Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Happiest Place on Earth

I just returned from Orlando with my besties. It was Heaven.
We spent one day working and 4 days vacationing... the perfect mix.
Thanks to Douglas, we got into Universal Studios FOR FREE.
Thanks to Bob, we got two day Park Hopper passes at Disneyworld FOR FREE.
May I recommend October for any future Disney travel... Halloween nights at Magic Kingdom (no lines and trick or treating throughout the park) and the wine and food festival at EPCOT. I am sold.
We stayed in the Disney park hotel Port Orleans for two nights, and in the luxury Orlando mansion of our friend Kay for the other two nights.
The vacation started with the original besties... Wade, Paul, Carlos, and myself.
Over the course of the week, we were joined with other friends Laura, Christian, Rusty, and Barry.
In addition to the parks, one highlight was playing dress up with the gowns we found in Kay's closet. I am under strict warning from the boys NOT to post those picures. You will just have to do as Uncle Walt says and "use your imagination."

New York, New York at Disney Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM)

Paul, Carlos, Karyn, and Wade at The Tree of Life- Animal Kingdom

Karyn, Carlos, Wade, Paul, Laura Bell, and Christian enjoying EPCOT at night.

Seussville at Universal Studios

Our new friends

Karyn and Paul

3D Rides ROCK!

The fun begins... Universal Studios: Karyn, Paul, Wade

Besties in Paris... EPCOT style.

Going into Disney Halloween Nights- Karyn, Carlos, Christian, Laura, Wade, Paul.

The whole gang: Carlos Encinias, Wade Foster, Barry Anderson, Rusty Mowery, Karyn Mann, Paul Canaan, Christian Borle, Laura Bell Bundy.

Kay and Debbie wave Goodbye to Disneyworld.

Midnight on Main Street.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Welcome Baby Emma Lou!

My friends Jason and Yoav just adopted a new baby girl!!!
She is absolutely perfect and beautiful.
They were both able to be there for the birth of their new daughter, and I am sure they will make the most extraordinary dads.
Please, between Yoav the skilled doctor, and Jason with his eye for beauty and design, this little girl is going to grow up in STYLE!
Wade, Carlos, and I went over to their place for Thai food and to meet baby Emma.
It was a fun night with friends and I am SOOO happy for them and their perfect new addition.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

In keeping with the now three year tradition of spending Columbus Day with Jacob and Carly, we decided to do a day trip to Sleepy Hollow- home of the famous legend written by Washington Irving.
We went to the Tarrytown Cemetery (one of the oldest in the country) where we got a history lesson from a crazy old man (think the 'groundskeeper' from Scooby Doo), saw the grave of Washington Irving, and ran across the bridge made famous by Ichabod Crane trying to outrun the headless horseman.
The day also included lunch at The Horseman Cafe, a walk through some beautiful fall foliage, and finally topping it all off with a shopping trip at Target (a luxury when you live in Manhattan).
It was a fantastic day out of the city with friends, and I loved that we were already planning our next trip before we even crossed back over the Hudson River.

Shout out to Tom and Shane!

Every so often I like to give a shout out.
This one goes out to Tom and Shane- friends I adore, but don't see much of anymore.
I met Tom through my good friend Jacob and loved him immediately. He joined our book club (not an easy thing to do with this crowd) and he and Shane are both the kind of cool, chill peple you crave being around. It doesn't hurt that they are both wildly handsome and talented as well.
Tom left NYC (temporarily) for Pittsburg to get his Masters.
Shane is still here, but apparently, in hiding.
Tom made it back this past weekend and while unplanned, Jacob and I were able to see them briefly.
You boys look great! Next time, maybe we can actually PLAN something and have some real time together.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I Don't Understand.

You know how you have friends who are so much more than just friends? These are the people that you may not see that often, you might even go a year or more without even talking on the phone. However, when you do finally pick up the phone, or email, or gchat, and check in with said friend, it's like no time has passed at all.
For me, one of these friends is the remarkable Eldon Kartchner.
Eldon was one of my best friends in College. This is the man who showed up with non-drowsy Thera-flu when I was sick and had to work the graveyard shift. The same man who somehow just knew when I was having a lousy day and found the perfect things to say. This is the man who, even when I was grouchy, selfish, and arrogant stayed my friend and forgave me for acting like a spoiled brat.

After college Eldon met and married an equally beautiful and charming woman. Together they have three gorgeous children. I have only been able to spend time with Heather on a few occasions, but seriously, she is the type of person you only need to meet for a couple minutes and you are totally convinced she is spectacular. She is kind, smart, funny, personable, beautiful, and simply lovely.

This week I learned that Heather has been diagnosed with cancer (stage 3).
Their youngest is two months old.
My heart has been aching for this family and the stress and anxiety they are surely feeling.
It's hard to understand why something like this happens. I look at other friends who are coping with the loss of a child, the death of a husband, illness, divorce, losing their job, etc... and I wonder how I have managed to escape any truly devastating loss. My life is not perfect or easy (not by a long shot), but the depth of the sorrow I feel for those I love is mirrored by an intense gratitude for the full life and blessings I am experiencing.
That being said, Heather and Eldon... please know how much I love you guys and am confident that you will fight this and enjoy a complete and speedy recovery.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Our Family Just Grew by 4 Feet

Paul and Teddy (above) Teddy playing with Uncle Wade (below)

I am thriled to announce the recent addition of Teddy Bell Foster to our family.
Paul and Patrick have adopted the perfect dog- the former star of "Legally Blonde" the Musical, Bruiser Woods.
Teddy has already been a HIT not only with Paul and Patrick, but with all the friends as well. Now, we will have to see how well the existing 'family' dogs accept Teddy.
Eddy's Pearl and Carlos and Joe's Buster will have to get used to having a new cuddly pet to compete with.
Personally, I completely support the idea of my friends having dogs. I get to play with them, but at the end of the day, don't have to walk, feed, or clean them.
It's perfect.

Joe playing with Buster and Teddy.

A litle Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock-and-Roll

View From Astoria Park

So, I am from a small farming town in Idaho. I now live in Manhattan.
I really feel like I have the best of both worlds- I live in a city where I can find huge amounts of culure, arts, diversity, intellect, etc... however, with this also comes grime, crowds, smells, and obscene rent costs.
The good news is, when I am sick of the tourists and subway, I can go home to Idaho.
While going home provides a well needed escape, it is not really a practicality. The cost of flying, the time committment, missing work etc... means I have to plan well in advance for any get-away.
I am SO excited that my bestie Carlos and his husband Joe have made an offer on a house in Astoria, Queens. Astoria is right across the river from Manhattan and just a quick bus ride from my house. This new house will have a guest room, garage, back yard, and (if my wish goes forward) a hottub!!!
Congrats Carlos and Joe on being home owners in NYC. Not an easy thing!!!
Especially, I thank you for providing a little bit of sanity in this crazy city.

The Gang after seeing the new house.
Pictured: Joey Khoury, Patrick O'Brien, Wade Foster, Paul Canaan, Karyn Mann, Joe Ceriello, Carlos Encinias.

This Just In...

This past Memorial Day I went to Vegas with my besties.
I just got this picture from Paul and it got me thinking about that weekend (see post from May 2008). Anyway, just wanted to post this picture from one of the highlights of that weekend.
You can't tell, but we are sitting in the 5th row center orchestra for the Cher concert. Thanks Jerry!

Pictured: Jerry Mitchell, Wade Foster, Andrew Lippa, Karyn Mann
Joe Finocchiaro, Patrick O'Brien, Paul Canaan, Joey Khoury.

Monday, October 6, 2008

2 shows, 5 states, 48 Hours

This weekend Paul, Wade, Joe, and I made a quick run to DC.
We have several friends doing a show at the Kennedy Center, as well as our bestie Carlos working in DC for 5 weeks setting a new production of Altar Boyz.
Friday night we went to "Broadway Through the Ages" at the Kennedy Center. My amazingly talented friend Jim Moore was the musical director. He looked stunning in his tux on stage conducting the orchestra!

Saturday night we went and saw Altar Boyz. We were all so proud of Carlos and his success. Now that the show is set and running, Carlos will be rejoining us back in NYC. THANK GOODNESS! I have missed my boy.
Other DC highlights include walking around Dupont Circle, brunch with Jonathan and friends, The Holocaust Museum, countless hours of laughing, planning our 'gay agenda,' and crying while lookig at Carlos and Joe's wedding pictures.

We had a surprise at the Museum of Natural History when we ran into old college friends (and Paul's college roommate) Jay and Marilee Spencer. They live in DC with their 3 cute boys. It was quite a reunion as some of us have not seen each other since graduation nearly 10 years ago!!!