After work, the three of us headed home with Wayles to start dinner. Being the spectacular host she is, we kicked things off with a bottle of champagne. That girl knows her priorities. After a quick toast it was time to get the cooking started (we were already 4 minutes behind schedule according to the planned timeline).
Margaret and I anxiously looked on as Wayles started pulling out ingredients to make a chocolate cake from scratch. From scratch. That means, no box. Who knew!?
I thought that by reading the recipe out loud I had found a way to be helpful. But I soon realized it was a bit futile after observing that Wayles wasn't too big on measuring. Lucky for us she has great cooking instincts!
While she trusted her instincts, Margaret may, or may not, have trusted Wayles' ability to open the champagne safely...decide for yourself:
James (Wayles roommie & significant other) came home about an hour into our bottle of champagne. Mike arrived soon after and that proved to be too many people for us to stay in the kitchen. So it was off to the living room where Ashes took to Mike instantly, but who wouldn't? :)
Once Matt (Margaret's then significant other and now fiance!) arrived, Wayles served a lovely tomato-mozzarella-basil appetizer. I wish I had a better camera to truly capture them, but even so, aren't they pretty?
After lots of good conversation and Wayles slaving in the kitchen, dinner was ready. I kicked the meal off by falling backwards in my chair. Yes, you read that right. It was one of the moments that was just so funny, I had to distract myself for the next 10 minutes to not think about it or else I'd burst out laughing again. In fact, thinking about it still makes me laugh. Pretty sure it's one of those had-to-be-there moments though...
Our dinner was delicious. Chicken with mango salsa, cous-cous, asparagus (with butter of course), and salad with homemade dressing. Yum, yum, and yum! You should definitely head over to The Waxed Bean to read how Wayles made it all. It's definitely worth repeating.
Even though we were stuffed, nothing was going to stop us from eating that chocolate cake we watched get made from scratch just hours before. And it did not disappoint. So divine!
When it was finally time to go, we quickly tried to assemble ourselves into two lines and were rushed out onto the field. The Phanatic kept us distracted from the heat while were on the field with his shenanigans. Luckily they set up the microphones quickly so we weren't standing there too long - it was over 100 degrees and the humidity was insane! And then before you knew it we were singing. I was surprised how nervous I was. Even in a group of 50, a 30,000 person stadium was quite intimidating. I can't even imagine singing it alone!
After singing the shortest rendition of the Star Spangled Banner ever composed, we were back in the locker room changing from our white dresses into our Phillies gear. Of course, we had the worst seats possible - the highest deck with no shade. Did I mention it was over 100 degrees?
Mike and I took bets on how long we'd last. He gave us to the 3rd inning. I was hoping for at least the 5th. Mike won. We were out of there at the end of the 3rd...the heat was unbearable and rain was coming. Our timing was perfect. It POURED in the 5th inning and they had an hour and a half rain delay. By then, we were enjoying chips and salsa (and ranch, or course!) at Chilis.
It was a good day.
p.s. You can watch a rough video of our performance here.
I normally would have taken the bus, but since I was going to be heading up there in rush hour, I wanted to take the more reliable train to make sure that I got there in time to catch our show - Jersey Boys!
[insert nerdy theater commentary] Jersey Boys was a good show. Not sure I would have voted for it to win a Tony for the Best Musical of the Year...but good none-the-less. The songs by the Four Seasons were cleverly strung together to tell the story of Frankie Valli, but I'm limited in my appreciation of a show with no original music. Thus the same reason I have for failing to love Mamma Mia. I'd say I knew about half of the songs and mom knew every one. She loved it.
We grabbed a late night dessert at a diner next to our hotel and then crashed because we had an early morning tour to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I wish I had a picture of our tour guide...or better yet a video! He was quite funny (not convinced he was trying to be) and started every sentence with "oh look" and then proceeded to tell us what place we had "stumbled upon" on our tour.
We couldn't go up to the statue's crown. Those tickets were sold out until the end of August. Let that be a lesson to anyone ever thinking of visiting New York in the summer, be sure to book your tickets for the Statue of Liberty a good 6 months in advance. We didn't feel like we missed out on much though.
view from the ferry
After a long morning of being quality tourists, we found a cute cafe and had a delicious, and overpriced salad (have I mentioned EVERYTHING in NYC is overpriced? It is.), then crashed in our hotel room before heading out to the theater...again!
This time to see Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes in the revival of Promises, Promises!
[insert 2nd nerdy theater commentary] So the only reason this show had a prayer of being revived was because of the Mad Men craze. And I can't imagine it will last long after Kristin and Sean leave. Sean Hayes was amazing. I think he deserved his Tony nom. Kristin Chenoweth was good, but honestly, I was surprised she took this role. It really wasn't that challenging or interesting. The best part of the show was the first 2 scenes of the 2nd Act. A-MA-ZING. Katie Finneran stole the show and the tickets were well worth the cost of her two scenes alone. (Not that I paid for the tickets - thanks again Mom!)
My main goal after the show was to get pics with Sean & Kristin. Unfortunately, we waited at the stage door for an hour only to learn they don't DO pictures. Lame. And while I'm not a fan of getting things autographed, I thought I should have something to show for my long wait. Both Sean & Kristin were great to the fans. Kristin is unbelievably tiny. Seriously, she's SO tiny. And her one diva thing is that you can't use a flash on your cameras as she signs playbills. Her bodyguard will actually take your camera. Not cool. So, since I couldn't use a flash, this was the best shot my little point-and-shoot could muster:
We decided to conquer Central Park on our last day in NYC. We met a lovely pedi-cab driver from Istanbul named Charlie (I sensed he got tired of telling Americans how to pronounce his actual name and finally decided to just go with Charlie when asked). He was the best tour guide ever - so sweet and very thorough. As far as tourist-traps go in NYC, I definitely recommend the pedi-cab tour over the horse & carriage ride...much better value.
Our first night in town we got together with our good friends Megan & Jared. You may remember we crashed their New Year's trip to NYC earlier this year. We had such a great time catching up that we closed down the bar! (We NEVER close down bars. We're usually those lame people that go to bed at 9pm on Friday nights at the ripe 'ol age of 27ish)
We spent lots of time with the Siegel-crew on this trip because it was our official reunion. Our weekend was filled with lots of family gatherings with tasty food and delicious margaritas! We topped off our time together with a boat cruise on the Hudson (or maybe it was the St. Croix?) to watch fireworks. This pic of my favorite sister & brother-in-law is the only evidence I have of our 3 days together!
I wish I would have captured the fabulous time we had with Debbie, Mary & Leah, the Girls, Steve & Melissa, my CSP-crew, our families, and others. The trip was definitely too short but such a good time. We miss you all!
This month, two very special people's birthdays have passed me by...
Jenny, my Kindred teammate, was a bridesmaid in our wedding and is one of the funniest, kind-hearted, and all-around coolest person you will ever meet. I'm always telling her I thought she was too cool for me. She always laughs when I say this...as if it couldn't be true. But seriously people, she's SO cool. I hope you get the chance to meet her some day. You'll want to be her friend. She's one of those friends that calls you on your birthday every year without fail. Ok, to be completely honest, every year she first calls our other teammate Emily because she gets our birthdays mixed up. But now I always looking forward to the email or call on June 3rd where she says, "I can't believe I did it again!" I just love her and wished we lived closer.
Rachel, my spunky and beautiful cousin turned 25 this year! And she's handling the "quarter-life-crisis" like a champ! This girl is one of the most driven, kind, and generous people I know. She's finishing up her degree to become a Physician's Assistant and it's been so fun to watch her accomplish this goal and see her passion for what she's doing. I'm envious of her confidence, her strength, and her heart for others! I couldn't be any more proud to be her cousin.
While I was sad I wasn't able to see Dave this trip, I had a blast hanging out with Christa and finally getting to meet her son, NOAH! Isn't he cute!?
Here's a quick re-cap of the trip...
The first day we played hard at the beach and needed to stop at Starbucks to kill some time to wait out traffic before we treked back to Brentwood. Who would have guessed this cute face was going to have such a meltdown on the way home? :)
On Sunday we headed to church and then off to visit Kevin! It was so fun to see his new house and catch up. And I learned that if anyone is looking for a refurbished Kirby vacuum...he's your man. Kevin treated us to pizza at his favorite place and we even remembered to snap a picture of us all together....wish even more of the Irvine gang could have been there!
After an eventful few days, we decided to lay low on Monday...
Who wouldn't have a tough time saying goodbye to that face?!?