Sunday, June 29
I ordered a scoop in a sugar cone of Raspberry Rocky Road and immediately start devouring it. Ben got Banana Pudding and went to pay. Turns out they only take cash or check...we never have either with us. So, we panic and the teenage girls tell us there is a Suntrust a block away or we can come back another day and pay. In Raleigh, that would never happen! Of course, Ben just walked down and got cash...I didn't want having to go back and pay $4 for our ice cream looming over me.
It was a perfect end to our Sat. night, walking through downtown Apex and stopping in all the store windows and then driving 5 minutes back home! Apex is living up to it's slogan..."The Peak of Good Living."
Saturday, June 28
Thursday, June 26
Tuesday, June 24
And of all people, Cameron, our 10-year-old nephew, told us what Shangri-La really means:
According to Wikipedia it is "a fictional place described in the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by British author James Hilton. In the book, "Shangri-La" is a mystical, harmonious valley, gently guided from a lamasery, enclosed in the western end of the Kunlun Mountains. Shangri-La has become synonymous with any earthly paradise but particularly a mythical Himalayan utopia—a permanently happy land, isolated from the outside world. In the novel Lost Horizon, the people who live at Shangri-La are almost immortal, living years beyond the normal lifespan."
No offense if you live in a mobile home park, but why would anyone name one Shangri-La...permanent happy land! Teehee!
Monday, June 23
Sunday, June 22
To accompany dessert I used my new Bialettie Moka Express Espresso Maker. It's a staple in any Italian household. It's very similar to a peculator, but better than any drip coffee as the pressure forces the water through the coffee, but giving it more time to aerate in the coffee. My dad also gave me a hand held frother, so we had perfect cafe lattes.
Today, we went to Durham to 9th Street Active Feet. If you ever need running shoes this is the place...these people really know their stuff. After taking a look at my current shoes, my callus pattern on my feet (gross, I know), they way I walk and finally the way I stand on each foot, I was recommended 4 pairs of running shoes. For the first time in my life, I selected shoes based on comfort and what I needed, rather than color, brand and price. After a few test runs up and down the street I used my gift certificate from my mom to buy the Etonic Jepera 2 SC. Comparably, they are heavy for a running shoe, but offered so much cushion and also giving enough support for my over pronation. I can't wait to test them out. Being so busy with the move, birthdays and then NYC, I haven't run in over a month! But, just another reason to get back in the groove and start training for the OBX marathon.
I'm still debating on how to spend my Lowe's and Bed Bath and Beyond gift cards. I'm thinking of putting them towards a new storm door to match our windows, bath hardware for our master bedroom, or a ceiling fan for our bedroom.
Friday, June 20
In the last two days, I conquered my fear and went to Times Square alone and saw a show. At the last minute I decided to go dispite the rain. Bought a ticket to see A Chorus Line (with Mario Lopez) at the TKTS counter. The show was wonderful and I'm so glad I went. Especially since it's closing on Broadway in Aug. I enjoyed a wonderful Italian restaurant, tasted real NY cheesecake, did some shoppping and had the best filet mignon at Frankie and Johnnie's steak house.
The trip was a blast...a great experience nonetheless. I'm nervous to come back home to do the work part of it. It was great being at the office to ask questions and now I'm totally on my own. But, I'm more than happy to enjoy my house and relax this weekend...a first since we bought it!
Wednesday, June 18
It seems like I've been in New York for a month. At first it was fun doing touristy stuff, then intimidating and depressing to have to go to work, then I thought I might be able to get used to the city life, now I just miss suburbia. Everyone is always in a rush. I can go get lunch and no one will be in line and they rush me to order.
Nevertheless, we've had an awesome impromtu vacation. Ben saw more of the city than he ever thought. Monday, he spent the day in lower Manhattan. He went to Battery Park, took a ferry to Ellis Island and then the Statue of Liberty and walked through the financial district.
He picked me up at work and went to the Whole Foods in Union Square and bought several beers NC is not allowed to sell. We then headed to Mesa Grill, Bobby Flay's restaurant. It was a little pricey, but worth every penny. I had, by far, the best peice of salmon ever and mashed potatoes with cilantro puree. Dinner would only have been better if Bobby Flay himself brought me my dinner.
Monday, June 16
Hopefully, that I've found my route tomorrow morning will go much smoother and I won't be a nervous nelly commuter.
Our trip so far: We flew in yesterday morning were in the city and our hotel by 11am. We decided to brave Times Square and hit up John's Pizzeria. This pizza place has been featured on the Food Network and is located in a renovated church. After that we went to Serendipity and had a Frozzzen Hot Chocolate. We each had our own, then purchased some mix to bring home.
It was pretty much an exhausting day and we mustered up some energy for a late dinner at a French restuarant, Artisanal. According to my Zagat, it's the 25th most popular restaurant in NYC. We ordered the Artisanal blend fondue with bread and kielbasa. Ben ordered a fish soup and I had a delicious beet and goat cheese salad. We were too stuffed from dinner to order dessert. By the the time we got back to our hotel, which is georgous by the way and offers a stunning view of the Crysler building from the 23rd floor, it was 10 and I fell into bed.
Ben went to the Statute of Liberty, Ellis Island and Ground Zero today. And finished with a beer at a local brewery/restaurant, Heartland. He's currently on his way to meet me at the office. We have dinner reservations at Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill. After dinner we plan to stop by Max Brenner's Chocolate by the Bald Man for chocolate dessert.
When we get back I'll update our posts with pictures, but for now that gives you an update on our trip so far.
Monday, June 9
Work was a busy day, but not nearly as bad as I had anticipated. The next few weeks will be very busy as I leave for New York City on Sunday for a week of training. One our co-workers in NY resigned today and they selected me to go up ASAP and train with her. We're now scrambling to find Ben a flight to join me for most of the week. I can't wait to get back to the Big Apple...I've been so jealous of all of my cowokers traveling to NY and now it's finally my turn. I know I'll be working everyday, but hopefully I can catch at least one show, a few good dinners and some light shopping.
After work, my dad, step-mom and sisters joined us for dinner at Lucky 32. Ben and I both enjoyed the shrimp and grits. I got so many wonderful gifts from everyone. My sister, Sara, who just returned from a week in Spain, gave me a few pieces of cool handmade jewelry, new sandals and beautiful pashmina. The little girls potted some flowers that are beautiful for the patio. And my parents gave me new Jack Rogers sandals, an espresso maker, and few other small gifts for the house. After dinner we had Ben's cake he made for me.
Also, our new TV was delivered today. It's huge! I've never looked at a TV this size. Now if TWC will change our cable box to the HDTV we can see how this bad boy really looks.
Thanks again for the all birthday wishes. It's been a fantastic day!
Sunday, June 8
Despite the heat, Ben grilled tequila-lime shrimp and chicken kabobs and corn on the cob, while the rest of us stayed inside in the cool air conditioning. He bought an awesome marinade from Williams-Sonoma made with silver tequila agave nectar and balanced by Key lime and lemon juices, roasted jalapeños and cracked black peppercorns. Kabobs are my favorite and this marinade was perfect for the summer heat.
As a sweet ending, Ben made me a Better Than Sex Cake, that I've been craving for months. The cake was a very rich chocolate cake with caramel, whipped topping and heath bars...but that didn't stop me from having a second piece. I also served homemade Key-Lime Pie ice cream.
Thanks everyone for a great birthday celebration and all gifts!
Sunday, June 1
Place 1 toothpick in each corner and 1 in the center of tiramisu (to prevent plastic wrap from sticking to cheese mixture); cover with plastic wrap. Chill 2 hours.
We've both did extensive research and decided on either a Samsung or a Sony Bravia. Ben found a 1080p Samsung 40 inch...which literally fits our entire nook with less than 1 inch to spare. He got a smokin' deal on it through Newegg and saved us $600. I'm glad he hit the "BUY" button on the website this morning rather than me.
After we made the bug purchase, we tidied up a little and went to Lowe's and got fun yard stuff. A new lawnmower, weed-eater, hedge trimmer, rake, grill cover (for the new grill my dad gave us as a house warming present), roman shades for our bathroom, a new bigger umbrella for the patio table, and a few other odds and ends including some fresh herbs to grow on the patio.