Sunday in New York – The Met

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There are few finer places to start a day than at a museum, especially if that museum is the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Crowds tend to be a bit lighter early in the morning allowing more time with the art and unincumbered wandering.

Pro tip: The Met is a pay-what-you-want setup, so it’s up to you to put a price on priceless works of art. (Suggested donation is $25, but they don’t scoff at you if you give less.)

After gawking at the Grand Hall and getting our tickets, we ascended the central stairs and consulted the map to devise our plan of attack. The Met is enormous–the largest in the U.S. if you’re into superlatives. We intended to spend an hour or two focusing on periods we like. Those intended two hours turned into four hours and we barely scratched the surface of their offerings. We tried to catch the free guided tour at 10:30 but were a few minutes late and not gifted with the tracking capabilities of a bloodhound. We meandered the wing devoted to Africa, Oceania, and the Americas.

We met under the clocks at 11:30 for the guided tours. What happened next was one of the best experiences I’ve had at a museum. For the next 70 minutes, a guide took us around the world for an exploration of Art and Power. Continue reading Sunday in New York – The Met

New York on foot

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I’ve never been a huge fan of New York prior to this trip. New York is a fantastic city, but it’s overwhelming. Manhattan is massive. Chicago is also large, but Manhattan is like someone took Chicago and replicated it a ton of times across a large island. There are always people on the street. There’s always a cacophony of noises. Don’t get me started on the smells. One breeze carries grilled meats from a corner food stand. The next wifts are of sour garbage.

This is the first trip to NYC where I had influence into the agenda. The first trip was when I was a kid visiting my aunt and uncle. The second was visiting a friend while she finished law school. Leann cobbled together the recommendations from friends and must-visit museums, much like she would for our other adventures. Continue reading New York on foot

September Garden Updates

I’ve been behind in sharing the live garden updates from Facebook onto the blog. Here’s what you’ve missed if you haven’t been watching live on Tuesday evenings.

Backyard Garden Update 9/5

Backyard Garden Update 9/12

Backyard Garden Update 9/19 with Special Guest

Be sure to watch until the end!

9/12/17 – That Time I Threw Out the First Pitch

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I got the call at 5:31 Monday night.

“Would you like to throw out the first pitch tomorrow night?”

“I don’t think that’s something I can say ‘no’ to,” I replied.

Throwing out the first pitch was never on my radar for the sheer impossibility of it happening to me. But here I was with an opportunity of a lifetime thanks to Northwestern alumni getting the most tickets for BigTen Night.

Continue reading 9/12/17 – That Time I Threw Out the First Pitch

Visiting Biltmore: The French Connection

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During my quest to find a house, Lookie Lou was the nicest name realtors gave me. In four years, I saw 70+ properties and worked with 5+ realtors before buying my current house. After seeing that many homes, I’m certain realtors have a poster with my face and a red line through it. If I combined viewing all the bedrooms, all the bathrooms and all the basements of those properties, it doesn’t come close to matching the grandiosity of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C.

Before diving into our House Hunters: Biltmore Edition, there are a few things you should keep in perspective. Calling it a house is like saying New York is quaint. If there are “You are here” maps, it ceased being a house long ago. When it has wings, it is no longer a house.

If you don’t know of the Biltmore house, it is the largest private residence in America (and that includes the combination of all homes on my block). Calling it a residence or estate seems more appropriate to me. It’s staggering when you look at the stats: Continue reading Visiting Biltmore: The French Connection

DIY Garden Updates – July [Video]

There’s been a bit of a backlog uploading these to the blog. Here are two videos for your viewing pleasure. Notable updates:

  • Kale continues to thrive.
  • The peapods are dead.
  • Carrots are nearing harvest.
  • Roma tomatoes have started to grow.

This year’s veggies aren’t nearly as strong as last year. The difference in the growth of the tomatoes and peppers on the side of the house versus inside the built box is significant. The main difference is the quality of soil. The box had the perfect mix or rich soil (compost, peat moss and vermiculite).