Saturday, October 31, 2009

Who Is This Old Woman in the Mirror?

Good evening, humble readers!

Alright, so I know that being 35 isn't truly old. I KNOW that. But, wow, have I ever been getting reminders that I'm not a spring chicken any more.

I have been colouring my hair for a lot of years. This hobbit's red hair is no where near my natural colour. I've always preferred to have red hair, but now it's more of a necessity... those pesky 'white' hairs have a way of shining through.

As I was doing my hair the other day, I made a mental note that it's getting close to time for me to get my roots done, and I could see a few 'white' strands mixed in with my natural colour. Alright, I can handle that. At least I didn't take after my bio-dad... by the time he was in his mid thirties, he definitely was more salt than pepper.

But in what world is it acceptable to have a wiry white hair that is almost an inch long growing out of my chin???? When did that happen? Why wasn't I consulted? And how in the h-e-double-hockey-sticks did I miss it when it was only a half inch?

And don't even get me started on the 'white' eyebrow hair I just tweezed tonight...

Good gravy... this isn't allowed to happen! Someone pass the Cen.trum Silver!!
(Cycle update: It's CD25 of a 27 day cycle. 11dpo. Temp spiked a bit yesterday, but then dropped again today. Still having a few phantom symptoms, but not as many now. I'm just not really feeling it this month, I don't think this was the one for us. I know it's not over until the witch shows up tho.)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Hobbit Vs. The World: How Do You Spell Fiasco?


Humble Readers, if someone actually spent more than 5 minutes of thought into how these clinics were going to run, I would be very surprised.

Our little city's second H1N1 public vaccine clinic was today. It was held in one of the bigger churches in town. My Beloved and I got to the church at 7:45am. It was still dark (0ne of the things I'm still not used to living here on the flatland... the sun doesn't come up until well after 8 in the fall and winter), and -6 degrees. We were prepared to wait outside until the doors were scheduled to open at 9am.

When we got there, the line up was already more than halfway around the parking lot. The people at the front of the line got there at 5am. By 9:30am there was a traffic jam on the cross street and the highway, and they were turning people away.

We ended up having to wait outside, in the very chilly morning, for more than two and a half hours, before we actually got into the church. My toes were so numb they hurt, and my poor Beloved's ears were redder than a tomatoe. When we got inside the church, we ended up having to wait another two and a half hours in line, just to get to the gymnasium where we were given a number (853 & 854, respectively) and were able to sit down. There wasn't even a separate line for people in wheelchairs, for pregnant women, or the elderly.

Did I mention that I was supposed to be at work at 11am? (and guess who hates to be late for anything?)

I hadn't eaten breakfast, and all I had to drink was some peppermint tea that I thought to bring last minute. I was starving, which I will admit made me cranky. Sitting in a very echoe-y gym, surrounded by a lot of stressed out moms with fussing children in tow (not that I blame the moms or the tots). When we finally got called up, I was about ready to lose it.

We got our shots, and were supposed to then wait there for 15 minutes, just to make sure that we didn't have a reaction to the shot. Of course, we didn't and we took off as quickly as we could. My Beloved dropped me at work, 2 hours late (still having not eaten) and I had to get right down to it.

The whole time I was there, I kept thinking that they could have come up with some better way to do this. They health minister was on tv the other night saying how they weren't expecting the response they have gotten. That they were not able to anticipate how inadequate their plan for dispersing the vaccine was. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?? He's the same guy who went on tv a couple of months ago with the dire predictions of how many people were expected to be hospitalized or even die from this. Grab a clue!

(And don't even get me started on all the people who are saying they aren't going to get the vaccine because they have heard that it will cause sterility or birth defects or will turn you into a monkey... Gah!)

I ended up staying at work until close, to cover for our GM who went home sick, so at least I made up the hours I missed. I'm tired, my arm really hurts at the injection site, and my back is aching in that distinctive pre-AF way.

I just have to keep telling myself it could have been a lot worse. It could have been snowing like it is now. *sigh*

This cranky hobbit is off to bed. Hopefully everything will be normal when I wake up in the morning.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

More Hobbit-ish Potpurri

Good afternoon Humble Readers...

Today's post is just another collection of randomness from the last few days. Nothing big is going on... Kind of like the calm before the storm of the holidays.


Cycle update: Today is CD 22, 8dpo. Five days until AF is due. Phantom symptoms chose to really kick in today. I was nauseous for most of the morning, and still feel just a tad queezy. Mild dizziness off and on. Of course, the 'girls' are killing me, but that's par for the course during my tww. I will not test... I will not test...


We had my Beloved's mom over for dinner last night. We rarely get to host her at our place, so it was nice to have her come for dinner and to see our pictures from NYC. She wants us to think she is doing ok, but I know that she is still struggling. She didn't mention Dad once last night, but I think that might be her way of coping.


I went out for lunch today with my pastor. She is so easy to talk to, and she has walked down the IF road too. She is in the midst of some difficult stuff right now, and if you pray, please lift her up. Spiritual leaders are always targets.


I took myself shopping this afternoon, and went into & Body Wo.rks unchaperoned. Bit of a mistake. They had their room scent diffusers on sale. I ended up getting Autumn Leaves, Ginger Vanilla, and Spring Bamboo. All of them are lovely! I also got some lotion for my Beloved. It's a constant search to find a lotion for him that he likes... either it smells too strong or it causes him to break out. We'll see about this one.


On my way out of the mall, I stopped at a new tea place and got an iced ginger tea infusion. All of their teas are brewed from loose leaves, and it smelled wonderful in the store. The one I ordered was supposed to help settle my stomach. Thing is it tasted so bad that it made me feel even worse. It was a waste of $5. Bummer!


I have really loved this month's ICLW. The list was huge, and there were a ton of new blogs (at least to me). It's really been a lot of fun. I have ten more blogs to check out, and then I will have visited everyone (except for the few password protected ones). So many incredible stories in this community!


On the menu tonight: Mandarin Almond Chicken, with rice. Yummy!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Close to Home

Well, my Beloved has just come home for lunch and has announced that a co-worker has been diagnosed with H1N1.

The vaccine is available starting today in our little city. I guess we'll be up early tomorrow and in line.


Better safe than sorry, I guess.

**Update** It turns out that our doc's office doesn't have the vaccine yet, so we have to get it at a public clinic. The next one is on the 29th and then on November 3rd.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Hobbit-ish Potpurri: Friday Night Lite

Good evening Humble Readers...

I hope you are all well, and for those in the know, I hope you are having a great ICLW! Tonight's post is just a bit of hobbit-ish randomness.

I am on CD 17, and 3 dpo. Trying to keep myself distracted as we head into the tww. I am going to do my best this month to not test before AF is due. I'll try...

Ever since our vacation, I have become obsessed with movies set in New York. I even love to watch old 80s movies, just so I can see things that I recognize. And don't even get me started on Law & Order... I love it! I have to go back!

While it is only October, the holiday season is in full swing at work. We are already running out of overstock room, I am in the midst of doing my seasonal hiring, and in just over a week we do our full Christmas set up. I can't believe this is going to be my third Christmas at this store. Time sure flies! I will admit, I love the season tho! It's fun, energizing, and completely exhausting all at once.

Lameness Award for the week: One of the other managers and I have had to talk to the same customer twice this week (two days in a row), about not leaving her two year old daughter alone in our kid's section while she stands in line at Sta.rbu.cks. Twice the little one has been wandering around alone, and twice we talked to the mom. I know we are a relatively small city, but there are creepy people everywhere. The thing that really bothered me most, was that the mom actually had the audacity to look put out/annoyed when we asked her to keep her daughter with her.

Does craving strawberries mean anything? Not ttc-wise... just in any way? I have been craving strawberries for more than a week. I must be missing something in my diet, but where's a girl to get decent strawberries in October on the flatland?

On the menu this evening: Another experimental meal. Chicken breasts stuffed with spinach and feta, with a mushroom cream and white wine sauce. Served with mashed potatoes. It turned out pretty good, but I need to work on my cream sauces. They never seem to work out just right. Any suggestions?

Am I the only Canadian who's glad that the loonie dropped in value against the US dollar today? I can't be. A loonie at par or higher is bad news for retail and manufacturers generally. I don't want a repeat of the holiday shopping season we had two years ago, where we had customers cussing out our staff and throwing product at cashiers because of the difference between US and Canadian pricing.

I think that's about it for tonight. I'm going to head over to the ICLW list and checkout a few new blogs.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

October ICLW - Q & A - Part 2

Hey Humble Readers... I hope you are all having a great day! It's been a pretty okay day here on the flatland.

So, you asked, I answer... (and by the way, you guys asked some good questions!)

1 - What is your favorite food and why? I have always preferred savory foods over sweet. I think I am too much of a foodie to have just one favourite, but I would probably narrow it down to one ethnicity... Greek! I love Mediterranean flavours, I love lemon, I love feta, I love lamb... need I go on?

2 - What is your dream vacation? It would be one of two places... first up, heading to the UK with the time and ability to do a whole lot of genealogical research. Second, to go to Tanzania, go on safari, and to work/help at the Masai Lutheran Girls School that my alma mater is affiliated with.

3 - what are is your favorite tea and what is your favorite herb? My favourite tea depends on the day. In general, I prefer spicy teas (chai, Market spice from Seattle, etc) over delicate herbal or fruit blends. That being said, I do have a big addiction to the iced green tea lemonades from Favourite herb... that is really tough! As I mentioned previously, I love Mediterranean flavours, so things like thyme, oregano, and saffron are big time players in my cooking, but I use basil almost every day... and lavender is just lovely (altho I have yet to cook with it, except in herbs de Provence). And of the above, the only one I have been able to grow successfully is lavender.

4 - If you could sit down and have a conversation with anyone (famous or not, living or dead) who would you choose and what would you talk about? I would love to talk to my many-times-Great-Grandfather, Frederick Barnes. He is the maker of the heirloom violin I have, and I would love to talk with him about it, and the others he potentially made. He is part of the reason I want to go to the UK. I want to find something about him.

5 - Whats your favorite, can't miss an episode, TV show? Oh my kingdom for a DVR! Again, my favourites change with the seasons, but I tend to get most wrapped up in procedural dramas... Bones, Criminal Minds, CSI:NY (I've grown weary of the others). And of course, I do love the food network. Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives, Iron Chef America, Chef At Home... all have inspired different recipes. Unfortunately, with my ever changing work schedule, I don't always get to watch the shows I love.

6 - If you could be one of the LOTR characters, who would it be and why? Far too easy! I would be Rosie Cotton! She did get to marry my favourite hobbit, Samwise Gamgee! But if you are thinking of a character from the fellowship, then it would probably be Pippin. He makes stupid mistakes, but is ultimately able to redeem himself and shows himself as a loyal friend, a brave soldier, and a good, albeit flakey person. I see myself in him a lot, or more accurately, I see who I want to be.

7 - what is your very best 'no one makes it as well as me' recipe? Hmmmmm... I have to say, I am the only person in my family who can cook lamb. I have a few really good lamb recipes, including the one I used for this year's Easter Dinner. Lamb is a special occassion food for us, as it is difficult to get fresh except for in the spring (and I can't justify the cost of New Zealand lamb). I also make some pretty outstanding tilapia, if I do say so myself.

That was fun! I look forward to future Q & A sessions...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

October ICLW - Q & A

Good Morning Humble Readers! It's ICLW time and I'm stoked! I really missed this time of getting to 'meet' new bloggers last month.

For those who are new to my corner of the web, I am a self-ascribed hobbit who resides on the Canadian flatland. I am married to a wonderful man who can be best described as an Ent (very odd match, but it works). We are still hopeful that someday we will be adding some little hobbits and ents to our family. For the low down on our ttc journey, check out the column to the right.

I have seen others do this, and I thought it was kind of fun. Instead of giving you a run down on who I am, I am inviting you to ask me questions... anything you want. Leave your questions in my comment section and I will attempt to answer them in my next post.

Off to check out the ICLW list...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Kitchen Adventures: Dinner Victory!

Good evening Humble Readers...

(Just a quick post tonight, as I am working on my intro post for ICLW. If you haven't signed up yet make sure to pop over to Mel's place. Use the blue button to the left for a quick link.)

Tonight was a minor victory for me in the kitchen. I don't have a picture, and I don't even have an exact recipe... but it turned out pretty darn good.

I was trying to replicate the pasta dish that my Beloved had when we were at Otto in New York. The original was Rigatoni con Sausage with Escarole. I had had just a little bite of it, but I knew I was going to have to try to recreate it at some point. I spent a fair bit of time pouring through all the Mario Batali cookbooks we had at work, but I couldn't find anything close.

Now, living in a small city on the flatland poses a few challenges when you want to try new recipes. First and foremost, you can't always get the ingredients you need (don't get me started on the lack of fresh basil around here!). Interesting cheeses, less than your everyday produce, and even certain cuts of meat are impossible to get. Even finding things like tahini... why can't I find tahini?? Anyway, I digress.

So, I had to replace rigatoni with shells, spinach for escarole, and dried sage for fresh. But, I have to say it turned out well...

I browned some crumbled italian sausage, drained it and set it aside. Using the same skillet, I melted a lot of butter and sauteed half of a finely diced onion, until the onion was soft and translucent and the butter was just starting to brown. I added a cup of white wine and let it reduce for a few minutes. Then I added the sausage back to the pan, and threw in the spinach. When the spinach was wilted down, I added a cup of cream. I tossed the pasta in the sauce and sprinkled it with a bit of parmesean.

I have to say that it tasted pretty darn good... and my Beloved gave it a 9.5. (He gave Mario's recipe a 10) I think he's biased, but it was still a good effort I think.

What was on the menu for you tonight?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hopes and Dreams

Good evening Humble Readers... I hope you have all had a good weekend.

Something has been coming to mind a lot in the last few days (in conversation with my pastor, on a message board someone was talking about dreams, and then Wise Guy posted about a dream she had recently), and I want to share it with you all. I will preface this by saying that I have never been one to put a lot of stock in dream analysis. I have always believed that dreams are just our mind's way of dealing with day to day events and preoccupations.


When I was pregnant the second time, last winter, I had a dream that has stayed with me. It was just before my first u/s, at around 8.5 wks, and I didn't know yet that things had again gone wrong.

In my dream, my Beloved and I were grocery shopping. In typical dream fashion, I knew that the store was the little grocery store near our condo, but inside it was laid out like a store I used to go to for popsicles when I was in elementary school.

In my dream we were taking our new baby girl out for the first time. Showing her off to the ladies at the check out... being proud parents. I think we were shopping for food for a family event. I know that we were expecting company.

In my dream I remember looking at some items in a long freezer chest in the grocery store. When I looked back at my shopping cart, the baby was gone. We couldn't find her. We had lost her. I remember being terrified in the dream... thinking that I was a terrible mother because I couldn't even take care of my baby for one day. I was just so upset.

But then, in my dream, I saw my Beloved walking toward me, holding a beautiful little girl. She was in a pink dress, with dark hair that looked like my bio-dad's and my Beloved's brown eyes. I can see her dress, her smile, her fingers.

This little girl was NOT the baby we 'misplaced'. My Beloved walked right up to me and told me that he couldn't find the baby that was lost, but this beautiful girl was ours. I don't know where he found her or where she came from, I just knew without a doubt that she was ours.

I think it was because of this dream that I knew before our u/s that I was going to m/c again.

But that little girl in the dream... she is my deam girl. She is a seed of hope. Hope that I will be a mom some day.

Am I foolish for hanging on to a dream that I had almost a year ago? Probably.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Fog is Lifting (aka The Self-Analysis Post)

Well, Humble Readers... it seems that the fog, and the funk, is clearing.

Is it because it has finally stopped snowing? (Yes, that's right. Here on the northern flatland, we had an early taste of winter. This has been the coldest October in almost 25 years... and of course it followed the hottest September on record. Go figure!) Is it because the thermometer is closer to normal temperatures for this time of year?

Is it because I have just spent two hours baking? (One batch of glazed pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and two loaves of cinnamon loaf. Peanut butter chocolate bars are being made tomorrow.)

Or maybe it's because I'm getting close to O time and maybe my hope is creeping back in?

Or maybe it's just the new cd I got the other day... there is a tonne of power in getting a musical soundtrack that I don't already know by heart.

Whatever it is, I'm glad! I wasn't enjoying being in my head so much. I'm starting to feel like me.

When I let my rational self think about how things went last month, many things become clear. First, I was putting way to much pressure on myself. It's only our first month officially trying again after our break. I know that getting pregnant isn't our issue. It will happen, eventually.

Second, I fell victim to the stupid idea that somehow being on vacation might help make things happen. Really... how ridiculous? How many times have I rolled my eyes when someone gave me that assvice?

Last... I always have a bit of a slump around my birthday. From the time I was 16, every year around my birthday I get a bit blue. I think being on vacation on my birthday delayed the inevitable.

So, when my cycle chose this last month to screw around on me, it was just crappy timing all the way around.

Thank you, Humble Readers, for your patience with my whining, and for your support.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Hobbit In Hiding

Good afternoon Humble Readers...

I'm here.

Not fallen off the end of the world, not the latest victim of H1N1 or a balrog, not gone on a life-threatening quest to destroy the source of all evil.

I have been hiding in my hobbit hole, eating, reading, watching garbage tv, and, oh yeah, going to work. Days have gone by without much to mark them except a dull feeling of sadness.

We talk about hope a lot in the ALI community. To hope or not to hope. Hope that by this time next year I'll be a mom. Hope that this will be the last month I spend a small fortune on hpts. Choosing not to hope because the let down at the end of each unsuccessful cycle will possibly be less (yeah right).

I don't know why, and really I don't want to think about it too much, but my last cycle was funky. The only times I have ever been 3 days late was when I was pregnant. Maybe it was the travel, maybe it was the exercise I got when we were on vacation, maybe it was just one of those things. It doesn't really matter.

What matters is that I need to move forward. To be able to look at this cycle with the same hope I had for the last one. I feel almost like I did after our second loss. The sight of a pregnant belly the other day made me teary. That feeling that this is NEVER GONNA HAPPEN is just a bit too big to look past like I normally do.

By nature, I think I am a pretty optimistic person. I'm too naive sometimes, too trusting, but I would rather see the good in people than the bad. I would rather hope than not. I expect the best, and usually I can handle it when the world doesn't quite live up to my hopes. It's just taking me a little longer this month to get back to that hopeful place.

I don't know what is bothering me more... the fact that my hopes were dashed for another month or that I can't quite grab hold of that hope that has been my life preserver through these last two years.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tag! You're It!

Hey Humble Readers... it's been a bit of a day. AF has kicked my backside in a big way, both emotionally and physically. I promise I will be back tomorrow with my Show & Tell post (Terwilliger's Adventures in New York). Tonight, I just need a little meme time.

I was tagged for this by three very lovely bloggers... Katie, Mai, and Minta... Thank you, ladies! I really appreciate it!

Here are the rules for the Over The Top Award:
  • USE ONLY ONE WORD! It’s not as easy as you might think. Copy and change the answers to suit yourself and pass it on. It’s really hard to use only one-word answers so try your best. (I say parenthetical thoughts don't count!)
  • Tag 6 other bloggers and let them know that you think they are 'Over the Top'!
1. Where is your cell phone? Charging
2.Your hair? be-scarfed (because it is unwashed)
3. Your mother? missed
4. Your father? sweet
5. Your favorite food? savory (as opposed to sweet, not the herb)
6. Your dream last night? none (that I remember)
7. Your favorite drink? Tea (preferably iced green tea lemonade from Sta.rbu.cks)
8. Your dream/goal? published
9. What room are you in? living
10. Your hobby? writing
11. Your fear? BIRDS!
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? SAHM (that's a stay-at-home-mom for the uninitiated)
13. Where were you last night? Work
14. Something that you aren’t? skinny (falling over laughing)
15. Muffins? Carrot (with golden raisins!)
16. Wish list item? housekeeper
17. Where did you grow up? everywhere (have I mentioned that I've moved a lot?)
18. Last thing you did? Dinner
19. What are you wearing? sweater
20. Your TV? On
21. Your pets? imaginary (as in, I don't have any... yet! Hopefully a pug in the new year!)
22. Friends? Coworkers
23. Your life? incomplete
24. Your mood? blah
25. Missing someone? sister
26. Vehicle? Cruiser (PT cruiser that is)
27. Something you’re not wearing? Socks
28. Your favorite store? bookstore (yes... I love MY store)
29. Your favorite color? Red
30. When was the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? today
32. Your best friend? Beloved
33. One place that I go to over and over? Qui.znos
34. One person who emails me regularly? Spam (unless you count comment notifications :) )
35. Favorite place to eat? home
And now my tag-ees!

The No-Good-Very-Bad-Day

Well, Humble Readers... I have my answer...

No June baby for me.

And to top it all off, it's snowing. That's right, SNOWING!!

I'll be back later for Show and Tell, hopefully in a better mood.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I Thought I Felt Crazy Yesterday?

Good Morning Humble Readers...

It's now CD29. I'm two days late. I'm two days past my normal luteal phase.

My temps dropped a bit today. But my bo.obs still hurt. I'm exhausted. I have some mild nausea.

The test this morning was negative again. Beyond negative. That white patch where the second line should be looked whiter than it was before I actually used it. Not even a hint of a line.

I don't know.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Going Crazy... Wanna Come Along?

Good Morning Humble Readers...

I apologize for my lack of being around. I've been feeling rather ooky lately and honestly I've been distracted.

Now you may be wondering what could distract me from sharing a fraction of the 1200 or so pictures we took in NYC.

First up, my Beloved brought a cold back with him from New York. He's been snarfly and coughing for the last week. I have been determined not to catch his 'crud'.

Second... getting caught up at work has been more daunting than I expected. That's what I get for taking vacation just before the big gear up for the holiday season. Combine that with the fact that the weather has turned and the blustery autumn wind and rain have been driving customers in in droves. We had our busiest day since before April on the weekend.

Third... I am now officially 'late'. I'm never late. If anything, the witch would show up early. I know it's only by one day, but the phantom symptoms have been especially apparent this past week. My temps are going up, and my chart looks perfect (don't believe me? check it out... use the link to the right). The problem? I have gone through 5 tests in the last four days and it's still bfn. With my first pregnancy, I didn't get a positive until I was 15dpo. But with my second, I had a bfp on 11dpo.

I know that even if I do get a bfp, I won't be able to relax... at least not initially.

But I want to know!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Little Slice of Heaven (aka NYC Food)

Good Morning Humble Readers!
(cycle update: I'm 10dpo, dealing with phantom symptoms, and in an effort to keep distracted, I'm going to try to post all of our NYC stuff this week)

When we left for New York, my Beloved and I made a pact that we weren't going to eat anywhere that we could eat at home. No fast food chains, no Sta.rb.ucks, no restaurants we could frequent at home. Not even going into a Tim Ho.rto.ns to celebrate the fact that the Timbit nation has infiltrated the U.S.

In the past, when my Beloved has traveled, food hasn't been a big part of the experience. When he was in China he ate at an A & W, and when he was in London he never once had a pub lunch. He just looked at food as something he needed between tours and historic sites.
While I didn't take pictures of every meal we ate, I did take quite a few. I can honestly say that there was only a couple of meals I regretted, mostly because they were too common. Yes, we did eat at a Red Lobster and at a TGI Fridays (but we don't have those here, so...), but other than that I really wanted to focus on trying new things.

So without further ado, here is our 10 days of good eats:
  • La Reggia - the restaurant in our hotel. We ate there the first night and the last. The first night we both had Veal Canneloni with tomato and beschamel sauces. So good! The last night we had some basic pasta (linguini w/ sausage, rigatoni bolognese) but we had antipasto as a starter... I have discovered that I'm not a big fan of anchovies, and I still don't like olives or strong cheeses.
  • Southwest NY - where my Beloved took me for my birthday dinner. Located down in the World Financial Center, right across from Ground Zero. My Beloved had the cedar planked salmon with green beans and corn pudding (which he swears was incredible) and I had the mojo marinated skirt steak with chimichurri, crispy onions and ancho mashed potoatoes. Amazing! We shared a brownie sundae for dessert... and Terwilliger wanted to get in on it too. (You'll hear more about Terwilliger's adventures soon!)
  • Shelley's - a self-described wine and oyster bar, we had neither wine nor oysters. I had an incredible hamburger with gruyere (who knew I liked that) and spicy mustard (a new favourite). My Beloved had a traditional reuben sandwich. The fries were great too!
  • Grotta Azzurra Ristorante - A great teeny place in Little Italy. We were just walking down Mulberry Street recovering from the smells of having just wandered past a seafood market in China Town, when we stopped to check out the menu. We ended up being seated at a great table practically outside, and had some of the best garlic bread I have ever eaten. My beloved had penne pomodoro with chicken marsala and I had rigatoni alla vodka and pork scallopini. The vodka sauce was like nothing I have ever had before. It was a mountain of food! We finished by sharing a ginormous bowl of spumoni. Yumm!

  • Angelo's Pizzaria - right next door to the Ed Sullivan Theater, we had lunch there before we went to the Late Show. My first taste of New York pizza did not disappoint. Thin and crispy crust, italian sausage, fabulous tomatoe sauce, fresh basil... mmmmmmm!

  • Ellen's Stardust Diner - the food was mediocre but the atmosphere was fabulous! I had the sliders and my Beloved had the Dean Martin (spaghetti with meatballs). All the wait-staff were in 1950's style costumes and sang! One guy actually walked across the back of our booth while he was playing his harmonica.

  • Otto Enoteca - Mario's fabulous pizzaria and tapas restaurant. I was so excited just to be there. My beloved had the Rigatoni con Sausage & Escarolle and I had the Vongole pizza. I have never had a pizza with whole clams on it before, but it looked amazing and tasted just as good. I also snuck a bit of my Beloveds pasta and have decided that I have to figure out how to make it because I MUST eat that again someday! For dessert we each ordered a three flavour tasting of gelato. My Beloved kept it kind of tame with two types of chocolate and creme fraise gelatos. I had pistachio, dark chocolate and the aforementioned olive oil gelato. I don't know if I will ever have anything that compares with again in my lifetime. Sooooo good!

  • Stage Deli - Ok, so it's kitchy (it's the place where all the sandwiches are named after celebrities), but it was fun and the food was pretty good, albeit old school. I had a Ben Stiller (hot roast beef sandwich and mashed potatoes) and my Beloved had a chicken cutlet with mashed potatoes. It was fun.

  • Mesa Grill - Bobby Flay's restaurant in the Flatiron district. We ended up meeting some fellow foodies who were taking pictures of their food too. We got a few laughs out of sharing our food adventures so far. We got to sit right by the window, which was fun right up until I started wearing my lunch. My Beloved had the Cuban burger (I can't remember what made it cuban... I think there was ham on it...) and I had the Pressed Roast Pork sandwich. Both were fabulous, and we each got different kinds of fries. We walked out of there full, mouths on fire from the spices, and me covered in the sauce from my sandwich.

  • Zocalos - a mexican restaurant in Grand Central Terminal. Great salsa! My Beloved had Enchiladas con Pollo and I had Pescadoro alla Plancha (tilapia with a vegetable ragout on top made of mushrooms, carrots, and zuchini). Both very yummy and not as spicy as expected. My only complaint about this restaurant was that they charged for soda refills. It was fun to watch the people running to catch their trains tho.

  • (I can't remember the name) - This was where we ate during the On Location tour. It was the pizza place featured in the MIB movies. The pizza was great even though I burned my tongue. I wish I would have had one of their calzones tho... they looked great!

  • Yankee Stadium - Ok, so it was beyond totally overpriced, but the fries and the sausages with peppers and onions were to die for. The fries... they were crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, perfectly seasoned... man oh man. (maybe it was just the fact that they were hot and I was freezing?)

  • Bagel Bar - My first and only 'real' New York bagel. It wasn't until after I had ordered my salami and cheddar on an everything bagel that I saw that they had lox. Gah! I never did get my bagel with lox, but the sandwich was great! I have to say, that of all the sandwich-y places we went to, this place had the nicest staff!

  • L'Allegria - Ok, I thought that place in Little Italy was teeny, but this place was miniscule! Maybe 15 tables. For as small as it was, they sure were busy! The servers were run off their feet. My Beloved had the pasta fagioli soup, osso buco (with some sort of a balsamic reduction and portobello mushrooms) and I had the lobster ravioli in a creamy lobster tomatoe sauce. Both were absolutely incredibly! I tried some of his osso buco and it totally just melted in my mouth!
There were other meals in there too... our hotel had a great free hot breakfast that we had most mornings, hot dogs from vendors, pretzels from vendors, and coffee from a donut place that we don't have here on the flatland.

With all that we ate, I'm surprised that I didn't come home a blimp!