Iconic Sights and Sounds of New York City

Get lost in the City with the iconic sights and sounds of New York City.



All Pictures by C. Lagunas and A. Carter


Get Ready for the Year of the 2017 Fire Rooster 

Tomorrow marks the start of the Chinese New Year. Today we say goodbye to the monkey and welcome to the year of the Fire Rooster!

According to some of my online reading (feel free to do your ownJ) the Fire Rooster symbolizes loyalty, commitment, hard work, appearance and relationships – just to name a few. It announces the dawn and wakes us up. For me I’ll take the loyal rooster crowing at dawn to wake me up, over the crazy monkey swinging here to there any time. Don’t get me wrong, the cocky rooster has its own dramatic traits too. Just ask my brother who got chased across the yard by a rooster when we were kids. But that’s another story for another day.

Astrologyclub.org describes the upcoming year as a powerful one with no middle of the road when it comes to moving forward – oh, and by the way, looking great while doing it.

Sounds good to me!

From the larger political arena to my own personal life decisions I think moving forward is great advice. On the flip side, I’ll have to work on the looking good part. It might be a good time to make an appointment with my dermatologist.


Pop over to astrostyle.com to get the lowdown on the cock’s traits and how 2017 may play out. From tending your nest to men speaking up for gender equality let’s look forward to a very heart filled year.

No matter your beliefs, being loyal and working hard towards your dreams (no matter how small or large) is a wonderful way to start the year out.



Answering Brene Brown’s 4 Questions. 

  1. What do I want MORE of in my life?
  2. How do I let go of what’s no longer serving me?
  3. What will make me feel more alive? More brave?
  4. At the end of every day and at the end of every year, I need to know that I contributed more than I criticized. How have I contributed and what will that look like moving forward?

Brene Brown’s email arrived in my inbox and, like most things; it arrived at the perfect time. In her email she stated that she asks herself those four questions at the end of the year. I re-read them and then I re-read her answers. And, once again, her wisdom struck a chord deep inside of me. And then I wondered how would I answer them? Could I answer them? Would it make sense? And then my thoughts finally landed on “why the hell not try?”

When I read question one my mind instantly races to LESS. What I want less of. What does that say about me? I take a deep breath. I retype MORE in capital letters. And then bold the letters to highlight it even MORE. And then I begin.

1. I want MORE… more peace, more safety, more security, and more sunshine in my life.

2. I let GO of pushing, of trying too hard. Instead I am embracing the FLOW…and letting that be ok.

3.  Step out of my comfort zone! It’s so easy for me to sink into routine. It’s time to shake it up and find the courage to step out. Explore. Get lost. Find love.

4. This is a tough one. I think that for a long time I’ve been living on auto pilot. I’ve been getting by but have I contributed? I’m not sure. I think this will be a work in progress.

How about you? Take a stab at answering the questions. Don’t forget to share them with me.


Red is for Sex and Other Fun Lessons In The City 

I want a red pair of boots now – just saying. You can’t possibly not want a pair after watching Kinky Boots. But I’m jumping ahead.

After some down time at the hotel Friday afternoon, we went to TKTS in Times Square to score discount tickets to Kinky Boots. Don’t let the long que scare you. It moves super FAST. When we got there the line was wrapped around the building with gads of people dripping in the rain. Yes, the promised rain had arrived. Wish I had snapped a picture of the que, instead we ended up chatting with a guy exclaiming he had seen Kinky Boots six times and that seven times may be excessive… after seeing it I would tell him to go again.

The Rum House

With tickets in hand and a bit rain soaked, we ducked into a small bar a few doors down from our hotel. The Rum House has a retro, speak easy vibe. It’s cozy, dark space and Rat Pack music playing in the background called for a glass of bubbly.

If you do get to the Rum House check out the menu. It’s old school art with lots of classic cocktails and era appropriate quotes which made for an entertaining read by my iPhone flash light.

From there it was onto Kinky Boots. I won’t spoil it for you. But trust me, it’s big, it’s fun and it’s absolutely a feel good musical. The performance pulled on a few heart strings and then, orchestra ready, lifted in a happy high that had the audience clapping along. Go. You will love it!

Saturday Morning – Good Morning New York!

Great message to start my last morning off! Artist swarm around me as I walked to Bouchons for coffee. Ok. Maybe that’s a hyperbole. But four young men walked behind me going on about scripts and performing for several blocks. I just smiled, shamelessly eavesdropping. Welcome to New York!

Take a walk with me.



Another Adventure Comes to an End

Like all good things, this weekend is quickly coming to an end. My real life back in Anchorage is calling my name. I stopped at one of the plethora of souvenir shops to pick up a few small items. I can’t leave New York without a magnet!

I’ve been asked lots of times about traveling to and from Anchorage. Let’s just say that it’s a journey. Travel time back to Anchorage will take me about 15 hours. It’s just the way it goes when you live in the Last Frontier. From New York to Seattle and then in to Anchorage.

I hear it’s snowing and it’s warmed up to a toasty few degrees above zero. Let’s go home.

Until next time!



I’m Kicking 2017 off in the Big Apple


It’s a rare sunny day in New York City. When looking at the forecast last week planning on what to pack for a long weekend in the city the weather gods smiled on us. It’s a beautiful 45 degrees – perfect for a tour on the Big Bus, Red Line.

Stop 10 and the One World Observatory

Hopping off the bus we made our way to the 9/11 memorial before heading up to the One World Observatory. The thoughts that this visit evokes is profound. Memories of an autumn day years ago surface and I say a prayer.

Head towards the One World Observatory. Pay the ticket price, get in the elevator and prepare yourself. Amazing!

Spend the time to have a bite in the restaurant at the top. Just go. Thank me later after you are served scrumptious bites while savoring the view.

Get Lost

To get acquainted with a city I firmly believe you have to get lost. This is where you find the heart. After walking to an Italian restaurant the hotel concierge suggested and being turned away (note to self: reservation is a must for many restaurants) we stumbled on a jewel hidden away on a side street.

An Italian piano bar! Exactly what was on my wish list from the night before to visit. It was early when we got there and we were the only guests at the time. We pulled up two stools at the bar and ordered drinks and dinner. The service was impeccable and the staff kept us entertained while the place quickly filled up with locals and families.

Rockefeller Center

A trip to New York isn’t complete without a trip to Rockefeller Center. Walking off dinner we landed at the ice rink. It was magical. I couldn’t get enough watching this one guy skate with such grace and who totally makes ice skating look easy. Which it’s not. I tried it years ago and my backside can still remember it. Anyway, he was absolutely amazing.  The pictures do not do him justice.


Thinking we could wave at a camera and enjoy coffee at my favorite bakery we got up early to greet a gray New York morning. NBC wasn’t filming this morning due to the President’s Inauguration but we did find two seats to perch at in the Bouchon’s Bakery to enjoy coffee and some people watching.

Up Town Bus Ride – Blue Line 

We had just enough time to catch the Up Town Bus to take a ride around Central Park. Great way to see some iconic sites on a chilly day!

Take a quick ride with me in the video below:

Lunch with the President 

Chilled and a bit hungry we stepped into an Irish Pub just in time to watch Donald Trump’s inauguration. Lucky us… amazing how things work out without a plan.

Over a club sandwich and coffee I listened to our new 45th President speak with lots of platitudes and vague promises on making America Great. I’m not sure about you, but I think America is pretty great right now. I’m grateful for the blessings and bounty that surrounds us. But hey, it’s politics and that’s about all  I can say.

The W Hotel

It’s back to the hotel for some chillax time until we venture out this afternoon to score some theatre tickets. Our room on the 56th floor over looks Times Square. What a view!

Until then – cheers!

January Ice Fog Conjuring Dreams of Blossoms & Sunshine

Ice fog arrives in Anchorage.

It’s a brand new year, a fresh start filled with potential. This New Year dawned bitterly cold. Ice fog rolls through the city painting every surface in white glitter and shimmering ice cycles. Walking through the grocery store I found myself drawn to a spring display of pale blush and robbin blue houseware goods.  Spring is months and months away. But this end cap at Fred Meyers reminded me that the ice and snow will eventually melt and with it spring will bloom. 



Pink artificial blooms stopped me in my tracks.

First Day of 2017 – Chocolate Cherry Trifle for One


Trifle for One

Miss R wanted to make New Year chocolate cupcakes. What’s a grandmother to do? We bake!

We baked a dozen chocolate cupcakes and she frosted three; one for her and two for mom and dad. After adding gads of pink and blue sprinkles “because you can never have enough sprinkles,” according to Miss R., she took her treasures home to share. I’m positive a trail of sprinkles followed her all the way out my door and through the yard, to next door where they live.

Umm. What to do with the rest?

It’s New Year’s Day so I decided to splurge and put together a decadent-devilishly-delicious-chocolate-trifle.  Since it’s just me and my waistline doesn’t need more than one I put together individual sized trifles. The best thing about this pint size yummy dessert is how simple and easy it is to put together.  I happen to have a few petite trifle dishes but stemless wine glasses work just as well which make perfect single portions.

The hardest thing about this whole treat is layering the ingreadients. And you get to pick the ingredients you like most that pairs with whatever cake you may have on hand. I love cherries paired with chocolate and, guess what, I just happened to have cherry pie filling in the pantry.  A match made in heaven.

Seriously, it really is as easy as 1-2-3. Start with a base of chocolate cake, layer with cherries, followed by chocolate pudding, followed by cool whip and repeat until you reach the top. Add a dollop of whip cream on top and voila, dessert for one.

Happy New Year!