Motivational Mondays…Destiny

Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved….William Jennings Bryan


Goodbye Newport…it’s been a blast!



….hello old/new home…it’s good to be back!


I love when I get an inspiring fortune at that perfect moment….destiny!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Book Review: The Art of Racing in the Rain

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Steinart of racing in the rain

I LOVED this book!  It’s a lovely story told from the viewpoint of a much-loved family dog.  It’s been out since 2008 and recommended by many friends, so when I saw it at a garage sale I snatched it up quickly….and I’m so glad I did.  It was a pretty quick read and the perfect summer book.

Here are a couple of the excerpts that I highlighted

  • “That which we manifest is before us; we are the creators of our own destiny. Be it through intention or ignorance, our successes and our failures have been brought on by none other than ourselves”
  • “Learn to listen! I beg of you.  Pretend you are a dog like me and listen to other people rather than steal their stories” (I need to get better at this one!)
  • “The race is long.  It is better to drive within oneself and finish the race behind the others than it is to drive too hard and crash.”

What a smart dog…such wisdom in his words!  Happy weekend to you!  It’s my last here in Newport…movers come on Monday..woohooo!!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

A Whirlwind 21 hours in New York City

IMAG4607Lincoln Center…UWS, NYC

After my visit to LBI and Cape May, I spent 21 hours in my home away from home, NYC!  I arrived by train at 8pm on Saturday and was at the airport the following day by 5:15pm for my flight home.  It’s amazing how much activity can be packed into a day!

First stop was The Smith Restaurant on the UWS for some people watching, a glass of wine and these amazing hot potato chips with bleu cheese fondue….totally wrong, exceptionally good, get it!IMAG4618

Next stop was Empire Szechuan, meeting my sister and her family for a late night dinner of sesame noodles and crispy prawns.  Always a must do restaurant when in NYC.IMAG4614_1Started Sunday bright and early with an Uber ride over to my son & daughter-in-law’s apartment in Brooklyn to drop off my very heavy bag and then breakfast at Cafe Mogador, an adorable little place right around the corner.

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Kate recommended I take the water ferry/taxi over to Wall Street and what a fun ride it was! It’s like a mini Circle Line Tour (which I highly recommend if it’s your first trip to NYC) of the east side of Manhattan with great views, going under three bridges.



I got off at Wall Street and meandered lower Manhattan for my 11:30 reservation at One World Observatory.  It’s a bit pricey at $32 a pop but it’s pretty spectacular!  The line was crazy long (I assume those were people who didn’t have a timed reservation?), but I went up to the usher at the front of the line and showed him my ticket and he opened the rope and let me go through…I felt so important!  Shout out to my very talented nephew, Brian Egan, who worked on the 3D animation that you’ll enjoy throughout the experience….he also worked on the animation for the new Disneyland Paint the Night talentedIt took about an hour from the time I entered to the time I left.  There are really interesting displays and exhibitions to watch as you wait for the elevator…then a cool elevator ride and finally the breathtaking views from the top.  You can also stay a bit longer at the top and dine at the cafe or restaurant....but I had other plans for lunch.




On a clear day you can see forever!

My next stops took me across the street to Hudson Eats and then the Irish Hunger Memorial right around the corner.  Hudson Eats is a glorified food court type of eating establishment with yummy, trendy choices for eating with great views of the Hudson River.



They have concerts next to Hudson Eats.



The Irish Hunger Memorial is just what it sounds like, a memorial to the Irish people who lost their lives during the Great Famine….as well as present day hunger around the world.  It looks like a mini landscape of Ireland with stones from each of Ireland’s 32 counties (although I couldn’t find Mayo, where my grandmother was born.)  It’s a small, but moving memorial.





I continued my meandering up the Hudson via the River Terrace walkway, stopping in Nelson A. Rockefeller Park with it’s whimsical bronze sculptures and people playing games of all kinds.





I took a right on Houston, a left on Hudson, then another right on Grove to make it my destination…a little French bistro called Buvette.  I’ve had it on my “places to go” list since it opened in 2011 and it didn’t disappoint.  It’s adorable…with the charm and crowded ambiance you’d expect from a French bistro and includes a little outdoor garden too.







Yummy Country Pate

So, basically I ate my way through NYC in 21 hours…but I walked for miles and miles (actually, around 4+ miles total), so it really doesn’t count, right?!!  I then hopped on the subway and Austin & Kate took me to the airport.  Can’t wait to see what adventures NYC has in store for me next time!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Motivational Mondays…Go For It!

I just read this article in Oprah Magazine about a woman windsurfing later in life…..


She goes out with a friend & 15 yr old son who says “if you go out there knowing that you’re going to rock it,you will…but if you go out there afraid you’ll get hurt, you will”  So awesome…the wisdom of a 15 yo!  Believe in yourself…just go for it!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Cape May and Long Beach Island

wedding overAfter the amazing wedding and week at the beach last month I had the pleasure of continuing my travels with a visit to my future son-in-law’s parent’s home on Long Beach Island (aka LBI), New Jersey.  Long Beach Island is a strip of land on the Jersey Shore, just 18 miles long and half a mile wide at it’s widest point.  It is a quintessential beach resort destination, where the population swells from 20,000 year-round residents to around 100,000 residents during the busy summer months. Did you know that the original Ron Jon surf shop was founded in 1959 in the town of Ship Bottom on LBI??

We started our journey on the Cape May/Lewes Ferry….a drive-on ferry that crosses the Delaware Bay, connecting Delaware to quaint Cape May, New Jersey.  It’s actually not a faster route than driving, but so much more fun, with a different change of scenery.

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We stopped in Cape May for lobster rolls and to get a pic of the Cape May lighthouse to add to my collection….IMAG4555before continuing on to LBI and the charming, cozy Collery home.  There was also the added fun of attending a going away party/shower for the future Mr. & Mrs. Collery at his sister’s beautiful home in Pennsylvania.  (I can’t believe I didn’t get a pic with the Collery family, but got some great shots of the view from their LBI home.)  Here’s a pictorial visit to LBI, including another lighthouse….Barnegat Lighthouse


a short walk to the Atlantic a block away


the gorgeous view of the inner coastal waterway from their rooftop deck


standing in the same spot but turning North towards the little boat harbor
…it looks like a piece of green!

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Sunset views over the inner coastal waterway…and morning walk on the Atlantic beach

IMAG4575Barnegat Lighthouse on the Northern tip of LBI….love the cloud formations


yummy dinner at Blue Water Cafe

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Cake & party for the future Mr. & Mrs. Collery with the cutest baby ever…niece Cecelia.

Taylor Dan across the us

the car is loaded up for the road trip…across the U.S…..

taylor dan maroon bells

….made it to Aspen, Colorado…they’ll get to California today!!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!



I went and saw the movie Spy, starring Melissa McCarthy, this past weekend and it was fun…and funny!  I love laughing out loud in a darkened theater…and I did it a lot during this movie.  Melissa is so f-ing funny, although I could do without some of the visual barfing scenes.  What happened to just hearing the sounds of someone about to hurl their lunch and using my imagination…why do I have to actually see that grossness now?

Anyway, good movie, but I have to share what I thought was such a weird, funny thing that happened in the movie theater.  I get there and there are only two other people in the theater.  The endless trailers for upcoming movies start and a couple of cute twenty-something girls comes into the theater and sit down in the row in front of me just to my right…giggling.  So, they sit down, take out some snacks from their ginormous purses and then all of a sudden I look and they’re taking a little dog out of the purse.  At first I thought, “Reeeaally…a dog in the movie theater…WTF!!”

shih tzu

But it was a cute, fluffy ball of what looked like a shih tzu or lhasa apso…adorable.  They throw a little blanket over it as it sits in one of their laps.  Then one girl hands the little pup to the other and takes out some knee high socks and proceeds to put them on.  I was just chuckling to myself that these girls were making this their personal living room.  The dog didn’t make a peep the whole movie and they stuffed him back in at the end and walked out.  I loved their moxie and just the thought that it was okay to bring snacks, socks, a blanket and a dog into a movie theater.  Next thing you know we’ll be hearing an announcement before every movie saying “please silence you cell phones and your dogs!”

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Motivational Mondays…Hope

hope bracelet

I was looking down at this beautiful bracelet that my friend, Courtney, made for me and as we reach the half-way mark of 2015, thinking of my theme for this year…HOPE.  I suddenly remembered a great song that I love on the topic.hope

When my daughter was in high school, I gave her a little book with the lyrics to this song…..and as they travel across the US on their adventure/journey back to California I hope she and her fiance are inspired, again, by the words & message…(..and from all the dancing last weekend at the wedding, I think they get it!)  I never tire of listening to it and it makes me cry every time!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Thought for the weekend


“We need hours of aimless wandering or spates of time sitting on park benches, observing the mysterious world of ants and the canopy of treetops.”…Maya Angelou

 You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Wedded Bliss

I am still reliving and recovering from an amazing week in Dewey Beach, DE to witness and celebrate the wedding of my son, Austin, to his beautiful new wife, Kate.  I’m sure I’ll do a couple of posts in the coming weeks on the subject, and annoy some of you, but just had to share a few pics and this awesome video by one of the bridesmaids, Christine of c’est christine.  She really captured the joy of the event!


“The Kate Brennan” special cocktail


the rehearsal dinner crab feast


the boys


the beautiful couple & grand-dog Prince

mother son dance

mother/son dance

first dance

the happy couple…first dance


Dewey have to go?

 You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!