Jul 17

Thu '14

New York City

New York City
Photos from the trip can be found here

I figured it was about time I posted about our trip to New York City that we embarked on at the end of June. My Mom and I were both able to cross a big item off our bucket list by taking this trip to NYC. It was something we had always wanted to do and to be able to do it together was amazing.

We were what you would call the typical NY tourists. We mainly stayed near times square because ALL of the theatres were within walking distance and our hotel was a 2 minute walk away. We tried to get all the touristy things we could done. We went to the top of the Empire State Building, visited the 9/11 Memorial, took an open bus tour around the island and Brooklyn, took a boat cruise around the island, spent too much money on mediocre food, good food, great food and lots of souvenirs.

The biggest food surprise was a little hole in the wall place called Kung Fu Little Steamed Buns Ramen. It was the kind of place that we never ever would have gone near at first glance. However, it was recommended by one of our tour guides and so we thought we’d give it a try. It was the best meal we had. The food was fast and delicious. As we were eating, we could see the chefs in the back actually pounding the dough and making the noodles. Everything was fresh fresh fresh. Definitely one of those little gems!! Oh and on the food note, if anyone wants a delicious snack, treat yourself to honey roasted coconut from one of the nut vendors along the street!! SO DELICIOUS!!

Hmm, did I mention we saw A LOT of theatre while in NYC?! We both love theatre very very much and Broadway was the main reason we went to NYC. When we left for the trip, we had tickets for 8 shows. EIGHT! That was a lot of theatre to squish into 6 days. We had one night free that we weren’t 100% sure what we were going to do with. As we finished our matinée on the day we had our free night, my Mom surprised me by saying why don’t we try getting tickets for Les Misérables. I knew even before we left home that she didn’t particularly want to see that show again. We had just seen it last summer in Calgary. Anyway, I had a hard time hiding my joy when we went to look for tickets, however my Mom knew that I REALLY wanted to see it. We managed to get pretty decent tickets and the show was well worth it! So by the end of the trip, we had taken in 9 shows!! They weren’t all amazing, but the experiences were fantastic. It was very cool to see so many celebrities in the shows. We don’t get many famous people in our shows here in Calgary, but in NY there was at least one or more in every show. Very cool.

In regards to the shows, this is the order in which I enjoyed the shows most: Rocky the Musical, Aladdin, Just Jim Dale, Les Misérables, If/Then, Phantom of the Opera, Cripple of Inishmaan, Realistic Joneses and finally, Cinderella.

  • Rocky was brilliant and the sets blew me away. I couldn’t believe how they manoeuvred so many huge pieces of scenery around the stage. Bloody brilliant. Plus, Rocky was the show that we were ushered up onto the stage to be part of the crowd for the final fight scene. It was something I have never experienced before in a theatre and it was so amazing.
  • Aladdin was the biggest surprise, I think. I didn’t predict it would be as good as it was. We had a first with the show as it was the only show either of us had ever been to where the audience gave a standing ovation in the middle of the show. Literally. After the cast finished the “Friend Like Me” song, the crowd leapt to their feet. I couldn’t believe it. The clapping went on for a few minutes until the musical director finally had to start up some music to get the show going again. What an amazing experience. The show was funny and clever and the songs were very catchy. I hope it stays on Broadway for many years!
  • Just Jim Dale was hilarious. Jim Dale is a great comedian and I don’t think I realized that before. I will never listen to the Harry Potter audiobooks again without hearing Jim Dale refer to “Harry F*cking Potter” in regards to his involvement. So funny. He definitely had us in tears with laughter.
  • Les Misérables was amazing, as expected. We even recognized a fellow Canadian whom we have seen in many shows here in Calgary, Aaron Walpole! Whoot, love the Canadian talent making in on Broadway!
  • If/Then was great too. It was written by the same people who wrote my favourite musical Next To Normal. Although, N2N is better by far, If/Then also pulled at heart strings and made you think. Plus, Idina Menzel is super talented and we were able to see her up close and personal!
  • Phantom of the Opera was great, but I think I had forgotten how much Opera was really in it. I know that sounds ridiculous. However, we went to a matinée and of course that was nap time. So I found the opera music trying very hard to put me to sleep. Not a good thing. However the technical effects were brilliant.
  • The Cripple of Inishmaan was not very good, but Daniel Radcliffe performed his role very well and that made the show a lot more appealing.
  • Realistic Joneses was okay. Michael C. Hall was in it and that was great. That’s about it.
  • Cinderella was the biggest disappointment. I love the movie version of the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical and this was far from it. It was over the top cheesy and the storyline was vastly different. Some of the songs were the same, but there were others that were added that I didn’t care for. Fran Drescher over acted and her character was NOT believable. I did not enjoy her performance as the step mother in the least. She ruined the show for me.

On our last day we visited Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. It was the first time either of us had been to that kind of thing. We were very lucky that the place was close to empty. So we were able to take pictures with any statue we wanted and not have to wait or feel rushed. Quite the experience. I kept expecting the statues to start talking. Most were very realistic. You can find some more wax photos here, but my favourite three poses are:

New York City New York City New York City

So as you can probably tell, we both had a great time. The only some-what negative thing that I’d like to add is that the trip was a bit too long. Yes, we were able to see A TON of Broadway, but the rest of the time in between was too much. I mean, after the 70th time walking through times square and fighting the crowds, the allure was sort of gone. Ah well. We would mostly likely go back if we ever had the chance, just for a shorter span!

Select photos from the trip can found at my Flickr page!

4 Comments

Jul 5

Sat '14

My Pregnancy: Weeks 1-20

I know that I have already posted a couple pregnancy posts, but I am just so excited that I want to shout everything from the mountain tops for everyone to hear. I also want to document everything that I can and as I don’t have a journal, this is the best place for me to do it.

I honestly can’t believe that I am halfway through this adventure already. I am very anxious to meet our little one and for the next part of life to begin.

First and foremost, I want to say that I have been extremely fortunate to have had a fairly easy pregnancy so far. At least as far as side effects go. I’ve had virtually no morning sickness. There was one week around weeks 7-8 where I felt nauseated constantly, but I did not throw up at all. The only time I’ve come close to vomiting is when I was sick while away in Ontario and it was almost 24 hours where I didn’t eat anything. I dry heaved a bit, but that’s all. Note to self was to eat even if not hungry!!! Baby needs nutrition!

During weeks 4-5 and one of the main reasons I suspected I was pregnant, I had the most dreadful cramps. At first I thought I was getting my period, but I had never had such painful cramps in my entire life. Like I thought I was going to die cramps. I would break out in a sweat, but would also be cold at the same time. The pain was so bad I thought I would throw up (but never did!). The fetal position was the only tiny bit of relief. Peter would soothe me as best as he could but nothing really helped. The cramps would last about 5-10 minutes and then pass. The worst was when they happened at work because it’s not as if I could have lay down on the floor for 10 minutes. So I had to push through them. Whew, if they are any indication of what contractions are like, I’m really not looking forward to labour a whole bunch.

During weeks 15-16 I had a dreadful sinus infection. Apparently they are common in pregnancy, especially if it erupts from a cold. As I was sick during week 14 and then flew home, the combination of the air pressure while on the plane and the cold made my sinuses explode. As I had never had a sinus infection before, I didn’t really know what was happening. After more than a week of agony in my head, I finally conceded and took some over-the-counter decongestant (with permission from my midwife). I had an appointment with the doctor for antibiotics because it was well into 2 weeks of infection, but it cleared up just in time. I was glad because I really didn’t like the idea of taking medication like that while pregnant.

Even before I became pregnant, I knew I wanted a midwife instead of a doctor. I have a friend who is due in July with her third baby and she has had a midwife for 2 pregnancies. She has always gone on and on about how she loves having a midwife and that it’s a way better alternative to a doctor. They are 100% qualified (in fact, a lot of them are nurses) and can prescribe drugs and anything needed for the birth. Plus, they visit your home 3 times after baby is born to make sure things are going smoothly. With a midwife, the experience is a lot more personal. They spend more time with a client and seem to genuinely care more. At least, that is how it appears. Anyway, I was sold on the idea! Plus, I really don’t particularly like my doctor and I needed a change. So the first night I found out I was pregnant, I signed up to get into any of the midwife clinics in Calgary. Within a week, I was placed on the wait list for every one. I couldn’t believe they were all full already. I tried not to get discouraged, but as the weeks went on and no news, I was beginning to succumb to the fact that I would have to stick with my doctor. As my Mom is a nurse, just incase, she put her feelers out at the hospital with a friend in the maternity ward. Just letting them know that I was looking to get a midwife and any help would be great. Well the saying really is true: it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Within a couple weeks of my Mom asking around, I was enrolled to see my midwife at the end of week 11!!! I’ve had 3 appointments so far and am very pleased with my care. I look forward to the remainder of this journey with a midwife.

I wonder what the next 20 weeks will bring for my pregnancy. I hope it goes as smooth as the first half. I haven’t felt the baby move at all, but it often takes awhile for the first pregnancy. Plus, I have an anterior placenta (it’s at the front of my uterus) and that means it could take even longer to feel anything! I just want to feel it every day so that I have reassurance that everything is okay. However, I am starting to get a bit of a belly bump and am excited for people to start noticing! It’s looking a lot more like a bump rather than fat now! Haha. Here is my first bump photo:

First bump - 19 weeks

4 Comments

Jun 24

Tue '14

New York Bound

As I’m typing this, I am sitting on the airplane watching Smallville (already on season 7 and I love love LOVE IT!!!). I am flying with United Airlines Express, so there are only 2 seats on either side of the plane. The flight is not full so my seat mate moved up one row and I now have the row all to myself. Whoot. This is only the second time I’ve flown by myself and so far so good. We land in Chicago where I have an hour layover before catching my final flight to New York. I am a little nervous, but I know there will be people around to ask for help if I need it.

After landing in New York, I have a shuttle booked to take me to my hotel, where I will meet up with my Mom! I hope the second flight isn’t delayed so that I catch my shuttle on time. Mom and I are going to Rocky The Musical tonight and we have 90 minutes from the time I am supposed to get to my hotel to when the show starts. We are cutting it close and I sure hope everything goes according to plan. As I’m writing, I realized I forgot my Rocky t-shirt at home. Poop, that would have been perfect to wear. Of course, I’m not going to lie, it would be pretty tight due to my expanding belly :smirk:

Our schedule is extremely full this week as we are seeing a total of 8 broadway shows. Hoping we have time to actually see a bit of the city as well! Some of the other things we want to do are visit Central Park, the 9/11 museum, a boat tour around the entire manhattan island (which includes Statue of Liberty) and the Empire State Building. There are so many things and so little time to do it!

I’m sure I will blog again at the end of the trip!

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