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A Day Together and Never Turning on the Radio

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I found him whom my soul loveth. I held him and would not let him go… Song of Solomon

Some say a soulmate never tires of holding your hand. A soulmate isn’t completely the same, but they have the same core beliefs and values. It is someone you cannot imagine your life without. Someone who knows what you’re thinking without having to say a word. They make you feel safe and secure.

Here is my not so Dear John-

Dear John letter,

While walking along a path we were holding hands and I could see a woman staring at us. She looked at us longingly while picking up her pace she reached out for her partner’s hand. He took her hand and they walked on down the path and she smiled leaning into him. I’m always happy to hold your hand… in the car… in the sanctuary… on a walk… in a store… even while you sleep.

We are so very different in our abilities and talents, but we are so much the same. There is no debate of political ideals or religious beliefs. There is no dispute over raising our children. Maybe it’s because we’ve been together for twenty years, but even when we were in high school I simply could not imagine my life without you in it. I can feel it in your shoulders and see it in your expressions… you can hear it in my breathing or see it in my brow when something is wrong even in the slightest of difficulties. I know it in your twinges and the patterns of your breath when you are starting to fall asleep next to me. In all the difficulties and triumphs of my life I have reached out for your voice and your embrace. You have brought me such peace. I know that little curve of your shoulder where I place my head every night to fall asleep was carved out just for me.

I look into your deep blue eyes and I know the truth. I can imagine my life traveling to many places. I can imagine my life with more money or less money. I can imagine my life with more activity or less…. I can imagine it any way, but without you.

I found who my soul loves. I will hold you and not let go – there will always be room on my door for two and it will still float. 

XOXO – Porgy

11 Stops on Rt. 11 for #11

We made an interesting trip yesterday for our 11th wedding anniversary. We had many people do a double take when we said we were out for our 11th anniversary. We were 22 and 23 when we married. In today’s terms I suppose that’s rather young or maybe we look young…. shoot maybe we are young for being married 11 years. 

Stop #1 – My friend Crystal insisted that if she was watching the kids for us for the day we had to stop at 52 Weeks of Romance for our anniversary. It’s an adult novelty store. I wont show you pictures on this one… leave it to your own imagination. We had a funny time and giggled a lot. I tried on lots of outfits. I haven’t tried on any lingerie since my surgery…. before then nothing fit. It was entertaining to find some things were too big. That’s never happened before.

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Stop #2 –  We stopped at Happy’s which is a local flea market. I’m sure in its prime was awesome- now it’s just sketchy. We grabbed some guitar strings and managed a sunburn while we were there. John played a banjo for a bit. He still makes his guitar face even on a banjo… not sure why we were expecting  a different face.

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Stop #3 – Lunch at a local Mexican restaurant called Alejandro’s.

We managed to laugh at each other’s funny faces.

IMG_6519This is my “Oh my -there was a hidden jalapeno in there!!!” While John is just laughing making me freeze to take pictures… Steam is coming out of my ears!

It’s okay he followed it by getting brain freeze so I made sure I took an equally lovely picture of him. IMG_6460

Stop #4 – Apple Barn II in Troutville, Virginia. This is a little shop with collectables and candles. We grabbed a few candles and a birthday present for Maggie.

IMG_6469 This was one of our favorite stops because the clerk at the store was just a super nice person and had such wonderful hospitality.

Stop #5 – Fincastle Winery – We did a wine tasting. My favorite was their Hybrid Vigor and John’s was a buttery tasting Chardonnay. We bought a glass and sat in the shade of the wrap around porch in some super comfy white rocking chairs and enjoyed their sweet dog Max. We bought a bottle of each one for Crystal and one for us.  IMG_6474 IMG_6478 IMG_6477 IMG_6521

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Stop #6 – Purgatory Emporium in Buchanan, Virginia. It’s this cute little antique shop named after the large and dangerous mountain nearby coined Purgatory Mountain. We got a cute wine rack and some blackberry preserves made in another nearby town. Blackberry preserves are my absolute favorite.

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Stop #7 – Buchanan Grill- We stopped and got a scoop of ice cream which really was like four scoops of ice cream. Just an FYI- Both stop 6 and 7 take cash only, but there is an ATM nearby.

IMG_6486 IMG_6482 Our favorite ice creams- butter pecan and mint chocolate chip. Yum. It’s an old school diner style place… very quaint.

Stop #8 – Natural Bridge one of the Natural Wonders of the World. I hadn’t been there since kindergarten and John hadn’t been there since he was a child. It is breath taking and it was agreed upon as our favorite stop. I ran into a childhood friend and her mother while I was there. It was quiet and peaceful in the nature. I enjoyed walking along with John taking it all in. Finding a turkey was just extra perks.

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Stop #9 – Foam Henge – It’s this hilarious thing right up the road from the Natural Bridge where someone took the time and money to make a foam replica of Stone Henge. We enjoyed it, but we were glad it was free too.

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Stop#10 – Swinging Bridge in Buchanan, Virginia. I’m afraid of heights over water… but I managed to make it halfway to halfway across. Yeah that’s only a fourth…. shh let’s not talk about it.

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Stop #11 – Lew’s Restaurant. We stopped for a drink and a basket of fries before picking up the kids. At this point we were sunburned and tired.

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Overall we had a lovely day and without Crystal and her family it would not have been possible. I’m so glad that we can spend such wonderful time together and enjoy the company of each other. Our kids climbed in the car and asked us to turn on radio and we realized we had left it off all day and had talked to each other all day with no noise at all. Maybe that’s simply what we needed some R and R and each other.

We Kiss in Libraries.

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Our Beautiful Box

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and secretly it is one of my favorite holidays. It’s not that my husband showers me with roses or chocolates or anything of the like really. Some people think it’s a Hallmark gimmick, but for me growing up it was about construction paper and crafting or if we were lucky one of the peanut gang members on a cheap cardstock perforated edge style cutout for an attempt at being cute. It’s about love and letting people know that you need their company… a valentine in fact doesn’t have to be a lover, but a friend that you simply care for and they deserve to hear it.

John and I have always celebrated Valentine’s Day and with good reason… it is the day after our dating anniversary (February 13) which is important for a couple that was together nearly 10 years before they even wed. We celebrate our wedding anniversary and our dating anniversary every year without fail even though we’ve been married for ten years now. If someone asks me how John and I made it work all of these years- this quite possibly might be my answer- to love like every day is Valentine’s Day. To shower each other passion, commitment, respect, but mostly treat them like you are completely in over your head for them whenever you can….not necessarily anything with petals or cardstock. After 19 years, I’m certain that plays a part in it. In church on Sunday John did the children’s moment and talked about one upping each other so instead of saying things like “I’m going to the be the first one to running three miles!” Instead say things like, “I’m going to preset the coffee maker before you!” – to outdo each other with kindness, love, and compassion.

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This is a photo of John and I in the 8th grade sometime after February 13th, 1995.

Last year I gave John a wooden box- I was actually gifting it back. He had given it to me for our 5th dating anniversary as the traditional wood gift. I emptied it out and filled it with strips of paper. Each piece of paper had a funny or special memory for us on it. Sure it took me some time, but it’s a gift that kept giving through out the year. Over the year he has kept the box in his office and from time to time pulls a slip of paper out of the box for a special trip down memory lane. There are some things that we can say to each other that hardly anyone else will get- I could look at John and say, “It’s like a waterfall!” “A smoothie- yeah a smoothie!!!” We’ll both chuckle and no one else has any idea what we’re talking about. This week the slip he pulled out said, “Will you go get me a soda?”

Do you remember this highlight of Michael Vick before his incarceration? I remember it as clear as yesterday. It was so awesome and I’m still amazed Vick didn’t break his own neck doing that move. It really was breathtaking and the energy in the stadium was truly electric.

Well see John has only seen the above clip because although we were there in person… he missed it because I had simply asked him to run and get us a drink. I feel lazy typing this but I did have a damaged knee that year and couldn’t walk well. Pretty much anytime he has gone to get anything by my request he misses something amazing and it’s a running joke.

I’m sure all couples have memories like these. A simple phrase or word can turn us into hysterics.  Maybe it’s because it’s our anniversary week or maybe it’s because we both just like the holiday, but we love Valentine’s Day. It is not what you give on that day, but more about what you give year round and the time you take to celebrate each other every day. I can say that and appreciate Valentine’s Day for its gimmick like reputation too.

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Thinking Inside the Box

Last week John was looking at a questionnaire about an acquaintance. It said “Your first kiss??” and the person answered “Bedford”. We chuckled at the answer. My first kiss was in a car with a guy named Terrance who made fun of my horseback riding skills and drooled. John’s first kiss- he thinks was while playing spin the bottle and he doesn’t even remember who it was. Most people think that John and I never dated anyone else, but that’s not the case. John dated one of my best friends, Linda, for a while and I had two long term relationships before John- Michael and DJ. We both had several other more middle school type relationships that didn’t last long nor were they clear about whether or not it was a real relationship. Our friend Lorna can still boast that she and John never officially split up so the game is still on. Nothing was more serious than John and I and there is no memory like our memory of our first kiss together. I knew at that moment there was a spark like nothing else and I was forever head over heels for him.

The story of how we got together went something like this- He had been dating Linda, but they split up and I had been dating someone but it was weird and a typical middle school dating situation where we weren’t really going out. I had been crushing on John for sometime and according to Linda he was very interested in me. In fact one day while skateboarding on a local street he had actually called her by my name. (Kind of funny- we live on that same street now 20 years later). I was at a friends house on February 13th and through a series of phone calls in true middle school fashion Linda said I shouldn’t wait to talk to John after Valentine’s Day. I should in fact just go after him. So she called him and then called me back and said, “He’s going to call you so hang up.” I answered the phone at our friend’s house and John said, “A little birdy told me that you like me and the thing is I like you too. So will you go out with me?” We’ve been together ever since.

ImageThis is a photo by my sister Summer

The following day being Valentine’s Day- we didn’t have time to prepare. I honestly don’t recall if we got each other anything. I do recall that it was raining that day and he was wearing his leather jacket which he in his typical humor dropped over a puddle for me to cross while walking after school. He’s still not an open the car door kind of guy and I don’t really like the attention. We left our middle school heading towards the local high school. Kids would hang out in front of the library and John could catch the bus home at another school and I would walk home and it gave us some time to hang out after school. The rain drove us indoors and we tried to find some time to talk and get away from everyone else. We were in the fiction section the third row from the back of the Raleigh Court Library when he first kissed me. I don’t remember what we talked about it didn’t matter then and doesn’t matter now, but I remember that kiss 19 years later more clear than I remember the kiss at our wedding. It was one of those moments that are so clear in your mind and the memory doesn’t really fade, because it truly defines a moment in your life. We parted our ways so he could catch the bus and I headed home smiling from ear to ear. My dad totally called it when I walked in the door and teased me about my gleaming smile. My life forever changed for the better. I knew it and I could feel it.

We’ve had our ups and downs over the last 19 years, but truth be told I still feel like that 8th grade girl walking home with a gleaming smile and dry feet. John always finds a way to make me smile and takes care of me whether it be from throwing jackets over puddles or grabbing me a soda during an awesome touchdown. Or surprising me by starting the coffee while I’m in the shower. On this Valentine’s Day try to think outside or in this case inside the box- what can you do for your loved one that is more than a gimmick and truly represents the two of you together.

Love ya, John B.

~ April

The thought of Friday- Like Music to My Ears

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The new Avett Brothers album came out Tuesday- Magpie and the Dandelion– and I’m in the double digits as to how many times I’ve listened to it already. I have disconnected from the world in my musical obsession. The best way I could describe it is to say I have curled up in their back pocket and followed them along for a while.

In high school, I can’t think of any major obsession other than I listened to Nirvana, Jim Croce and Queen a lot. When John left for college he gave me a Leonard Cohen album. Then I found Tom Waits… which I’m pretty certain John fell in love with Tom more than I. I fell in love with his Mule Variations album which to many “Raindogs”- big Tom Waits fans – would say that Mule Variations deviated far from the norm and is their least favorite album and it is in fact my favorite. So anything that followed- Mule Variations-  I did not connect with as much. Now in Tom’s “earlier years” I adore the piano ballads… but otherwise I haven’t been able to connect to him for some time. My attempt to connect with a female artist never lasted long nor did it become too intense- Alanis Morissette… Norah Jones… Fiona Apple… Feist… Gillian Welch…. believe me I tried. I’ve always enjoyed ladies of Jazz- Billie Holliday, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone and so on…  Our wedding musical mishap created a love for James Taylor. We stopped on our way to our honeymoon and got James Taylor tapes for the trip. James Taylor forever will remind me of our wedding and our honeymoon. You can’t erase that- it’s permanently embedded. Following our wedding, I lost music for a while… I was working so much and when I found the time I listened to John Mayer- Will Hoge-  Johnny Cash- Plain White T’s- Gavin DeGraw. During this time any time I exercised- Justin Timberlake has been my goto for years. I went through a small Adele obsession but she was overplayed and fizzled out fast. I should also refer to this whole parenting thing where I got lost in the toddler tunes for a while- a previous blog about this problem… It should also be mentioned that it’s hard to stick to an obsession when many of the artists you love have passed on….

So for some time I have listened to the radio and didn’t feel a major connection. On June 20th, we attended the Avett Brothers concert in Roanoke. I loved it- I knew some of the songs, but not much off the Carpenters album. We left the concert completely in awe… both of us. There is just something so raw about a couple of guys and strings- not all this technological fluff.  A week following the concert we left on our anniversary trip. On the train ride to Philadelphia, we decided to download the Carpenter album and we shared ear buds and curled up together. I ran along to the music in Cape Cod and in Central Park. We spent a night in Cape Cod cruising down the road with the windows down and the Avetts turned up. I downloaded I and Love and You, but there was just something about the Carpenter album that stole my heart. It must be said that our anniversary trip will be forever be connected to the Avett Brothers. Much like in my memory for James Taylor is connected to our wedding and honeymoon. In these moments since our vacation it is easiest to describe our trip as to falling in love all over again. The Avett Brothers and particularly the Carpenter album songs define falling into a deeper love with my husband. Those who followed our trip this summer… now you may understand how amazingly fitting it was when we were sitting in Boston and the people on the dock, by the Charles, were playing the Avett Brothers.

I have said we took away two things from our vacation- one we need to spend more time alone together and dare not wait that long ever again and two we need to declutter our home because being in the open environment of the bed and breakfasts made us so at ease. Really I have to admit we took away three things- the third -and most crucial for me in particularly-  that the Avett Brothers have made a connection to a moment that I would like to freeze in time- the moment when my husband and I fell completely into a deeper sickening pit of love.

On the new album- Once you have listened enough you realize that they’ve been playing these songs for some time, but the album makes it more official so to speak.

Souls like the Wheels

Morning Song

Apart From Me

Out of all of the song- I connect to this one personally on the new album-

Never Been Alive

Seth Avett with Bob Crawford singing Jim Croce- How could I resist even though it is not on the new album?

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With all the music added to the house recently John felt inspired to purchase a ukulele last Saturday. He thought it would be fun to learn something new. So this is him playing one of my favorite Avett Brothers songs Murder in the City.

Lindenhurst

photo (92)On Saturday the 6th of July, we got up really early to visit some friends of mine in Lindenhurst, NY. Lindenhurst is along the south shore of Long Island. We got on the Long Island Rail Road from Penn station. It took about an hour.

The first place we went was to my friends the Picciano family. When I was in 8th grade my best friend, who I remained close to even into adulthood, was Nina the eldest child of four. Her parents, Suzie and Dino, were a major support for me in my adolescence. They would have given me anything I needed and would have taken me in as one of their own forever if I had ever needed it. They moved away from my hometown at the beginning of our 9th grade year, but I still visited them in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The last time I had visited them was 8 years ago now, but like old friends that you love with all your heart we just walk in and feel at home.


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Their home was damaged very badly but Super Storm Sandy. They were still lacking a kitchen, but we didn’t let that bother us. We cracked open early drinks and headed out in the boat on the water. They also had a jet ski too and we were off to go clamming. Off the South shore there are these shallow watered areas and they just hook their boats together with their friends then anchor in and they quickly hop off digging their toes in the sand looking for clams. I found one or two and John found a few more. Nina’s little brother Julian was there and took John and I out separately on the jet ski taking it to full speed. I have never been brave enough to try one. For some reason I trusted this kid, who I’ve known since he was about 6 or so, to take me out on the water. I had a blast and neither John nor myself have really let that one sink in and admit that I really did it.
I wasn’t there but for a few hours, but I could have stayed a year. With our skin we didn’t have any business being out there long, but we adore them and it was hard to leave. Being with the Picciano family is a comfort like no other to me. Luckily, we know they wont mind and we’ll be back to visit them with the kids. It’s all too wonderful and I adore them. Dino drove John and I back to the house on the jet ski. We were soaked and we had a blast, but I had some other business to attend to on this trip.

The next part of our day is honestly hard to write about. I’m afraid I will sum it up too short or go on too long. It’s a story worthy of a book and yet it’s supposed to fit here on my blog. So I will do the very best that I can to say it right and make it short. I promise to revisit this story, but for now it’s too emotional and I don’t have the time or energy to embrace it.

As many of you know, my sweet aunt Peggy passed away in November of 2010. She was 38, married with three boys. She wasn’t really an aunt she was more like a cousin since we were so close in age. She died very suddenly of a brain aneurysm spreading shock among the family. I traveled with my sister Summer to bring my mother four hours away to be by her baby sisters’ side. There were over ten family members there with her that day. We waited hours to hear if there was any brain activity and sadly there was not. I remember sitting with my grandmother who was sick with grief and hope. I distinctly remember holding her in the waiting room; my arms were wrapped around her, but not squeezing her tight. I had already lifted this day up to God, because I knew that it was out of all of our hands and that God would take care of my sweet aunt. All I could do for my grandmother in that moment was pray. That’s all I could do. I prayed for God to give her strength in what was ahead for her more than anyone to get through this. I said all of these prayers in my head and just held her. My grandmother turned to me a moment later and said, “Thank you for that.” I know she wasn’t talking about holding her… we both knew it.

Once we reached the 6 hour mark of no brain activity… I think it was six. They pulled us into a conference room. We were very quickly told that there was no activity showing up and we were greeted by an organ donation representative. They went over the details. We paced… we cried… we prayed and my uncle, her husband, basically did a vote. We were either all in or not in at all. We went around the biggest table I think I’ve ever been seated to… all sharing our thoughts and our vote. As we worked our way around the table my grandmother sealed the deal when she said, “We should do it. That’s what Peggy would have wanted.” So with the amazing leadership of my aunts grieving husband we went all in and upped the ante on someone else’s life.

So what in the world does this have to do with our vacation…. We chose, as a family, to do an open donation. This means that we have the willingness as a group to contact and be contacted by the persons who live on with the love and hope given by our precious Peggy. Shortly after the donations went through, we all received word of the donations and then my uncle was contacted by a man named Vito. Vito is the man that was so ill that without a new heart he could not go on living. He had about two days before his heart was expected to give out when hope rang in from his angel. God works in ways we will never understand and I try not to question it, because I often end up puzzled and answerless. Last year we met Vito. He and his wife Margaret came to us this exact week last year. So this year I was already going to the town of Lindenhurst to visit my fabulous friends the Piccianos and, as luck would have it, Vito and Margaret only live about 5 minutes of a drive away.photo (99)

So after my time in the water getting soaking wet on a jet ski, I was picked up by Vito and taken to his home. I was greeted by an assortment of friends and extended family. We spent the evening together chatting, eating, joking to take the edge off, and some serious talk about how that day happened, my memories of my wonderful aunt, and our road towards healing. Meeting his daughter and grand daughters was probably the most moving moment for me. All you have to do is see it in their eyes…. just look in their eyes. They don’t have to say a thing.

It’s hard. I wont lie. I would give anything to have my aunt back, but that’s not going to happen and wasn’t whether or not we had upped the ante. Meeting his family and knowing him reminds me of what a wonderful person we lost and reminds me that if I question it I will come up empty answered.

May God continue to bless our two families in our friendship and bond that we now have for things we can’t answer and certainly can’t explain. As my grandmother said, “It’s what Peggy would have wanted.” May we continue to seek peace and healing through the hand we were dealt. May you put that heart symbol on your driver’s license and be ready and willing to up the ante when and if the time comes.

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That’s a Recipe for Making Love ~ Harry Connick Jr.

We woke the morning after the 4th of July to being married for 10 full years. It was strange to think about how long it has been, but we filled it with doing things we both wanted to do.

We woke early to do something I really wanted to do and that was to complete my couch to 5k workout program by running a full 5k which is 3.1 miles. It wasn’t intentional to reach such an accomplishment on our actual anniversary, but I figured I might as well finish in Central Park. No better place I could think of and I just so happened to be in NYC.

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I was still physically tired, but had at least rested up a bit from actually getting sleep from the night before. So we headed uptown and got off at 86th street at the Museum of Natural History to give ourselves a starting point. Off we went but I had trouble this time with keeping the focus in my mind and not on my legs.

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My pandora app had trouble keeping a connection so I listened to the Avett Brothers on my itunes… which just wasn’t doing it for me this time. I needed Justin Timberlake to keep my focus in my mind and not how exhausted my legs were at the time. I now realize I need more on my itunes. It was a hard run. I won’t lie. The 5k I had managed in Cape Cod on Wednesday and all of the physical activity from this trip I was wiped out and managed to finish the 5k in 47 minutes. Regardless, I finished it and I’m proud of how far I have come. photo (83)photo (82)

As far as my personal goals- I’m going to start the couch to 10k program from the beginning and work on speed. As far as our anniversary… I’m not sure what else says love than to get up on your vacation on your 10th anniversary at 7am and catch train to Central Park for a run.photo (72) I can’t thank my husband enough for his support in this.

Here is a link to my previous blog regarding my running journey.

After sweating it up together, we went back to the Canal Park Inn and had breakfast hosted by Sarah-Doe. It had all the carbs we needed after our run and the charming atmosphere was wonderful. We rested, showered, and headed out for some shopping. John had it in his mind that I had to have a new shirt for our evening festivities and I agreed. We had lunch/dinner at a deliciously perfect Greek restaurant on 42nd street. We were so annoyed with America right then as we had passed all of these chains… lines out the door at Mc Donalds, Burger King, Duncan Donuts. I mean it’s not like I never need a quick bite to eat, but the Greek place was nearly empty with lots of servers… the food and service were great. The prices were probably the best we came upon the entire trip. So I encourage you to try something new and step out of the box. You might be surprised. photo (69)photo (78)

photo (75)We left the restaurant and headed on the subway to Yankee Stadium. John loves the Yankees so what a treat for him. I have never been to a major league game. Too bad Jeter wasn’t there in all of his cuteness, but alas I went anyway. I’m joking. I really enjoyed the game and the atmosphere.  I am very impressed with the new stadium. It was a drab game in the beginning until the bottom of the 9th, when the Yankees won and there was tons of energy. John is convinced it was because of his rally cap. photo (77)I’m not sure that’s true but it didn’t pick up until he did it so I will give him that one.

The song when we were announced Mr. and Mrs. Bryant was Harry Connick Jr’s. Recipe for Making Love that goes something like this- “A little bit of me and a whole lot of you… Add a dash of starlight and a dozen roses too….That’s the recipe for making love.” 

Me and John in my new Yankees gear he was certain I should have.

Me and John – my new Yankees gear he was certain I should have.

NYC’s Sizzle Sizzle Pop turns Sizzle Fizzle Plop

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We arrived in NYC the afternoon of July 4th to a heat wave. We came in through Penn Station and took the C train to the Canal Park Inn on Canal Street. The Inn is connected to the Canal Park Playhouse and both are run by the Osborne family. The home was built in 1826 and has many updates but many of the original framework remains making for a quaint stay. The staircases would proved difficult for many, but the stay is well worth all of your efforts. The Osborne family purchased the home on the edge of Soho around 1980 and made furniture there while raising their daughter. We met Sarah-Doe and Kipp for breakfast and it was just absolutely delightful. They made your breakfast in a waffle iron in the Waffle Iron Cafe, but the best part was the conversation and hospitality of the father-daughter duo.

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The bedrooms were cute with original beams and bricks in the walls and some more along the ceiling of the room. The bed was extremely comfortable and it was the first place I really slept the entire vacation.

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Once we settled in and freshened up we decided to walk close enough to take a picture of the Statue of Liberty for our son.  We decided to walk along West St and we happened upon Pier 25. This was really nice because it had mini golf, a splash park, volley ball and more for the young and the young at heart. We were impressed by the activity and environment created there. It was nice to see so much happening right there.photo (85)

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West Street follows the west side of Manhattan with a pedestrian and a separate bike path which we just strolled along with ease. Maybe too much of an ease because we quickly found ourselves at the Freedom Tower and peering up to the needle touching the sky… sounds very amazing until I mention again that it was the 4th of July and in a heat wave! I had to get the heck out of there! It was hot and crowded and unbelievably uncomfortable. We had managed to move ourselves a mile from the Canal Park Inn! Now we were tired and hot. So we grabbed a few drinks and dinner. I was overheated and exhausted. So we headed back to the Inn and I plopped myself on the bed at 7 and set an alarm to wake for the fireworks. We chose a place right on the west side so we could see the Macy’s fireworks display over the Hudson. At 10pm John woke me to go see the fireworks… my alarm had never gone off… we slept through them!!!!!

I don’t know how, but we managed to watch them on the news though. I quickly fell back to sleep and almost slept until 7. I’m not kidding when I say I’ve been waking at 4 to 5 every day unable to sleep. So big thumbs up to sound sleep at this B&B…. you sleep so soundly even through one of the biggest 4th of July fireworks displays in the U.S.

Here are some pictures and video of what we slept through. *Train riding again forgive me for the errors.

~Cape Cod~

photo (57)Monday we rented a car out of Boston and drove to Duxbury, Massachusetts. Many think we named our son Alden John after the pilgrim John Alden and that’s not true. We found the name in a baby book and it was the name of a character from a movie John was in year ago. We just liked it. In Duxbury, Massachusetts you can visit John Alden’s house and surprisingly it’s in amazing condition. You can also visit his gravesite, but we didn’t do that. We visited a local restaurant, the post office, and an antique store. It’s a cute little town. photo (47)

View from our room

We drove onto the cape and into Barnstable, Massachusetts to our bed and breakfast the Lamb and Lion Inn. Our room was very comfortable… not fancy and not drab either… just comfortable. It has a direct door straight to the pool which is not offered by all of the other rooms. The hosts Ali and Tom were around when we needed them, talkative, friendly and left us alone as well. The breakfast was good with a variety of options between bagels, cereal, coffee cake, yogurt and fresh fruits. My favorite part was the pool and hot tub.

Walking on the beach near Hyannis Port

Walking on the beach near Hyannis Port

I did my running on the cape for the couch to 5k program. I ran along Main Street in Barnstable. We ran on both Monday and Wednesday, but in oposite directions from the inn. I started jogging on Wednesday and although I moved slow I was able to jog and entire 5k without stopping. The jog along the road wasn’t easy because it is a tiny paved path that only fit one of us single file. There were bumps, cracks, sand and mud along the way with lots of hills as well. This was a big deal for me as I have made such a great amount of progress even in the last month and since I have only allowed myself to train on the treadmill. I will walk on the greenway in Roanoke and around the Grandin Rd area, but for my actual couch to 5k I found it best to stick to the treadmill. It was important for my bruised heel that I didn’t change the incline too much so this was a big deal for me to branch out like this. I am at the end of the program and only have one workout left. After I complete the program I’m supposed to run a 5k, but I don’t see one coming soon- let me know if you know something I don’t. I will continue working on my 5k speed and endurance for a while and I plan on picking up the couch to 10k program since being on a program like that keeps me focused, but I am not in any hurry or trying to get in over my head either. photo (51)

Ok… back to the vacation. We checked in at the inn and then went out to a terrible dinner… I’m not one to complain about service but we didn’t have a good experience as our waitress took a long time, my chicken wasn’t cooked all the way, John’s thin crust pizza was served on a tortilla shell, there was no apology and it was overall disappointing. Then we went to the nearby beach and relaxed. photo (50)Tuesday we did laundry at this cute place with wifi and we watched Louis CK on the laptop- fancy I know. We stopped by the beach and had dinner at a fabulous pizza place called Mike’s Pizza this time our food was perfect. photo (55)We took a joy ride down the cape and cranked up the Avett Brothers Carpenter album with the windows rolled down…ahhhh. We enjoyed time in the pool and the hot tub as well. Wednesday we went to a cute beach called Seagull beach and then did some shopping in Hyannis.

Crazy piles of seashells on SeaGull beach

Crazy piles of seashells on SeaGull Beach

John is there on the rocks looking like Rocky

John is there on the rocks looking like Rocky

We packed and got ready for our departure. Relaxed in the pool and hot tub and had a lovely dinner at Black Sheep Bah & Grill.

We are currently on a train bound for NYC where we will enjoy the Macy’s 4th of July festivities.

Again forgive me for my errors as I am typing on a bouncy train.

Happy 4th of July my friends.