Hostess with the Mostess

For what seems like ever, we have been the people that hosts other people, a job that we love BTW. We always have people staying with us and our home seems to be the central hub for visitors, parties and what have you. Our house here is perfect for having people stay, guests basically have the bottom level to themselves, but even in our one bedroom, less than 400 square foot apartment in NYC we had guests almost every weekend. Hosting our friends and families is one of our favorite things.

our dining room table full of people!
our dining room table full of people!

Honestly, I thought that after having Luna either no one would want to stay or that we would no longer want tons of people staying with us. Turns out neither is true. Since Luna was born 5 months ago we have already had over 20 people stay with us. It helps that Luna is super cute and a really good baby. It’s also nice that a house full of friends equals a house full of  babysitters. I can just set Luna in the middle of the room and walk away to go cook or clean or something knowing that at least four people are watching her. The fact that my friend Sara cooks the most delicious food the whole time she is here doesn’t hurt either.

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Our recent weekend of visitors ended with some Nashville sightseeing, thrift-store shopping and eating some really good local grub. It was our most laid-back day…a day to just enjoy each others company before everyone left for the real world.

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It’s always tiring to have a house full of friends, but tiring in a good way. Its tiring the same way Disneyworld is tiring. You are constantly busy, but having a blast and making a lot of good memories. Plus, it makes us really appreciate our alone time.

We had a great weekend with our new and old friends. In fact, one couple even got engaged in our guest room!  Definitely a first for our house! Now it ‘s already time to enjoy another weekend, a holiday weekend nonetheless. Happy 4th of July!

Cheers!

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Weekend Update

I keep swearing to myself that I am going to get onto a schedule, get more productive blah blah blah…and then all of a sudden the weekend is here and I somehow only scratched 3 things off my to-do list. Sigh… Guess I’ll start over again tomorrow. Anyhow, we had quite a busy weekend.

I mean, really...how could I possibly get up and write when these two cuties are fast asleep on me? (Not to mention the cat sleeping behind my head.)
I mean, really…how could I possibly get up and write when these two cuties are fast asleep on me? (Not to mention the cat sleeping behind my head.)
She makes the best faces.
She makes the best faces.

We had guests over every single day and quite a few of them were meeting Luna for the first time. One of which was my Husband’s Nanny from his childhood. She is now 94 years old and still as lively as ever. Luna immediately loved her. She’s like the baby whisperer. We had lots of friends come by too. Including, a good friend of mine who I haven’t seen in FOREVER. A few years (well more than a few…) ago we were hittin’the dance floors in downtown Nashville regularly and also teaching together at a magnet school for the arts. Now, we’ve both moved on to new ventures and both have baby girls. My, how things have changed.

Me, my friend Marsha and our two baby girls!
Me, my friend Marsha and our two baby girls!

We had lunch out, went grocery shopping, cleaned the house and got constant updates on my Dad. Who, BTW, will hopefully be going home tomorrow! Yay! It’s pretty impressive that someone can have brain surgery, have titanium mesh put in their skull and be up and walking around the next day.

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Tomorrow, I am seriously getting down to business…my workout routine is starting as well as my healthy eating habits. I’ll also do my damndest to get Luna on some sort of routine. Come back and see me this week to see my “getting back in shape” plan. Also, if you’ve got any tips for getting a 6 week old on a somewhat normal schedule PLEASE send them my way!

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!

The Last Time…

I am a very sentimental person. I am always celebrating something or going on some sort of adventure because I want to make memories. I want the days to be special. Maybe this stems from being anxious…it’s possible that my fear of dying encourages me to live a life full of great memories. Or maybe it’s just part of my sensitive nature. Either way, I like to turn mediocre occurrences into great life events, especially when something is ending.

When Husband and I left Disney World we made the decision to keep dating which meant committing to a long distance relationship for 2 and a half years. We also decided that we were in love, which made leaving Disney much harder than it already was. Every single moment became “the last…”. The last time we people watched in EPCOT. The last time we rode Dinosaur. The last meal with our best friends. The last time we drank vodka out of water bottles illegally. The last time we watched “Wishes” and sang every word as tears streamed down our cheeks. I wanted EVERYONE to remember these moments, and each other, so I constantly reminded them that “it’s our last time!” I took a hundred photos of “our last night” together and will never forget the laughs we shared.

When I left my first teaching job, I made a huge deal about the last dance recital, the last school play, the last classroom party, the last time I hugged my students and even the last time I closed my classroom door. Every thing was “a moment”.

I salsa dance with my fellow dance teacher at our last dance recital. It was the last recital for ALL 3 of us, and we went out with a bang!
I salsa danced with my fellow dance teachers at our last dance recital. It was the last recital for ALL 3 of us, and we went out with a bang!

Before moving out of the country we had to have a huge going away party to celebrate our “last days” in the states.

Our "European" themed party.
Our “European” themed party.

When we left Albania, I made sure to point out the last time we rode in a furgon, the last time we ate burek, the last time we had to speak Albanian and the last time we had a picnic at the park. Some of these “lasts” were more like “Yay! It’s my last day to work for someone who hates me!” But, the last day working some wonderful friends and students was not so happy.

All teary-eyed on the last day of school.
All teary-eyed on the last day of school.

Now, my days are spent remembering the “lasts” of the city. I don’t dwell on the “lasts” to make myself sad or to say that we will never do these things again, but because I want to soak it all in and remember these moments forever. I want to savor my last bites of NY pizza, gaze at the city skyline and do nothing but sit in Central Park so I can one day tell my grandchildren about my  adventurous life and actually remember these details. I want to look back with fondness at all of our trips, moves and good-byes and know that we took advantage of every day and made the best of all our situations.

Husbands “last night” (although not really…he’s coming to see me next week!) was spent eating dinner at the Russian Tea Room with some friends and family. We have both always wanted to try this famous restaurant, and we were not disappointed.

We then walked through Time Square for some last-minute people-watching and our “last trip” to the Disney Store. From there we headed to Bryant park for one final relaxing night in a city park.

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Husband still wasn’t quite ready to call it a night so we took a “last walk” through Grand Central Station, where I friend Steve taught us about the Whispering Corners. How have we never heard of this? And why is a friend from Tennessee telling us about it?

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Husband’s “last night” was a great one. I am still looking forward to my last time to host a visitor, my last NY coffee, my last time on the train and of course my last time to walk home from work. Then, I will be excited to start celebrating lots of “first times”!

Cheers!

My Weekend Through Photos

We have had one busy weekend! My in-laws, some friends of the family, and some very close friends have all been in visiting since Thursday. We had dinner reservations every night, tickets to three different shows, many museum outings and lots of sight-seeing. Even sick ol’ me managed to hangout and spend time with some of my favorite people in one of my favorite cities. The only thing I missed was writing to you guys!

It’s midnight now, and I am finally feeling a bit better and excited to get up and go to work tomorrow so I’m going to make tonight’s post a photo post! Here’s the story of my weekend in phone pics!

Saw Matilda on Broadway and LOVED it!
Saw Matilda on Broadway and LOVED it!
Visited Alexander Hamilton's "country home" in Harlem.
Visited Alexander Hamilton’s “country home” in Harlem.
Saw Cirque Du Solieil "Totem".
Saw Cirque Du Solieil “Totem”.
Snuck onto the roof of Le Parker Meridian to get a great view of the city.
Snuck onto the roof of Le Parker Meridian to get a great view of the city.
Time Square
Time Square
View of Time Square from the Marriot Bar
View of Time Square from the Marriott Bar
Obviously enjoying the famous frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity.
Obviously enjoying the famous frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity.
Taking the tram to Roosevelt Island.
Taking the tram to Roosevelt Island.
A nice walk on a very cold day.
A nice walk on a very cold day.
Happy Hour at Duke's!
Happy Hour at Duke’s!
Snow, snow and more snow...
Snow, snow and more snow…
Kinky Boots! Hilarious!
Kinky Boots! Hilarious!

Now, we have 3 more awesome friends visiting us all week. Looking forward to a fabulous time and lots of adventures to share!

Cheers!

Lost Adventures

I was scrolling through iPhoto recently and came across the album from when my friends visited back in December. While looking through and reminiscing I realized I hardly blogged about any of our adventures that week.  I don’t know how I left some of them, and their corresponding stories, off the blog. It may be a month late, but here’s a glimpse of their week in the city.

Let me start with this photo of us eating Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches at the Holiday Market in Bryant Park. I got a toasted peanut butter sandwich with chili pepper jam….It was the BEST pb&j I have ever had. Yes, even better than the sandwiches at The Peanut Butter Company. The sandwiches were made by Jammin’ Nut, which apparently can only be found at the Holiday Market…not fair.

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The next pic is of an obese squirrel at Washington Square Park. One afternoon, we took our friends for a quick walk through the park where a chunky squirrel not only ran right in front of us, but basically stopped, put out his hand and then pointed to his mouth. Obviously, we dug out the only snacks we could find and offered it our new friend. Within seconds dozens of overweight squirrels were scurrying down the tree to beg for our food.

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I don’t know what is being discussed in this photo, but our expressions are hilarious.

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While walking through Chelsea Market, my friend told us how much she loves the Food Network and Mark Dacascos. Since we were in the home of the Food Network, we decided to take the elevator up to its headquarters, sneak around a bit and search for a chef or two. We made it to the doors of “Kitchen Stadium” and a few other studios, but the place was deserted for the weekend. Boo.

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Here is a photo from my fav-o-rite book store, The Strand.

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Then, there’s the shot of  us dancing on the famous FAO Schwartz giant piano. It was 11pm, the store was about to close and we were virtually the only people in the store. Perfect timing.

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Finally, is the best photo of them all! After work one day, I rushed to Time Square to meet up with everyone at Toys R’ Us. I found Husband and Friend’s Husband on the 2nd floor next to a giant stuffed animal display. We talked for a minute…I asked where my friend was (“walking around”)…I mentioned the giant pile of stuffed animals on the floor (“How did all of these animals fall off the shelf??”). Just as I was about to sit on top of the giant stuffed animal pile, my friend burst out of them screaming “surprise”!

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I am laughing in this picture, but I have never been more shocked. When she popped out, I screamed and almost lost my $h!t. I cannot believe I did not put 2 and 2 together before she came jumping out. Hilarious.

I love my friends! Who is coming to visit next??

Cheers!

The Positively Panicked Hostel

Two of our good friends from Tennessee stayed with us a couple of weeks ago. As many visitors as we have had over the last year our super might think we are running a hostel. My co-workers are starting to think I am making it up. Every weekend that someone plans a employees night out I seem to turn it down with a “Sorry, we have visitors this weekend!”. We don’t run a hostel, and I have yet to make up a visitor… we just love having friends over, and our friends apparently love sleeping on our couch.

In an effort to take our guests somewhere new (We are trying to add more restaurants to our guided tours.) we went to The Burger Joint, also known as New York City’s worst kept secret. The teeny tiny dirty burger dive is hidden inside of one of Manhattan’s finest hotels, the Parker Meridian.

As you enter the lobby of the Prime Meridian you will find a long line wrapping around a few dark walls and leading down a dark hallway to a supposedly “hidden” restaurant….if only it weren’t so popular. We waited for about twenty minutes before we were standing inside the graffiti covered, greasy smelling, and very crowded Burger Joint.

I love to find a delicious hole-in-the-wall type of restaurant, and the fact that this hole is in a 4-star hotel just makes it that much better. I could only eat the fries, just as good a McDonald’s – and I mean that as a compliment. Everyone else told me the burgers were great, so you’ll have to take their word for it.  They certainly smelled great.

After eating, we took the elevator up to the penthouse because Husband’s number one goal in NY is to make it to the roof of every tall building. Luckily the top floor did indeed have a large deck, perfect for viewing the city.

So, if any of you are interested in finding the best rooftops in the city, you know who to contact! We should really consider opening up that hostel…

Cheers!