, parked and waited with dozens of other people. There were so many people waiting that we actually had to take the second shuttle. I have never seen Cheekwood so crowded.

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We did eventually make it by dusk and quickly met up with our friends. The lights are okay in daylight, but this is a show that you really must wait until dark to see. (Yes, Mom-in-law, I’m talking to you…)

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There were signs with arrows telling us which direction to walk, thank God. We never would have made our way around in the dark without directions. There were also several booths along the walk that sold sodas, wine, chips and even ice cream. It’s probably best to make a whole night out of this exhibit. Bring cash, good shoes and take your time.

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Even though the grounds were more crowded than ever, it didn’t bother us while walking around. Cheekwood is so enormous that it never felt as crowded as it must have been. There was plenty of space for the live jazz band, the dancing guests, kids doing cartwheels, babies in strollers, couples holding hands and tipsy people to stumble on the sidewalks. My photos do not do this exhibit justice. The bulbs, which looked like glowing tulips, seemed to go on for miles and they changed colors every few seconds creating a flowing field of lights.

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The exhibit continued into the mansion/art museum. The mansion and the courtyard always make me feel as if I’m walking through Jay Gatsby’s house. There are beautiful chandeliers, winding staircases, live piano music and an unbelievably beautiful courtyard…just call me Daisy.

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We had a great time walking through the gardens and checking out this new exhibit, but were famished by the time we finished touring the mansion. We made plans to have dinner together with our friends, but forgot that we had parked so far away. After waiting for a few shuttles in a long line we made it to our car over a half hour later. Even though I loved the show, I left annoyed and starving. My desperate need for chips and salsa made me forget about all those stupid lights, I could only think of getting to our car and getting dinner.

Lights is worth visiting if you are in the Nashville area, but be prepared. Either show up early so you can get a parking space, make a reservation for dinner on the premises, eat beforehand, or bring snacks. Don’t plan on getting in and out quickly. Get more info and ticket prices here.

Cheers!

City of Parks

My Mom’s two requests when coming to see me in New York were, “get a bagel at H&H” and “take a walk through Central Park“. Mom has been here a few times, and these two simple activities were something she just had to do again. And, who can blame her? You can’t get a better bagel than the bagels at H&H, and Central Park is one of my favorite places in possibly the whole world. The sunniest day she was here we had a carb-filled butter breakfast at H&H, and spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon exploring parts of Central Park neither of us had been to. That’s what I love about this park, you never know where you’ll end up.

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After eating lunch at Bergorf’s, shopping and exploring Chelsea Market, we headed back to Central Park, but this time to the North end. We got off the train in Harlem and walked south toward the Central Park Conservatory Garden and the Jackie Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. So many fragrant plants were in bloom and the water was just beautiful.

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Central Park wasn’t the only park we visited during her stay. One night, while heading towards Eataly, we accidentally found ourselves in Madison Square Park. Perfect timing too because the park had an interesting art exhibit up from now through September 8th.

redyellowblueIt’s called Red, Yellow and Blue and it was created by Orly Genger. He used 1.4 million feet of repurposed nautical rope and 3,500 gallons of paint!

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It’s supposed to look like waves…combining the coastline with the city atmosphere.

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We spent a long time examining the artwork before remembering we were starving for some authentic Italian food, and made our way out of the park.

I had a great time with my Mom, the best time. I’m grateful I get to show her around such a fun and beautiful city.

Cheers!

My Unlucky Badonkadonk

I may have danced for many years of my life, but I am not the most graceful person. I am always dropping things, bumping my head, tripping over my own two feet, and burning myself anytime I attempt cooking. My mishaps are often very embarrassing. Sometimes, I do not even tell Husband how I ridiculously hurt myself. Especially since it is often a result of me being careless and senseless.

This weekend I hurt myself…twice. Both are a little embarrassing, but also so silly that I have to share them with you.  I am hoping that some of you will get a good laugh, and the rest of you will share your own embarrassing story in return, to make me feel a little better.

It all began on Saturday night. Zoey, Husband and I all went to see the most awesome exhibit ever at The Park Avenue Armory. I will write an entire post on it another day, but for now you can have the gist. It is basically a giant room full of swings all attached to one enormous piece of fabric that sways from the ceiling.  That sounds odd, but trust me, it was the best exhibit ever.

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After using the swings we laid on the floor under the fabric to watch it flow. A while later, I sat up and scooted back on the wood floor to reach my purse.  That’s when it happened; two giant splinters when through my jeans and all the way into my left butt cheek.

I pulled the big pieces out immediately, but I could feel tiny splinters in my tush getting caught on my jeans every step I took. That made for a very uncomfortable walk home. At home I attempted to remove the splinters using a compact and tweezers, which was a major fail. I tried to contort myself in order to get a better view, but in the end it was Husband who had to step up and save the day.

My booty was just starting to heal by Monday morning. I woke before Husband and got dressed in our bathroom to keep from waking him. There are steam pipes that run through our floors and up through our ceilings in every room in the apartment, including the bathroom. These pipes are connected to the radiator and periodically heat up throughout the day. They get so hot in fact, that they hiss and bubble and are severely hot to the touch.

So, I am getting dressed, which I rarely do in the bathroom, and I bend over to pull my pants up. I’m still tired and a little groggy (no coffee yet) and I start to lean towards the wall. My bare bum then rests against the steam pipe. It took a second or two for my un-caffeinated brain to make the connections: hot pole + bare bum = lots of pain. Have you ever accidently grabbed the wrong end of your curling iron? It was similar experience.

By the time I moved, screamed, and began hopping out of the bathroom with my pants still around my ankles my right butt cheek was already blistered up from the burn. I have never had a burn blister so quickly. Ouch.

Luckily, we had some burn cream on hand from the random First-Aid kit Dad gave me. I honestly thought, “We’ll never use this” when Dad gave it to me. Now, I am embarrassed to say how many times we have taken it out in the last 6 months. I spent the rest of the morning walking around pant-less for fear of anything rubbing against the burn.

I considered cutting a hole in a pair of leggings before leaving the house, but once again Husband came to the rescue and covered me with gauze and tape. Now, I lay here tossing and turning trying to figure out which side hurts less. It’s a real pain in the…well you know.

Cheers!