Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Unaccompanied Luggage

Apparently my luggage spent some extra time sightseeing in Washington D.C. The unaccompanied made it's way to San Diego, but upon arrival was mis-tagged and delivered to a random home in Clairemont. The luggage delivery company had to get the bag back and then finally it found it's way to the Wade household.

I'll try to take a photo of the top of the bag - it has about 6 different tags attached to the top.

We had some Christmas gift tragedies. I'll update that after Christmas, don't want to spoil any surprises. But don't worry the dirty laundry was untouched.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas Vacation

This might be Christmas Vacation part 1, we'll see how many posts I get in during my travels.

I am in San Diego for the first part of my holiday visit - works out very well. I can work from the San Diego office and visit all of my SD friends at the same time.

Bex house is my base of operations -Maison de Wade always has room for one more (thank goodness).

I flew in Sunday night and ended up waiting forever for my bags. One of my checked bags decided it would be more fun to go somewhere else for the holidays. I'm hoping it will find it's way back to me tonight - if it doesn't some of you San Diego folks will have a some Christmas present IOU's. The missing bag had some dog cookies in it, I can just see the sniffing dogs at the airport stopping my bag for a quick snack.

Bex had me drinking the fire water last night (OK I willingly joined in a night cap), consequently I'm a little slow this morning. Having to get up and get dressed to go to work was also an unwelcome change. It's much better working in your jammers with a cat in your lap.

It is nice to see all of the SD co-workers - but it definitely makes me appreciate my nice comfy apartment. My new desk chair is scheduled to arrive 1/8. I've been waiting for this chair for 8 weeks, I really hope it is as comfortable as I remember. It took me about 6 weeks to even find the chair I wanted for a desk chair - needless to say Michael was very patient during my search for the perfect desk chair.

Thanks Kelly for being my very patient shuttle driver at the airport last night!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Straight from Nepal

It's the "I don't care what it looks like it keeps my ears warm hat."

They look so cute on the display stands but they look pretty funny on your head (at least my head). But after one very cold Friday (19 degrees outside), I decided I didn't care what the hat looked like it would keep my head and ears warm.

Michael and I headed to the holiday fair at Union Square, the place was chock full of funny knit hat vendors. I tried on a ton of hats and with help, choose this sassy little number with a poof ball on top.

The hat is so warm, it is lined in fleece and knit out of really soft thick yarn. In the photo I am on top of the GE building looking out at the Empire State building - the wind at night was nothing for this hat. The hang tag, inside tag, and people selling the hat claim it was knit in Nepal. Because they kept saying repeating this over and over, I'm pretty sure it was knit in some frosty place of the world like Mexico or the Philippines.

It probably won't make the trip to CA for Christmas - my blood has thickened quite a bit. I am saying things I never thought I would say. I went out to run some errands last night, I checked the temperature and it was 47 degrees. I thought to myself - it's not cold out, I don't need my heavy jacket. And I didn't need my heavy jacket - just my gloves to keep my fingers toasty. This is coming from the girl who had her seat heaters on at 65 degrees. Mother Nature continues to be kind to me, NYC has has a very mild winter so far - maybe I won't get snow until after Christmas.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


I hailed my first taxi Sunday night. No photos to commemorate the event - I didn't want to look like a rookie. And we made it from the 50's all the way to 90th street without stopping - not a single red light to slow us down.

More Christmas in NYC

During the holidays Grand Central Terminal has a great holiday craft fair and they put on a show in the main hall.
The craft fair is smaller than Union Square or Bryant Square - but it is all inside, so it's warm and toasty. They had some of the same booths as the other craft fairs, and some different items. Maybe because it was smaller and not as overwhelming or maybe because it was warm I found so many great things when I was shopping. Of course it was mostly things I wanted, it is so much easier to shop for yourself! (One for me, one for you, two for me, one for you....)

The light show is in the main terminal. They have music and they project kaleidoscope images of the city over the walls and ceiling. It was fun trying to figure out the images. Many were everyday items such as the train seats or the bumps on the waiting platform of the subway. It sounds so unappealing, but they make them very beautiful

This shot is looking down Park Ave. towards the Met Life building. The trees down the center of Park Ave are covered in white lights. It is a little hard to see, but the Met Life building has red and green lights that are constantly changing.

Rockefeller Center at Christmas

Can you find the classic holiday icon, Sponge Bob?

Close up of the star - I want this for my Christmas Tree!
It is made up of hundreds of Swarovski crystals.


Close up shot of the tree - it is so big and has so many lights you can barely see the branches.

Some more decorations that line the plaza at Rockefeller Center.
The huge snowflakes are falling down the front of Sak's Fifth Avenue. About every 20 minutes they dance to music - quite a show for the crowds.

Monday, December 11, 2006

City Views

The GE building at Rockefeller Center recently opened up it's observations decks to the public. At one time they were open to the public, but then closed for many years.

Sunday night is was very clear and not too cold - so we headed to the 'Top of the Rock' Observation Deck.

The view was spectacular. 360 degree views of the city below. We could see the twinkling lights from New Jersey to Staten Island and the entire expanse of Central Park.

Here are a few photos - they don't do the view justice, but you get the idea.

Beckham in a Cloud

Isn't he sweet?

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Purse, The Purse, The Purse Is On Fire

This story falls in to the 'It's pretty funny, but I'm glad it didn't happen to me' category.

Last night I went out to happy hour in honor on one of Michael's co-workers who is leaving the company. It was a pretty normal event until we ordered some appetizers.

We were all gathered around a small pub table. When our food arrived, we needed to make room on the table. All of the jackets and purses in the table area were just shoved out of the way. As the guacamole was being passed, we suddenly heard "your purse is in fire!"

Sure enough, we look over and there are flames jumping out of the soon-to-be-ex-co-worker's purse. She kinds of blows on the flames and the girls at the next table go in to panic mode. The flames are pretty quickly extinguished, but there is some pretty bad smelling smoke. One of the girls at the next table just kept yelling 'get it out of here', 'get it out of here'. When no one would hand her the smoking bag, she heroically yelled 'give it to me, I'll take it out'. There was just no reason for the bag to leave the bar. She was just crazy.

The bar tenders opened the front door and the smoke cleared out quickly. The purse had about a 4" hole burned through it and it was falling apart around the burned edges. There was also some damage to her wallet inside. Something for her Christmas list.

Root cause: a crack team of investigators quickly found a small votive candle that was the source of the flame. The offending candle was promptly removed from the scene of the crime, possibly for further testing.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Winter is Here

It is freezing outside! Down to about 30 degrees during the day. Last week it was in the 60's - giving me a false sense of hope for the winter. I'm glad I went out to see the holiday decorations last week, I might be a shut-in for the rest of the winter. And I decided while I was out today, if the hat keeps my ears warm it just doesn't matter how it looks on my head.

Aside from the cold two other big problems with NYC - it takes at least 30 minutes to get to Target and there is only one Trader Joe's in Manhattan. We tried to go to Trader Joe's on Sunday night and it was so crowded the line to pay was winding through the store. I am going to try and go there in the morning, maybe it's won't be as crowded. Trader Joe's opened in NYC in the fall of 2006 - it has been extremely popular since opening day. When it was announced that Trader Joe's was coming to NYC there was talk that it might not do well - NYC has many other high end grocery stores. But we all know the greatness of Trader Joe's - of course it was an instant hit.

Trader Joe's - is located right by Union Square. I can get my funny looking knit hat and keep my ears warm!

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Lighting Ceremony

Last Thursday I held the nightly lighting ceremony at our apartment. The only cat that chose to witness the spectacular event was Beckham. But I did have one very special guest. As soon as I plugged in the lights, Nutty the Squirrel (yes I named him) came over to view the display. Nutty runs across the fire escape and likes to visit with the cats. As soon as Beckham spied Nutty he ran to the window. The camera just happened to be right at hand (you never know who will turn up for the lighting ceremony) - I was able to get one photo of Beckham keeping a sharp eye on Nutty. It is really cute.

The weather has turned chilly (much to my dismay), so I don't know if Nutty will go in to hibernation or if he will be back to celebrate the holidays with the kitties.

Shopping, Lights, and Window Displays

I LOVE Christmas in NYC.

They shopping, lights, decorations, and window displays are all amazing.

Once again, I will work on posting photos - need those visual aids!

Shopping: Two words: shopper nirvana! The city is hopping. Immediately after Thanksgiving you can feel the difference in how many people are in the city. The stores are packed and the subways are really busy. So many people come here to shop, on the weekends they even arrive on special bus tours. The shopping really is amazing, so I don't blame anyone - I have come here for Christmas shopping myself. You can find anything in this city. A favorite activity for me is to browse the Holiday Fairs at Grand Central, Bryant Park, and Union Square. They each have tons of unique products at great prices. One of the more popular booths this year is knit caps that have ear flaps that turn in to braids. The hats are adorable, I really want one - but they make my head look really round and funny. I keep trying them on, thinking maybe this will be the knit cap for me - but I always end up disappointed. They are great at keeping your ears warm, maybe when it's really really cold it just doesn't matter if your head looks funny.

Lights/Decorations: So many buildings, stores, hotels, and nice apartment building have decorations up for the holidays. Lots of big garlands and wreaths with lights at night. The stock exchange even has a great display with an American flag made out of lights. The Empire State building even gets lit in red and green for Christmas. Of course one of the most spectacular sights is the Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center. The tree is covered in lights and topped with a Swarovski crystal star. The star sparkles so brightly. An addition to the scene this year: The GE building (which sits directly behind the tree) has huge snowflakes projected on the front of the building and they fall down the front of the building to the top of the tree.

Window Displays: I've only viewed the Saks windows so far. Lots of sparkles - I'll have to do a separate post on the windows, to give them proper credit. Another weekend project!

The Apartment

Once again, I am behind on the photos - I know my blog is enhanced by the visual aids so I will work on it, really! The problem is I can't find my card reader for my memory card. My computer doesn't like to get the pix directly from the camera. Of course my card reader is with my camera battery charger and my iPod charger. They are all together in one of my travel pouches and I'm sure I put it somewhere special.

One more quick aside - I finally found my label maker! It has been 'somewhere special' since move day. I can start to label away now - not a moment too soon.

The apartment is starting to look like a home. I unpacked all of my boxes a while ago, but I just started hanging photos. What a difference the art makes.

I also decorated for the holidays. I cut about 50 snowflakes from white paper (yes, remember grade school - I am still playing with scissors and glue) and hung them in the living room. The front windows have lights and glitter snowflakes. The mantle is snowy with crystal candle holders, silver ornaments and iridescent beads. All of the kitty stockings are hung, waiting for presents of Pounce and toys.

I don't think we'll get a tree. I don't have a stand and I don't want to buy one, plus the winter weather is so dry, it is going to turn in to kindling pretty quickly. I do want a fresh wreath to hang on the inside of the door, so I can have the good pine smell when you first walk in the apartment. (As opposed to any other smells that might hit you when you first walk in the apartment ;-)

I used some tiny milk glass vases that Mel gave me and put them under a glass dome with some silver tinsel - it turned out pretty cool. I saw something similar at a store over the weekend and it was very expensive, when am I going to be discovered?

I also have a wreath and holiday doormat outside of the apartment door - it definitely perks up the dreary hall.

Happy Decorating!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Lion Cut

Trixie and Sadie now sport lion cuts.

They were in desperate need of grooming, through our pet sitters I found a world class pet groomer.

He was a slight man from Brazil who also judges cat shows around the globe.

He spent almost 4 hours making the girls beautiful.

(I am still working on taking photos - I'll post them as soon as possible.)

I'm Thankful for the California Sunshine

A week long trip back home to California was a welcome way to spend Thanksgiving.

It was late Friday night when we arrived in Burbank. The 3 hour drive to Pismo was not making either one of us happy - but the shiny red convertible that Hertz so kindly upgraded us too definitely made the drive a little better. I was OK until about 2.5 hours into it - at that point I just wanted to be at the hotel. MomO was right, there was patchy fog driving up the coast it made the drive a little slower than anticipated. At least there was no traffic.

We were staying at the Sea Crest Hotel. We could hear the ocean from our room, but it wasn't until the morning that we saw our 180 degree ocean view! White water and palm trees painted the perfect picture off of our balcony. The Sea Crest is a real bargain, ocean view rooms with a large balcony were just over $100/night off season and about $20 more during peak season. The photo is the view from our room - imagine waking up to that every morning, it was hard to check-out.
In Pismo we ate plenty of Mexican food (Californian type Mexican food is very hard to find in NYC), enjoyed Mo's bar-be-que, and stuffed ourselves at F. McClintocks. F. McClintocks is a local steakhouse that features large portions and an amazing array of side dishes with every meal. The ranch potatoes are the best! Michael generously paid for dinner for everyone.
Aside from eating, we also enjoyed a wedding...some sunset photos from the wedding:
Michael and KO, notice Michael's tie - he really wanted to be at the game. He was so happy when USC won!
Jenn and Chris, Michael's sister and her boyfriend. His dad is a vet - I wish I lived closer to them! Chris is one of those rare people who enjoys his job and likes going to work everyday....hmmm. (Anyone from IOM reading this - of course I love my job and going to work everyday, I mean who doesn't?!)
KO and Michael's family.
Right up the road from Pismo, in Shell Beach, we visited the most bountiful tide pools I have ever seen in nature (Sea World tide pools don't count). The tide pools were filled with star fish in every shape and color, brilliant sea anemones, little crabs, and tons of barnacles.
Can you see all of the starfish on the rocks?
This sea anemone was bright, bright purple and green.
Wide view of the tide pools, the tide was way out - so we had lots of places to look for tide pool creatures.
More starfish, they almost look like fall leaves.
KO and MW at the tide pools.
Our last night in Pismo we watching a spectaular sunset. I rate it one of my top 3 sunsets ever. The sky was filled with color, pinks and purples and gold with the ocean reflecting all of the colors. Dophins decided to put on a show for us - they were jumping out of the water and playing right in the middle of it all.
The sky was really this beautiful and this colorful.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Michael and his dad.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Michael's parents.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Leaving Pismo we made a quick stop in Solvang - I needed my Dutch pastry fix. I loaded up on butter cookies and my favorite pastry the Dutch waffle. The Dutch waffle is two long pieces of flaky sugar coated pastry filled with whip cream and raspberry jam. One bite and you are hooked.

The rest of vacation was spent with the O family in San Bernardino. We had a huge home made Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. The weather was sunny and warm. Friday morning Mom and I managed to find a few great deals shopping.

As always vacation is too short - but it's always nice to be home. Now I feel like I am going home no matter which way I fly.

Friday, November 17, 2006

3 Quick Cat Stories

Wednesday 11/15/2006
Sadie becomes the first cat to adventure outside of the apartment door. She was waiting by the door when I got back from the grocery store. She has been doing that quite a bit - I decided it was time to let her look around the corner. Next thing I know she darts down the hallway! To see Sadie run is quite a sight, she just doesn't run very often. My hand were full (of course), I dropped all the bags inside and luckily she heard something and came running back inside, I didn't have to chase her through the building. She went all the way down our hallway to the next set of stairs - quite a distance.

Thursday 11/16/06
Beckham jumped up on the couch to snuggle with Michael. He curled up next to him and then moved to his lap. An unprecedented move for the typically twitchy tabby.

Friday 11/17/06
Roxy and Beckham come face to face with a squirrel. Early in the morning both Roxy and Beckham were looking out the window, a squirrel came along and went right up to them. The squirrel had his paws on the glass and was trying to sniff the kitties and they were trying to sniff at him. It was so cute.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Leaf Peeping

Last weekend Michael and I went upstate and looked at the fall colors. For just one night out of the city it felt like we were gone for a week. We took a train about 1/2 north to White Plains, from there we rented a car and drove about another 1 1/2 hours north. Our base of opeation was Fishkill, New York. We took all kinds of scenic routes. We drove through Peekskill (home of the Eastland School for Girls) and Sleepy Hollow. We were on lots of small two lane roads that had amazing tree canopies.

A highlight of the trip was an accidental find. I made an incorrect turn and we found a park - well parking was $6 and it was really crowded and the lodge wasn't open so I couldn't make a needed pitstop. We turned around and decided to visit West Point. On the way to West Point we saw a sign for Fort Montgomery. Fort Montgomery had a brand new visitor center with very nice restrooms, no pay for parking and it wasn't crowded! Fort Montgomery has Revolutionary War ruins. It has great hiking trails and the trees were full of color. I love it when you make a great find by accident (just call me Columbus - well if I was Columbus I would rename the site ;-)

Sunday we visted Barton Orchards. They are home to a huge corn field maze and tasty cider doughnuts. The maze was awesome. They had word and picture clues hidden in the maze and to solve the 'big' puzzle you had to find the clues.

Navigating the maze makes you hungry.

Can you find Michael in the corn maze?
Sunday was also the drive through Sleepy Hollow. It was exactly how it should look, dead tree canopies and a huge cemetary. It was almost Halloween so there were lots of local events with kids in costume. My favorite was the child dressed as a goat - why be a pirate when you can be a goat?

It was a great weekend and the kitties seemed to survive one night alone (but they might not share that opinion).

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Project Runway Tour

One of my first weekends in NYC was spent following the footsteps of Project Runway (hit Bravo reality series).

First stop:

Macy's for a look at all of the winning outfits.

Uli's design was the latest win. It was more beautiful in person. On t.v. you can't see the details of the seaming or the beading.

Next stop:

Mood. The designer fabric store. The store was crowded with fabrics and people. I don't know how a designer could ever find fabric in there. First there were so many choices and second it seems like there was no order - the fabric was all mixed together. There were some beautiful prints and some expensive fabric. Some of the bolts were marked $80/yard.

After Mood it was time for the Atlas apartments:

Final stop: Parson's New School for Design

There were a couple of design students out front, I wanted to ask if they knew Tim Gunn - but I was already not cool enough to be standing there, asking about Tim would just be too much.

I still want to visit Emitt's store in SoHo and the Lee's Craft Store. We walked through the flower district, but it was a let down.

The highlight of the trip was seeing the dresses in the Macy's window. There were so many people excited to see the dresses, it was great. It was also really hard not to correct people when they incorrectly identified a dress.




3 Years Old

Silver Tabby

Likes: Playing soccer, Joey, wrestling with Roxy, sleeping in a tiny ball on top of someone

Dislikes: crunchy food, all humans

Beckham was rescued from the same house as Roxy, they both lost their home to the wildfire that destroyed many homes in 2003. He is a very strange cat with a very sensitive stomach. He makes all kinds of strange noises when he eats.

Beckham is incredibly handsome and likes to play soccer - that is why he was named after the fabulously handsome soccer player David Beckham. He has an amazing creamy white belly that begs to be touched, but he doesn't let that happen very often.


6 years old
Black, Domestic Short Hair

Likes: Pounce, crunchies, playing with the cat dancer, looking out the window, tail catching

Dislikes: Chandler, non-crunchy food, the street sweeper

Roxy was the scout cat for NYC. She came out a month early and had a month alone in the apartment with Michael. This was probably the best month of her life. She had two litter boxes all to herself, a never ending bowl of crunchies that was freshened twice a day, a nice bowl of NYC tap water, grooming, playing, Pounce, and catnip every day.

Roxy was a rescue kitty. She lost her home during the wildfire of 2003. When she is with other cats she just sort of hangs out by herself. When she lived with Michael she was by his side all the time. She had 'her' side of the bed and slept with him every night, she would curl up and sleep in his lap and when he would come home for the day she was a chatterbox. With the rest of the cats in the apartment now, she is more outgoing than she was in Encinitas but not the same as she was during the magical month of September 2006.


12 years old
Black, Domestic Medium Hair

Likes: Food, Blackjack, Food, Giving Love, Food, Snuggling, Food, Grooming, Food

Dislikes: Moving

Sadie and Trixie are sisters. Sadie is very sweet - she is a lap cat, always looking for someone to cuddle up with for some grooming or petting. Sadie loves Blackjack - even though he doesn't always appreciate her affections.

When Sadie was just a kitten she jumped on a dresser with a lit candle, as she turned to jump off the dresser her tail caught on fire. It was just a little bit of burnt fur, no permanent damage!

When we lived in Solana Beach I used to put up a cat Christmas Tree. It was a fake tree that was decorated with crinkle shreds, yarn, and lots of cat toys. Every morning the cat Christmas Tree would be knocked over - Sadie would get in the branches and play for hours.

Sadie is also a calendar model. She was Miss December in the Qualcomm cats calendar of 2000.

Sadie has tufts on her ears, that is how to tell her apart from Trixie.


12 years old
Black, Domestic Long Hair

Likes: Nothing

Dislikes: Using the litter box

Trixie and Sadie are sisters. They have been with me since they were kittens. I brought them home to San Diego in one carrier and they looked like a two headed cat. When I brought them home our front door lock was broken and we had to climb in the front window - maybe that gave Trixie a bad start in life.

Trixie is a very beautiful cat - but with beauty comes pain. She was probably meant to be an only cat for a very wealthy older woman who could dote and her and provide her with the lifestyle she deserves.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


13 years old
Black and White, Domestic Long Hair
Likes: IAMS crunchies, IAMS gravy from the foil food packets, Pounce and long naps in the sunshine
Dislikes: Sadie's grooming, Trixie on his chair, and Joey punking him out of a good sleeping spot

Blackjack is the elder statesman of the group.

I've had him most of his life. Blackjack was on clearance at a pet store, I don't even know why I went in the pet store, but I did and the sight of a cat priced to sell was just pitiful. I waited a day and went back and brought him home. He was so shy - he hid behind the bed for about 3 weeks.

Sadie is Blackjack's girlfriend and she has a lot of love to give. Sometimes Blackjack gets tired of Sadie's love.