Live from New York

I’ve begun to feel hesitant to write about the adventures that have come because of writing FAMILY FEASTS.  It’s not that I’m blase’–it’s more concern that I not come across as being full of myself.  I’m well aware that spending a few months alternately banging computer keyboards and kitchen pots doesn’t entitle a person to plane trips to New York.

As each new adventure comes to pass–could it really be my life?– I find myself feeling more thankful. More aware that this project is not really of my own doing.  Whether you’re a publicist talking to multiple TV producers or a person telling one friend, I appreciate your willingness to offer Family Feasts to others.

Having begun with that, I wanted to share some of this recent trip to New York with you.

Because we’d gotten a bunch of flyer miles from our trip to Korea last year, on this trip I had enough miles to bring along my husband and our youngest daughter.  This was good for two reasons– first, I get the fab company of my hub this trip, and second, our big kids at home have less of a job, not having to supervise their littlest sister.

We left home on Sunday morning at the insanely early hour of 4:30 AM.  Our flight to Denver was easy– our 5 year old slept much of the way.  At Denver we boarded plane #2, and proceeded to wait a good hour and a half while the flight crew banged around on the back door of the plane trying to get it to latch.

Eventually we were asked to get off the plane (whew!) so that a new one could be deployed.  That new plane also proceeded to sit an unusually long while.  (Turns out a plane coming into Newark had landing gear issues which managed to close all but one runway at that airport.)  We finally reached Newark 3 hours behind the original schedule.  I was really glad we’d arrived, and weren’t one of those harried people trying to make connecting flights.

We took a cab to our hotel.  We’d opted for the Hotel at Times Square, which turned out to be a lovely option for us. It is an old building that has been newly and beautifully remodeled. We got a room with two double beds, nice decor, great shower, and even a continental breakfast, something rather uncommon in New York, and even less common at the price of our room– $159/night.  The room wasn’t huge, but it was completely adequate in every important way.

The best thing about the hotel is the location. It is truly stellar.  An easy 5 minutes walk to Times Square.  Eight minutes walk from Rockefeller Plaza. Fifteen minutes from Grand Central Station. And close to a boatload of shopping places and eateries. We ended up taking a few cabs and buses to more distant places, but we loved having so many interesting places within such easy walking distance.

As we were driving to the hotel in the dark at 7 in the evening, we drove thru Times Square.  A huge billboard lit up just as we drove under it, and our 5 year old said, “It’s daytime!”  It did truly look as light as day.

Once we’d settled our bags in our room, John was leaning towards vegging with the TV, but I was hyped and ready to do something.  He obliged.  We wandered towards Times Square (2 blocks away) but didn’t get any further than a small grocery store and a Chinese restauarant.  We got a few odds and ends at the grocery store (including Greek yogurt– yum!) and decided to check out the Chinese restaurant as well.

The restaurant was long and very narrow, and walled with glass to make the space feel bigger.  We got an appetizer platter (dumplings, BBQ ribs, chicken wings) and a couple of bowls of noodle soup.  John chose chicken noodle soup with spinach, and I had pork with ‘salty’ vegetables.   The bowls were enormous, and the soup was filled with thick-cut homemade noodles.  Our 5 year old and I together only ate about half of one bowl, they’d given us so much.   But very yummy!  Altogether that meal was about $40.  Not bad.

We went back to the hotel and sacked out for the night, glad for the comfy beds and the fan that at least partially quieted the roar of the city below our 11th floor window.


  1. Go Mary! I am delighted by how you get to be surprised by how your life has ended up the way it has.

  2. Oh, and I went to request that my local library purchase this book and discovered that they already had it on the shelves. Perhaps they recognized that they had ordered your other book previously and were eager to order your next. I like that story so I’m sticking to it!

  3. Keep sharing – its so wonderful to have come across your book, then your blog, and then see your success grow. I had no exposure to your blog prior to coming across your book a few months back, so I can’t speak to all your old time followers, but I would think folks would be thrilled to hear your adventures. I don’t consider these snapshots as being “full of yourself” – I think its wonderful that you are reaping the rewards of your hard work. As women we should celebrate that with you, not tear you down so I give you a big shout out – go girl – and wish you all the best in NYC and any future adventures! (just stay out of the tabloids, k?)

  4. So excited to have the litte peeks into your adventures! Please continue to share! I doubt I’ll ever have the opportunity to go to New York and it is very nice to hear about it from a real person (as opposed to thinking tv programs show NY as it truly is in real life)!
    Congrats and Enjoy!

  5. Mary – we are all so thrilled to have glimpses of the well deserved perks you are experiencing. Not a bit full of yourself – you are sharing with us an adventure hardly imaginable but quite real. The Lord does the coolest things doesn’t He? I love the part about going to walk around Times Square and getting side tracked to a small grocery store and a hole in the wall sized restaurant – one of the real joys of a big city! Keep sharing – we LOVE it!

  6. I’ve read your blog for a long while now and I think many will agree with me when I say you are the last person who could be considered full of themselves. God has guided and blessed you.

  7. Who woulda thunk that a former Labor/ Delivery Nurse would be in New York City as the author of a recipe book?

    You have earned your way to this moment, and the rest of us are enjoying the Blessings of your efforts.

    the noodle soup sounds wonderful

    ~~love and Huggs, Diane

  8. Love hearing about your adventures. Your book and your encouragement has been such a blessing to so many – God is blessing you now! Btw – He’s provided for us so I can stay home 2 days a week! It’s a start that will hopefully lead to full time and now I’m really needing to stay on budget!

  9. Yea, NYC! You’re about an hour’s drive from me. 😀

    I had to chime in…if you & yours enjoy Chinese food, I really hope you have the time to head down to Canal street! It’s the ONLY place I eat in the city anymore…because I can stuff myself silly for about $10. 😉 If you do head down, take the subway to Canal (or just get directions to Chinatown). Off of Canal, head down Mott Street. You’ll find everything delicious and cheap on that street. Mmmmm. That’s where I’ll be for Chinese New Year next month! *grin*

  10. I’m so happy for you and the many blessings that have been both the fruit of your labors and God’s gracious hand on your life. Sounds like a really fun time! Can’t wait to hear more…

  11. you are a superstar mom, wife, woman and writer. i love reading about your adventures! keep them coming!!

  12. Mary, I just love your description of the Chinese restaurant! I’ve totally got the feeling of eating there.
    Many hugs,

  13. I have visited your blog before, love the new format, btw! We have 4 children and I love reading about feeding your brood for 75$ a week. Would that I could do as well! I purchased your book this am on a visit to sams club and have read the first chapter since I got home. My family has always considered me to be frugal, but I keep telling them, I dont even know frugal compared to many ladies on the net! NYC sounds fun adn I am glad you are able to enjoy the city! Congrats on all your success!