Ferry Life

NYC is all about commuting. When you meet someone for the first time they will often ask where you work, live and how the commute is.  The transportation options are endless depending on where you are coming from and where you are going.  Walk … drive … New Jersey Transit … Light Rail … Path … subway … bus … MetroNorth … Long Island Railroad … taxi … Uber.  Most likely it is a mixture of these options.

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I am different than most New Yorkers because I don’t commute to the same location every day. I spend several weeks at one place and then move on.

Since being in NYC, my longest commute was a little over 2 hours each way. I took the Path (NJ subway system) to the MetroNorth (train) and walked the remaining half a mile.  It was brutal but only one week and anything is doable for just one week.  Some people have similar commutes EVERY day!!!!

I am weird and almost enjoy riding the subway. I don’t like to drive so it automatically wins.  I enjoy watching (more like staring) people.  You will not see a more diverse group of people then on the L line.  Browse through the peopleofpennstation on Instagram sometime and you will quickly understand.

The subway is far from glamorous. Most likely the seats are taken and you will have to stand while be jolted around.  In the winter you get all bundled up for the cold weather and by the time you walk to the subway and climb the 5,192 stairs you are sweating to death.  Summer is just as bad when people are sweating outside and then enter the smoldering tunnels just to be packed into the train like sardines.  Trust me the feedlot smell in Southwest Kansas has nothing on the smell of the subway.

It is not uncommon for the train to come to a halt and be delayed due to “train traffic”. I sat on the train for 45 minutes last Friday due to problems on the tracks ahead.  As you can imagine people get a little cranky in these circumstances.  I haven’t even experienced the worst.  Just on Monday my coworker walked in late and said, “What a commute.  Someone got sick two people down from me.  It went everywhere and everyone went running.”  You can imagine the sanitary concerns I have.

During my most recent assignment I discovered a whole new way to commute. The best way to commute.  I have been taking the ferry.  I am moving up in life.  I walk 8 minutes to the ferry.  It takes 15 minutes to go down the Hudson River around the south side of Manhattan and up the East River to Wall Street.  I then walk down the pier and into work.  Total commute time of 20 minutes.  The ferry leaves every 15 minutes like clockwork.  It doesn’t stop in the middle of Hudson or East River due to “boat traffic”.  If it is too stuffy you can crack the door or windows.  If it is nice out you can sunbath on the roof deck while the wind blows in your hair (maybe a little melodramatic).  Although it doesn’t make for great people watching, the patrons on the ferry tend to be a bit classier.

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It wasn’t that long ago I thought ferries were only for getting cars across bodies of water. All this commuting is a bit different then throwing your bags in the car and driving anywhere you need to go in Kansas.

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Workout Evolution

After graduating college, I told myself I would form a habit of working out on a frequent basis. And almost 6 years later, I can say I have actually stuck with it … for the most part.  My work out habits have definitely evolved over time.

Post college, I immediately began a routine of running outside. At first I hated and dreaded running but I learned to enjoy it most of the time.  I refused to run on a treadmill.

Then in graduate school, my roommate introduced me to a Jillian Michaels DVD. I was sooo sore the next day, I knew I either got a crazy good workout or I was severely out of shape.  The videos were added to my regular routine as an alternative to running.

When I was training for my recently completed half marathon, I was working in a town that didn’t have sidewalks. Not wanting to kill my training, I broke down and began running on a treadmill.  There is something to be said for the reliability and consistency of a treadmill.

Recently I ran into a dilemma. Continue reading

New Year’s Resolutions

I was going to create the usual cliché post about the New Year but didn’t get around to it by the 1st and gave up on the entire idea. And then I saw a photo with the caption “it will still be 2016 tomorrow” and brought the idea back to life.

Typically, the New Year approaches and my life continues as it was before. I don’t resolve to lose weight, spend less, or read more.  This year is a little bit different.  I have recently spent a good amount of time reflecting back on the many major changes I made in the last year.  Some of the changes were easy, others not so easy, a few were hard as hell, and many more I am still adjusting to.

When reflecting, I recognize there are small things I can do to make the adjusting easier and life in general more enjoyable.

Stay busy and do more –  Most people know I can only sit on the couch for about 10 minutes before I find myself suddenly getting up to do something or finding something to read.  However, lately I find myself sitting and doing nothing more and more.  In addition, I regretfully must say I have not taken advantage of the many opportunities living in the city presents.  I am aware staying busy helps my attitude tremendously and let’s be honest my attitude can always use a little help.

Meet people – I might be the most introverted person ever.  I typically welcome the idea of being alone. But everyone needs a little bit of social activity in their life SOMETIMES.  Meeting people in New York has been one tough task for many reasons.  First, the typical “lets meet for drinks” does not attract me.  Second, between June and November I was traveling each and every week for work.  The travel restricted me from joining any weekday groups or activities.  Keith has done his part to “make friends for us” but when I am home for the weekend, I just want to enjoy being home when not preparing for hitting the road again Monday. I still don’t like bars but this year I no longer have the traveling excuse since I won’t be out of town as much.  I am not sure how yet but somehow someway I will make friends.  My not so introverted husband has big ideas for this … we will see how they work out.

Judge less – Attempting to judge less has been a continuous battle for me.  I am aware the dark negative cloud is lifted when you are not focused on how others dress, what others do, or what others say.  In addition, when I care less about others, I am not near as worried about what others think of me.  I have made strides on this since moving to New York.  Judging is much more difficult in a city where there is one of every kind.  However, I will probably always have room to improve in this category.

I can only hope 2016 is full of as many great memories as 2015.

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Currently

I have seen this survey on Carrot’s N’ Cake blog in the past, and I thought it would be a fun post.

Current Celebration: Weekends at home. I have been all over the place lately and really miss my couch. This past weekend both Keith and I spent the weekend at home and it was amazing. I only left the house for church and to run.

Current Confession: I went to bed before or at 8:30 p.m. each night last week. I just couldn’t stay up no matter how hard I tried.

Current Product Find: Coconut Banana Cashew Butter.  Keith saw me eyeing a little jar of this at Chelsea Market a couple weekends back and in typical Keith fashion surprised me with it.  I opened up the cabinet one day and there it sat with a note affixed to it.  I already ate the ENTIRE jar … and wish I had more.

Current Plan: I start a new position in the middle of November. I am not changing employers just the line of work. My life after beginning the position is in limbo because I don’t know many details about the position. With the change fast approaching, my planning mind can’t help but wonder and want answers.

Current Book: I’m not reading “books” right now. Instead, I have been studying for a test I have to take at work in the upcoming months. I am currently reading a lot of laws and regulations. Don’t worry; I won’t bore you with the details.    Current Purchase: I just purchased a new SPIbelt. My mom gave me this little gem several years ago for Christmas and I rarely run without it now. Mine went missing recently during a trip to Washington D.C. I called the hotel but of course they didn’t find it. After beating myself up, I finally purchased a new one. The new one is larger and fits my phone better. The old one also had a hole. Maybe it was for the best.

Current Drink: There is nothing current about anything I drink. I have always been a water girl and nothing is new. I supplement my water with coffee.

Current Holy Moly: Lamb. Up until a couple month ago I would have swore I didn’t like lamb and it smelt like wool. And then …. Keith bought lamp chomps when I wasn’t looking. He fixed them and I felt obligated to at least try them. I have definitely bought more lamb since.   Current Show: The Affair. A new season just started, and anytime Keith and I have a free moment together we indulge.

Current Want: If I must narrow it down to one item … this is tough …. I would say … winter boots. The cold weather is definitely here and it is only going to get worse. I am trying to convince myself if I have the appropriate attire it will be more bearable.

Current Obsession: Grapes! I have been eating multiple pounds of grapes for a couple months now. No I am not exaggerating.    

New England with the Family

My mom and cousin made a trip to the Northeast last weekend and we road tripped around New England.  My mom has been talking about seeing the fall foliage and Maine coast for quite some time and I am always looking for an excuse to go to Maine.  Fitting foliage and the coast into one weekend meant A LOT of quality time spent in our tiny little car but I think it was worth it.

Keith and I picked the two up from the airport Friday afternoon and we immediately hit the road.  We took the scenic route from Newark, New Jersey to Manchester, New Hampshire to see the best foliage possible.  The trees were absolutely beautiful.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t get very good pictures from the car.

Saturday, we hopped back in the car to drive to Portland Maine.  On the way we made a quick stop to see the ocean.  I don’t think the car was parked before mom jumped out and darted to the beach.  She “needed” to put her toes in the sand.  She is like a little kid when it comes to the ocean.  I didn’t get this gene.  I want nothing to do with the sand.  The closest I need to get is to take a picture of her.


Keith and I can’t go to Maine without stopping at our favorite lobster truck.  We both prefer the Connecticut style lobster roll with butter as opposed the Maine style with mayonnaise.

The lobster truck just happens to be located at the beautiful Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, which is home to Portland Head Light.  This lighthouse is the oldest in Maine.


Brylee did a little off trail exploring.  If you look very very closely she is the little speck out on the edge of the rock.


We finished the day with a brief tour of Providence, Rhode Island led by Keith.  He went to college in Providence and still gets a little excited anytime Providence is mentioned.

Sunday we headed back to Hoboken.  Along the way we stopped in Windsor, Connecticut for “Chowdafest”.

Chowdafest is a chowder and soup competition with 40 restaurants from all over New England.  Upon entrance we were give a wrist band, spoon and ballot.  We were tasked with voting on the best 1. New England Chowder, 2. Manhattan Chowder, 3. Creative Chowder and 4. Lobster Bisque.


We started strong and fast tasting each chowder.  Brylee, Keith and I didn’t hassle with voting.  All we cared about was sampling.  Mom on the other hand attempted to make notes about specific spices and unique flavors.

About 10 chowders in, we needed a break to reset our pallets.  Of course, mom found the ocean.

Keith used this opportunity to work on his photography skills.  He doesn’t quite understand the rule of thirds.

We attempted to finish the tasting but just couldn’t.  We sampled 22 chowders  before we all started to feel sick and threw in the towel.  It will be a miracle if any of us eat chowder all winter.


We ended the adventure with a tour of Hoboken.


Even if we spent most of our time in the car it doesn’t diminish the amazingness of having family visit.

Family Vacation

We just got back from a much needed trip to Southwest Kansas and Southeast Colorado.  The excitement building up to this trip was intense.  I of course always love being home and surrounded by family.  In addition, this was Mimi’s first trip to the area and first time to meet most the family.

Here is a quick recap of our experience.

My little sister graciously picked us up from the airport and hauled us to see the new nephew, Myles.  I guess I was too excited to see him and forgot to take pictures.  Whoops!

We then proceeded with the drive to southwest Kansas.  Nothing is better than 5 hours in a car to catch up with the little sister.  We broke the trip up only once to kidnap my niece whom I have been missing something crazy.  The backseat passengers were knocked by the time we arrived at my grandparent’s house in the wee hours of the morning.

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I on the other hand was unable to sleep due to the anticipation of seeing my grandparents.  I hopped right out of bed the moment I heard grandpa stirring in the kitchen.  Continue reading

Martha’s Vineyard

We took advantage of our traveling job again and went on a “subsidized” daytrip to Martha’s Vineyard.

It seems going to Martha’s Vineyard is a pretty common summer trip in the Northeast.  Who would have known?

We boarded a ferry in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.  The ferry took about 45 minutes to get us to the island.   Upon arriving on the island we darted immediately for seafood.  Continue reading

Mi Casa

I am finally caving in and posting the overdo pictures of our home.  Everyone keeps asking me to share photos but I have been reluctant since it isn’t fully decorated.  Let’s be honest, it will never be fully decorated.  Plus capturing photos at the right angle to accurately depict what things look like is hard work.  I definitely did not do our place justice.  

I should start by saying we live in a “condo”, which is best explained as an apartment we own.  At about 700 sf it is about the size of apartments I have lived in.  There are 9 units in our building (two on each floor with the exception of one).  We pay monthly HOA fees to cover maintenance of common areas.  This means if something is wrong outside of our walls we call and complain rather then fix it.  If we need to fix the roof or change the facade it must come out of the HOA reserve fund or the monthly fees have to increase.  Don’t worry we looked at the HOA financials prior to purchase.

Now we will begin the ENTIRE home tour …  Continue reading

Half Marathon

I hate to admit it but I am the queen of excuses. A lot of this stems from my fear to commit.  Perfect example: I’ve expressed a desire to run a half marathon for about forever but have not done it.  First, I didn’t want to run the race by myself. I said I needed someone to share the enjoyment and achievement with me. Keith agreed to run but didn’t plan on training. This wasn’t enough because I wanted someone to hold me accountable and discuss the pains of training leading up to the run. A coworker in Wichita planned to run a race and invited me. Unfortunately, the race was on a four-day weekend and I wanted to keep the weekend open for potential plans. Then, another coworker from Omaha agreed to train simultaneously with me and meet up in whatever location to run the race together. Of course, I am afraid to commit to a date because who knows what will come up between now and then and the location means committing to the associated costs.

I would love to say I got over all these fears, quit making excuses, and signed up for a race … but I can’t. Continue reading

Our 4th of July in Pictures

I had been looking forward to having a 3 day weekend with nothing to do.  I wanted to knock items off my ever expanding “to do” list and have a great desire to just relax. This weekend was far from the relaxing weekend I had envisioned, but we definitely had a great 4th of July weekend.  I am not sure words are sufficient to describe what experincing 4th of July in NYC was like.  So instead, I am going to piggyback off a blog idea I liked and summarize our weekend with 3 words per picture.

I attempted tennis

  Continue reading