Sunday, June 28, 2015

three men in my life

Sometimes you take a random photo and it becomes so much more than that. These are three from a hike the other day (to Eagle Falls) with Josh, my dad and Bear and these photos, I think, are so beautiful. Ok, so they may have a filter on them, but barely...it's not too hard to make a Tahoe photo look good. The scenery here is indescribable. I feel so lucky to be in a place now where I can look around and see this and not concrete buildings. 

I had to share these, because they're pretty, right? And Bear's hair is getting way long! And happy birthday to my dad. This was a pretty cool way to celebrate.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

tahoe: our new little life

Barely a filter Tahoe-ness!
It's taken me weeks to finally sit down and put some thoughts on to paper about our massive transition from NYC to Tahoe. I still have moments every day when I can't believe we actually picked up and moved our entire life from Manhattan to this outdoorsy lake community in Nevada (and a mile from the California border). I think back to the last few months and it's all really a blur. It was a much bigger move than I really thought. I'm proud of us for taking such a huge leap of faith and following our dreams. It's really nice (and also scary) to start a fresh, new life. It's a very new concept to me, but I can say I am officially happy here.

I mean, it sounds pretty cool - to escape the big city and start a simpler life somewhere very different. It sounds awesome. But it's a major transition y'all. One that I'm still (and probably will be for a few months) adjusting to. I am really excited to be here in Tahoe but it's just different - and I knew it would be. If I had a dollar for every person here that said to me "wow...now that's a big move," I'd be Richard Branson by now or something. We've been here just over a month now and we've seen so much in that time. Lake Tahoe has an incredible lifestyle to offer - especially for the little guy. Not only is it an outdoor enthusiasts heaven, but there are so many great restaurants and fun things to do within minutes (and Reno and Carson City are 30 minutes away, so if I need my Target fix...). And the super trendy mountain town of Truckee is nearby with a lot of great "nyc-quality" restaurants.

This life is all so new to us though. We didn't have a car for 11 years in NYC, so just driving around is weird. Josh says he misses walking everywhere. I do not. We still get lots of hiking and running in here, but just the daily walking to/from places in NYC is a bit of a change. As of now though, I am loving this "drive to the grocery store, drive to the bank, drive to the post office" ordeal. I missed that normalcy a lot (but ask me again in 6 months).
The first week or so here was actually not easy (although it might not look that way from the photos). Thank God my parents are here and let us stay there until we got settled -- I will always be so grateful for that -- but the first week consisted of rain nearly every day (and cold) which apparently NEVER happens in Lake Tahoe. (Although rain makes people very happy here, because they need it so bad. So, I guess it was a good thing, but tough for us because we couldn't really get outside and experience what we moved here for.) I also started working from home the date after we arrived and as wonderful as that has been, it's been an adjustment figuring it all out. And searching for a place to live. All with a busy, little 7 month old.
our first week here was cloudy, cold and rainy
our anniversary down on whale beach (byob!)
Then about a week later, that California sun started to shine and we started to see why we came here. We started running on trails, going to the beaches, hiking and to restaurants (where we could sit outside) and exploring this whole area. There is so much to see. My favorite thing is that everyone here has SOMETHING on top of their car - bikes, kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, ski racks galore....something. I love that. And every day, you see so many people biking up the mountain roads and paddle-boarding in the lake after work. It's pretty cool and sure beats the 7pm NYC Bar Happy Hour. I'm shocked at how beautiful summer is here. I thought of Tahoe as a ski destination, but the summer is awesome and I might like it even better than the winters here. And the people are incredibly nice – almost too nice. It's such a welcome change (and a bit weird). 

After a week or so, we found ourselves a lovely 3-bedroom rental condo (please note: I've never lived in anything more than a 1BDR!) in walking distance to the lake (with a laundry room!) and close to restaurants/shops, etc. My favorite burrito place and sandwich shop are both about 2 minutes away and there are about 5 Mexican restaurants within a few miles. Enough said! With this condo, we got these little photo cards to two private beaches here that feel like heaven. One with a big pool right on the lake, both with bars/food, chairs, etc. It's a nice perk...for almost half of what we paid for a 1 BDR in NYC (i.e., you should come visit us)!


Grilling on the beach on Josh's bday weekend
I really like it here and hope we can make our lives work in this little town. There are so many kids and families here, so I think it's the right place for us right now. Some people have asked me if I miss NYC and I can say honestly that I haven't had much time to think about it yet. It's such a welcome change that I don't miss really anything yet (except our friends of course). Maybe ordering in on the Seamless app (and Shake Shack), but that's probably it. Ask me again in the Fall or at Christmas, but those seasons here in Tahoe are pretty amazing too. I like change, but it's just that - a big change. 

Almost every day when I'm off work, we go down to the beach/lake, just minutes away (.8 miles actually), and I look around at people paddle-boarding, kids running around, people drinking beer at the beach bar, grilling out, etc., and I see Bear playing in the sand and it just makes me really happy. It's going to be a good life for Bear and for us, I'm pretty sure. It's definitely a transition time for our little family, but I think we will be just fine. I'll let ya know!
Beautiful Chamber's Landing bar...
Hiking with Dad on Father's Day (this man hikes every day, y'all!)
My mom strolling Bear to our neighborhood playground with a pretty great view...
I definitely feel like some kind of suburban mom now, going to the pool and grocery store every day...and i kind of love it.
Bear is already getting into the Tahoe outdoors scene!
this photo makes me really happy for some reason...i think because it's everything new york city was not. i will always love nyc, but i like this better these days...

Saturday, May 23, 2015

U S A in 18 Days (some photos from the road)

One of the few family "selfies" we got from the road.
This from our tent in Moab.
We left NYC on April 30th and I'll never forget driving down into the Lincoln Tunnel and turning to look back knowing that was might last view of NYC for a very long time. A crazy feeling for sure. We headed south for what became one of the best trips of my life. 18 days. 17 states - with a 6.5 month old baby in the back seat. We got to visit family all across the country and stopped in so many new states and places. And the scenery along the way was just mind-blowing.
Death Valley, CA

America is amazing y'all. I'm still sorting through about 1000 photos to prove it. It seemed like every day of our trip we would see some amazing sites, to only be topped the very next day by something even more incredible. From Virginia to Ohio to Memphis to Oklahoma to Route 66 to Santa Fe to Mesa Verde to Moab (probably my fave) to Monument Valley (UT), the Grand Canyon (indescribable) and up through Death Valley (major WOW) to Tahoe. I could maybe write a book on our crazy adventure, but instead, I just wanted to post a few of my favorite photos. More posts to come on traveling on long trips with a baby and must-see spots across this great country and maybe even "Things NOT to do when traveling with a baby across the USA for 3 weeks!"

Traveling cross-country was so refreshing. It was a true reminder that we really are so small. There is SO much to see. The options are endless and life is short. If I had known how incredible the sites would be, I would have just traveled in the US the last few years. I am so proud of us for making this long journey and luckily we're still married at the end of it.

Some photos (not in order...):
"Glamping" in Moab, Utah in the middle of the amazing Arches National Park (through Moab Under Canvas)
The incredibly massive Mt Whitney in Lone Pine, California
Arches National Park - incredible.

Bear in front of Cliff Palace in Mesa Verde National Park
Whatever this was - it was amazing. Colorado.
Somewhere in New Mexico off Route 66 
Cadillac Ranch - a roadside attraction in Texas (near Amarillo)
Josh had to stop for lunch at this crazy place, The Big Texan, famous for their MASSIVE steaks
Texas! 
Checkin' out Beale Street in Memphis
Kentucky! Had to take a quick detour to the Jim Beam Distillery...
Josh...at the Cincinnati Zoo
Charlottesville, VA
Great Falls, Maryland
In Virginia at a tulip farm!
Santa Fe = my dream food city
Bear at Mesa Verde National Park in CO
Bear tries Skyline Chili in Cincinnati for the first time!
Bear tries to get in Tootsie's in Nashville...didn't happen.
Arriving in Lake Tahoe!

Friday, May 1, 2015

U S A

And so the crazy Ryan Family USA Moving Adventure begins. 18 days. 17 states. Lots of diapers and amazing sites to be seen. 

The NYC door officially closed yesterday as we went down into the Lincoln Tunnel - literally no turning back. That was the end of our 11 year run there - the end of a childhood dream and the beginning of a new one. It was quite a surreal feeling. So surreal that I never shed a tear yesterday about leaving. It definitely won't hit me for awhile. Probably not until were in the middle of Amarillo, TX, and I realize what we are embarking on. 

We are excited and nervous, but mostly excited to make this trip across country. Visiting family for the first bit and then hitting the ole Rte 66 until we reach California. Hopefully it's the road trip I've always dreamed of. I'll let you know...

(The last NYC photo...)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Sorry New York... (a letter to nyc by josh ryan)


I'm really excited to share the first ever blog by my husband! Big stuff, folks. 11 years ago I told this Cincinnati, Ohio fella that I was moving to NYC to pursue a career in theatre and thankfully he came up with me and ended up loving life here (many times more than I did). It's been amazing to see the man and father that he has become in this city and I can't wait for the next decade. Here, in his own words, a letter to NYC...

***

Sorry New York but I have to quit…

I know it may come as a surprise to you but it’s all for good intentions. I’ve spent 11 years here learning and growing and I love that, but it’s time to venture out and start a new life somewhere else. I’ve always appreciated you and I thank you for letting me be a part of your life as well. I got my college degree here, I got engaged here, I had my baby here and I’ve met a lot of great friends who I will carry with me forever. These are things that will always be a part of me and also my family.

In the Museum of Natural History
When I look back a long time from now I’m sure I will tear up imagining in my head all the experiences I’ve had with you. The enjoyment of running in the park during the early hours of the morning, learning about your history, street graffiti, times of hardship, times of enjoyment, Fall arriving, Spring arriving, of finding a delicious restaurant that you visit often, staying out as late as you want, concerts & shows, new friends, your food, learning about people and culture through the eyes of others, all the museums and art, running races throughout your boroughs, all your parks and greenspaces, the architecture, the bridges, snowstorms, summer thunderstorms, the crazy people, the different people, the true New Yorkers, family and friends coming to visit, hanging out on fire escapes all night, running around your streets being free, bird watching, parades and celebrations and enjoying all that you have given throughout the years.

It’s funny because nobody in my family thought that I would make it here. They all thought I’d be back home in 6 months with my tail between my legs, but I stuck it out and worked hard and achieved the goals I set out to do. I’ve always told newcomers that when NYC is done with you, it will kick you out. I’ve seen you do it time and time again to those who can’t hack what you’re throwing at them or willing to work hard and adjust. I was able to dig myself in and become a part of you and all that you had to give. There may be 8.5 million people that live here but an Ohioan moving to the city with $380 and a suitcase usually doesn’t last -- but not me. I knew that this would be a huge challenge for me and I took it on as if I was on a mission to succeed with failure as not an option. 

The jobs that I had in this city speak a lot for what I was willing to do to stay within you. First, taking a position at Annie’s Restaurant on the Upper East Side as a busboy, cutting wildflowers all over the tristate, watching dogs all day at the doggy day spa, Fishs Eddy, NYC Parks Dept., Soup Man, Crumbs and H&M. Each one of them giving me more and more insight into who you are and the beauty that lies within you. I was able to see farms in New Jersey, coast line in Long Island, the borough of Brooklyn, borough of Staten Island, borough of Queens, Upstate, the East coast shoreline, small towns that dot the map surrounding you, the intricate streets and beautiful architecture of Manhattan and so, so much more.

As the time nears that my family and I have to say goodbye I’m becoming more and more appreciative of what I was able to experience and of what I will be able to carry with me when I leave here. I’ve learned so much from you and the people that you produce here. As long as I’ve kept working hard and never given up, you’ve been there to support me. So I thank you for everything that you’ve given me. It won’t ever be forgotten and I will use it always. It’s been a lot of fun, New York. I’m excited to someday come back and visit you and see what new things you’ve have created for all to enjoy.


See ya...........Josh


Thursday, April 23, 2015

My Top 20 NYC Moments

In one week, we will cross through the Lincoln Tunnel to NJ and head towards a new life out West. All I can think of are the hundreds of crazy NYC memories from the last 11 years. Too many crazy ones to try to process. The best, though, are those "only in NY..." moments that seem to happen way too often. This city brings a new story every, single day. Here are 20 of my faves:
  1. One January, we (or "Josh" I should say) threw our Christmas tree off our 4th floor balcony because we (he) didn't want to carry it down 4, narrow flights of stairs. I pretended like I saw nothing. 
  2. I'll never forget when I first moved up here and I had to walk over 50 blocks home because I totally ran out of money and couldn't get a MetroCard (don't lie - we've all been there!) and decided to take the route all the way up Madison Avenue, past some of the worlds most expensive shops. I actually laughed at myself, passing Chanel and Gucci and Prada, with not a penny to my name and yet loving every minute of it. Only in New York....
  3. Getting ice cream delivered (Sedutto!) on many occasions. And warm chocolate chip cookies (Insomnia Cookies!). And grilled cheeses at 2am (Green Kitchen!). And tacos (Taco King!). Food delivery is probably one of the things I will miss most when we leave. #SeamlessWithdrawl
  4. Going to a huge birthday party at the famous Plaza Hotel. Who does this?! And Christmas parties at the Museum of Natural History and The Central Park Boathouse. And being on a yacht in the Hudson. Unforgettable. (I work for great people...) 
  5. When Josh took a dip in the Atlantic...Ocean in JANUARY as part of Coney Island's Polar Bear Club. This is a real thing y'all. And just ridiculous.
  6. The amount of .99 cent tacos we consumed in 11 years. And from places names "Taco King," "Taco City," Taco Today." All...the exact same. For $10, you could feed a whole family! Who says NYC is expensive?!
  7. Running the midnight 5K in Central Park on New Years Eve in 2013. I think I cried at one point because it was just so cool. 
  8. Drinking a $26 cocktail at The Peninsula Hotel rooftop. I promised myself I would not forget the ridiculousness of that drink. And a $13 beer at The Gansevoort Hotel rooftop. Equally ridiculous. And a Manhattan at Bemelman's Bar in The Carlyle Hotel. NYC can be so ridiculous...and amazing. 
  9. Seeing one of my best friends perform as the headliner at Carnegie Hall. UNREAL. And also seeing some of my favorite singers perform at Carnegie Hall, going two nights in a row. It's one of my favorite venues in this city and so glad I got to see some shows there. 
  10. Seeing my friends perform on Broadway time and time again. Never. Gets. Old. I live vicariously through them and I'm totally cool with that. 
  11. Singing a tune at Birdland Jazz Club as part of my best friends solo show. So fun. 
  12. Getting an appointment to audition for Les Miz. When I moved to NYC all I really cared about was being seen for Les Miz. I basically forced an agent (that I wasn't signed with) to submit me for an appointment/audition. That audition, while it may sound silly, was a highlight for me. I never got called back (and not sure they were even casting at that point), but just being able to audition for Tara Rubin for Les Miz was a dream. Even today, if I could audition to be a piece of wood on the barricade, I would drop everything and go. 
  13. Getting callbacks for Sophie in Mamma Mia on Broadway when I first moved to NYC and getting so close to the end and then not getting it and realizing how truly hard this business is. And how there were 50 girls who all look just like me, are all talented and all have Broadway credits. No...fun....
  14. Cincinnati Nights! Finding out there is a restaurant in Tribeca (Edward's) that serves all food from Cincinnati. So random and so overpriced. And so something we did for 10 years. 
  15. The amount of visitors we had to our tiny, 1 BDR apartment over the years and "Josh's NYC Walking Tour"! If airbnb.com was only around 10 years ago, we would be rich!
  16. The year we had 28" of snow (i.e., the year I finally got good snow boots).
  17. Going to buy my wedding dress (by myself) at a little boutique on a brick-lined street in the West Village. And Skyped in my mom to see me try it on (and then begged her to help me pay for it).  
  18. The guy that ran down the UES each night in stockings and a thong. And the screaming lady on the UES who woke us up every weekend morning screaming at the top of her longs. Totally normal to us after a year or so. 
  19. When I was a waitress, I waited on so many celebs, including Heath Ledger (who brought his own tea), Steve Martin, Jessica Simpson & Nick Lachey, Diane Sawyer, Julianna Margoulis, Lisa Ling and Alec Baldwin. Only in NY....
  20. When Bear Ryan was born and we walked home from the hospital with him, 22 blocks up York Avenue.