NYC Adventure Highlights

We had such an amazing time exploring and adventuring throughout the great city of NY! I brought my small digital camera to capture a lot of the random moments that I couldn't get with my biggie camera. This was the best work-cation I have taken in ages. It probably helped that I went out and got myself engaged.

On Saturday morning (the day after Scott & Esther's wedding) we all woke up at 5am to watch the sunrise at Battery Park, which was primo proposal location! Here are some videos and shots leading up to the magical moment. I really want to share my excitement about being engaged. I've been hanging out with pre-married couples and married couples for years now and I am just thrilled to be engaged myself. It's not because being engaged is trendy or cool. It's just that I am so excited to start spending the rest of my life with my best friend, Anna.

I really do feel different since I got engaged. My friends have been saying that my countenance has changed. I do feel really blessed and happy during this season because I am allowing myself to let go and begin to more fully give my heart away. This is a fun video. After we got engaged the first thing we did was huddle into a Starbucks to get a cup of tea. I don't know if it was that empty Starbucks, Frank Sinatra, NYC, or my ever-so-recent engagement, perhaps it was the combination, but here we are dancing our first dance as a newly-engaged couple!

And then a sobering walk around Ground Zero. I am amazed the potential humanity has for destruction, yet inspired by their ability to rebuild and choose to hope in the future. It looked like a remnant of an ant hill that some 8 year old smashed with his shoe. We stood at the glass watching the people like ants slowly continue to move the debris to prepare for the re-building.

We got a late afternoon nap and headed back out to the city for a little Ice Skating at Rockefeller Center. Truly an amazingly romantic way to tie up our very special day. I know that I'm making a big deal out of this whole 'engagement thing' but really guys for me THIS IS A BIG DEAL!

New York Ninja was perhaps the coolest restaurant experience I have ever had! was incredible! Upon entering the unassuming restaurant we were immediately ushered into another world; the world of Ninjas! The cave walls were dimly lit with candle light. The hostess called an elevator that took us down a level and opened to reveal a pitch black room. The four of us stared into the darkness awaiting some direction. Suddenly a real-live-Ninja jumped out of nowhere in full Ninja stance and shouted, 'HUH!' We all screamed, and yes, I screamed like a girl. He took our coats and led us up a black corridor and scampered off disappearing into the thin hallway of darkness. Just as I started to get a bit nervous as to where our Ninja guide had run off to he dropped from the ceiling and 'HUH!!!' again provoking more girl-ish screaming. I decided then it wasn't necessary for me to follow directly behind the crafty little Ninja so I pushed Simon to the front and took to protecting our women from the rear.

We were seated in our very own Chinese hut that was nestled in a city of Ninja huts each filled with a dining table and private group of people enjoying their very own Ninja experience. Our Ninja waiter presented our menu on roll out scrolls. There were a few different 5 course meal options complete with Ninja art dishes.

A cooking-Ninja came to make soup right in front of us by dicing the ingredients and boiling the soup by dropping a fire-hot rock into the bamboo pot.

My Ninja art dish came with a samurai sword stabbing a smoking orange. It was WICKED-AWESOME! Anna asked if we could keep the swords. ;) They said 'no' so I took pictures. What would I do without a camera?!

The conch bomb-shell was by far the coolest dish on the menu! Our Ninja cook appeared out of the darkness and without a word (of English) dropped off this plate holding a clam sattay filled conch shell on a bed of sea-salt complete with a fuse which he promptly lit and began counting down (again, not in English). The flame raced across the fuse and blew up the when it reached the conch shell causing more girl-ish screams and then delighted applause. Our cook wrapped the burning fuse around the shell to heat it's contents.

The New York Ninja was such an amazing experience! Everyone needs to check it out. By the end of the evening I began to even adopt the characteristics of a Ninja. I even tried to pull some Ninja surprises on our waiter myself, but failed. I have a lot to learn about being a Ninja! I will practice and return one day to pursue my destiny.

Bowl More was an awesome celebrity acclaimed 2 story neon bowling alley and martini bar. We played about 4 games and by the third game I scored 4 strikes in a row! I don't know what it was... Perhaps the Ninja food began to kick in. Simon got a little carried away on the subway on our way home. We all had a lot of fun exploring New York's many creative and beautiful spots. I recommend everyone go there for a week's vacation. Bring comfortable walking shoes and be prepared to have the best food America has to offer.

And finally we ended our trip with a stroll through central park. After being in the hustle and bustle of the big city all weekend it was so refreshing to be surrounding by green grass, orange colored leaves, and the occasional squirrel running about his business. Fresh air can make you silly.

Cameron + Annacameroningalls