Friday, April 25, 2008

Spring Break!

Bryant is done with finals and we are heading out to Washington DC today! I'm so excited. I've never been there. We are then traveling down to visit one of my bestest friends, Kristi Millet (and Ryan of course). So, there may be a pause in between posts here, but when I get back! Watch out! I'll have pictures and adventures to tell...So stay tuned.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A busy day in Central Park

What beautiful weather we are enjoying! I love it. Although, I have to admit I'm a bit disappointed we didn't have a longer spring. It feels like we just jumped right into summer weather. It's a little on the warm side. But if you stay in the shade, with a beautiful breeze, it's a wonderfully pleasant day. We've made some great friends down the hall. They are a cute couple (Bryson and Jen) with an adorable son (Daniel). But unfortunately, Bryson graduates this year, so they will be moving away. Which makes me sad, but they won't be too far away, so we can go visit. They will be moving to Rochester which is close to the Sacred Grove and a few other church history sites.

Anywho, we went with the Richards for a fun picnic to Central Park. It took a little while to walk there, being diverted a few times by the "Pope blockades" as I called them. Eveywhere on the Upper East side, it seems, was blocked off entirely for the Pope's visit. right off Central Park, was the residence he would be staying in. They had helocopters, snipers, bomb dogs, and cement blocks around it. All this was ontop of the many police cars, men, and other security measures.

If you look way back there, you can see the white tent covering the entrance and parking for him. I was amazed. I don't think I've ever seen anything like this before!

Central Park holds a very dear place in my heart now. It's beautiful. Nothing like what I imagined it would be. In Missouri, parks are either State Parks or they are flat with a playground. The latter is more what I though Central Park would be. But it is anything but that. There are hills, and beautiful rock formations, trees, zoos, pathways, massive lawns, etc. It's a small piece of home in a world of concrete. I think New Yorkers would go insane if they didn't have this place. It's the gem of the city, that's for sure.

We managed to be there while many of the trees were still in bloom. It just made me smile. This of course, made the air fragrant and managed to cover up a lot of the city smell that comes along with New York city. I loved the flowers!

We plopped in a place called the Sheep's Meadow...named appropriately for the many sheep that used to graze there. It's a large piece of lawn. There is no other place in the country like this because you are in a wonderful piece of nature and you look around you and there are skyscrapers everywhere you look. There are also hundreds of people out there with you. I could have slept there or read a book all day. Gorgeous!

Bryant just got a new camera and took it out to play. He's going to be making an informational/promotional video for the school this summer, so he wanted to taker her for a test run. We used little Daniel as our test subject. I can't wait to have a cute baby to take pictures of everywhere we go. He's the cutest kid!

But Jen and I walked around the park trying to get him to sleep and Bryant and Bryson chatted about med school. They are good friends and we're lucky to have them.

Here's just a few more photos from the park. I can't believe what a beautiful day it was!

We walked down Park Avenue, one of the few two way streets in Manhatten, and there wasn't a car in site. It was blockaded. I've never been able to just stand in the middle of the street and get a pcitre of the skyline before. Probably never will again.

So we stopped in the middle and took pictures! We are eternal tourists!

Oh yeah. Earlier today, I was walking home from an appointment with the Sister Missionaries, and got stuck in all the road blocks for the Pope. And a few seconds later, here he came! So here's a picture of the Pope's car. You can't see him in it because of the blackend window, but it's him, I promise. Yeah! According to the people were surounded by, my sins are forgiven and I will have a long and blessed life because we were able to see him. Yeah! We wanted to go and hear him speak, but there would be a long line and I wanted those who were Catholic to have that opportunity. So we watched him on TV and enjoyed the chaos that comes with the heightened security. It has made for a fun weekend.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I think I've recoverd from this weekend now...

So, I thought I had had all the excitement I could handle for a while, but alas! I got involved in a charity benefit this last weekend. It was sponsored by NiCole Robinson, actress from the West Wing, who lost her son to ACD this last September. She created this benefit to raise money and awareness for it. Which also meant that it was filled with celebrities...granted they were of the "B" list crowd, but it was still fun to see some familiar faces. There were several members of "The West Wing" cast as well as "All My Children" and all their Producers and production staff. But my favorite of all was the concert for the benefit! Kristin Chenoweth was there. For all you non musical theater people, she originated Glinda in the Broadway show "Wicked" and is now currently on the TV show "Pushing Daisies" as Olive Snook. I adore her and was thrilled to get to watch her perform. It was a private concert. Only 140 people in attendance...and I was one of them! Unfortunately they wer all celebrities, so cameras were not allowed, but I got to see Kristin Chenoweth!!!!!!

I was so dang excited, I couldn't sleep the night before, nor the night afterwards. But it was utterly fabulous! She performed "For Good" (Wicked), "Till there was You" (Music Man), Girl in 14G (a song written for her), and "Daddy" were some of the well known tunes. But she performed for over an hour. It was an amazing performance. She is the most wonderful performer. I'm sure I had a ridiculously happy face on the entire time, but I don't care! I've heard a lot of those songs performed before, but no one even came close to her. AHHH! I adore her. We were three rows back and when she came out into the audience, she talked with Bryant! And stepped on my foot!

Other than that, the benefit was great. People spent an outrageous amount of money on things, but it was for a good cause. There was a live auction, silent auction, as well as a raffle for high end items. Several signed scripts were available (West Wing, Desperate Housewives, Big Love) and cast photos. Angelina Jolie's personal stylist was auctioned off to go through your closet and help you shop for new items. Just a bunch of crazy celebrity stuff. It was fun to be in the middle of it. Bryant and I were stationed at the door to make sure the VIP's were taken care of. I had the clipboard with the guest list and checked them off as they came in. It was a fun evening. Another fabulous New York experience!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

High School Reunion

Yeah for Blue Springs South Alumni! Steve Henry has been working in New York and is Stage Managing a touching play about the repercussions to the family of an almost school shooter. Steve was able to get us comp tickets to one of their previews. I loved the play. The "F" word few around a lot, but it went to demonstrate how disfunctional this family actually was. So I wasn't as offended, if that's possible or strange. But it was a beautiful story of a family working through this time and coming together to reform a bond they used to share. You watch as this teen boy deals with rejection from school and the fact that he has been an outcast his entire life, but is now the center of attention, although negative attention. A great play.
Anyway, it was good to see Steve and he gave us the VIP tour of the stage. There wasn't much to see in a small Off-Broadway theater, but it felt great to be on and behind a stage again. I miss it. They had a fantastic set though. Everything moved with these giant motors in the back. yeah for professional theater and large budgets!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

What do you do when all your dreams come true?!?!

So one of my lifelong dreams came true last night! I spent my fair share of time jumping up and down, skipping, and squeeling. Yes, I even teared up on a few occassions. But I don't know what to do anymore. I love New York City. For all you inquiring minds, I got to meet Julie Andrews last night! I still can't believe it! But I did! I've wanted to meet her for as long as I've known who she is.

So I was watching Good Morning America and Live with Regis and Kelly...and there she was! They mentioned that she would be signing copies of her new book down in Union Square. It clicked. That's in New York City! I live here! I jumped around a bit and even cried for a few seconds, It got penciled in every calendar I own. I was going to be there! The next day (day of signing) I called Barnes and Noble to see how early I would have to get there to wait in line. They said I needed an arm band. I panicked. They were running out. I ran to the subway, took express trains and ran to the store. I ran up to the fourth floor and sweating, I managed to get one of the last 10 wrist bands! I cried again and hugged the poor guy giving them out. But I had one!

I then met the Sister Missionaries at the famous Serendipity restraunt. Yes, it looks just like the movie, except I think the one in the movie is bigger. It's tiny! We were lucky. Usually there's about a two hour waiting list, because they can't hold that many people. But we walked right in. Good timing.

I ordered Ice Cream Crepes. I'm salivating right now just thinking about them. They were that good. I'm positive it was calorie and fat loaded, but I didn't care. As soon as I took that first bite. It was amazing. I even spooned all the extra sauce. Don't judge until you've tried it. I shared it with one of the Sisters who ordered the famous Frozen Hot chocolate. It is a combination of 14 different chocolates! Sold! It was fabulous! So anyone who comes to visit will be going there if you're up to it. It was a little pricey, but so good.

The next big event was Julie Andrews! I went two hours early to get a seat. I met some fabulous people, but I think I was the biggest fan of them all. Most had only seen Mary Poppins and Sound of Music...I have seen a few more. But they were fun. When she came up the stairs, I squeeled and jumped up and down, with all the girls around me! It was amazing. All I can say is she is beautiful, classy, elegant, considerate, and perfect! She was every bit as wonderful as I imagined. She answered four previously gathered questions about her book and its process.

And then she signed. She didn't personalize because her arthritis wouldn't hold up that long, but I still have a book with her signature and I got to shake her hand. I had to try really hard not to squeel "Can I touch you?" I held it together, and shook her hand and thanked her. The conversation was longer, but I won't type it. It was great! So enjoy my pictures. We weren't allowed a flash, but I got some in. It was amazing. I love New York!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Waiting for Spring....

I'm back in the city and home from Caitlin's wedding. It's damp and cloudy and I want spring to be here! I want to wear flip flops, capris, sunglasses, and cute dresses. I love Spring! I can't wait to see all that NYC has for warmer weather. I love to walk around the city, but it's harder when the cold wind is blowing and your umbrella is inside out. There are festivals and plays in Central Park. I may even see some flowers and trees if I look in the right places. And then there's all the beautiful New York sales going on! It's going to be fabulous. We just have to get over the rain and scream for Spring...maybe if we all do it together! Spring!