For Christmas this year Justin and I celebrated the weekend before in OR with just the two of us, flew into Newark, took a train to NYC to catch a Broadway matinée and get our 15 minutes of fame on the Today Show, took the train to upstate NY for Christmas with my family, drove to the Thousand Islands to see my grandma, drove to Newark to catch a plane back to Portland! Did that sound like a whirl-wind of a trip…because it was! It was great to see everyone but it also was exhausting!
One of my gifts from Justin was tickets to the Nutcracker!! So, before we left for NY Justin and I were able to see the Nutcracker with a live orchestra here in Portland. It seems silly to specify about the orchestra but apparently the Nutcracker has been preforming throughout OR without an orchestra due to limited funds! That seems so sad since half of the beauty of the show is hearing the live music of such talented players. I absolutely loved it and if I could speak for Justin, which I’m going to, I think he would say it was relaxing. I choose that wording because he was nodding off during parts of it. To be fair, it is a lot like listening to classical music for 2 ½ hours which would probably put most to sleep.
In NYC Justin got to see The Phantom of the Opera for the first time on Broadway! This is one of my absolute favorites!! He loved it and now wants to listen to the full soundtrack I have in Portland. Nice! …does this building look familiar?? Do one of your Friends live here??
After getting a half-way decent night’s sleep in NYC we woke up early to stand in line to be corralled onto the Today Show! SO EXCITING!! I made a sign in the hotel the night before…since you HAVE to have a sign to get on TV during the Today Show, and we were actually on TV! We were on not once but 3 times! We even spoke to Ann Curry!!! She’s just as sweet and beautiful as on TV. Unfortunately Al was sick and Matt was on assignment so they had replacements who I didn’t know. It was so amazing! It’s a surprisingly small set inside and outside. I guess there is limited space in NYC so it makes sense.
Visiting NYC again made me absolutely sure I don’t EVER want to live there! I had in my mind that NYC overall was a fairly dirty city with many rude people but I hadn’t remembered the extent of it until we visited this last time. It was sad how off-putting everyone was and the extent of their independent busy lives. A nice place to visit only! However, Justin and I did find an entire district of craft/art/yarn/fabric stores which was super exciting! Visiting NYC made me appreciate small town living and the power of friendly caring people. I was glad our next stop was to my quaint little town in upstate NY.
It was so good to see family over the Christmas break! My mom had a great idea this year to add to our Christmas Eve tradition. It is tradition that on Christmas Eve we all get to open one gift and it is almost always PJ’s. This way we all wake up in our new nighties. However, this year my mom gave us all blank white t-shirts for the top and asked that all of us write on each others telling each other what we love about one another. Isn’t that awesome! One of my favorites was one written to Justin from Dill, my nephew. It says I love you “cus you are the funniest person to play with wan I am bord.” He meant it in a sweet way and didn’t understand why we all thought it was funny. Justin often ends up playing with Dill during girly events such as birthday parties themed with pink princesses and appreciates the “guy time.”
Justin also was able to meet my grandma for the first time! My grandma told me to warn Justin our family is weird. …Oh, he knows! Who wants boring old normal anyway. Glad we made the trip to our various places but also glad we’re back.Read More
We were lucky enough to have a wonderful sunny day here in Portland on New Year’s Day! To take advantage of this weather Justin and I went on a little bike exploration onto bike path territory we had never adventured to before. The grand total was about 30 miles or so. It amazes me every time we do a long loop such as this one that there are still bike path areas we haven’t explored. Portland isn’t that big of a city but it seems like wherever there is territory there are bike paths here. We explored North Portland…farther North than where we live and got to see where all the commerce comes in on the Columbia River. I’ll be honest it wasn’t the most beautiful site to see but it certainly was amazing. There were cranes, trains (I feel as if I’m writing a kids transportation book with this beginning) and car lots full of new cars from overseas. It was strange seeing it during a holiday when nothing was running. It looked like at any second the machines would start running.
The entire time we were biking we thought, “boy, weekends are so quiet in these small neighborhoods.” There were very few cars on the road and nothing seemed to be open. Then…DING…the lightbulb went on in Justin’s head. It was New Year’s Day! That’s why it was so quiet! Perfect day for a bike ride though. We met two women in the park we stopped at to eat lunch who shared their tradition with us. Every year on New Year’s day these two women go for a “nature walk” and together write in their journals with updates of the previous year. Each year after their journal entry they share with each other their current and previous year’s entries. The one woman shared that she had been using the same notebook for 10 years. It was such a great tradition I thought I would share it. Our buns are a little sore today but it was a nice ride.
The pictures below are of Justin and his new cargo bike next to an old steam engine that only comes out once a year to give rides. Pretty incredible train…and bike!Read More