Playing Tourist: Bike Riding Through Central Park

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After 5 weeks volunteering in Africa, my mom and aunt ventured to Manhattan for an extended layover before heading home.  We could not have been happier to have them.  Jay and I are truly blessed to have such wonderful family who surround us, and I am extra lucky that I have a plethora of strong, confident, beautiful women who are always there to encourage, love and care for me.

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Throughout the course of week we ate a lot.  We walked a lot.  We lunched a lot. We talked a lot.  Making it the greatest week ever.  Whether we were nibbling biscotti at the Hungarian Pastry Shop or sipping locally roasted coffee at Irving Farm the time spent was perfect.  However, the event that tops our charts as the best thing we did has to be spending a beautiful sunning morning pedaling around the entirety of Central Park.  We nabbed some Citi bikes at Columbus circle and set off from there, taking breaks to check out the Boathouse, Strawberry Fields, the reservoir and the Plaza Hotel (where Jay and I got to reminisce about our first visit to NYC together and our stay there). I highly recommend this adventure if you have the time in your jam packed manhattan itinerary.

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Today we tucked them into a cab, shed a handful of tears saying our goodbyes and then they were off. We are so thankful that they took the time to come explore our city with us. They filled our hearts (and our cupboards).  Now we are excitingly waiting for Jay’s family to arrive at the start of next week.

But the real question to all of you is whose’s coming for a visit next?

Dating (my husband) in NYC

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I think I have mentioned it before but one of the best, most exciting parts of being in New York has been falling in love with Jay on a new, deeper level.  When we first settled in here I felt worlds away from the support network I have carefully knit with my truly remarkable friends and large, close family, and the distance from them made me feel as if the floor had fallen out beneath me.  If I am honest, there are moments when I still feel this way.  However, I have come to realize that the core things I need are found in Jay.  This is no way diminishes the support I receive from others, because it is equally vital (and hasn’t changed at all).  I have simply begun to realize what an unstoppable, dynamite team him and I are.  He is the pinnacle of support, as he graciously talks to death all the big and small thoughts, aspirations and concerns that stir inside me daily.  Through his hard work and passion he is constantly bolstering all the dreams we both have for our little family.  This is nothing new, he has always been this way.  The only difference is that I have begun to appreciate these attributes in ways I could never have done without stepping outside my comfort zone and taking these risks.  So although we are slowly building a vibrant network of friends here in NYC, I have really enjoyed the us time as Jay and I explore this city and each other in a whole new way.

Now we are not the type of couple to schedule date nights, and in all actuality we are really, really terrible at the romance thing.  We would not be the winners of any cutest couple award that is for sure.  Although we do spend an unnatural amount of time together, I still tend to describe us as one of the least couply-couples.  A friend from back home who now shares the city with us told me she loved being with us because we don’t make people feel like third wheels.  This was one of the best compliments I have ever received.  At the heart of what defines us is that Jay and I are best friends and that is how we approach life and our relationships with others. So with that in mind most of our dates are happenstance and are the result of the friends we invited being busy, not the careful orchestration of romance.  Nonetheless here is a detailing of some of our favorite City dates thus far. Continue reading “Dating (my husband) in NYC”