Dropdown menu

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Liebster Blog Award

My friend Megan gave me this award, and since I've been a blog slacker lately, I guess this is as good of a jump start as any to getting back to it.

Here's my problem, though. (Um, I'm a slacker?) All the blogs I like to follow and read have loads of followers, and since the whole point is to spread the love to someone who has less than 200 followers, I don't know who to give the award to. Soo...

If you  have an interesting blog, and you'd like a Liebster, then let me know. I'll go read your blog, pass on the love, and then I'll tell my friends all about it.
If I have just awarded you The Liebster, here are the rules:
  1. Thank the person who gave you the award, and link back to them.
  2. Give The Liebster Award to five bloggers, and let them know in a comment on their blog.
  3. Copy and paste the award to your blog.
  4. Have faith your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.
  5. Have blogging fun!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thanksgiving Thursday

Because I seem to be starting all kinds of new themes, well, okay, just my Tuesday Tea posts, I want to do something special on Thursdays as well. Our moms group at church just finished reading a book, which I won't mention, because I actually did not like the book. However, it, as well as a couple others I've been reading lately, have talked a lot about the importance of being thankful and expressing that thankfulness.

So I decided, rather than just doing it privately, which I am doing, I also want the public accountability on my blog where I can express my thankfulness and be reminded, even in the worst times, we can choose to be thankful.

Pretty ironic for this to be the inaugural blog, because today hasn't been a great day. Last night, just before bed, the dog decided to pee on the bed for no apparent reason. So we had to strip the bed and hunt for a spare set of sheets. Pretty crazy that we only have one set of sheets for our bed, but that's what we have. I wash them and put them on all in the same day. Anyway, it took forever, and every time I tried dozing off, I'd smell more dog pee, and find one more thing I needed to clean up. I finally got to sleep, and then WHAM! Hubby's phone rings at 3 a.m. There was an emergency at work and they needed him to come in. I tossed and turned until I gave up at 6, fighting a horrible headache that still lingers.

So here I am, in the midst of this pain fog, thinking about being thankful, and I realized all the things, even with this bad situation, I can be thankful for:
1. Being up so early, I was able to print my boarding pass for my girl's weekend and get a decent spot.
2. Hubby is looking at working a 14 hour day, bringing in much needed money, when he wasn't even sure he'd have more than a couple hours' worth of work today.
3. In the quiet before the kids woke up, I got a lot of laundry done.
4. Our bedding is now clean. And I love sleeping on clean sheets.
5. I got to sit on the patio and watch a butterfly flit by.
6. My little girls understand that mommy has a headache and are giving me the space I need.
7. I am almost completely packed for my trip, so I can go to bed early tonight.
8. My piles of laundry remind me of the abundance we have.
9. The crisp taste of my water with lime is so refreshing.
10. The birds chirping in my back yard are relaxing and peaceful.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bumper Stickers

I spent 30 minutes yesterday behind a car with what, in my opinion, was a very offensive bumper sticker. I've seen bumper stickers like it, and it got me to thinking about all of the bumper stickers I see out there. So many of them are geared toward offending or attacking someone else.

For example, the popular bumper sticker proclaiming that "My dog is smarter than your honor student."

My question is why. Why do people need to put down someone else's pride in their child? Why do we need to attack other people's religious views? Or political views? Will driving past someone with a "NObama" bumper stinker alter the way I vote? I've never read a bumper sticker that made me question my religion. Actually, the only thing a bumper sticker has made me question is the person who thought that putting on that bumper sticker was a good idea.

One of my friends, Lucille Zimmerman, is a counselor, and I've gotten to critique her book (which is fantastic, and I can't wait until she sells!). She is always asking a question that I've learned to ask in situations like this. "What does this tell me about the other person?"

So as I followed this couple with the offensive bumper stickers, I started to ask myself that question. What does those bumper stickers tell me about these people? First of all, one of them said something about how they weren't inconsiderate, they just didn't care. Wow. What a sad thing to say about oneself, don't you think? And then of course, there were the ignorant religion attacking bumper stickers. Again, as I thought about what it said about these people, I realized that they must not have any hope, and combined with their not caring, they probably didn't really have a whole lot of good in their lives. Instead of being angry, I kind of felt bad for them. And even though knowing it would have probably offended these people, I prayed for them.

Then there was the woman driving around with very sexually explicit bumper stickers. Again, I thought about what they said about her. Not just on the surface, but about what kind of deep wounds must she have that made her feel like she needed every human being who drove past to know exactly how much sex you like, and what thing you're willing to do. I was glad my kids didn't notice or ask me what those words meant, but I knew what those bumper stickers meant. The woman was a broken woman who felt that the only way to prove her strength was to shout out a lot of things that only proved how broken she was.

And sure, there are the positive bumper stickers, like the ones about our families, or how we love our favorite teams, or some of our favorite hobbies, or places to visit? But you know what? I'd rather sit down and have a conversation with you so that we can know these things about each other.

The problem with bumper stickers is that they are just one more piece of the passive aggressive communication prevalent in our society. I won't have a conversation with you about your religion, but I will denigrate it to anyone who drives by. I'm not willing to have an intelligent political discussion with you, but I will slander your favorite candidate. Sex? Well, I'm not going to take the time to get to know a member of the opposite gender and know them as person, instead, I'm going to tell the world how little I respect them. Probably because I'm too insecure to allow myself to be vulnerable in a real relationship.

I don't have a bumper sticker on my car. Although I do have a lovely Dora the Explorer sticker on one of my windows from when a disobedient little girl stuck it there. I can't find a way to get it off without damaging the coating. I imagine what that says about me is that I'm a mom, and just like every other mom, I have kids who don't always listen as they should. And that I don't have the money to take it in to a professional to fix it.

But what I really hope my lack of bumper stickers says about me is that I'd rather have a conversation with you. I'd like to get to know you. And I'd like you to get to know me.

What do your bumper stickers say about you?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tuesday Tea Time: The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse

Two little BFFs in front of the teahouse
Finally! Back to Colorado. Seriously, if I could travel the world doing nothing but having tea, I would. Fortunately, Colorado has some wonderful tea places, and I get to share my favorites with you.

Today's teahouse is the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse.

This amazing place was created out of a mission to better unite Boulder to its sister city in Tajikistan. The whole story can be found here on the teahouse's website. I love that this teahouse represents a culture that we Americans do not typically associate with tea. Yet, as you'll see by reading their website, tea is an important piece of the culture in Central Asia. So it makes me a little sad that most of our teahouses are British when so many of the cultures of the world have such important cultural ties to tea.

Which is why this place was so amazing.

I brought my BFF and our little girls, and I was pleasantly surprised to find the accommodations for kids to be very kid-friendly. Many times, tea places see little girls come bouncing in, and they give you the stern look of doom that makes you wonder why you'd dare bring children to cross their sacred threshold. Not so here. I found the children's menu to be very good (The chicken tenders are grilled, not fried!!) and they even had recommendations for teas that children would like. Except mine, of course, who have refined palates, and drink the good stuff.

Tea menu and regular menu
Teas... um.... yes. They have over 100 teas, and everything we had was quite good. The White Pear Tarte Green tea (which you can order on their website) was, in a word, um, no, you can't possibly give a word to describe how delicious it was. The little girls liked the Fairytale Dreams tea. I didn't have any because I am allergic to chamomile. My big girl, who loves the good stuff, had the Silver Dragon, because I wouldn't let her have her standby, Dragonwell. It was also delicious. We had another tea, but I didn't see it on the online menu, and I can't remember its name. It was also very good.

But the best part was the tea cocktails. Um, yes. Tea AND alcohol, and it was divine. I had some kind of tea mojito, and it was AMAZING. Sara had a gin and tea concoction, which was good, but strong. My word of warning here is that these drinks will knock you flat. We hung around longer than usual simply because I needed the time to be okay to drive home. And yes, I only had one. Plus lunch, plus a couple of pots of tea, plus water.

The food was also excellent. I loved the healthy choices for the kids. If your kids like the typical restaurant junky kids meal food, they will be disappointed. The other two kids had pizza, which looked homemade, and looked nothing like the flying disks you pull out of a freezer. The kids and I thought they were delicious. I had the lamb kubideh, which was really good. My kids also tried some and liked it. My BFF also thought her meal was great- she had the hummus plate and Russian beet salad. As a side note, some friends have been there for breakfast, and they thought the breakfast was excellent as well.

As far as going back, um, yes! We definitely want to go back, and for us, the only drawback is that it's about an hour away, so getting there takes some planning. If you are in the Denver/Boulder area and love tea, this is a place you won't want to miss!
Perfect cup of tea!

Monday, August 15, 2011

How can I resist?

This is my little cowgirl. I'm not much on cow-anything, and I really hate the smell of being around horses, cows, and pretty much any barnyard animal. If you'd have told me that I'd be spending my days outside an arena, I'd have told you that you were nuts. But here I am. I still think the animals stink. I still need a ton of allergy medication to hang out in a barn. However...

Just look at that smile.

My sweet cowgirl loves horses. On riding day, she wakes up with a smile that doesn't quit until she goes to bed.

So even though this horse thing is definitely not my thing, I can't resist the joy of a little girl doing what she loves. I may not be a cowgirl, but I am a cowgirl's mama.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Books, happy places, and libraries

Yesterday I shared my happy place- the library.

One of my earliest happy place memories is of going to the library. I loved going to the library more than anyplace else. For me, that magical place was the town library in Fruita, CO, which has since been moved at least twice to less romantic buildings than the tiny bit of heaven I used to love. Even now, I can still remember the old building smell combined with the old book smell.

I get into debates with people about keeping books. I am a book keeper. Even as a kid, I would put numbered masking tape stickers on my books (and yes, I still have some of them. My mom made me get rid of some, though, and I am still bitter about that. NEVER separate a book lover from her books!). My dream always has been to have a ginormous library.

I can't tell you why, because I honestly don't know. Maybe it's because I love books so much. Maybe it's because I've had so many happy times in libraries. For me, there is no greater thrill than digging through stacks of books until you find the perfect story to spend an afternoon with.

I'm sure there are probably deeper psychological reasons, like books do not judge you, and they can take you to all sorts of places you can never go otherwise.

But there is also something else, something I see in my daughters, and I try so hard not to squelch that. It's this curiosity, of wanting to know more, and of wanting to dig beyond the surface. I can't take my 7yo anywhere without her asking questions like, "mom, why do you think that man is riding a pink bike? Doesn't he know pink is a girl color?" And then listening to her go on for thirty minutes about all the reasons why this man might choose to ride a pink bike. I like knowing those things too. I like learning about other civilizations, people who lived in different times, and just about anything I never knew until I picked up a book.

So for me, being in a library filled with books is the ultimate dream come true. I am happiest surrounded by books, who are the most comforting of friends. Of course, it is also wonderful when I am joined by fellow book lovers. Nerdy as it seems, some of my most perfect days with human friends have been when we're all in the same room, lost in our own worlds, enjoying good books.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Another dangerous thing to have in my head...

I give you Bookshelf P**n. Fill in the blanks yourself, because I don't want spammers bugging me. Even though they probably will anyway. Jerks. They really need new hobbies.

Anyway, it's really been a craptastical week. Started out amazing, but I just keep getting sucked under with a lot of ick. So, let's all go to my happy place, places filled with books! One day, I'll get to design my very own happy book place, and until then, let's use these for inspiration.

But because I am truly in a heinous mood and need to go to lots of happy places, here are some other inspirations for you:

Colorado Library Designer, Snowdon & Hopkins. I'd probably use these guys. I particularly like the first picture at the top.

Of course, my dream library is the library in the movie My Fair Lady (best movie of all time!). I couldn't find any specific pics of it, so if you have one, please send it to me. As a close second, if you read this blog post and scroll down, you can see the inspiration for it. Actually, that whole blog is really what I'd like to refer to as library crack, and much better than the site at the top of my blog post.

Now it's your turn- what's your dream library?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Resting her mouth

Some days, my 7yo comes up with the funniest things, and because she's so sensitive, if I laugh in her presence, her feelings get really hurt, and it becomes a horrendous drama. So I'm sharing and laughing here, because it was so darn cute. Although... boy, with this girl's logic, I will so be in trouble when she gets older.

Last night's car ride home featured this gem, which included a great deal of sibling bickering, wailing from 7yo because I wasn't listening to her, and my personal favorite, 7yo being really mad at me for interrupting one of her soliloquys  when I was talking myself through a really confusing construction zone, trying to figure out where I needed to be.

7yo: MOM! I was talking and you rudely interrupted. (Yes, we have been discussing that interrupting is rude.)

Me: Honey, I apologize for interrupting. We're in a dangerous construction zone that's not well marked, and I'm trying to figure out where we need to be. So until we are in a safe place, I need you to be quiet so I can concentrate.

7yo: Well, if you're talking, it's not quiet.

Me: Sometimes talking to myself helps me concentrate.

7yo: It's boring not to talk.

Me: Would you rather be bored or in a car accident because you've distracted me from seeing where we're supposed to be? (picture cars zooming past you, then cutting you off because they've realized that their lane no longer exists)

7yo: Fine. I'll be quiet. But only because I don't want to be in a car accident.

(Pause for 30 seconds)
7yo: Ramble, ramble, ramble.

Me: You've been talking nonstop since we left for church. Since we're almost home, do you think you could rest your mouth and be quiet for a while?

7yo: But I'm not done talking yet.

Me: Mommy's really tired and her ears hurt. Please can we have just a little bit of quiet?

7yo: Fine. (Turns and makes sotto voce comment to her sister)

10yo: Stop picking on me!

Me to 7yo: What did you say to her? Can't you be nice to your sister?

7yo: I'm not going to answer you, because you said that I need to rest my mouth.

And this is the moment when I nearly lost it, having to try not to laugh, and maneuver through traffic, AND keep her sister from laughing all at the same time. Because, of course, that sweet little girl managed to only be quiet for 30 seconds before launching into ANOTHER long tale, and it took the threat of no frozen yogurt to finally get her to be quiet.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Tuesday Tea Time: A tea for every occasion

Tea at Junior's.
With all the fancy teas and tea places I've been highlighting, it's only fair that I also highlight the old standby. Yes, I am talking about Lipton. As a tea lover with an overflowing cabinet, I have my share of luxurious teas. But there's also a time and place for Lipton. I never want to be such a tea snob that I turn up my nose at the tea offered me, no matter where I go. The only tea I won't drink is anything with chamomile, because I'm allergic to chamomile.

While I was in New York, if I wasn't at a restaurant specializing in tea, this is what I was offered. Still delicious, still satisfying, and enough to make everything right in the world, even if for that moment. I think that's the beauty of tea- versatile, and no matter what your budget is, or what restaurant you're in, you can find something to please your palate.

Monday, August 08, 2011

The best and worst of people

As I mentioned in my blog about Elitch's, one of the things that struck me about the whole horrible day was how I saw such a contrast in the best and worst of people.

First off, I did want to mention that I did hear back from the staff. They were nice about it and apologized for our experience, although they were also really defensive in how they did what they could. I guess I can understand that they'd want to defend their actions, but I do hope that they will do more in the future to prevent it.

But that brings me back to what I've been pondering since it all happened- why are we all so focused on our needs beyond everyone else's? It bugs me that we're in such a "me-first" world. People who were so intent on getting their tickets before everyone else, even though there were plenty to go around, had no problem pushing and in some cases, stepping on others to get there. I can still picture this one woman. So aggressive, and did everything she could to put herself and her two young sons ahead of everyone else. Despite multiple people talking to her, trying to be reasonable, her answer was, "too bad."

I saw her a number of times throughout the day. She must've been on my radar or something, because in that crowd, it would have been hard to find anyone. Each time, she seemed to be perfectly happy and having a great time. And I had to wonder, how does she do it? How does she live with herself, knowing she'd hurt others on the way to getting to a good time? I also wondered about what kind of people her sons would grow up to be. Because if this woman can act like that over a concert, where she would have gotten tickets anyway had she just waited her turn, where else does this aggressive, me-first attitude come out?

I want to contrast this, though, with some great people we met. We spent a couple of hours in line with them. Nice people. Once the pushing started, I chose to hang back, because I knew we'd get tickets anyway, and it wasn't worth fighting to keep our places. In the melee, these people ended up ahead of us. Not a big deal, and I honestly didn't care. But they did. They spotted us and said, "hey, you guys were in front of us. Get up here." I keep thinking about them, because it would be so easy to focus on the negative from the day, and the nasty people. This family was a reminder to me that not everyone is out for themselves. I watched them help others in line, giving assistance to one of the moms who'd come alone with her children, and one of her children had gotten hurt. So the mom from the nice family went and got the injured child a band-aid. She understood that there are more important things than having the right place in line.

It made me stop and think about the things I make a big deal over or try to push my way ahead on. And you know, so many times when we think that what we want is more important than someone else, it just isn't. So I've been trying to be more intentional about asking myself that question lately. Am I putting myself ahead of others, and is putting myself ahead worth it?

I keep thinking about Philippians 2:3-4 "3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others."

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not perfect at following Paul's command here. Okay, I fail a lot. But as I think about the time we spent in that crowd, of some of the situations I've dealt with lately, I've thought about how differently it would have turned out had that verse been the guiding principle. And I also wonder how different other situations in my life would look if I continue working on the same.

What about you? Are you good at putting others first? How do you balance putting others first and taking care of yourself?

Friday, August 05, 2011

But also happy moments

Little girl BFFs (and one big girl)

Mommy BFFs!
I'd be remiss if I didn't also talk about the fact that in spite of the horrible experience we had at the park, the girls had a great time. I never imagined I'd be the cool mom who stood in line for hours to get her kids into a concert, but I did, and I hope that the good memories of the day will outweigh the bad. I made arrangements with my BFF to bring her daughter (my daughter's BFF) so that we could experience it together. I'm so glad I had her there with me. If I had to have a rough day, I'm glad I walked through it with her.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Horrible day at Elitch Gardens

As I mentioned in a previous post, we had a really icky day at Elitch Gardens for the Big Time Rush concert. Instead of totally rehashing it, I'm just going to post the letter I sent to their management as well as the parent company. Basically, it was a horrible experience, and I do not recommend going to any of their concerts until they improve how they do things.

Dear Elitch Gardens Managers,

I am writing to express my extreme disappointment over the events that happened on the day of the Big Time Rush concert on Sunday, July 31st.

Our family planned ahead, and when we called several days before the event, we were told that people begin lining up as early as 7am, and we were advised that if we wanted tickets, we should get there early. So we did. We arrived at 7:30 am and got in line with a number of other people. We didn't mind, and we hoped it would be a fun experience for our children to make that sacrifice to see their favorite band.

Shortly before the doors opened, the crowd became very pushy. Several of the parents had arguments with newcomers who tried cutting in line. These people were reported to security, who merely shrugged and said there was nothing they could do. The arguments increased, and I was appalled at my children having to witness both the behavior and language. Once the doors opened, there was a mad rush to get in- people cut in line and pushed ahead, including the latecomers who had been fighting with the waiting parents. Several small children were trampled and injured. While none of the injuries appeared to require medical attention, it was frustrating that this happened in front of security, and despite complaints from the parents who had been waiting all morning, nothing was done.

While my own children were unharmed, they were terrified. When we finally got into the park, it was absolute chaos. There were no clear directions, no clear signs, or any indication of how wristbands were distributed. We once again were at the mercy of the pushy crowds who again endangered our children, shoving them, stepping on them, and not caring that there were small children present. One child in this crowd fainted, which I witnessed, and one of the nearby parents said it was the second child so far. No security was present, and as far as any of us could observe, no park staff intervened or offered assistance.

Because the staff were located at random spots handing out wristbands, there was no clear direction on where to go or how to obtain them. Our family ended up literally stuck at the stage with nowhere else to go. We were shoved into a potted tree, and despite my asking the people around us to please be careful, our words were ignored. This happened in full view of staff members, though I realize they were busy handing out wristbands. While there were supposedly rules about each person only getting one wristband, the staff arbitrarily applied that rule- there were young girls next to us already wearing wristbands who would be given several more for their friends (who were not present). When my ten year old managed to get one, and asked for one for her family (who were standing right behind her), she was told no by the same person who had just given a fistful of wristbands to someone already wearing one.

The point is not that we were worried we were not going to get a wristband. One of the people handing out wristbands (a man named Chris, whose name I only remember because the young ladies who kept getting multiple wristbands from him kept flirting with him and calling out his name), reassured the crowd a number of times that everyone present would get a wristband. The problem was not the idea of getting one, but there was no organized method of distributing them. The crowd was pushy, disorganized, and had no concern for the safety of others. There was no security in place to keep anyone safe.

Once we obtained our wristbands, we went to the water park and got settled in. We noticed several people putting aside wristbands for people who would be arriving later. Some of those people didn't arrive until much later in the day. Which was a shame, considering several of our other friends, who arrived at 9:30 were told all the wristbands had been given out. So much for the rule that only one wristband per person would be given out.

The park was crowded, mostly with people who had hoped to get into the concert but arrived too late. Many of them were not aware that all of the wristbands had been given out until after they went to the stadium and asked. The crowds were unbearable, and in many cases, were a safety hazard, particularly in the wave pool and pirate ship pool. There were not enough lifeguards, and again, children were injured. Fortunately, nothing that appeared life threatening, but do children have to go to the hospital for safety to matter? The lines for the ladies' room were never shorter than about 20 people. There were not enough places for people to sit in the water park, and many resorted to stashing their things alongside the pools. Which again, presented a safety hazard for people tripping and injuring themselves. It was clear to many of the people in the water park especially that you were over capacity and had made no arrangements for dealing with this level of crowd. I would like to think that this was due to poor planning, rather than Elitch's caring more about profits than people's safety.

The food services staff was equally unprepared for the crowds. We visited at least 5 different food and beverage vendors throughout the day. Each one of them was out of something. It was very disappointing to not be able to have our first choice of food or drink all day long. One station did not have Dr. Pepper, another did not have hot dogs, one was out of the flavor of Dipping Dots my daughter wanted. We went to one place, and when I ordered a margarita (at 5pm), was told that they hadn't turned on the machine today and if we wanted one, we'd have to go to a place at the other end of the park. The last time we were at the park, we had hot dog and hamburger sliders with different toppings that were delicious. This time, there were no toppings, and the food was overcooked. The staff didn't seem to care, and acted as though it was normal to not have adequate food and beverages. They treated us as though it was an imposition to serve us. When my husband asked for a to go box so we could eat our dinner in line for the concert, we were given a large plastic bag, even though several others at the concert had to go boxes. One employee was observed, while wearing food prep gloves, picking up trash from the floor, then going to prepare food. In another food stand, an employee was trying to manage the crowd (a line of about 15 people) by herself while also having to go to another stand to get a customer a beer. She didn't look old enough to be serving alcohol, and was clearly stressed at having to deal with all of it alone. She did go get the beer, but it was at the expense of all the waiting customers. Based on what my friend observed, several health code violations existed, which didn't seem to be of any consequence to the employees. Our joke for the day became that the only requirement to work in the park was that the person was breathing.

Concert time was the first we saw security, other than when we first entered the park. I was pleased to see them directing people to the end of the line and they had created a makeshift but semi orderly system for getting people into the concert. Staff members were walking along the line to make sure everything was going smoothly and to answer questions. What a difference this would have made had this been in place that morning with park entrance and wristband distribution. We managed to talk to one woman, whose badge indicated she was some sort of marketing manager (I don't remember the name or specific title). My friend, who has an extensive retail event background, asked what the plan was for next time. The woman asked her what she meant. My friend explained about the crowds this morning. The woman's response was that there was nothing they could do.

Sadly, the “there's nothing we can do” response seems to be the way everyone in your park manages things. There was plenty that could have been done in the morning to have prevented the crowd issues- increased security, distinct lines, stanchions, clear directions and instructions, and more employees interacting with the guests. On the rides, there were signs stating that cutting in line would be grounds for ejection from the park and/or revocation of season passes. Surely acting in an unsafe manner, cutting in line, and pushing to get into the park would be grounds for not admitting people.

I hope, as you read this, that you will pass my letter on to other staff and supervisors so that they can make better arrangements for future concerts. Many of the people in the crowd stated their intention to attend the Miranda Cosgrove concert. Will your team be better prepared for that day?

Our family will not be attending the Miranda Cosgrove show, and we are considering not renewing our season passes for next year. I don't feel that entertainment should come at the expense of safety. I'm not willing to be forced to buy overpriced food (since we can't bring our own in) that is prepared without following health code and is not as advertised. It is my sincere hope that you use this as a learning tool and improve upon your service, as there is much room for improvement.


Wednesday, August 03, 2011

How about a massage?

The vet says he has a hurt back. At one point, the word massage got tossed into the conversation. Which would be a nice thing except I want to know where mine is!!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Tuesday Tea Time: The Palm Court at the Plaza Hotel

Yes, darlings!! It is time!! To tell you all of the mah-velous time we had at the Plaza Hotel.

Left from bottom: Kate Hewitt, Caroline Godin, Winnie Griggs. Right from bottom: Laura Marie Altom, Margaret Daley, Camy Tang, Me.

Some of my wonderful, dearest friends (and some brand-new BFFs) planned this day because we love tea, and we love being fancy, and well, we also love being together. Seriously, there is no greater joy than being at a tea table with some of your very favorite people in the world. And it also helps to do it at the Plaza.

One of the first things we discovered, thanks to our uber-spotter, Laura Marie Altom, was that Kirstie Alley was having tea at a nearby table. We all agreed she looked great. Laura tweeted about it, and Kirstie tweeted back, so now we all can bask in our momentary brush with famousness. Actually, Kirstie should have been tweeting about her brush with famousness because we had so many famous authors at that table. It reminds me just how blessed I am. When I was a little girl, reading all those books, I never imagined I'd be lucky enough to meet one author, let alone have so many authors I call my friends. Maybe it's nerdy of me, but I still sometimes have to pinch myself. No offense to Kirstie, but I get more starstruck over meeting some of these amazing authors.

So... on to the tea... I decided to be brave and try new things, so I ordered The Classic, which was delicious and featured two delicacies I'd never tried before- Quail Egg Salad (it was okay, I didn't hate it, but I wouldn't do it again) and a sandwich with Sturgeon Caviar. I really liked the caviar. :) Actually, everything was delicious, though I would like to brag on myself a little and say that I like my homemade lemon curd better than theirs. The dessert was also great, and I was only sorry that I didn't have enough room for it all.

For their tea, I went with their Afternoon Tea. After all, you can't go to afternoon tea and not have the signature blend, right? And because it's so fancy, here's the description they gave: "Rich and moody off the nose, it opens with malty astringency and finishes with hints of oak cask and a dusting of delicate citrus." Um, I didn't get ALL that, but it was still good. Not good enough that I had to bring some home, mind you, but I'd drink it again.

Overall, it was a great experience. Definitely worth doing when you go to New York. One of the "must-experience" kind of things. Be sure to make a reservation, as I noticed when we were there, the hostess turned away people who didn't have one.  As for the price, well, there's our receipt to show you... yeah, it was expensive. BUT, honestly, compared to the prices we paid for other meals in New York, I didn't think it outrageously so, and certainly, it was worth it.

The only sad thing about this wonderful tea excursion is that it was the very last one of our New York trip. You know, business stuff and all that taking precedence. The good news is that RWA is back at the same place in 2015, so if I don't make it back before then, you'll know where to find me July 2015. Ouch. That's a long time to wait for another New York tea adventure.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Crazy days

Last week was nuts, and those of you who follow what I do for work know that we had a MAJOR (and very successful) event, so I was barely keeping my head above water. We won't discuss the emails I still must reply to. (If I owe you an email, I am very very sorry, I'm working on it today, promise!)

Yesterday, though, and what I really want to blog about, was INSANE. My BFF and I took our little girls to see a Big Time Rush concert. Never, in a million years did I think I'd be the cool mom who stands in line two hours early to get her kids in to see a show. But there we were, with some of the other cool moms and dads, and we had an interesting time... To use George Bush's much as of recently under-appreciated term, FUBAR does not come close to covering it. For the record, it was not Big Time Rush's fault. Elitch Gardens completely failed to plan properly for this event, and it showed. I'm going to be writing them a letter explaining exactly how and why they messed up, and then I'll post something here. Partially because I am sooo disappointed in a company that makes its money off of entertaining people (and did you get that I think they did a LOUSY job?), but also because I learned a lot of interesting things about people and human nature. In some ways, I experienced the absolute worst of people, but I also met some really neat people too.

So how's your week been?