Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Be Thankful

This Thanksgiving, I have lots to be thankful for. Honestly, I have had lots to be thankful for the past 25 turkey days. Even so, this year I am thankful for an amazing family, sweet friends, cute french munchkies, my community group, and getting to live in New York City! I am grateful for an unending string of restaurants, truly experiencing seasons, Broadway plays and museums, runs on the Hudson, walks through the city, fall leaves, new experiences, and feeling at home.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! Eat a little too much, go for a walk, enjoy your family and rest. I will be blogging about the Macy's Day Parade soon. I petitioned for live reporting for all of you, but my blog didn't meet the press credentials. Crazy, I know. You'll have to catch it on NBC.

One of my first graders thought the same thing about this amazing city.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

View from Wave Hill

As snow fell onto Amarillo last weekend, the temperatures soared in NYC. Last weekend was a perfect weather weekend with highs in the 50s and 60s and the sun shining. What a perfect time for a field trip! My friend, John Son, always has these great ideas for places to visit that are sort of off the beaten path. And this past weekend's jaunt didn't disappoint.
On Sunday, we boarded the subway and headed up to 247th street to Riverdale. Then we walked through this quaint, leaf filled neighborhood to Wave Hill, a public garden that overlooks the Hudson River and Palisades. It's a big space with trails, green houses, an art gallery, and lots of green hills to picnic on.
Wave Hill is an estate that was owned by some fancy schmancy publishers back in the 1850s and was later rented out to the likes of Theodore Roosevelt and Mark Twain. In 1960, the owner gave the estate to the city of New York.
We took a walk, gazed at the beautiful view, looked at exotic plants and cacti, and took a long lunch in the sun. I am trying to soak up all the vitamin D I can in preparation for this winter thing they speak about. A warm memory that I will be thinking back on when the temps make their eventual drop.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Night of Glamour

On Monday, I saw stars, lights, glitter, and my very first awards show, as a "seat filler." What is a seat filler you ask? I didn't know either until my sweet friend, Susan Boatwright, invited me to be one for the "2010 Glamour Women of the Year Show." Basically, a seat filler is someone whose sole purpose is to sit in celebrities seats and "fill up the house."
I arrived at Carnegie Hall at 5:30 on Monday and was escorted to the "Seat Filler Waiting Room." (apparently, these exist) Susan and I waited for about an hour, had a white rose symbolizing our star status pinned on, and walked down the aisle to fill any available seats. As I strolled down the walk of fame, my eyes darted left and right to catch a glimpse of a star. In front of me was Gail Gibbons, to my right was Donatella Versace, and in front of me was Lisa Leslie, very very tall btw. Heart now racing, still scanning for my most favorite award winner, Julia Roberts. Then suddenly, a girl with a quite intimidating microphone ear piece placed me a seat. I sat, the opening musical act played, and then I was quickly popped out of my seat for someone else to sit. I popped into another seat and this time, I got to stay.....on the SECOND ROW!! I was set for the evening.
The Glamour Awards honor stand out women in politics, music, film, and sports. It was a well rounded, worldly group of women, and I left quite inspired. I knew who some of the winners of the award were because I clearly had stalked the website, but the presenters remained a mystery. SO....without further adieu, here were some of my celebrity sightings:

*Kate Hudson-introduced Fergie
*Fergie plus her hot husband
*Hillary Swank
*Katie Couric-grew up with her in the morning
*Diane Sawyer
*Michael Bloomberg
*Janet Jackson
..........and here are some QUICK pics I caught!

Stanley Tucci, loved him since "Beethoven"


OPRAH!! So stunning in person, you can't help but be star struck. I may have looked something like this :-0

And my favorite, Julia Roberts. She is so lovely and down to earth. Her advice to girls at the end was, "Don't put your hair behind your ears, it just looks better."

It was an unbelievable evening that I was lucky to be a seat filler for. I have never been in such a concentration of celebrities and I have to say, even though some may think it's all just silly, the experience really was quite magical.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

7 Years

Oh Fall! How I have missed you, it's been 7 years. Seven long years since I have experienced you in your true brilliance. Yes, I have carved pumpkins, ate turkey, and bought a light scarf, but it's been too long since I have actually seen the seasons change.
I was lucky to grow up in the Panhandle of Texas where fall actually occurs. You can watch leaves turn and fall, feel a crispness in the air, and smell that fireplace sort of scent. It's glorious, it's everything fall should be.
Although I loved College Station and Dallas, fall is quite elusive in those warm cities. Sure, by the end of October, you're out of the horrible heat of summer, but you don't get those beautiful changing leaves until mid-November. Then the leaves fall in December. I don't mean to be talking down on these spots, but if you've ever truly experienced fall, you know something is missing.
Anyway, I was very excited to experience autumn in New York because I have heard such great things, and I have not been disapointed! So, to bring a bit of fall to my fellow Texans that may have missed out, just a little bit, on this glorious season, I have got your back.
This morning I went on a picture run! Yes, I indeed used my actual camera. It was a sacrifice but I feel it was worth it. Check out some of the images below of Riverside Park and the Hudson River Parkway for a taste of autumn. Gorgeous!

Running path in Riverside Park

pathway on the Hudson- I love running by the water!

heart the green bridge in the back

makes you want to go for a drive

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Ahh, the feeling of refreshment after fall break. Last week, I flew home to A-town for a week to visit Mama and Papa Thames. What a treat it was! I got to go shopping, see movies that cost less than $13, shop to my heart's desire at Target and Wal-Mart, and drive! It was suburban heaven. I made several observations when I was home that got me to thinking about roots.

1. People in Amarillo will just smile at you because they are nice. I was quite alarmed when I walked into a restaurant and people just looked up and smiled. It was quite like they were on queue. New Yorkers don't really smile. I was doing that to people in August and kept getting some odd looks. It took me a few weeks, but I discovered that you must just look past people on the sidewalk. There are too many of them for one thing, your cheeks would be aching, plus there are some weirdos out there and I don't feel it would be safe to be grinning at them. Not to say I go around scowling, but I have kept my inner happiness to myself and close friends.

2. Football rules in Texas. Yes, I knew this growing up, but I have never gone one whole fall without seeing a live football game until this year. When I was home, my alma mauter, Amarillo High School, played the rival, Tascosa or Trashcosa, as we call it. It's a huge game in town and there were lots of people there. We won and it was a great game, plus I got a little injection of the pigskin.

3. Finally, space. The Texas panhandle is known for the flatness, lack of trees, and wind. However, what people tend to overlook is the beauty of the space: the open, flat land. You can see for miles. It's like the ocean, but grassland. Since I now live in a city with very little open space, except for the Sheep's Meadow in Central Park, being able to see wide open spaces is quite refreshing. Those "Dixie Chicks" weren't mistaken. Plus, the sunsets you can see in a-town are worth a million dollars. Red, pink, orange, and purple skys.........

I couple weeks ago, my friend, Kathryn Webb, said, “Amarillo is a great place to go home too.” I think she is on the money with that one. It’s always good to get back to your roots.