A Look Back - August 2019
We’re officially a year older this month and we’ve now had Frasier for over a month (although it feels like we’ve had him forever). August turned out to be a busy, fun, and memorable month that made us even more excited for the remaining months of 2019.
RECAP OF THE MONTH
The month began with our birthday. The two-day span every year that has Jenn and trying to figure out whether or not we’re going to get each other gifts, celebrate in any way, When I got home from work the day prior to my birthday Jenn and Frasier were there waiting to greet me with a fully decorated living room with happy birthday decorations hung all over. The next day (my birthday) I worked from home and we met for dinner at one of our favorites in the city, The Musket Room. It’s our third time here and we went with their tasting menu (because of course we did).
For Jenn’s birthday it was as much about Frasier as it was about Jenn. She literally just wanted to spend as much of the day as possible with him. So after an incredible brunch at Maison Pickle (another one of our favorites) we spent the day at home with him. We watched Sex and the City The Movie (my first time watching it), we took Frasier for walks, and had a very relaxing day.
And Jenn’s birthday became a blue print of sorts for our new life with Frasier. In between walks, cuddles, and play sessions Jenn and I would go out and explore. We tried a slew of new restaurants (and returned to some old favorites). Some of the highlights were Locanda Verde, a place Jenn has wanted to go to since visiting my office my first week on the job. We walked Frasier to the east-side and had Ess-A-Bagel for the first time and it really lived up to the hype.
But by far my favorite memories of August came from two long walks/adventures with Frasier. The first was on the 24th when we jumped into a cab and took Frasier downtown to the start of the Brooklyn Bridge. We walked with him across, took him into Dumbo, and then back across the bridge and through Tribeca. It was the perfect day outside, the weather was crisp (not to warm), and Frasier handled all the new sights and sounds like it was just another walk along the Hudson. He even did extremely well in the taxi rides to and from downtown Manhattan.
The other favorite of August was the next day when we took Frasier to the Upper East Side to do a temperament test at a dog kennel we might leave him at, at some of our upcoming trips. We walked the almost three miles through Central Park (which he loves) and down to the facility. We dropped him off and Jenn had a small meltdown leaving our little guy at a new place but when we arrived at brunch at The Penrose (a new favorite) we got a ton of pictures of Frasier playing with other dogs and she felt a lot better. We both had a couple of breakfast cocktails before heading to The Met for a few hours. It was just such a nice easy day that I’ll never forget.
The month ended with me boarding a plane to California and Jenn having her Dad stay at our place. They went to the US Open and enjoyed going about town, eating good food, and taking Frasier for a ton of walks. Frasier even got to do his first overnight stay at a different kennel that went really well.
I flew into Ontario on Thursday before Labor Day and spent the next five days with Jake, Amy and Ryan. My parents were on their big cruise in Ireland & Scotland and Ally was in Hawaii with Tim. We spent Friday & Saturday in Orange County. We stayed at the Renaissance, had some great meals at Trenta & Red O, went for my favorite hike in the world at Crystal Cove, and even saw a movie at The Lot, Peanut Butter Falcon that was great. We made our way back to Riverside had a great brunch at The Salted Pig and enjoyed a day by the pool and playing VR with my new Oculus Quest.
It was great being back home and spending time with everyone. After playing a quick game of tennis I drove my rental car to Los Angeles, stayed a night at the Renaissance LAX and was back in New York the day after labor day. It was a great trip and I’m so glad I was able to spend the time with everyone. And although that spilled into September it was a great way to end the month and start anew. I still can’t believe the summer is coming to a close and our jackets are going to have to come out of storage soon. But before that, the best season in Manhattan is coming, fall, and we all can’t wait for that.
TV WE WATCHED
This month we finished Stranger Things, Handmaids Tale, and Year after Year. We really enjoyed all three. Stranger Things was more of the same which we love. Handmaids Tale is a little more fantasy then it used to be but still enjoyable, and Year After Year although a little clunky had some very enjoyable and wrenching episodes. We’re of course back on the Succession bandwagon and have started the latest season of Top Chef (season 16).
BOOKS I READ (OR LISTENED TO)
This will most likely go down as the best month of reading I will have in 2019. Each of the four books I read in August were absolutely phenomenal. I finally finished Sapiens (which took me longer then it should have). I read The New Jim Crow for our book club (a book I’m looking forward to discussing). Most fascinating about that book though was reading a book written at the start of the Obama administration now that we have the moron in chief in office.
But the last two books were even better. Americanah and Why We Sleep were two of the best books I’ve read this year.
MOVIES WE WATCHED
We watched some great movies this month. On Jenn’s birthday she said she wanted to watch Sex and the City so I obliged and it was actually pretty good. The following weekend we went to see Once Upon a Time in Hollywood which is a movie that shocked me with how much I enjoyed it. It was so good in fact that the next day we watched another Tarantino movie, Inglorious Bastards which was unbelievable. Later in the month on a rainy day Jenn and I spent 3+ hours re-watching the phenomenal Avengers Endgame. And at the end of the month while in Orange County Amy asked to go see Peanut Butter Falcon which is a movie I had never heard of but really enjoyed.
THEATER WE SAW
Sea Wall / A Life was the only play that we aw in August and its one that has stuck with me weeks after we left the theater. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge it was two one-man plays that had similar (slightly connecting) monologues that were so profound and so moving that I found myself crying and laughing throughout both. When we left the theater I felt like I had been on one of the very best rollercoaster rides of the year.
GAMES I'VE BEEN PLAYING
Outside of the normal deep rabbit hole that I go into every year with a new Madden game, I also got an Oculus Quest in August which is something I’ve had my face on quite a bit. Three games (one not picture) have been my primary enjoyment: Beat Saber, Super Hot, and Racket Fury (ping pong). It’s quite the device!
2019 GOAL TRACKING
Goal #1: Read 33 Books: I've read 26 books and am currently way ahead of schedule to hit my goal.
Goal #2: Run 300 Times: I’ve run 193 times so far in 2019. On track to hit the goal.
Goal #3: Keep Weight Under 140: I've yet to go over 140lbs
Goal #4: Eat at 12 Michelin Star Restaurants: Seven so far, currently one behind plan.
Goal #5: 12 Monthly Recaps: 8 for 8.
I saw this ad so many times on my commutes to and from work. And every time I smiled and said a quick prayer hoping that in 14 months we’ll have a new President.