Sunday, January 8, 2012

Happy New Year!

New Years Eve was a blast. The most random, fun, and slightly reckless night that I have had in a while and I spent it with some high school besties, Tish, Amber and Dave. Our friend Jenna was doing a comedy set up at Wiseguys in SLC that was sold out, but we went up anyway and attempted to sweet talk our way in. Dave eventually walked in while we were battling it out with the manager and we couldn't walk in then because he was guarding the door. So mad we didn't get in-I would have paid a double ticket, but whatever. We got to see Jenna before her set though and give her a hug and tell her we did our best.
So we ended up going to Whole Foods for dinner on Dave's recommendation, "you feel so hip when you're in there." Okay! SO yummy, they have a big fresh salad bar and another bar with pasta dishes and different salads-all organic too! So healthy and SO hip!
Tish and Amber got these fruity drinks and after drinking 1/3 of it, Tish asked if there was alcohol in it, that she could taste it...What?! We looked and the fine print on the label said, "may contain hints of alcohol and nuts"...yikes. Well, I guess we had our alcohol for New Years! eek. :)
After a yummy organic dinner, we went over to Temple Square to see the lights. I haven't seen them yet this year, and they are still as amazing as ever. We saw couples getting their New Years kisses in early all over the place. :)
Love these girls!
At one point Dave linked his arms in ours as we were walking and just soaked up being out with 3 hot chicks for the evening. So funny! Dave is a hoot!
So gorgeous! We stuck our head in to the tabernacle and heard Thurl Bailey, Marvin Goldstein, and 2 other singers for a minute. We walked in while Thurl was singing "Cat's in the Cradle" Love it. Marvin played a super fun medley of "Fiddler on the Roof" tunes and the girl sang "Rain on my Parade" which was SO great! I loved it, but my friends were done before we started. So we took off after a couple of songs and walked around.
We decided to go south and find a party in Provo, but first we stopped in Cottonwood Heights at my friend Graden and his friends' party. Totally different kind of fun going on, they were playing a game together. So we jumped in and played for a little bit. I ended up sitting next to this super fun guy Andrew and laughing my way through the game and practicing my flirt. ;) He texted me later and I was very happy about it.
But my friends were done, so we took off and Dave said "I think there's a party at NOAHs", so we ended up at NOAHs at the...Chilean Association of Utah party. HA HA!
Of course we stayed...most random thing, but SO fun. Counted down en espanol and ripped up the dance floor with the Chileans. So funny!
In other news...I had a date this week with a guy named Tyler. We had a great Thai dinner at Simply Thai and just chatted. Naali-the owner of Simply Thai does catering for my work, so she came and chatted with us and gave us complimentary dessert-coconut ice cream and a mango rice thing that was SO divine.
It was fun, very intimate restaurant, Naali went around and talked with everyone and was a gracious hostess.
The date was great, good conversation, fun to get to know him. As we were walking out he said he had something for me in his car and he pulled out these...
WHAT?! Flowers for a first date? Who does that anymore? I loved it. My room smells SO good, and today they looked like this. SO gorge!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Phase 4: Christmas in Ohio...with all of the folks at home.

I lost my camera on my flight from Ohio to SLC, and all my Ohio pictures with it. Luckily, I have some from Ren's camera, but it's not the same. Ren definitely doesn't take pictures like I do...of every move...;) But I have a few to remember my trip.
I arrived on Friday morning and spent the afternoon and evening catching up with everyone, hearing their piano skills, seeing their latest artwork and lego buildings. It was so good to catch up and see where everyone is at.
Friday night we went to Kirtland to the Creche exhibit where they have on display hundreds of creche, or nativity scenes from around the world. It was incredible. Nativity scenes made from banana leaves in Africa, to olive wood in Jerusalem, to crystal, ceramic, and wood.
Christmas Eve we had Ren's award-winning clam chowde' (really tasty, I even liked it) and did the nativity reading the script that Cathleen had prepared years ago and they pull out every year with the costumes. I was the angel thinking that I would have a lot of down time to take pictures and ooh and aww over the kids, but the angel in this script is pretty active.
Jaron was the best King Herod I've ever seen, complete with a fantastic death scene. Mairi was the sweetest Mary with her 'baby Ian' as the Christ child. Rowan was the donkey, Dallin was the stylish wise man and Ian was...the shepherd with his sheep (Fiona was the sheep). So fun!
Christmas morning was a blast! The kids scheme all year about what they give to each other, the result: creative gifts that everyone loves. They also take the time to open each gift, ooh and aww over it, try it on, talk about it and then move on. They hug each other for thanks and their eyes light up when their sibling tells them the cool features of their gift that is perfect for them. Lots of love in this home and it was a treat to be a part of!
Mairi's gift, a ruby necklace from Dallin. Ruby is her birthstone.
One of the best costumes for Ian and Jaron, complete with split toe socks-for climbing walls...and wearing with flip flops?...:)
Leather gauntlets from Jaron to Rowan-to go with his medievil pants from Ian and cloak that he made years ago. Found them at a falconry shop online.
They surprised me with a laptop!
And a preying mantis shirt and "for love of insects" book for Ian. he also got specimens of scorpions in his Christmas jacket. He was SO happy. So fun to watch!
The Poons...
Rowan-16, just got his driving license and very elligible dating material. Not really in to dancing though, not even with me. Dallin-15...totally charming, considerate, thoughful and a real gentleman. Still rocks the piano and is in to running and eating healthy.
Ian-is still the bug man. Is brilliant with legos and knows just about everything about anything. And tucks his jeans in to his socks for extra style. Love it.
Jaron-is always doing something with his hands, he is brilliant at building things and cooking-who knew. He can whip up cookie batter like no big deal.
Mairi was my best girl fun to pal around with her painting nails and doing crafts. her brothers love and watch out for her. She is just a doll.
This trip was SO good. Great to catch up with everyone and see how well they are growing up and get some quality time with Ren. We had some great conversations, he straightened me out (j/k, I am always straight), we talked about dating and life, work and church.
On our way to the airport on Monday we stopped to see the Cleveland Clinic cause I wanted to see it. So he took me around, we saw the ICU, conference center, cancer wing, his office (yeah, he's legit!) and the pulmonology center/unit/wing. He was excited and I loved it! Way cool!

New York City...Thursday

Thursday morning Bonnie and I hit the 6:30 am session. Hello and Good Morning! The temple is beautiful and absolute peace and quiet right when you walk in. It's amazing!
That's right! We're legit! you have no idea how happy I was to find this! This is one of the theaters that is part of the Juillard school. No big deal. Rose and I always knew we were meant for the theater! ;) Then I had to wait a few hours to text it to Rose because she was soaking up the sun on the west coast in Sunny San Diego. So fun to keep in touch via text pictures about our holiday trips on opposite coasts. I love technology!
Breakfast as La Bergamote, a french patisserie that was out of this world. So good! We'll start with some Hot Chocho...
Then we'll move on to eggs benedict with salmon and caviar...what? Who eats caviar for breakfast?
Then...Chinatown! With our very own escorts, Eric and Barbara. Naarah sat by Eric on the plane ride over and told her to call him if we go to Chinatown. Well, we took hom up on his offer and had a great time. After we walked through the fresh fish market and exchanged smiles with the lobsters and crabs...yeah, they smiled back...we stopped for some Dim Sum, Chinese tea time. Eric and Barbara ordered for us. People expect them to be fluent in Chinese, but they have been totally americanized and werent interested in Chinese when they were younger, so they get by, but just laugh about it.
and we tried chicken feet. Must be an acquired taste. Bonnie swallowed a toenail at one point...not the best.
Tradition is to do something creative with your tip. A fun tradition I think I will carry on... so fun!
After Dim Sum, we got some bubble tea and hot cakes! Bubble tea has little jelly balls in a fruity drink, mmm. And hot cakes are creme filled pastries, bite sized. Eric said they were determined to keep hot cakes $1, so with inflation they went from 20/$1 to 16/$1 to 8/$1...yummy.
I liked the bubble tea. Definitely asian sweet flavor. Not Naarah's favorite.
Rockefeller center. See that tiny skating rink? yeah, that's it! Ha ha. But so traditional. we ended up deciding that $40 for a half hour on the rink after 2 hours of waiting...not going to happen this trip. But we saw it and took a picture.
Bloomingdales...beautiful lights and fun perusing. The clothing is incredible...through the roof in both cost and style. :) So fun to walk through.
Dinner at Forty Carrots, ont he 7th floor of Bloomingdales. Fun little cafe. Naarah's quesadilla won and the carrot cake was pretty great!
and a little Mamma Mia to wrap up my New York trip...nothing like a litte ABBA to celebrate! We let the other cast perform that night, pretty sure! ;)
Love Broadway...I always knew I was a 'Dancing Queen'...
Good Bye New York...until next time.

New York City...Wednesday

Wednesday started off with Starbucks and Central Park. Perfect. So fun to walk around, see the statues and hear a group singing under the tunnel by the water fountain. They were singing some Josh Groban style holiday great!
On the white bridge with the gorgeous skyline in the back.
Wednesday afternoon was WICKED! SO excited. I think all of our first time. Phenomenal show!
Cried three times in the first act. Normal behavior, right?
After Wicked, we went to the 911 memorial, which was one of my favorite highlights from the whole trip! The memorial is stunning! I was blown away with the design and layout of the whole thing. And it still feels tenderhearted on that ground. That we are still rebuilding and recovering as Americans. Very special place.
The names of people killed as well as rescuers are etched around the borders of both fountains. People can find the names of their loved ones and some had flowers tucked in their name. Very sweet and tender being there.
Afterwards, Bonnie had surprised me and Naarah with lobster tails and cannolis from Little Italy. OH MY, heaven on earth. The lobster tails were amazing, holy cream!
Window display at Macy' far the best, most creative ones. So cool!
And NY style pizza. Gotta do this at some point, we are in Manhattan.
Naarah and I finished up our night at the Empire State Building. Loved the trees and window displays in the lobby. Thought of Sleepless in Seattle multiple times.
At the top looking out on the city lights!
SO windy at the top. Naarah was holding on to her hat the whole time and at one point, my lips were blowing in the wind.
The fun window displays in the lobby.

New York City...Tuesday

Narrah, our good friend flew in Monday night to spend the week with me and Bonnie, so Tuesday morning, we headed out to Fifth Ave to see how the other half lives...
Of course Tiffany's was the first place we stopped.
It was all decorated inside and just beautiful. We looked around at all the sparkly it just me, or do the things at Tiffany's sparkle a lot more than at other places? I of course wandered over to the yellow diamond section and tried on a couple of engagement rings...$120k and $20K, which according to the sales lady was "a little more doable"...oh totally ;). yeah, right!
Bonnie got her souvenir, a lock and key silver necklace. Her first Tiffany's purchase, and probably not her last...;)
The window displays for Tiffany's were so fun, actually the window displays everywhere were great. So fun to be in NY during Christmas with all the decorations and holiday spirit.
I wore my red coat to not get lost and heaven knows I stuck out like a sore thumb amidst all the grey, blacks, and navy blues...particularly posing like this on the sidewalk. Hello NYC!
Bonnie and I met up Tania for lunch at Dos Caminos, a fantastic Mexican place. Butternut squash enchiladas with chicken, very good! So good to catch up with Tania and hear about her experience working and raising her family in NYC. Superwoman for sure!
She is so great!
After lunch with Tania, I met up with my friend Arly Crawford from my YW days. She is living in Manhattan with her husband Samuel. SO good to catch up with her. She is the same wonderful Arly!
Tuesday night was our girls night out on the town. New York City Ballet's The Nutcracker at the Lincoln Center. SO excited!!
Lincoln center at night. GOREGEOUS! It's a whole the most beautiful part of the city, close to the temple and Julliard school. Just so fun to be here and see it!
Inside the theater after the ballet, which was phenomenal, of course...cried multiple times. It was slightly different than the western versions, it being George Balanchine's version, which was WAY fun for me to see. I have studied about him, but seeing it on stage and recognizing his influence and style was so awesome!
and a fabulous Italian dinner at Tony's to wrap up the evening. Note: remember to make dinner reservations in NY, because even at 9 pm, there is an hour wait. Oh yeah, welcome to NY.
Best Caprese salad I've ever had. Ate it before I could take a picture of it. whoops.
Our entrees: pasta of the day with sausage and greens. And ravioli with LOTS of cheese. all six of our thumbs way way up.
Chocolate mousse for dessert. beautiful and delicious!
The aftermath...we basically licked our plate clean. SO good.
Yes. I heart NY.