“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” - Jawaharal Nehru

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Girls Night

Last night I met up with Julie and Jennifer at Bar Pitti in the West Village. It is known for traditional Italian dishes and I have heard it was really good.

I ordered the spinach and cheese ravioli in a red sauce. I have to say it was delicious! Probably some of the best spinach and cheese ravioli outside of Rome (of course). I cleaned my entire plate. I should have taken a picture of it but I was too hungry!

It was great catching up with the girls. It's so sad to think some of them will be leaving in just under 2 months. I've had a great time getting to know them and they really are some of the best girls in the city. Luckily not all are leaving!

Happy Mid-Week!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Bike Racing in New Jersey

A few things first before I get to this past weekend.

Spring cleaning! Nick and I went through our closet and got rid of everything we don't wear, everything that doesn't fit, and everything that we just didn't like anymore. What do you think happened? Yeah, our closet was pretty empty after that - more so on Nick's side. He is in desperate need of a new wardrobe now!

Nick and I went over to one of my previous physician's townhouse for a cocktail get together. I hadn't seen Dendy (aka Dr. Engelman) in a few months and it was great to catch up. They are the sweetest and best looking couple! Their townhouse is absolutely beautiful and it was great to meet some new people.

This past weekend I went with Nick to his cycling race in Princeton, NJ. If you didn't know, he is part of the NYU cycling team. It was a long but very fun two days. It started at 4:30am on Saturday morning. Yes, you heard me right... 4:30am. We had to be down on campus at 5:45am so we could leave no later than 6am. Ouch. It's never fun getting up that early. Typically they always come back that day but Nick's dad was in New Jersey so we spent the night with him at a hotel.

The ride wasn't too bad and right when we got to the race the guys had to start warming up. It was a beautiful, clear sunny day. A little cool though. There was only one race on Saturday which was the road race. This consisted of 20 hilly miles. I was really glad I was just a spectator! Nick did amazing! Finished 8th out of approximately 40 guys in his group.

Nick, Mike, and I headed to lunch after the race. Nick was in need of some calories and carbs! Afterwards we didn't have much else to do so we decided to catch a movie. There was really only one movie to see - The Hunger Games. Nick and I both read the novels and we were pretty excited to see it. Verdict? We really enjoyed it. The novels are always better but I felt it did a really good job with keeping to the integrity of the book.

We googled a place to eat for dinner - Italian (Nick wanted more carbs). We found this really cute place called La Cucina. It was delicious. The history behind it was really interesting as well. It started as a trading store (grocery store) before the Civil War. The owner now is from Italy and cooks some amazing Italian dishes. And the helpings are huge. We had bruschetta, spaghetti, and veal between the three of us. Unfortunately no dessert because we were so full! We headed home and went to sleep because it was another early morning.

We had another 5am wake up call on Sunday. Nick had two races and the first one was a time trial which was 4 1/2 miles up hill. Again, no thank you! Today was a lot colder and grey. Everyone was just praying the rain held off until the meet was finished. How did Nick do? Oh... you know, 3rd PLACE! I am so very proud of him! And Kari, the only girl in the group, finished 2nd in her group! Go NYU!

After that race the guys had about 30 minutes until the next race which was a criterium. This is a timed 25 minute race. You basically go around a loop that is a mile as fast as you can for the 25 minutes. Nick did amazing again! He won an intermediate sprint on the 5th lap, and ended up finishing 8th for the overall crit!

He did an amazing job and I am so very proud of him! Needless to say we were extremely tired when we got home Sunday afternoon. We pretty much ate dinner and went to bed! What a fun weekend!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

NYC Food Tour

This Saturday was St. Patrick's Day. It can get pretty crazy in the city. We have the well known parade, people in green, bar hopping, and lots of other crazy things!

As many of you know Nick and I aren't the wild party, bar-hopping types. But we did get out and celebrate in our own way. The weather was great...a little cool but there was plenty of sunshine.

I actually got the idea from one of my friends Jen (a fellow blogger). Check her out here: http://adailythoughteatsandgoings.blogspot.com. She moved here with her fiance who is at NYU. She documents all her NYU experiences and she loves food! There are so many places that Nick and I have wanted to try and reading her blog from last weekend made me decide Nick and I had to have our own NYC food tour.

Nick and I ventured downtown (East Village, Greenwich, West Village). There are a lot of places that we have wanted to try but sometimes it's just so hard to get down there. Here is a recount of our all our stops:

First up, Doughnut Plant
Yes, that one. The one that is featured on all the shows like the Cooking Channel, HGTV, Travel Channel. Now I love, and I mean love, my doughnuts from home. Nothing quite compares to Donut Palace in Coppell, TX. I had high expectations... And they were met. Granted they were different from back home but every bit as delicious. I ordered the cake cinnamon doughnut (I know, traditional... but I like traditional doughnuts) and Nick had the Hazelnut and chocolate doughnut and the tres leches (he went back for seconds even after I explained it would be a long day of eating and he needed to pace himself)!
Cinnamon Cake: 8/10
Hazelnut: 7.5/10
Tres leches: 10/10
Cost: $10

Next, Katz's Delicatessen:
Yep, the famous one from When Harry Met Sally (yes, we saw the sign where Meg Ryan had her famous scene). It's been there since 1888 serving the best sandwiches! I had read it has a tendency to get busy as the day goes on. We arrived around 11am and it was just starting to get busy. Nick and I weren't sure of what to order... we had his phone out to look up the names of the sandwiches on Google. Ha! We ended up ordering the Reuben (minus the sauerkraut). It was surprisingly better than I thought... I'm not a big sandwich person but the meat was really fresh. There was a sauce that came on the sandwich that was a little different... not Nick's favorite since it had some green chucks in it. But overall pretty not bad and pretty cool to be in a restaurant that has survived through so much.
7-8/10 (I was a 7 and Nick was an 8... he thought we could have picked a better sandwich for our tastes)
Cost: $20

Third on the spot, S'Mac:
All you can eat macaroni and cheese in many different kind of flavors. With all those different flavors what did we choose? Yes, the traditional 4 cheese. I know, I know... not that exciting but it was so good! And super heavy... we definitely needed to pace ourselves. All of the cheeses melted together wonderfully! Nick also ordered a Stewart's cherry and cream soda. He had never seen one of those before and had to try it. We did not finish all of the mac-n-cheese (this was a 'small'!)... but we did enjoy every bite!
Cost: $11

It continues at, Pommes Frites:
Bring on the french fries! I absolutely love french fries and this was one of the stops I was most looking forward to. These were some of the best authentic Belgium fries I've ever tasted! Warm, fresh, and delicious. We ordered three different sauces: cheese, sun-dried tomato mayo, and sweet chili. Now, here is where my disappointment comes in... neither of us liked any of the sauces. We did not choose well. I'd rather eat the fries plain that ruin them with those three sauces. They did have others so next time we will have to try some more. I might be a plain fries and ketchup kind of girl though.
Fries: 9/10
Sauces: 2/10 (we are being generous)
Cost: $7

Next up, Mamouns:
This was one of Nick's choices. He had been here before and wanted me to experience it. Now, Middle Eastern food it quite a stretch for me but I went into it with an open mind. I relied on Nick to figure out what to order. It was all gibberish to me! We ended up with a Kafta sandwich... this is a seasoned lamb with onions and parsley ground into a patty. Add in some lettuce and tomatoes and you have got a pretty good sandwich. I'll admit it's not my favorite... the patty had a unique taste. But for it being my first experience it was surprisingly decent. I didn't spit it out on the first bite... that says a lot.
6 & 8/10 (Guess which one I am... yep, the 6)
Cost: $5.50

Continuing on at, Joe's Pizza:
I always pass this spot on the way to NYU when I met Nick down by campus. He's never stopped at it before and you can't have a food tour and not have a pizza stop. That would be a crime. Apparently a lot of celebrities frequent this place so it must be good, right? And it was. Probably one of the better slices of pizza I've had in the city. For some reason I seem to be pretty picky with pizza. I can't say that I've found a place that has really blown me away. Nick would be embarrassed for me to admit this but I love Domino's. I know, shameful in a city full of all different kinds of pizza but hey I like it! But, back to Joe's... the sauce was my favorite part. I ended up picking off the pepperoni. Don't worry, those did not go to waste.... Nick was there to eat them!
Cost: $5

Desert time, L'arte de Gelato:
It was time for a little desert... we had earned it. Is there anything better than a traditional Italian gelato place?! It was amazing. It reminded me of being back in Italy (oh, how I wish we were there now). I ordered the lemon sorbet and it was extremely refreshing and light. Nick opted for 2 flavors: biscotti and chocolate/hazelnut combination. He loved his as much as I loved mine... we didn't share to well on this one!
Lemon: 10/10
Pisciotti: 11/10 (according to Nick it was that good - and I would have to agree from the one bite he allowed me)
Chocolate/hazelnut: 7/10
Cost: $8

Last on the list, Fat Witch Brownies:
We walked up to Chelsea Market where Fat Witch Brownies are located. Apparently these brownies are the best in the city. It was a cute store and I have to admit I really love their packaging. We each got our own brownie and made our way to relax on the High Line. Unfortunately, I don't agree these are the best brownies in the city. They were good but not that good. Nick was even nice enough to say he preferred the brownies I made! So sweet.
Cost: $9 (for three)

Needless to say we were quite tired and VERY full when we arrived back home. We spent the rest of the afternoon taking a nap and relaxing on the couch. One would think we would have no room for dinner but I did make some spaghetti and salad.

A home cooked meal was a fantastic way to end a wonderful day in the city!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Happy Birthday Nick!

Nick's birthday was on Monday... he turned the big 2-8! It's really hard to believe that we are in our upper 20's. It seems like just yesterday I met him at the young age of 16!

Nick is currently on Spring Break this week. I know... I am completely and utterly jealous. However, it is his last spring break ever. There is no more long summers, month long Christmas breaks, or week long Thanksgiving breaks. Once school is finished in May it's back to the "real" world.

Nick spent his birthday day riding his bike. It is gorgeous this week in the city and it's perfect cycling weather. I wish I was able to play outside but sadly I have to work.

After I got home we went to David Burke at Bloomingdale's. Nick had bought a Groupon deal so we decided to use it for his birthday. It wasn't a real nice or romantic dinner. Pretty causal but the food was pretty good. We started off with a bottle of wine and some appetizers: lobster bisque, chips and guacamole, and a caesar salad (I know.. a lot of different things going on there). Nick order the streak and fries for dinner and I had the salmon. It wasn't the best salmon I've had but definitely not the worst. We ended with the best part... a root bear float for Nick and creme brulee for me! Delicious!

We came home and had a relaxing night on the couch. Most importantly we caught up on Walking Dead... one of our new favorite shows! If you haven't watched it you are missing out!

Sadly no pictures to document this occasion.

Happy Birthday to the most amazing and supportive husband! I love you!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Wedding in Austin

This past weekend Nick and I flew to Austin, TX for my sister-in-laws wedding. It was a really... and I mean a really quick trip. Unfortunately Nick and I were not able to make the rehearsal dinner on Friday night because I had to work on Friday. It was really disappointing that we couldn't be there with our family.

My parents and Evan picked us up from DFW around 5pm on Friday. We made a quick stop to get some dinner on our way to Austin. Any guesses where we stopped? I'm sure you already know... anything Mexican. This time it happened to be On The Border because it was the first restaurant we saw. And it was amazing!

We finally made it to Austina around 10pm and I was exhausted. It had been a long day of traveling.

Saturday was a fairly relaxing day. We didn't have to be at the wedding until around 4pm so Nick and I hung out with his family. It was really nice to get to see everyone... Nick's whole family is in the Dallas/Austin/Houston area so we tend to miss a few things being all the way in New York!

The wedding was beautiful and the bride was gorgeous. Austin was experiencing a downpour the 3 prior days. Natalie had originally planned on an outdoor wedding but unfortunately due to the weather it was pushed inside. But, it was still beautiful! The bride and groom looked so happy together and I couldn't be happier for the two of them. Another addition to the family!

Getting ready for the festivities to begin

The Grounds - the green area was where the ceremony was suppose to be held but as you can see it was quite wet. It didn't matter though... the ceremony was gorgeous inside!

It's official! They are married!

First Dance


I just love him! He even got out on the dance floor with me... and it wasn't just slow songs either!

Me and my parents

Off they go!

Sunday Nick and I got up and had lunch with my family and Karen. It was a great way to end a very successful and happy weekend! My parents drove us back to Dallas where we caught an afternoon flight back to the city. Needless to say Nick and I are quite tired... but it was worth it.

Congratulations Natalie and Cory!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Goodbye Appendix

Who needs their appendix? Apparently not me.

Intense pain woke me up around 2:30am Monday morning. It was really bad... I could hardly stand up straight. It felt as if someone was ripping open my stomach. Yes, I know... lovely. Imagine how it felt. That pain lasted for a couple of hours. I did go into work but only worked half a day because I was still having the pains. I tried to make an appointment with my physician but she wasn't in the office on Monday.

Tuesday the pain diminished but it was still present. I went to work for the day... that wasn't too much fun but since I'm the only nurse it's hard for me to take off. That afternoon I had my appointment with my physician. She did an exam and was like okay, "I'm sending you to the hospital for a CAT scan now."

The CAT scan was awful. And I mean awful. It wouldn't have been so bad if I didn't have to drink close to 1000mL of disgusting barium prep solution. It was nasty... I gagged on every sip I had to take. They really should come up with a better way...

Soon after my CAT scan was finished the results were in... acute appendicitis. I was whisked away to be admitted to the ER and then eventually admitted to general surgery. Oh what fun. Not what I or Nick was expecting for a Tuesday night.

The ER was bustling with people... luckily Nick and I were able to get a semi-private waiting room. I met with the general surgeon resident and he explained the surgery and everything that went into it. And then we waited. The OR was backed up so I probably wouldn't be getting to surgery until 1am.

It was about 2am and I was finally taken upstairs to the OR. I have to admit it is a little different being on the other side... the patient side. It just all felt really backwards... The surgeon was great though. He kept me at ease because I was a little nervous once they pulled me into the OR. But before I knew it I was waking up in recovery and Nick was right there beside me. Drugs... it's amazing how well they work.

I was discharged later that afternoon and I've been home resting. Pain hasn't been too bad... Nick has been the most amazing, attentive, and helpful husband/nurse. I really don't know how I've gotten so lucky. I don't think most men would be as attentive as he has been. He even missed his first bike race this weekend because I asked him to stay. And you might not think that's a big thing but he's been looking forward to this for months. So thank you honey... I love you!

Bandages come off on Wednesday and then hopefully I'm on my way back to normal!