October Busy

It feels a little odd to be busy with activities besides work and domestic tasks these days, but October opened up for it with a long-delayed trip to NYC.

We were able to schedule it around Kayla’s fall break from college, so I had my oldest and my youngest grandchild on the trip.

We limo’d up, and Griffin made it clear he was born for limo rides. We didn’t make it down the lane before the grins broke out. Such fun to see his pleasure with the height of his car seat and the window so he could see out, and his delight with the colored lights on the roof.

The half bag of chips he ate didn’t hurt either.

We had the amazing Kevin at the wheel, and a good thing. Minutes after our half-way there pit stop, he noted a radiator issue. Not only did he figure out where to stop where he could find a part, but he got it, and fixed the problem himself.

Kudos to Kevin.

We arrive.

Griffin’s play room for the week.

Griffin clearly loves hotels as much as limos as he had to race around everywhere, happy to explore. We unpack, settle in, and since we wouldn’t be eating out on this trip, hit up room service. Laura’s with us, so a happy family meal, plenty of hang out time before an early to bed on travel day.

Up bright and early for a workout, clean up and dress for our first shopping day.

Kayla gets reacquainted with the view to the south.
…and to the north.

Kayla hasn’t been to NYC in some time, (she’s just a little excited!) and needs business casual attire. She’s in several clubs at college—including the Honor Society—and they have dress codes. My girl has mostly sportswear and sweats—and some fancier duds, but nothing really that hits that middle ground.

Fun for Nana! And it’ll check off a certain college student’s Christmas gifts.

We approach this as shopping clusters and earmark a group for the first day. A rousing success. Not always easy as our girl has a hard time finding pants to fit her Double Zero frame. And she absolutely, no question, knows what she likes and what she doesn’t.

I respect that! Plus, I can’t fault the girl’s taste. On the other hand, it’s like dressing this tall, leggy doll—and everything looks good on her.

Later, Laura and I head to Stewart Wiseman as she needs shoes—and the 8th floor of Saks, usually a Nirvana, didn’t reach the march. She finds shoes, and I end up with two pair of boots I really needed need but seriously had to have! And I’m taking Kayla back as I’ve found the perfect black booties that’ll work with those tiny skirts.

Shopping for shoes.

A fun day, despite a bit of rain. Then a take-away meal that suits all.

And cake! Amazing birthday cake. And just beautiful flowers from my sweet family.

Not one…(this from Magnolia Bakery)…
but two cakes. This one from Milk Bar — and proclaimed the best cake ever by the birthday girl.

Another day, another cluster. I’m also bagging a few other gifts as we go, checking off that list! Plus it’s really, really good to be back in the energy of the city. It’s definitely not as crowded on the streets or in the stores, and it’s good to see most wearing masks. I’m also pleased a pair of my new boots prove incredibly comfortable throughout the urban hiking.

Laura, Kayla and I head up to our roof terrace with snacks and champagne. It’s a pretty day, but wow! Turns out the wind is wild up there that afternoon. We end up inside with the doors open.

There’s time to play trucks—Griffin’s newest love. And another successful take-out meal after another successful day of shopping.

[Note from Laura: Griffin’s other fun game with his parents.]

I like working out in the mornings with the city view. A big change from my usual, and after, I can head downstairs and see whoever’s up and about. My editor, Leslie, is coming by—I haven’t seen my pal for two years. It’s so good to see her again, to hang out awhile, to have to hike along on our next cluster.

Also fun to have yet another girl weigh in on fashion choices.

From left: Nora’s editor Leslie Gelbman, Nora and SMP Assoc. Director of Publicity John Karle

A long successful day, and Kat’s put out a pretty fruit and cheese platter to welcome us back. Goes well with wine!

My agent’s coming to join Leslie and the whole gang for a pizza dinner. Again, just so great to see her again, and to sit and talk with my NY connection. We’ve all been friends as well as partners for a very long time.

Sunset over Manhattan

An Uber trip (not ready to use the subway yet) downtown the next day so Kayla can visit PacSun. It’s not only a favorite store, but she just interviewed for and got a job working there. Another cluster, with that in the lead, then back to midtown to walk awhile.

Throughout the week, we shop, sit and talk, play, and sample many cuisines. Mexican, Mediterranean, Italian. Kayla, our vegetarian, doesn’t go hungry. A quick stop at the toy store to find a little something for my boy, and we three girls enjoy an outdoor lunch—until it chills down with a stiff breeze.

Who can resist an alicorn? Not Kayla!

Time to pack up, say goodbye, then it’s the long ride home.

Back in routine after a fun week. Making soup, harvesting more herbs. And writing, of course, which rolled, really rolled. I think the week off seriously recharged some batteries.

Have to say goodbye to my Kayla who has to head back to college.

And before we know it’s it’s Griffin’s third birthday.

Immersed in play.
Portrait of a three year old.

Toys! Cake! A very happy little boy. He took two of the little monster trucks Kayla’s mom bought him to bed with him along with his beloved stuffed dog Howl.

He’s just as happy this morning, and has yet to put them down.

I’ll be making a pot roast later, likely harvesting the last of the basil.

Tomorrow I have to see a specialist who’ll determine if this tooth—next to the last, upper left, can be saved. Not looking forward to that, either way. My teeth continue to work against me no matter how nice I am to them!

Anyway, after that stupid busy work, it’ll be back to routine.

As we ease toward Samhain, I’m pretty thrilled so much of my garden is blooming—or as Kayla would say—vibing and thriving. I know it won’t be long until that first hard frost, so I enjoy those blooms every day.

As I close this blog, I’m listening to my son play with his son in the other room.

It’s a really lovely sound on a Sunday morning.


46 thoughts on “October Busy”

  1. What a nice sharing. So much accomplished. Even the shopping sounds fun! (Not really my thing)

    Thank you.

  2. I love these blogs. So fun and I love the peek into Nora’s world and family. Much love to all! 💛

  3. Urban hiking for retail therapy? Sounds like a great time and even better way to spend time with family. Time spent with grands is absolutely the best!

  4. Kayla is just the cutest thing! Those pink acid wash jeans are quite inspiring. I’m so glad you all got to spend time together. Love from southwest Virginia!

  5. I’m reading this, early Sunday evening, nice glass of wine and smiling. Lovely blog. I love NYC and, living in England, I’m very lucky that I have been able to travel there many times. My highlight was watching my now son in law propose to my daughter by the Christmas tree at Rockefella Centre. Wonderful. Sounds like you’ve had a special time. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Sounds like the most wonderful week. I am so glad for you. Your hard work all these years makes these trips possible and you are so generous. May God bless you and your family always.

  7. I love it when you share your family time with us. I do find I have a question however, did Roarke’s fairies have anything to do with those new boots? I’ve never found a pair that I could wear shopping the day after purchase, I always have to break them in a bit.

    1. Stuart Wiesman footwear is also always incredibly comfortable to start with, and these boots have those thick lug soles so walking in the city was a breeze.

  8. I love these peaks into your family life, and watching your grandbabies grow up. I have been to New York once, and absolutely love it – visiting vicariously until I can come back

  9. I’ve missed your blogs and awesome photos especially of the ever loving and handsome 3 year old Griffin🥰🥰

  10. Such fun to read about your trip to NYC! I love hearing about your adventures with your loved ones. Happy fall, and Samhain blessings!

  11. It’s wonderful to glimpse into the shopping adventures of you and family. I have enjoyed it all. Thanks

  12. Glad you had a great time in Manhattan! Wish you had tried the outer boros! We have a great library, museum, Botanical Gardens and Zoo, right here @ Grand Army Plaza, all within walking distance of one another.
    I only have one grandchild, who’s a freshman in high school now, buy being around her brings me joy, so I can imagine your time with your oldest and youngest, was a blast! I finished my Christmas and birthday shopping (my grand’s birthday is in December), just waiting for a jacket I ordered from Nordstrom to arrive. She has a long commute every day and I want her to be warm (Nonna’s do worry!).
    Glad you’re back home. They’re predicting this will be a cold and snowy winter, so enjoy your flowers while they last!

  13. Sounds like a great trip. Shopping and time with family. Plus, those two fantastic looking cakes.
    Thank you for sharing with us.

  14. Thank you Nora and Laura for the trip blog, always so fun for your followers and readers

  15. How wonderful to be three years old! Birthdays at that age are rare and joyful. Glad you could celebrate your birthday as well. I just celebrated (?) one also and it certainly is not like being three again! Thanks for sharing with all of us.

  16. You’ve got gorgeous grandkids, Nora! Is Kayla moving to NYC, or is there a PacSun at her school? I think I learned as much from my side jobs as I did in class while at college. Learning to deal with people is important. For a variety of reasons my herbs weren’t a success this year, and I’m very near the end of my stash of frozen from the previous year. I’ll be planting more carefully. Happy Samhain and stay safe.

    1. There’s a PacSun near her college. She’s worked in retain at TTP and Gifts, so it’s part-time retail’s a good fit, especially since she loves their clothes.

  17. Such a lovely journey with you enjoying your holiday, we haven’t managed one again this year my trip to see my lovely brother in America will have to wait yet another year but we do FaceTime and chat. 🤗 🌈 you have such a great time together with young Griffin and Kayla and the rest of your troop, stay safe. Greetings from UK.xx

  18. It’s nice to be able to go places and do things once again. Sounds like a fun time.

  19. How wonderful to get out and about NYC with grandkids and good pals! Looks like y’all had great fun and good weather. I have a question for you…where did you get your book mask!?! I just love it! Share, share please!
    Thank you for all the sharing you do with us your readers and fans. God bless you and yours. Take care!

  20. Thank you! So glad to read this story on your visit to my hometown. My teeth don’t seem to behave either! Argh. As always, thanks for writing.

    Open invitation to Brooklyn always! Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Museum, the Promenade, diFara’s pizzeria, Al di La ristorante, and more.

    Be well,
    Stephanie (who loves a great pair of shoes!)

  21. There’s nothing as delightful as a 3 year old. And spending time w/Kayla looks like so much fun. The shoe floor on Saks is just heaven for a shoe nut like me too.
    The streets of NYC are still not back to prepandemic crowds. But a word of advice. NEVER take the subway now. There are incidents daily. The homeless population & mental health compromised has shot up thru the roof. I haven’t stepped on a subway in many years. Im glad you enjoyed your break

  22. It sounds like a wonderful trip. I’m glad to hear that it recharged your batteries. Being an author has to be exhausting as well as rewarding. Thanks for taking care of yourself.
    Mickey Merritt

  23. Good luck in saving that tooth. I struggled for years with soft teeth (hereditary) and finally at 68 had to have them all pulled. Dentures are horrible, so if possible choose implants.

    In other news, your trip to NYC sounds like a great success. And the little man is getting so handsome. Still adorable but good looking. Okay, enough sucking up! But can’t help it as a Nan to a grown up adorably handsome grandson

  24. It’s wonderful to read the blogs and know who you are talking about! Kayla is quickly becoming a beautiful woman and Griffen is such a handsome little boy! I really enjoyed hearing about your shopping trips. I haven’t ventured into stores yet. Thanks for sharing your life with us!

  25. How lovely that you gaot such wonderful family time, and a break to re-charge your batteries.
    We visited NYC in 2017 such a difference to our Australian cities, but not so different too.
    Stay well, stay safe, and keep warm when those early frosts hit.

  26. So happy you had a wonderful trip! Being with family, friends, coworkers and especially your grandchildren is the best vacation. You make NYC sound like a wonderful place to visit.

    Best wishes & Happy Fall, Nora!

  27. How wonderful for you, a trip to NYC and shopping! Sounds like a good time was had by all. A great way to celebrate your birthday. Thank you for sharing. We’re finally getting some much needed rain – it’s rained continuously for the past 24 hours with more to come! Fits the saying: When it rains, it pours! Looking forward to all your upcoming books.

    Loved the photos. Can’t believe Griffin is three already!

  28. Thanks so much for the NYC trip blog. So good to see a near normal adventure. Always enjoy what you share with us. Congratulations on the birthdays and the adorable grandchildren.

    Of all the things I would love to have in common with you, the same trouble making tooth is last on the list! Facing the solution to the problem can’t be put off for me as I have hip surgery scheduled in December and no infection can remain. Fingers crossed for both of us.

  29. So happy you were able to spend quality and productive time in NYC. It was my first trip out of the pandemic and it was so restorative. I’m not sure what I would have done without it. Take care Nora!!

  30. Thanks for sharing what sounds like a gloriously fun family and friends time, and a very successful shopping trip, Nora. I’ve only been to NYC once but would love to return some day. Kudos on the boots find! I love boots but have lots of trouble finding ones that fit properly and are comfortable to walk in. Love to see and hear about your grandkids. The love is palpable … I also see it with Kayla when you and Laura do FB live sessions. Griffin is a seriously handsome little boy, and he looks so much like his Dad. It’s good to know that the refreshing break was a good thing and that the writing really rolled! Hearing this from one of my favourite authors is music to my ears. Enjoy the last moments and the bounty from your garden!

  31. Ooooooh Magnolia Bakery!!!! I keep seeing their goodies on Goldbelly, but haven’t tried anything yet. That’s a beautiful view from that hotel, can you share which one it was? Sounds like you all had a great week!

  32. Best of luck with your teeth! I can relate…having a full mouth reconstruction, approaching Year 5, but if all goes well it should end by July. First thing I’ll do is have a filet mignon with my closest circle. As someone wrote above, do NOT use NYC subways at this time. Buses let you sight-see, or grab a cab. I’ve lived in NYC my whole life, but no longer use subways.

  33. Belated happy birthday – you’re is almost the same as my husband – Oct is a great month for birthdays!! Sounds like you had a terrific trip!!

  34. Thank you for sharing your stories. I was recently diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and try to fill my days with things that give me joy…this is one of them along with reading all of your books. So thank you again for sharing ❤

  35. This is a wonderful gift from my favorite writer. Thank you Nora. Happy Thanksgiving.

  36. I noticed the HPU hats. My son is a proud alumnus. He loved his time there. Good school and lovely campus. Good luck to your girl!

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