Our NYC Trip (including our late-night television debut)!

We’ve been back from vacation for over two weeks now, and I’m FINALLY getting a chance to sit down and go through pictures and throw a post together about it!  As I did with our Colorado trip in March–less words, more pictures!

We flew in on a Friday and got checked in to the Wyndham Midtown 45 late in the evening, so we did nothing that night except hit up this little all natural, mostly organic Amish grocery joint right across the street from our hotel to stock the fridge with a few necessities.  I absolutely adored this place!  We went back a couple more times through the week.  It was the first thing I saw of the city, so I was in love from the start!

5-8-2015 - Amish Market

For dinner that night, we walked to a nearby pizza joint that the hotel concierge dude recommended.  They were happy to accommodate my plant-based preferences and hooked me up with this sun-dried tomato, olive, and arugula cheeseless pie.  Hands down BEST PIZZA EVER!!!  And I don’t even remember the name of the place now!

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The next morning, we hit the ground running.  So much we wanted to do and see in one short week!  We went all out with the tourist thing and bought the 72-hour hop-on-hop-off bus package.  Well worth the money!  It helped us get oriented to the city and figure out where everything was.  We used it to kind of see everything briefly and figure out what we wanted to go back to.

5-9-2015 - Brooklyn Bridge 13
You can’t go to NYC without walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, right?!
5-9-2015 - Pam & Dewayne on Brooklyn Bridge
And you HAVE to take a selfie while you’re doing it. Duh.
5-9-2015 - Freedom Tower
Freedom Tower
5-9-2015 - Pam & Dewayne at World Trade Center Memorial
Don’t mind us. Just playing with my new selfie stick.
5-9-2015 - World Trade Center Memorial
Reflecting pool at the World Trade Center monument.
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Names of the fallen at the reflecting pools. So very sombering.
5-9-2015 - LAPD in NYC on freedom tour 2
Gazillions of police officers were in the financial district and I noticed the bikes said LAPD instead of NYPD. We stopped and chatted with the officers for a few and found out that they were in town for a unity tour. We made sure to shake their hands and tell them how appreciated they are.

We wrapped up our sightseeing for the day and headed back to the hotel to get cleaned up and head out to dinner then to the theater district because we had tickets to see Something Rotten that evening.

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Damn, I clean up pretty good, if I do say so myself.
5-9-2015 - Something Rotten on Broadway 2
You guys, I HIGHLY recommend this!!! It was SO funny! It just opened on Broadway in late March, but I hope it eventually goes on tour because I can’t wait to see it again!

After the show, we hit up Times Square

5-9-2015 - Times Square 2
So many lights. And SO MANY PEOPLE.

The next day we hit a couple of museums.  One of my favorite things we did while we were there was go to the Body Worlds exhibit.  It was positively fascinating.

5-10-2015 - Body Worlds Exhibit 3

Then we headed to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Some things in there were pretty interesting, but I wasn’t as awed as I thought I would be.

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I’m sorry, this is not art. If this is art, the contents of my mother’s cedar chest are worth billions.
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THIS, on the other hand, is art.

Then we made our way back downtown to the Empire State Building.  We waited till later in the day to avoid the long lines, which are told to be as long as four hours during peak times.  We breezed right through in like 10 minutes.

5-10-2015 - Empire State Building observation deck 11

On Monday, we got up early to go stand in line at the NBC Studios for standby tickets to go to a Jimmy Fallon taping.  That turned out to be kind of an all-day ordeal, but it paid off because we totally got in!  We lined up at like 7:00 that morning.

The people at the front of the line camped there all night to be sure to get tickets.  I'm not that hard core.  haha
The people at the front of the line camped there all night to be sure to get tickets. I’m not that hard core. haha

They came out and numbered us off at 9:00.  When we got in line, there were 20 people ahead of us, but by the time several douche bags broke in line in front of us (Dewayne wouldn’t let me kneecap them with my selfie stick), we were numbers 31 and 32.  We didn’t have high hopes of getting in, but we were told there was always a chance and to come back at 3:45 to find out how many seats they had left to fill.

There was still lots that we wanted to do and see, but we were afraid to go far because we wanted to make sure getting back at 3:45 wouldn’t be an issue!  So we just trekked around town on foot all day.  We went back to Times Square and milled around then walked over to Fifth Avenue for some window shopping.

5-10-2015 - Pam at M&M World
M&M World
5-11-2015 - Tiffany's
I tried to convince D I needed a souvenir. He wasn’t buying it. Literally or figuratively. Rude.
5-11-2015 - St. Patrick's Cathedral 4
St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Then we headed back to the studios to find out whether or not we would get in.  That was an emotional roller coaster.  haha  When we first got there, they were turning away anyone with a number higher than 60.  (Yay!)  Then we waited around for what felt like forever.  (Boo!)  Then they said they could take 36 people.  (YAY!!!)  Then they said, no, only 26.  (BOO!)  Then they told us to wait around because they may get a few more.  (YAAAAAAAYYYY!)  Remember, we were numbers 31 and 32.  They had taken 26.  Then they came out and said they could take six more.  Do the math.  We got the LAST TWO SEATS!  WOOOOHOOOOO!!!!!!!!  (Or so we thought.  During a commercial break, we saw one of the guys that was with the family of five that was behind us.  They went back for one more after they let us in.)  I was freaking stoked.  If you’re a Fallon watcher, we were at the taping with Tom Brokaw and Charlize Theron.  Several friends and family watched the episode and said they saw us several times.  A couple even sent me pics!  haha

Fallon 2

Fallon

As much fun as that was, we trumped it the next night by going to one of David Letterman’s last tapings.  We had tickets secured for that one, so it didn’t involve the waiting and wondering like Fallon did!  I just entered the ticket lottery before we went, and while we were sitting in the Nashville airport waiting to board the plane to NYC, the studio called and asked a trivia question about the show that I had to answer correctly to get the tickets.  I don’t have any screen shots of that one (you could barely see us if you knew where to look during one camera pan of the audience), but we were at the taping with Bill Clinton and Adam Sandler.  I was so disappointed when I found out who was going to be there.  haha  I couldn’t have picked two celebrities I would LEAST like to see.  lol  But guests aside, it was even more fun than the Fallon taping.  I freaking love David Letterman and miss him already.

5-12-2015 - Pam & Dewayne at Letterman taping

When we were leaving, we rounded the corner and found Adam Sandler signing autographs.

5-12-2015 - Adam Sandler signing autographs after Letterman taping 3

I don’t like him, but that didn’t stop me from getting him to sign my ticket stub for a souvinier.  haha

5-12-2015 - Adam Sandler's autograph
If you can make “Adam Sandler” out of that, you’re more talented than I.

After the taping we went for dinner and then to the Broadway Comedy Club.  We were one of the first to arrive, so we were treated to a stage-side table.  It was great because we got to interact with the comedians.  There were several there that night.  I think like 6 or 7?  I don’t know, I was hammered.  haha  I recognized a few of them, but I was really only familiar with one of them–Mike Vecchione.  We bought the tickets blind, not knowing who would be there, so I was excited when he walked out!

5-12-2015 - Mike Vecchione at Broadway Comedy Club 2

Oh and I forgot to mention that earlier in the day, before the Letterman taping, we went to the Statue of Liberty.  We didn’t go up in the crown or anything.  We basically just ferried over, took some pictures, and left.

5-12-2015 - Statue of Liberty 6

5-12-2015 - Pam & Dewayne at the Statue of Liberty

That night after the comedy club, we hit another bar on the way back to the hotel and then I crashed and burned.  haha  We didn’t have any solid plans for the next day until 8:00 that evening, and it’s a good thing because we didn’t get out of bed till 4:00 in the afternoon.  We were both exhausted and I was more hungover than I’ve been in a very long time.  We left the hotel in just enough time to grab dinner and get to the Best Buy Theater for a concert.  We saw Of Mice & Men with Crown the Empire and Volumes opening for them.  I loooove Of Mice & Men–they were the headliner and the reason we bought the tickets.  I only knew one Crown the Empire song and had never heard of Volumes, but they both put on a solid performance.  It was a great show and a great time, even if I was still hungover.  haha

5-13-2015 - Of Mice & Men 6

Neither of us were really up to going back out that night, so we just vegged out and watched TV in the hotel so we’d be rested and ready to make the most of Thursday, our last day there and our 8th anniversary!  We slept in again that morning and I FINALLY felt like a human being again.  haha  So much so that I decided to test out my leg on a run in Central Park!  After being sidelined for the better part of three months due to injury, I was ELATED to run a pain-free three miles.  And the fact that the comeback run was in Central Park was just the very sweet icing on the already sweet cake.

5-14-2015 - Pam after comeback run in Central Park

We hung out in Central Park for a few hours walking around, eating pretzels, watching street performers, taking pictures, just savoring our last day.  It was nothing short of glorious.

5-14-2015 - Central Park 20 (Orton)
I’m fascinated by bridges. I just think they’re so pretty.

Then while we were trying to decide what we wanted to do that evening for our anniversary, we decided we’d go back to Broadway for another show.  On a whim we bought tickets to see An Act of God.  We really didn’t even know anything about it other than it had Jim Parsons in it and we both love him.  It was an awesome show and so cool to see Sheldon as something other than… well, Sheldon!  hahaha

5-14-2015 - Pam & Dewayne at An Act of God

And then just like that, our trip was over.  I don’t think we’ve EVER crammed so much activity into one week!  It was so much fun and very rejuvenating for us as a couple.  Now to bust ass and save money for our next trip in October!

Three Things Thursday – The Return to Running Edition

Yes, I’m still alive.  I didn’t get lost or abducted in NYC.  I’m alive and well but just sooooooooo behiiiiiiiiiind!!!!!!!  I’ve got a full post about NYC coming as soon as I can find a few spare minutes to sit down and get it done.  So in the meantime–BULLETS!  Just so you don’t forget I’m here.

  • As the title suggested, I’m FIIIIIINALLY on the road to recovery.  It’s still very, very short runs for now, but I’m slowly adding mileage back in, a quarter-mile at a time.  One of the highlights of my NYC trip was a 3-mile pain-free in Central Park!

5-14-2015 - Pam after comeback run in Central Park

  • I’ve been carrying around a $50 gift card to Dick’s ever since Christmas, but when a girl ain’t running, a sporting goods store is a pretty depressing place to be.  haha  I took care of that last weekend.

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  • And what makes a comeback more official than a race registration?!?!?!

st jude

Live from New York, it’s ….. MEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Good morning, Kids!  We’re a couple of days into our week-long trip to NYC, and it is shaping up to be everything I’d hoped for and then some.  We’re trying to cram as much stuff as we can into seven short days, so there isn’t much bloggy time!  I just wanted to pop in with a few teaser photos so you can take comfort in the fact that while you’re stuck at work on a beautiful Monday morning, at least one of us is livin’ large in The Big Apple.  You’re welcome.

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Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge

 

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Memorial where the North Tower of the Twin Towers once stood.

 

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Broadway baby!

 

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Times Square

 

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Body Worlds exhibit. Fascinating!

 

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M&M World

 

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Metropolitan Museum of Art. If this is art, the contents of my mother’s cedar chest are worth billions.

 

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THIS is art.

 

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Observation deck of Empire State Building.

 

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Observation deck of Empire State Building.

 

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New York Public Library

 

Up next–Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island!

Friday Favorites

I don’t usually do Friday Favorites posts, but I’ve just come across too many things lately that I’m LOVING, so feel compelled to share my new-found loves with the world.  You’re welcome.

1.   Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter.  I’m sure this probably isn’t new to the rest of the world, but for those of us who are a solid two hours from the nearest TJ’s, it just may be.  I grabbed some while I was in TJ’s in Colorado last month and I was pretty sure I’d died and gone to Heaven.  It reminded me of Teddy Grahams that I so dearly loved as a child.

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All gone. 😦

2.   Pet Naturals of Vermont Calming for Cats.  Okay, this one may not be relevant to most of my readers, but for anyone who has a cat that HATES to ride in a car as much as mine does, this will be a life-saver.  (They have a dog version, too, but I’ve never had any reason to try it.)  Any time we have to take C.C. to the vet, it’s a solid 10 minutes of wailing and howling and screaming on the ride there.  It’s not good for her to be so stressed at nearly 16 years old, and it’s not great for my nerves either!  Then I found this.

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It’s AMAZING.  I gave it to her before the hour and a half drive to my parents’ house when they kept her while we were out of town last month.  She was one cool kitty but not drugged, ya know?  Calm but alert.  I was even able to unzip her cat carrier so she could poke her head out.  That would have NEVER happened before.  I wish I’d found this stuff years ago.  Total game changer for us.

3-28-2015 - C.C. on her way to Grandma's
God, I love this girl.

3.   Black-ish.  Freaking hilarious.  The best thing to happen to prime time since Modern Family.

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4.   Starbucks Cinnamon Chai Soy Latte.  Yes it has a lot of sugar, and no I don’t know that it’s 100% vegan even when made with soy milk, but hot damn this is some good stuff.

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5.   Blackberry Patch blueberry syrup.  I found this in the gourmet foods section of a TJ Maxx for $2.99, so I had to try it.  I made pancakes with it last weekend and HELLLOOOOOOO!  IHOP ain’t got nothin’ on me.

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So do tell!  What are YOU loving these days?

The Great Closet Purge of 2015

I’ve been seeing the phrase “capsule wardrobe” being thrown around a lot lately and thought it sounded interesting.  Then I read the “rules” and saw that the suggested number of pieces in a capsule wardrobe is 37.  HA!  Screw that.  haha I have no interesting in paring down my wardrobe THAT much.  But I liked the idea behind it:  Get rid of the shit that’s been hanging in your closet for years that you don’t love and seldom-to-never wear.

So I went into my closet and had a very honest discussion with lots things.

“I’m sorry, but I just don’t love you anymore.”
“I don’t remember the last time i saw you.”
“I honestly forgot you were even here.”
“You never really made me feel good about myself anyway.”

And so I began pulling things off hangers and throwing them in the floor.

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I still had every race shirt from every half and full marathon I’ve ever run.  WHY?  They’re hideous.  But I had sort of a sentimental attachment to them, I guess.  I rationalized with myself that that’s what medals are for and tossed them into the mounting pile.

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There was one piece though that was super hard for me to get rid of.  It’s the oldest article of clothing I own.  My very first concert t-shirt from Bush’s Razorblade Suitcase tour circa 1997.  haha!

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It used to be black about a thousand washes ago.

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Some friends and I went to see them in Memphis when we were juniors in high school and I’ve had the shirt ever since.  Unlike most of the other clothes I tossed, I still actually wore this one.  haha  Not in public!  Lord, I’m not that fashionably challenged…  But it was perfect with a pair of yoga pants just lounging around the house.  Alas, it was 18 years old and getting threadbare, so it was finally time to say goodbye.

By the time I’d finished, I’d tossed 7 pairs of shoes, 52 shirts, 11 pairs of dress pants, 3 pairs of jeans, 4 bras, 5 pairs of shorts, 2 dresses, 3 skirts, 1 blazer, 1 business suit, 6 belts, 1 backpack, and countless pairs of socks.  Not too shabby.  Some was thrown away and the rest donated to the Salvation Army so it can move on to its next chapter in life cluttering up someone else’s closet!

When’s the last time you gave your closet an honest purge?  What’s the oldest piece of clothing you own?  And why are you hanging on to it?!