Monday, August 27, 2012

Final NYC Trip Recap

Mara gave us some great recommendations for restaurants and things to do while we were in NYC.  Our last night there we went to the famous Carnegie Deli where we shared the “Woody Allen”. Best pastrami and corned beef sandwich ever! There is a reason they are famous for it.  It is so huge that there is really no way to eat it like a sandwich, but we hadn’t eaten all day and managed to nearly demolish the whole thing.  We washed it down with a piece of Strawberry Cheesecake. I don’t typically order dessert, but we ate it because our mom loves cheesecake and would have been very disappointed if we passed up the best cheesecake in NYC.  At least that’s how we justified paying ten dollars for one piece of cheesecake.  It was totally worth it.
After dinner, it had started to sprinkle on and off so we decided we would try to get last minute tickets to a Broadway show.  The only tickets left for Wicked were 159.00.  While we were both under budget for our trip, we weren’t quite that much under budget! Luckily there were more affordable tickets left for Mama Mia and we got really great seats just 15 minutes before the show started.  It was the perfect end to our first trip to NYC.
Friday morning we planned to fly out of NYC to Columbus to meet up with our whole family for Pelotonia 2012, but unfortunately there were storms in the NYC area. After 7 hours of multiple delays, cancellations, rebookings and more cancellations the only option offered was a flight out on Sunday morning.  We were not about to miss the first weekend this year that our whole family would be together.
After a comedy of errors involving Emily and I both booking rental cars from different companies and a “who’s on first” conversation about which car we were taking, we found ourselves in a Camry headed out of the Hertz parking on a road trip to Columbus.  It was a long 12 hour trip, but we made it to Columbus safely at 2:12AM.  We missed the Pelotonia opening ceremony and our niece Zoe’s birthday party, but we were so happy to be in Columbus for the rest of the weekend. More to come on Pelotonia. It gets better and better every year.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Two too Many Cab Rides in NYC

My trip to NYC with Emily was fast but packed full. You can read about why we made the trip here.  We stayed at The Paramount Hotel and much to our surprise our room was the size of a postage stamp. One of us basically had to get on the bed while the other walked around the bed to get to the other side of the room.  It was really kind of funny and we couldn’t believe it when we opened the door. The picture below is of our room that was even upgraded from a full to a queen.  Mara told us later that small rooms are typical for NYC hotels. IMG_6746
Wednesday we walked all over just taking it all in and then decided to go to Soho to visit the shop Purl Soho. We went to Grand Central Station at about 5:45PM. It was super busy and we were beyond confused by the map and ticket machine. We called our cousin Kate for some advice. She lives in the West Village, but was actually back home in Ohio for a visit while we were in NYC. She recommended we just take a cab.

Ok, we can do this. It’s got to be easier than trying to use the subway…right? We stood on the sidewalk and within seconds a black cab drove right up. It had numbers on it and tags on the outside and looked legit; similar to the one we took from the airport, so we got in.  I gave him the Purl Soho address. Ok, so far so good, but then our driver promptly rolled up the windows and locked the doors. Huh? We were immediately uncomfortable.  Emily then pointed to a sign on the back of the passenger seat that indicated this particular cab could not be hailed from the side of the road, but rather only made scheduled pick ups.  Hmmm...we just hailed it from the side of the road.  Then Emily pointed to the back of the driver’s seat to bring my attention to the driver’s license which expired in May of 2012.  Hmmm, that’s odd. We looked nervously at each other. She rolled down her window because it was really hot and her window was promptly rolled back up.  She looked at me and said, “I didn’t do that!” 

Ok, now we are getting super scared.  I texted our cousin Kate the scenario and she responded, “Put your seat belts on. That is weird.”  Haha. I laughed and showed Emily the text.  Emily promptly made up a story about how our friend texted us and we didn’t need to go to Soho anymore and we’d just get out right there.  The driver pulled over and said, “Eight dollars.” Emily replied, “Eight dollars for two blocks?! How about five?” She throws down a five and motions me to get out. LOL! It made me laugh that we think we could be getting kidnapped and she’s negotiating the cab fare.
                                                                                                                 *photo from

We were in a bit of a time crunch because Purl Soho closed at 7:00, so after some serious deliberation we rolled the dice and got another cab…big mistake. I held my breath for what I think was about 12 minutes. The whole ride I was bracing myself and alternating between closing my eyes and nervously looking at Emily with a “help, we are going to die, get me out of this cab” look. During the ride to Soho, I actually thought to myself, “Is my new health insurance card in my wallet or at the hotel?” Our driver weaved in and out of traffic coming within millimeters of sideswiping other cars. For a few blocks he was racing an escalade taxi beside us. The race ended at a red light with our driver rolling down his window and throwing fbombs out while yelling and screaming about how the escalade taxi driver was not using signals.  On the upside, because of his crazy driving we managed to make it to Purl Soho ten minutes before they closed. 
The store was gorgeous, but my heart was racing and I was so overwhelmed by the ride that it was hard to focus. I did buy a couple different fabrics and I will definitely have to be sure and make something with them after all that we went through to get there.
We saw a ton of New York that night because we were too scared to get in another taxi so walked about three and a half miles back to our hotel.  I think bikes might be the way to travel the next time I’m in NYC.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Daring Greatly Back to Blogging

Hi, I’m back! It’s been awhile and there is so much to catch up on.  Before I rewind to the beginning of 2012 and recap the good, the bad, the megasimple and the not so megasimple, I’m going to start with a recap of the last week. It was the best week of 2012 so far so it’s a nice happy place to start!ticketThe week started with a very quick, but amazing trip to NYC to see a taping of new Katie Couric ShowBrene Brown was Katie’s guest on the second taping of the show and I’m a big Brene Brown fan so I wrote in and got 2 tickets! I was so nervous to submit my essay, but I finally hit send after thinking about it for a couple hours. The next thing you know my twin sister Emily and I are in NYC for the first time ever! 

I had recently read Brene’s book, The Gifts of Imperfection, so I couldn’t wait to hear her speak in person.  Brene researches vulnerability, shame (things we all experience) and wholehearted living.  It’s a book for everyone that I highly recommend! I can’t wait to read her new book, Daring Greatly, which will be released in September.  Here is an excerpt from the book that will give you a sneak peak into things discussed on the show.


“Daring greatly is not about winning or losing. It’s about courage, in a world where “never enough” dominates and feeling afraid has become second nature, vulnerability is subversive. Uncomfortable. It’s even a little dangerous at times. And, without question, putting ourselves out there means there’s a far greater risk of getting criticized or feeling hurt.  But when we step back and examine our lives, we will find that nothing is as uncomfortable, dangerous and hurtful as believing that we’re standing on the outside of our lives looking in and wondering what it would be like if we had the courage to show up and let ourselves be seen.”

Interestingly, the show about vulnerability and daring greatly was in fact a real exercise of these things for both Katie and Brene.  While they are true experts in their respective fields this was a brand new experience for both of them. I think most brand new experiences automatically come with some degree of vulnerability for all of us.  It was only Katie’s second taping and she wasn’t quite used to having a live audience yet and wasn’t sure how to fill the time between segments. Brene was a little nervous too before the show started.  Can you blame her? She was on THE KATIE COURIC SHOW! I can’t imagine being on stage because I was nervous enough just being in the audience. After a couple deep breaths and the cue for cameras to roll, they both were so confident, smart and really funny! I can’t wait to see the show on TV.

It will air September 13th!  You will have to watch because there is more to the show that I don’t want to “give away” here. The experience gets even better. I know…how could it right?bae5fb66e63311e1b4ee22000a1e8aed_7 
So, just about a week before we left I got an email that there were extra tickets and they would be offered on a first come first serve basis. I went out on a limb, worked through my fears, exercised vulnerability and contacted a blogger from Brooklyn named Mara. Again, so nervous, but the next thing you know we were all at the Katie Couric Show! It can be crazy what happens when you don’t let your fears control your actions. 
Together, Mara and her husband Danny write A Blog About Love. It’s genuine, honest, uplifting and all about love which is exactly what Mara is like in person.  She is so kind and genuine and truly wants the best for everyone. She talked with us for an hour after the show all about life, love, vulnerability and knowing your own worth. It was a conversation I won’t ever forget. Be sure to read Mara’s recap of her experience at the show and The Fruits of Vulnerability.

I’m officially back to blogging so there will be more to come on our NYC trip and our weekend in Columbus, Ohio at Pelotonia 2012.  This week brought me back to blogging and eventually I’ll post a little about what took me away from blogging which will include stories of life, death and resigning from my job.