Saturday, July 28, 2012

NYC Day 2 and 3

After the mad-rush of our trip into NYC, we did get a couple of hours to relax and try to take in the magnitude of the city and the opulence of our Trump Soho hotel room.

From the personalized welcome on all four phones - two of them in the bathrooms,

To the his and hers robes,

To the amazing view of Upper Manhattan from our corner window... Everything, "creates the sense that every guest is a VIP"... or so says the Trump promise, framed prominently on the leather appointed desk.

The other thing prominently displayed is the Minibar menu...

Seriously?! $95 for a SMALL bottle of vodka?  Sheesh!

But New York is not made for rest and relaxation, or frugality! 

The next morning we took the first of our scary cab ride, and $20 dollars later, we were delivered to Rockefeller Plaza.  

The cab ride, in comparison, turned out to be pretty tame, when we found ourselves in an elevator, being rocketed up 76 floors in 38 seconds!  

If you don't know, (I didn't know this) the 30 Rock building is what was being built in that picture of the construction workers eating lunch on the girder. For only $29.99, the friendly guides are happy to let you recreate that...

We then ventured outside, and were treated to a view that in my opinion is better than that from the top of the Empire State building.  You can see practically all of NYC from there.

And if you're curious as to what you're looking at - there's an ap for that.

From there, we moved on toward The Museum of Natural History. We decided to get there via Central Park, which was beautiful, but I really had to use the restroom, and wondered how I was going to find one.  

Well, if you're curious - there's an ap for that too.

And, finally, after walking several miles of trails in Central Park, in 95 degree heat, we arrived at The Museum of Natural History.  I'm not sure, but I will venture to guess that Kelsie expected to find this

What we actually found was this

But it was cool inside.  We wandered around, only getting separated and lost twice, until it was time to head back to the hotel to refresh and get ready to go to the Gershwin Theatre to see WICKED!

While we were getting ready, Downtown Dad, ever ready with his camera phone, caught this of fellow Trump Soho guest, Carlos Santana, as he was leaving for a gig somewhere in the city...

We decided to take the subway uptown to Wicked, it was cheaper, and faster!  As for seeing Wicked on Broadway - It was Amazing!  From our first glimpse of the stage, which was an awesome confection of steampunk, all through the show, not only was the company from the two leads down to the smallest flying monkey, spot on and perfect in their acting, dancing and songs, but the stagecraft and set itself became a stellar character as well.

The next morning, we took the Staten Island Ferry round trip for a pretty close look at the Statue of Liberty, with no lines and for free!

We actually got much closer than this picture would imply.  It was also very cool to stand on the deck and listen to many languages besides English excitedly talk about this national icon.

I was anxious to get home, back to normal. While I truly enjoyed the lavishness of our surroundings, you just never knew what was going to happen next...

As we left the hotel for a quick lunch, before heading out to the airport, we ran into Carlos again.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

NYC Day 1

Monday morning, when we normally would be in our final hours of REM sleep before starting our work week, Downtown Dad, and I, along with Tessie Wee, woke at 3:15am.  To our amazement, according to plan, all three of us found ourselves loaded in the car and travelling eastbound on I-94 by 4... OK 4:08am. This would give us plenty of time to get from Moorhead to the Minneapolis airport, given the 3.5 to four hour travel time..

....unless, of course, we forgot to figure in rush hour traffic, and oh, construction delays... five of them.  Which we did.

The air was electric with stress and tension during the final 15 miles of our trip, as the pace of traffic slowed to a crawl, and the pace of the clock seemed to speed up, ticking perilously close to our departure time. We eventually got parked, got into the right terminal and into the line to check in, with actually 3 or 4 minutes to spare to be within the 40 minutes before takeoff time frame that would ensure our bags made it onto the same plane as us.  The ticket agent slapped bright orange LATE stickers on them, and advised us to hurry!

Whew.  Right?  Sure.

...unless, of course, someone left her ID at home. Which Tessie Wee did.

The good news is that in the Minneapolis airport, if your mom grabs a security guard by the collar, and, wild eyed, pleads ignorance to the Homeland Security laws that have been in place for 11 years, that security guard can call upstairs to Sven, who will be waiting with a supervisor to make sure your boarding pass matches your US bank card, and with nothing more than a stern look, send you on your way through security.  Yay for "Minnesota Nice."

However, as we sprinted to the gate, stocking footed, clutching our shoes and assorted carryon items, it occured to Downtown Dad and me, even as they politely called out our names for last call to board, that while this was all well and good in good old midwestern Minneapolis, there was no way that those shenannigans would fly, so to speak at New York's LaGuardia airport when we flew home in a couple of days.

Still panting from our run, I watched anxiously out the window to see if our luggage would make it onboard, while DD texted Bearly, who luckily was home, and awake, asking him to overnight Tessie's ID to the Trump Tower hotel on Spring Street, before one o'clock!  Just as the cabin doors were closing, and we were being advised to turn off our electronic devices, we saw our orange tagged bags slide up the conveyor belt safely into the belly of our plane, and the cheerful text tone on DD's phone signaled Bearly's reply "on my way."

Whew. Right? Sure.

...unless, of course, someone overnighted the ID to the wrong Trump Tower hotel.  Which Bearly did.

Luckily, "His Hairness" The Donald, runs a pretty respectable outfit, and in the time it took for us to travel from the airport to our hotel, through a series of phone calls, the concierges had arranged for our package to be couriered to the correct hotel and delivered to our room when it arrived the next day.  This happy news was delivered to us, along with warm lavender scented towels, as we checked in. Also, as if our package dilemma was somehow the hotel's fault, along with the fact that our check in was delayed 5 minutes, and the fact that we had our daughter along with us, the smiling desk clerk asked if we would accept an upgrade from our single room to a corner suite at no charge.  Yes please.

From that point on, things smoothed out considerably.  Tomorrow - Top Of the Rock, Central Park, The Museum of Natural History, cab rides, and hopefully any additional drama will be limited to the stage when we finally get to see WICKED!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Start spreadin' the news, I'm leavin' today...

“I mean it," I said. "You're in danger."

"Relax, Harry. I'm not letting anyone lick me, and I'm not looking anyone in the eyes. It's kind of like visiting New York.” ― Jim Butcher, Grave Peril 

Downtown Dad, Tessie Wee and I take off from the Minneapolis airport too damn early Monday morning, freeloading on accompanying DD on a business trip to negotiate a bond for the city's utility district.  Sounds complicated, but Tess and I don't have to worry our pretty little heads with any of that - we get to stay in SoHo, explore the city on our own, see Wicked on Broadway, and whatever else we can cram in before Wednesday afternoon!  

And hell, after surviving our family photo session relatively unscathed, the prospect of being a tourist in New York for two days holds no peril for me! 

If you don't believe me, you can follow along - seriously.  I'm going to be very "social network" savvy about this trip with my own Twitter hashtag and everything!  


For anyone who doesn't know, a Twitter hashtag is something that ties together different conversations into one stream.  By using the hashtag, you can find that conversation by searching in Twitter or some other tool, like Hootsuite.  Using #lalainnyny, and @Lindalla, you can ask questions, make suggestions, point out grave peril, see pictures, and literally come along with us on our trip!

Gotta go pack my vagabond shoes!  Hope to hear from you along the way!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Tomorrow we are having our family portrait taken

Tomorrow we are having our family portrait taken. 

Tomorrow is also Sunday, the night before three of the five of us leave for a three day adventure in The Big Apple - for which, we are not packed, nor have we figured out an itenerary much beyond the fact that Tessie Wee and I have tickets to Wicked.

But, tomorrow we are having our family portrait taken.

The photographer, is coming to our house - you know, the one that we are in the process of painting?  The house that by the time the weekend rolls around has the dust bunnies, and tub scum fighting with laundry and dishes for squatters rights?  The house I should be cleaning now, instead of writing this post?

But tomorrow we are having our family portrait taken.

I have no idea what I'm going to wear for this family portrait.  I have no idea what anyone else is going to wear. But last night, Downtown Dad and I went to the mall and I used my Employee-of-the-Month-Macys-Gift-Card to buy a couple of outfits and shoes for the trip to NY. I scored big, I should be excited - but did I mention....

Tomorrow we are having our family portrait taken.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

And this time I REALLY mean it....

As you may know, I work in Digital Marketing, not only for my day job, but on the side, for former employers, political candidates, and budding consultants.  Being immersed as I am in websites for others, I really should keep up my own blog. I know this, and yet, I also know that because I don't keep it up, I have few readers (thanks Smalltown Me, Mrs. GKaren, and ChaCha) to disappoint.

I forget that I also have my blog linked to my Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn and gawd knows how many other social sites out there, where people are likely to click on it - or, as happened yesterday, ask about it! (yeah Max, I'm talking about you!). 

I realized at that point, lazy blogging, is like lazy housekeeping.  You never know when someone is going to show up for a visit and there you are, in the Barcalounger in your fuzzy slippers and undies, watching Trading Spouses, amid mountains of laundry, and teetering stacks of dirty dishes.

Knowing someone new is visiting your blog causes you to look at it through new eyes. I took a tour, and realized that I had some housekeeping to do. So, starting today, I'm going to clean up, and update, and spruce up, and most importantly - KEEP UP, by posting regularly. 

I promise - ...and this time I REALLY mean it!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Healthy? Lifestyle?

I have my mother's chubby cheeks and knees.  I see them when I catch a fleeting glimpse in a window or mirror.

Don't get me wrong, that's not necessarily a bad thing... unless that's not what I was aiming for. 

I distinctly remember NOT mentioning my mother's cheeks and knees to Andy, my personal trainer, in answer to his question: "what are you hoping to get out of this program?"  What I remember (and sometimes regret) is answering that I missed my waistline, and wanted Madonna Arms.

So while in my 4 months in this 13 month Healthy Lifestyle program, wherein I've taken great pains to live up to the standards of healthy eating, and thinking, and physical activity, I have to admit that I'm greatly disappointed that  I've only lost maybe 10 pounds... maybe.  Depending on the time of day and the day of the week.

Damn it! I've gone from absolutely no physical activity to two thirty minute sessions a week, then to two sixty minute sessions a week of what can only be called physical abuse.

And seriously, it's not like I eat donuts for breakfast, snickers for lunch, and a whole pizza for dinner!  I have very healthy eating habits, which has been basically the same thing every day:  Granola and yogurt for breakfast, an apple for a midmorning snack, a chicken breast with rice and vegetables for lunch, or a salad, and dinner.... well that's where I fall down, but not to any great extent.  I drink about 28 ounces of water a day, not as much as I should, but more than I used to. My dietician even told me she thought I wasn't eating enough!

Seriously, I have increased my activity, I don't drink pop, I've completely cut out cookies, cakes, or basically anything sweet (which really isn't a sacrifice for me) I've increased my water, and have kept a positive attitude, remembering that muscle weighs more than fat, and slow and steady wins the race. But no progress.

I have an appointment with my dietician on Monday morning.  Apparently she has the ability to prescribe something that will kick start my weight loss.  I'm guessing some kind of amphetimine, which actually sounds like fun!  What I'm supposed to be working on today is fabricating the Food Logs that I have told the rest of the particpants in my group, that I've been keeping religiously. 

Wish me luck