{ 9/11 Memorial Walk 5K }

Sunday was another bright day in the city which made for a perfect backdrop for our first community event. The Millers invited Z and I to join their team for the annual 9/11 Memorial Walk 5K, benefitting the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

Before living here, I had not visited NYC since July 2004. Back then, the area where the Twin Towers used to stand looked more like a construction zone, a somber site of what it used to be. Now the Memorial has incredible twin reflecting pools each nearly an acre in size and feature the largest manmade waterfalls in North America. The pools sit within the footprints where the Twin Towers once stood. Architect Michael Arad and landscape architect Peter Walker created the Memorial design selected from a global design competition that included more than 5,200 entries from 63 nations. The names of every person who died in the 2001 and 1993 attacks are inscribed into bronze panels edging the Memorial pools.

memorial names

It is without a doubt one of the top tourist attractions in the city but I’ll admit it feels strange to take photos and observe the other tourists who lean up against it or have their kids sitting on the edge with their parents. It feels a bit inappropriate given the reason for the structures but at least people feel it’s important to visit the site and remember all that was lost and what has since been rebuilt. The long term plan is to eventually have 7 towers, all of unique architectural structure (see Wings structure below).

My favorite part of the Memorial is the “Survivor Tree.” The Callery pear tree is the only tree to survive the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. In October 2001, the tree was discovered at Ground Zero severely damaged, with snapped roots and burned and broken branches. The tree was removed from the rubble and placed in the care of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. After its recovery and rehabilitation, the tree was returned to the Memorial in 2010. It doesn’t look like any of the other trees which makes it presence so much more powerful. Pretty cool, eh?

Anyhoo, the 5K had hundreds of people for an 8:00am start full of runners and walkers alike. It felt amazing to be a part of our first community event to make us feel even more like a part of the city. It was an honor to be a part of and a great way to give back.

At the end of the race there was an array of food trucks, kids’ games and face-painting, booths from local sponsors, and a live band comprised of Army soldiers, by far one of the best parts of the day.

Thank you Parv and Andy for inviting us to join you! Looking forward to making it an annual event!

tower with trees

Editor’s note: Although a very serious cause and event, we did have a bit of fun during the walk. One of Zach’s best friends had done a Spartan race in Seattle the day before (it’s one of those 9-mile intense, mud-run, obstacle course type races) so Z felt the need to show him that he was equally “challenged” on his 3.2 miles of walking. Sorry dear, had to share!

zach collage


{ Grateful Lately }

I’m starting a new series on the blog that will focus on gratitude. Life can be crazy and complicated, especially when transitioning into a new city and lifestyle, so we’re trying to be more mindful of the simple and beautiful things we have in our present.

Lately, I’ve been grateful for…

Spying the Freedom Tower in all corners of the city

freedom tower

Modern technology that lets this bi-coastal Auntie be close to some of my favorite little ones

Being close to East Coast family and a husband who hogs baby Cyrus


The rich history of our new city and it’s intermix of classic and modern architecture


Home delivered laundry service that saves us 5 hours a week which we used to spend in the laundry room…and the weird giant caterpillar shape it comes home in


Bars dedicated solely to Ping Pong and booze, both of which make husband very happy

spin boys.jpg

Making new friends through old friends

rooftop friends wall st

Hot sunny days from our rooftop with views of iconic skyscrapers

rooftop selfie

City parks that force you to stop in their presence and soak it all in

union square

Trying new workouts that push you out of your comfort zone and leave you wanting more


And waking up to this view every morning, both making you feel small and humbled and inviting you to discover something new every day.

view sunset

What have you been grateful for lately?

{ Central Park }

New York has been particularly warm and bright over the last week and we took advantage of it last Sunday. Zach’s sister, Sally, her husband Nathan, and their boys Jaxson and Carson got us the most awesome picnic backpack from PicnicTime Inc for our wedding present specifically with NYC park outings in mind. It has all the essentials which means all that is required to prep for your picnic is packing up the food and wine.

picnic wine

Central Park is absolutely massive which is great considering it felt like half of Manhattan had the same idea as we did. The park is great for people watching (“Do you think they’re a tourist or a local? Do you think we look like locals?!” “Totally, we’re not wearing leather in 80 degree heat and we don’t have giant Canon cameras around our necks”), dog watching, and guesstimating how expensive the luxury penthouses are that overlook the park.

central park boathouse

Thought we’d be missing all the Seattle greenery but Central Park is an incredible lush, colorful, and peaceful escape from the city, right in the middle of it all.

Excited for more days like this one!

{ Yankees vs. Mariners }

Last Saturday we checked an item off our New York bucket list and headed to Yankee Stadium! The Seattle Mariners were in town for the weekend and it was too great an opportunity to pass up. We had a crew of 10 people, combined of old and new friends, and headed to the Bronx to take over almost an entire row in the grand stand seats.

I’m not a huge baseball fan but I do love the atmosphere and energy of baseball games. Though this Yankee Stadium is not the original, it is still packed with historical memorabilia and fun artifacts.

We caught an especially warm day but we all endured our impending farmers’ tans together. All together in the front row of our section, we had a perfect, unobstructed view and were able to catch the pre-game festivities. One of which was the starters line-up announcement on the jumbotron. We got a kick out of the fact that the played the Darth Vader theme song while they announced the Mariners’ starters. Our first Mariners’ away game was off to a running start!

panorama FULL stadium

The whole game was a blast. Half of the group were Mariners fans while the other half wore their Yankees gear accompanied by lots of playful banter (Lots of boos from the whole Yankees crowd whenever ex-Yankee, current Mariner, Robinson Cano was up to bat!). Craft beers, Nathan’s famous hot dogs, different domestic and imported beer at every other concession stand were perfect additions to the day. The cherry on top of the awesomeness was the Mariners 3-2 victory!

I can’t wait to come back for more games! Especially because my new favorite part of going to a Yankees game is the 7th inning stretch…

Oh yes, snaps and spin moves and all!

{ Our Wedding Film }

Our hearts are exploding. We received our wedding videos last night from our talented film makers, Forestry Films, and we spent HOURS watching them. We watched each video at least a dozen times. We have a highlight film, a full edit of the ceremony, and a full edit of the toasts.

Thank you to the entire Forestry Films team for this incredible highlight film. We will treasure it forever!

{ Washington Square Park }

Exploring Greenvich Village today and found a piece of “Washington” in New York. Now I’m currently taking shelter from the rain in a coffee shop near NYU where everyone has a Mac laptop and Beats by Dre headphones working like busy bees. I’m just over here drinking mint tea and secretly pretending I’m also a student ✌🏼️


{ From Past to Present }

One of the things I love about NYC is it is also home to old friends from earlier seasons of my life. When I first arrived, one of the first people I reached out to was my former boss and close friend in San Diego, Joe. We were two peas in a pod when we worked at the Andaz San Diego and our friendship is one of my fondest memories from living in San Diego. Joe is originally from New York and he moved back in 2010. It has quite literally been six years since we last saw each other, despite seeing each other frequently through social media. We met for dinner one of my first weeks in town and we picked up exactly where we left off and it was like no time had passed at all. Gotta love that!

So we decided we were well overdue for Joe to meet Zach and this past Tuesday we finally made it happen at Cibar in Gramercy Park. I knew it would be great fun but it was even better than I imagined. Two men from two distinct parts of my life and they sincerely enjoyed each other. Joe had moved back to New York months before I met Zach in 2011 and Zach has only ever heard about Joe from my San Diego stories. Joe was an integral part of my San Diego experience, he was there for me through the highs and lows and a huge part of me gaining confidence in my mid-twenties. For a significant time, Joe and I referred to him as my gay boyfriend. To finally have these two worlds collide was simply wonderful. We’ve already got a handful of plans in the works and I can’t wait! My heart is full and so ready for more good times ahead.