New York City, January 2014

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One more trip to NYC is in the books, and the city never disappoints.  Nor does the company.  Troy and Luis make it so easy to be there.  I was barely recovered from the sleep deprivation before I started thinking about when I’d like to go back again!

And this time I had the pleasure of the company of my sister-in-law, as well!  We had delayed flights going to NYC and a cancelled flight home, but that only meant that we had a bonus day, with bonus walks, bonus time at Times Square, a bonus show, bonus girl-talk, and a bonus “order-in meal” for watching the Grammy’s!

We saw the new show , “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder,” which was such a hoot!  We had great seats (first row!) and we laughed as we watched the D’ysquith’s die one by one!  The man who played all the D’ysquiths was so impressive, as was the heir who was assisting them in their demise.  Very fun!

Saturday we saw “Cinderella” – the last weekend with the original cast!  It is a beautiful and magical show, and even with the knowledge that I should pay attention to certain things, I still couldn’t figure out the magic.  Very beautiful.

Saturday night we went to see a silly band who sang amazing mash-up songs in their underwear!  They’re called The Skivvies, and they had special guests come on stage and sing (also in their underwear) and it was so fun!  It was at 54 Below, which is a sort of underground Cabaret featuring a lot of Broadway performers on their nights off.  So glad we went…

Sunday morning American Airlines called and said that our flight out of Chicago was cancelled so we had an extra day in NYC!  We were able to get great tickets to see “Matilda” – and I liked it even better than the first time I saw it!  The new girl was amazing, the new Trunchbull was hilarious, and the oohs of the kids in the audience was great atmosphere!  It was just so fun!  Loved it so much!  So glad we got to stay and enjoy another day in NYC!

We also had so many treats while in NYC!  We went on a cupcake tour of the East Village (and Lower East Side), stopped at Magnolia Bakery, Pieface, and the Cake Boss Bakery.  Everywhere we went we had deliciousness and goodness.  Loved the tour with Adriana Trigiani Tours!

The pictures above are just a sampling.  I posted (way too many?) on Facebook and still have hundreds to look at.  I always love looking at the buildings – old and new – and the walks outside were very comfortable in the teens and twenty degree temperatures.  I’m not sure I’d travel in January again, unless I knew that I had time to spare for travel glitches, but I’m so glad that I went in January 2014.




Yes.  I’ve been absent from my blog for a while.  Life has been busy – and good!

In September

  • I went to a few football games under the Friday night lights and in the steamy heat of a Saturday – ah, September in MN
  • I spent time with friends, sitting in the creek with margaritas on that steamy Saturday, celebrating milestone birthdays, and organizing Cosmo Girls for year 4
  • I’ve been spending time with this guy I have been dating, whenever our schedules (and the stars) align.
  • I was preparing for a trip to NYC, so I had to work a little extra on the front end.
  • I made it to two movies in the theatre:
    The Family (with Chris) – a mobster in witness protection.  Robert DeNiro still has it, at 70 years old!  Amazing.
    The Spectacular Now (with Marie) – I was excited to see this, and it didn’t live up to expectations.  It was just ok and mostly depressing.  
  • I finished Orange is the New Black on Netflix, and it is worth watching.
  • I spent a lot of time listening to Broadway Cast Recordings of Cinderella and Matilda and reading My City, My New York in preparation for my (annual) birthday trip to New York City.  

So, yes, now there has been a birthday.

birthday cake
birthday cake (Photo credit: freakgirl)

I flew out 9/30/13 and spent my 45th birthday (10/1/13) in NYC celebrating in style!  I’ll do a recap post of that trip later, but it was another amazing trip which makes me feel so blessed.

For my 44th year, I divided the year into quarters and made lists of 11 things to do or look forward to in each quarter.  I didn’t complete them all, but it was a fun way to organize the year.  You can read the summary posts from the first three quarters here:  Quarter 1, Quarter 2, Quarter 3.

Here is a wrap-up of the 4th quarter of my 44th year:,

my final 11 things: 

  1. Fourth of July!  Always a great time with family – relaxing time at the end of the dock, fireworks, great food and photo ops!
  2. Plan a Book Fest!First annual?  Bi-annual? Bookish food and treats?  Crafts?  Oh my!  It’s coming right up, but it’s in the planning stages!  It was SOOOO awesome!  You can read all about it here!  I am just starting to think about Book Fest 2.0!
  3. Ferragosto!  I can’t wait for my made up mid-August celebration!  More details to follow!  You can read all about it – here!  Buon Ferragosto!
  4. New York City! Looking forward to planning my annual trip to NYC!  It will make turning a year older more palatable! The trip is history – and it definitely was a great time… such a great way to spend a birthday!
  5. Books! Read and listen as much as possible! Tragic fail… keep on plugging away!  I actually did TWO book reviews and giveaways this quarter, so I guess that’s where my reading was focused – on The Promise of Provence and Freud’s Mistress – click to read more!
  6. Cosmo Girls! Start planning for 2013-2014!  Organized and rolling along!  We had a great organizational meeting and a terrific first meeting of the year! It’s going to be a great year!
  7. State Fair? Go if I can!  I guess I can – I went THREE times!
  8. Help Marissa move and get settled! Done!  It was a hot hot day we moved her in, but she is well-settled, the apartment is cute, and she is having a great time and great success in graduate school!  Woot!
  9. Ferragosto Ferragosto Ferragosto!  I have a feeling it’ll be the best ever!  Again – see above!  It was terrific!
  10. Sit down and … play piano or write poems or letters or play accordion… take time.  Well, also a fail.  Didn’t get much “time” for any of that but it’s all good!
  11. What do you think I should add to my list?

So as you can see, not even 11 things on the list, but still a fun way to remember the year.

45 years old
45 years old

And for this year, 45?  

Maybe I’ll do something creative with 45 records (remember them?) like “on the flip side” or “B Side”… have ideas?  

45 rpm, flip side? b-side?
45 rpm, flip side? b-side?


I learned that 45 is the sum of all the numbers (0+1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9 = 45), the dialing code for Denmark (+45), a gun or ammunition (.45), and the sapphire wedding anniversary.  

Elvis Costello wrote this song called 45 (, referring to record singles and his age when he wrote the song.  A catchy song… There are lots more songs and movies and other information you can read about online – thanks Wikipedia!  

So I haven’t fleshed out the plan or theme for being 45, but I’m enjoying every minute of it so far!

And I’m Ready to Go!

I’m excited for the adventures to come this week!

First Ave Danceteria

Adventures begin Saturday with Kieran’s Irish Pub and First Ave for Glen Hansard!  I’m excited to see him in concert for the second time!  Someone was tweeting during a concert in Washington DC last week and they were amazed so I am prepared to be amazed.

My bags are packed!

Thankfully I am packing slightly lighter than this – but only slightly!  🙂  How many clothes does one need for four days and nights in NYC?? And how many pairs of shoes to go with those clothes?  And how many purses to wear with those outfits?


I know that I overpacked, I always do, but I will have choices.  I haven’t even checked the 10 day forecast yet, so I packed for most eventualities.  Most.  I am not ready for cold or snow.  That won’t happen this week, although they are talking about some of that crazy weather for MN next weekend!

Things on the agenda for this NYC trip:

  • The movie “Pitch Perfect” – looks like a fun movie for music-loving people!
  • Depending on the weather, maybe a trip to the top of the Empire State Building (I haven’t been during the day) or a walk over the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge!
  • A walking foodie tour of Greenwich Village with Adriana Trigiani‘s tour group!
  • Central Park in the Fall!
  • The High Line in the Fall!
  • Avenue Q off-Broadway!
  • The Strand book store!
  • Forbidden Broadway!
  • Once – for the second time!
  • Bring It On!
  • Any other adventures that may come my way on my birthday week in New York City!

Sounds like I will need lots of energy for the City that Never Sleeps – So I’d best be getting sleep now – if I can!  I’m so excited to be on my way…

print by Mae Chevrette – She does beautiful work and I want them all!


Friday Night Lights!

I just started creating collages of photos that I have taken with my phone.  

A little late to the game? Probably.

Does my phone take collage-worthy photos? Probably not. 

Is my phone battery conducive to relying on it for memorializing my day?  Ack.  No way.

Is my day too trivial to be memorialized?  Debatable 🙂  

But there you have it.  I made a TERRIBLE collage of our MN State Fair trip, but it isn’t share-worthy.  Maybe I’ll try again.  

Practice makes perfect, right?

My first phone photo collage!

The collage above is a fun glimpse into my first football game of the season.  

I love football season. Crisp fall nights turning into crisper fall nights.
Hot chocolate and popcorn.  Good stuff. 

I look forward to another night under the lights watching my nephew and his friends.  Football is always better when you have a personal relationship with someone on the field.  

What are you doing this Friday night? 

Do you have a favorite photo collage app?

40 Things (19)

Cover of "Lord of the Flies, Educational ...
Cover of Lord of the Flies, Educational Edition

Following along with Boof‘s 40 Day Challenge leading up to her 40th birthday, her 19th topic is:

19) A book that scared me

Almost halfway there!  🙂

Not sure of the difference between being scared and being creeped out.  I don’t like either one and tend to avoid books (and movies and TV shows and amusement park attractions.. etc.) that make me feel either way.  I talked in a post about “Amityville Horror” (creepy and scary), which I read as an adolescent.  I recently (within the last five years?) listened to “Lord of the Flies” on audio.  It was very disturbing.  I remember I had to stop listening on my way to work and listen to some upbeat music to get some images out of my hear before facing my day.  I guess that’s pretty scary.

#19 on my list of things to do was to “Save money for trips.”  Ah, the constant battle to save money.  I did go on some trips – the wonderful trip to NYC with Deadra to celebrate our 40ths in August of 2008, and Las Vegas with my daughter to see the Spice Girls in December of 2007.  Maybe more, but that’s all I can think of right now.  That flood kind of was a set-back in the realm of money saving, so trips that I take tend to be economical.  No lavish spending on a European tour for me (yet!).  I love to travel, I just have a hard time saving my money!

Off to read!