Happy Thanksgiving 2017 – I am thankful for…

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Not to get too sentimental but there are a few things that I am particularly grateful for this whirlwind of a year; in order of priority–Kevin, Pants & Boots, NYC, and subscription services.

Kevin
I was lucky enough to marry Kev earlier this year. Everyone has been asking how married life is and it’s the same/great. We knew what we were signing up for and we’re both very happy with one another. We have a lot of fun together and I appreciate that, though I am typically the mastermind behind all of our adventures, he is always game and open minded to try something or go somewhere new. More importantly though, I love that he is my true partner. I am currently reading a book called Drop the Ball by Tiffany Dufu in which she describes her struggles during marriage of working a full time job in addition to running the household and baring the majority of the responsibilities and I feel lucky that Kev is willing to meet me halfway–he cooks, does dishes and laundry and is constantly doing sweet things. Thanks for being an awesome, progressive husband Kev Kev.

Pants & Boots
It is crazy how much I love these two fur critters. We got Pants as a kitten about five years ago. He was an amazing kitten and we had a lot of fun with him (lots of stories to share including him being obsessed with water and accidentally falling in the toilet and always perching on the edge of the tub whenever I’d take a bath) but he is also a sensitive little guy and truly loves attention and companionship, so when Kev and I started traveling more and more he literally became depressed. That’s when we got our girl Boots aka Botas aka Botalinas ūüôā

Right away we could tell that Boots had a personality of her own. Truth be told, she was not quite as cute of a kitten as Pantsies (but according to the breeder Pants is actually close to show quality) but she was more playful and mischievous. Though she is a year younger than Pants and much more petite, she is the ruler of the two. And I feel so lucky that not only are they both sweet and have their own unique personalities but that they’ve also become the best of friends. Getting Boots as Pants’s companion was the best decision. They play with one another by chasing each other around the apartment and they sometimes cuddle next to one another. Wherever one is, the other is never too far.

I truly look forward to seeing them when I come home from work every day and they’re the best companions. When I am home they are never far from my side and whenever I am in bed they are quick to come lay beside me. <3

New York City
I love living in NYC so much but it is the times when I’m feeling frustrated with work or other things in my life that I feel even more grateful for the city. It can certainly be a tough place to live but it also helps bring me sanity. It provides so many opportunities–from work, to networking organizations, to being able to try so many cool new things like different boutique fitness gyms and different vegetarian restaurants–but it also keeps me entertained and stimulated. A bored Kayla is an unhappy Kayla and even if I’m bored or frustrated at work, having so many things to get involved in or to do in my spare time is what keeps me inspired and driven. So thank you NYC, you dirty but beautiful and inspiring, eclectic concrete jungle for challenging me, inspiring me, and opening my mind.

Subscription/Rental Services
This one may seem odd, but I am extremely grateful for subscription services for saving me both time and money. I want to give them a shout out and not take for granted the convenience they’ve brought to my life. Although some are concerned that Amazon is taking over the world, I am grateful for Amazon Prime for making it so easy to have all the little things I don’t necessarily have time to pick up during the week to be shipped to our apartment.

I am also thankful for clothing rental services like Rent the Runway Unlimited and Le Tote. I love clothes and I used to love shopping but it was taking up so much time and it was a waste of money going to a bunch of stores, wearing the item a few times and then donating it to Goodwill. I still do my fair share of shopping but I’ve definitely cut back on the amount of time spent shopping by just renting clothes through RTR and LT. That gives me more time on weekends to do more important things like spend more time with Kev, Pants & Boots, do activities around the city, and work out.

I have a lot to be thankful for and I will try not to take it for granted. I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving with their loved one.




Spooktacular Fall 2017

Fall is my favorite time of the year. The temperature is cooler so I can start wearing sweaters, booties, and my beloved leather jackets; trees look pretty with their changing leaves; it’s fun to visit Cider Mills for fresh cider, sugar doughnuts, and caramel apples; and there are a plethora of new and classic scary movies to watch leading up to the most fun holiday–Halloween! It is the BEST time of the year.

To kick off Fall this year I flew to Michigan for a weekend. On Friday I took the day off and my parents, Kev and I went to Spicer’s Cider Mill. We did a bit of wine tasting and bought a bunch of goodies. Spicer’s makes the best caramel and chocolate dipped apples. I bought¬† an assortment–one that had blue and yellow sprinkles (Go Blue!), one that looked like a mummy, and another that looked like a cat with caramel corn cat ears.

I also got to visit my grandma on Friday who just got home from the hospital after several weeks. It was really nice to see her and visit for a while, especially since I don’t make it home that often anymore. For dinner on Friday night I was glad I was able to see my bestie Becca. She made really good vegan enchiladas and I enjoyed being able to catch up with her.

Kev and I stayed with my bro at his new house in Canton. On Saturday morning we all went out for brunch and my cousin Randi who lives nearby came too. I feel lucky that I was able to see so many people in my relatively short visit. After a little catnap, we headed to Ann Arbor to hang out a bit before the Michigan vs. State game. We had dinner at Pizza House before going to the game. I bought the tickets for my parents for their respective birthdays and I splurged on really good seats for the game. Some of my cousins and about half of my high school went to Michigan State, so there is some fun rivalry there. The seats were in fact awesome but what wasn’t awesome was how horrible Michigan played. It was an embarrassing game and Michigan lost but me, my mom and Kev were troopers and stayed for the whole game, even when it started pouring rain (thank you mom for being prepared with ponchos).

A few weeks later Kev rented a sexy BMW i8 and we went upstate for the weekend. We stayed at the Catskills Animal Sanctuary Homestead bed and breakfast. It was our third visit to the Sanctuary but our first time staying at the Homestead. I really love that place. We took a tour on Saturday morning to see all of the animals and learn more about the cruel ways in which they are treated at factory farms (and even cage free farms) and alternative, vegan food options. We had a little bud named Oreo who followed us on our tour as well who was a cutie.

After our tour we went for a little hike at a nearby trail. It was only about 2 miles and it ended by the river which was extremely windy, but the foliage was still pretty. After our hike we stopped at the Homestead to quickly change and then we were off again. We drove about 90 minutes South to Sleepy Hollow for Horseman’s Hallow at Philipsburg Manor which is a haunted trail. It was fun and I jumped once or twice. After the haunted trail we drove about 15 minutes to Croton-on-Hudson for The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze which has a great display of jack o’lanterns. I actually liked the Blaze a little more than the haunted trail because I had never been to anything like it before. I thought the displays were very well done. My fav was the statue of liberty followed by the dinosaurs but the carousel, sea dragon, and sunflowers were really cool too.

The next morning after having vegan pancakes at the Homestead, we spent a little time saying goodbye to the animals (we met another little kitty that followed us on our walk that I’ve names Smores), and then we packed up and headed back to the city. On our way we stopped back in Croton-on-Hudson at Thompson’s Cider Mill. It is a small barn without much room to walk around or much to see so we were a little disappointed but we still picked up some cider, apples, and doughnuts for the road.



Those trips definitely got us in the Halloween spirit, so we were ready for the big day by the time Halloween rolled around. Kev and I dressed as Jack and Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas and Pants and Boots were a pumpkin and pirate (they were supposed to be dressed as characters in Nightmare Before Christmas as well but we have Kevin to thank for the costume change). Pants and Boots did not enjoy dressing up, however, Kev and I had a blast. teheh. After dressing up we went downstairs in our apartment building to the mezzanine to watch the Halloween Parade. Then we ended the evening perfectly with Stranger Things Season 2.

Cheers!



NY Experiences (Summer/Fall 2017)

I’ve gone to a few cool events over the past several weeks in the city. Here’s a quick recap:


Sam Hunt Concert – Kev and I went to a Sam Hunt concert at MSG in September. I really like his music and he puts on a great show. His voice is just as good in person as on his album.


29Rooms
– I dragged Kev to Brooklyn with me for Refinery29’s 29Rooms. Overall it was a pretty cool experience but it was pretty crowded (and hot) and apparently it was more organized this year than last. Some of my favorite rooms were Dunkin Donuts where they had tasting for three of their new Bakery Series flavors, Dyson where they had a room full of blow dryers and pinwheels, and Ulta who had a small carousel.


National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey
– Nat Geo created a cool, immersive, interactive digital experience in Times Square. My favorite part was the maze of mirrors. There was also a cool interactive seal experience using motion sensors to get the seals to turn right or left or flip. My other favorite part was learning about the “Red Devil,” a jumbo squid that lives 200-700m down in the ocean. I can’t wait to go diving again.


Richard Branson TimesTalk
– I’ve been wanting to go to a TimesTalk for a while but was looking for one that I not only was available to attend but to also hear from someone I’m actually interested in, so I jumped at getting a ticket to hear Richard Branson. He is a pretty cool dude and I like how he credits his success to putting smart people in the right places. He also surprisingly hardly uses a cell phone and always brings a notebook to jot down notes during meetings.



 

Summer Reading

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Into the Water is a psychological suspense.  It was a decent novel but with as much hype as it got I thought it would be a little better. I give it 2/5.

American Assassin by Vince Flynn

I saw the trailer for American Assassin with Michael Keaton and¬†Dylan O’Brien (the guy from The Maze Runner) earlier this summer and as soon as I saw it I knew I wanted to read the book beforehand which was a little surprising even to myself since manly action thriller novels aren’t usually my thing, but I’m glad I read it. It was an enjoyable read and like most books, it was better than the movie. I give it 3/5.

White Fur by Jardine Libaire

I really enjoyed White Fur which is a “gritty reinterpretation of Romeo and Juliet.” Some of the scenes made me feel uncomfortable but I liked how raw and uncensored it felt, just like the main character¬†Elise.¬† I would recommend this novel to others; I give it a 4/5.

One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of this Will Matter by Scaachi Koul

One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter is a collection of essays based on the thoughts and experiences of Scaachi Koul, who is also a writer for Buzzfeed. She touched on a lot of different topics from being Indian, racism, family, dating, alcoholism, growing up. It was a good collection of essays to read on my Kindle during my commute. Some parts were funny and/or interesting but there were definitely some points when I felt she was preaching a bit yet she is still ignorant about some things as well.

Overall, it was entertaining enough so I give it 3/5.

The Idiot by Elif Batuman

This book is pretty slow going throughout the duration of the novel and I kept waiting for something big to happen which never did, but for whatever reason I still enjoyed it. True story–I literally read reviews afterward to see if I am in fact the idiot which is why I missed the point but then I read this article from NPR which confirmed that there really is no point because that’s Batuman’s style of fiction. I like how they described it as “a long wander, a vague rummage.” This is definitely not a novel for everyone, so I would only recommend it to my fellow book nerds. In my opinion it is a 3.5/5.


Final Girls by Riley Sager

This is another novel I read pretty quickly on my Kindle to and from work. I liked Final Girls¬†better than Into the Water which were both compared to Gone Girl although I don’t think the guy who turned out to be the killer makes much sense. I give it a 2.5/5.


The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

I picked up The Sympathizer at The Strand bookstore in Union Square when I was in the spirit after having recently seen Miss Saigon on Broadway. I liked it for the most part. Some chapters I got really into but then it would be brought to a low, slow simmer. It was hard to get a sense of time too; one chapter the main character is going about his day-to-day life and the next he mentions in passing that X amount of months/years had passed.

The author was also very descriptive at some parts. For example, he described a vivid scene from his youth involving sexual things he performed with a squid which was very disturbing but imaginative nonetheless. Unfortunately it’s the perverted scenes like that that I’ll probably remember the longest. Overall I give it a 3/5.


Goodbye Summer ’17

This summer came and went quickly. ¬†Things were busy at work all summer and we couldn’t really go anywhere, but we still had a great summer doing activities in the city. Below is a quick summer recap.

Summer is the time of baseballllll! I went to my first Mets game with my friend Kelly and I went to a Yankees game with Kev.

Kev and I ran the New York Road Runners Retro 5-Miler. We had fun dressing up for it too with our knee high socks and matching arm and head bands.

We took many many walks along the West Side River throughout the summer on our way to our favorite movie theater in Battery Park. It’s so pleasant walking by the Hudson River in the summer when it’s not cold and windy.

As I mentioned, my summer was busy with work. We had a National Television Sales team softball game one Friday afternoon and I also went to our Chicago office for the first time for some meetings. Luckily I was able to stay with my friend Tiffany while I was there. We went on an architecture boat tour, walked around the city, and had an awesome brunch in the Chicago Restoration Hardware.

I got a preview of the Penthouse in our building which was amazing.

I had a fair share of desserts including ice cream from Taiyaki and cough dough from DO.

Kev and I discovered our favorite place for burgers, Saxon & Parole, which carries the Impossible vegan burger.

I finally made my way to Gilligan’s to try their frozen watermelon margarita.

I went to my first professional soccer game which was a lot of fun. We watched the New York Red Bulls play the NYC Football Club. I will definitely go to another game.

We celebrated our friends Jim & Kristin’s wedding at Meadowood in Napa Valley.

I volunteered through Disney VoluntEars. They partnered with the Central Park Conservancy and I helped weed in Central Park. It was the perfect day to be outside and do some good.

There was a Smorgasboard market close to our apartment. My favorite thing there was a churro ice cream sandwich.

(Okay, now I’m realizing why I lost zero weight over the summer even though I was physically active–literally half of my pictures are of me with dessert….)

Of course what better way to close out Summer and welcome Fall with the start of football season…kind of. I am trying to become more active with the University of Michigan Alumni Club of New York, so we’re starting to watch Michigan games at Barleycorn in Tribeca. Go Blue!


Labor Day 2017

Labor Day came upon us quickly this year, so Kev and I didn’t have a trip planned. We were actually looking forward to staying in the city though because we had both been busy with work and stuff and just wanted to relax. We had a great weekend though and ended up doing quite a few activities. Below are the highlights:

Friday – I got out of work early so Kev scheduled a personal boxing session at Overthrow in the late afternoon. We had a good workout and learned some cool new combinations. Then I dragged Kevin to the movies to see a scary movie, Temple. As you can see from the reviews, the movie wasn’t that good.

Saturday– On Saturday Kev and I had a spa morning at Aire Ancient Baths. It was the coolest experience ever. There were six thermal¬†baths (a hot bath, ice and cold plunges, a warm pool, a flotarium‚Äď salt water pool, and the jet pool) as well as a steam room with aromatherapy infused with eucalyptus aroma. After an hour of relaxing in the different baths, Kev and I had an hour couples massage, and then got to hang out in the baths for another half hour. My favorite bath was by far the flotarium and my second favorite was the eucalyptus aromatherapy steam room.

After our relaxing morning, we then¬†got dressed and went to Barleycorn’s to watch the Michigan vs. University of Florida game. From there we went to the movies and I made Kev see another scary movie with me, Annabelle. Luckily Annabelle was better than Temple.

Sunday РOn Sunday Morning Kev and I ran a few miles at Mile High Run Club. We had lunch at Smorgasboard Market which is conveniently close to our apartment. We got an array of items to share including an authentic spinach mushroom quesadilla with homemade tortilla, edamame dumplings, and  a tofu sticky bun. To top it off I had a unicorn ice cream churro sandwich. It was a great combo of options to try.

¬†Later that evening we went to the US Open. We saw Petra Kvitov√° vs. Garbi√Īe Muguruza and Sam Querrey vs. Mischa Zverev. It was a lot of fun to watch and of course I had to get a Grey Goose Honey Deuce.

Monday – On Monday morning Kev and I went to 60 minute Bikram then took our time walking home and stopped by our favorite Brooklyn Bagels on the way back. We relaxed and read outside (literally the first time we’ve used our building’s mezzanine all summer) for a bit before going to the movies. We saw The Hitman’s Bodyguard with Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds which was pretty funny. When we got home I got a second wind and did some end-of-summer cleaning and got rid of a ton of clothes and shoes. I’m ready for you Fall!



1H 2017 Broadway Shows

I realize I haven’t done a post on the Broadway shows I’ve seen since the start of the new year, so below are the shows I’ve seen over the past several months. I saw a variety of shows–some were musicals and some were dramas–but I enjoyed all of them, so I can’t pick a favorite but if I had to choose one musical and one drama it would be 1984 and Miss Saigon (with Sunset Boulevard a close second for best musical).

February-Beautiful The Carole King Musical

My friend Kelly invited me to see Beautiful the musical about Carole King’s life. I really enjoyed it because I grew up with my mom playing Carole King songs so they were familiar to me. ¬†Jessie Mueller who played Carole did a fantastic job–I loved her voice. I also didn’t know King’s life story, so it was very interesting. I definitely felt for her. She was much more patient than I could ever be with her love life.

February – Sunday in the Park with George

I read an article in The New York Times or somewhere about a limited showing of Sunday in the Park with George starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Since Jakey G is Kev’s man crush, I jumped on getting tickets. It wasn’t the best show I’ve ever been to but it wasn’t bad. I didn’t realize it was a musical but I didn’t mind hearing Jake sing ūüėČ I was actually more interested in learning more about the¬†French pointillist painter Georges Seurat and his famous painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. Similar to Beautiful the Carole King Musical, it was interesting to get the backstory on what went on behind the scenes in someone’s work.

May – Sunset Boulevard

I saw another show with my friend Kelly in May. I was super stoked to see Sunset Boulevard starring Glenn Close because I had heard good things about it. She did not disappoint. It was a great show and I loved the plot.

June – Miss Saigon

Kev took me to see Miss Saigon in June. Miss Saigon was nominated for a 2017 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical and the main actress¬†Eva Noblezada was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical. I absolutely loved the show and think Noblezada has an angelic voice. The show also inspired me to get the book ‚ÄėThe Sympathizer,‚Äô by Viet Thanh Nguyen (I still have not read it but it’s on the top of my list!).

The Little Foxes

Since Kev took me to see Miss Saigon, I took him to see The Little Foxes on Broadway a few weeks later starring¬†Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon. It was pretty good but a little too long. I think it’s cool that Linney and Nixon switch playing the opposite sister in different shows.

July – 1984

Man oh man was 1984 a shock. I had to read the book when I was in high school but I kind of forgot what it was about. It wasn’t really necessary to brush up on the plot though because the show would have been alarming regardless. I was excited that we had really good seats for this one so I could see the fake blood and facial expressions more closely.¬†Olivia Wilde and Tom Sturridge were fantastic in it as well; I was really impressed with their performance. I don’t want to give too much away, but it was definitely one of the most shocking shows I’ve been to, partly because as everyone is saying, it feels close to home. Here is a good article NPR wrote about it.


Independence Day Weekend in Savannah

For Independence Day weekend this year, Kev and I decided to spend it in Savannah, Georgia because neither of us had ever been and we needed a destination that isn’t far from NYC and that we wouldn’t need to take any vacation days for. And boy am I happy we picked Savannah–we had so much fun!

We flew into Savannah on Friday night after work and it was only about an hour and a half plane ride. We stayed at the Brice Kimpton all four nights. I liked the hotel but I definitely thought it was going to be a smaller, more boutique hotel. It is actually a very large three story hotel and there were a ton of people. There is charm to the hotel but the doors are pretty thin so I could hear people in the halls and a dog barking in a nearby room. ¬†And it may have been haunted, but that’s a whole other story…

On Saturday we woke up excited to explore. We had brunch at Kayak in town. I had an amazing Mediterranean salad with grilled tofu, feta and a generous serving of humus. I didn’t even need to put dressing on it. Afterwards Kev and I walked all over Savannah for a few hours. We walked up to Forsyth Park then stopped at City Market where I bought some famous Byrd’s key lime cookies and had a delicious Georgia Peach sangria while listening to some outdoor music. Then we headed back to Broughton Street where we waited in line for some famous Leopold’s ice cream. It was definitely worth the wait–the ice cream was delicious! From there we swung by the hotel to drop off the cookies and then continued down to River Street where¬†there was a BBQ and Blues Jazz Festival. I cooled myself off with a Bud Light Georgia Peach alcoholic slushie while enjoying the live jazz band. ¬†It was the perfect day. While we were listening to music we also watched huge container ships cruise down the river. Before heading back to the hotel, we had dinner at Vic’s on the River which was delicious and then we had an early night.

Sunday morning we woke up early and had breakfast at the restaurant attached to our hotel, Pacci. Then we hopped on one of the Savannah tour buses to hear more about the history of Savannah. We were going to walk to the Bonaventure cemetery, but it was so hot that we turned around and headed back to River Street to try to cool down. We passed another Byrd’s cookies shop and I couldn’t help myself from getting some more cookies in other flavors–Byrd’s cookies are seriously the best! Then I stopped in Wet Willies to get an alcoholic slurpee mixed with a few flavors.

Brunch at Kayak was so good the day before that I was craving the salad again, so we went back for lunch. With our bellies full, we headed back to the hotel for a little siesta. It was good timing too because it started storming with pouring rain and thunder. Once the rain slowed to a sprinkle, Kev and I ventured out again. We walked to Collins Quarter for a caffeine pick-up. We both had their signature spiced lavender mocha while listening to some live music. We had a tour scheduled for 10pm and we had some time to kill with no where in particular to go so we had fun walking around for an hour and a half before stopping for dinner. We had delicious pizza and cheesy bread at Mellow Mushroom and then headed to one of the squares to meet the tour guide. We went on Blue Orbs haunted walking tour. It was about an hour and 45 minutes and we walked all over Savannah listening to why its called the city built on its dead and why it’s¬†one of the most haunted cities in the world.

Monday was supposed to be a half day of work, so Kev was a trooper and joined me for a few hours at a local¬†coffee shop. Luckily, emails were slow so it was stress-free and I got a few work things done. I was starving afterward, so we went back to Mellow Mushroom where we had dinner the night before because I saw that they had vegetarian hoogies on their menu. After lunch I was feeling full and lethargic, so we walked around for a while then made our way back to Leopold’s for Round 2 of ice cream. This time I got their famous Tutti Frutti. I could literally eat Leopald’s ice cream every single day and never get sick of it, it’s so good.

After our sugar highs, we were feeling ambitious, so we rode the momentum and went back to the hotel to change for a run. It was around 6:30pm and while it was still light out, the temperature at least was a little cooler. We ran from our hotel to Forsyth Park and back which was at least three miles. About half way through our run, we saw storm clouds roll in and the sky burst open when we had about a mile left in the run. We got completely drenched running through the ran and I was scared half to death because the thunder sounded so close, but it was a fun adrenaline rush and I was  grateful that I finally felt cool.

By the time we finished showering and changing,¬†the storm had subsided so we ventured back out to have an early dinner. We went to Jazz’d Tapas Bar per the suggestion of our airport cab drive, ¬†but unfortunately there was no live music that day. The menu looked good though, so Kev and I stayed and shared a few tapas plates.

On Tuesday, though we were having a great time in Savannah, we were ready to head back to NYC. We packed up our things, checked out, and had an early breakfast at¬†Rise Biscuits Donuts. I got the strawberry buttercream doughnut which was absolutely delicious, and Kev got the Lemon Blueberry Meringue Bullseye doughnut. Then we walked to Starbucks to get out of the heat and take our time enjoying a cappuccino. We did so much exploring over the previous three days, we felt okay about taking a little break, and we went to the movies to see Baby Driver. ¬†It was a nice break, and after the movie we headed back to River Street to have lunch at Huey’s on the River. Kev and I both got the fried green tomato muffuletta which was tasty, and then of course we had to try their famous¬†beignets with praline sauce. They were delicious and Kev said he liked them even more than Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans. After lunch we sat and listened to a little more live music before heading to the airport for our flight.

 

 

This was definitely one of my favorite U.S. trips. I fell in love with Savannah with it’s romantic, Gothic Oak trees laced with Spanish Moss and the rich history of the city. I liked the fact that there are 24 squares¬†(Oglethorpe, you the man!) and everything is within walking distance. The city was clean, the people were very nice, and there was surprisingly many vegetarian options so Kev and I definitely did not starve. I look forward to visiting Savannah again!




Books Read (April-May 2017)

I have been reading up a storm lately so I want to share some of the books I’ve read over the past few months. I read most of these on my honeymoon when I got into a reading groove and my reading voraciousness has stayed with me since we’ve returned.

These are in order of my top favs:


I’m Thinking of¬†Ending Things by Iain Reid

I loved this novel because it wasn’t like anything else I’ve read. It was suspenseful¬†and had an unexpected ending which left me contemplating the ending afterwards. I also loved the speed of the novel–it was slow going mirroring the long drive to Jake’s parents’s home and then it speeds up and crashes to the end. I wanted to make sure I understood the ending correctly so I did a little research. Here’s a good interview the NPR had with Reid; I like how he leaves many things¬†up to the reader’s interpretation.


The Circle by Dave Eggers

Another eerie novel in a less blatant way than I’m Thinking of Ending Things but more frightening considering how close we actually are from what happens in the novel with today’s advanced technology. I saw the movie with Emma Watson and Tom Hanks after I read the book and the book is 1000000 times better. I definitely recommend reading this.


Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller

This novel is frustrating because I wanted the main character,¬†Ingrid, who seemed like a smart young woman to leave her shitty, cheating husband. It was pretty heartbreaking. I liked Fuller’s style of writing and how the story was told oscillating from the present day with¬†Ingrid’s family attempting to deal with her disappearance and the past through letter that¬†Ingrid wrote to her husband and hid for him to find after she was gone. It was sweet revenge she played on him.


All Grown Up by  Jami Attenberg

This was a quick read and I was really into it. I was able to read it in two weeks during my commute to and fro work. It touched on so much–being single, hating work, drinking too much, living in a tiny apartment and struggling, family, growing up–and perhaps I can relate to it more since I live and work in the city.


Perfect Little World by Kevin Wilson

Perfect Little World is Kevin Wilson’s debut novel. It wasn’t my favorite novel but it was interesting and overall I enjoyed it. Here’s a good review on NPR.


Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee

Queen of the Night wasn’t exactly what I was expecting when I first bought it but it was interesting enough nonetheless. It takes place in Paris 1982 which was the challenge because it was a different time and style of writing. It brought me back to my literature courses in college as an English major. Chee did a great job describing the scenes as well as the elaborate dresses of those times.


Broken trilogy by L.A. Weatherly

I read two of the books in the Broken trilogy, Broken Sky and Darkness Follows while on my honeymoon. I picked them up at an airport in Borneo for some light reading. They entertained me but not enough to need to buy the third book once I got back to the States. The young adult series takes place in a dystopian¬†1940s America and is about girl who is a pilot, a “Peacefighter” for America, that uncovers fixed fights and another country’s leader intent to start a war and take control of other territories.


You Don’t Look Your Age by Sheila Nevins

One of my colleagues went to a NY Times Talk and Sheila Nevins, President of HBO Documentary Films, ¬†was one of the panelists. I was interested in learning more about her so when I found out she has a book I figured it would be the best way to start. The book featured a bunch of short stories/essays and a scatter of poetry. Some of the essays were interesting but it wasn’t quite what I had been expecting.


The Chemist by Stephanie Meyer

This was another fun, easy read that me and Kevin picked up at an airport in Asia. He read it first and then I read it because I had nothing else to read. It was what I expected of a Stephanie Meyer novel. It was interesting enough to get me to finish it but the plot was pretty predictable. I would pass on this one unless you love her other books and have nothing else to read.


Honeymoon Part III: Fiji

After being really active hiking and traveling all over Boreno and then diving nonstop for about a week in Indonesia, Kev and I were looking forward to relaxing on the last leg of our honeymoon in Fiji. The first night we stayed at the Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa. We got there in the late afternoon so we weren’t able to hang in the pool, but we had a nice late lunch overlooking the ocean and then I went to the spa for a body scrub and manicure.

The next day we hopped on another plane to another Fijian Island, Savusavu to our final resort of the trip, Koro Sun. I chose Koro Sun because they were one of the few resorts in Indonesia and Malaysia that advertised an underwater ceremony. ¬†The ceremony ended up being perfect. Our boat was decorated with a beautiful assortment of flowers and they made me a bouquet that probably would have cost hundreds of dollars in the US. I was obsessed with it, I didn’t even want to put it down it was so pretty. After a 20-30 minute boat ride, we got to a nice shallow area where we anchored down and jumped in with the minister. The ceremony was super quick with just a few laminated cards worth of writing and we got some fun pictures. Back on the boat we popped some champagne and enjoyed the cruise back to the marina.

Other than the ceremony we didn’t have anything else planned, but¬†after lounging around for one day we were already a little bored, so the next day we went on another dive. It was supposed to be a morning trip–we left at 9:30am and they said we would be back by 3pm–but we didn’t end up getting back to the resort until around 5:30pm. I didn’t mind though because we didn’t have anything else planned. The water was pretty choppy that day which was partly why it took a bit longer to get to the dive sites. We went on two dives that afternoon where we saw more pretty coral and fish, and what was even more exciting–sharks! There were large pools of tuna and other fish and a few sharks circling around that were about my size. I knew they wouldn’t attack me, so I stayed calm and got some great pictures of them up close. ¬†We also saw a pod of sperm whale while on the boat. They were huge yet so gentle and beautiful. It was really special seeing them.

Other than that, Kev and I just read and hung out by the pool and walked to the spa for massage a few times. While Fiji was nice, we were ready to head home by the end. Overall, we had an absolute blast on our honeymoon. It was a trip of a lifetime and we will never forget it. ¬†I’m excited to continue spending my life with Kevin as the new Mrs. Weatherman!

Here is a link to all of the Fiji photos.