Meet Myrtie

Thanks to a few fundraisers, my parents have bought us some interesting gifts. A first pitch. A wheelbarrow full of beer. So, it was our time to return the favor with a gift from our Big Fun event. Meet Myrtie!

DSCN0273

Myrtie is a 1920s Model A roadster! On a crisp October Saturday, we were treated to a ride down to Brown County to have lunch at the Artist Colony with DS, JL, and Gordo! As I planned this event for my parents, DS says that they would bring a 2nd touring car so CS and I could tag along. Our motley crew!

DSCN0271

He even fit in the rumble seat!

DSCN0275

It instantly felt like we were in a parade because all the cars passing by were waving and honking at us! It was hilarious!

Untitled

Untitled

Mom & Dad opted to ride in Tater, another 1920’s touring car. It had a roof and air conditioning. And matched Mom’s outfit perfectly!

DSCN0277

Untitled

We enjoyed the winding countryside of Brown County.

Untitled

We made it to Nashville Indiana, where everyone was outside enjoying the fall afternoon. People were lining the streets. Again, parade time waving like we were part of something bigger. Had a great lunch at the Artist Colony where I learned Mom had never been to Nashville before. WTF?! With all the shopping she could do, I promised to bring her back when we could be on our own timeline. For today, we let her go in 2 stores. Ok, time to go!

Untitled

Thanks Nashville, we’ll be back!

Diavolo Date Night

Can’t head back to campus without visiting 2 of my favorite spots! Stop #1 for dinner!

Untitled

Then over to Loeb Playhouse to see the recent AGT top finalist, Diavolo, perform. Clearly this student was not taught theatre manners. Come on kid, get it together!

Untitled

The show was titled Passengers. Act I did not excite us. The dancing and movement was very rhythmic, but the props were not. They used large hard wood white boxes. CS says, “It’s like a office full of cubicles.” Well, they portrayed that one right with the name of Act I being “Cubicles”. Act II brought on the big structures we were waiting for. It well made up for Act I! Lots of jumps, slides, and tumbling.

Untitled

The trip wouldn’t have been complete without a stop # 2 to the ole’ NC to visit my friend the Piano Man!

Untitled

Where he kindly kept reminding the audience how old I was. He forgets, he ages too even though everyone around him stays the same age. 20 years and he still rocks the full room!

NYC – Day 6

Agenda:
*See everything we haven’t done yet!
*More shopping
*Pack

How do you survive a week in a hotel room with your Mother? Eye mask and noise cancelling headphones.

Untitled

Thanks for the pic Mom! These tools always make for a great night’s sleep. For our final day in NYC, we tied up some loose ends to see the Empire State Building and do some damage at Macy’s.

Untitled

Hopped on and off the buses again to catch all the sites we could. By the end of the day, our energy was sapped so we were ready for some hearty Italian from Carmine’s. While we waited for our RSVP, we popped into Gulliver’s Gate right next door. GG was on the list of 10 top hidden gems in NYC to visit. Had no clue what is was, but nothing had disappointed us yet! It was the world in miniature form! We started in NYC just showing the population of buildings.

Untitled

Then you got into the real details of the exhibit. 9/11 Memorial pools.

Untitled

We even made the jumbo-tron in Times Square!

Untitled

Well, tiny jumbo-tron…

Untitled

Over the pond to visit England!

Untitled

France

Untitled

The Taj

Untitled

These photos do not do it justice! The details are amazing. You get a metal key on a lanyard when you check in, so you can interact with each of the countries and make the display come to life. Mission Control monitoring every bit!

Untitled

Carmine’s was ready for us as our bellies were rumbling. Carmine’s was family style. We got the evening special chicken dish and the popular lasagna dinner. Some serious portion control was in order!

Untitled

K and I put the adults to bed, and finished off the night at The View, a revolving rooftop restaurant on the 38th floor of the Marquis. What. A. View.

Untitled

Before I pulled my eye mask down, I captured one last memory of the city that never sleeps. Good night NYC!

Untitled

NYC – Day 5

Agenda:
*9/11 Memorial
*Lady Liberty
*Broadway show – Hello Dolly

Even in this tall city, The Freedom Tower stands out from the crowd.

Untitled

Beautiful calming fountains dedicated to all those tragically lost encompass the land where the Twin Towers once stood. Ground Zero took my breath away.

Untitled

Inside gave you a look into the depth, literally, of this life changing event for our country.

Untitled

The survivor stairs that gave many a chance at life.

Untitled

After that, it was time to see what does make our county great, today. Not again. Today. Lady Liberty via the free Staten Island Ferry!

Untitled

Selfies with the Statue!

Untitled

Untitled

Ferry hair. Don’t care.

Untitled

A beautiful free way to see the cityscape of NYC.

Untitled

Back on land, we cleaned up and headed across the street (again) to Shubert Theatre. Better Midler and David Hyde Pierce were awaiting our arrival to see the classic Hello Dolly! The only tickets we bought pre-arrival to NYC.

Untitled

The show was a classic Broadway production! And Bette was a doll to watch perform live and really enjoy her roll not too seriously. What an end to our trip! Are we ready to go home yet?! No!

NYC – Day 4

Agenda:
*Broadway show – Hamilton
*Shopping!
*Steak dinner

Our hotel, Marriott Marquis is in the heart of Broadway. Big question for us was what shows would we see? We all agreed Hamilton was at the top of the list, but all websites were quoting $600+ per seat! Too rich for our blood. We’ll pick other shows.

Monday as we are walking in to call it a night, we pass by the Richard Rodgers Theatre and box office where Hamilton is playing. There were people in there. Ummmmm…. K and I say “Moms! Let’s give it a try.” We get to the front of the line and just ask what’s available. They had tickets for the Wednesday matinee 10 rows back center stage $229 each. That we CAN afford! We couldn’t believe it! We were fumbling to get our credit cards out so fast like the tickets would disappear!

We slept in Wednesday morning because our first event of the day was Hamilton at 2pm!

Untitled

Mama, we made it happen!!!

Untitled

Brilliantly written show. The rapping was phenomenal. I feel very privileged to say I saw this show on Broadway.

We capped off our evening with some shopping at my all time favorite TJ Maxx! I couldn’t help myself even in NYC! I was having shopping withdrawals. Then Mom requested a steak dinner. Simple Google searches were our best way of finding really good restaurants, and it nailed it with the Gallagher’s recommendation. Mom and I split a filet because they were so big! Great way to have a night cap!

Untitled

NYC – Day 3

Agenda:
*Live with Kelly & Ryan
*Gray line Uptown bus tour
*MoMa
*Nap

K & I were eager beavers to find out what live shows we could see while in NYC – SNL, JF… Our Moms like the morning shows, so we quickly scored tix to Kelly & Ryan, Live! It broadcasts at 9am, so we had to get up early to get in line even though we had tickets. We were all dreading the 6 am alarm. Get these girls some breakfast then lets… wait.

Untitled

Untitled

It was a exciting experience. My mother made me be on live TV as a child and I failed and so did she for not preparing me, and my bawling on the car floor ensued. This time we could relax behind the camera, mostly. Our guests were Demi Moore & David Muir!

Untitled

Untitled

Kelly and Ryan were very courteous and friendly during the breaks, lots of the selfies and autographs. The audience was a little more aggressive then I expected trying to get the celebs attention. We sent messages back to the Midwest to make sure we were scheduled on the DVR!

As were were scoping out where to get lunch, we noticed a lot of police and barricades set up on the street. Trump was leaving his building. We got locked in. It could have been a decoy, but I saw the shadow of the hair in the middle SUV.

Untitled

I was more on the lookout for snipers. After a meal at Burger Heaven, we made our way to MoMA. Selfie with the Van Gogh Starry Night!

Untitled

Shout out to BD and his Piacsso piece!

Untitled

I was most excited to see a Pollack in real life!

>Untitled

I was hoping we would see some outdoor art and bam! Hippo Ballerina sculpture was across the street from Lincoln Center.

Untitled

Everyone was starting to get slap happy. It was nap time. On our way back, I found my parcel of land in this big city!

Untitled

Hopped on the bus to get home and enjoyed views of The MET,

Untitled

and Central Park

Untitled

The Apollo

Untitled

Not joking, you see everything on these bus tours! After our nap, we were ready to fill our bellies. Bring on the Mexican cuisine for dinner!

Untitled

We ate like kings all week!

Untitled

NYC – Day 2

Agenda:
*Gray Line Downtown bus tour
*See hanging chickens in China Town (Carole request)
*Broadway show – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Since this was our first trip to NYC, K said the best way to see the whole city is on the bus tour. These guys were selling tickets right out our hotel door. One guy was willing to work with us and we scored the 2 day price for 5 days. This Downtown tour has 20+ stops on it! But before we got on we the bus, we had to check TKTS for a Broadway show. I love Willy Wonka, old or new version. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was playing next to the hotel. We were able to score tickets 50% off 10 rows back. I was giddy! More to come with that, on with the tour!

Untitled

The architecture in this city is amazing. Seeing from the roof top of the bus with a great tour guide adding his colorful stories about the history was absolutely the way to see this city.

Untitled

Flat Iron district!

Untitled

My motley crew!

Untitled

Best part about these tours is you can hop on and off as my times a day you want. So we hopped off in China Town. K wanted chicken on a stick. Carole wanted to see the chickens hanging in a store front. I wanted to get the hell out of there. It smelled terrible with the open baskets of seafood and meat. Barf.

After a few twists and turns, we found ourselves in the middle of the San Gennaro Festival in Little Italy. Yes, this food looks much better!!!

Untitled

Let’s eat lunch! Il Cortile provided a fabulous meal for our first outing.

Untitled

We hopped back on to finish the tour, but wait. We were rerouted because the President and the UN was in session. Streets were closed off. This fact would affect our route several times in the coming week.

We made it back, freshened up, and walked across the street to see Charlie @ the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre!

Untitled

Carole was a skeptic. How could they pull this off on a stage? But they did, it’s Broadway! They’ll figure it out! Everything from the Bucket bed, the Factory doors, and the magic inside with the glass elevator. Top 2 moments of the show was 1st, the Oompa-Loompas happened! The actors were on their knees using their hands as feet of the orange little bodies. It was fantastic!!! I can’t describe it,  you just have to see it! 2nd moment… a tiny squirrel came across the floor, then as they enter the shelling room, the actors were in full human size fluffy squirrel suits chasing Veruca Salt around! I was not expecting that and I was thrilled to see it! This show delivered and everyone in our party loved it!

Bucket List for Mama – NYC – Day 1

Mom started planting NYC-trip-seeds early this year. She slyly added the words “It’s a bucket list trip.” Who can say no to that even if she’s not at death’s door. As I started pondering how to make the trip happen, I knew my HLP had to come along. She’s well traveled to NYC and would be the perfect tour guide. When I approached her about the endeavor, she says “I can’t go without my Mom, she’ll kill me.” And, the Mother-Daughter trip was born. Off to NYC we go! Lots of emails and planning were exchanged. We were going to make this week count!

Agenda Day 1:
*Arrive safely to NYC
*Check in to the Marquis
*Experience Times Square

All the boys wanted to make sure we Midwest girls could handle the Big Apple. Lots of selfies allowed us to check in back at home. From JFK:

Untitled

Times Square is nuts! Oddly it was a smaller space than I expected. Camera angles make magic on TV. Yet it was busier than I could ever imagine!

Untitled

As we walked around, I noticed some plain dressed people with ear pieces like FBI. What’s up? Then I spied the movie trailer and didn’t recognize any stars, but we watched anyway. Who knows what this is/will be?

Untitled

We made our way over to Rockefeller Tower and Plaza. I still fail at the country flag game. Fun to see a daily TV space for real.

Untitled

Untitled

Like a tourist, I was constantly checking the map to see what was around us. #1 spot I wanted to take Mom to was St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Just around the corner? Let’s go! We weren’t sure if they would even be open on a Sunday night. Unbeknownst to us, they were!!! They had an exhibit showcasing the Relics Of St. Padre Pio on display. It was quite an impressive turn out. We said a prayer for our family back at home.

Untitled

And I asked Mom to take a pic of me praying at the altar. She says quite frankly, “If this is a joke, I’m not taking a picture. I’m not going to hell for that.” I assured her that I was serious and was going to be thankful for lots of wonderful things I have in my life, including her. Now, TAKE MY PICTURE!

Untitled

After attending the Catholic Church, which should we attend this week? This was literally right outside our hotel door.

Untitled

Good night TS. I’ll see you tomorrow.

Untitled

But before our night ended, this perfectly describes this one…

Untitled

Lake Freeman

Captain Jack & his first mate have invited us to their lake house every year. This year, we finally made arrangements to spend some time on Lake Freeman. I was super excited until I got there to find this….

Untitled

WTF. Not again. Is this really why you invited me there?! Of course I had to dig in when my puzzle gene took over. We didn’t get it finished, but I did get it to a place where the Labor Day crew would get it done. Hell, L started this in January! After they would drag me away from it, we got some Rummikub in! Had to teach the college kid this old school game.

Untitled

We woke up to a beautiful blue sky and ready to take a boat ride! But not until my parents arrived! Always a blessing when they can join our festivities!

DSCN0159

Great low and high bridge architecture to check out!

DSCN0164

DSCN0163

We had to make the tourist stop at the sand bar. Little different than I’m used to. People literally run their boats up into the sand bar. Anchors aren’t needed here!

Untitled

But is a grill needed? Yes please! I don’t even like hot dogs, but the thought of a grilled dog from the boat? Count me in.

Untitled

Come dinner time, we were ready for a hearty steak!

Untitled

Great friends, great memories. And I’ll have this memory to laugh at forever!

Zoo-Rangutan

When the sun is out in Indy, every body or every seal is out to soak it in! That’s how brown I want to be!

Untitled

I had not been to the Indy zoo since WAY before the Orangutan exhibit opened. I could see it every time I ran the canal. It was time! Can you see the one on his perch high in the sky?

Untitled

I loved it! I always feel so conflicted visiting zoos. While I love to see the beautiful creatures, I hate the trace-loop most caged animals end up doing. I remember a polar bear at a zoo when I was a kid. He had a pattern. Forward around, reverse. So sad.

Back to this extraordinary open enclosure! A real marvel to look at. Spears, ladders, glass. Swinging fire hoses to climb and metal rungs to explore. It did look like these guys and gals were having fun. But Mama, Sirih, kept following the baby, Mila, like she didn’t approve of her antics.

Untitled

Thousands of zoo fans voted to name this adorable baby with a name that translates to “dear one” in Indonesian. He was dear.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Then this joker comes climbing down from the top and I thought, that could totally look like a sasquatch or a yeti depending on your terrain.

Untitled

Untitled

After we were done with these characters, let’s see some more animals! This guy doesn’t need to climb anything.

Untitled

Our zoo puts on shows through out the day, so we took in a dog show. We always love them on AGT, so let’s see it live! These were all rescue dogs who were given a chance by their amazing trainer. See them jump!

Untitled

Untitled

Next were the big cats. I’ve always loved tigers. Rewind 7 years ago when B & P & I actually got to play with them! Most amazing hands on experience that started my journey towards always having real contact with wild animals. Oh wait. P & I got to do it TWICE!

Untitled

Must have a tiger selfie since I can’t pet him.

Untitled

Add the lemurs were, first napping in a pile. Later, they were bums on a log. Booooooring. I’m so spoiled. At least these brother bears gave us some action!

Untitled

Then came the scary train ride.

Untitled

Thank goodness my parents were here to comfort me.

Untitled

On our way out, real life happened. Hello sssssssssnake!

Untitled

People were freaking out on the sidewalk. Come on, it’s a zoo! Last show of the day, the Macaws. This was awesome. There are 3 tribes of Macaws at the zoo right now. During specific times of the day, each tribe’s cage door opens and they are trained to fly from the cage to the Bicentennial stage near the zoo entrance. Very very cool.

And these birds were not shy about getting to the stage, so watch your head. It’s not the biggest zoo around, but I learned we have a lot to offer. I hope visitors of our city enjoy it too!