Friday, December 26, 2008

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree

The Christmas holiday was so nice and relaxing. We spent the day at my brother's where the kids had fun opening their gifts and sifting through the goodies that Santa had left for them.

Dad and Sharon drove from Utah to spend the day with us and we're glad they made it in one piece. After having a double blowout on I-15 in the central Utah desert, they had to be towed all the way back to Spanish Fork to be repaired. After finally getting back on the road, they didn't arrive to their hotel room in Las Vegas until nearly 3am the next night!

I gave the kids a karaoke machine this year for their gift; and, after setting it up we had an after dinner jam session in the garage . . . I think they sounded pretty good!

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Very Happy Birthday To Me!

"Aunt Jesska, Aunt Jesska, it's your birfday . . . I going to sing 'Happy Birfday' to you!", Hudson delighted when he bounded into the living room Sunday morning to greet me.

I was delighted to have the chance to spend the day with Hudson--I was afraid I wouldn't be able to after a long day of travel the day before that included missing my morning flight, barely being allowed to board the next one, and then remaining trapped in the middle seat next to a restless 300 lb. man for the 7.5 hour extended flight. It was a small miracle that I managed to escape The City before the second blizzard wave arrived a few hours later.

Bob and Carla took me out for a fantastic seafood dinner to celebrate. And, Hudson's "birfday singing" was wonderful . . . But, I just have to complain a little that he managed to eat more of my chocolate cake than I did!

And, tonight, I finally got to meet up with my friends when they took me out to dinner to celebrate again at Mimi's. I had such a great birthday--I'm so glad I made it out of town!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Let it Snow, Let It Snow!

Our first major snow storm hit this morning at 10am; and, it's not relenting. The snow coverage is so thick that I can barely see out my office window! (Luckily I got into the office before it began!) It's really beautiful, but I just can't help thinking: I hope it stops by tonight so that I can board that plane first thing in the morning!

Monday, December 8, 2008

The More I See You

Rachael flew out this weekend to spend some time in The City. We had so much fun seeing the sites now that they're drenched in greenery and twinkling lights. Friday we explored the Upper West Side, Times Square, and my office before riding the Staten Island ferry to catch a view of Lady Liberty. After flying on the red-eye flight all night long, Rach took a much needed a quick nap in the afternoon, while I took the opportunity to let the chiropractor beat me into shape at his office (but, I gladly let him do it because he's just so adorable!)

Friday night we ate a hearty meal at my favorite Thai place before going to Madison Square Garden to see Michael Buble perform. Not only did MB do a fantastic job of belting out his buttery classics at perfect pitch, but he also made the audience laugh and tear up at his on-stage antics and dedication to some of the greats like Frankie and Deano. After sitting for nearly 2 and a half hours, I felt like the time had flown by; it was so entertaining!

After the concert, we treated ourselves to a little late night dessert at Serendipity, dipping into their famous frozen hot chocolate. We were a little frozen ourselves after waiting outside nearly an hour for a table, but the wait was definitely worth it!

Saturday we explored Central Park after having to bundle up in our long underwear and several layers under our coats! But, the sky was clear and the park was peaceful with holiday vendors and musicians playing Christmas songs. We paused for a few minutes to enjoy the serenity and take some photos. We then walked down to the East Village to try some classic New York deli garb at Katz's Delicatessen. We sat just one table over from where Meg Ryan enjoyed her pastrami on rye in When Harry Met Sally. In an effort to validate her overwhelmingly positive review, I ordered the same thing. And, while the sandwich was indeed delicious, I can't say I had the same reaction!

That evening, we strolled along 5th Avenue while little snowflakes landed on our coats, stopping along the way to enjoy the tree at Rockefeller Center and the decorated store windows.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Some Things Never Change

Tonight was the lighting of the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center. And, since this is my first Christmas holiday in The City, I had to make every effort to attend this momentous occasion. The crowds were fierce--many people had been staking their spot since NOON. But I braved them, eventually making my way up front to a decent spot for activity sighting. The entire area was blockaded and NYPD was policing the area to make sure that no one was blocking entrances to any local businesses around the center.

I managed to move past one cop along 5th Avenue and slowly moved toward the center stage, while stopping in Dean & Deluca to get a warm cup of soup. After getting my food, I tried to plot a destination. Finally, after no luck, a man who had been watching me walk back and forth several times, stopped me. He told me that he knew me from somewhere, but that he just couldn't place me (like I haven't heard that a hundred times by a lay pick up artist). This was a gay man, though--I doubt he was trying to pick me up! Startled, I stood back and looked puzzled. He then started asking me several questions.

"You're from Utah, right?"
"Did you do theater? Or, was it debate?"
"Did you graduate around 1995 or 96?"
"I think we went to debate camp together at CEU."

After a few nods from me, he declared, "I knew it! I never forget a face!"

Steven, as it turned out, did in fact attend debate camp with me in the summer of 1993. I was so dumbfounded by this guy that I couldn't help but stop and talk to him. He and his friend Danny had been standing near the front and waiting all afternoon for the festivities to begin in these last 20 minutes. After a few quips of catching up, they invited me to join them!

We had so much fun welcoming the holiday season . . . and, I now have a new gay BFF to accompany me on my adventures in The City!

Monday, December 1, 2008

What is this, a TV fun house?

I finally arrived in The Springs safe and sound Thursday for the holiday. An early morning departure mixed with a long flight left me a little sleepy, but spending time with Mom and the rest of the family was a relaxing respite from my crazy new schedule at work. We had plenty of time to gorge on lots of turkey, stuffing, gravy, pie, and of course, deviled eggs (thanks to Jeremy's standing order for the uniquely Wells Family tradition each year). After dinner Thursday night, I attempted to stay up as late as I could to play dice and other crazy games before finally hitting the pillow in pure exhaustion and jet lag.

An internal clock still set for EST allowed me to get up easily enough Friday morning to hit the shopping mall where I found a few good deals, including a pair of much needed winter boots. Snow had fallen the night before and made Colorado a winter wonderland; more snowfall each night left it that way for the rest of the weekend!

In fact, the sticky snowflakes kept me grounded for some time Sunday night in Denver. While waiting for our flight to take off, I spotted Andy Samberg sitting across from me at the gate. He was on my flight returning to NYC!