Babymoon in NYC – Day One

This week it was back to the real world after a great break – mostly due to a little vacation to New York City!

For Christmas, Brody went all out and booked us a trip, or what I called our babymoon, to New York. At the time it seemed like it was so far away, but it snuck up on us and now it’s over. Isn’t that how so many things go in life?

I was pretty good about snapping photos with the good old iPhone, and even got a few with our nice snap and shoot…until I somehow got a huge smear of something on the lens and Brody didn’t want to scratch it by trying to clean it with a sleeve. These will have to suffice.

We arrived Wednesday night and got a cab to our hotel. Brody booked us a room at the Mondrian in Soho; the rooms were small but very nice.
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It was after eight, and we hadn’t eaten dinner yet, so we found a little restaurant bar called Toby’s Public House and shared a chopped salad and a pizza with salami and artichokes. It wasn’t New York style pizza, but it was delicious and similar to Cafe Porta Alba. Once back at the hotel, we finished watching Argo (so good!) on the iPad and called it a night.

Although we missed out on the pizza, we did have New York bagels Thursday morning at Murray’s. I had a whole wheat everything bagel with plain cream cheese and a small coffee. It was delicious and kept me full for five hours.

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Thursday morning we decided to try going to the 9/11 memorial. I had been to Ground Zero nine months after the attacks and was interested in seeing the area now. Unfortunately the wait was over an hour and a half, and we hadn’t really planned on waiting, so we nixed it. I do hope to see it one day.

To get around New York in the easiest and cheapest way, we bought the seven-day unlimited subway pass. It was $30 and so worth it. Besides needing to take a cab from and to the airport and then two other times, we used the subway.

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After a mistake on the subway, we ended up very close to McSorley’s, a famous bar. Brody had told me about this place. Apparently nothing has been taken down since 1910, including the wishbones over the light fixtures placed there by soldiers who were off to war (with the intention of taking them down and making a wish when they got home). Another interesting fact: women were not allowed in the bar until 1970 when they were forced to be accommodating to both genders.

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Brody had the dark beer and then the light beer, which are the only to beer options. The dark was much better.

From McSorley’s we accidentally ended up at a beer bar Brody had read about called Blind Tiger. Although I couldn’t have a beer (or two like Brody), it was a fun bar with a nice bartender, and Brody and I enjoyed each other’s company. I also did take a few sips of his beer, an IPA by Stone, and a small taste of the smoked Porter with chili also by Stone that they had on cask.

Around 3:00pm, we arrived at The Spotted Pig. This place is pretty popular, but they don’t take reservations. Going for dinner was out of the question, so a mid-afternoon lunch was perfect, and we were seated right away.

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They have a limited menu during off times, so it wasn’t too hard to decide with only a few options. I love pickled things, so we got that to start, and then we both had the burger with shoestring potatoes. Everything was delicious, and this ended up being the last meal of the day because we were so full.

To finish out our eventful day, Brody and I had tickets to see The Book of Mormon. This was a part of my Christmas present, and I was so excited. The principal at my school had told me I would love it as long as I wasn’t religious. I’m not, and I did love it.

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It is extremely satirical towards organized religion, especially Mormonism (duh). We laughed out loud throughout the entire performance; it was definitely the best musical I have ever seen and hope to see it again one day.

Now that it’s been one week since this day in New York and I’ve been working on this post in ten minute increments for the last four days, I think it’s time to hit publish. Two more days to come!

Questions:
Have you been to New York? If so, what did you do? Did you have any “New York style” food?
What’s your favorite big city to visit?

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Ten Facts About My Life Recently

I can’t believe break is almost over. Even with those two extra days, it has flown by. Good thing I’ve got a couple big things to look forward to!

Today I have lots of random thoughts and pictures to share.

1. We had a nice Christmas with my mom, my sister, her boyfriend, and Brody’s mom. It was pretty low-key and we barely left the couch or kitchen table. Brody cooked two rib roasts (long story) Christmas Eve. We opened gifts Christmas morning while eating Sara Lee butter streusel coffee cake.
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After presents, my family (except me) went to church, and we spent the afternoon watching movies. Oh, and we ate – a lot and often. ‘Tis the season!

2. Brody got me a fabulous gift: a babymoon! Over my Spring Break in March, we are going to New York for four days!!! We’re staying in Soho, and the only thing set in stone as of now is we’re going to see The Book of Mormon. Any restaurant recommendations?

3. Moose and Frankie have been loving the snow. Those first few days were hard on their paws, though. Snow packs easily between their pads, so every few minutes, they are licking at them (which only makes it worse). Both dogs also LOVED the bull pizzle (aka bully stick aka bull penis). Unfortunately their stomachs didn’t love the pizzle, and we’ve been dealing with some nasty bathroom issues. To let everything work its way out, we switched the dogs over to rice and boiled chicken.
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Frankie was not happy about his rice breakfast.

4. Our friends, Barret and Kelly, parents of Owen, sent us our first official piece of baby clothing: a Blackhawks onesie!
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It is so adorable – even Brody said so with a big smile on his face. Whether this kid is a boy or girl, it is already determined he/she will play hockey and will be a Blackhawks fan.

5. Real Simple failed me. I know – I am still in shock.
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Normally their recipes are great, but this one (pasta with sausage, arugula, and bread crumbs) missed the mark. Brody thought the arugula was too strong, but I tasted lots of thyme from the toasted bread crumbs. We both didn’t even finish our meals. I had a small bowl of Cedar Crest vanilla ice cream and Brody made nachos. Healthy alternatives around here.

6. I went to yoga yesterday! It was my second class at Bliss Flow Yoga on University Ave. Groupon had a deal a while back: $20 for 20 classes. Even if I only make it a few more times before it expires in April, that’s still a good deal. I felt comfortable doing just about everything as my belly isn’t getting in the way yet.

7. Post yoga, I met Brody for lunch. We went to Gates & Brovi, a newer restaurant on Monroe St. We both started with soup: roasted cauliflower for me and clam chowder for Brody.
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For the main course, I chose the chick pea tuna sandwich. Obviously it had tuna and chick peas but also included slices of hard boiled eggs, pepperocini, capers, kalamata olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce. It was salty and delicious.
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Brody had a classic burger and was very happy with it. Besides the good food, the decor is very inviting and casual with lots of reclaimed looking wood and high ceilings.

8. Real cream in coffee is SO much better than milk or flavored creamer. I bought half and half for the mashed potatoes on Christmas Eve (which you need to have with a roast), and there is at least half a container left. Yum!

9. It hasn’t all been eating and relaxing around here. I made it to work for four hours on Thursday and got lots of work done. My teaching license is set to expire in June, and in order to renew it, I need to finish my PDP (professional development plan) and submit it to DPI (Department of Public Instruction). Sidenote: The number of acronyms in education is incredible. I worked on my PDP for two hours and then planned lessons and emailed parents for the last two. At home I finished lots of grading on my two snow days and then yesterday I began grading research papers my juniors wrote. My goal for today is to finish one class, which has only seven papers left. I can do it!

10. My weekend plans involve the dog park (of course), the gym, Best Buy (to pick up a camera, a new point and shoot, Brody and I ordered), grading, watching a video about Huck Finn, seeing Django Unchained, and definitely some couch time.

Have a fabulous Saturday!

Questions:
What was your favorite gift? The best gift you gave?
What good restaurant have you been to recently?
What do you have planned for the weekend?