Friday, October 11, 2013

Memoir Challenge Day Six

The following is the second of 16 blog posts I'll--fingers crossed--be posting in the month of November as part of the October Memoir Challenge

Everything changes but when you’re young, you don’t know that.  Even though I grew up in a city where an art supply store could become a fast food place and a parking lot converted into an apartment building over ten stories high, I still believed some things would stay the same.  Or go back to how they were before my mother married an emotionally and verbally abusive man.  We’d been so happy before the marriage.  Okay.  I was so happy before the marriage, and I just knew our lives would go back to what they were as soon as it was just the two of us again.

Only it didn’t and, really, it wasn’t the two of us for very long.

We moved twice within a short timeframe and ended up on the Upper East Side.  A family friend of set my mother up on a blind date with a man he knew from group therapy, a man who would be perfect for my mother.  He wasn’t the first man she dated after the first marriage ended.  There was another man who still lived with his mother and couldn’t spend the night because his mother would worry.  Okay.  He wasn’t a man but he was old enough to be one even though he didn’t act like one.  He didn’t last long.  My mother may not have been fully recovered from the damage to her self-esteem abuse causes but she had enough emotional strength to end a dead end relationship when she was in one.

The blind date was a welcome distraction from her life of work and home and more work and home.  It was love at first sight.  For my mother it was, anyway.  She loved him.  She adored him.  She was mad for him.  She lost weight, bought new clothes, and did things to show her love for this new man.  She laid construction paper hearts from the elevator to our apartment door when she knew he was coming to pick her up for another date, eventually spending weekends with him, dragging me along with her.  She learned to cook fancy meals, using wine to flavor meats and side dishes, adding soufflés and escargot to her repertoire. 

I hated the new food and the boring town in New Jersey.  We would leave Friday evening and not return until Monday morning, her heading to work and me heading to school. 

It didn’t take me long to realize that my expectations about how things would be were very wrong.   Things couldn’t go back to the way they were because I was older.  Needless to say, my mother didn’t want things to go back to the way they were because, as you may recall, she was miserable back then.  So she wouldn’t want things to go back to how I expected them to be.

I don’t know if I expected it to last for long.  By this time I’d seen my mother date a man named Andrew (he had a motorcycle) and another named David (he was the one with the houseboat).  She had married and divorced and dated and dumped two other men.  I didn’t expect this man to be around for very long. 

Seven years later, they married and, as I write this, they are preparing to leave for Sicily to celebrate their 30th anniversary.  She loved him and continues to love him which is how I lost my mother the first time she got married and I lost her again the last time she fell in love.    

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Honeymoon Day Twelve

And so we say goodbye to Manhattan.  Rob took some of our guide books to the Good Will store down the street and dropped them off.  We didn't take a receipt or anything because sometimes it's okay to just give without receiving.  While he did that, I packed up the last of the last of our things.  I double and triple checked everything and asked Rob to check after me.

Come to think of it, I don't know that he did so I hope we didn't leave anything behind.

We went to Nice Matin for breakfast and the food and service were good, not outstanding.  So out of our three restaurant experiences and our room service experience, we had only one good one.  That's not commendable.  Not commendable at all.

We timed things very well, checking out and waiting only a few minutes in the lobby before the car arrived to take us to the airport.  The trip to the airport did not go smoothly.  First we hit a wall of traffic forcing the driver to take a detour.  That wouldn't have been a big deal because we really had plenty of time except for one small thing.  Rob had "intestinal problems" and we had to pull over more than once so he could find a bathroom.

By some miracle, we not only made it to the airport with a few minutes to spare but Rob's stomach issues subsided.  We were on a smaller plane this time and I was okay until we started the descent which I felt long before they announced we were coming in for the landing.  Rob took my hand, knowing there was nothing he could do.

Chris met us at the airport and we headed home, grateful to finally be back.  And Fokes arranged to take the day off so he would be here when we walked through the door because he wanted to see Snowdoll's reaction to our arrival for himself. And boy did he get to see her excitement.  And I got to clean up after her and her excitement because she couldn't contain herself.  You'd think we were our neighbor or something!  (You know, the one she loves so much that every time she sees him she piddles herself.  Yep.  She was that excited.)

So, in short

  • Rob and I went on our honeymoon
  • The day we left, he was sick
  • Four days later, I was sick
  • On the day we returned, he was sick
  • We did a lot of stuff
Obviously, one thing we did not do is take any pictures to record our flight home.  Oh well. I didn't use all of the photos for he posts so there are a lot, and I mean A LOT, more coming.  Actually, there's only a link coming but that link will take you to A LOT of photos.

Did I mention we took a lot of photos?  Over 1000.  Yeah.  A lot.  Like I said.



Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Memoir Challenge Day Five

The following is the second of 16 blog posts I'll--fingers crossed--be posting in the month of November as part of the October Memoir Challenge

My mother is a magical woman.  She could take the simplest things and make them seem luxurious.  Everything, from food to clothing, was special and even precious in her hands.  She cooked and sewed and knit and crocheted.  She refinished furniture, made Christmas ornaments and wall decorations with felt, and knew how to scour a thrift store for things that could be recreated from kitsch to chic with just a little love.  She knew how to take different articles of clothing and piece them together into outfits that looked designed to go together.  She filled my life with books, creativity, and love. 

I never knew we struggled for money but I remember my mother being distressed because she was in danger of being fired from her job.  This distressed me because I thought her being fired was something akin to being burned at the stake.  No wonder she was so anxious. 

I don’t know how she managed to infuse my life with so much wealth when I know we were not wealthy.  I grew up going to museums, the ballet, movies, and so many wonder-full places.  There was the church that had a living crèche with a live cow, donkey, and a couple of sheep.  Between the zoos,  horse/cat/dog shows, and even pet stores, I touched wild life.  Of course, this was back in the day when a child would go to a movie and see film shorts and, if you went to a Disney movie, you would see a film about some form of wildlife, something that showed nature in an idealized gentility where there is no food chain and the prey always escapes the predator. 

My mother encouraged me with praise.  If I liked something in a store, she said “You can make that yourself.”  Of course I believed her because so often I didn’t even realize that the sweater I was wearing or the dress I had gotten for my birthday was made by her until I found the left over yarn or fabric scraps tucked in a basket. 

I wore the things she created proudly, and why not?  She created me, after al.  Without a father, it felt all the more as though I were my mother’s daughter and nothing more.  From where I stood, that was about the best thing I could be.  My mother was loved.  I loved her and she had friends who loved her.  The one time some foolish man broke her heart, she bought a plastic ball, one of those big colorful cheap ones, and a collection of mirror fragments and pieced them together into a mirrored ball, a meditative practice meant to bring her peace.  Later she told me she hated mosaics because they reminded her of the busy work hospitals give mental patients to keep them from being too manic. 


She knew how to seek peace when her life was too painful.  And she somehow kept me from knowing she was lonely, that she wanted to be loved.  Because of this, I believed she didn’t need anyone more than she needed me, needed me as much as I needed her, and nothing would ever, could ever change that.  Because of this, I believed, when she left Larry Block, everything would go back to the way it had always been and I would no longer feel quite so lonely myself.

Honeymoon Day Eleven

Wednesday was our last full day of the honeymoon and, ironically, we did not spend it together. But remember when Rob didn't get to go to the Guggenheim because it was closed? He took advantage of the day away from my side to make that up to himself. And why did we not spend the day together? My mother and her friend Cathy came into the city to have lunch with me.

These are the some of the gifts we bought
for family and friends.
He walked through the park to the museum while I continued the packing I'd started the night before.  I arrived at Nice Matin, the restaurant my mother chose based on erroneous information.  I was excited because of the excellent dinner Rob and I had enjoyed earlier on the trip.  (Don't forget, this is the same place that provides the room service food which was so very horrible.)


Our lunch was good, mostly because of the company.  My mother ordered a burger with fries but the waiter didn't bring her any ketchup or even ask if she wanted any condiments.  She and Cathy also ordered iced tea but nobody asked if they wanted sweetener; they both wanted sweet tea.  Getting the attention of anyone was difficult.  The desserts were good but I have to say that Nice Matin is not a restaurant I would recommend because I want to know I'm going to get good food and good service.  Rob and I would eat there one more time.  I wish now we had eaten at Sara Beth's again.

Throughout the lunch, I had nothing but positive things to say about our experience.  My one and only complaint was that Rob would not let me buy any books.  No museum guide from the Cloisters, the American Museum of Natural History, or the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  No program from Chicago or other books as gifts I saw for everyone.  During the trip I realize that, for me, giving someone a book is just about the best thing I can do, the best gift I can give.  But Rob, as I complained to my mother and Cathy, refused to add heavy books to our already overloaded suitcases.


My mother and Cathy wanted to see the room so we headed up to the room (and don't you know I was happy most of our stuff was stuffed in those overstuffed suitcases?) and what did I find?  Rob had gone to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and bought me a museum guide.  I mean, you can't plan this sort of thing.  I praised Rob throughout the lunch, explaining my only gripe was that Rob wouldn't let me buy any books and there is a book waiting for me.  

Bonus:  Rob showed up and Cathy got to meet him.  More hugs and such and just soooo much love.  

I had just enough time to freshen up my make-up before heading off to McAleer's Pub where Rob and I had arranged to meet Love.  Rob lingered behind to give the two of us some time alone together and he even carried some books I'd brought along with us.  (Please note:  I was giving Love a stack of book so we could have easily fit some books as gifts but Rob was more stubborn than I.)  

What books did I bring for her?  I had a textbook and some coding books from all of my studying and a few months ago she mentioned wanting to learn medical billing and coding and, of course, I had these extra studying resources I could give to her which is why I brought her a textbook and three coding books (ICD-9-CM and CPT).  Rob joined us and we had a lovely time, just hanging out outside (seriously gorgeous weather!).  Love and I had some wine and then we ordered dinner, typical pub food.  

When it was time for us to say our goodbyes, I walked Love to her subway station (right by the museum) and then walked back to the hotel.  (I really miss the freedom I had on my honeymoon to simply go out and do the things I wanted or even needed to do.)  

Back in the room, I did a last sweep of our suite, packing up what I knew we wouldn't need the next morning to make the next day as easy as it could be.  Then I went to bed and slept very well.  

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Working Out Without a Routine

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This past week was not quite the success I had hoped it would be.  I am pretty sure it had a lot to do with 1) trying to get back into the rhythm of a normal routine and 2) there being no normal routine as we had guests, errands, and other things happening all week long.  It wasn’t all bad and you can read about it here if you have the time and/or inclination (and haven’t done so already).

I had signed on for the 30 Day Walking Challenge with Leslie Sansone but halfway through the week, while I was in bed at the end of the day, I was stretching and then there was a twinge, very sharp, in my knee.  Not as bad as a pop and the pain lasted only a few moments, but, when I woke up the next day, I was not able to walk without pain.  I couldn’t even take Snowdoll for a walk. 

I was careful with my knee the rest of the week although I only had to take one day off from taking Snowdoll for a walk.  I didn’t do the challenge because I really needed to be careful, and doing the lunges and squats necessary for some of the challenge was beyond me.   And between that and company and errands and then Bibi spending the night, walking Snowdoll is about all I could do.

In other words, I’m still not able to say that I’m doing strength training with any consistency.  So the big plan was to get it right this week.  And what happened yesterday?  I still didn’t do any strength training yesterday because Rob scheduled something for the morning that had me and Snowdoll stuck in another room.  And there are more people coming over to check things out.  Flooding under the house (which explains why I keep smelling mildew) and a too wet summer add up to things needing to be done and when things need to be done people come and go to inspect and approve and quote. 

Knowing this, I don’t think I want to make a commitment to doing anything new although I do hope to try to do something.  Morning yoga and morning walk with Snowdoll.  That’s my goal.  To do those things each and every day.   It would be nice to do some strength training but, if I don’t I don’t.  I am not going to waste my time beating myself up for not doing something just because life is not yet settled into a routine.  The routine will come.  It just hasn’t shown up quite yet. 

For now, I remind myself that doing yoga and walking Snowdoll is more than most do.  Sure that’s the bare minimum of what I was doing before we went on our honeymoon but doing the minimum is better than doing nothing.

Honeymoon Day Ten

Although Rob had walked through Central Park more than once to one museum or another, even once along with yours truly, we had planned to go to see just the park one day and finally the day had come.  I want to interject here that the weather was so wonderfully perfect.  It rained one day but at night so, by the time we were out and about, there was little sign of rain anywhere.


We went to Belvedere Castle where I bought a charm bracelet for Bibi.  Rob went up to the top without me, taking a lot of pictures.  Luckily, there were plenty of life-sized statues or he might have been forced to take pictures of trees or something.


Of course, we went to the Alice in Wonderland statue and saw the statues of Balto and Shakespeare.  As I said in a previous post, there will be plenty of photos posted eventually and I'll be sure to share the link  We walked all the way from the hotel to where the Central Park Zoo was located.  That's a pretty long walk.


While walking around, we saw this woman who creates Asian calligraphy items for people.  I let Rob choose what we would get, words, paper, and all.  This is the gift we got for ourselves and this video shows her writing the kanji for Love and then our names.  At the bottom, she had us put our fingerprints.  A perfect gift for our honeymoon, don't you think?


Now, when Rob had gone to the Guggenheim without me, he had seen a a food truck with gyros.  He wanted one and from a food truck so, we left the park and walked up Fifth Avenue, to find his gyro.  And we walked and walked for more than half a mile before we found one.  Now, I didn't want a gyro but they had potato knishes so I ordered one of those.  Only, the guy was all out of them.  So tried to order something else.  He was out of those as well.  I gave up.  Who needs food anyway?  After all, I had only walked a mile there and back to get Rob his food.  Grrrrr . . .

And no, that was not the sound of my tummy rumbling.  Grrrr . . .

Lucky for me (and Rob, let's be clear about that much), there was a cafeteria at the zoo so, while he bought us tickets, I ordered myself some soup.  No I wasn't feeling icky.  I just didn't want to spend $10 on a bland cafeteria burger.  The soup was good.  Or good enough.  Probably not as gratifying as Rob's gyro but after walking a mile so he could eat, I guess almost anything would be good enough.

Grrrrrrrrr . . .



We went to the zoo and I did not see the Snow Leopard but we had a lot of fun watching the seals and the penguins. But Rob took a lot more pictures of the seals.  Can you blame him?  They were not far from their feeding time so they were feeling particularly frisky.


We then walked to the Delacorte Clock, which is magical.  Then we headed to the carousel, which is the first one I ever rode.  No doubt, I rode this horse more than almost any other because it's so pretty.  What can I say?  I've always been a girly girl.


We went to Strawberry Fields but we were unable to get a decent picture because of the crowds.  On our way there, we walked past Sheep's Meadow.  Rob observed that he didn't see any sheep in the meadow and I said that was because he'd eaten all of the lamb and there was no hope for sheep.

Janice and I had planned on meeting one-on-one for a little dinner.  Rob said he would eat leftovers.  We were all set.  Janice was somewhere in the low 90s so we agreed to walk on the west side of Amsterdam until we met somewhere in the middle, which was perfect.  It gave me time to people watch.  We then slipped over to Broadway and found a place to grab a light bite to eat.  She ordered a salad and I ordered a soup.

We talked and talked about writing and publishing and our respective significant others and our parents.  Then we had the whim to grab Rob and a cab, in that order, and head to Janice's.  Which is what we did.  We met Rob at the hotel and we were off again, heading downtown and Janice's place.  Bill showed up shortly afterwards and it was nice to finally interact with him without my mother and Larry there.  I didn't realize how the two of them dominate so much.  The conversation meandered, as conversations will.  Bill is so astute, so intelligent.  He made some vague observations that were wrought with meaning, confirming some of my intuition.  I didn't ask for clarification.  It wasn't necessary.  And there are some things I truly do not wish to know.

Eventually, kisses and hugs goodbye and Rob and I headed back to the hotel but, before we went up to our room, we grabbed a couple of grilled cheese sandwiches. I obviously am too stubborn to learn my lessons well because I honestly think Rob and I make better grilled cheese sandwiches than this place did.  Honestly.  We eat (and love) so well around here, maybe Rob and I should open our home to vacationers and let the money roll in.

I went to bed knowing the next day would be my last full day in the city.  Our last full day of the honeymoon.  Our last full day.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Memoir Challenge Four

The following is the second of 15 blog posts I'll--fingers crossed--be posting in the month of November as part of the October Memoir Challenge

In trying to piece together the happiest time of my childhood being the saddest part of my mother’s life, I find myself breathing more easily. Knowing a truth that I probably suspected all along brings my intuition into alignment with my experience.  My mother wasn’t happy and now so much makes sense. 

Before we moved to Greenwich Village, my mother had been in love with two of the loves of her life and lost one and left the other.  In Greenwich Village, she confessed to me that she had lied about my father being dead and I somehow came to believe that her happiness depended on being married.  She tells me that the impetus for getting married was to provide me with a father and some of the stability she could not provide us on her own.

She had been dating David, who owned a houseboat, but the relationship was volatile and going nowhere.  She met Larry B and started dating him very shortly after David faded from our lives.  I knew they had met, she and this new man, on City Island where David docked his boat.  Larry lived with a roommate in a big, beautiful home, across the street from a cemetery and we spent the night there occasionally.  He swept her off her feet, during their courtship, and, when he proposed to us, not just my mother, she said yes because here was the promise of a normal life, a typical future, for the both of us.

During the courtship, his father also committed suicide leaving a wife, a business, and two other adult children behind. 

The wedding was at a courthouse and there was a reception in some community hall, perhaps a synagogue or something.  I don’t remember anything except my mother beautiful silver dress and my own white dress with a green velvet vest and matching green velvet Mary Jane shoes.  It was the fulfillment of everything.
Fulfill (verb)
1.       To bring to actuality; effect
2.       To carry out (an order, for example)
3.       To measure up to; satisfy
4.       To bring to an end; complete
 My formerly Catholic unmarried mother married a nice Jewish boy from the Bronx.  She was creating  family so she could conform to society’s expectations for her.  And with the fulfillment came an end of our relationship as it had been.  My mother gained a husband but lost herself and, when she lost herself, I lost the only family I had.

To say that Larry B was unstable is an understatement.  He was a violent man, verbally abusive, and cruel but I was not the brunt of his wrath.  Rather, he tore my mother apart, complaining about her body on their honeymoon, leaving her nothing to love in herself.  And I started disappearing as well.  I started skipping school at the age of nine and nobody noticed, until the truant office caught up with me and I was forced to go back to class.  I went from being happy with school to struggling with division and we had moved from Manhattan, which was my home, to the Bronx, which was his, spending the occasional weekend with his mother, and trying to stay quiet.

We eventually moved back to Manhattan but it was too late for me. I left my friends and didn’t make new ones in my new school because we were only there a few months, not enough time for me to really sink in roots.  I started junior high the next year and made friends with the outsiders while my mother continued to unravel, changing jobs, getting an abortion, and eventually having the marriage annulled.  They married when I was 9.5 and the marriage was over just before my 12th birthday.  Because of the annulment and moving into a new apartment, we couldn’t afford to celebrate my birthday. 

Larry B didn’t immediately disappear.  He showed up one night and attempted to stab my mother.  When we moved, he left anonymous gifts for me on my birthday, although we knew he was the one behind the painted and decorated miniatures of the fellowship of the ring, including Gandalf the White.   Eventually, however, he did leave our lives for good and my mother met and fell in love with another man named Larry.


When I told my mother that the worst thing she’d ever done was to marry Larry B; the second worst thing was to fall in love with and marry Larry E.  But that second Larry, the man who was the third and last great love of her life, was not a mistake in the end.  It was just bad timing, my being too young and overflowing with unrealistic expectations, and too many emotional wounds that had yet to scar over.  

Honeymoon Day Nine

This is the day we headed down to Greenwich Village because Rob wanted to have lobster and my mother wanted to take us to a place recommended by Janice and Bill.  The restaurant was on Union Square and there were things I wanted to show Rob from my childhood, the best time of my childhood life.


We went by the Chelsea Hotel but the exterior was being renovated (remember, this is a common theme in our trip and, at this point, the surprise was gone) so Rob could only take a decent picture from across the street.


We then walked down the brownstone with the tiny apartment where I spent the three happiest years of my childhood.  My Aunt Frances and cousins Noah and Andrew lived right up the street and I was within walking distance of my school.


Rob was pretty excited about this clock tower, unaware that this was the library I remember most vividly from my childhood.  By this time, we had already seen and passed my grade school (PS 41) where Rob took no pictures (and I had forgotten my camera so I couldn't).


I wanted to go inside the library but Rob did not.  So we continued our sojourn.


We headed to Washington Square Park where Rob didn't take any pictures because, as it turns out, he accidentally had his phone set to video.  So here's a picture he took of Batman instead.  (Life-sized things, another theme in our NY experience, as you can see.)


Electric Lady Studios, where I had hoped to get Rob a tour but since nobody responded to anything I figured something is better than nothing.  Rob must have agreed because he took a photo (and you can see him in the reflection).


Afterwards, I asked Rob what he wanted to do, what he might want to see, and do you know what he said?  "Let's go shopping."  And that's what we did, walking in and out of random stores.  You see, Rob had lost a coin he carried just before our trip, one with a Celtic knot on it, and he was hoping to replace it on our trip.  Long story short, we did not find anything that he liked in Greenwich Village.


We found our way to the Strand Bookstore where I thought he might find an old book he would like.  He kept saying he wanted one but we had found none in spite of our best efforts. While at the store, my mother called saying she was at the restaurant a little (by about half an hour) early.  Rob and I headed over but we were there before her.  How was this possible?  There was a market full of fresh fruits and vegetables right across the street in Union Square so she was doing a little shopping.

We had a lovely lunch during which we exuded over our entire experience.  I ordered a sea bass and had something with pumpkin for dessert (pumpkin crème brulee--how could I resist?) while my mother had something outrageously phallic (banana ice cream tower).

In the car heading back to the hotel, Rob asked my mother how she met my father and I finally learned that story.  It only took 51 years for me to hear it. I also learned about how she met John Cazale and some other stories.  Rob and I didn't do anything the rest of the day, except walk around the neighborhood near the hotel and relax.

Not quite as full a day as we had been having but full enough, don't you agree?


Sunday, October 06, 2013

Weekly Update (aka Post-Honeymoon Post)


If you’ve been trying to keep up with my blog posts then you know what my week has been full of my writing.  Naturally, being home also means doing loads of laundry, running errands, and trying to get back into the rhythm of normal life.

We’re going to need a lot of good luck.

Joe & Co came over one day so we could give Bibi her gifts—a marionette dragon and a charm bracelet.  We also brought home some Venetian cookies (aka rainbow cookies).  Another day, Rob gave Shira back her suitcase along with some more cookies.  We had to ship packages to Philadelphia, PA and Frankfort, KY.  We had to buy cards, look at Halloween costumes, buy me a new pair of sneakers (don’t ask), and more. 

Never a dull moment?  Hardly worth writing about, but definitely an active week.  So did anything worth writing about happen this week. 

YES!

About five years ago Rob bought a tent on ebay and we’ve talked about possibly going camping but we’ve never really made a decision to do so.  As Bibi gets older though, we find ourselves talking about taking her camping.  Rather than leap into the deep end of the pool, however, we decided to try something closer to home.  How close?  Our back yard. 

Brianna came over Thursday night because there was no school the next day.  We cooked hot dogs over an open fire and roasted marshmallows too.  Brianna and I made up ghost stories, pretending to be scared.  (She’s a great little actress.)  We saw the fireflies come out and then watched the bats flit about.  (One in particular came as low as our fig tree, and we could clearly see the shape of the wing, especially as it swooped down over our tent.  We even had some sparklers and had the fun of watching them in the dark. 

When it was bedtime, I joined Brianna in the tent, ready for her to fall asleep but she was not able to relax.  The sound of the cicadas made it hard for her to feel safe and fall asleep.  So we got up and joined Rob by the fire which was slowly dying out.  We talked for a little while before heading back to the tent, this time with Snowdoll and Rob joining us.

After getting up too early nearly every day while on our honeymoon, sometimes even waking up around 3am, I knew that Bibi would probably wake up and find me gone.  I showed her how I had zipped the mosquito net shut and had her unzip it and to show both me and herself she could do it.  I explained that, when she woke up, if I was not in the tent with her, all she had to do was unzip the net and come into the house.  We had a battery operated lantern that she also knew how to turn on and off.  Now, I knew she would wake up when it was light enough but I was playing it safe. 

Truth be told, we didn’t expect her to make it through the night.  So you can imagine my surprise when, around 6:30am, which is obviously waaaaay past my usual wake-up time, I woke up and Bibi was still there, sound asleep. And I was still more surprised when Snowdoll refused to follow me out of the tent.  I made myself some coffee and was slowly waking up when Bibi came into the house, all smiles and happiness. 


And she can’t wait for our next backyard campout.   We want to give it one more try before we venture out into a real campsite.  Now that we know how to put the tent up and that Bibi will sleep through the night, we want to work out a few more kinks.  Then we’ll start thinking about whisking her off for an overnight or weekend camping trip.  The best part of all?  Bibi’s enthusiasm.  We truly had no clue how things would go but she was enjoying it every step of the way, even when she was exhibiting some fear about the bugs and spiders and such.  Really, can you blame her?  

Honeymoon Day Eight

On our one and only Sunday in New York, we quite appropriately headed off to the Cloisters with all of its Medieval art.  It is a bit of a trek, especially when we don't pay heed to the advice to catch the bus if you take the subway.  Surely we can walk the one mile to the museum, right?

Well, now Rob knows Manhattan has hills.  Steep hills.  One hill so steep we had to climb up stairs.  I could have warned him and avoided the whole thing only I had never been to the Cloisters before.  Lesson learned.  Take the bus.

We took a lot of photos but I won't bore you with the redundancy of Medieval artwork.  However, here are two in particular I have to share.  St. Bridget of Antioch and a beautifully illuminated book.



Trust me when I say there will be a link to the full spectrum of the way too many photos we both took which would have been many more if I had remembered to 1) bring the camera I had with me and/or 2) charged the camera's battery the night before.


We had lunch at the museum which was pretty crowded because of the exact exhibit I wanted Rob to see so much.  He told me the "set up" was really pretty "basic" and, although he thought it was a very interesting idea, it wasn't as impressive to him as it was to me.  We did, however, go to the gift shop in hopes of buying the cd of the piece featured in the exhibit.  Unfortunately, they were sold out.  Typical.

We took a bus back to the hotel but we didn't go back to our room because there was a flea market not far from the hotel.  I was pretty excited.  Why?  The flea market was at my old junior high, IS 44, which is now a charter school or something.  


I was even more excited when I realized that part of the flea market took place inside our old cafeteria.  The cafeteria tables spread out with all sorts of irresistible things which I resisted.  Don't ask me how.  I was searching for gifts for others, not myself.


On our way back outside, I slipped my camera through a cracked open but chained shut door to the stairwell.  This is one I avoided when I went to school here.  The narrower ones were not the preferred choice when going between classes but that's another story for another blog post.


The flea market was huge and, as we continued exploring after buying some spices for our landlords, Rob was thrilled to see the Naked Cowboy.  What were the odds?  Well, if you're Rob, the odds are pretty damn good.  He simplyhad to take a photo of him and people were getting his autograph.  Weird.

We headed back to the hotel and decided to give another pizza place a try.  This time we tried Coppola's which was across the street.  It was good but we both thought the sauce was too sweet.  How exhausted was I?  I told Rob to just go ahead and watch some football.  Yes, even on though it was our honeymoon I was still getting up ridiculously early and going to bed understandably early.