I love June and July - our summer here between grades in Indiana. With the boys starting back to high school in less than a month, I'm enjoying every single day. Here are highlights from our month.
Thomas attended his 7th mission trip - this time returning to Ronceverte, West Virginia where they saw the devastation of the flood last year. This year they were returning to a building year. They saw many of the families they met last year who were still in shock from the flood. They got to go in some areas that they weren't allowed in last year without hazmat suits. It was another great 9 day trip with the youth group.
David and I spent a Saturday touring portions of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. We started in historic Bardstown and had lunch. Then we toured Heaven Hill and the Bourbon Heritage Center, then made our way to Makers Mark and Jim Beam.
Here's David dipping a bottle at the Maker's Mark center.
It was a gorgeous day - we had a lot of fun driving around Kentucky!
And then Violet and I went on an incredible trip to NYC!
The Philharmonic planned a trip to see two local ladies performing on Broadway.
Violet and I planned a slightly different schedule and had a great visit!
We took a TV and Movie Tour with On Location Tours with the knowledgeable and very funny Amadeo Fusca. Before seeing sites where scenes had been filmed, we watched clips from those scenes on the bus screens. We got out to see Washington Park where several movies were filmed, the site of the Friends building, the Ghostbusters firehouse, the Soup Man restaurant from Seinfeld, and I believe a few other places too. But we saw many, many more places from the air conditioned bus. I loved that the tour took us all over Manhattan. Lots of photos from that tour. Here are a few.
Washington Square Park
The "Friends" Building
"Ugly Naked Guy's" Building from Friends
After the tour we had lunch at Elaine's Starlight Diner in Midtown where the servers sing. It's a great theme restaurant for a quick meal!
Then it was on to the Late Show with Stephen Colbert! Not only did the ticket lottery come through with free tickets, but we got Priority Seating. That's the way to do it.
We stood in line outside for quite awhile. It was hot but we were somewhat shaded. Violet made a dash across the street to Starbucks for iced green teas. That helped tremendously!
Colbert is taped at the Ed Sullivan Theater. Here's the entrance. It was gorgeous inside!
Just before we headed inside to wait for another hour or so. It was so worth it though - the show was really great!
Unlike Jon Stewart, photos are not allowed in the Ed Sullivan theater and security were standing near us. While I didn't want to get ejected before the show, I also wanted a few photographic memories! Here's a quick one I took before the comedian came out and entertained us.
And this is as we were leaving. We saw Olivia Wilde, Eddie Izzard, and Scarlett Johansson being interviewed. It was really a great show. I had my hand up to ask Stephen Colbert a question before the show and he pointed to me, but the lady in front of me asked hers instead. Oh well!
And I was so excited that we got to see Lika while we were in NYC! We stayed in Brooklyn, not too far from her office. While we didn't get to see Dave and Maren, we did have a fantastic dinner and trivia night at a great Brooklyn restaurant. What a great first day of the trip!
Day 2 was all about Broadway. We had some time in the morning though so we headed to the Financial District to see Fearless Girl. Violet took some photos there, and I got one for David with the Charging Bull. The tourists were out in droves that day.
We headed to lunch in Times Square before our first show, stopping for a spin first.
Then, on to War Paint with Mary Claire King! Mary Claire was sensational in multiple roles. What a great show.
A stop at the merchandise table before taking our seats at the Nederlander.
And after the show we got a backstage tour with Mary Claire! She very much appreciates all the local support, but it was our pleasure. My first Broadway show!
More time in Times Square before dinner and our last show. Two shows in one day is an achievement. We were up to it!
"Dear Evan Hansen" was absolutely incredible. I was really, really glad I knew nothing about the show and had not listened to the soundtrack. Everyone was as struck by it as I was. It was really just incredible. See it if you can. Pay whatever it costs. It's worth all those Tony awards it received. The show we attended was the first one since the Tony's where the entire cast was together. It was magical.
The set at the start of the show. The musicians sat in the loft on the upper left of the photo.
Me at Intermission. All my makeup has been cried off. This show has it all.
Ben Platt during the curtain call. What a perfect end to our quick trip to NYC. But we filled it with tons of memories!
The following week I hosted a women's group from church for dinner. Bailey helped me entertain. The next morning I found him like this sleeping off the big night. Bedhead and paws covering the eyes.
Brennan and I did some shopping in Indy and then had lunch at a Japanese restaurant. Here he is outside the mall.
And Thomas turned 17!!
We had our celebration a day early because the boys were in a class in Indy on Thomas's big day. But that evening we went out to Taku for dinner and dessert to celebrate his big birthday.
David and I saw Krysta Rodriguez and Megan McGinnis (2 Broadway stars and best friends) at the Cabaret at the Commons. It was a fun night out, just the two of us (and 300 of our closest Cabaret friends!)
I wish I knew the accompanist's name. Here I am with him, my friend Katelyn, Krysta Rodriguez and Megan McGinnis. You might recognize Krysta from "Trial and Error" - the new John Lithgow tv show. Megan was Eponine in Les Miserables, and Belle in Beauty and the Beast.
I took this quick photo of the boys on their last day driving to Indy for 2 weeks of classes. They navigated I-65, downtown Indy, and rush hour by themselves 10 times. I'm very proud of them - they used great judgment. And now we're all together for a few days before more summer activities.