Thursday, May 31, 2012

nyc travel diary: a long day in airports

getting to new york felt like it took forever.  in all actuality it took us 6 hours, but add the two hour time difference from here to there and it took 8!  i didn't mind too much.  you're always so excited to get somewhere that all the travel time doesn't seem too horrible.  especially when you have great entertainment (justin, gordon, mel, other patrons on the airplane i.e. guy invading the other person sitting next to him's space while playing an interactive ipad game...he entertained us for awhile!). 

before departing, justin presented us with our nyc travel packet which included our trip itinerary, city passes, 9/11 memorial passes, flags for the memorial, "our people" for the memorial, york peppermint patties, and a few other items.  i was beyond excited to get this packet.  i had anticipated its arrive for months (because that's how justin plans's pretty wonderful)!

we had a short layover in minneapolis where we ate dinner (nothing fancy) and arrived in new york around 11pm.  we hopped in a taxi (my first taxi ride!) who took us to our new jersey hotel where i slept horribly because i was so anxious to start our nyc adventures!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

nyc travel diary: travel notification: 24 hours

our second email from our tour guide:

Hello again Traveler,

In an effort to make sure everyone as ready for this most awesome trip (and to give Gordon the opportunity to say I’m weird again), this is your 24 hour notification. The City That Never Sleeps awaits you!

Please note that you are checked in for the flight and do not need to do anything but pack and arrive on time. The hotel room has basic items: shampoo, soap, hair dryer, and an iron. Do not forget identification and the appropriate religious recommends. We want to avoid any last minute delays – we will not be able to hold the plane for you.

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you tomorrow.

All the best,


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

nyc travel diary: from the very beginning

our five year anniversary came and went.  it was fantastic...we celebrated in new york city!  gordon's sister, melanie, and her husband, justin, joined us for our celebration (and to be our new york city tour guides).  here's our trip diary.  from the very beginning.

we received this email, titled new york city 2012, from our main tour guide aka justin 3 days before we left:

Greetings Traveler!

In just 72 hours you will be arriving in the Big Apple. New York is "the most populous city in the United States and one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment," and we are going to see it all. Please read this email in its entirety to start your vacation out right.

Packing is an art when visiting New York City. Pack lightly if you can, especially with the airlines charging extra for every bag. If you plan to do much shopping while in NY (Jessica), consider packing a duffel bag or something similar that you can fold into your suitcase and use to fill for the trip home.

Make sure you've got a comfortable pair of shoes that allow you to be on your feet and walking a lot - if you take Salomons, you will be 15% faster than others in your group that may not be wearing them. You can easily walk several miles in one day without even realizing it! So do yourself a favor -- when you're out seeing the sights or shopping, make sure you've got comfortable shoes on.

Although the weather should be in our favor, you never know. The average temperature will be the low-to-mid 70's during the day. Layers are recommended, but it's also nice to not have to carry anything around the city (such as a backpack or large purse).

The complete calendar can be found on Google Docs and has been recently updated to accommodate business openings and such. Here are some highlights:

- We've just confirmed that Usher will be performing live on May 18th for the Today's Show at Rockefeller Center.
- At the Museum of Natural History, there is an exhibit about humans living elsewhere: The Moon. Mars. An icy moon of Jupiter. A near-Earth asteroid. In the not too distant future, missions to these destinations will launch from Earth.
- Biking through Central Park will be great this time of year.
- Our food itinerary has been expertly prepared by a nutrition guru and is sure to be a complete success.
- And much, much more including the Statue of Liberty, Fifth Avenue, FAO Schwartz, Ellis Island, Eternal blessings (the temple), and BROADWAY!

In addition to the electronic resources for the trip, please note that you will be receiving a travel packet upon departure with additional details including your City Passes.

Please arrive no later than (insert importantYou will be transported to Salt Lake International Airport via Diamond Parking for a 2:25PM departure. It is in your best interest to eat lunch before departure. We will have a 1hr 17 min layover in Minneapolis, MN and we are arriving at Newark's Liberty Airport at approximately 11PM. After gathering luggage we will take a taxi the short 20 minutes to the hotel. Our hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn, is just 3 miles from downtown New York City and is meant to be our home away from home.

In the meantime, eat well, exercise, and get good sleep for the next few days as we prepare for a great time in The Empire State!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

a hike.

family night activity
a hike to malan's basin (we got about halfway there)
our first hike of the year together (plus the company of my sister and nephew)
gordon kicked butt and hiked as if he'd been hiking all year (hiking is his second nature!)

i think this may just be our summer family night activity...
and that's a-okay with me!

Friday, May 4, 2012

locals first: sweet pop'n cafe

did you know that popcorn has more antioxidants than fruits and vegetables?!  that's what shape magazine says anyways.

now, since popcorn is practically health food i introduce to you sweet pop'n cafe.  a new food establishment on our favorite street (25th street folks!).  they have traditional flavors, fancy flavors, and you can also create your own gourmet flavor!  the owners let us sample any flavor we wanted...there was no limit to taste testing.  they gave us suggestions, told us what were best sellers, and then made us a white chocolate almond popcorn creation that was out of this world!  we left with a bag of lime rickey, caramel apple, white chocolate almond, and jalapeno and cheddar mixed together (the first three were given to my step-dad along with his birthday gift...the jalapeno and cheddar was for us.  so good.  and there was nothing sweet about it...which gave us the green light to gobble it right up - we didn't eat sweets in april...well almost all of april).
we can't wait to go back there with creations in mind to try out.  the owner said she's up for a challenge and will create anything we ask for!  what kind of popcorn flavor would you create?  i'm asking for chai!

Thursday, May 3, 2012


i have my favorite exercise partner back!! (no offense jodi, tanna, or jenny) this week gordon had his post-op doctor's appointment. dr. clyde told him he had healed well and that he is free to do whatever he wants! he was advised not to run quite yet (he has to wait another few months for that), but he can bike, hike, and kayak to his heart’s content. and right now those are the top three things he can't wait to begin doing. he also plans to bike to work (...i'm so jealous!)

i am so happy to have my functioning husband back.  it was so hard to watch him in such pain and it continues to be a miracle and blessing that the pain he was in is gone.  let our summer adventures begin!  first up: nyc!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

ogden is #8 (but #1 in our book!)

Forbes magazine rank our city, ogden - utah, as the eighth city in the country to raise a family.  it's no secret we love our city.  we're just glad others are seeing what a great place it is too!  ...three cheers for ogden!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

locals first: the lucky slice

it's no secret that my mister and i love pizza.  ogden pizzeria will always have our heart, and slackwater pub and pizzeria will always be the place we (i)  go when we (i) want more than just a great combination pizza.  well now in the mix of it all is the lucky slice.  it's on my favorite ogden street being put with a bunch of my other favorite restaurants. 

before gordon's friend brandon and his wife left for dc for the summer we took them to the lucky slice.  it was all of our first experience eating there.  i found out i like bleu cheese and bacon (not canadian bacon, but real breakfast bacon) on a pizza isn't as gross as it sounds.

this place has the "already famous" pizza combinations but also has some "almost famous" choices as well.  we tried two "almost famous" pizzas: the dub all-star and bleu moon.  the dub all-star was my favorite of the two, although both were good.  we also had their cheese bread, but only because they made an extra order and charged us half price (and we were starving and it was ready now!).  they have other menu items i would like to try such as a variety of panini's, wings, and salads (or rabbit food...which is what they call it but also what gordon calls it too).  we'll go back to try more things for sure.
the only downside is that this place is tiny, but the atmosphere is hip and the music was hoppin'.  i'd recommend it to other pizza lovers.  and not because the owner is an ex co-worker of gordons who quit working with him to achieve his food dreams (although that does help).  it's pretty yummy.  and open late on the weekends (til 2am!).