Philly – A Weekend

There was a part of me that assumed I couldn’t travel on my own, and it was that part of me that I wanted to challenge. Travelling with friends is fun – as long as you and the friends are compatible travelling companions, and I’m lucky to have some good friends that are great travel buddies. Still, I wondered what it would be like to set my own pace, to wake up at 11 am and spend three hours wandering a museum or sitting in a park reading a newly purchased book from the local bookstore, simply because I fancied doing so at the time. So, when I was started feeling a deep desire to spend time alone, I took a random weekend trip to Philadelphia.

I had to set goals, I wanted to see two places of interest, the Liberty Bell and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and I wanted to visit at least one local bookstore – if I purchase something, that would be a plus!

After arriving by Amtrak on Friday afternoon, making my way to my Airbnb for the weekend (in the heart of the city!) and finding some cheesesteak at Reading Terminal Market, I decided to map out my weekend. The next day I’d try to visit the Liberty Bell and take a walk across town to the museum, then the following day it would be bookstores and shops. Continue reading

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Something Rotten

(in the state of Broadway)

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I had the privilege of seeing Something Rotten on Broadway recently, and it was fantastic. It was more than fantastic, it has probably shot its way up there to become one of my favourite top five shows; mainly due to the fact that it’s a mishmash of fantastic things – a.k.a. Shakespeare and Broadway and jokes! *breathe*

Everything about the show added to the experience of the show. From the set pieces, to the wonderful and often hilarious costumes, to the absolutely remarkable musical numbers – not to mention the numerous mentions of other musicals, the show keeps you enthralled from its first note to the very last.

My favourite number was “A Musical” which was packed with so many references (both visual and audible) that I wasn’t able to catch them all! But, I did find a handy video from WSJ explaining all the references afterwards, and I’m happy that to report that I picked up quite a few of them.

Broadway week is happening right now, so if you do have  a moment, I’d highly recommend going to see this hilarious show.

Did I mention it has musical references, fun costumes and Shakespeare?

I Am Eleven

I am a summer baby, so eleven found me looking forward to school. I had a little over a month before school started again, but I was looking forward to it because I was starting secondary school that September – I was finally a high schooler. I was a little nervous as well. They randomly assigned classes so I was also worried that I might not be in the same class as the few St. Margaret’s friends that were attending Queen’s College with me that year. And there were ten houses and I chose Austin (C) house, what if none of my other friends chose that house? Then of course there were the classes, what if I couldn’t cut it at this school?

But, mostly I was looking forward to the new school. It was an exciting year, eleven.

I’m not randomly thinking about eleven, there is a reason. I watched a film yesterday called I Am Eleven where filmmaker Genevieve Bailey traveled to fifteen countries and interviewed different eleven year olds asking them questions about life, love and other mysteries. It both extremely funny and insightful, I enjoyed it and it really causes you to think about life and how we live.

I think the most eye-opening piece of the film for me was when the kids were asked what they would change if they could. One girl wanted longer weekends and another wanted a home. A lot of children around the world (and in America) face different challenges and some are fortunate to live a life where the only thing they have to worry about is getting up for school and hanging with friends on the weekends, I wish all kids could experience that, but that’s just not the case. This is something that will stay with me, that I will need to think about and consider a bit more. How can I help those less fortunate? How can I bring awareness of the issues? I think this film really encourages that sort of thinking and I think it’s important for children to be exposed to the differences in the world around us. 

Check out the trailer below and if it’s showing in a theater near you, I do hope you to go! 

Do you remember when you were eleven?

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If/Then – You will enjoy it!

IfThen

I really love living in New York.
I really love working in New York City.
I especially love when Broadway Week rolls around!

I had the privilege of seeing Idina Menzel in the new broadway musical If/Then; it was excellent. It’s the story of native New Yorker and urban planner, Elizabeth, who returns to the city from NYC from Phoenix after divorcing her college sweetheart turned husband.

Elizabeth always thinks about the what ifs – what if she hadn’t moved? What if she made a different decision, would this decision have changed her life? Would her life be better or worse for it? Essentially the story branches out from one moment in the park after her return form Phoenix.

For the two paths she has two nicknames, the path where she stays with her new neighbour, Kate, in the park – the Liz path – and the path where she goes with Lucas to his protest – the Beth path. There were many quick changes in between to differentiate between Liz and Beth but if you think you’ll get easily confused trying to follow the action, listen to the music and keep track of the storyline, I would suggest reading a quick synopsis about the show before venturing to watch. This way you’ll be less confused and be able to enjoy the show. However, I found that it was really easy to follow which story you’re watching and didn’t have a problem keeping them separated in my head.

The soundtrack was good and sometimes funny. I really enjoy listening to Idina Menzel sing, and since she has such a powerful voice I was a little worried that she might stick out from the rest of the cast and it might become “Idina and the rest of them”; but LaChanze (Kate), Jenn Colella (Anne) had such powerful voices themselves and James Snyder (Josh) was a wonderful singer, that I had no reason for concern.

The set was minimalistic yet functional with bits and pieces of fresh elements – LED subway map and the home set were really great!

Overall I absolutely enjoyed it, definitely worth it if you have the time. As an added bonus, here is an article I found – Jason Tam Reveals 10 Things Fans May Not Know About If/Then.

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[image from If/Then site]

Matilda: You will soon C there’s no escaping Trage-D

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Matilda: The Musical has a cast of extremely talented kids, a catchy score and a story that will touch your heart. 

The first time I felt the urge to see Matilda on Broadway was when I saw the cast perform Revolting Children on the Tony Awards. I did some Youtubing and found some videos of other bits from the show then I did some Spotify-ing and listened to the soundtrack, I was hooked! I had to watch this show.

Finally, I got the chance! The cast is mostly children and they did an excellent job acting and singing. There was definitely a lot of energy to the show and Miss Honey and the Trunchbull were excellent, though I think my favourite adult actor in the show was the Librarian, she was so funny!

The set was decorated with letters and sometimes had some amusing bits (“Soot” in the fireplace). The kids did a lot of the rearranging of the set, moving props on and around the stage. I think my fave part was the school gate when they sang the School Song and stuck the letters in the gates. That’s one of my favourite songs in the show.

I can go on, it really is one of the cutest shows on Broadway. And can I add that they made a Doctor Who reference? Awesome! 🙂

[Image from broadway.com]

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Something has changed within me, something is not the same. I’m through with playing by the rules of someone else’s game. – Elphaba; Wicked

Five Things (12)

This post is brought to you by Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – particularly the part where Hermione accidentally put cat hair in her polyjuice …

Next month is NaNoWriMo and I’m probably not going to do one of these Five Things posts … unless I’m in procrastination mode, then I’ll probably do quite a lot of them! 

Harlequin Teen Rocks!

This was my second Harlequin Teen event and I feel so privileged to be a part of their community! I got the opportunity to attend a wonderfully bookish event at Trump SoHo where we had a spectacular view of lower Manhattan as we heard about some new releases and received news of Julie Kagawa’s new series! I absolutely love Julie Kagawa, so being one of the first to hear the new of her new series was exciting.

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Wedding, the Last

The final wedding of the season! The music was fun, the friends were awesome and the couple was radiant! I’m so glad I got to witness the joining of these two! Woot! 🙂

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Oysters taste … slimy?

I tried raw oysters for the first time! I won’t call it slimy, though that’s the popular opinion, I think silky might be a better word. It was a fun experience and I loved it so much I went again the following week!

My friends and I went to the Mermaid Oyster Bar in SoHo, they have a happy hour menu and their oysters were fresh (and delicious!) I tried both the East and West Coast types… I don’t think I have a specific preference, the west coast was meatier, so perhaps more filling.

Mermaid Oyster Bar also gave us a cute little chocolate pudding dessert and a Fortune Teller Fish when we received our bill. The chocolate pudding was made with dark chocolate and was delicious! A perfect end to the meal.

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Hiking! 

I went hiking twice in October! I love walking so hiking is pretty much one of my favourite things to do. The first hike was pretty easy, we went to Mohonk and took a wrong turn and ended up at Mohonk House – which is beautiful. The second hike was Breakneck Ridge and is more rock scrambling than hiking, that was awesome!

They were two very different hikes, the first one was more relaxed pace and you could chat the entire way. The second, while you could make stops along the way took more concentration as you had to figure out how to get up and then back to the road. Both completely different, but both lovely. 🙂

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Cinderella!

The San Francisco Ballet was touring NYC and performed Cinderella – I got to see it! 🙂 It was fun and sassy! I especially loved the carriage scene – great concept!

Chistopher Wheeldon's Cinderella

image via Daniel Brodie

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Five Things (4)

We are in the fourth month of the year 2013. Spring has officially begun, but Mother Nature didn’t get the memo. I’m thinking we need to rename the seasons, there is Fall from November to January and then Winter from February to April. May is Spring, June/July is summer and everything else is a sort of muggy uncertainty.

Enough with the weather, that universal topic of conversation; it’s time to talk about FIVE THINGS!

— Thing One —

I love Broadway, so I try to go to a show at least once a year (or more). 2013 started off with Rock of Ages, and it was wonderful! I would recommend this show to anyone – it’s electric!

— Thing Two —

I love getting together in small, intimate groups with friends, especially friends that I consider dear to my heart. This past month I got to hang out with some of my old workmates who are dear friends of mine. We met at someone’s house and spent the day around the table, having brunch then supper and talking about life, work and babies! I think I’m going to pass on the babies! haha

Since it was a brunch get together, we each made dishes and I decided to try a recipe that I found on Pinterest. I’ve done a few successful ones and some not so successful ones, my fave being the Personal Lasagna Rolls, but ever since I started my “Delightful Dishes” board, I’ve always wanted to try the French Toast Bake. So, after some consideration, I made it for brunch and, I have to say, it was DELICIOUS! Instead of brown sugar, I only had white sugar in the house, so I added some molasses (yeah, we have that and not brown sugar) and it gave the base a sort of pancake syrupy taste. Of course one serving was about 500 calories, but, hey, it’s the weekend, I can let my hair down (and loosen the belt).

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Other such intimate hangouts included time spent with three other ladies, one who I haven’t seen in a loooong time due to time and distance. That was an awesome evening, I started out hanging with C and we talked about a ton of things and I shared some funny (and disturbing) stories about men, that I was experiencing at the time. Watch this space for a detailed post in a month or so. (hehehe)

Then spending the night at the movies with my soon-to-be-published cousin A.J., watching Jack the Giant Slayer and making fun of the predictable plot. I don’t usually talk during movies in cinemas, but when there aren’t many people there it really is a lot of fun laughing and talking about what’s going to happen next. So predictable.

Then this past Sunday there was a spontaneous Sunday lunch (well I had two lunches, like a hobbit) because I was missing some faces, but only lunch #1 was considered intimate. Large gathering does have it’s time and place as well.

— Thing Three —

Girl Scout Cookies!!!!! The Girl Scouts know about demand and supply. I can’t tell you the number of cookies I’ve consumed in the past two weeks … I’m ashamed to count them! But those Thin Mints and Tagalongs are just SO GOOD!

Just the other day I was on my way to the threading salon where I passed a group of Girl Scouts strategically located right outside of the salon, I was going to purchase 1 box of Thin Mints, but ended up purchasing 2 boxes of Thin Mints and 1 box of Tagalongs. I’m a little tempted to buy a bunch and hoard them, but I’m afraid that might lead to the over-consumption of cookies over the span of a few hours.

— Thing Four —

This might have been my first bookish event this year – I’m slacking, I know! I saw Andrew Jenks, Alaya Dawn Johnson and Eireann Corrigan. I wrote a bit about the event on my book blog, so you can check it out there if you’re interested (and see photos from the event).

— Thing Five —

Finally, The Good and Beautiful God book club met for the second time a few weeks ago. I love reading and discussing books with others, it really does amaze me how two people, reading the same text, can find different insights. I love the sharing of inspiration and ideas that come out from the text. I also love how everyone reads differently and react differently to the text. Discussing books shows me how diverse our world is, I absolutely love it!

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