Saturday, August 28, 2010

A letter to Grace...

Dear Grace,
We're more than half way into the 24 hour journey to Minneapolis from Edmonton, as I lay in my cramped, but somehow cozy bunk, remembering our spontaneous road trip to Monterey and Carmel.
First of all, it was great to reconnect and spend such valuable time exploring new sights and sharing memorable moments.
I love your willingness to cease an opportunity and live in the moment. I think that's probably what connects us.
I reflect on the many great times we've shared, but with great affection, I will cherish our bike ride along Monterey Bay, taking in the view of the seals and seagulls taking time out on the rocks, lunch along the boardwalk watching tourist stroll by, ice cream pit stops and movie going to the newly released chick flick "Eat Pray Love".
I love and admire you. Your artistry and craftsmanship inspire me. I learn from you and look forward to when we work together again.
Keep up the good work as a shoe cobbler. I think you've found a new calling.
I'm proud to call you my friend.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Vancouver, BC: You only have a first time once.......

Today was an amazing day!!!
After having journeyed four hours by tour bus from Tacoma, Washington, including the dreaded border crossing into Canada, we arrived this morning to cotton candy-like cloudy skies, pine tree blanketed mountains, the crisp clear air and voluminous skyscrapers that ARE Vancouver. This visit to Vancouver is my first. Unfortunately, my thrill and excitement was stunted by the need to gain a few more hours of sleep.
Upon setting foot into my hotel room and being wowed by the unobstructed harbor view outside the sliding french doors, I immediately knew this was my kind of town. It was easy to imagine the energy of the city and what it had to offer, and all I had seen was a glimpse of the birds eye view from my room.
Feeling the need to make the most of my one, full day off, but not having a real plan, I chose to take a city tour. My choice was the "hop-on, hop-off" bus tour. This gave me an advantage to come and go as I pleased, allowing for extended time at selected sites along the way. Once at my pick up location and then on the bus, I decided my plan of action,...first stop, the Vancouver Art Museum. I lucked up on two wonderful exhibits, the first one being, mural sized paintings by African-American artist Kerry James Marshall, and the featured exhibit, The Modern Woman: Drawings by Degas, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec and other master artists from the D'Orsay, Paris. I walked away excited and inspired. Gaining culture and knowledge is always a great start to the day.
Keeping to my schedule, I hopped back on the bus making my way through Vancouvers' more popular neighborhoods, while stopping in Yaletown for a bite to eat. Being Sunday, the streets were less busy than usual which I appreciated. Collecting myself, I continued on the bus passing through, Chinatown, Gastown, English Bay, Second Beach, Granville Island and Stanley Park to name a few. I have been thoroughly impressed by the beauty and warmth of the city and vow to come back.
It is now 6pm and my day is coming to a close. The bus pulls curbside for me to exit and in the short distance is the perfect pitstop, a small and charming Vietnemese restaurant called Chau. I perch myself at the intimate bar and kick back, chowing down on rice paper spring rolls of mint with prawns and thai basil with smoked cod. Yum. To wash it down I opt for a refreshing lychee mojito,.....two, to be exact. I couldn't have asked for a better day.
Before returning to the hotel I did a bit of window shopping along Robson Street and casually strolled along the marina to take in the sunset views.
If only everyday could be like this.... Ahhhhh!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

NYC: Los Feliz Taqueria.

Los Feliz Taqueria, 109 Ludlow Street, downtown on the lower east side, was the meeting place for cocktails and overdue reunions with only some of my NYC friends. We drank margaritas from the selection of 150 varied tequilas, laughed and reminisced. It was the perfect ambience, setting the tone for a cozy and relaxed evening. Can't wait to do it all again!

A night out!!!

The lower east side and a night out, destination, Los Feliz Taqueria. I can't wait!

Genuine friendship.....

Tom, we go back too far to even count. It was great seeing you and spending time. I'm glad you were available to check out the show. Gaga at Madison Square,...good times!!

NYC: Soho.

Walking the streets of Soho with Sabrina. What a nice surprise..... We just happened to be in town at the same time. It was so good to see you. Big hugs and kisses.

Bossom buddies...

When we reconnect it is like time stands still.... We always pick up where we left off. So glad to see my E!!!

The Big Apple.....

This was the view from my hotel room in midtown Manhattan. How amazing!!! I was smack in the middle of the concrete jungle and thrilled to bits. Remembering that morning, it was 5am when we arrived from Atlantic City, give or take a few.....and I was filled with excitement to be back in the "city of dreams." I was only hours away from reconnecting with my longtime best "bud" and anxious to get the day started.
Collecting myself, I exhaled, calmed myself back to reality and napped for a few hours to be best prepared for the day. It was 100 degrees that week in NYC and do you think I cared!? I took a stroll down memory lane, remembering summers past. Ahhhh, that NYC sticky heat,.....bring it on!

July 4th....

Was in NYC over the July 4th holiday. This would explain the red, white and blue lighting atop the Empire State Building.