Monday, October 31, 2011


My brother was married over Labor Day weekend in Los Angeles.  So to finish off our summer, we headed on another road trip out to California.  There were so many great moments and things to be thankful for so I have continued my count of  "1000 gifts".

568.  a beautiful drive over the Rocky Mountains, through the canyons of Utah, across the desert of Nevada and into sunny California.  It was scenic the whole way which made the 16 hour drive more bearable. 

569.  audio books and snacks for drive

570. arriving at your destination

571.  CALIFORNIA  -   the land of swimming pools...
572.  ...and movie stars
573.  Disneyland
 574.  a math teacher who assigns a picture with Goofy as the only homework while he is away
 575.  a ride he likes so much that he will stand in line 4 times for it
576.  when your kids are finally big enough to ride without you - those teacups make me so sick!
 577.  finally seeing the Pacific Ocean
578.  mountains of sand
579.   "I'm NOT tired..."
580.  the wedding
 581.  ties, suspenders, and boutonnieres on little boys
 582.  patent leather shoes, big bows and flowers on little girls
 583.  a beautiful bride
584.  4 kids making it through a Catholic wedding
585.  a reception so beautiful and perfect that you put away your camera after the first 5 minutes and just enjoy...
586.  the food, the flowers, the firelight
587.  the glow of candles, the glow of the bride, the glow you get after a glass of red wine
588.  watching kids on the dance floor
589.  hearing your brother rap a song he composed for his new wife 
590.  the personal touches - the jam made by the bride and groom,  the jewelry worn by my grandmother,
Papa's favorite apricots, the "hometown" tables 
591.  knowing when it's time to leave the party before your children turn into pumpkins
592.  heading HOME

It was fabulous!
Congratulations Jonathan and Alyx

Thursday, October 13, 2011


After Philadelphia it was off to NEW YORK CITY!  We spent a quick 2 days there, briefly meeting my mother who was there on business, and squeezing in as many icons of the city as we could.  I love New York and have been several times with Tim, wandering the parks, neighborhoods and shops by myself while he works.  While I was thrilled to show it all to the kids, it is not a vacation I will repeat with children any time soon!  Here are the highlights.
On the steps of the New York Public Library
Subway fascination

New York City architecture
A Broadway play - we sang the showtunes all the way home!
 The city streets
 Chasing pigeons in Central Park
A carriage ride through the park
 Favorite stores to visit

We stopped at Zabar's Deli (one of my NY "must sees") and picked up olives, salami, cheese, bread and pears for a picnic in the park.  I also stocked up on my favorite tea to bring home.  

We headed south to Battery Park to take a peek at the harbor and the Statue of Liberty.

We attempted to take the elevator to the top of the Empire State Building but decided it was not worth the hour and a half in line or the oppressive crowds.  

By the time we hit Times Square, Saturday evening, the stars in our eyes had begun to fade.  We pressed on to our last stop, the Toys'R'Us the kids had been itching to see.  We pushed through the revolving doors, took one look at the total chaos and wall to wall people, and kept right on pushing, circling right back out onto the crowded streets.

We had fallen hard for NYC but just as quickly our relationship soured.  Crowds, noise, tired and dirty children, weary mama and daddy.  Party's over!  Farewell to the city that never sleeps.  We need a long nap.  Let's get out of here!