Tuesday, August 30, 2011

[irene] In The City!

It seems like Hurricane Irene spared next to no one along the East coast this past weekend. As I mentioned last week, I traveled to Indiana for my sister’s baby shower and much like every other time I visit this state, my return travel plans definitely had to change.

When I left last Tuesday, NYC was rocked by an earthquake and I received news of the shaking once I landed in Chicago O’Hare. Ruben called me and said that his hospital shook pretty severely and he was convinced that it was a bomb, but all was well. I joked that when I leave him his world shatters – little did I know that his weekend would be eventful too.

Since I arrived in Indiana last Tuesday, I’ve had the luxury of spending such amazing time with my beautifully pregnant and glowing sister. Our mom arrived on Thursday morning and we went non-stop until she left on Sunday. With the baby shower on Saturday, we stayed busy with last minute preparations and lots of pampering with pedicures and haircuts. Given the “go, go, go,” it was difficult to monitor all that was going on with the storm.

Our building did a good job at keeping us informed of what was required for each of the residents. They encouraged us to tape our windows, fill our bathtubs and seek lower ground. At midnight on Saturday, they shut down the elevators and residents had to use the staircases if they choose to venture out of their units. It was interesting to see it unfold via email and made me more nervous since I was so far away from Ruben.
Unfortunately, Ruben couldn’t just ride out the storm in our unit – he was on call on Sunday and had to go to the hospital on Saturday night to make sure he was there for his shift on Sunday. At first I was so sad that I could not be there with him for the storm, but was happy once I realized that I would have been by myself at home.

As we now know, the storm didn’t hit New York as badly as was anticipated, but it has made returning to NY a headache. I was originally scheduled to come back on Tuesday, but Continental suggested that I take advantage of the travel advisory since traveling on Monday and Tuesday would be ‘crazy’ at best; therefore, I will be back on Thursday.

I can’t wait to share the pictures from Michele’s baby shower and the rest of my time here in Indiana. Until then!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

[massages & packages] In The City!

For the first time in 2 months, Ruben had a weekend off! We had absolutely nothing ‘scheduled’ for the weekend, save for catching up on sleep, and were excited to take the city by storm. After stumbling out of bed around 11, we got dressed and headed out for the day.

We’ve learned very quickly that New Yorker’s really, really, really like brunch and decided to get our eat on. We ended up at Verde, a delish eatery, which offers a great drink special – all you can drink Mimosa’s, Bellini’s, Screwdrivers, Bloody Mary’s and Champagne, in addition to their super yummy food. I’m not a drinker, but decided to celebrate Ruben’s new found freedom and had a fun afternoon filled with good conversation, infectious laughs and yummy mango bellinis.

After a few bellini's :)

After we left Verde, we headed into the city to go shopping. We ended up in SoHo and spent the rest of the day walking up and down Broadway. While we were walking, Ruben and I found a little market tucked into a narrow alley and decided to venture in. The market was packed tightly with silk vendors, countless textiles and a little hut that specialized in Asian massages. While we were walking by, one of the workers grabbed Ruben and started rubbing his shoulders. The gentleman encouraged Ruben to get a back rub and Ruben was able to talk him into giving him one for $5 – that is a 50% savings, folks! It was quite the sight. At one point, Ruben had three different people rubbing his back and shoulders. He said that it felt good – I was convinced that they were going to steal his wallet – regardless, it was fun.

We spent the rest of the evening shopping and I even scored a super cute pair of flats for the wedding. They are fabulous! Curious? Let’s just say they add a little blue ‘sparkle’ to my bridal wardrobe.

On Sunday I decided to go to Target by myself. Taking the trains by myself has been something that I have had a hard time dealing with. I often feel overwhelmed and vulnerable and prefer to commute with a partner; however, Ruben had to work on a project and we needed some stuff from the store. I mustered up my courage, grabbed my shopping list and headed out. Target is only a few stops away and I was comforted knowing that I would be above ground in no time. The train arrived and I got on. On the next stop, the doors opened and in walked a crazy man carrying a bag of cans. The man was talking to himself and staring at people as he walked by and of course, sat right next to me. He slumped down in the seat and knocked his head pretty hard on the wall. I sat there straight faced and ready to respond to whatever could happen - luckily, nothing did :) Target was great. 3 hours and $150 later, we had the things that we needed. Ruben welcomed me home with a big hug and one simple word, "Congratulations!" I was proud of myself, too.

Yesterday we received a very special package in the mail. Since moving up here, my oh-so-amazing and way-too-thoughtful mama has sent Ruben and I 2 care packages. Packed full of all sorts of goodies, we eagerly await their arrival and cannot wait to tear into them – I’m telling you, we feel like kids on Christmas morning. Check out the goodies that she sent this time:

Thanks, Mama! 
Today I’m heading to Indiana for my sister’s baby shower. I’m so excited to spend time with her, my mom and the Snyder’s. Baby Elliot will be here before we know it!

Expect an update soon! J

Friday, August 19, 2011

[sleeping] In The City!

I’m not sure if our windows are see through or not. Back at my office in Fort Lauderdale the windows had some sort of tint that allowed you to see out, but people couldn’t see in, so I am convinced that every window is similar. Regardless, this is what I woke up to this morning…my hope is that I caught them in the beginning before they had a chance to watch me sleep because those of you who know me best know that this would be an awfully awkward situation.

This is Ruben’s first weekend off in a while and we are looking forward to getting lost in the city. Can’t wait to share our adventure! 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

[soggy] In The City!

It has been a rainy few days in Brooklyn. Streets are flooding and people are soaked, but I kind of like it. Living here has taught me that you have to be prepared for whatever Mother Nature may throw at you and I use days like these to break out my favorite addition to my wardrobe – my rain boots and flats! How perfect are these wellies?! In a city where black is the worshiped color, I often stand out, but I don’t mind, a pop of yellow and a fun stripe make my day better.

With the rain has come a whole new set of experiences. After Ruben was done taking him MPJE on Saturday, we went out with a group of friends to celebrate the end to his ridiculous amount of studying. We had a few drinks on the rooftop, went to Lombardi’s for a family meal and indulged in some oh-so-yummy Crepes from Viva la Crepe in Little Italy. Ruben was exhausted and we were home and in bed by 11:30 p.m. 

At around 2:40 a.m., both Ruben and I were startled awake by the loudest boom that we’ve ever heard. Since moving to NY, I’ve become a light sleeper and it is not unusual for me to wake up at the drop of a pin; however, Ruben can sleep through just about anything and the fact that he sat up when I did was even scarier.

We couldn’t figure out the noise was and we were both pretty convinced that when we lifted the shades, the building next to us would be just a pile of bricks. I grabbed my computer and began Googling what the noise was. I came across articles talking about rain pressure causing sewers to explode and lightening striking transformers, but nothing was coming up in our immediate area. Still a bit shaken up, we went back to sleep and decided to investigate in the morning.

I had a bit of running around to do on Sunday so before I left our building, I asked the gentleman at the front desk if he was here overnight. He said no and looked concerned over my inquiry. I explained that we heard a loud noise and were unsure if any other residents mentioned it to him. He said that the gentleman who was on overnight did not mention anything to him, but explained that the tall buildings have a way of making thunder echo and sound like explosions overhead – yeah…

Friday, August 12, 2011

[studying] In The City!

Ruben and I often discuss how it is so surreal that we actually live here since things seem to be so busy that time is just flying by. Wednesday marked exactly two months since we moved into our tiny, no bedroom, one bathroom studio and there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel. Tomorrow he takes his last licensing exam and can begin to focus solely on his residency and on me J

As such, yesterday he asked if I wanted to go to Chipotle for dinner with Rebecca, one of his co-residents, and then somewhere to study. Elated, I gathered up the materials for the super-secret project that I’ve been working on for a certain someone’s wedding next month (EEEKKK!), jammed them in my Vera Bradley backpack and we were off. Ruben had his messenger bag strapped across his chest and we walked briskly toward Chipotle, discussing potential wedding officiants that I had spoken to on the phone that afternoon – this was our evening commute. We approached the Brooklyn Tourism Center (my favorite building in BK) and there was a crowd gathered around a rather large group of people dancing in the square. We danced as we walked and were cracking up as we approached the crosswalk. We ate dinner, refilled our Coke Zero cups many times and had good conversation with Rebecca.

We decided to set up shop at the Starbucks down the street from Chipotle. After grabbing a cupcake from Crumbs, we spread out on a long conference table and stay put for more than 3 hours. We weren’t sure if it was all of the pharmacy law materials or the ridiculously bright project that I was working on, but fellow Starbucks-goers would not stop staring at our table.

Last night I caught myself staring at my future husband.  Lost in his thoughts and using every ounce of mental strength that he has left, he was cranking through pharmacy law like a champ. These past two months have been no joke and within a very short time, becoming licensed, completing the responsibilities of his residency and trying to maintain some sort of life has managed to test him to the point of exhaustion; but, I reckon, if anyone has the drive, stamina and the obsessive-need for knowledge that is crucial for completion of this year, it is him.

In less than 24 hours, I will finally get my honey back and I cannot be more excited. Fingers crossed for his patience, knowledge and confidence.

Monday, August 8, 2011

[showered] In The City! (Orlando Edition)

Huge apologies for my lack of updates! It has been a very busy two weeks and we’ve had a lot to celebrate. As you might have read, last week I was back in Orlando for my oh-so-amazing, not –very-typical, perfectly-sweet Bridal Shower. A huge thanks to my top ladies (Mama, Michele, Shannon, Gina and Ashley) for putting together a shower that I will never forget.

Initially, I was against having a shower. I find them to be stuffy, awkward and kind of cheesy; however, my girls planned one that was truly unique. We all met at All Fired Up!, a pottery painting studio in Winter Park. The girls had arranged to have a set of dishes painted by the guests at the shower so that Ruben and I would have a complete set that matched in terms of color, but were different and designed with love. We also played a trivia game where the girls asked Ruben questions ahead of time and recorded his answers. They passed out fun cards with the questions and answers and the guests took turns asking me the same questions. For every question I got wrong, I had to stick a grape in my mouth. I’d like to say that soared through the questions like a champ, but my honey is a trickster and was very witty with his answers. Ruben and I are truly blessed to have such an amazing friends and family and it was so great to catch up with those we left behind after the big move.

In addition to the shower, I was also able to meet with potential vendors for our wedding. Things are definitely not set in stone yet, but I am positive that we are on the right track. I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed and a little perplexed on how to make our “vision” come to life. After meeting with our florist and working on some very southern, shabby-chic, DIY projects with my mom and sister, things are finally coming to life. Three women, 2 scissors? I think so. Vintage glass vases and oversized fabric boutonnieres – even better. March cannot get here soon enough!

While I was in Orlando, Ruben was taking the much anticipated NAPLEX. After he graduated pharmacy school back in May, he began studying for the NAPLEX, the biggest test that he would ever take. Broken into two parts, we just found out that he passed the clinical portion of the exam. This coming Saturday, he will take the MPJE, which is the Federal and New York law portion of the exam. I’m sure that I speak for both us of when I say, “Finally!” Ruben is the most dedicated person that I know and I am confident that he will do well and that we will have the opportunity to celebrate him becoming a licensed pharmacist soon!  We are already planning how we will celebrate. Check out this prefixed menu from Morton’s Steakhouse. This restaurant is located a mere 0.2 miles away from our studio and the smells that tickle our noses are intoxicating; needless to say, we’re excited.