Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas 2013

Merry Christmas!

On Friday, December 13th my ladies Bible study shared a Christmas dinner and Secret Santa gift exchange at Galli, an Italian restaurant in SoHo.

The next day was an incredibly magical snowy day and I attended a potluck brunch/Love Actually viewing party at a friend's who lives in the Financial District.  My favorite dish there was these sour cream pancakes, we couldn't get over them!

New York Stock Exchange

That night I rented a car with 3 friends and we headed to Brooklyn's Dyker Heights Christmas Lights.  We had all seen this neighborhood's Christmas lights on the Travel Channel Christmas specials growing up.  Of course it was so cold we just drove around the neighborhood and only jumped out to take the middle photo below.

On Saturday, December 21st Clay and I hosted our Hillsong's Connect Group's Christmas Party at our apartment.  Another potluck style party where we exchanged Secret Santa gifts and played Taboo, the ladies won!

Mom returned to New York City to celebrate Christmas with us.  On Christmas Eve we watched Saving Mr. Banks and attended Hillsong's Christmas Eve Service.  Christmas day we spent at Da's house with Mary, Annie, and Tom!

Hillsong's Christmas Eve Service

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Thanksgiving Week 2013

My mom joined us from North Carolina from Tuesday, November 26th until the early morning of Monday, December 2nd.

On Tuesday night we went to see Radio City's Christmas Spectacular and loved it!  What talent and precision the Rockettes have; Mom and I have always enjoyed watching them perform during the Macy's Parade every Thanksgiving.  We loved that for a mainstream tourist audience their final act was reading aloud the Nativity Story while acting it out on stage, including live animals!

On Wednesday, since Mom and Clay were home while I went to work, they cooked a Thanksgiving dinner of turkey, stuffing, potatoes and gravy, rolls, green beans, and pumpkin pie.  It was a yummy minimalistic meal for just the three of us and feed us for the remainder of the week.  We all agreed it would be best to have Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday because they had the entire day to cook, unlike on Thanksgiving day itself where we had most the day already planned with activities.

My commute home was interrupted by balloon inflation on 81st Street
This is my bus stop.  That is the Wizard of Oz balloon!

After our Thanksgiving feast we headed to Lion King on Broadway.  Definitely a MUST SEE for anyone coming to New York EVER!  Incredible, just really creative and the African songs gave me goosebumps.  Music is such an incredible art that can portray emotion regardless of the language.

On Thanksgiving Day we headed to my office at Columbus Circle to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Mom and I have always watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and the New Year's Rose Parade so it was exciting for the both of us to be able to share this experience together.  We were on the 18th floor so didn't have the greatest views of the balloons and performers but we weren't standing in 31` weather and had access to a pantry and bathroom!  We also recorded the parade at home so caught up on the Broadway performances that afternoon  The three of us and Duke then proceeded to take naps on the couch together before snacking on leftovers and heading to a friend's place for drinks and dessert from 8 pm - 12 am.

On Friday we all slept in then Mom and I headed to the Intrepid Museum.  We toured a Cold War submarine and the Intrepid battleship and enjoyed their films and exhibits.  When we came home we purchased and decorated our Christmas tree, another tradition Mom and I do the day after Thanksgiving.  Most of our friends and family know that Clay and I always try to buy an ornament on our travel, this tree literally can't fit another ornament on it-- oh well, we'll just have to get a larger tree next year!  Then Clay made Mom a belated birthday dinner of steak, green beans, and sweet potatoes!

Inside the submarine 'Growler'

Flight deck of the Intrepid 

On Saturday morning Mom and I ran my usual errands before heading to my Bible Study which lasted from 3-7 pm.  We then came home to Clay and Duke cheering Auburn to victory!

War Eagle!
On Sunday we headed to Hillsong, lunched at ABC Kitchen (also a place to try, it has great ambiance and a fantastic home store attached), and then Mom and I did some shopping before heading to my office again for me to do a few things before heading home for the night.

Christmas decorations at the Time Warner Center
I put Mom in a cab before catching the bus to return to work on Monday.

What a great, full, productive, and fun week we had!!!  We love you Mom! -Bird, Bug, & Pug