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!