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Monday, October 23, 2017

A Fun-Filled Weekend With #1 in NYC

Hello, dear friends.  I woke up to a dreary, wet morning.  I couldn't be happier though because I've got nothing on the agenda except baskets of laundry, a trek to the grocery store, and writing this post. 

Another reason that I don't mind the gray weather is that the weekend was full of sunshine.  The Mister and I met our Dallas daughter in NYC for the weekend.  Sadly, our #2 had other plans, and Adorable Jonathon was attending a bachelor party weekend in Vancouver.

Hmmm... I hope that he doesn't have quite as much fun as the guys did in the movie, The Hangover.  

The Mister and I left the station with Miss Daisy in hand on the 6AM train.  I love taking the train.  The seats are much comfier than a plane, it is always so relaxing, plenty of magnificent scenery, and there is no pesty turbulence.  

Every Fall, we like to spend a weekend in NYC.  We were originally planning to go on Columbus Day weekend but changed our plans when the ladies from the Traveling Totes group planned a get-together.

Now, do you see why I love taking the train?

The weather was positively gorgeous, and the foliage was at its peak.

Our #1 arrived at the hotel soon after us.  By then, our tummies were growling.  We had made reservations at  The Monkey Bar for lunch.

The Monkey Bar has a style of its own. Funky murals and swanky furniture grace the room which is filled with patrons that could make the Best Dressed List.  I had been there previously with Sista and enjoyed it tremendously.

Cheers to a great beginning to the weekend.

Both the service and food were exemplary.
Another thing about The Monkey Bar...
healthy pours.

Here is our shopper extraordinaire checking out the surrounding turf.

I think this may be one of my favorite pics of the Mister.  
He is paying for our girl's much-needed necessities with the aid of Sephora's rep, Ivan.  

As my buddy, KTG wrote after I sent her the pics:

Sephora product: $54.00
The Mister's expression: priceless

That evening, the Mister surprised us with reservations at my favorite restaurant in the whole world, The Polo Bar.  Our #1 had never been there, and I was so excited for her to experience it.

When we left the hotel for dinner, there was not a cab in sight.  I was afraid that we would lose the reservation if we were late, so we took a gentleman's offer to ride in his pedicab. 


If you need to get someplace in NYC quickly, I suggest taking the pedicab route.  Our driver was so fast and managed to dodge traffic jams, parked cars, delivery trucks, jaywalkers, and tour buses to name a few with the precision and speed of a professional race car driver.   

Ten minutes and sixty bucks later we were delivered in one piece to our dinner destination.

My favorite part of The Polo Bar is the actual bar.  It is tiny and everything seems to sparkle.  The doorman does not admit anyone without a confirmed dinner reservation, so it is never packed. The only entrance to the restaurant is through the bar, so there's always a chance of seeing a celeb close up.  Unfortunately, we didn't spot any like one other time that we were there.

Another reason the bar is close to my heart is that it has the best darn bar snacks in the whole world. 


My observations tell me that you have to be a "10" to work at The Polo Bar because the waitstaff is gorgeous.  Our lovely waitress informed us that she has waited on Paul McCarthy (I swoon) and Kim and Kanye (#1 swoons).

 We must have been a real let down for her. 

Saturday, I went off to the Russian Tea Room to meet the Tales of the Traveling Tote Ladies.  I had the pleasure of meeting a couple of them before.

Seated from left is Sarah from Hyacinths For The Soul, moi, Linda from Life and Linda,  Deb from Mountain Breaths, Patti from Pandora's Box, and Emily from The French Hutch.  

And last, but certainly not least, the birthday girl...
Linda from More Fun Less Laundry

It was so much fun meeting and visiting with everyone.
Rumor has it that the ladies are putting together a group post about their weekend in NYC on Sunday so make sure to take some time to blog hop.

After lunch, I met the Mister and #1 at the theater to see Chicago.  Our #1 chose it because she loved the movie and knew every word to the entire score.

I warned her before it began that the actors would not appreciate any audience participation.  So she saved her singing voice for the streets of NYC walking back to the hotel. 

The production was fabulous, and I recommend it highly.
If your schedule does not allow you a trip to NYC, send me your number, and I'll have my #1 give you a call and sing to you.

That evening, we feasted on scrumptious Italian food at another favorite restaurant of ours, Trattoria Dell'Arte.

A delightful way to top of a perfect weekend.

There was only one thing missing...
our #2.

More train pics for your viewing pleasure.

Until next time...

Ought oh... I better not mention this place to Chowdah and Chili.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Breakfast With The Authors & Books on my Radar

Hello, dear friends.  I hope that you had a good week.  A couple of weeks ago, my friend Kathy and I attended another wonderful Buttonwood Breakfast with the Authors.  It took place in Cohasset, and this was our magnificent view.

What a great way to spend a few hours. 

Kathy the owner (middle) and her gracious staff make a habit of greeting every guest at the door.  It was a full house, as always.

Buttonwood Books & Toys had much to celebrate.  It was their 50th Breakfast With The Authors.  I've only been to 4 of them - I'm sorry that I missed the other 46!

When I first spotted Benjamin in the sea of lovely coiffed, middle-aged ladies, I assumed that he was someone's son.  You know what assume means, right?  Benjamin may look young, but he is an accomplished author.
A few years ago, Benjamin spotted a small article in his local North Carolina newspaper about a man who was being released from prison after twenty-four years.  The thing that caught Benjamin's eye was the fact that this gentleman was exonerated due to his innocence.  The author thought this would be a fascinating magazine story.  After meeting all the key characters and researching the case, Benjamin found himself with two integral stories and 48 pages of text. Thus, the book, Ghost of the Innocent Man was born.  

Considering the fact that I can't live without watching the TV shows 48 Hours and 20/20, this sounds right up my alley.


I was fortunate enough to sit at Lisa Duffy's table.  Lisa lives locally and runs a busy household consisting of one husband and three busy teenagers.  She also has three grown children that live in the area.

The Salt House is a beautiful story about the aftermath of a family that lived through a heartbreaking tragedy.  It chronicles each family member's way of handling their grief.  I wrote a review of the book here.

I mentioned to Lisa that the thing that I appreciated the most about the book was her portrayal of the multi-dimensional characters.  I did not want the book to end because I did not want to say goodbye to this family.  She told me that she felt the same way writing it.

Tova Mirvis is another local author who has written her first memoir.  The Book of Separation began as an article that was published by The New York Times.  It chronicles Tova's journey of leaving her marriage and her orthodox-Jewish faith. She told interesting stories of her children as well as herself adjusting to their new lives. 


As always, Buttonwood Books kept us all well fed as we listened to the authors speak.

Besides the great books, fabulous authors, and the stellar Buttonwood staff, the functions that are hosted attract the nicest people.  This is my new friend, Marie who introduced herself and a good friend of my Regis pals. 

Marie told me that she gave The Salt House to one of her friends with a note that she was taking her to the Breakfast.  She said that she is not giving gifts to her friends anymore - just experiences.  I thought that was a great idea.  I just may borrow a page from Marie's book.  

One last thing...
did I mention the view?


I just finished listening to Beneath A Scarlet Sky and enjoyed it. I feel odd using the word "enjoy" in describing this epic tale based on a true story because it's not pretty.  It takes place in Italy during World War II and centers around a teenager who wants nothing to do with the Nazis and yet ends up working for Hitler's second-in-command.  There isn't a dull moment in this page-turner.  It is an inspiring story of love and resilience. 

The Mister and I listened to The Professor on one of our road trips.  We both enjoyed it very much and will probably listen to more of Robert Bailey's books.

I just started listening to The Good Widow.  It grabbed me within the first five minutes.  A young wife answers the door and is greeted by a police officer who breaks the sad news that her hubby was killed in a car accident in Hawaii.  Spoiler alert:  he told her he was in Kansas on business.

I'll be watching the Mister with very closely when he books his next business trip.

I'm still reading The Designer and like it very much.  It's got all the glamour of the design industry in Paris in the 1940's along with plenty of colorful characters.


The House by the River is described as a family saga covering the lives of a mother and her five adult daughters.  It's gotten very good reviews.

One of my book club friends read The Alice Network and highly recommended it.  If it's good enough for my buddy, it's good enough for me. 

I look forward to reading Winter Solstice because I am curious as to what happens to the lovable Quinn family.  I enjoyed the past three books in this series.  I like to read light books around the holidays and also enjoy giving them as gifts.  

You know I love a good suspense, and The Spinster Wife looks like it fits the bill.  The main character faces many fears and takes refuge in a remote cottage in Ireland.

In the old days, my Mother's biggest fear was that I was going to be a spinster. 

The Ghost Writer has received fabulous reviews.  It revolves around a popular romance author who writes her last book.  It's nonfiction, and it's her final confession.
I can hardly wait!!!

I've read several of Colleen Hoover's books, and I will most likely read this one.  Without Merit delves into a quirky, unorthodox family that lives in a repurposed church and is filled with secrets.  Colleen Hoover's  writing reminds me very much of Jodi Picoult's style.

A small town in Georgia faces tragedy when three high school cheerleaders are killed in a car crash.  When We Were Worthy tells the stories of the people and families involved as well as the aftermath in the community.  

Three law students figure out that the school that they are attending is not all it's cracked up to be.  It sounds like The Rooster Bar is John Grisham at his best. 

Have you read anything good lately?

Until next time...

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