Thursday, April 29, 2010

Concluding New York

After Colicchio & Sons, I walked back to 7th Avenue to check out the internet cafe that I had walked by. I needed my communication fix and didn't intend to pay 37 cents/minute at the Roosevelt Hotel.
Granted, I have spent more while traveling. I have gotten suckered by $6.95 for 15 minutes. Several times, in fact, in San Francisco. It is too much....I know this, but I justify the cost because I want to stay connected to the internet, on some level. Or, I enjoy writing about my food, while traveling, and so I have paid stupid amounts of money for limited time. It is foolish and I recognize it!
In NYC, I was curious about the internet cafe factor. It was in an ice cream parlor and the cost was $5 per half hour. This was better than I had anticipated and so I did it. Thirty minutes of checking e-mail, my blog and updating my status. Yes, it had to be done. I wanted to mention my lunch near Bobby Flay.
It started to rain and as I made my way back to Midtown, my friend, Mark, called. Finally, we were going to get together for one on one time. He suggested Grand Central Station. He told me to meet him at the information booth. I agreed, without having any idea where anything was located in Grand Central Station. I figured I would ask when I entered. Naive, about how large/congested Grand Central was.
Mark realized this and so he met me outside. We entered the massive station and I saw the market aspect of it---cheese, flowers, items for sale. There were a few restaurants. Not to mention, the oyster bar that had been suggested by the dining couple at Bar Baloud.
Anyways, Mark and I have drinks and converse, finally, on Wednesday afternoon. I had been wanting to meet with him outside of Daniel since I arrived in the city. Mark is user friendly--the restaurant factor--and interesting. I wanted to thank him for all of his suggestions and friendship. He had fantastic recommendations and helped me navigate the city.
From there, I returned to the Roosevelt, showered, and took my first cab to Tribeca. Again, Mark recommended a restaurant and called ahead to put my name on the list. Muni agreed to meet me, again.
I arrived and the place was packed. L'Ocanda Verde was a gem. Bottle of wine, red--obviously, lamb sliders, crab bruschetta, scallops and a side dish of mushrooms. Our meal was coursed and enabled us time to have a lengthy conversation about living in the city. Muni might be relocating. I would miss him. He is a great regular; but, if I had the opportunity to live in New York, I would take it. There would be no question. I would do it!
We finished with coffee and a cheese plate. I wasn't too thrilled with the server's suggestions regarding the cheeses, but outside of that, the restaurant was fantastic.
Cab back to Midtown, sleep, and then the morning trek back to Denver.
Sad. So sad to be leaving.
I have inspiration to return and friends to see. Dirty Chris eluded me. His schedule in Queens was too demanding or something. And, Mike Carroll was working in Astoria. Next time. There will always be next time.
Yes, the Big Apple pleases, inspires and thrills.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I want to go on a trip in May. I must.
I am perplexed as to where to go. There are flight specials to the west---which I love; but, I do not know where to go for 3 days.
I considered Phoenix. I am fearful that if I fly to Phoenix, Jan will not come to Denver in June. She won't. I know her. I like the idea of the cheap flight to Phoenix, place to stay chambord margaritas at Z'Tejas, but Phoenix is out.
I called Michaela and Jade, about Portland. Michaela was all for it. Jade e-mailed to say that a Monday-Thursday trip was a bad idea. She works Monday-Wednesday and since I wanted to spend Wednesday in Portland, it wouldn't be good for them.
I love, love, love San Francisco...I do. Absolutely, adore that city. Plus, it is near Napa/Sonoma where I can wine taste for forever--really. I love wine country.
Los Angeles is too spread out. I know I could catch a Dodgers game or find a foodie spot. I know there are several restaurants that are ripe to be checked out. L.A. could be an option and flights are cheap.
San Diego...similar to L.A....spread out, but food/beer friendly. It could be an option.
I was in Seattle in February. I am not ready to wreak havoc on Jean's life, again. I think she needs a break, from me and my food desires.
Vegas is well, Vegas. Food is always an option since there are ample chef's places in numerous hotels. Plus, since the city is hurting, there are many specials on hotels, too. And, I figure, I could check out Flay's place, again. Or, head to Alex and catch a Cirque du Soleil show.
A friend of mine that I completely respect--travel wise, and in other ways--suggested Idaho. Stanley, Idaho, specifically. Any thoughts?
Or, one of my co-workers, Hummel, said Moab. I could drive there.
Tahoe is food friendly, right? The flight to Reno must be short.
I am on the fence with if I want to fly or just drive to my next destination. If I drive, I could go to Santa Fe and the surrounding areas. I know this and I always have a fine time there.
Or, I could drive west to Utah or western Colorado. But, is 3 days enough?
Where would you go? I could use the inspiration.....

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Presently--a day off....

I love days off.
I know. I probably do not need it. I had 6 days off, last week, to run a 1/2 marathon and explore NYC. Yes, I should probably work to finance another adventure.
I am considering a trip to Portland. I need to see my sisters and it has been a year and a half since my last trip. I can stay with Michaela--I think--one night and hopefully, with Jade, too. Otherwise, I will be couch surfing or hotel bound. Either way, it isn't terrible to stay in a hotel in Oregon. I would like to spend one night in Portland. I will need a restaurant fix. Eugene is nice, but small, and recently, I have read that Portland is a destination city in terms of food. I am ready to check it out. I will fly into Portland since the flight specials are into that airport, not Eugene. From there, I am considering a shuttle, train, or rental car. I really am not interested in a car. I will not need it in Eugene or in Portland. Since the train is an option, I think that will be my choice. I know that I could ask Jade or Michaela to pick me up, but it isn't convenient, for them. I know they would prefer me finding my own transport to and from the airport.
I had considered Phoenix. I have friends there and I love visiting. It is a cheap flight, quick, efficient and they have great restaurants. I am a D'Back's fan and it is baseball season. It has been years since I have seen them on their home field. Ironically, tonight I will see them in Denver. Yea--my first Rockies game of the season.
But, my girlfriend, Jan, that I stay with, is trying to visit me in Denver, in June. I know, truly, if I fly there in May, she will not come here in June. Every year, she threatens to visit me and each passes with no trip to Denver. This year, I want it to be different. I want her to visit me. So, I will head northwest instead of southwest.
Or, Santa Fe continues to entice me. Ten Thousand Waves, spending time with my girlfriend, Melody, or just exploring the city. It is a quick road trip and I always enjoy it. I am interested in Madrid, New Mexico, too. I feel drawn to the area.
Today, though, I will enjoy my day off at the Rockies game, later, and with Sara Jo, for lunch. I miss her and it has been a week. I need to catch her up on my trip to NYC and see how she has been faring in Denver. Her job is demanding and so we have to plan, in advance, our wine dates. Today is the day and I am stoked!
I have more to write about my trip to New York, but I wanted to write about my current life. Upcoming travel, friends in Denver and activities that I can do here.
Oh, and I am committed to the reducing showers and so far, it has been successful. Shaving extended my non hair washing day a minute or two; but,I still feel good about it. I hope your challenge is successful, as well! Enjoy your Tuesday.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Wednesday morning

9 a.m.
Somehow, I could not wake up before nine in New York. Running at Central Park eluded me for the second straight day in a row.
I showered, got a cup of coffee at Cosi and headed up Park Avenue towards the Brooklyn Bridge. My intention was to walk across it, or on it, and release some of Brian's ashes. I try to do take him, with me, everywhere I travel. I like the idea of water and felt that that bridge would be the ideal spot. That or the Empire State building. Still, the bridge beckoned.
I walked up Broadway and saw Strand's bookshop. My foodie/wine friend, Huston, had mentioned how fantastic that book store was. I wanted to check it out after I made it to the bridge.
I kept heading up Broadway and saw many stores, coffee shops, restaurants. Each area was so lively.
Finally, at the bridge, I started my walk across it. There were people selling bottled water, key chains, t-shirts. Plus, all of the tourists that, like me, were searching for the ideal spot to take a photo.
The Brooklyn Bridge is over water, of course, but the pedestrian walkway is in the center of the road. The water is near the walkway, but it isn't like walking over the Golden Gate Bridge. I thought about releasing the ashes at Central Park or elsewhere, but for whatever reason, it seemed right to continue with my original plan. I encountered a square walkway which served as a more in depth look out point. I felt peaceful and so I released the ashes. I had a girl take my photo and I took a few moments to myself to feel peace in my heart.
Afterwards, I walked back to Manhattan and was determined to go to the World Trade Center site. I walked past the turn off and saw that I was at the Staten Island Ferry. I entered the building and saw the Statue of Liberty, in the distance. It was a brilliant site, but I was uninterested in the ferry to Staten Island. Hunger pains dictated my next course of action.
I did find the WTC site. Eerie, and melancholy. The energy around it forced me to hurry and not linger in the area. It felt sad. so sad.
I walked past several vendors and almost stopped for felafel or a hot dog. However, I knew that I was near Colicchio & Sons. I wanted to go there.
I walked past Strand's. Opportunity missed. Food was needed.
I turned at Union Square and headed into the Chelsea. The streets were longer and a little more residential. People were present, but it wasn't as chaotic as walking up Park or Broadway.
I walked across 7th Avenue and noticed an internet cafe. I knew that I would definitely make a stop there. I wanted to check my e-mail and reconnect with technology. The Roosevelt wanted 37 cents a minute which seemed spendy. I wanted to see how the cafe would compare.
I walked into Colicchio & Sons and headed towards the bar. It was late and the restarant didn't have many diners. I looked over the menu and a few items stood out. Octopus and Potato appetizer. Pork sandwich. Mortadella, gouda, and ramp pizza.
I knew that I would dine with Muni, later, and didn't know how heavy I wanted to eat at lunch. The octopus was out since I had the exact same arrangement at Motorino. The pork sandwich, well, I have had some bad experiences with pork and so although, I was interested, it wasn't enough to tempt me into ordering it.
I asked the bartender his opinion. He said, the octopus or the pork are both fantastic! I continued to decide, but ordered a kolsch to drink.
They had a wonderful beer selection--draft and bottled. I commented on that and Brent, the bartender, said--yes, we hear that often.
I chose the pizza. I like ramps. I like mortadella and gouda. What could go wrong with that combination?
In NYC and Chicago--I have noticed--solo diners are asked if they are interested in reading the paper while in the bar. I like that. There is something to be said about noticing the details of service.
I read about the food network and chatted up Brent. Picking at the pizza, I ordered a rose' to accompany the pizza. It sounded good.
Midway through lunch, I look up and notice Bobby Flay sitting at the bar. I almost fall over. I mean, honestly, I had hoped that Colicchio would be in his restaurant. I would have been the annoying fan, to him, but of course, he is filming Top Chef Washington and in and out of Colicchio & Sons. Flay, not a big fan of his.
He ordered the exact same pizza, I had, and kept to himself and his dining partner. I had no intention of approaching him. I knew that he wanted to enjoy his lunch and I am not enamored with him. He appears pompous on tv and smug, in person. I did text Tiffany and Casey to let him know that misfortune or celebrity sitings. They both laughed and Casey responded with--I know how much you love Bobby.
In all fairness, I did dine at Masa Grill in Vegas and it was great. I enjoyed the cocktails and brunch. I just wasn't interested in approaching him.
He left and left a nice tip for Brent. I concluded my time with a glass of shiraz. Again, nostalgia ruled. I had a glass from the Barossa and continued to think over dinner options with Brent, a few servers and the other solo diner at the bar. Beacon was suggested along with some restaurant in the Mandarin Hotel. The view, supposedly, was stunning.
Finally, I decided to leave and enjoy the sunshine. Truly, I could have stayed at the restaurant since I was enjoying myself, too much. Had I, I definitely wouldh't have made it to dinner.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Motorino and other stops....

I had a dinner date with Muni at 7. Tuesday night, that is.
I showered and was watching cable tv in the Roosevelt. Yes, hotels are nice for the tv factor. FX is a god send. AMC, too. Traffic intrigued me. What a great flick. I watched it, at the theatre, with Brandon, in Phoenix in 2000 or 2001. Love that flick!
Anyways, I left the hotel and knew that I had a ways to walk. I chose Park Ave. til 16th and then headed east til 2nd Ave. I liked the feel of those streets. I sent Muni a text saying that I would be there in 5.
I arrived just after 7.
Motorino was tiny. I requested a table for two and was dismayed that the only available table was super tiny, backed up to the kitchen and adjacent to the bathroom. On many levels this table sucked.
But, we didn't have many options. I wanted to eat. The only table, available, was terrible.
Muni arrived. We greeted, each other, and he ordered a drink. I had a beer, knowing that I would want wine after.
Muni is an adventurous diner. I was grateful. We chose an octopus and potoato salad as an appetizer. It could use some salt; but, I enjoyed it.
We perused the pizza options. Motorino is an artisan pizzeria. I told Muni he could choose it since I really wanted the octopus appetizer.
He picked a soppressata pizza--garlic, thyme, soppressata. We considered the cremini mushroom or brussel sprout. The waiter recommended two pies. There were two of us. However, we wanted to check out other places and so two pies seemed like two much.
Yes, the restaurant was fantastic--intimate, flavorful and ideal for a lighter fared restaurant. Afterwards, I wanted to be closer to my hotel and so I had hoped to walk closer to my hotel.
We stopped at a bar to have a cocktail and then decided we wanted more wine. Muni's phone enabled more locations, directions, subway guidelines, etc. He directed me towards the station and we got on the W train. He thought we were supposed to get off at Astoria. For whatever reason, I knew that that was too far. I told him--let's just get off.
We did.
We were in Time Square. I knew exactly where I was.
He found a wine bar, on-line, and we walked in. He needed to urinate and so I perused the wine list. I noticed 4 Israeli red wines. I commetned to the bartender-wow, do you sell many of these?
He goes--yes, we are a kosher wine bar.
I suppose, that would explain it.

Muni returns. I order a bottle of pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa. Always, nostalgic for distant lands.
Muni has a sweet tooth and I had no idea. Chocolate cake, bottle of pinotage and Tuesday night concluded. I walked back by Wichcraft and into the Roosevelt. Yes, Tueday, too, was successful.
No running, but many goals achieved.

Returning to New York adventure

After lunch at Bar Baloud, I checked out Jean George. The couple mentioned that it would be difficult to get in without a jacket. Meaning, the place required a certain decorum when entering and I knew they would adhere to the policy. I mean, it's NYC, not Las Vegas, where they suggest a jacket or not wearing sandals, and I have dined with sandals many a times in Las Vegas. Well, Vegas is different. They want you to fully enjoy yourself, spend more $$$$ than intended and if you want to dine at a spendy restaurant, do it. We suggest a certain appearance, but can overlook it if you aren't acting like a complete jackass....
I digress. I looked at the menu and thought about lunch. Convenience was a factor. I kept telling myself that I would run at Central Park! I must do it. So, I checked out the menu and left. I went back to Central Park and noticed that nothing had changed. The band played on and there were more people listening to them while others enjoyed a leisurely afternoon in the park.
I kept moving and headed towards Times Square. I was curious about a show, but knew, it would not be a reality for me. I had Michaela's voice in the back of my head--screaming--go see a show...make it happen. I knew that would was my target button. Next time a show will occur.
I walked through Times Square and waited for a phone call from Mark. I was determined to see him. I wanted to thank him, in person, for the amazing meal at Daniel. And, he arranged most of my meals, for me, in the end. He had valid suggestions, found addresses and called to set up reservations if need be. I wanted to have a conversation with my friend.
Well, since he works in a restaurant, I do understand things happen quickly. I cannot tell you how many times we are short staffed and you just roll with it. You adapt and keep moving. It is not an option to shut down because you are short staffed. You buck up and take the hits, you know?
So, Mark called and things had changed for him. He asked if I could meet him Wednesday instead and I said, of course. He asked me where I was dining for dinner and I laughed and said, I don't know. What do you suggest?
He pointed me towards a pizzeria, Motorino, on 12th St. I texted my friend, Muni, and said, if you want to meet me in the city, I am dining at Motorino. He agreed to meet me.
I took another afternoon stroll on 2nd Ave. this time. I didn't really love the vibe and so I knew that I would be walking up a diffferent street to arrive at Motorino.
I saw more of the city and had a relaxing afternoon. I know that I could have been more ambitious and went to MOMA. It was right by my hotel. I kept thinking--I have more time tomorrow. I will do it tomorrow.
What is the saying, in a New York minute, the world changes?
I ran out of time, simply and purely, to honor anything outside of the food factor. I had goals, in mind, for this trip.
1) Dining at Daniel--accomplished.
2) Meeting Mark for drinks--accomplished.
3) Brooklyn Bridge--accomplished.
4) Central Park--accomplished.
5) Times Square--accomplished.
6) Running at Central Park--fail, but really tried to get up and do it.
7) Colicchio & Sons--acommplished.
8) Seeing Dirty Chris--he failed, but I think he is a flake most of the time.
9) Finding Manraj and dining with him, once, and it turned into twice--accomplished.
10)Buying and sending postcards---HUGE FAIL--I am very disappointed in myself. I saw several vendors in Time Square that offered 10 for $1. Again, I put off this task.
11) Seeing a show, time permitting---FAIL, FAIL, FAIL.....
12) Strand's for books--walked by it on Broadway, intended to return, but got distracted by food pains.
13) Enjoy myself and hopefully want to return for another visit--absolutely.

Yes, my trip was awesome. It was reaffirmed that I really, truly, adore traveling and meeting people. Now, I am off to work so that I can finance another adventure....

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Trying to be Green

Earth Day was April 22nd. We had a growler special in honor of the day and I know most businesses did something to celebrate the day.
I was on a plane. My celebration of the "green day" consisted of flying back to Denver, getting on a shuttle to my car and ordering take-out. In many ways--fail--driving and take-out with containers.
I failed, but there was some success. Instead of taking a taxi to the airport, I boarded a bus, with 45 other people. I walked to the bus stop; again, another green option.
In many ways, I have been trying to become more green in my life. I carry a to-go coffee cup instead of purchasing a throw away cup.
I walk, most, everywhere in Denver. Not only am I saving money on gas, but I am enjoying the sunshine and the lack of stress that occurs when I drive. I get extremely frustrated with other drivers. I know--shocker!
I hope to have my bike serviced so that I can begin biking to work. The bus is not an option since it quits servicing the area after 5 pm. Biking would enable me another option to get to and from work. Walking at 2 in the morning does not appear to be too promising or optional, at this point.
I read the weekly, Change the World Challenge on Wednesday, posted by Reduce Footprints. I enjoy their blog and follow the challenges. I participate when I am able to and interested in the challenge.
In honor of Earth Day, I am participating this week. I am modifying it, though, a little, so that I am able to make it work.
Here it goes--
For this week, reduce your showers by 50%. Shower every other day.

For me, this is not an option. Not because I am unwilling, but due to work and ability to sleep. I shower, often, after work. I need to. I am coated with beer, wing sauce and liquor. Did I mention the beer? Dogs love my shoes. My co-worker, Tiffany, had a dog, Anna, who would guard my work shoes if I went over to Tiffany's house after work. Anna protected them from the other dogs and groomed my shoes, at will.
Seriously, as it gets warmer, a shower is a must, after work.
Here is what I propose to do. I will cut the amount of time I spend in the shower by half and wash my hair, every other day. I hope to shower in 5 minutes or less on days that I am not washing my hair.
For one week, I believe I can do this. Can you?
While in New York, my showers were swift since there was little pressure and the shower was consistently lukewarm. Showers are a luxury and I intend to speed mine up and minimize the excess.
Good luck!

Tuesday morning/afternoon in the city

Monday was largely successful--flight departed on time; arrived at LGA and found the right bus to jump on; met a girl to help get me on the appropriate subway; found a spot/beer for lunch; napped; walked to Daniel and had an amazing meal.
Yes, Monday, in New York, was successful.
I had hoped to wake up early, Tuesday, and run at Central Park. Unfortunately, I was recovering from the 1/2 marathon on Sunday and my body needed rest. I woke up at 9. In reality, had I been in Denver, 7 o'clock is the ideal time to wake. Coffee, light run, great beginning to a new day.
But, I wasn't in Denver and 9 am seemed to be late to be getting up in the city. I had a leisurely morning and then walked up to the park. Wow, what an experience! People everywhere. I entered on the south side of the park and found a bench to sit on to people watch while listening to a makeshift band of 3 play jazz music. Not bad either. There was a small crowd gathered to enjoy the performance.
I had lunch plans at Bar Boulud--compliments of my friend, Mark. Lunch had been set up for 1 pm and so I had more time to wander the city. I walked on the west side of the park and encountered several more tourists, foreigners and locals.
As it neared 1 pm, I walked towards Trump Tower since Bar Boulud was on Broadway between 60th-64th St. I saw cameras set up and knew that I was about to see some sort of filming. I continue up the block and see Jeff Goldblum and an episode of Law & Order being filmed. I still don't know the female lead's name, but I recognized Jeff Goldblum. Tall, handsome-still, and commanding.
It was funny to watch the crew touch up hair and make-up. The cast seemed used to this and didn't really alter from their performance. Cops corraled us off of the street and kept us in order, around the show. I watched for a bit and then headed on my way. There was more food to discover.
In Bar Baloud, I sat at a table. I prefer dining at the bar, but it wasn't that accessible. I was seated in a row of tables set up for 2. The space was limited. As the restaurant filled up, I watched customers try to haggle for a booth. These two ladies tried the tactic of--last time we were here, we were seated at a booth, without a reservation--yada, yada, yada...or, I really want a booth...why can't we sit there?
No, I don't want to be seated here. Fine, take me back to the front...
I noticed a community table in the back, when Daniel arrived. I think that would have been preferable to me to engage the other diners. However, I had already settled into my space.
An older couple sat to my left, and an Asian couple sat to my right. I had ordered a Duvel, belgian beer, and the croque madame sandwich. Mark had suggested it. I knew it was rich and would be overwhelming, but I wanted a gourmet sandwich. A croque madame is a ham and cheese sandwich with bechamel sauce, topped with an over easy egg. Delicious, yes, rich, of course, and I ate as much as I could of it. Truly, the sandwich was too much for me. I ordered a rose', midway through the meal.
The Asian couple chose the exact same sandwich, each of them, had the croque madame. They ate the entire plate, essentially, as I watched in awe. Seriously, the sandwich was filling. The woman drank water as her companion drank a fruit inspired soda drink. He had an appetizer, as she watched him eat. I was surprised that they finished the croque madame.
The older couple seemed standoffish and not happy to be dining together if that makes sense. They appeared obligatory diners until after the meal. I always think it is odd when one person orders a drink while the other drinks water, undecided, until after the server has completely walked away. I watched this happen with them. The man chose a beer and the woman, sat patiently until after they had ordered their respective meals. Eventually, she requested the drink menu, again, to decide on a beverage.
The man finished his sandwich and the woman picked at her meal. She placed her silverware across the plate and the server tried to take the plate away and she became indignant--I am not finished!
It seemed ridiculous since she hadn't touched the plate in a while and her silveware indicated that she wanted her plate taken.
I do enjoy watching other people's dining experiences.
They stood out, to me, because they did begin a conversation with me prior to their departure. They asked me if it was my first time in the city and recommended a few places to check out. They said, Jean George, which was in the Trump Tower or an oyster bar in Grand Central Station. Apparently, there are 30 different types of oysters to choose from. Intrigued, it almost became an option for me. Next trip, for sure. They suggested seeing a matinee or a show of sort. I wish I had made time to go to the theatre, but I had not. I was too focused on the food.
Before I left Bar Boulud, I thanked Daniel, again, for the lovely experience at his restaurant. He appeared gracious and kind.
They brought me a simple dessert and I had coffee. The dessert was perfect--light, and the coffee, I enjoyed.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Monday evening

Monday night, I dined at Daniel.
I had the opportunity to do so since I had met the pastry chef, Mark Fiorentino, at a fundraiser that we held in Denver, in 2007. He did a live cooking demonstration at our one event.
I met him before the event and then I think I thanked him, afterwards. It was an emotional night for me. We held the fundraiser on the one year anniversary of Brian's death. I was reliving what had happened a year ago, dealing with my family/friends who didn't know what to say to me, but were extremely supportive; and, apprehensive about the speech that I had to give. Meeting Mark was thrown in the mix and a passing moment.
When I chose to go to New York, I e-mailed Mark. I wanted to thank him, in person, for his contribution to our successful night and since he was a food guy, I wanted to pick his brain about restaurants.
He responded and we agreed that we would try to get together while I was in the city. Last Saturday, he called me and said that he would unavailable on Monday night, but I could dine at Daniel or any of their restaurants, if I was so inclined.
I wanted to dine at Daniel.
Fortunately, it was close to my hotel. I could walk there and cab it back if I felt unsafe. I napped in the afternoon since I was unable to sleep on the flight. Refreshed, I walked up Madison until 65th St. There it was--Daniel, the flagship of Daniel Boulud. I returned to the hotel by walking up Park and I liked the energy on Park. Whereever I walked, I was always surrounded by people. The streets were never empty.
I showered and trekked, in heels, back to Daniel. That was difficult. I rarely wear heels, but I felt the occasion called for it.
I walk into Daniel and am greeted by Daniel, himself. I sit at the bar and he offers me a cocktail. I am in awe, of him, and how this played out. I mean, I hoped to meet him, but wasn't expecting it. There he was and he was gracious. He chose their specialty drink, a white cosmo with an orchid ice cube, to keep it cool. I mentioned that I was from Denver and had met Mark at a fundraiser in Denver.
I looked at the menu. They had a 3, 6, or 8 course chef's tasting menu. I chose the 3 course so that I would be able to to dine at other establishments while in NY.
The meal was exceptional. Three courses became six and I ordered a bottle of red zin from Sonoma. I am a sucker for nostalgia. While in college, I drank Ridge, frequently, and since it was an option at Daniel, it seemed like the natural choice.
Jamie, the bartender, asked me--You aren't in a hurry, right?
I chose the sea urchin and black sea bass. Course #3 would be about the dessert. I wanted to check out one of Mark's creations.
The night of decadence commenced. They brought an amuse bouche which centered on water cress. Everything was asthetically pleasing and colorful.
Next, a crab cocktail with spice was placed in front of me. It was small and just the right amount of kick.
Afterwards, I was asked to choose between 6 breads. I love kalamata olive bread and so that was my first selection.
I was a solo diner and I watched several couples begin at the bar and head over to their dining area. I wanted to have some interaction with people and so I chose the bar. There were two female bartenders. One was super attentive to me and the other seemed standoffish.
My dining experience continued and lasted 3 hours. I tried a veloute with watercress, all pre course tasting menu. My first selection had been the sea urchin with meyer lemon and tapioca. It was beautiful and the flavors melted together. I was intrigued by the lemon factor. That inspired the choice.
I was offered more bread. About to decline, Jamie reminded me that Mark, my friend, made all of the bread for Daniel's 5 restaurants in NY. I opted for the garlic bread. It was amazing. It literally melted in my mouth and I could have filled up on that alone.
The black seabass arrived with a potato puree and celery root puree. I loved it.
Mark was about to depart for the evening and so he gave me a tour of the kitchen and building.
For dessert, I chose the cranberry lychee dessert and coffee. Prior to that choice, they brought me chocolate and beignets. My god! I was so full and so thankful for the amazing meal.
It definitely was one of the most exceptional meals/experiences in my life. Not to mention, it was comped. I have wonderful friends. I am still in awe over the entire meal at Daniel--meeting him, the food, service, tour, etc...absolutely fantastic! Plus, it was so close to my hotel that I welcomed the walk back to walk off some of the food. My first night in New York was a complete success. I invited Mark and his wife to Denver. I hope they take me up on it. I would love to take them out to dinner.
Daniel was a treat and I feel blessed for my friends and my decision to go to New York.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

My first encounter in the city

My flight left Denver at 7 a.m. Meaning, I was up at 4. I needed to ensure that I had everything for my adventure in the city.
I had Sara Jo check me into my flight since I was in Ft. Collins. I had my glasses, 4 pairs of shoes, my hotel address written down in multiple spots and money. I made sure that I had enough to enjoy the dining experience. If you are going to New York, you shouldn't be eating at McDonald's was my belief.
I foolishly thought I would sleep on the flight. Fail. Serious fail. I was too excited about the upcoming trip. Instead, I read a book, listened to my ipod and dreamed of landing in New York.
Finally, I enter La Guardia, somewhat dirty airport, but my gateway to New York. I walk to ground transportation and seek out the information booth. I explain to the agent that I want to take the subway to Grand Central Station since I was staying a block from it. She hands me a visitor map. She says, go outside, get on the Q33 until this station. Get on the 6, until Lexington, and transfer to the E train. I think or something. She said I would need a metro card and told me to walk down the corridor and get one.
I listened.
I did.
However, it was such a jumble of stops/places to watch out for. I was unfamiliar with where I needed to be and where I would be getting on the subway. I considered a taxi. I knew it would be spendy, but I thought, it is the quickest way to get to the Roosevelt.
Apparently, the cost was $35 plus meter. Too much. I walked outside to board a random bus.
I get on and keep repeating, this train, here, til this station and then transfer. I am nervous about getting lost, but figure I will deal with it. I keep dreaming of the food that I will soon be enjoying. The bus is filling up. I move my bag so that someone can sit by me, if need be. There is a girl sitting in front of me. She seems normal.
Suddenly, I hear this sound behind me. The hair on my neck stands up as I realize that there is some idiot clipping nails on the bus.
Incredulous! I try to block it out. I do. I cannot.
The bus keeps moving and this guy continues clipping, clipping, clipping. I text Jimmy since there was a guy on a plane ride to Vegas that busted out the clippers. That time, too, I was repulsed. The sound is grating.
Jimmy texted back and as I was explaining how long it had been going on, I couldn't help it anymore. I look at the girl, the normal looking one, and say--can you believe this guy? What else is he clipping? Has he moved onto his feet?
Because of this irritating man, I now had a friend. Alecia asked me about my visit to New York and than helped me find the right subway station and even gave me a quicker route. There would be no transfers. Thank you, to the little guy who had no manners! Alecia mentioned that she saw a girl, on a subway, not only clipping nails but also flossing her teeth. Yuck! Why? How? Where do these people come from?
I get on the train. I am heading towards Grand Central Station. I get off at the Station and am overwhelmed by all of the people--everywhere! It was super confusing, but so full of life. In a later visit, I discover the restaurants, bars,and the market--utterly amazing.
I stumble outside and head towards, where I think my hotel is. My bag is heavy and I am thankful that the walk was short. I check in. It was 2:20. Check in was listed as 3 pm. The clerk offered me a smoking room if I needed the room immediately or I could wait for a non-smoking room at 3. I bag checked my bag and headed to the concierge. He told me there was a sandwich shop on the corner. Or, I would have to walk to 2nd Avenue. He seemed to think it was far. I opted for the lobby, ordered a salad and drank a beer.
I realized, in my short visit, that this particular concierge was concerned about the quickest option, not necessarily, the best one. Ironically, two blocks from the hotel, I found a Wichcraft. Had I know that, I would have dined there. It is one of Tom Colicchio's places and from experience, I know the sandwiches are delightful. A later trip will determine that.
So, yes, the annoying habit guy inspired a quicker subway trip. I guess that is one positive outcome of my ears bleeding during his exercise.

Horsetooth Half

This is a late recap, but, in my defense, I was in New York for the last few days. I was focusing on the scents, the newness, the energy of New York. I loved it! I will be writing about that later.
Last Saturday, the Goddess and I drove to Windsor. Her grandma, Betty, owns a home there and it was convenient to stay there instead of driving to Ft. Collins on Sunday morning. Thank God for Grandma Betty. It was nicer to spend the night there, wake late on Sunday morning, and drive 20 minutes to the Half.
I met Lindsay at her house on Saturday afternoon. I talked her ear off on the drive to Ft. Collins. I needed to update her on my week. I did.
We arrived at grandma Betty's and immediately, she asks, "Do you girls' want a cocktail?"
Lindsay made Betty a gin and tonic and I opened a bottle of wine. I knew that the 1/2 would keep me on course. I would not be able to drink that much since I didn't want to pay for it the following day, at the race.
Her grandma is old school, polite, gossippy. She reminded me of my grandma Emma. She had family stories and intersting tales of life. I enjoyed her.
We went to dinner and it was pleasant. Not fantastic, but decent. We had a starter---baked brie with apricots and I chose the chilean seabass over lobster potatoes. Super rich, but that is what I wanted. I tried to follow the guidelines of bland food pre-race. It doesn't work for me. My body sustains on what is normal. Trying to cut out spice or creamy foods is unpleasant. I run better when I eat what is considered a normal diet for me.
Anyways, I slept well and I woke up at 5:45 a.m. I was nervous about the race. I think I always have nerves. I was more confident with the run. I knew that I would be able to do it.
We park the car at the start. We knew that there were shuttles at the finish line that would take us back to the car.
I think I peed 5 times, that morning. I went 3 times at Betty's and twice, pre-race. The porta potty was exceptionally clean, with toilet paper, even. I was happy.
I ran into Penny Armour, a girl that I went to high school with. Actually, she is Michaela's age and I used to be the bat girl on their summer softball league. Because of facebook, Penny knew that I would be competing in the 1/2 too.
We walk up to the start and a few of Lindsay's friends joined us. They remarked on the hills of the course. I knew the course had a hill, but I was naive about the amount of hills. Basically, the first 4 miles are uphill. I was unprepared.
Really unprepared.
We suffered through it and at mile 4, I was relieved to be done with them. There were a few additional hills to encounter, later in the course.
Since Lindsay and I drove up, together, spent the day with her family, we had exhauasted most of our conversation topics. I was apprehensive about that, prior to the race. We do a lot of running together; thus, we talk a ton. She knows about my traveling, my upcoming trips, desires, etc.
So, during the 1/2, we rehashed her family, miles 1-3. I talked about my family miles 3-4. I brought up tv shows to pass the time for the remainder of the race. We separated at mile 11. She told me to go on ahead. I walked, some of mile 12, waiting for Lindsay to catch up. I wanted to cross the finish with her.
That day was pleasant, but I felt we could have finished stronger. I know that I should have. Overall, I finished in 2 hours and 23 minutes. My first 1/2, in Idaho Springs, was a better finish for me. Granted, there is one hill on that course. This course was challenging and I am glad that we signed up for it. Now, I have a medal. Yes, I know. I should have one from the Denver Marathon, but my aunt was in such a hurry to leave that I did not get my medal. So, this is the first.
It has the course etched onto it and I have proof that there were hills. Many hills.
The shirt is pretty freaking awesome too. It is comfortable and pretty. My shirt from the Denver Marathon is gigantic. I requested a medium and it is a XL--I swear.
I think I saw 3 porta potties the entire race...not that many. I am thankful that I didn't need to pee. I think I took care of all of the water issues pre-race. Five times is a bunch.
The course, the hilly beginning, was beautiful. Again, the hills sucked, but the landscape was stunning. Even running through Ft. Collins was pleasant except for the final 4 miles. They were never-ending. It concluded at New Belgium Brewery--also a plus.
Instead of celebrating with the other runners, Lindsay and I walked downtown and dined at the Crown Pub. Hummel, my co-worker, recommended the place. He said it was similar to the Bull. He was right. It definitely had a local feel to it. And, there brunch offered an avocado and bacon omelette. In Heaven, I was, that day, after the race. My face was coated with grime and my body ached, but that omelette was amazing!
Next door was a coffee shop. Since I avoided coffee, pre-race, I had to have it! That is one thing to avoid, pre long run. Yes, I have learned that lesson, too.
All in all, it was a good day. Ran my first 1/2, 2010, felt confident as a runner, packed to go to New York and had wine with Sara Jo. Oh, and it was Pocketsize's birthday! Happy Birthday, Sarah....belated, but I did toast you that night.
My recap is all over the place but it's done. I think my next 1/2 will be Idaho Springs and/or the Chips and Salsa 1/2 in Albuquerque. It is around my birthday and near Santa Fe. Chips and Salsa here I come!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

New York

I love New York.
It is an amazing city.
I cannot believe that I haven't been here sooner.
I mean, the food...well, the food is definitely a draw.
There are people everywhere. It is virtually impossible to not see someone walking on a street. I am in awe of the amount of people in Manhattan.
The smells, the fashion, the shoes....I cannot believe how women wear the heels, they do.
I love it, here. I think I enjoy it almost as much as San Francisco. Boston, pales in comparison to both of those cities.
It is vibrant, beautiful and extremely user friendly. Finally, I found an internet cafe. My hotel was charging 37 cents a minute to utilize the services. It seems extreme and faulty. Plus, the location was tiny and didn't inspire thoughts of writing love, you know?
Instead, I am in the Chelsea, post lunch at Colicchio & Sons. I strided into the bar area and announced my intentions to dine and drink wine. Brent, the bartender, was persuasive and suggestive of future restuarants. Not to mention, entertaining. Bobby Flay appeared, in all of his glory--I might add, to eat the exact same item that I had ordered. I tried a ramp, mortadella and goat cheese pizza. Yes, it was lovely. Still, I didn't feel confident in approaching Flay. He appeared as he does on t.v.--arrongant and uninterested in others.
I had a glass of rose` and a shiraz from the Barossa. Next stop--drinks with Mark, from Daniel, followed by dinner with Manraj and/or Mike Carroll. Yes, New York is great!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Relay woes....

The Colfax Relay is May 14th. I was approached, months ago, by Renae--a fellow Team in Training alum--to see if I was interested in running a leg of it. I was and I committed to it. I committed in January or before. I wanted to run that race since it would be more experience to build from.
I believed the Goddess was moving to Flagstaff and so she was out.
I mentioned it to Sara Jo and she expressed interest.
Renae knew a girl and so all we needed to fill was one spot.
Meanwhile, Lindsay didn't move to Flagstaff. She is my running partner and so she said she would run a leg of the relay. I was overjoyed since not only were we a complete relay team, but I knew everyone, involved, with the exception of Renae's friend. I knew that I was the eldest member, but felt, confident, that we would have fun and that it would be a wonderful experience.
Well, when it came around to signing up for it, Lindsay realized that date and knew that she was out. I decided at that point, to find a replacement. I told Renae and Sara about the glitch to our team. Sara asked one of her co-workers and was met with this response--I do not enjoy running. Andrea was out.
I don't know if Renae tried to find someone. I know many runners/active people through work, team in training and friends. I texted a few girls that I knew and immediately, one of my co-workers agreed to the final spot. I felt secure with her since I knew she competed in sprint Triathlons.
Two days later she backed out, due to injury.
I re-texted a few Team in Training girls and immediately, Gadget agreed to the relay. I know that she enjoys competitive running and that she would be a great fit since she had been consistent all of the training season. If she committed to an early morning run, she would be there, on time, with her Garmin and the route planned out, meticulously.
Today, she texted me that she had family coming to town and could no longer be available. I am disappointed and annoyed. I don't know who else to ask. I re-texted a friend from high school, but she doesn't think she is a strong runner. I know she is, but if she feels insecure with her performance, how can I force her to run with us? I am frustrated!
I contacted Renae to let her know, that yes, again, we are down to 4. I am hopeful that we will find someone. I will feel better, when it is a confirmed/signed up individual.
In other news...I am off until next Friday. I have a massage in 20 minutes and I cannot wait. A co-worker texted at 6, this morning, to find someone to work for her. She has food poisoning. I feel bad for her, but I have a massage. I have a 1/2 marathon tomorrow, and I have needs, too. Unfortunately, there are multiple people out of town right now. I have a feeling that Coco will be suffering through a long day shift. Yuck!
Massage bliss--here I come!!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Delaying my posts due to other priorities....

I suck....I know.
I have been preoccupied with work, upcoming travel and the Horsetooth Half--Sunday. I think about my blog, but I haven't been able to put into words what I have been thinking about. Instead, while running, I analyze my thoughts. Everytime I tried to begin a new post, I would stare at the blank screen, and opt for an episode of something on Recently, I discovered, Justified. Yep, I love it. It is entertaining. Darn my cable addiction. It is fufilled with hulu and sometimes, fancast. My blog has suffered as a result.
I have had many things to write about, too. For one thing, running. It has reenergized my existence. I thoroughly enjoy it. I wonder why I never embraced it in the past. I had flirtations with it...while traveling, abroad, I did run until my ipod was stolen. After that episode, I gave up running since I felt it wouldn't be the same without music.
I have found that I am able to run without my ipod and yes, I enjoy it, too. On Sunday, the Goddess and I are doing our first race of 2010. The Horsetooth Half is in Ft. Collins. Since it is sponsored by New Belgium Brewery, I know we will be enjoying adult beverages after the race. Plus, my friend, Hummel, told me about a pub in Ft. Collins which is great---the crown pub. If we have time, I am sure we will check it out.
I signed up for the Colfax Relay with Sara Jo, two other Teams in Training alum--Renae and the Goddess, and one of Renae's friends. Renae set it up and sent us each a link to register for the event. Last Saturday, while running with the Goddess, I found out that Lindsay would be unable to do the relay with us. I was bummed and needed to find a replacement.
I sent a text to Jamie and Gadget. I texted Jenny Minard since I had seen her running at Wash Park. I contacted one of my co-workers that enjoys outdoor events. Each girl responded with uncertainty, but interest. My co-worker confirmed that she would be available for the relay and would sign up. Thankful, I no longer worried about our relay falling apart.
Two days later, Dana, contacts me to say she cannot run the relay due to knee issues. WTF? I had already contacted the other girls letting them know that the spot was filled.
Choking on my pride, I re-texted Gadget and asked her if she still was interested in the relay. She was and she signed up. Second race confirmed and committed too.
I signed up for the Healdsburg Half on October 30th. Sara Jo and Megan--my former neighbor, are accompanying me to California to run that 1/2. I think I have convinced Michaela, Pocketsize and the Goddess to also do the event. I am still working on them, but hopeful, that they too, will enjoy wine country in October.
I want to do one-two more 1/2's this year. I mentioned it to the Goddess and she found a Chips and Salsa sponsored 1/2 in Albuquerque, NM. I am not a fan of that city. But, it is chips and salsa and so I believe I will give it another try. Typically, if I venture to New Mexico, I go to Santa Fe or Taos. Taos only recently and truly, I prefer Santa Fe.
I would like to do a half in July, August or September. I am still working on it and trying to figure out how the race can correlate with my travel needs. I have an anniversary at the end of August and the birthdays are at the end of September. I am unclear on where I will celebrate either of those events in 2010. My boss suggested San Francisco, which of course, I love, but, I want to explore a different city. I think I could find a race to do on one of the weekends. Or, I considered choosing a chef to seek out. Decisions, decisions....I need to make one!
Work continues to entertain/disgust me. Seriously, the other night, we had a scotch tasting. I bartended and didn't have much interest in the food. I have been carb loading for the race and didn't want to fill up on rich food. I ate a baked potato if I remember correctly.
Anyways, the scotch tasting continued with a group of 3, drinking with the promoter. The promoter is a professional. He can hold his liquor. The others, well, they were older and men. I was surprised that they wanted spanish coffees, but whatever, I made them. I suppose, I wouldn't want something that sweet after the rich food and scotch. They had 5 scotches during the meal and a few others afterwards--I think. Like I said, the promoter is a professional. I had met him the previous Friday at the Bull. On Saturday, I ran into him at Argonaut and Tuesday, I saw him at Elway's. I was between shifts and celebrating Ava's life...more on that later. The point is, I saw the rep while drinking wine and he had a cocktail too. This was at 4ish, Tuesday night. He continued with the tasting and departed the Bull at 11:30. Yes, he can hold his alcohol.
So, the server finishes her night and I am left to clean up the remaining table. I had my own drama to contend with at the bar and so I hadn't made it up to the deck area. My boss brings me their glasses. He has a napkin covering the glass as he places it on the bar. I look at it and realize that he brought me a glass full of vomit. YUCK!!! I was beyond grossed out. I couldn't believe that one of the older men would do that and leave it on the table. I want to think that they knew what they had done and would at least attempt to clean it up, themselves, instead of leaving the present for me. I hate throw up.
So, yes, work has been full of entertainment and disgust. I have worked, a bunch, this week, since I am off until next Friday. First the Ft. Collins race and then the trip to NYC. I cannot wait to see the Big Apple. I am overwhelmed by the food and the city, itself. There is so much to see and do. I have no concrete plans outside of meeting my friend, Mark, and my friend, Chris. I believe that trip will provide many things to write about.
I need to return to work--fun times....

Thursday, April 8, 2010


I watch
Yes, I enjoy t.v. It's mindless, entertaining and yes, I watch it. I love FX. For that reason, alone, I wish I wanted to pay for cable. Actually, for Breaking Bad on AMC, I would pay for cable. What a brilliant show. Amazing.
Last night, for example, I got off work and was not ready for bed. My book is lame. Yes, I need recomendations for a new novel. I enjoy fiction.
I opted for an episode of Ugly Betty.
I became a fan of Ugly Betty while flying to South Africa. I sat on the flight and was unable to move. Better yet, I couldn't resituate myself once I was comfortable. Spider bite ensured that. If interested, check out earlier posts, in January-May of 2008.
Anyways, during a hulu screening, there are commercials. You can opt for for a commercial free experience while watching one long commercial or have normal breaks. From viewing, I prefer the normal breaks. One commercial feels like forever. Ad nauseum be damned.
While watching Ugly Betty, a commerical began. What if?
I have entertained this idea for awhile. I was intrigued. Plus, I think Ugly Betty is about to conclude. They seem to make her grow into a beautiful swan. Others, in her circle, also, are growing and changing.
The commercial began with What if...
What if you dreamed of faraway places?
What if you traveled?
What if you went to here instead of there?
What if you met someone?
What if he liked you?
What if you got HPV?
What if you had cancer?
LAME. AWFUL. What happened to the aspect of dreams? I was intrigued by the commercial until the middle of the HPV stretch. Really? It begins with dreams? And concludes with cancer?
Yuck~I didn't want to watch it. I felt cheated.
I have been thinking about travel. I would like to travel, abroad, this year. I am open to opportunities. What is my best option? Service travel or adventure? Do I stay in the north or south? Is Europe a viable option? Or, should I extend my stay by going to the Caribbean or Asia? Would I be an asset to an organization dedicated to voluntary placement?
July seems like the ideal time. It is a slow month, for us. I would really like to go abroad. 2010 seems like a fantastic time. Plus, I love filling up my passport. I am open to anything. I am going to research it and make it happen.

Items of importance--to you, not necessarily to others....

Work related story.....I closed Saturday night. One story has stayed with me since that night.
Whenever I go out with friends or by myself, I always make sure that I have all of my things when leaving the establishment. I have made the foolhardy mistake of leaving my cell phone in a cab. It cost me $20 to wrangle it back from the cabbie. He was greedy, but I got my phone back unscathed. Meaning, no phone calls to Africa or random texts to people that I do not know.
For the most part, I do a mental check in the morning...keys--obviously, I am in my apartment...I wouldn't have been able to gain access without them.
Phone--yep, serves as my alarm clock. I just turned it off. Why did I decide to wake up this early?
Purse--yes, had phone, keys, some money--damn, I spent too get the picture. Fortunately, I tend to keep my identity items close to me.
On Saturday night, this girl calls wanting to know if any keys had been turned in.
I, tell her honestly, that, no, no keys had been turned in.
Every item gets turned into the bartender. I knew, for certain, that no keys had been turned into me. I inform her that her best bet would be to call in the morning since our cleaning crew would have been through at that point.
20 minutes later, she calls back--I lost my keys and think you have them. Again, I repeat the same segment of the last conversation--call tomorrow. If we have them, the cleaning crew will have turned them in. She insists that I should look for them.
After muttering, F***ing Retard, I do a quick look around the bar. I was annoyed with this girl. I mean, if it is that important to you, than, come back in and look for the keys, yourself. I felt she should be looking for her item since I wasn't that interested in finding them. I know that sounds harsh, but I wasn't the one that lost my keys.
Of course, I didn't find them. They weren't there.
She calls again, Saturday night. I, again, tell her to call in the a.m.
A purse was turned in on Saturday night. Like a good samaritan, I put it in a closed off area. I wonder how anyone would leave their purse behind. I expected a call about the purse, but never fielded it.
Sunday morning, I call Brie and tell her about the key story. I warn her about the girl that lost her keys. I wanted to know if the cleaning crew had located any keys. They had not. No keys were left behind the bar.
The girl calls in and asks for her keys. We didn't have them.
Finally, Sunday afternoon, she shows up to look for the keys, herself. She cannot find them. She leaves, I suppose, wondering about her keys.
I enjoy my Easter day of debauchery and arrive to work Monday morning.
Brie receives a phone call about a missing purse. Since I am there and know that a purse was turned in, on Saturday night, I tell Brie--yes, a beige purse was turned in on that night.
I leave for the day.
Two hours later, Brie calls me, to tell me about the girl that lost her purse.
It is the key girl. It took her two days to figure out that her purse was missing. Not just the keys, but purse, money, credit cards. Pretty bright, this one.
I will make sure that I am with my items next time I go out. I do not want to be the person calling looking for my keys, or my phone, or my purse after posting this story. It happens frequently. Sometimes, items are recovered and other times, they disappear. The lesson here is to mental check what items you have brought, with you, before heading home. No one will be as concerned, as you, to find them, unfortunately. Unless, like my cabbie, you pay them for the said item or inconvenience....

Monday, April 5, 2010


Yesterday, I had a day off.
My original plan was to go running, shopping and then to Cherry Creek Grille with my friend, Kelly.
I woke up late.
I decided to skip running. I thought my body could use a rest. Really, I wasn't feeling it on Sunday morning. I had run on Saturday and knew that I would be running with the Goddess this evening. One day off wouldn't kill me and so I moved past that decision easily.
I drove to Old Navy and found one shirt that was worthy. I tried on 9 items, but wasn't excited about any of them. I feel between sizes on some items and didn't like how things looked on me. I think I have to be in the right frame of mind to shop. I really detest it.
I returned home and decided to walk to Cherry Creek to go shopping at the mall. I thought I might have success at mall inspite of it being Easter. I believed most people would be celebrating with family, hunting for easter eggs or bbqing.
I grabbed my ipod and headed east. Midway to the mall, I ran into my friend, Maghan. Maghan works at Solera and we have been friends for a few years.
Since we are both headed into Cherry Creek, we walk together. I told him of my day plans and he told me that he wanted to have lunch in Cherry Creek.
As we were crossing University, Maghan asks--do you want to have a glass of wine with me?
I say yes, very enthusiastically, and I knew that my plans had altered. I told him that I would have one glass and then go shopping.
Well, two glasses of wine at North later and I was ready to go to a new place. He suggested Houston's and that is how I ended my Easter.
Sidetracked. Majorly.
My friend, Kelly, had texted saying she wanted to reschedule. I was grateful for this since I was buzzed and probably wouldn't be too conversational at CCG. My afternoon, with Maghan, was too entertaining.
I walked home. I went to Whole Foods to find something to eat and then I went to bed early. I had told Sara Jo that we could meet up for wine Sunday night, if she was interested. Thankfully, she wasn't.
My entire day ended up, completely differently than I had thought it would. No running, no real shopping or meeting with Kelly. Instead, the spontaneity allowed for a lovely day indeed. Seeing Maghan reminded me that I am due for a visit to Solera soon.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Flowers and why I buy them.....

Lately, in the last 6 weeks, I have been buying flowers. I know it sounds lame, but flowers sure do brighten up a room. This week, I bought roses. I wanted lilies but I didn't love the selection at my local Whole Foods. Instead, I sought out the crazy parking one in Cherry Creek and found the roses. They are lovely!
I wanted to do something, for me, and this seemed the most positive and beneficial to visitors.
The other night, I was explaining my theory to my ex, Casey. We dated 10 years ago. I met him while working at Free State in college. It was inevitable that we would break up, that go around; but, I was determined to make it work. I had "the" plan, at that age. I was running away from Kansas as fast as I could. While figuring out my destination, I met him.
Of course, I was enamored, but still knew that I must leave Kansas and begin my journey. He, being all of 22, couldn't contemplate the distance thing. I was stubborn and left. Still, that summer I adored him. I wondered why he wouldn't follow me to a different state or at least visit. Again, our age was a factor and we had completely different priorities. I wanted to travel and see the world. He liked his life in Lawrence.
This past summer, I saw him while in Boston and we reestablished our friendship. I kinda fell off of the grid after I left the midwest. Facebook aided our reconnection.
Anyways, we are definitely friends, now, but our timing/priorities have set us adrift once again. He lives in Kansas and I live in Colorado. He has two daughters and I am still solo. I wish him the best, but our timing is bad.
Back to the flowers...I told him that there are several people I know, currently, that are in crappy relationships. I seem to be attracting this, right now. I think partially to remind myself that it is okay to be strong, independent and not to settle for les--just to be with someone. For instance, I have a friend that is cute, social, fun. She was dating a man that said some extremely hurtful things to her. Here is one--I am not attracted to you...I had to force myself to perform.
I don't know if I would ever be able to get beyond that. Actually, I am fairly certain if some guy said that to me, I would walk, no run, the opposite direction. I mean, it was extremely malicious with no positive or redeemable thing coming out of it.
Funny, they are dating again.
I don't want that sort of abuse, for me, and so I have been being kind to myself and focusing on positive things. I.E...running, upcoming travel, coffee dates with friends, flowers. Making myself a priority.
Casey looked at me and said--Aren't your always nice to yourself? The way he said it indicated that he felt I was selfish. I don't know. I could be looking into that too much.
Maybe it appears that way, but no, not all of the time am I nice or sane in my head. I analyze, reanalyze, flip it upside down and analyze it again. I definitely need to be nice to myself with flowers. I hope to plant sunflowers this year since they are definitely my favorite.
How are you kind to yourself? It seems simple and it's definitely taken for granted but how do you express liking yourself? I know a lot of my friends who are mothers that never have time for themselves. I think it is essential to take time for you, everyday. I guess that is why meditation is so positive....

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I am thankful.....

I am thankful, today, for the sun. Isn't it lovely?
I enjoy living in Colorado. We have 300+ days of sunshine. In the last 8 months, I have finally embraced how wonderful running can be and is. Running outside is preferable, any day of the week, for me. I have run on the treadmill, but I do not enjoy it. It seems like so much work and there is no joy associated with that piece of equipment.
2010 is all about joy. Yes, it was determined on February 28th, 2010, that this year would be about joy. Running=joy. The sun definitely equals joy.
I am thankful for mail. I receieved another postcard today. Thank you, Andy. Surrounded by a group of men similar to Teddy--very descriptive and scary. I know how Teddy likes to vacation.
A week ago, I received a postcard from Shari. She had been in Texas for 10 days with her sister, Jeanie, and their father. Ten days is a long time to spend in Texas. I liked the postcard. Very comical and true.
I love mail. I need to start acknowledging the people that keep me happy by sending mail or postcards. I love it.
The mail is slow correspondence. My friends, Joyce and Tim, vacationed in Cabo San Lucas over christmas. They spent a week on the beach. In January, Joyce asked me if I had received the postcard that she personally sent to me. In the past, they had sent postcards to the Bull since they didn't have my address. This time they sent it to me.
I didn't get it.
We laughed about it in February. I thought it got lost in the mail. In 2005, I sent postcards from Honduras that nobody received. I still have no idea what happened to them. I know that mail gets lost, sometimes.
Mid-March, I received that postcard from Cabo. It is on my fridge along with the other postcards that I will continue to collect 2010.
I am thankful for travel. In a few weeks, I will be in NYC. After my first race of the year--Horsetooth Half on April 18th--I will depart for the Big Apple. Food mecca here I come. I am always grateful for travel. I could write a month solid on how fantastic I believe travel is.
I have 3 confirmed races, this year. I am considering adding one or two more. I think a full marathon will elude me this year, but I am establishing a running base which is equally important in my health as a runner. I have a relay in May and then the 1/2 in October. I think a 1/2 in July and one in early September would be ideal. Any suggestions? I am travel friendly!
I could continue. I know this. But, I want to enjoy more outdoor time prior to work. One more thing I am thankful for, today--the return of the Goddess. I have been faithful to running, this week, but I enjoy running with her. We talk about everything from men, relationships, upcoming travel, family, friends, sports, etc. I miss her. Our next slated long run is Monday, April 5th, pre-Championship Game. As you know, I am bummed about KU's early departure from the tournament. With the 4 teams left, I think I am a Butler Fan. I must support the underdog. Plus, I am not a Duke fan. I do not like MSU or WVU, either. It's a quandry. These coaches are less than desireable in my eyes.
Enjoy your day! I hope you have much to be thankful for too....