Thanksgiving with my family was awesome. My dad and I ran the Philadelphia Half-Marathon the Sunday before, maintaining our time of three years before. The run through Philly was gorgeous with row houses stacked next to tall buildings. I love the history of the city and the day was perfect for a run -- not too hot, fall leaves on the trees and crunching underfoot, folks out on the streets to cheer us on. I am proud of my dad and was so excited to be running with him. We had the best cheer squad out there with my mom and Dave standing with us at the starting line and meeting us at the finish...it was excellent. After the run, we ventured over to Reading Terminal Market, one of my favorite places to stop in Philly. Where else can you find chocolates in the shape of lungs next to coolers full of fresh fish, tucked aside fresh veggies and the best baked goods in town? If you are ever in the city, you MUST go!
We headed back to my parent's place in New Jersey where we spent the days before Thanksgiving working, doing some Christmas shopping, and catching up with the 'rents. Dave and I were able to tackle a good bit of gift-buying and we are feeling pretty set. One of the highlights was buying gifts for my nieces and nephew -- did you know that Toys 'R Us actually has a Home Depot AISLE?!?! That's right! We walked in and I wouldn't have lasted two minutes without the help of a store clerk that pointed us directly to where we needed to go. Think IKEA on steroids. That's Toys 'R Us to me. Thanksgiving Day feast-time came in the morning, kicked off with my dad's Eggs Benedict. Dinner came in the form of a crown-roast of pork, my mom's amazing stuffing, cranberry sauce, a salad, rolls, and of course, the apple pie. Delicious. We shared what we were thankful for and toasted to all loved ones near and far.
Friday was New York City day! I love New York City, especially this time of year. We arrived at Penn Station and walked down to Times Square and then down to Central Park. The Park was beautiful and serene, especially for New York on a day called Black Friday! We ate lunch at a fantastic communal-organic-based restaurant on the edge of the park called La Pain Quotidien. Fresh bread, yummy salads, excellent coffee...so good! It was warm and cozy inside and we had a great table where I could just stare out at the city... Our whole purpose for going to New York was to see the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular...a lights-music-dance filled extravaganza for the senses all set on the backdrop of the cavernous hall that is decked out of the holidays with lights, wreaths, and trees. This year's show featured the Rockettes more than ever and I continue to be amazed with their precision and high kicks! Following the show, we walked through Rockefeller Center to see the tree that was waiting to be lit for the holidays as it stood tall above the ice skaters below and then headed off for our dinner at Alcala -- a tapas restaurant with some of the best food that has ever hit my taste buds. It was my parents first introduction to tapas and they enjoyed the small plates of shrimp, pasta, and olives that came through the doors of the kitchen. As the city darkened, the twinkling apartment lights came on all around, the Chrysler Building lit itself up in Christmasy red, we hopped in a taxi to take us back to Penn Station. I was sad to leave New York City behind...I do love it there so much...
The next day, we traveled to a different kind of tourist attraction in Pennsylvania. I had blogged about our family winter picnics not too long ago and we ventured back to the spot where they used to happen...Peddler's Village. It was all decked out in twinkly lights for the holidays with cider and pretzel vendors on the main square and the windows of all the quaint shops lit up and vying for the attention of passers-by. We wandered from store to store, enjoying the little trinkets of times-gone-by and eating our way through cranberry-orange scones and drinking cups of steaming coffee. This might be one of the last times I get to see the Village and it was fun to go back, remembering when I made scarecrows in the square with my sister, our picnics by the river, and seeing how much hasn't changed there at all...something timeless that just seems to work.
And, we are back...back in Moose Jaw welcomed by snow and blowing cold wind. While part of me was sad to say goodbye to the hustle and bustle of New York and the week, another part of me was happy to come home to the sleepy, wintry little town of Moose Jaw. I guess I belong in both places right now...one foot in Moose Jaw and the other in the rest of the world...that works for me.
Pre-race with Dad!
At the Philly Market -- yup, those ARE chocolates in the shape of lungs!
Dave making Happy Apple Pie
Train to NYC
In front of the NY New Year's Eve Wishing Wall. People would write their New Year's wishes on little scraps of paper and post them here.
The New York Times Square NYE Ball Drop...got in our kiss a bit early!
Radio City Music Hall