Monday, May 31, 2010

Niagara on the Lake, Canada 2010

Yesterday we checked out a beautiful neighboring town Niagara-on-the-Lake where the Niagara River meets Lake Ontario. It is located across the Niagara river from Youngstown, New York. We went primarily to eat at Oban Inn Restaurant which had excellent reviews. It did not disappoint. From there we walked over to Lake Ontario, and then drove to the main shopping area on Queens Street.

Niagara on the Lake, Canada 2010
Lake Ontario with a view of Old Fort Niagara in the Youngstown, NY

Niagara on the Lake, Canada 2010
Queens Street

Niagara on the Lake, Canada 2010
George Bernard Shaw, they LOVE him here.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Niagara Falls, Canada 2010

 We went to Niagara Falls because I had wanted to go there for years. Niagara Falls are the most powerful falls in North America and the two waterfalls that make up Niagara, the American Falls and the Horseshoe Falls, are also incredibly beautiful. The Canadian side is much better than the American side. The view of the falls is better and all of the tourist attractions (though still very cheesy) are less cheesy. Surprisingly fun: taking the Maid of the Mist boat closer to the falls. Totally worth it must-do. You get soaked in the Watershoe Falls.

We had a romantic dinner, and my super sweet husband gave me a wonderful card and Tiffany hoop earrings.

Niagara Falls, Canada 2010
In front of the American Falls (standing on the Canadian side)

Niagara Falls, Canada 2010
The misty Horseshoe Falls with rainbow

Niagara Falls, Canada 2010
On the Maid of the Mist! (In front of the Horseshoe Falls.)

Friday, May 28, 2010

St. Louis, Missouri 2010

Kevin and I traveled to St. Louis for the wedding of our friends Jane and Rob. One of the best things about St. Louis is the Gateway Arch, which is not to undersell St. Louis- the arch is totally awesome.

We also got the chance to go to The Good Pie, a nice little Neapolitan pizzeria. Good pizza and good company with Kevin's friends from grad school, Ian and Brooke.

St. Louis, Missouri 2010
Kevin and me near the Arch

St. Louis, Missouri 2010
With buddies at the Arch: me, Kevin, Brian, Sarah, Katy (taking picture), Donald (at hotel)

Kevin and I even went to the top of the Arch in this crazy claustrophobia-inducing egg-like tram-vehicle pictured below.

St. Louis, Missouri 2010
I do not advise this at all!

St. Louis, Missouri 2010
Inside the Arch there is a free Westward Expansion Museum

St. Louis, Missouri 2010
We took in a Cardinals Game at Busch Stadium

St. Louis, Missouri 2010
Cardinals Game

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Jane and Rob's Wedding 2010

This weekend we went to the wedding of my friend Jane to her significant other of ten and a half years, Rob. Congratulations!

The bride and groom looked great, and everyone was so incredibly happy for them. It was in St. Louis, a wonderful, friendly, and beautiful city. Kevin and I also got to spend time with my friends from law school. All in all, a fantastic weekend.

Scaramella Wedding 2010
The bride and groom are lovely

Scaramella Wedding 2010
With part of the bride's family

Scaramella Wedding 2010
My favorite photo from the evening

Scaramella Wedding 2010
UVA Law Group picture

Scaramella Wedding 2010
One of my favorite-looking wedding cakes!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Jon's 30th Birthday 2010

Happy birthday, Jon! And may your life be filled with delicious cupcakes and friends.

Jon's 30th Birthday 2010
In Astoria Park

  Jon's 30th Birthday 2010
Rawrr. Still got it at 30.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Raiza and Millie Visit NYC 2010

My long-lost second cousin and I recently got in touch thanks to the internet. She was in town so my mother and I met up with her and her partner Millie. I don't have any biological aunts or uncles or cousins so I was excited to meet with her and we seem to have lots in common. I sort of automatically starting thinking of her as an aunt rather than a cousin. My mother's mother and her mother were sisters.

We went to dinner at my favorite Cuban restaurant in the city, Guantanamera (though it gets really loud once the band starts). My mother was mortified at my choice, "They live in Miami!" Well, it was the correct theme for the evening, and my "rabo encendido" was perfection.

Raiza and Millie Visit NYC 2010
Raiza, my mom, me, and Millie

HortensiaRamona M. Fernandez Rivero
Sisters Hortensia and Ramona

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Daily Show 2010

We went to the Daily Show! Thanks so much to our patrons Jon Stern and Becky Smith who decided they had better things to do than enjoy hilariousness. Kevin lined up two hours before show time, and Brian, Akua, and I rolled up at the last minute because the tickets say you can do that. Kevin also played the part of Stern in getting us into the event because theoretically you should have the person named on the ticket with you. We were a little nervous about that one.

Daily Show 2010
The blurry long line at the Daily Show

We went to the May 12th episode. Jon Stewart is pretty funny even off camera which is nice to know. During the writers strike of 2007-08, I was starting to suspect that he really depends on his writing staff. One of his funniest jokes had to be cut out of the broadcast because it depended on an off-camera set up. During the off-camera warm-up, someone in the audience commented that they were traumatized when John Oliver came to their college and spent most of his comedy routine discussing his father's penis. Stewart responded that it's all Oliver ever talks about. Then during Stewart's back and forth with Oliver about David Cameron being elected Prime Minister, out of nowhere, Stewart zings him with crack about his dad's penis. The audience erupted with exuberant laughter, and the video editors had to figure out how to slice it all out.

Michael Patrick King
Michael Patrick King, Director of Sex in the City 2

The interview with Stewart's the director of the horrible Sex in the City sequel was a bust. But Lewis Black, who I rarely find to be funny, stole the episode with his attack of Glenn Beck and the Arizona's new immigration law. Please watch it, aside from being hilarious, it details in just under 6 minutes what a horrifyingly scary and dangerous network Fox News is-- ironically dangerous to democracy. Good times though!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bachelor Parties Woo! 2010

For all the things my wife complains about, you would think she would object to my attending three bachelor parties in fifty days, but she doesn't complain about this. To her everlasting credit, she understands how important it is for me and my Brown College friends to gather every few weeks to eat steaks and ride inflatable water slides.

Cory's bachelor party was in Vegas during the first weekend of March Madness. As a result of unspeakable hours of gambling preparation, I won 9 of 11 basketball games. As a result of unspeakable numbers of Manhattans, I went on a remarkable blackjack and craps run with Brady, who lost every other time he touched a card. The hot tub was just right. Lucky Robin!

Cory's Bachelor Party 2010
Cory's bachelor party in Vegas

Lukas's bachelor party was in Cooperstown in mid-April. This did not prevent it from snowing. Fortunately, we stayed in a warm cabin where we played cards and cooked hamburgers in the oven and drank beers. There were several bear sightings, as well as statues of Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, and James Fenimore Cooper. Lucky Sarah!

Lukas's Bachelor Party 2010
Lukas's bachelor party in Cooperstown, NY

Jeff's bachelor party was in Palm Springs last weekend. Mostly, we stayed in a palatial estate hurting each other and ourselves with water balloons and kegs and bacon explosions. Everyday it was cloudless and sunny. Several people fell asleep in the pool. Only once did we venture into town, where we scared everybody. Lucky Inga!

Jeff's Bachelor Party 2010
Jeff's bachelor party in Palm Springs

Fun with numbers!

Personal round-trip bachelor miles logged: 10,962

Average day-time temperature in Palm Springs: 95

Average day-time temperature in Cooperstown: 30

Total pounds of steak cooked Friday night: 18

Total bachelor party attendees: 17

Total dune buggies rented: 13

Personal wins betting on teams named "Bears" in 4 games: 4

Bachelor parties attended by Brady and Cory: 3

Bachelor parties attended by Briggs and Jeff: 2

Total grills burned into ground: 1

Monday, May 10, 2010

Time with Friends 2010

Somehow, despite working 100 hours in just over a week, I have still made time for friends. I hope you understand how much I love you all.

I had dinner with some of my closest friends from law school:

Dinner at Choptank with UVA Friends 2010

I went out with Michele to watch and celebrate her movie for New York Film Race:

New York Film Race Celebration 2010

Kevin and I had brunch with Christina and her husband Dan (Brooklyn Festival):

Court Street Brooklyn Festival 2010

Then things got really crazy at work... Kevin's friend Jeff M and Brady visited but I couldn't go out with them. Trey stayed with us for the second time where I was not able to spend any time with him. Though I had a breakfast bagels with all of them before their departures. And the entire weekend that I spent at Ash's place, I spent doing work. But at least we got to hang out and watch at least one Lifetime movie, which we watched in a completely un-ironic way.

What have you done lately to make time for friends or family?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day Shout-out 2010!

Happy Mother's Day, mom and ma!

Mothers' Day 1979
Mom and me, Mother's Day 1979

1984 05 Family Photos 163
Kevin, Ma, and Andrew, 1983 or 1984

Happy first Mother's Day to Chrissy and Cathy S!

Baby Owen 2009
Chrissy and Owen in December of 2009

Steffan Family 2010 
Cathy and Madison in April 2010

And Happy Mother's Day to all our other friends who are veteran mothers: Meghan, Anna, Cate L, Becky G, Victoria, and Rachel.

Last year was the perfect Mother's Day because we got to spend it with both our mothers and my dad. It was a very happy time and everyone was looking forward to our approaching wedding.

Mother's Day 2009
Mother's Day 2009

Friday, May 7, 2010

Car Bombs and Suspicious Packages 2010

As you know, there was a car bomb plot last Saturday in Times Square. That's not super close to where I work, and lately I work from home on weekends. But there has been a lot of spillover this week. Monday my subway trains were all rerouted and upon arrival my exit was being manned by New York Fireman (these guys are bigger than huge).

And today, Times Square was closed again because of a suspicious package that turned out to be a cooler of water bottles. Which brings to mind an interesting question. Can't we be as "terrorized" by coolers of water as bombs if the intent is to make large numbers of people feel fear (as opposed to killing a smaller number).

In any case, this is the sort of thing that's taking place where I work, and I spend many more hours at work than at home. In fact, in January, there was another bomb scare that took place right next to my office building during working hours that I wrote about here.

New York Car Bomb 2010
Saturday, May 1st, Times Square Car Bomb

New York Suspicious Package 2010
Friday, May 7th, Times Square Bomb Scare

Monday, May 3, 2010

Allison and Dan Are Engaged 2010!

Excellent news! My friend Allison and her long-time boyfriend Dan got engaged last week. I remember when Allison first started dating Dan in Boston. She was telling me all about the new guy she had met while we were vacationing in Miami together in 2005. Even at the beginning they sensed they were somehow fated, though they expressed it as a cautious double-negative; they both felt that it was their first relationship that wasn't doomed from the start. Indeed, not doomed at all! They are fated for great success. Congratulations!

Dan and Allison at our wedding in 2009
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