Last week while Jake was in Italy and I was lonely Alison hopped the bus from PA to NYC to spend the day with me, wander around The Metropolitan Museum of Art and take in the city's summer sights.
The moment I first arrived in New York I fell in love, hard. The kind of love that can't be defined. A devotional, passionate, irrational, loyal and sometimes unrequited love. I knew I had found home. I knew I could never leave. I knew I was in deep.
Alison, however, hasn't been as easy. New York has had to woo her. New York has had to work for her affection. And still, she strings my darling city along. Showing up for days at a time, smiling, wearing flirty dresses and then running off to Boston's quieter (and she claims, cleaner) streets.
I'm not offended. I'm not even defeated. Because I know little by little this city will make a New Yorker of her. It may take years, but just you wait one day she'll wake up with her heart in her throat and she'll know the only cure is to drive, bus or run her way back to this hustle and bustle. And an inexplicable calm will settle in her soul as cabs whiz by her and people push pass and buildings scrape the sky. Just you wait Alison Victoria, it will happen. How? you ask. Well, because New York City is magic.
^^The sculptures are always my favorite. Always^^
^^It started to drizzle while we were on the rooftop garden^^
^^We stumbled upon some wings of The Met I had never explored before that day^^
If you know my Dad then you know one of his favorite foods is... hotdogs. Yes, hotdogs. He can tell you where the best hotdogs can be found practically anywhere in the tri-state area. So when we stopped by for a post-hike, cool-down at Rita's Italian Ice we noticed a hotdog place had opened right next door called, wait for it... Snoop's Dogs.
Jake and my Dad both approved. There has even been talk of starting an annual Lehigh Valley Hotdog Crawl/Bike. Just sayin' - you should probably get on board.
After Rita's and Snoop's we swung by a local farmer's market to pick up some juicy watermelon and oogle the beautiful scenery and the delicious baked goods. Sometimes I forget how rural PA is. I guess when I think of PA I usually think about my house and my neighborhood and forget about the huge open fields and farmland. It's pretty glorious.
^^Nature at her finest^^
^^We had a cookout with... you guessed it - hotdogs, hamburgers and all the fixings for Dad's birthday dinner!^^
^^Sugar-free vanilla cake and sugar-free chocolate frosting for Daddy!^^
^^Cake topped off with whipped cream and strawberries!^^
^^Chopped off over six inches of hair - feels incredible!^^
This past weekend Jake and I hopped the bus home to B-Town, PA to celebrate my Dad's 56th birthday. The day dawned hot, sunny and humid. After powering up with a hearty eggs, bacon, bagel and fruit breakfast feast we headed to Jacobsburg State Park for a hike through the woods in attempt to burn off future birthday cake-calories and of course, be one with nature.
We spent the morning hiking, skipping rocks, embracing the cool shade of the forest and soaking in some quality family time. It was a wonderful day!
^^Dad's impressive bacon, egg, cheese, tomato and cream cheese bagel^^
^^Cute little sister^^
^^Jake is an expert rock skipper. He can make a smooth, flat stone jump across the water five or six times! I am still working on three! There were a lot of great stones to practice with on the shore^^
^^I am happiest when I am hiking in the woods with my husband - who would have thought?!^^
^^Sisters rocking race-back tanks and Holy Cross drawstring backpacks! ha!^^
^^Mom and the birthday boy!^^
^^The boy can get some serious air while clicking his heels.^^