Monday, August 23, 2010

Kruidenier family beach trip

This was our last trip of the summer. We spent the weekend at Carolina Beach hanging out with most of the Kruideniers. I know I've said this before, but I have the best in-laws! 

9 people's stuff for a day at the beach packed in the back of the jeep. Anna--dropped your hat!
Anna and Arianna jumping the waves.

The day at the beach was so fun--everyone played in the water at some point.
Thanks to Tyler and Anna for hosting us in his parents' house where we played pool, basketball, and cruised the neighborhood on bicycles. The cousins had a great time together and played lots of games including spit and checkers
We also walked back behind the house to a pond where we ran into an alligator.
We missed you Dave, Liz and William, and thought of you often.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

New York City

Ten years ago Jennifer and I were married. This past week we celebrated with a special trip to NYC. NYC had much to offer. First, it has an incredible array of vegetarian friendly eating. We weren't quite sure just how good, but we were absolutely blown away. Second, NYC had the arts. We were able to view great quantities of fabulous architecture, musicians, a Broadway play, and the Metropolitan Museum itself. Third, NYC was quite a different kind of adventure than Jennifer and I were used to: the subway, the trash, the crowds, the size, many different faces and languages.
The trip was amazing. We ate vegan food galore of so many varieties and flavors. We visited many of the major tourist attractions. We also "discovered" beautiful sites we hadn't planned on visiting. By the next Tuesday afternoon we were partied out and ready to head home. What a homecoming we received. Thanks to Mimi for staying with the girls, my mom for getting us to and from the airport, and Dave for compiling such an incredible list of restaurants.
Following are some of our favorite experiences: it's already too long but just imagine I worked really hard to cut most of it out!
Jennifer chose our Broadway play. Getting to the show and walking through Time Square was an adventure in itself. I had no clue what to expect and willingly admit my skepticism, but my soul was stirred! The music was stunning and the phantom, played by John Cudia, had an incredible voice. The costumes were beautiful. It was well worth it.
Central Park was beautiful. There were acrobats, musicians, statues, fountains, tons of ornate stone and concrete work, lakes, bridges, tunnels, playgrounds, joggers, bikers...The walk to Central Park took us through Park, Fifth, and Madison Ave. Quite the shopping district we've heard.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art was amazing. Here we stand before an ancient Egyptian temple. I won't bore you with all the great paintings, carvings, and other artifacts we saw. We spent six hours at the Museum and still didn't get through the entire collection. The Museum was a huge hit.
The closest I'll ever get to Socrates...
I spent most of our walking time with my head directed upwards. I took many photos of the buildings. The mix of old and new was really enjoyable, and again the amount of attention given to style and detail blew us away. This picture was taken from the US Custom office at Battery Park in the financial district. We did view the city from the Empire State Building which was quite exciting but a very long line.
The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine was one of our surprise finds. We were gawking at Tom's Restaurant on the upper West Side when through the darkness we spied a magnificent edifice. Supposedly this is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world. I include a picture below of Jennifer standing by one of a handful of central columns. The church was breath-taking inside and out. 
There's probably no show Jennifer and I have watched more often together than Seinfeld. It was fun to make a special trip to the West Side to pay homage.And, since returning the background buildings, streetscapes, and characters appear very much more rooted in NY than we had imagined.
Here Jennifer and I share a late dinner at Prada, a wonderful pizza place in the East Village. There is no way we could pick a favorite restaurant. The other pizza place we ate at in Brooklyn called Vinnies was amazing, Candle Cafe near Central Park did things with seitan we didn't know were possible, and Franchia's Korean cuisine was zen-like.
Last, it wouldn't be fair to not include the subway itself. It was muggy-hot, crowded, dirty, and confusing. Here Professor Edwardo Alvarado played some lively music while keeping his booty shaking dolls doing their thing. We must say although New Yorkers seem to have largely dispensed with cordial salutations and niceties we found no shortage of kind and helpful folks when we were lost. Whether on a street corner, at a restaurant, or staring the wrong way at a subway map, often unasked, we were directed to our next location by a really cordial New Yorker. Thanks!
All around a spectacular trip. Made possible most essentially by such a wonderful marriage. Here's to looking forward to another ten years and many more adventures.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Tennessee Trip Part 1

We took a trip to Mountain City to see my nephew Will who was staying with my mom. While we were there Mom and I took the kids hiking and exploring in Johnson County at Backbone Rock. This beautiful area had hiking trails along the creek, up to backbone falls, and over the the rock tunnel. The kids spent hours playing in the water and exploring the area.

The sign says "Danger, Bears are active in this area."
Playing in BB's studio. We all had a chance to jam...