October 22, 2014

Broadway Round-Up

The best part about living so close to NYC is that everything you could want for entertainment is within reach.  We almost always take advantage of the TKTS booth in Times Square or the South Street Seaport. Most of the shows are 50% off and since we are happy seeing most of their options, we usually have a back up plan if our first choice isn't available.

We have seen a few shows since we moved and we have so many more on our list.  I figured I'd recap the ones we've seen so far.  The list is in order from my least favorite to my favorite (so far.)

Cinderella - At the Broadway Theater - Tickets available at TKTS

We saw this in February when Carly Rae Jepsen and Fran Drescher were starring as Cinderella and her stepmother.  We knew that it would be different than Disney's version going into it, but we just felt like the songs and story weren't as memorable.  Even though this was our least favorite, we still enjoyed it, but there are so many good shows that I probably wouldn't recommend it.

Rocky - We were lucky enough to see this show during its run on Broadway this spring, but it is no longer playing.

This is a show to bring your husband to.  The music was good.  Nothing was quite as amazing as the last scene when the entire theater is transformed and you feel like you are at a boxing match.  Everyone is on their feet.  If this comes to a theater near you, take your favorite Rocky fan - it will not disappoint.

Chicago - Playing at the Ambassador Theater - tickets can be found at TKTS

This is a Broadway classic.  What shocked me the most was that one of the lead actresses has been doing this show on and off since it first opened on Broadway in the 90's.  The talent was incredible.  I loved how simple the sets, costumes and stage were and I love that the orchestra is right on stage the whole time.  This was a TKTS purchase for us and it was worth every penny.

Rock of Ages - Playing at the Helen Hayes Theater - Tickets can usually be found at TKTS.  We bought in advance to get 4 tickets together.

We went to this show with our friends, Caroline & Tony, when they were visiting at the end of September.  Constantine Maroulis was playing the lead role and my husband was a fan of his when he was on American Idol (which sadly was almost 10 years ago.)  This show is like going to a party/concert.  There are jello shots and loud music and lots of laugh out loud moments.  And then we met Constantine after the show.  Caroline even got her t-shirt signed :)

The Newsies - Unfortunately, it is no longer on Broadway.  It finished its run this summer.

The show was phenomenal.  It is clear why it won the Tony award for best choreography.  That movie is one of the greatest things to happen to my junior high self.  It took every ounce of self control I have to not jump up during Seize the Day and start dancing.

I will tell you that the lyrics are not all the same as the Disney movie, so you will look silly if you do sing along.

Aladdin - Playing at the New Amsterdam Theater - buy tickets in advance

We just went to see this show on Saturday.  It was my favorite so far.  We bought the tickets about a month ago to go with our friend, Jen, before she moves to Florida.  The music was fantastic.  The show was so entertaining.  It had all of your favorite Disney songs, plus a few new songs.  The genie was amazing and a Tony winner for obvious reasons.  Our seats were expensive and way up high, but once the show started - it was clear that we were going to get our money's worth.

That's the list so far.  We have so many more that we want to see and have a few on the calendar for November.  Jersey Boys, Lion King, Kinky Boots, Cabaret, On The Town, If/Then.  The list could just go on and on.

Since the Blogtober prompt today is pet peeves, I figured it would be a perfect time to share these top 5 theater pet peeves.
  1. PUT AWAY YOUR CELL PHONE.  Stop recording the whole damn thing and don't take pictures during the show.  The flash is annoying and you are annoying.
  2. Get there on time.  Nothing is ruder than making an entire row of people get up.
  3. Sit in your assigned seats and keep your legs to yourself.
  4. Be quiet.
  5. Cool it on the $20 cocktails.
You would be surprised how many people are so out of control rude at these shows - don't be those people.  

Helene in Between Blogtober

If you made it through this super long post, you are a star.  What's your favorite show?

October 21, 2014

Vacation Daydreaming

It's true.  My daydreams consist of vacation dreams.  Every time I pick up Afar magazine, I come up with 2 or 3 new places that I would like to visit.  This list could be different in 6 months, but I'll document today's list here.

Outside the United States:

Honorable Mentions:  Ireland, Denmark, Indonesia, Montreal and Switzerland

Places in the United States:

Honorable Mentions:  Sedona, Los Angeles, Austin, Charlotte/Asheville and the Grand Canyon

If you would like to offer me any free flights, vacation homes, guest bedrooms or food in any of those places (or really anywhere), let me know.

Also, tell me what I'm missing.  What's on your travel bucket list?  I'm going to spend my evening creeping on other people's lists to find out.

Helene in Between Blogtober

Pictures from sourcesourcesourcesourcesourcesourcesourcesource and source

October 20, 2014

Fear of the Unknown

There are things in this world that I'm afraid of.  Silly things like spiders and subway rats, but also big things.  Uncertainty and things out of my control are scary.

from Pinterest
Last year, we made a big decision to leave the motherland for a new adventure far away from home.  We have had the greatest year and I'm afraid of what will happen next.  Will we return home and settle down like people want us to?  Will we continue to have this amazing adventure?  There is so much uncertainty in our future and that is scary.

The biggest lesson that I've learned in the last year is that you can only plan so much, sometimes you just have to let life happen.  When you do that, sometimes it can lead to the greatest things.  So every morning I wake up and just face the fact that the future is uncertain.  I'm learning little by little to embrace spontaneous moments when I can.  I still keep lists upon lists of to-do's and plans, but I'm learning that life isn't always going to do what you expect and that isn't always something to be afraid of.

Happy Monday everyone.  Get out there and be a little weird today.  Live on the edge.  I might eat ice cream for dinner tonight and just be a little spontaneous.

Helene in Between Blogtober

October 19, 2014

Mountains Make Me Happy - Northern Vemont

There is a long list of things in the world that make me happy.  I love dogs, my husband, my friends, my family, food, and the list goes on and on.  I'm only going to focus on one thing today.  Mountain vacations.

The mountains are so amazing and beautiful.  I covered our adventures through southern Vermont in this post from last week, but today I've got more mountain pictures to show you from the second day in Vermont.

Our first step was to Killington.  We wanted to check out the ski resort and the surrounding area.  It was sort of a scouting trip for our winter ski vacations this year.  We took the gondola to the top and hiked a short way to the summit.  The views were amazing.  Green Mountains as far as you could see.

After leaving that pit stop, we drove up Route 100 for a few hours.  That was such a beautiful drive following the river north.  We stopped to buy maple syrup from a roadside stand.  We stopped to take in beautiful waterfalls.  We passed through so many quaint little New England towns.

Our final destination of the day was Stowe, VT.  Obviously we had to take a quick detour to the Ben & Jerry's factory.  We visited their flavor graveyard and the gift shop - we did not do the entire tour.  We also stopped for a snack at the Trapp Family Lodge on the other side of the hill from our resort.

We stayed at the beautiful Stowe Mountain Lodge that night.  It was a gorgeous hotel and we were upgraded to a gorgeous suite.  We will be back there in the winter at some point.  I wouldn't mind a longer trip in the summer as well.  So much beautiful scenery to take in and enjoy.

The Green Mountains were beautiful and quaint.  The little towns we explored were lovely.  This was our second time for Vermont and were not disappointed.  My dad had told us that he loved Vermont and would describe everything as "quaint" and he was correct.  It just felt like New England is supposed to feel (whatever that means.)

We woke up and headed to New Hampshire next and that was by far the most beautiful part of the trip.  I'll get those pictures up soon.  In the meantime, I'll just be dreaming about the mountains and plotting my return.

Helene in Between Blogtober

October 18, 2014

A Secret about Lobster

I love secrets when they are happy secrets - like surprise engagements or babies.  I don't love secrets when they will eventually hurt someone.  I would rather not be involved if it has to be a bad secret.  I have a secret to share with you today.  It's really more of a confession, but I feel weird telling anyone.  I'm not sure why because it's perfectly normal.

I did one of the things on my 30 before 30 list and didn't love it.  I thought everything on that list would bring me so much joy and happiness - even the things I was a little afraid of.  Not this one.  

On our recent road trip up north, I ate Lobster in a nice restaurant right on a little harbor in Camden, Maine.  I've had Lobster rolls before and bites of Justin's fresh Lobster in Boston (but I was a little tipsy and didn't remember if I liked it.)  Turns out, I didn't love the texture, I didn't love the butter, I definitely didn't love or even really like the tail.  The claws were good, but I didn't love them.

What a silly thing to keep a secret, right?  I feel like I'm doing a disservice to the northeast by not being Lobster's biggest fan.  

Now that that is off my chest, I will share with you my favorite meal of the entire trip.  I tried a Fried Clam Sandwich thanks to the recommendation of the old man sitting next to me in a bar in Portland.  Justin ordered a Lobster Roll (that was amazing by the way.)  It was from a little food stand in Kennebunkport.  We will be back there.  It was the best food we had all week.

Also, my apologies if you were looking for something a little juicier today.  I don't really have too many secrets :)  But you can go see what other people linked up for "share a secret" day.

Helene in Between Blogtober