Thursday, June 30, 2016

ABC Reads: June Review

Today is the day to link up your ABC Reads!!  Before we go any further, I want to announce that Jessica from Frikken Duckie successfully completed our challenge at the end of May.  I'm super impressed with how quickly she blazed through all 26 books!! Congrats, girl!  Even though we have a winner, Mia and I will continue to post the link-up throughout the remainder of the year.  Personally, I'm on a mission to complete the challenge myself...and I hope you are as well! 

Here's a refresher on the terms of the challenge in case you missed it previously:

What does the challenge entail?  Well, I'm glad you asked.  There are 26 letters of the alphabet and Mia and I challenge you, during the course of 2016, to read a book that starts with each letter.  For example, Atonement (A), The Bell Jar (B), Catching Fire (C), and so on.  Makes sense, right? You don't need to go in order - if you want to start with S, go for it.  On the last day of each month, we'll host a link-up for you to share your ABC Reads.  We will award one point for each letter you review AND a bonus point for linking up with us!  At the end of the year (or when the first participant reviews a book beginning with each of the 26 letters), the winner will be awarded a $30 Amazon gift card.  So, what do you say?  Do you accept our ABC Reads challenge?

It was another slow reading month for me. Summer can be such a hectic time full of all kinds of fun and free events.  Unfortunately, that means I slacked off a bit in the book reading department.  I'm determined to step it up next month though.  I want to shoot for at least four books by the end of next month since I only managed two this month.  I completed the following letters: X and D.  Here are my thoughts...

The X by Lorena Bathey

I was dreading finding an X book so when Jessica (our ABC Challenge winner) reviewed it last month, it caught my eye.  Plus it was only 99 cents on my Kindle.  It follows the story of a recently abandoned wife and mother whose powerful ex is attempting to destroy her life by taking away their sons.  He's well connected so it isn't an easy fight, but she's up for the challenge.  In the end, it didn't knock my socks off, but it wasn't horrible either.  I felt like it was a quick read that kept me interested, but was quite predictable.  If you still need an X book, give it a shot...and let me know what you think!   

The Dark Ferret Society by Emily Humphreys

I discovered this little gem via The Lady Okie. When Amanda mentioned this book that her friend wrote, I was immediately intrigued.  I have always thought the idea of a secret society is fascinating.  It was definitely meant to be for me to find this fun story.  I really enjoyed getting to know Ruby Fink.  She's the new girl (though she's become quite a pro at it since her eccentric family moves quite often) and immediately finds herself befriended by Elizabeth.  That friendship leads her to an invitation to a secret society that specializes in pranks and an opportunity to be a part of a great group of pals for the first time in her life.  Additionally, I absolutely loved Ruby's family with all their traditions and non-typical ways.  I may even incorporate a few of those lovely ideas into my own life.  I would certainly recommend this book to anyone.  It is wholesome and fun.  Exactly what I hoped when I decided to give it a shot!

Which letters did you cross off your list this month?

Andrea :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Our 1st 10k Together!

Today, I have a special guest joining me on the blog to share all about our 1st 10k experience together.  I thought it would be fun for you all to hear his point of view regarding our recent 6.2 mile run in Queens.  Without further ado...

Last year, I decided I wanted to run a race where all finishers received a New York City Road Runners medal. As a Queens resident, the Queens 10k was a logical choice. To prepare, I ran three races - Run for Japan, LIC Run the Waterfront, Retro 4 Miler - and bought fancy running shoes that probably cost too much money. That is the most I ever ran in my entire life, but I wanted to be ready for this race.

The race took place at Flushing Meadows Park which is a long ride on the 7 train especially on Saturday morning when you are half asleep. But Andrea and I got on that train early and were greeted with quite a few others heading to the same place. Due to my bad knees, I have what could be described as an elaborate stretching routine.  I need to get there 20-30 minutes early so I can get ready. There were so many people at this race that I could have shown up at the 8:30 scheduled start and still had time to stretch. We didn't start until almost 9.  At that point, it had started to get warm.

This was the only the second time I ran alongside Andrea. Before, we had a great race routine - she ran and I watched. My desire to get a medal changed that but I wanted to run with her. Most of the time I ran listening to podcasts, but recently I felt that music was more helpful. My mp3 player was loaded with music from the Roots and I was flying. Unfortunately, I started too fast. Flushing Meadows Park is not like Central Park. You are not running under trees. After the first mile, it started to get very warm and we started to slow down. The heat got to us and our pace suffered.

The second and third miles seemed to be entirely in the sun, wearing us down even more. This race also has narrow paths making it mentally easier to walk in small spaces. There was even a point right before you reach the 5k mark where you run over a bridge. By the 4th mile the end was in sight because there was a turnaround ahead. Plus at that point, I could see people with the medal that was awaiting me when I finished. That plus the Roots kicking in moved me on.

Finishing up the 5th mile, Andrea and I were settling in. We were running towards the Unisphere. I could see the finish line. Except our path to it was not straight. We had to run around the Unisphere. Andrea tells me there is a time she wants to beat and we have to finish in 5 minutes. I see this as the time to go back to how I ran that first mile. We kicked it into high gear and finished the race. We held hands as we ran across the finish line. Then we got our medals. Andrea put it around my neck. She knew how important this was to me.

My knees were sore and I knew I would spend the rest of the day with ice but I made my goal. I was happy about that. When people run the NYC Marathon, they wear their medal to work the next day. I didn't go out in public with my medal, but I sat on the couch wearing it around my neck icing my knee and thinking I really accomplished something today.

Thanks for that great recap of our experience, Christopher!  It really was a special day.  I'm so glad we were able to be there for one another throughout the training and all 6.2 miles on race day!

We finished our first 10k together in 1:26:37 at a pace of 13:57 per mile.

Andrea :)

Saturday, June 25, 2016

My Picks for Erin's Book Challenge 5.0

Since I've been having such a great time reading book for my and Mia's ABC Reads Challenge (don't forget to link up with us on Thursday!!), I decided to join in the fun with Erin.  Her challenge is a bit more specific with categories and a shorter time frame, but I thought it looked like fun.

I selected book that were already on my to read list in Goodreads. Several of them will double as ABC Reads picks. And one had already been chosen as my book club's July book.  I'm looking forward to the challenge!  Here are the selections I made in each category:

• 5 points: Freebie - The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

• 10 points: Read a book that starts with the letter “R” - Red Hook Road by Ayelet Waldman

• 10 points: Read a book with five words in the title - The Unraveling of Mercy Louis by Keija Parssinen

• 15 points: Read a book that has a (mostly) blue cover - We Are Called to Rise by Laura McBride

• 20 points: Read a book with twins as characters - The Silent Twin by Caroline Mitchell
• 20 points: Read a book made into a movie - Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

• 25 points: Read a book set in a country you have always wanted to visit - The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty (set in Australia) 

• 30 points: Read a historical fiction book - The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

• 30 points: Read a music related book - Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) in Song by Sara Bareilles

• 35 points: Read a book originally published over 100 years ago - Persuasion by Jane Austen

I'm looking forward to getting started on Friday!  Here's hoping I can get them all read within the timeline!!
Here are the rules of the challenge:
• First and foremost, have fun. Don't stress. No one is being judged, graded, or penalized. Even if you finish only one book the entire challenge, if you enjoy it and it's an accomplishment for you, then that's awesome.
• The challenge will run from JULY 1, 2016 to OCTOBER 31, 2016. No books that are started before 12 a.m. on July 1 or finished after 11:59 p.m. on October 31 will count. (We live in different time zones – follow this according to your own time zone.)
• Each book must be at least 200 pages long. Audio books are fine too.
• A book can only be used for one category, and each category can only be completed once. If you want to switch the category of a book, or change the book you originally chose, no worries.
• You can read your books in any order you choose.
• Rereads can be used only once. If a book you love fits into a category, go ahead and visit it again. Read it in its entirety. But, only do this once for the challenge.
• There will be a photo album for each category with links to books chosen. Please comment on the photo for each of your books when you finish reading them. A comment can include a review, a rating, a recommendation…other readers want to hear what you thought of your choice. (if you need help with this, let me know…or there is a file attached to our group explaining what to do.)
• There will be 10 book categories with a possibility of earning 200 points. That’s 10 books in four months. For some of you, this will be a BIG challenge; for others it will be easy peasy. It’s all for fun, remember!
• Book categories will be posted June 1st to give you time to gather books in preparation.
• After the categories are posted, please post a preliminary list with books of your choice according to their categories on the facebook group page by June 15th (if possible). If you need help with a particular category or want a book suggestion, we as a community of reading enthusiasts can help each other. (Late entries will still be accepted.)
• The first three people who finish the challenge will be invited to contribute a category for the next challenge. The top 3 winners will get a small prize from me ((1st to complete 1st round; 2nd to complete 1st round; 1st to complete both rounds)! If the same person wins all categories, then I’ll move to the 2nd finisher, then 3rd, and so on. Plus, everyone who completes the challenge will gets all sorts of recognition and support!
• Lastly, have fun. Don't stress. No one is being judged, graded, or penalized. Even if you finish only one book the entire challenge, if you enjoy it and it's an accomplishment for you, then that's awesome. Wait, I’ve read that somewhere before…Good luck!

Andrea :)

Thursday, June 23, 2016

DCX World Tour!!

The soundtrack to much of my high school and college years fell into the genre of country.  And a bit of Eminem.  You know, to keep things real.  But seriously, I loved so many popular country artists during that time of transition and new opportunities.  There were so many that I kept on repeat - Carrie Underwood, LeAnn Rimes, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Lonestar, LeAnn Womack, Rascal Flatts, and the Dixie Chicks.

Needless to say, when I heard the Dixie Chicks were planning to go back on the road I knew I had to be there.  I have never been a big concert fan, but so many of their songs are burned into my memory because they are associated with such meaningful moments in my life.  I'll never forget singing my heart out to Wide Open Spaces as I drove to college for the first time by myself.  And I can't possibly forget the time me and my best gal pals from church decided we should make our own Goodbye, Earl music video at a sleepover one night.  Such precious memories for me.

The concert added another great memory to the list.  It was terrific.  I fell off the Dixie Chicks wagon prior to their final album so I wasn't as familiar with the songs they played from it, but otherwise I absolutely loved it.  I remembered every word to those old songs.  It all just came flooding back to me.  So many feelings and emotions washed over me as I sang from my soul with thousands of other attendees.  It was truly wonderful.

What is your most magical concert experience?

Andrea :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Pour the Core

Cider is one of the most refreshing drinks on a hot summer day.  Chris and I had the opportunity to try several types when we visited a cider festival a couple weeks ago.  We didn't discover anything truly Earth shattering, but there were several new to us companies represented at the event.

We mostly sampled new flavors that some of our favorite cider companies offered.  I really liked McKenzie's Lazy Lemon and Doc's Sour Cherry.  My favorite from the whole event was a cider called Gumption from Woodchuck. So tasty!  We also really enjoyed our samples of all three Strongbow offerings - Honey, Cherry Blossom, and Gold Apple.

The festival mostly offered familiar brands of cider, but we did manage to find a few new ones that caught our attention.  I absolutely loved the pineapple flavors that two different companies - Ace in California and Austin EastCiders in Texas - provided.  The perfect mix of sweetness for me!  Chris and I both liked J.K.'s Farmhouse Summer hard cider. 

Do you enjoy cider?  What is your go to summer drink?

Andrea :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Bright Star

Upon its initial release to Broadway, I wasn't interested.  It wasn't one of the many that caught my eye.  And then, the Tony's happened.  The Bright Star performance was fantastic.  I really wanted to hear the story she had to tell. Unfortunately, there isn't much time left for anyone else to hear this heartbreaking yet redemptive story.  It leaves Broadway this weekend.  I hope it travels to some other parts of the country though.  The bluegrass style music would fare much better around the part of the world that I call home.

The lead, Carmen Cusack, has an absolutely stunning voice.  I loved listening to her on stage.  The humor throughout and whimsical nature of certain scenes made the overall production feel less sorrowful which I appreciated since we'd seen such dark plays recently.  It was a perfect mix of both serious subject matter and lighthearted song and dance numbers.  The music was my favorite part.  It even helped me overlook a bit of a broad jump in the story line toward the end.  I'm sad that more people weren't interested in keeping it alive for a bit of a longer run.  Definitely an interesting story to tell... 

Do you enjoy the bluegrass style of music with banjos, cellos, and violins?  

Andrea :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

My 5th NYRR Mini 10k

The NYRR Mini 10k has become a staple in my summer race schedule.  As I trekked through the course for my 5th straight year, I was overwhelmed with joy for the community of women runners.  I love this race because the ladies out there attacking the hills and heat alongside one another always find a way to encourage and uplift me.  This year, I also had Chris on the course cheering me along.

I started the race strong.  Chris was waiting for me around the 1.5 mile point so I committed to run the whole way to him - and I did it!  Just after seeing him, I headed into the park.  One of the first major obstacles after entry is a massive hill. That wasn't fun, but I ran as much as I could through it.  By the time I hit the 5k marker, I was really wishing it was a 4 miler instead of a 10k.  I pushed through the next mile before I really hit a low point in mile 4.  Chris was just on the other side of the mile 5 marker so I tried to focus on just making it there.  Fortunately, I had some good music kick in about that time as well!

After seeing Chris for the second time, I knew there was just a mile left to go.  I wasn't feeling great, but I was hanging in there.  I was dead set on beating my time from the Healthy Kidney 10k a few weeks ago...and I knew it meant I'd have to fight to the finish. Once I got close enough to feel the presence of the finish line, I made myself go as hard as I could to the end.  I felt like I was in slow motion, but I was thrilled when I crossed the finish line with a time of 1:25:30.  An improvement of almost exactly 3 minutes!  I managed to shave 30 seconds off my miles!  Running 13:46 minute miles still isn't really anything to brag about, but I was happy with the improvement!  Here's to hoping I'm able to shave off a little more time when Chris and I run the Queens 10k this weekend!

Have you ever run an all-women's race?  
How did it compare to those you run in mixed company?

Andrea :)

Sunday, June 12, 2016

My Tony Award Predictions

As far as award shows go, the Tonys win hands down!  Chris and I have really enjoyed the show the past few years so when the opportunity arose to host a night of Broadway celebration with our new Bible Study Small Group we jumped at it.  It is sure to be lots of fun because each of them is closely tied to the world of theater and auditions. We are super excited to watch it all unfold tonight!  As promised, I have listed out my predictions for you!  Starting with the categories involving plays...

Best Play - The Humans

Best Revival of a Play - Blackbird
Best Leading Actor in a Play - Frank Langella for The Father

Best Leading Actress in a Play -
Jessica Lange for Long Day's Journey Into Night

Best Featured Actor in a Play -
Michael Shannon for Long Day's Journey Into Night

Best Featured Actress in a Play - Jayne Houdyshell for The Humans

Best Scenic Design of a Play - David Zinn for The Humans

Best Costume Design of a Play - Clint Ramos for Eclipsed

Best Lighting for a Play - Justin Townsend for The Humans

Best Director of a Play - Joe Mantello for The Humans

As you heard last week, we've seen The Father, Blackbird, and The Humans recently.  We also saw A View from the Bridge and Misery earlier this year.  Long Day's Journey Into Night is on the top of our must see list, but that beast is four hours long so we have to wait for an open weekend and we haven't had many of those lately.  After attending the Drama Desk Awards, we also decided to add Eclipsed to our list of plays to see.  We've waffled on seeing The Crucible (and heard it was just ok) so we may or may not see it, but it's not super likely to find its way into the rotation soon. Now for the categories involving musicals...

Best Musical - Hamilton

Best Revival of a Musical - The Color Purple

Best Book of a Musical - Lin-Manuel Miranda for Hamilton

Best Original Score - Lin-Manuel Miranda for Hamilton

Best Leading Actor in a Musical - Leslie Odom, Jr. for Hamilton

Best Leading Actress in a Musical -  Cynthia Erivo for The Color Purple

Best Featured Actor in a Musical - Daveed Diggs for Hamilton

Best Featured Actress in a Musical - Renee Elise Goldsberry for Hamilton

Best Scenic Design of a Musical - David Korins for Hamilton

Best Costume Design of a Musical - Ann Roth for Shuffle Along

Best Lighting for a Musical - Justin Townsend for American Psycho

Best Director of a Musical - Thomas Kail for Hamilton

Best Choreography - Andy Blankenbuehler for Hamilton

Best Orchestrations - Alex Lacamoire for Hamilton

We were so fortunate to have seen Hamilton to kick off our year - what a truly fantastic production in every possible way!!  I also managed to see The Color Purple with some friends around Christmastime.  I have a long list of want to see shows including Bright Star, She Loves Me, Fiddler on the Roof, Shuffle Along, and Waitress.  Hopefully, I'll find a way to knock out at least a few of those before the end of summer!

Do you watch the Tony Awards?

Andrea :)

Saturday, June 11, 2016

UAE Healthy Kidney 10k

Don't let the photo fool you, my first 10k of the season didn't go so great. I can't say I was entirely surprised. It was a miserably hot day...and I really wasn't all that prepared. I'm hopeful the one I run today goes a bit better.

I've contemplated putting a hold on running since last fall. I don't have the same enthusiasm that I used to for it. Maybe it is time to focus on some other types of exercise and circle back to it down the line. It's tough though because I do like the aspect of competing with myself to improve...and it's always fun to get a new medal for my collection! I'll hold off on making a firm decision until after the Queens 10k that I am running with Chris next weekend, but I think it's time to make a change! Especially if I continually report 10k finishing times of 1:28:20 - that's 14:13 per mile. Such a disappointment for me.

Andrea :)

Friday, June 10, 2016

Five on Friday!

I am SO excited to finish the week and begin another wonderful weekend of fun!!  June has been jam packed for us already so let me catch you up on the adventures...


As you saw yesterday, we've been watching plays like crazy.  We've taken it a bit slower with the musicals - mostly because Chris isn't as big of a fan of them.  But also because they are much more difficult to squeeze in on a weeknight.  And our weekends have been crazy full of fun outdoor adventures like running!  Back to my point though - the plays!  Since we'd seen so many this year, we thought it would be fun to attend the Drama Desk Awards this past Sunday.  It was definitely an interesting experience.  We had lots of laughs and enjoyed hearing the strictly timed acceptance speeches - 90 seconds is a lot longer than I thought!


Chris ran another NYRR 4-miler on Sunday.  And he now has a new personal best!!  I'm so proud of how great he is doing with running!  He managed to run back-to-back races last weekend since we had the inaugural LIC Run the Waterfront 5k together on Saturday.  We are gearing up for our big race of the summer next weekend when we take on the Queens 10k together!


We escaped the hustle and bustle of the city after our 5k last weekend when we drove up to Baldwin Winery in the Hudson Valley.  They were having a Strawberry, Wine, and Chocolate Festival.  I was sold when Chris said the tasting included a chocolate covered strawberry, but we got a whole plate full of tasty treats to enjoy while we tried various wine samples.  Definitely a fun way to spend the afternoon!


Earlier this week, we trekked out to Citi Field Stadium to see Beyonce perform her Formation World Tour.  To be frank, we were quite disappointed.  I was completely amazed when I saw her perform up close and personal at Super Bowl a few years ago, but she just didn't have the same appeal this time.  It seemed like her moves for every song were exactly the same.  And there was just a real strange feeling surrounding the whole experience.  Maybe I should have anticipated that I wouldn't love it since I am not really a fan of her recent work, but I still had high hopes for her performance factor.  She did manage to impress me with the final dance set done in a shallow pool of water - that type of entertainment was what I had hoped to see all night long!


I shared with you our Date Box experience in May recently.  Well, the next date box that arrived was equally as fun - and we've only managed to make it halfway through the date!  The date box included a CD to learn some fun dance moves and a competitive card game, but we dove in for the make your own ice cream portion first.  We have plans to finish the rest before the end of the month, but we sure did have fun making (and eating) our ice cream!

What have you been up to in June so far?

Andrea :)

Thursday, June 9, 2016

You Know It's Tony Season When...

You know it must be Tony season when you attend two multi-category nominated plays in the same week!  Needless to say, I'm beyond excited for the much anticipated Tony award show this weekend!  I must confess that I am MOST excited to see what song the Hamilton cast performs though.  I have been absolutely obsessed with all things Hamilton since Chris and I saw the show back in early January.  It deserves EVERY single award it wins - BEYOND fabulous!!  I'll post more about my predictions on Sunday, but today I want to share a bit about the plays we've seen recently today!

The first play we saw isn't nominated for any awards, but it caught our attention because it was titled Kentucky. The story finds one sister having escaped country life and her abusive father by making a new life for herself in New York.  When she hears that her sister is planning to get married back home, she attempts to swoop in and save the day by trying to convince her it is a huge mistake.  While the story was predictable, we enjoyed the usual aspects (a cat played by a human) and the familiarity of Kentucky living (lots of Big Blue Nation shout-outs).  The play didn't necessarily reflect the Kentucky I know and love, but I'm glad we took a chance on it.  Definitely gave us some solid laughs if nothing else!

Next, we went to see The Father starring Frank Langella - nominated for both Best Play and Best Actor.  The play follows the steady decline of Langella's character as his mind is slowly stolen by dementia.  We knew we were in for a dramatic 90 minutes, but there seemed to be a number of production flaws that left us scratching our head a bit at the end.  Don't get me wrong, Langella was fantastic!  The story was just a bit difficult to follow at points.  You weren't easily able to determine when a flashback was occurring and when the scene was set in the present time.  Definitely disappointed that aspect wasn't made more clear for the audience.

We continued with the tough and heavy topics when we saw Blackbird a week later.  Una (Michelle Williams) and Ray (Jeff Daniels) have a very convoluted past with one another.  And by convoluted I mean that 15 years prior to the scene viewers watch unfold, 40-something-year-old Ray had "consensual" sexual relations with 11-year-old Una.  A confrontation of sorts takes place in a messy office conference room...and in the end you are left with more questions than you started with regarding their situation.  It is wonderfully performed even though the topic is difficult to stomach at more than one point in the production.  Nominations include Best Play, Best Actor, and Best Actress - all quite worthy nods.  And two very friendly folks at the stage door!

Saving the best for last, we saw The Humans last week.  What a truly wonderful picture of the all-encompassing love present within a family!  This play is simply lovely.  It has you laughing one moment and on the verge of tears the next.  The story is simple - it's Thanksgiving and the family has all gathered to spend the day together.  I found myself resonating so closely with many of the ways the family showed love through teasing and comedy.  It was just a really fun play with a bit of a serious overtone to keep it balanced.  And it happens to be nominated for 6 Tony Awards including Best Play.  I would recommend that anyone go see it!

Which play sounds the most interesting to you?  
Don't forget to check back on Sunday for my full Tony predictions!

Andrea :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

A Beautiful Country Wedding

It is a strange feeling to attend someone's wedding when you can remember them as a baby!  I haven't had that experience often, but I have a feeling it will be happening much more in the coming years.  Due to a bit of an age gap in the spacing of my mom and her siblings, I grew up in the generation almost exactly halfway between my cousins and their children.  That often made me the babysitter/entertainer for my cousin's children in my younger years, but as I aged into adulthood I started to build stronger bonds with the older generation of cousins.  It's an odd reality, but I kinda love it.

Over Memorial Day Weekend, we were set to attend the wedding of one of these cousin's oldest daughter, Kyli Jo.  I flew in a day ahead of Chris to spend some extra quality time with my family.  You can imagine my surprise when I saw my little niece and nephew greeting me at the Cincinnati airport with the most heartwarming signs.  Those two can be a handful at times, but I wouldn't change a thing about either of them.

We began our trek through Ohio caravan style making it to the small metropolis of Maumee just in time for a quick trip to the hospital.  The bride-to-be's sister (aka the MOH) had to be taken in for an emergency appendectomy just two days before the wedding.  Can you imagine?!?!

After spending Saturday morning relaxing and playing in the hotel pool, we made our way over to visit with family for the afternoon.  The day of the wedding was full of more family time as we awaited the ceremony inside the barn venue.  Last minute instructions were given to Brinley and Landon as they prepared for their role as flower girl and ring bearer.  And then it was time for a beautiful country wedding!

The rest of the night we danced and enjoyed sampling a variety of tasty cupcakes - yum!  Kyli's horse, Zip, even made a special appearance for the momentous occasion.  By the end of the night, I was completely exhausted from all the festivities!  It was truly a wonderful day with family!   

What do you enjoy most about a family wedding?

Andrea :)

Monday, June 6, 2016

LIC Living

When we moved to LIC (Long Island City) a couple of years ago, I had my doubts about the area.  It was a far cry from my previous anything and everything at your fingertips midtown Manhattan location.  And, of course, it involved the subway - ugh!!  Fortunately, it didn't take me long to warm up to the area.  Not to mention the fact that it has grown by leaps and bounds in just those two short years!

One of my favorite parts of LIC is the waterfront park area.  We stumbled upon it when roaming around the neighborhood our first Spring.  I've done most of my short runs in that area over the past year, and I've really grown to love it.  And you can't beat the view there!  Fast forward to about a month ago when we decided to check out the LIC Springs festival over on Vernon Blvd and discovered an upcoming inaugural Run the Waterfront 5k.  Needless to say, we promptly signed up.

The 5k was a run/walk format and really just a fun way for locals to celebrate life in LIC.  Chris and I were pumped to find out we'd be able to walk to the start!  We really enjoyed the experience from bib pick up at LIC Landing (complete with a free drink!) to running through familiar streets together.  We weren't the fastest in the bunch, but we really enjoyed the community feel of the race day experience.  Definitely something we would do again!

Andrea :)

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Our May Date Nights

As always, we stayed busy in May. We participated in some training runs for our joint 10k run coming up in just two short weeks!  We spent some time checking out Tony nominated Broadway plays.  And we spent Memorial Day weekend visiting with some of my family in Ohio to celebrate my cousin's wedding.  In the midst of all the fun, our date nights prevailed!  I introduced us to a new date night experience while Chris planned a night of comedy fun!

Chris discovered that Colin Quinn was testing new material for his next big show over at the Comedy Cellar so we decided to check that out.  We've seen Colin on Broadway in Long Story Short and also off Broadway in Unconstitutional and The New York Story.  We knew it was a steal to spend an evening listening to him test his new stuff for merely $20.  He's a funny man. Lots of laughs throughout the night!

I came across a fun date idea while skimming my instagram feed - DateBox. Since I found a code for a free month, I figured it would be fun to surprise Chris with it and figure out from there if it was something we wanted to keep in the mix on a regular basis.  The idea is brilliant - everything you need for a fun date night at home is shipped to you in a handy box at the beginning of each month!

Our first one had an adventure theme.  It involved making candles that smelled like the forest and preparing chicken soup and s'mores to enjoy while we discussed our past adventures together.  It also included a deck of cards and rules for some really fun two person card games that we enjoyed!  We loved how everything was ready to go in one place.  We decided to give it a try for a couple more months so I'll be sure to keep you informed on the other neat ideas that we get to experience!

What is your favorite kind of date night?

Andrea :)