It is official.
I started my Christmas shopping today.
Are you jealous? I’m so proud of myself I am contemplating giving myself a little reward.
It looks like this is about to happen.
Don’t judge. It is just a taste.
This weekend, Matt and I decided to take a day trip out of the city. Living in New York can be particularly challenging in the winter. Unless you are a committed skier, you find yourself never leaving the city. And even though New York is a big city, let’s be serious, never leaving a 23 square mile island, filled with 1.6 million people, can make you a little stir crazy.
We tried to plan a weekend getaway to somewhere like the Catskills, the Berkshires or Lake Placid but our timing wasn’t great – with the combination of President’s Day Weekend and MA/NY school vacations, everything was booked. So instead, we rented a car for the day and drove out to NJ.
We drove out to High Point State Park for a little cross-country skiing. Although the north-east received a big storm only a week ago, a lot of the snow had melted so the coverage on the trails wasn’t great. However, it was well worth it – just to get out of the city. Oh yeah, and to see Matt on cross-country skis for the first time. That was fun too!
Growing up in New Hampshire, I am no stranger to blizzards. Nearly every winter, we would get a handful of big storms and if we were lucky, a snow day or two would result. My family would often take advantage of the snow by heading up North to ski. And for the days where we reminded at home, we would spend at least half of the day playing outside, building snowmen, making snow forts and sledding. In preparation for these activities I would spend hours bundling up before heading outside. I assembled the perfect snow outfit, complete with the trick of pulling my wool socks OVER my pant legs to ensure that no snow would touch my skin! After time in the snow, we would warm up with hot chocolate and, more often than not, freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.
Blizzards in New York City are a little different. People freak out leading up to the storm, but then once it comes even though this city is a little quieter, things continue on as normal. Restaurants still deliver, Starbucks remains open and Broadway shows still go on.
I took advantage of the quite weekend to stay in a do a little baking and crafting. Unfortunately, I don’t have completed projects or blog posts to show you so hang tight.
What did you do this weekend during the storm? Anything fun?
When I was working (obviously very hard) today, I decided that with the current cold spell we are experience, it would be a good time to buy a new coat.
In college I was able to survive the Boston winters by rocking my swim parka.
(via – and no, this is not me!)
However, since graduating and retiring from the sport of swimming, I had to hang up the parka. Let’s be serious, it just isn’t appropriate to wear around town. Well, unless you are my mom who continues to wear it to get the paper in the morning or while she is snow blowing the driveway.
So, as a result, for the past 7 years, I’ve been freezing. No coat could ever replace the parka – so why would I even bother. That is, until now. With well below freezing temperatures, a 10-15 minute walk to the subway, and a new found shopping addiction, it seemed like the perfect time to get a new coat.
Which brings me back to online shopping. I found one I liked (and on sale!) and sent the link to Abby to get her opinion.
FAST FORWARD TO NOW
As I sat down to blog this evening, I realized that I had nothing good to write about . So I wrote to Abby asking for ideas…
So, here I am. No coat. Nothing to blog about. And cold.
Yup. My life is rough.
Oh yeah, here’s the coat I wanted to get
What do you think? Should I get it?
While it has been snowing on my blog for a week or so now, today was the first day where flurries fell from the sky in New York city. Although it wasn’t much, that first snow fall experience is a magical one. To me, there is nothing that compares to looking out the window and seeing snow falling down. It is just like being inside a snow globe.
When I was in 1st grade, the one Jewish student in my class taught us about the celebration of Hanukkah. We played dreidel and learned the song “Dreidel dreidel dreidel, I made you out of clay…” He showed us a menorah and explained its significance. In ancient times, after the Jewish soldiers defeated the Greek army, the soldiers lead Judah Maccabee decided to have a feast. They looked everywhere for oil to light the menorah, but they found only enough ritually pure olive oil to light the menorah for one day. The story goes that the supply supposedly lasted eight days. Today Jews celebrate Hanukkah as a commemoration of the triumph of the soldiers. Every night for eight nights, Jewish people light candles in a menorah, thus commemorating the eight-day miracle.
While I certainly learned a lot about the Jewish religion and the celebration of Hanukkah, there was one thing that was significant in my appreciation for the Jewish faith. The potato latkes!
Now I didn’t go up with a specific religion being a major part of my life, but I have always been fascinated with the idea of religion. The idea that people came together to share their faith and beliefs is something I find to be truly incredible. I have attended various churches and places of worship over the years. I have attended multiple Catholic Masses (especially lately due to the number of weddings we attended), Presbyterian & Protestant services, and even a few Jewish Bat Mitzvahs. In college I would often go to the Sunday service at our non-denominational church on campus. The minister was one of my professors and an extremely well-spoken man. Plus, the church itself is to beautiful, you couldn’t help but feel inspired.
However, after all of my research and experience, I am convinced that if I had to choose a religion to align myself with, it would definitely be Judaism.
When I came home from first grade that day after we learned all about Hanukkah, I happily announced to my mom that I must be Jewish. I couldn’t get enough of the potato latkes, so I figured that this must be a religion that I could believed in. When you threw in the fact that you got to have a big party on your 13th birthday, my 6-year-old self was sold.
Today is the first day of Hanukkah. In the cafeteria of my school, the chefs served potato latkes. I had three :)