a little and a lot

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Wake Me Up When September Ends?

Sorry for the delay. For the ONE MONTH delay. Where did September go? This post title is not to imply that I have disliked September, for it has been quite enjoyable. However, I have only a brief recollection of it... Time flies...!

(Also, I apologize for leaving my last sorry post up so long. Though Brooke's suggestion was a humorous thought, I have not actually been working on that video Kate requested. Sorry, Kate.)
Here's what I thought about September:

Yup, my very sweet husband surprised me with a trip to NYC! It was my fifth time to visit one of my favorite trip locations, and there was still a lot to see. I say "trip" because our New York visit helped us identify two separate kinds of "get-aways." There is the "trip," which is characterized by visiting a place and doing things. Then there is the "vacation," in which you visit a place and don't do anything. Nick and I enjoy both, but we have our preferences.
Examples: Going to the beach is a vacation (for most people) because you go to a location on the coast and relax on the beach (aka: don't do anything). This is my personal favorite type of getaway...I looooove to relax! Stick me on the beach/lake/mountains/canyons/countryside with a book, a blanket, some sunglasses, and some limeade, and I am one happy girl!

While I enjoy trips a lot (especially this one!), they are Nick's getaway of choice. He doesn't want to just lay on a beach...he wants to do something! Going to NYC is a trip because you go to this big, beautiful, bustling city and get a city pass, take the subway and walk to the Guggenheim, trek across Central Park to Columbus to get lunch, back across Central Park to the Met, to your hotel for a quick change, to Times Square to watch the Lion King, to the Museum of Modern Art, to Greenwich Village to stand in line at Magnolia Bakery for amazing cupcakes that you will adore and your husband will say are only mediocre, to the Financial District to take pictures in Battery Park and solemnly pay your respects at Ground Zero, finally taking a cab to dinner at City Crab for the best crab legs you will ever eat because they are sauteed in butter and garlic and already split open for you to daintily pick the meat out, hitting the Upper West Side to try out the traditional Sunday Bagels & Lox at Barney Greengrass, to the Natural Museum of History because why not? you've already been to every other famous museum, and then more walking, walking, walking on 5th Avenue because you really need to see the best Apple Store in person and want to try on some bling at Tiffany's but they have just closed so it's kind of bummer, and then back to your hotel for another quick change, after which you exitedly hurry to Radio City Music Hall to watch the one and only TONY BENNETT (and GUESTS, such as John Legend, James Taylor, Chris Botti, and kd lang), then after reeling from your coolest NYC experience ever you meander over to the Empire State Building thinking "it's 10:30pm on a foggy Sunday night...who else would want to do this right now?" only to find out that many other people actually would and you stand in line for your 0% visibility view which is still worth it because you made it to the top and always wanted to...
Well, you get my point, right? Though this trip exhausted us (and my feet have been altered for life), we had a fabulous time! (PS: All of that was done in more than one day...ha.)
Here are a few pics to enjoy while you ponder whether or not you are a vacation or trip person....

We love Andy Warhol (at the Modern Museum of Art)

Breakfast not included

Chillin in the lobby of the Natural Museum of History

After the Tony Bennett concert in Radio City Music Hall

So what is the deal with Manhattan women's obsession with ridiculously expensive high heel shoes? I have always been baffled by the idea of $600 heels. However, I feel that I have gained insight into this phenomenon after my recent visit to the city. These shoes costing a small fortune are a NECESSITY for city life. Everyone knows that more money equals more quality, and while the majority of us can live with cheap imitations (most of the time), a woman in NYC cannot fake the shoes. Those people walk more in a day than I do in a year! All around us on the subways and streets were pretty women walking in high heels. How DO they do it? I gawked and wondered. It has to be all about the shoes. The good ones are actually comfortable. Even Sarah Jessica Parker, who has brought inexpensive fashion to the masses with her Bitten line this year told Oprah NOT to ask about her shoes. She knows what's up.
So did I buy any Manolos while living it up in New York? Are you kidding?! My husband would have gone into cardiac arrest! (As well as our bank account!) I don't think he even knows shoes CAN cost that much! My Chacos carried me around the city in appropriate comfort, and that was just fine with me. After all, I'm just a Memphian.

So Friday night of our trip, we had tickets to see the Lion King on Broadway. Seeking to be true New Yorkers, we were dressy casual (whatever that means!), and I work dark denim with a black silk sleeveless top. (And Merrells until we reached the theatre and I put on my fancy black shoes...ha.)

As we approached the subway, we passed a Starbucks where they were handing out those cute tiny samples of Pumpkin Spice Frappaccinos. I said, "Yes, thank you," as I gleefully plucked one off of the tray. Nick reminded me that we believe something in the pumpkin spice lattes gives me mouth ulcers (boo!) and warned me against drinking it. Well it was so pretty with its perfectly REAL whipped topping and dash of cinnamon on the top. I decided I would compromise with myself and only lick off the whipped topping.

We stepped onto the subway and I began to enjoy my creamy delight. As I was trying to get every last bit of whipped cream off of the top of my tiny cup, I began tipping it towards me. (You can probably tell where this is going, right?) Eventually the frozen goodness on the bottom became not so frozen and dribbled generously down the front of my shirt. I did not even realize this (as I was dedicated to fully enjoying my treat) until Nick said in a half despairing, half exasperated voice, "Ohhhhhh Jesse!" I looked down to see a stream of orange running down my black silk top.

At this point I surprised myself. Myself would have freaked out. But instead, myself just laughed and laughed. Still riding the subway, with no napkins in sight, Nick did the first thing that came to his mind. He took his hand and started rubbing the pumpkin frap INTO the silk. "Nooooo!" I laughed, but magically it disappeared. Together, we rubbed the rest of the mess into the shirt. Voila. It was as if nothing had happened. (Except I smelled faintly of potpourri.)

So the next time you plan to get stuck on a New York subway train with bright orange frappaccino on your shirt, please make sure you wear silk. It might make all the difference.

I make soup every Wednesday. That is our busiest day of the week and so I typically chop everything up in the morning, throw it all into the crock pot, and serve it up when I come home before we head out again. There is usually enough left over to freeze and eat again on the following 2 or 3 Wednesdays. I thought I would share one of my favorite soup recipes with you:

(PS: I usually don't add turnip or cabbage to my soup because we are not big fans.

Some tricks if you are in a hurry: I always buy pre-diced onions because I HATE doing it myself. Divide enough for one onion into a plastic snack bag and continue until the whole package is bagged. Then put in one big freezer bag and freeze. When you need some diced onion, you can pull a bag out of the freezer and just sautee as usual.

You could probably buy pre-chopped carrots and celery too if you were in a big rush, but I always just run mine over my mandoline slicer super quick and it takes no time at all.)

Basic Veggie Soup
(Leanne Ealy, author of Saving Dinner)
Serves 12

2 cans diced tomatoes -- undrained
1 large onion -- chopped
4 cloves garlic -- pressed
2 tablespoons olive oil -- divided
2 large carrots -- chopped
2 small celery stalks -- chopped
1 medium turnip -- chopped
2 cups green beans -- cut in 1" pieces
6 cups chicken broth
1/4 head cabbage -- chopped
1/2 teaspoon thyme
salt and pepper to taste
2 small russet potatoes -- peeled and chopped

In a large soup pot, heat the one tablespoon of the olive oil overmedium high heat. Add the onion and cook till nearly translucent, nowadd the garlic. Don't let the garlic brown and saute another couple of minutes.
Add the rest of the chopped veggies, sauteing for just a minute or two. You're not cooking them just sauteing for the wonderful flavorthis quick step will infuse in your soup. Add the thyme and salt and pepper while sauteing.

Now put the veggies in the crock-pot, add the tomatoes and broth. Cook on low 7-9 hours (depending on your crock-pot) or high 4-6 hours (but all crock-pots are different, depending on size, age, brand etc. Remember, your mileage may vary). Just before serving, gently mash some of the potato chunks against the side of the crock-pot to thicken the soup, give it a stir and serve.

Per serving: 88 Calories; 4g Total Fat; (35% calories from fat); 5gProtein; 2g Dietary Fiber; 9g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 658mg SodiumFood Exchanges: 0 Grain (Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 0 Fruit;1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates


Larissa Smith said...

Welcome back! I am extremely beyond jealous of your TRIP to NY, though I am typically a vacation girl as well, but there is something special about that place. Loved reading your summary! I can pass on heels and Andy Warhol, though, so that makes me feel a little better :)

Kudos on the disappearing frap trick. Who knew silk could be so helpful?

Tesney said...

OK, I completely loved this post b/c NYC is our FAVORITE destination in the U.S. We made a pact to go once a year but we've slacked since Clayton eats up most of our trip (using the term correctly) funds. Also, you've inspired me to write about our last visit to the Guggenheim...hilarious story to be posted soon...

Ashley @ pure and lovely said...

ok wow. im in story shock. I feel like I waited forever, and I'm so glad you posted ab NY! LOVE the subway story, and I totally remember that moment on Oprah with SJP. Her new line is fab. I've always wondered what the deal is with the expensive shoe obession, but I also think if you work in NY you make more, anyway??? hmmmm. Glad you guys had fun! that is definitely a TRIP. not a vacay. ;) you woulda lost me at financial district if I'd tried to keep up with you guys all day in my big basketball belly.

Blessed said...

I've been waiting for a new post from you, and this one was worth waiting for!!!

NYC is my favorite "trip" destination for sure! So fun! I love the beach, but I am more of a "trip" girl. I like to GO, GO, GO on my trips and see it all. I get up much earlier on these "trips" than I even do at home, just to fit it all in. I'd love to do NY again, but with a baby, I guess it might be awhile. We did just do Chicago with him and even drug him around town for 13 hours on Saturday. It was his first "trip" and he loved it. Check out my blog!

I am jealous that you got to eat cupcakes at Magnolia's. Rachel Ray was there last night on her show and it made me want one so bad. YUM!

Oh, and The Lion King on Broadway is my favorite thing to do EVER!

I am so jealous I can hardly stand it.

ashley said...

what an awesome surprise trip. i hope i get surprised like that! (too bad rudy hates reading blogs, but feel free to pass on the hint! we're the exact same as you - i prefer vacations and rudy prefers trips, but we enjoy both. i've missed seeing you guys.

Mitzi said...

NYC is our favorite "trip" location. You got to do some really amazing things. We saw Lion King while we were there. It is just fabulous! I totally agree that the beach is a vacation and NYC is a trip. We love both.

Unknown said...

Don't call it a comeback, folks. She was already here. (LL Cool J--right??)

What a great return post! It's also great that you and Nick have already assessed the ying and yang of "trips" and "vacations" as related to your relationship. For some reason (probably an abject lack of funds for said excursions), this took Chris and I a long time to figure out and we're only now having weirdly awkward discussions when we're supposed to be having fun and planning our dream journeys. So good on you!

Thanks for the soup inspiration. I've recently busted out Ye Olde Crock Pot but hadn't ventured beyond pot roast, so now I'll try soup.

Adopting Rhet: Click on the timeline above to read more