Lazy Sunday

Lazy Sundays are the best, the absolute best. Today we had 10 people over just to hangout, see our house and eat lots of snacks while chillin’ on the deck. We went out for lunch, out for snocones and out for dinner with the whole family. Now, we are already in bed snuggled up and getting ready to watch True Blood and Dexter. I love days like this and I love that I get to see are Tennessee friends and family ALL the time now.

In fact the last week has been an awesome week. I went to McMinnville to swim and hangout with a good friend and her adorable daughter,  to the Frist art museum, a Cirque show, Holiday World, numerous friend/family dinners, a softball tournament for one of my former students and so much more. Here’s a photo recap of some of my fav moments. (I somehow forgot to snap many photos of friends and took pics of babies and puppies instead.)

Belle shopping with me for paint at Lowe's.
Belle shopping with me for paint at Lowe’s.
Roric! I want to steal this dog from our friend Derek.
Roric! I want to steal this dog from our friend Derek.
Me and baby Lorelei chillaxin' by the pool.
Me and baby Lorelei chillaxin’ by the pool.
Husband got stitches after hitting his arm on a grinding stone at the wood shop.
Husband got stitches after hitting his arm on a grinding stone at the wood shop.
Big boy Parker picking flowers for me and his Mommy
Big boy Parker picking flowers for me and his Mommy
Giddy up Giraffe!
Giddy up Giraffe!
Belle eating her peanut butter and cheese flavored puppy ice cream
Belle eating her peanut butter and cheese flavored puppy ice cream
YES! Finally got myself a snocone!!!
YES! Finally got myself a snocone!!!
One of our many deer...
One of our many deer…
Teaching Parker to stick flowers behind his ear
Teaching Parker to stick flowers behind his ear
On the way to Holiday World!
On the way to Holiday World!
Beautiful Tennessee sunset
Beautiful Tennessee sunset

Hope everyone else had a great weekend too! Back to the real world tomorrow.


A Nice Walk and a New Nook

Still enjoying NYC’s awesome summer weather, although a little too humid, and still taking advantage of all of our spare time, Husband and I took another great walk from our favorite NYC book! We’ve now completed 9 of these walks, so only 15 more to go! This day’s walk was through Central Park. I assumed I wouldn’t have much to write about so I didn’t bother to bring my phone or camera to snap some pictures.

The walk, however, ended up teaching me facts about the park that I never knew, and I decided this walk may actually be blog worthy. I stole husband’s phone to get pictures, but it died halfway through… For you, it will be just half a walk.

Our walk began at the Southern side of park, the entrance to the zoo to be exact. The giant building at the entrance (which I always assumed was zoo offices) is actually an old armory that now functions as the headquarters for the City Park’s department, and functioned as the museum of Natural History for a short time. The front of the building kept some of its earliest militant decorations…like the rifles holding up the banister.

My favorite things at the parks are all the beautiful man-made ponds. There are lots of ponds and bridges scattered through the park, and all of them make me feel a little closer to the country, and a lot farther from the city.  On the walking tour I learned that before people created the technology to make man-made skating rinks, the ponds at Central park would be drained to just a few inches so the water would freeze over, and anyone with ice skates could take advantage of the “natural” ice rinks. Wouldn’t it be so much more fun if they still did this???

The Dairy in the center of Central Park was created to entertain children. Originally it had live cows and costumed milk maidens who would provide free fresh milk to all the children. Sadly, this started getting pricey, and now the Dairy is just a boring visitor’s center, lame. After reading this all Husband and I wanted was milk served from a milk maiden. What a shame.

There is a really nice carousal near the Dairy. The horses are all hand-carved by a famous carousal artist. When it first opened it was hand-cranked, then pulled by a real horse, and eventually they upgraded to whatever machine runs a carousal automatically.

There is also a large fake skating rink set up each winter (since the “real” ones are no longer drained). During the summer,  the skating rink is used for a carnival. There are just so many activities for kids in Central Park.

There is only one straight path in all of the park, this path is called The Mall, and it is incredibly famous. It’s been in movies like Enchanted, When Harry Met Sally, Big Daddy, and Maid in Manhattan. It’s obvious why so many  directors choose this area to film. It’s beautiful and romantic at any season.

I am going to skip the rest of the walk (no photos) and move right outside the walls of the park (near the waffles and dinges cart). Often there are vendors with carts, kiosks, and cart/kiosks, set up along the brick sidewalks surrounding the park.

(In case you don’t get the “cart/kiosk” reference, I suggest you watch this video. You really just need to watch from minute 1:30 to 2:30 to catch the reference, but I recommend you watch the whole clip. AND, If you did not get this reference I highly suggest you start watching every episode of Gilmore Girls.) 

Anyways, most of the carts are selling photographs and art that depicts iconic scenes around NYC, or hotdogs, or some other sort of craft. Except the Strand Carts. The Strand  is that really cool bookstore near Union Square that I told you about a few months ago. They take tons of their books (mostly their used ones) and put them up for sale around the park. So fun!

We ended up shopping at the actual Strand bookstore last night. I picked out about 12 books that I wanted to buy. Husband was sooooo frustrated because he has been trying to convince me to buy a Nook or a Kindle for the last year. Every time I get a new book he throws a fit about what a waste of money and space it is, and how convenient it would be for me to have them all on a E-reader.

Last night, was apparently the last straw. He actually left the Strand, walked straight to Barnes and Noble and bought me a Nook! He then stayed up until 1am putting new books on it for me. Since, he was oh-so sweet and generous to do this for me, I decided to give the Nook a chance. I used it all day today, and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!

It is so easy to read on, so fun, so cute, fits easily in a small purse, lasts forever, and makes me feel like a super fast reader. Husband is just the best.

Now, I can combine all my loves by going to Central Park, reading my Nook, and watching Husband play fetch with Belle, while drinking an iced latte.

Anyone have suggestions for new books to read? Anyone want to meet me in the park? Anyone have ideas on how I can convince husband to buy me another present?

Happy Friday and Cheers!

Oh a Hiking We Will Go…

During our wedding, one of Husband’s best friends gave a really nice speech. In this speech he stated how I am a perfect match for Husband because of my adventurous spirit, and Husband needs a partner who is willing to cliff dive, jump out of planes, and eat out of street carts in China with him.

I am MORE than happy to do all of these things with Husband. I love traveling, being spontaneous, and even a little dangerous. As active and adventurous as I am, I do not hold a candle to Husband. That boy NEVER stops. His ADHD and energy level competes with that of a first grader.

By our 5th day in Costa Rica we’d already been hiking, zip lining, swimming, and more. It was late afternoon and I was ready to relax in one of the hotel’s natural hot springs with a book, but Husband was still running circles around me, and looking for something more exciting to do.

The five of us agreed to take the “waterfall hike” advertised at our resort. The walk started off gorgeous. It was a downhill hike through the rainforest, shady, cool, and scenic. About ten minutes in we came across a few signs…

Hike at own risk!


For advanced hikers only!

Do not pass!

Being us, we ignored the signs and kept walking. We are those annoying people who believe that nothing applies to us and that we are invincible. So we continued on our journey.

Surprisingly enough, the trail became ridiculously dangerous. It was muddy, slick, very steep, covered in vines and broken limbs, and eventually became no trail at all. Mom-in-law, Zoey, and myself, turned back. We were nowhere near a waterfall, and climbing back up was definitely looking like the smarter option.

Husband and Dad-in-law kept trucking a long. I was happy they found something to keep themselves busy, and even happier to finally have some time to relax and maybe read some of my book.

My view from one of the hot springs.

However, it wasn’t long until Zoey and I started feeling left out. We were worried they’d get to the waterfall and it would be amazing, but we were more worried that the two boys were lost, and were most likely walking back in the wrong direction.

Lucky for the boys, we took the rental car, drove through the woods, got a little lost, eventually parked, hiked a ways, and found them. They’d barely made the hike (which they said was the most treacherous hike of their lives), found the waterfall, and were scared away by a howling monkey.

Lucky for us there are A LOT of waterfalls in Costa Rica, and most of them are much easier to get access!

This one was on another slippery trail at our last resort, but just slippery enough for me to make it.
Mom-in-law being the bravest (or maybe the hottest..) of all near Mt. Arenal.
Can you see me???

The La Fortuna waterfall, was easier, but still over 700 steep steps down and back up. (Yeah…we counted!) This waterfall was by far the prettiest, and the coldest. We swam and relaxed for a while, but I spent the majority of the time laying on a big hot rock trying to get warm.

Costa Rica also has volcanoes…the two we visited were Mt. Poas and Mt. Arenal. My new Dad-in-law was a little camera happy when it came to the volcanoes, so it only seems right that I post a few pictures of them…in his honor.

Oh, how nice it was… I guess I’ll have to find a new adventure to keep Husband busy here in NYC.