Monday, June 21, 2010

Music Monday -- Muse

My friend Layla over at The Grass is Greener has raved about the band Muse, so I had to find out what all the fuss was about. Their latest album is called The Resistance, so I took a listen. There's a little something in there that reminds me of Queen, so I was immediately hooked. The sound takes me back a bit and I really like it. I'm thinking it might be good workout music. It's perfect for turning up the volume.

I enjoyed the song Uprising, so here it is for your listening pleasure:

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

1 John 4:18-19 reads: There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
We love him, because he first loved us.

As a young woman, attending church, it was easy for me to understand a loving Father in Heaven and a loving Christ. I was blessed with an example of a loving father that mirrored to me the way my Heavenly Father would love me. Only as an adult have I become fully aware of how lucky I was to have that relationship with my father. I have always loved him easily because I knew he loved me. I always knew I was safe when I was with my father and I knew he was looking out for me.

When I was young, I never remember my father leaving for work without telling my mother that he loved her. We always ate dinner together and my dad was interested in each of us individually, asking us about our day. He was a great example of living the principles that he taught. Even my friends knew my dad was someone we could all count on. As an adult, I realize how lucky I am that I was never afraid to call my dad when I was in a pinch, and even a friend or two turned to my dad.

On this Father's Day, I want my father to know what a great example he is to me and how much I appreciate his love and example. Here's to you, Dad!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Music Monday -- Yeasayer

The DH and I have widely divergent taste in music, but we still find quite a bit that we can both enjoy. A few weeks ago, the DH came across the band Yeasayer that we've both been enjoying. The music takes me back to the late 80's or early 90's but still manages to sound new. The music videos are just plain weird, but great if you like that kind of thing. I prefer to just listen to the music. And, of course, the DH loves the videos.

This song, Ambling Alp, is one of my favorites.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Girrl Power

As a woman with an English degree, I couldn't help but love this.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Big Apple -- Part 3

On day 3, we had reservations for breakfast at Sarahbeth's on Central Park South. The food was divine and we all enjoyed their signature Four Flowers juice. It was a lovely way to start the day.

After breakfast, we walked up 5th avenue to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The exhibits are everything you would imagine them to be, but we had to laugh when we found out that the paintings we most wanted to see were in visual storage. They were renovating that part of the museum, so we got to see everything in cases instead of on the walls.

Day 3 looking at paintings through glass is not quite what we expected

After the museum, we walked across Central Park so we could say we'd been there and seen that. It was also a beautiful day and quite fun to see how the park is every New Yorker's back yard.

Day 3 walking through Central Park

After walking through the park, we went to Cafe Lalo for lunch. It's a restaurant that was in the latest You've Got Mail movie, so that's the recommendation we went on. We discovered once we were seated that it's basically vegetarian, but the real draw was the dessert, not the lunch. We chose three desserts to share amongst us and they were all wonderful. I had to have cannoli and theirs did not disappoint.

After lunch, we got back on the subway and headed North. We went to the Cloisters, a part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art that is dedicated to medieval art and architecture. Whitney was especially interested in seeing the Unicorn in Captivity tapestries. They're more that 500 years old and really magnificent. The room they were in had very low light, so pictures didn't turn out well, but you can trust me that they were worth the trip. We also enjoyed the wonderful architecture and religious art.

Day 3 view of a cloistered garden

Once we finished up at the Cloisters, it was already after 5:00. The day had gone by way too quickly, but we'd had a great time with everything we'd done so far. We decided that Whitney needed to see one last place, so we headed toward Lincoln Center, which is right across the street from the LDS Manhattan temple. We got a few good pictures in and then headed back to the subway.

Day 3 seeing the Manhattan temple

No trip to New York would be complete without some shopping on 5th Avenue, so that was our next stop. It was fascinating to see the elaborate window displays, visit Tiffany's, and go the the huge American Girl store.

Day 3 looking at the window displays on 5th Avenue

By the time we were done shopping, it was starting to get late. We had some authentic New York pizza for dinner and then visited our last tourist attraction of the trip. We took the elevators to the top of the Empire State Building and got to see the city at night. The lights were beautiful and it was really cool to look down on a big roof-top party that was going on not too far away. Of course, none of my pictures taken from there look very good, but the view was spectacular and we enjoyed the time there.

Then we spent one more night in New York, headed for the airport again, and went home. The party was over and it was one to remember.

The Big Apple -- Part 2

On day 2, I got up early so I could run. Little did I know how unnecessary any extra exercise would be by the end of the day. We needed to get a relatively early start because we had a schedule to stick to on day 2. We started with a trip south on the Subway to Battery Park to get to the ferry to go to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Our tickets were for a specific time, so we were in a real hurry. When we got to the ferry area, we saw that there were huge long lines. There was a shorter line for ticket holders, but it still took a good half hour to get through the line, go through security, and get on the ferry. Apparently, the ticket time is not really for a specific sailing. It's just to manage the crowd.

Once we were on the ferry, we headed toward the Statue of Liberty.

Day 2 with Mom, Annzy, and Whitney by the Statue of Liberty

The statue is really beautiful there in the harbor, but we didn't have tickets to go to the top of the statue, so we just took a good look from the ferry and went on to Ellis Island. There, we got off the ferry and went on an audio tour of the main building. It was pretty powerful to see all the photos and think about all the people, many of whom spoke little English, dealing with the lines, delays, and stresses of getting through the processing there. One of my favorite things about the audio tour was that they had little testimonials from people who had actually come through Ellis Island when emigrating. I was also impressed with the displays they had there. Once we got through the displays and tour, we jumped back on the ferry.

Day 2 at the main building on Ellis Island

After getting off the ferry, we went to the financial district to take a tour of the New York Stock Exchange. The day we were there was the day that Express went public, so they had a huge banner on the front of the building and did a fashion show out front. We missed the fashion show, but that's OK. The tour was really interesting. We got to see how everything works on the floor, where the opening/closing bell is, and where all the reporters hang out. We also had a fantastic tour guide from Morgan Stanley who helped us understand the NYSE better and told us some great stories. We also got to see some of the other rooms in the building and hear about their history. Things sure have changed with the digital age!

Day 2 with the huge EXPRESS banner in front of the NYSE (and Whitney in the foreground)

After our tour, we walked over to Trinity Church, a beautiful old church in the heart of a bustling part of town. It has a small cemetery with head stones so old the writing has been worn off by the weather. It was beautiful and serene, so we took an opportunity to rest our weary feet before heading off to a late lunch.

Dan 2 at Trinity Church

Annzy knew of a shop she wanted to go to for lunch, so we headed there only to find out that they were out of just about everything. We left without lunch, but with a box of Macaron cookies to hold us over. Fortunately, there were a dozen choices right on the same block, so we have Mexican food. The best part was the amazing guacamole they brought us. It was some of the best I've had.

Once we finished lunch, we went to China town to see if we could find any amazing bargains. It looked like what was available didn't really suit our tastes as much as we had hoped, so we didn't spend too much time there.

Day 3 shopping for purses and deals in China town

We headed back to the hotel for a little siesta and then got ready to go to Promises! Promises! It's a revival of a 60's Broadway show starring Kristen Chenowith and Sean Hayes. The retro music, sets, and costumes were delightful and we had a wonderful time. After leaving the show, we headed to Times Square. It's just amazing how lively that place is regardless of the time.

Day 3 ending the evening with a walk through Times Square

We enjoyed people watching and shopping and then headed back to the hotel for a good night's rest.

The Big Apple -- Part 1

The middle sister turned 40 this year, so the youngest sister dreamed up the big idea of taking her to New York City for a big birthday blow-out. All of us liked the idea of a trip to New York, so we agreed to a plan and set a date. The birthday was in March, but because you just can't count on the weather then, we decided to go in May instead. Lucky for us, that bet paid off and we had beautiful weather while we were there.

Mom and the sisters met up in Salt Lake and flew to NYC together, but my flight arrived an hour before theirs. The planets conspired against us somehow and zapped all of our cell phone batteries on the trip there. It really was quite a mystery to all of us. We all started with fully charged phones, then got off the plane and had low batteries. ALL of us! It made the meet-up a bit more stressful than it should have been, but we found each other after only about an extra 10 minutes and went to take the train into the city. Annzy took charge of transportation for the trip and got us on the right train and subway to get us to the wonderful hotel she booked. It was a quick ride in (about 45 minutes) and we walked all of about 100 yards to the hotel entrance from the subway exit.
Day 1 waiting for the subway to take us into the city

We checked into our room and realized that it was later than we thought, so we headed out and made our way to Serendipity for dinner. We had yummy dinner and then shared two desserts, including their world famous frozen hot chocolate. Unfortunately, we didn't call 48 hours in advance, so we couldn't get the Golden Opulence Sundae, with the price tag of $1,000.00. So sad for us.

Between the wait for a table and the transit time, it was very late by the time we got back to our hotel, so that was it for our first day in NYC. Of course, the highlight of day one was meeting up with the wonderful women in my family and having a great time with them.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Music Monday -- The National

The National is a new band I've been listening to. I think I like them. I bought the album High Violet and I've enjoyed it so far. The band has gotten great press for this album, which is how I heard about them, and I find the music interesting, but not overpowering. Take a listen. It's pretty good stuff.