Our NYC Trip (including our late-night television debut)!

We’ve been back from vacation for over two weeks now, and I’m FINALLY getting a chance to sit down and go through pictures and throw a post together about it!  As I did with our Colorado trip in March–less words, more pictures!

We flew in on a Friday and got checked in to the Wyndham Midtown 45 late in the evening, so we did nothing that night except hit up this little all natural, mostly organic Amish grocery joint right across the street from our hotel to stock the fridge with a few necessities.  I absolutely adored this place!  We went back a couple more times through the week.  It was the first thing I saw of the city, so I was in love from the start!

5-8-2015 - Amish Market

For dinner that night, we walked to a nearby pizza joint that the hotel concierge dude recommended.  They were happy to accommodate my plant-based preferences and hooked me up with this sun-dried tomato, olive, and arugula cheeseless pie.  Hands down BEST PIZZA EVER!!!  And I don’t even remember the name of the place now!

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The next morning, we hit the ground running.  So much we wanted to do and see in one short week!  We went all out with the tourist thing and bought the 72-hour hop-on-hop-off bus package.  Well worth the money!  It helped us get oriented to the city and figure out where everything was.  We used it to kind of see everything briefly and figure out what we wanted to go back to.

5-9-2015 - Brooklyn Bridge 13
You can’t go to NYC without walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, right?!
5-9-2015 - Pam & Dewayne on Brooklyn Bridge
And you HAVE to take a selfie while you’re doing it. Duh.
5-9-2015 - Freedom Tower
Freedom Tower
5-9-2015 - Pam & Dewayne at World Trade Center Memorial
Don’t mind us. Just playing with my new selfie stick.
5-9-2015 - World Trade Center Memorial
Reflecting pool at the World Trade Center monument.
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Names of the fallen at the reflecting pools. So very sombering.
5-9-2015 - LAPD in NYC on freedom tour 2
Gazillions of police officers were in the financial district and I noticed the bikes said LAPD instead of NYPD. We stopped and chatted with the officers for a few and found out that they were in town for a unity tour. We made sure to shake their hands and tell them how appreciated they are.

We wrapped up our sightseeing for the day and headed back to the hotel to get cleaned up and head out to dinner then to the theater district because we had tickets to see Something Rotten that evening.

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Damn, I clean up pretty good, if I do say so myself.
5-9-2015 - Something Rotten on Broadway 2
You guys, I HIGHLY recommend this!!! It was SO funny! It just opened on Broadway in late March, but I hope it eventually goes on tour because I can’t wait to see it again!

After the show, we hit up Times Square

5-9-2015 - Times Square 2
So many lights. And SO MANY PEOPLE.

The next day we hit a couple of museums.  One of my favorite things we did while we were there was go to the Body Worlds exhibit.  It was positively fascinating.

5-10-2015 - Body Worlds Exhibit 3

Then we headed to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Some things in there were pretty interesting, but I wasn’t as awed as I thought I would be.

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I’m sorry, this is not art. If this is art, the contents of my mother’s cedar chest are worth billions.
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THIS, on the other hand, is art.

Then we made our way back downtown to the Empire State Building.  We waited till later in the day to avoid the long lines, which are told to be as long as four hours during peak times.  We breezed right through in like 10 minutes.

5-10-2015 - Empire State Building observation deck 11

On Monday, we got up early to go stand in line at the NBC Studios for standby tickets to go to a Jimmy Fallon taping.  That turned out to be kind of an all-day ordeal, but it paid off because we totally got in!  We lined up at like 7:00 that morning.

The people at the front of the line camped there all night to be sure to get tickets.  I'm not that hard core.  haha
The people at the front of the line camped there all night to be sure to get tickets. I’m not that hard core. haha

They came out and numbered us off at 9:00.  When we got in line, there were 20 people ahead of us, but by the time several douche bags broke in line in front of us (Dewayne wouldn’t let me kneecap them with my selfie stick), we were numbers 31 and 32.  We didn’t have high hopes of getting in, but we were told there was always a chance and to come back at 3:45 to find out how many seats they had left to fill.

There was still lots that we wanted to do and see, but we were afraid to go far because we wanted to make sure getting back at 3:45 wouldn’t be an issue!  So we just trekked around town on foot all day.  We went back to Times Square and milled around then walked over to Fifth Avenue for some window shopping.

5-10-2015 - Pam at M&M World
M&M World
5-11-2015 - Tiffany's
I tried to convince D I needed a souvenir. He wasn’t buying it. Literally or figuratively. Rude.
5-11-2015 - St. Patrick's Cathedral 4
St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Then we headed back to the studios to find out whether or not we would get in.  That was an emotional roller coaster.  haha  When we first got there, they were turning away anyone with a number higher than 60.  (Yay!)  Then we waited around for what felt like forever.  (Boo!)  Then they said they could take 36 people.  (YAY!!!)  Then they said, no, only 26.  (BOO!)  Then they told us to wait around because they may get a few more.  (YAAAAAAAYYYY!)  Remember, we were numbers 31 and 32.  They had taken 26.  Then they came out and said they could take six more.  Do the math.  We got the LAST TWO SEATS!  WOOOOHOOOOO!!!!!!!!  (Or so we thought.  During a commercial break, we saw one of the guys that was with the family of five that was behind us.  They went back for one more after they let us in.)  I was freaking stoked.  If you’re a Fallon watcher, we were at the taping with Tom Brokaw and Charlize Theron.  Several friends and family watched the episode and said they saw us several times.  A couple even sent me pics!  haha

Fallon 2

Fallon

As much fun as that was, we trumped it the next night by going to one of David Letterman’s last tapings.  We had tickets secured for that one, so it didn’t involve the waiting and wondering like Fallon did!  I just entered the ticket lottery before we went, and while we were sitting in the Nashville airport waiting to board the plane to NYC, the studio called and asked a trivia question about the show that I had to answer correctly to get the tickets.  I don’t have any screen shots of that one (you could barely see us if you knew where to look during one camera pan of the audience), but we were at the taping with Bill Clinton and Adam Sandler.  I was so disappointed when I found out who was going to be there.  haha  I couldn’t have picked two celebrities I would LEAST like to see.  lol  But guests aside, it was even more fun than the Fallon taping.  I freaking love David Letterman and miss him already.

5-12-2015 - Pam & Dewayne at Letterman taping

When we were leaving, we rounded the corner and found Adam Sandler signing autographs.

5-12-2015 - Adam Sandler signing autographs after Letterman taping 3

I don’t like him, but that didn’t stop me from getting him to sign my ticket stub for a souvinier.  haha

5-12-2015 - Adam Sandler's autograph
If you can make “Adam Sandler” out of that, you’re more talented than I.

After the taping we went for dinner and then to the Broadway Comedy Club.  We were one of the first to arrive, so we were treated to a stage-side table.  It was great because we got to interact with the comedians.  There were several there that night.  I think like 6 or 7?  I don’t know, I was hammered.  haha  I recognized a few of them, but I was really only familiar with one of them–Mike Vecchione.  We bought the tickets blind, not knowing who would be there, so I was excited when he walked out!

5-12-2015 - Mike Vecchione at Broadway Comedy Club 2

Oh and I forgot to mention that earlier in the day, before the Letterman taping, we went to the Statue of Liberty.  We didn’t go up in the crown or anything.  We basically just ferried over, took some pictures, and left.

5-12-2015 - Statue of Liberty 6

5-12-2015 - Pam & Dewayne at the Statue of Liberty

That night after the comedy club, we hit another bar on the way back to the hotel and then I crashed and burned.  haha  We didn’t have any solid plans for the next day until 8:00 that evening, and it’s a good thing because we didn’t get out of bed till 4:00 in the afternoon.  We were both exhausted and I was more hungover than I’ve been in a very long time.  We left the hotel in just enough time to grab dinner and get to the Best Buy Theater for a concert.  We saw Of Mice & Men with Crown the Empire and Volumes opening for them.  I loooove Of Mice & Men–they were the headliner and the reason we bought the tickets.  I only knew one Crown the Empire song and had never heard of Volumes, but they both put on a solid performance.  It was a great show and a great time, even if I was still hungover.  haha

5-13-2015 - Of Mice & Men 6

Neither of us were really up to going back out that night, so we just vegged out and watched TV in the hotel so we’d be rested and ready to make the most of Thursday, our last day there and our 8th anniversary!  We slept in again that morning and I FINALLY felt like a human being again.  haha  So much so that I decided to test out my leg on a run in Central Park!  After being sidelined for the better part of three months due to injury, I was ELATED to run a pain-free three miles.  And the fact that the comeback run was in Central Park was just the very sweet icing on the already sweet cake.

5-14-2015 - Pam after comeback run in Central Park

We hung out in Central Park for a few hours walking around, eating pretzels, watching street performers, taking pictures, just savoring our last day.  It was nothing short of glorious.

5-14-2015 - Central Park 20 (Orton)
I’m fascinated by bridges. I just think they’re so pretty.

Then while we were trying to decide what we wanted to do that evening for our anniversary, we decided we’d go back to Broadway for another show.  On a whim we bought tickets to see An Act of God.  We really didn’t even know anything about it other than it had Jim Parsons in it and we both love him.  It was an awesome show and so cool to see Sheldon as something other than… well, Sheldon!  hahaha

5-14-2015 - Pam & Dewayne at An Act of God

And then just like that, our trip was over.  I don’t think we’ve EVER crammed so much activity into one week!  It was so much fun and very rejuvenating for us as a couple.  Now to bust ass and save money for our next trip in October!

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Three Things Thursday – The Return to Running Edition

Yes, I’m still alive.  I didn’t get lost or abducted in NYC.  I’m alive and well but just sooooooooo behiiiiiiiiiind!!!!!!!  I’ve got a full post about NYC coming as soon as I can find a few spare minutes to sit down and get it done.  So in the meantime–BULLETS!  Just so you don’t forget I’m here.

  • As the title suggested, I’m FIIIIIINALLY on the road to recovery.  It’s still very, very short runs for now, but I’m slowly adding mileage back in, a quarter-mile at a time.  One of the highlights of my NYC trip was a 3-mile pain-free in Central Park!

5-14-2015 - Pam after comeback run in Central Park

  • I’ve been carrying around a $50 gift card to Dick’s ever since Christmas, but when a girl ain’t running, a sporting goods store is a pretty depressing place to be.  haha  I took care of that last weekend.

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  • And what makes a comeback more official than a race registration?!?!?!

st jude

Live from New York, it’s ….. MEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Good morning, Kids!  We’re a couple of days into our week-long trip to NYC, and it is shaping up to be everything I’d hoped for and then some.  We’re trying to cram as much stuff as we can into seven short days, so there isn’t much bloggy time!  I just wanted to pop in with a few teaser photos so you can take comfort in the fact that while you’re stuck at work on a beautiful Monday morning, at least one of us is livin’ large in The Big Apple.  You’re welcome.

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Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge

 

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Memorial where the North Tower of the Twin Towers once stood.

 

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Broadway baby!

 

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Times Square

 

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Body Worlds exhibit. Fascinating!

 

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M&M World

 

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Metropolitan Museum of Art. If this is art, the contents of my mother’s cedar chest are worth billions.

 

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THIS is art.

 

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Observation deck of Empire State Building.

 

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Observation deck of Empire State Building.

 

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New York Public Library

 

Up next–Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island!

Weekend Recap + An Injury Update

TL;DR version:  Foster puppy adopted.  Ran two miles.  Hip/leg still hurts but not as bad.  Not ready to commit self to psych ward just yet.

As I briefly mentioned last week, my little foster pup Penny was adopted.  After having her for three months, she finally had a wonderful adoption application.  (Many, many thanks to Kara for that!)  Friday morning started off bright and early for Penny and I as her adopter lives clear on the other end of Tennessee–a 6-hour drive from here.

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Snoozing in the passenger’s seat just a few minutes from our destination, clueless that her life was about to change forever!

The family that she went to has another hound that they had rescued just a few months ago, two rescue cats, and three kiddos (the oldest is four!), so lonely is something this little girl will never be!  Of course I teared up when I left (and then ugly cried in the truck lol I’ve become so attached to this one), but seeing how happy she is in the pictures her new mom has posted to FB and texted me, I know she is right where she is supposed to be!

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Once I cleared away the snot and tears, I realized how famished I was.  It was after 4pm and I hadn’t had anything but a Larabar all day.  I used the Happy Cow app to find a veg-friendly place.  The closest one was a place called Cootie Brown’s.  The name cracked me up, and it was 2 miles away, so I drove straight there and had a delicious grilled veggie sandwich.

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I also used my dining-alone time to find a hotel.  I had told the rescue and the adopters that I would spend the night just in case anything went wrong and Penny needed to come back with me–plus I have a friend in Bristol that I haven’t seen in years, so that was a HUGE bonus and incentive to stay the night!  But I was on my own for that evening because Rebecca couldn’t meet me till the next day.  I had noticed road signs on my drive there that said “Asheville” so I knew I was only about an hour away.  I have always wanted to see the Biltmore Estates, so I came VERY close to driving on to Asheville to get a hotel so I could get up and go tour the Estates the next morning, but I ended up talking myself out of it.  It was supposed to rain the next morning, and the web site said that one should allow 6-8 hours to tour the entire grounds.  I was supposed to meet Beck at noon, so I nixed those plans (which turned out to be a good thing because it rained its ASS off the next morning).

The most reasonable hotel I found was a Red Roof Inn just a couple of miles from where I was sitting eating my dinner.  It was only $60 but it had mixed reviews.  I figured I’d give it a drive-by and check it out before I booked.  The grounds and lobby were super well-kept and the front desk dude was super polite (and spoke English!) so I took it.  I couldn’t be more pleased with the room!  And I didn’t know that Red Roof Inns were pet friendly, so I’ll definitely keep them in mind from now on when I need to travel with pups in tow.

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Small but squeaky clean with a comfortable bed and pillows.  For $60.  Can’t beat that.  And the location was great.  It was within walking distance to a little strip mall with a Target, Books A Million, Pier 1, and TJ Maxx.  A little retail therapy was just what the doctor ordered after my emotional day.  haha

I came back to the room, called the hubs, turned on the tube, and was out like a light before 9:00.  I slept longer and harder than I can remember sleeping in a looooong time.  Funny how you can do that when you don’t have a snoring/tossing/turning husband sharing your space or a cat pawing at your head or demanding breakfast.  I slept until 6:30 and only woke up then because I was having a horrible dream about one of my dogs.  Leftover feels from the previous day, I’m sure.  I lounged around for a little while then got up and headed to my friendly neighborhood Starbucks.

Helllooooo cinnamon chai soy latte!
Helllooooo cinnamon chai soy latte!

As fate would have it, the Starbucks was directly across the street from a mall, so wiih still a couple of hours to kill before meeting Beck I headed to the mall for a little continued retail therapy.  The universe must have known I needed to do a little shopping before our NYC trip coming up!  I came away from the whole trip with three super cute outfits, a cardigan that I can wear over two of them if it’s cool, and a pair of sandals on the cheap.

I totally ate my words and bought a shorts romper suit.  It's acceptable for 35-year-olds to shop at Forever 21, yes?
I totally ate my words and bought a shorts romper suit. It’s acceptable for 35-year-olds to shop at Forever 21, yes?

Then it was time to meet Beck!  And like a terrible blogger, we didn’t take a single picture.  But we enjoyed a fabulous couple of hours over a delicious meal and fell right back into place where we left off the last time we saw each other about 12 years ago.  Yes, we’ve sort of kept in touch through FB, but there’s just nothing like face-to-face girl time.  We ended our visit with hugs and promises not to let it be another decade before we see each other, and I began the long drove home.

Sunday… I have no idea where Sunday went.  It started out normal.  I got up, made my coffee, and had some breakfast before 8.  I sat around and caught up on blogs, paid bills, etc., till D left to go to work sometime around 9:30ish.  Then I decided I wanted to start “unfucking my habitat.”  haha  I started with my closet.  Somehow it was around 10 when I went into my closet and much, much later when I came out, but the whole “unfucking” deserves its own post.

I grabbed Bella and Harley and took them to the park for a walk…which took forever.  There were SO. MANY. SMELLS.  haha

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Then when we got home I decided it was time to try out my leg.  It’s been almost a month since I’ve tried to run, at which time I was able to run 800 x 3 with walking and stretching in between, and by the end of the last one I was limping.  Since then I’ve had fairly marked improvement (although still not as much as I or my orthopedist would like).  I’ve changed physical therapists at his recommendation, to see what someone else can offer.  My pain level without anti-inflammatories is now where it was with them just a few weeks ago, but OMG can I just get healed already?!?!  It’s been over two months!!!  Anyway, I set out at a very slow pace with no plans other than stopping when it hurt too badly.  I was actually fairly pleased.  I ran one mile, walked a quarter-mile, stretched, ran another mile, and walked the quarter-mile home.  It was hard to get started again at the start of that second mile, but then it loosened up a bit and I was able to continue.  It was very uncomfortable by the end, but not anywhere near the level of pain I had at the end of my last attempted run.  I stretched and rolled the ever-loving shit out of it, but as I went about my evening I felt it getting more painful.  I popped my first anti-inflammatory in several days, and as I sit here now, the pain is almost back to where it was pre-run.  So although the improvement is not coming as swiftly as I’d like it to come… it’s coming.  Thank God.  Just in time, too.  I’ve been inching closer and closer toward a dark place with every day I don’t run.  Today, even though it wasn’t pain-free, I felt more like myself than I have in quite some time.

Baby steps.