Monday, January 31, 2011

An Actual Winter Wonderland

I must admit I had yet another winter weather breakdown last night, when Eric and I turned on the local news and our weather forecast included the word "awful" and a segment entitled "Things To Worry About." The news isn't even trying to sugarcoat it anymore, people.

Can you read what it says for Wednesday? It actually says "awful."

"Things to Worry About." That's great.

All I can say is that stupid groundhog better not see his shadow on Wednesday. Get out of your burrow, groundhog! Bring on early spring! Of course, judging by Wednesday's weather forecast of "awful," there will probably not be any shadows to be seen. A silver lining to the nasty weather!

But today, let's get back to thinking this is beautiful. I want to share more of our pictures from Thursday morning with you. As you know, last week we got another 15-19" of snow. When Eric and I woke up on Thursday morning, this was the scene out our living room window:

I do like those trees.

Wow. Unlike that December 26th blizzard, it seems this storm did not bring crazy winds with it, which kept the snow on the tree branches and it was really beautiful (yes, it pains me to admit that, but it was). Unfortunately, the snow ceased early enough in the morning that the roads were mostly cleared and Eric's office was open for business, so he had to go in to work. No snow day for him! I was working from home that day, but decided to walk with Eric to work first, to take in some of the snowy scenery. We brought the camera along and Eric took some pics as we walked.

Snowy street in our neighborhood

Snowy fire escape

There's a police car under there!

Snowy grocery store and street signs

The Promenade at Rockefeller Center

St. Patrick's Cathedral

When Eric headed in to his office, I took the camera with me and decided to take the long way home through Central Park to see it all snowy. Judging by the trees along the streets, I thought Central Park might be pretty awesome. And let me tell you what - it was. I planned to only make a quick pass through there, but I ended up spending nearly two hours wandering through the park. As I said, there was virtually no wind, so the snow stayed stuck to the tree limbs. Everything was freshly fallen and largely undisturbed. Plus, just as I arrived at the park, the clouds cleared, the sun came out, and the sky was the most lovely shade of blue. It was so gorgeous. And because it was a weekday, there were hardly any people in the park. It was so peaceful and so beautiful. I've never seen anything like it. It was an actual, honest-to-goodness winter wonderland.

Southeast corner of Central Park

Tree branches

The Bridge

Ducks on the Pond

Just try to walk through here without singing "walkin' in a winter wonderland..." in your head!

Another view of the Bridge

Snow-covered benches

There's actually stairs under that snow on the right.

The Literary Walk

The Mall

Angel of the Waters (Bethesda Fountain)

Snowy mess near Strawberry Fields

Pine Bank Arch

Columbus Circle/Southwest corner of Central Park

Isn't it amazing? I was just so overcome with how gorgeous it was. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to take such a peaceful walk through such a beautiful place and really take it all in. It doesn't change the fact that I wish it were nearly summer, but it sure was pretty to see!

If you want to see more of our pictures, I put them all on our photo share site!

Friday, January 28, 2011

My Rebuttal

Okay, snow. It's on.

Snow tricked me into thinking it was all gorgeous yesterday during my peaceful walk through Central Park. But then, you see, you exit the park and get back out on to the New York City streets. And it's a slushy, icy, wet, sloppy, nasty mess. I was reminded of that as I trekked back and forth to work today.

I will admit I loved my Central Park walk yesterday, and I am still rather excited to share all those pretty pictures with you. But as soon as I stepped out of the park, I had to climb across snowbanks that were already turning black and nasty, wade through icy puddles of slush, and even got sprayed by a passing car as I waited on a curb to cross a street, just like a character in a movie who is having a bad day. GAH-ROSS.

So, to present my counterargument to yesterday's lovely winter wonderland photo, I bring you these pictures, taken on around town yesterday:

Wading through slush to cross the street along Fifth Avenue

More crossing the street through nastiness

Nasty ice slush puddle at the curb (and this is a relatively small one - some are so big, no matter how long your legs are, you can't jump over it. So, your options are 1) Wade through, or 2) climb a snowbank.)

And sometimes, the curb hasn't been cleared at all. This huge snow pile is clearly blocking my access to that crosswalk. I'm just trying to get home, snow!

And for the record, my snow boots have also decided they are over this nonsense. They officially went on strike during my outing yesterday morning. I sprung a leak in each boot and had rather wet socks by the time I got home.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Snow Made a Liar Out of Me.

Fine, snow. You win. This IS pretty.

Taken in Central Park this morning

We got another 15 inches of snow yesterday (most of it during the night last night), and woke up to a downright winter wonderland this morning. I spent some time walking in the Park, and it was incredible. I took a ton of pictures and have many more to share, but this should whet your appetite for now!

Snow just couldn't take my venting about it lying down, I guess. It had to come back and prove that it really can be lovely.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cleveland Recap and Weather Whining

Sorry for the radio silence over here! I'm back in New York after a very lovely weekend in Cleveland, and have had a case come in that has been filling my time with mock juror questionnaires. Hooray for work!

My time in Cleveland was great, however. I took shockingly few pictures (really, none other than a couple from the plane coming and going, for shame!), but the weekend was quite nice. I left New York Saturday morning after a measly three hours of sleep the night before. Hello, crazy exhaustion. I planned to sleep on the flight, but the crazy flight is only about an hour long, so by the time you're in the air, it's about time to come right back down again.

And get this - there were five people on my flight to Cleveland. FIVE. Including yours truly. I kid you not, the flight attendant actually came around and personally told each of us where our nearest exit was. It was crazy. I have never been on that empty of a flight. I have no idea why they didn't cancel the thing.

Of course, then we got in the air and the pilot came over the speaker and said "Current temperature in Cleveland is four degrees," and then it all made sense. Clearly everyone already got that memo (except for us five poor souls) and were all "oh heck no, forget that" and skipped out.

And then, we landed 40 minutes early!!! What kind of bizzaro world was this?

 View of Cleveland from the plane - downtown, Cleveland Browns Stadium, and a rather chilly Lake Erie.

My Gramps picked me up at the airport and took me back to his house to warm up with some of his amazing homemade chicken noodle soup (Gramps makes the best soup!). We spent the rest of the day watching TV and chatting, with a break for more of his gourmet cooking: barbecue chicken, sweet potatoes, creamed corn and salad. Yum! It was so nice to spend that day just talking with Gramps. I usually see him with the rest of the family, so it was great to have some one-on-one time. We talked about what's going on in my life, and what's going on in his life, and he did quite a bit of reminiscing, which is always wonderful to hear. I love to hear his stories. He really has had a very interesting life, from his days as a boy in a one-room schoolhouse, to his time in seminary, to his courtship of my Nana, to the call in the 1950s that brought him to settle into his current home in Parma Heights, Ohio, where he served for years as Pastor of Divinity Lutheran Church. He's a good man, that Gramps!

Speaking of the church, Sunday morning we hit the 9:00 service. At that service they gave the second-graders their Bibles, which is a ceremony I still very vividly remember going through myself 21 years ago. I still use that Bible, too.

After church it was back home for Meet the Press and leftovers for lunch, then ESPN and reading until playoff football started. Then at 5:00 my good friend Megan picked me up for a visit, which was great. We went to the mall (and stopped at the Godiva store for an absolutely to-die-for chocolate raspberry drink thing), TJ Maxx and Target for some shopping, then stopped by her parents' house so I could say hello to them. From there we went to her place for a while to relax and catch up, then she brought me back to Gramps's house in time to catch the end of the Jets/Steelers game (boo, hiss to the Steelers!).

And that was pretty much my weekend! The next morning Gramps took me to the airport, where I got on yet another rather empty flight (although this one did have a whopping 20 people, three of whom were airline personnel catching a ride). We had to wait in line for de-icing before taking off, but then we got on our way and landed early yet again. I took the subway home and was reunited with my poor, cold little dog, and life got back to normal!

De-icing planes at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport

Our turn for de-icing!

As much fun as I had, it was good to be back! It was rather cold in NYC this weekend, but it was even worse in Cleveland. We're talking wind chills in the negative degree range, which is just not okay with me. It was the kind of cold that chills you right through your coat as soon as you step outside. Uggghhhh.

Which brings me to a whine. I'm angry at winter.

I mean, there's just no other way to say it. I'm ticked off. Why is this winter thing still happening? Haven't we done this for long enough yet? I have been cold for, like, months straight. When I was walking home from the subway station on Monday, it was involuntary-cursing-out-loud cold. And that's the worst part of it, you see. Because in New York, it's not like you can just go from your heated house to your heated car to your heated destination. This here is a walking city. That means you need to be out amongst the awfulness. There's no escaping it. You just have to walk around and feel it.

And, it snows all the stupid time. Last week I heard via Twitter that NYC usually gets an average of 20 inches of snow each winter, but as of last week, we were already at 32 inches. And we got more after that, and even more today. In fact, it has snowed on me for my morning commute for the last two days, and it sort of icy snowed on me on my way home today. NY1Weather tells me that we already got four more inches of snow today, with another five to seven expected tonight. COME. ON. That is just enough. It's not even pretty anymore! It's just making me angry.

 This was my view on my walk to work today. Don't be fooled by the charming Upper West Side Street. This is not pretty. This is TORTURE.

This has been a rather hard winter, and I'm tired of being cold and wet and irritated.

Remember the days when we wore shorts? Remember the days when we would sweat? Remember when we could watch outdoor movies (although Bryant Park is doing an outdoor winter film festival) and picnic in parks and wear summer dresses and sandals? Remember when we needed sunblock? Remember grass? Remember flowers? Remember when we didn't have to wear tights under socks under leggings under jeans just to stay warm? Remember when tropical cocktails didn't seem out of place? Oh, how I long for days gone by...

I remember last year at this time, when I was gearing up for a two-week, nine-island Caribbean cruise with my sister in February. How has my life gone so horribly wrong that I am not doing the same thing right this very moment?

And it's only January. Still. IT'S STILL JANUARY.

I'm not sure I'll make it till spring.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Our Hoboken Home-To-Be

At last, the moment you have all been waiting for - a look at our next apartment!

First, I must give credit where credit is due. Eric has been an apartment-hunting all-star through this whole thing. He has spent the last month or so constantly monitoring apartment prices, researching options, calling and emailing leasing agents, searching Craigslist, and even made a trip out to Hoboken on his own while I was in Florida to check out a few places. It was while he was on his solo mission that he found the place we're going with. He really took care of business here, and I'm so grateful. He also was the one who found our current apartment, so I'm pretty thankful to him for all his diligent apartment researching.

We had an appointment for us both to look at the apartment on Saturday, but I woke up feeling like death warmed over, so we didn't actually get out there until Sunday afternoon. And, I was very happy with what I saw!

The unit itself is very nice. It is considerably bigger than what we have now (819 square feet, as compared to our current 659 square feet), with a pass-thru kitchen like we like. The view faces west over Hoboken, and although about a bajillion times less stunning as our current view, it is at least unobstructed (so we're not staring into another apartment across the street) and hopefully we can see some nice sunsets over New Jersey. There are parquet floors in the living and dining rooms (like we have now), tile in the kitchen and bathroom and carpet in the bedroom.

Apartment floor plan

The living room (it's a corporate apartment right now, which is why it's furnished. Don't worry, that furniture will go away!)

The dining room and kitchen (and Eric and the leasing agent)

The bedroom

 I didn't take a picture of the bathroom myself, but this is from the apartment website. It' Pretty bright and won't match our decor, but it works!

And wait, I haven't even told you the best part! Guess what else this place has? An IN-UNIT WASHER AND DRYER. That means no more dragging my laundry basket down to the community laundry room, paying $1.75 per load per washer/dryer, dealing with broken W/Ds (with no signage so you don't realize they're broken until it's too late), a crowded room, etc. I can do laundry AT MY LEISURE. I could just wash one shirt if I wanted! No more hassle! No more laundry cards! No more crowds! I'm so freaking excited to do laundry, as sick as that sounds. This all makes me feel very old. When did I become a person who gets excited about a washer/dryer? Am I really a grown-up? Am I going to start asking for things like vacuum cleaners for Christmas? I fear this is a slippery slope.

Oh hello there, you beautiful appliances. Where have you been all my life?

The only downside about the actual unit is the closet space. We have really incredible closet space in our current apartment, so we knew we were likely facing a letdown in our next place, but this new apartment's closet space is seriously scary. We're already talking about ways we can make that work, so I think we'll be okay, but I will majorly miss our two long walls of closets that we have now.

As for the rest of the building, it is also very nice. The lobby is large and welcoming, there are LOTS of elevators (our apartment in DC only had two elevators for about 16 floors, and one or both were CONSTANTLY breaking down, which was awful, so this is important to us!), and of course, it's dog-friendly. There is also a very nice gym that looks out over the river, and an aerobics studio that offers aerobics classes for an extra cost. There is also a very nice game room, a putting green (Eric is pumped), and nice "rooftop" parks (actually on a lower floor) looking out over the water.

 The front of the building

Website picture of the lobby

Website picture of the putting green

Website picture of the building, showing the two "rooftop parks"

The location, however, is really the best part. The building is right on the river (obviously), which means it's right along that beautiful tree-lined riverside path that was the first thing I loved about Hoboken when we visited this summer. It's just blocks from the PATH train (easiest/cheapest way into Manhattan), and just a couple blocks west of Washington Street, which is that charming main street. That glorious Grimaldi's/Crumbs combo is just a couple blocks away, as is the Gator alumni bar. There is also a park across the street (including a dog run), and a grocery store on the ground floor of the building. All wonderful things, but my favorite is really just the proximity to the river. When you exit through a side door of the building, you can immediately see the NYC skyline. Just a half block walk to the river, and the views are breathtaking. We won't have the view from our actual apartment, but we can take it in every time we step outside. I can make do with that.

This is actually a view from our new living room window, looking Northwest at a little park. The dog run is down there under the snow somewhere.

The view when you exit the side door of the building - I see the Empire State Building!

What you see when you walk a half block over to the river. Hello, midtown skyline.

This is a photo we actually took during our first Hoboken visit this summer, and this is actually right by our new apartment! What are the odds?

Another summer picture - this mural is also right across the street from our apartment

And clearly, another summer picture - walking along that tree-lined riverside path that is right in front of our new building!

So that's where we'll be living by the end of next month! I think our actual moving day will be February 22, but then once all our stuff is moved over to Hoboken we'll spend the rest of that night finishing up the cleaning/painting of our old apartment and actually hand in our keys on February 23rd. And then we will be Hoboken residents!

I'm feeling so conflicted about this move. On the one hand, I am very excited. It's always exciting to get settled in a new place, and I think we'll like Hoboken (except for the fact that they DO NOT HAVE A CHIPOTLE). The apartment is great, and you all know how I feel about the washer/dryer! It will be a huge cost savings for us each month, and we can really build our savings for the future. It will be great.

But now that it's really happening, I am so sad to leave this apartment. I know I touched on that in my last Hoboken post, but it's really hitting me. Our unit is already listed for lease as of March 1 on the company website, and I'm already jealous of whoever gets to live here next. What a fabulous apartment! It is going to be so difficult to take one last look at that view and leave this place for good. I love it here so much. I'm trying to soak up every last second of it now, but it's going to be tough.

I'm also a little bummed that my search for stability continues. I had hoped this would be our last apartment in the New York City area, that we would stay here until we were ready to move on altogether. We painted the walls and really tried to make this a home, but we were only here two years. Since moving out of my dad's house for college, the longest I have ever lived in any apartment is two years. I first moved into Murphree Hall at UF (in my day, still unairconditioned) and lived there for two years, although in two different rooms. Then my roommate and I moved into an apartment for the last two years of college. After college, it was a new Gainesville apartment for one year. Then we moved to DC and lived with another roommate for two years before moving into our own place for one year. Then we moved here, lived in our first unit for 6 months, then in this apartment for two years. I know being in transition is kind of part of the territory in your 20s, but I see my friends starting to buy houses and really settle in and sometimes I want that so badly. I want to live in a place that is ours, where we can really put down roots and set up shop. I want to break that two-year mark and really stay in one place and make it home. I know we'll get there, but we still have a while to wait.

So for now, it's off to Hoboken! I know it will be a good move and I'm sure we'll love it. Now it's time to get packing!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Five years ago today, as I sat shivering under a blanket on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, my high school sweetheart asked me to be his wife. My answer then was "yes," and if he asked me again today it would still be "yes," and it will always be "yes." It was the easiest (and best) decision I've ever made, and I would answer the same way a million times more.

More than ever, recently I have been reminded how lucky I am to have Eric. He supports me, he makes me smile, he comforts me when I'm sad, he cares for me when I'm sick, he makes me laugh. We have so much fun together, whether it be doing some great exciting New York thing, or just holding hands on the couch while we watch TV. He is all I need, and he makes me so happy. We have made so many great memories in the past five years and have so many more left to make together in the years ahead of us.

I love you, Eric! I'm so proud to be your wife. Thank you for asking me that beautiful question, and thank you for making it so easy to say "yes."

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Smoke Detectors Are My Nemesis

I know you all are on the edges of your seats for an apartment update, and I definitely have one in the works for you - if not today, then later this week. We did find something (yay!) and I can't wait to tell you all about it!

But right now, I am slowly going insane.

We're having smoke detector issues again.

In early December, we woke up in the middle of the night (because when ELSE do smoke detectors get fussy and make a lot of racket for no apparent reason?) to our smoke detector chirping every 30 seconds or so. The dog hid under the bed while we tried to silence the thing in vain. Eric was once again the smoke detector champion, getting up and trying his best to SHUT IT UP. But nothing worked. Reset buttons, test buttons, even going out to the bodega across the street in the middle of the night to get a new battery. It would quiet down for a half hour to an hour, then start back up again. MADDENING.

It continued into the morning. Eric was lucky enough to go off to work while Achilles and I were left to be slowly driven mad by relentless chirping. Maintenance finally came at about 11:00 that morning, after I had hit the reset button for the umpteenth time (so of course they couldn't actually hear the awful noise). They said it sounded like an electrical thing, like maybe some wire had come unattached, but everything looked fine so they told me to just call if it happened again. Of course, it didn't.

Until 2:45 a.m. last night.

It's back, people. It's doing it again. Every hour from 2:45 on. Chirp, chirp, chirp at earsplitting volume every 30 seconds. It interrupted our very peaceful sleep last night (repeatedly) and we are not happy about it. I'm recovering from being near death this weekend (aka a head cold) and was having my very first Nyquil-free-but-still-really-awesome sleep in quite some time, and this thing had to interfere. Now I'll probably regress and end up with pneumonia.

And the poor, poor dog might not recover. He spent the night hiding under the bed, only to be lured out this morning with a false sense of security when we both got up, the reset button was hit, and things were momentarily quiet. He had the unfortunate experience of passing the smoke detector in the hallway when it started hollering again, and he stopped DEAD IN HIS TRACKS. He did a complete about face and ran to hide and quiver under a chair in the bedroom. Every time it chirps he jumps and looks even more pitiful than he did 30 seconds before. Eric took him outside for his morning business and he nearly bolted straight through the front door to get out of here. He is now hiding under the covers on the bed. I hope this isn't doing lasting damage to a dog already demonstrating a questionable mental state. Poor thing.

So now, we wait. Maintenance has been alerted, and we were told they get in at 8:30 and will address their list of requests then. It is currently about 9:00. Of course, we don't want to push the reset button again until maintenance comes for fear of them thinking we're going crazy, but that means we might actually go crazy as we sit here and listen to this incessant chirping. Prioritize, maintenance! Our sanity is at stake! I'm actually jealous that Eric gets to walk through the "wintry mix"/freezing rain/worst-type-of-weather-EVER to work in a half hour.

Smoke detectors, man. They really have it out for me.

Update: It's 11:00 and still no sign of maintenance. Lucky Eric is long gone, I'm starting to lose it, and I fear Achilles is officially broken. The smoke detector broke my dog.

Update #2: 1:30 p.m. and still waiting. Over five hours of waiting! And wouldn't you think a malfunctioning smoke detector might be something maintenance would want to look into? If not even for my sanity, perhaps for the sake of not burning down the building? Also, Achilles is back under the covers (after an extended stint of sitting on my lap, panting and shaking). Every so often he stands up, as if considering an exit, then just falls back down in rather sad, defeated fashion.

Update #3: As of 5:00 p.m., maintenance still delights in my misery. However, I broke down pushed the reset button around 2:00 and the beeping has not resumed since then (knock on wood and all that other superstitious stuff)! I finally coaxed Achilles out from under the covers, as I was afraid he would overheat - he was REALLY hot under there, panting, drooling, the whole bit. Yet still, he refused to come until I lured him out with food. That noise really did a number on the poor thing. After about an hour he seemed to return to normal, for the most part.

Update #4: 5:10 p.m., they came! And replaced the battery. Which is not the problem. But, since I pushed the button and the thing was actually behaving itself when they arrived, they can't see that. So now they left me with "if it happens again tonight, we'll replace the whole thing." Sigh. So now we wait. This round goes to the smoke detector.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Weekend In Florida

Sorry for the exceptionally uncreative post title.

This past weekend, I spent some time in Florida visiting family, and it was a wonderful time as always! I was supposed to fly down to Tampa on Friday morning, but we were hearing all about this impending snowstorm, so I decided to fly down Thursday night instead to avoid the risk of some flight-canceling disaster if the snow was bad. My airline was waiving change fees, so off I went within a few hours. Of course, my new flight out Thursday night was delayed 45 minutes (and super full so there was no room for my carry-on bag and I had to check it), but my original flight on Friday was only delayed about 15 minutes. That figures. But hey, Tom Papa was on my new flight. Does that count for anything? Minor celebrity? No?

Yeah, that's right. I snuck a picture of Tom Papa on my cell phone. What about it?

Anyway, I arrived in Tampa around midnight on Thursday night (or Friday morning, I guess), and my dad picked me up at the airport. I pretty much crashed as soon as we got in. I was very pleased to see the bed in the office made up for me so nicely - complete with chocolate on the pillow! Such accommodations!

Lovely bed, with a Hershey's Dark Chocolate on the pillow

Friday morning I got up and drove my dad to work so that I could use his car for my usual "Hooray, I'm back in the land of Targets!" Target run. And a successful run it was - I finally got my hands on a Kindle! Eric and I have been trying to find one to buy in person in NYC for quite some time but everywhere has been sold out. Target to the rescue! The Target in St. Pete had three in stock. Awesome! And, P.S., I'm in LOVE with my Kindle. My life is forever changed. In fact, I'll just go ahead and apologize now if my blogging schedule takes a hit because I'm too busy reading on my new Kindle. You have been warned.

 Lousy cell phone picture of the new Kindle - I had to send Eric a picture to prove I was in possession of such a coveted device!

From Target I went back to pick my dad up from work, and we stopped for lunch at Arby's then went back home. I napped (sooo tired) until Heather got home from an audition in Orlando, then my dad made a lovely dinner for us (pasta, fresh bread with oil and herbs, etc.). Yum!

Heather and Dad at dinner. Clearly, Heather is already chowing down on bread.

After dinner, my dad treated us to a show at the Straz Center: Wonderland! Wonderland will be opening on Broadway later this spring, but it premiered in Tampa in 2009 and returned for a two-week engagement this month before making the move to the Big Apple. I was very excited to see it before it makes its Broadway debut, and I thought it was a great show. It was long, I will say, but very entertaining. It was a fun twist on the classic Alice in Wonderland story, with my favorite characters being El Gato (the Cheshire Cat) and the Caterpillar! All in all, we had a great night at the theater. Thanks, Dad!

Wonderland: A New Alice. A New Musical.
(Photo stolen from here)

Caterpillar scene from Wonderland, featuring Tommar Wilson as the Caterpillar and Janet Dacal as Alice
(Photo stolen from here)

Saturday morning I had my W. Family Time. I met up with Kelley and Toni at Einstein Bagels, where Susan was working. Kelley, Toni and I had a nice breakfast and did some good catching up, and Susan visited with us when she could. After Toni got picked up and taken home, Kelley and I went over to Publix to say hello to Gramz at work. It was so great to see everyone, and I'm always so grateful that they make time to see me when I'm in town! Special thanks to Kelley for always organizing our get-togethers!

Breakfast at Einstein's with Toni and Kelley

I spent the rest of the day Saturday hanging out at the house with my dad, and then we went out to dinner at Fourth Street Shrimp Store. Yum! Love me some shrimp. After dinner I spent the evening hanging out with Heather, just watching TV and chatting.

 Mellow afternoon at home, and my dad sharing a moment with the animals.

Sunday morning Heather and I went for breakfast at Steak 'N Shake (fun fact: did you know I got my first job at Steak 'N Shake at age 16 so I could pay to take Eric to my junior year homecoming dance?). Surprisingly enough, a few people I worked with in my S'NS days are still there!

After breakfast we went up to Weeki Wachee to spend the day with my mom. We did some chatting at her place, then got out of the house for a bit and went to the Weeki Wachee River to look for manatees. I did get to see one - he really rose up out of the water! That was fun. We also saw a woman hook a bird when she cast out her fishing line, which was not fun. Poor bird.

Weeki Wachee River

This just looks so "Florida," doesn't it?

After our time at the river, we went back to my mom's house for a delicious dinner, then went out for ice cream at Papa Clyde's. After that, Heather and I went back to my dad's house. I was exhausted so I went to bed soon after.

Monday morning I caught my 9:00 a.m. flight back to NYC, which was much more pleasant than my flight down. The flight was not full, so I had an open seat next to me and plenty of room for my carry-on bag in the overhead bin. I spent the whole flight engrossed in a book on my new beloved Kindle, and we landed a half hour early! Perfect flying experience.

And that was my trip! It's always so nice to see everyone. Thanks, all, for making my trip so enjoyable!

Meanwhile, back in New York, Eric enjoyed a bachelor weekend filled with good food, video games, and continued Hoboken apartment hunting. He found some potentially good things in his apartment search, but I'll fill you in on that when we know more after this weekend!