It has been quite an eventful couple of weeks! Rachel got married for the first time on the evening of Halloween and Mother and I drove to New York for the wedding. Mother rented a "luxury SUV" for the drive but when we arrived at Enterprise they wanted to give us a Chevy Suburban. Dad used to have one and they are so long, not conducive for city driving. Luckily they had a brand new Chrysler Pacifica minivan in midnight blue that we could take instead. It was very comfortable to ride in and easy to drive. The drive from Chicago to New York is a long one to do in one day but we did it! I was thinking there would be all kinds of places to stop and shop along the way but it turned out the drive is scenic, especially in Pennsylvania which is the longest state to drive through. I had pulled an all-nighter the night before to get as much work done as possible before I left so I was very glad to arrive at the destination, Rachel and John's apartment in Bronxville, NY. This was my first time to visit New York since Rachel lived in her house in the Bronx. She had the apartment totally gutted before she moved in and it has good bones. There is a main room, galley kitchen with a fairly open counter to the main room, two bedrooms and a bathroom. They also have a bit of outdoor space. One nice thing about the building is there are not too many units so it was pretty quiet. The area is charming and quite hilly. Mother has always compared it to Chicago's North Shore.

During our stay, the weather was clear the day we drove there, the day we drove back and the wedding day but the other days it was gloomy and raining. We did not go anywhere on Thursday. Rachel gave Mother's hair a refresh - she has been growing out her hair as well as the former honey color and Rachel gave her a two-tone look with charcoal grey on top and magenta on the bottom. It looks amazing and Mother has been receiving compliments left and right on it. Rachel also styled my hair. On Friday morning, it was raining but we took a ride into town. The same way Mother lives on the street which flows directly into downtown Arlington Heights, Rachel and John live on the street which winds into downtown Bronxville. Mother and I walked around the stores a bit but it was cold and rainy so we ended up walking back to the apartment. Rachel and John headed to the hotel in Brooklyn on Friday afternoon. On Friday evening, we drove to the hotel and had a meal in a restaurant for the first time since the shutdown. They were very careful, taking our temperatures before entering and keeping the tables spaced properly. The restaurant was beautiful and served upscale Italian food - my kind of food, simple but done well. I had a gourmet cheese and sausage pizza and the appetizer of bread with ricotta and honey was delicious as well. We met John's parents for the first time, they were very nice. After dinner we went to see Rachel and John's hotel room. They had a little suite with beautiful views of the New York skyline.

We headed back to Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon to help with setting up the wedding tables. Due to the pandemic, the wedding was pared down to 10 guests and was held at a very cool tapas restaurant in Brooklyn called My Moon. They have a separate room for events. I had a very hard time finding a place to park, after circling about 45 minutes I think Dad was looking out for me and there ended up being a huge space right across the street from the restaurant. I was so grateful as there was only 20 minutes left to go until the ceremony! We were able to get everything set up with time to spare.

Everything went smoothly with the wedding ceremony, Rachel and John's close friend and roller derby legend Suzy Hot Rod officiated the ceremony. She did a fabulous job, especially since it was her first time! She was proud to say she embellished the script a little. Rachel and John wrote their own wedding vows and Rachel especially was very emotional. She expressed how glad she was that she waited for the right person to come into her life. It was very touching. Rachel made her dress which was full-length with colorful floral fabric and a black background. John's jacket matched the dress. After they were officially married, they put on vests with patches that had huge skulls on the back and their initials and wedding date. They share a mutual love of skulls!

After the ceremony, it was time to eat! The servers brought out beautiful platters of fruit, cheese, meat and crackers and pickled vegetables for everyone to enjoy. As was the case with Friday night's restaurant, a QR code was provided that we scanned to pull up the menu on our phone. We were able to order whatever we wanted from the restaurant's regular menu. I love tapas because it is a good opportunity to try a variety of items. I went with three different empanadas - beef, chicken and cheese, patatas bravas which are cubed potatoes flash fried with spicy sauce and a goat cheese flatbread with zucchini which I shared with Mother. Rachel, John and Mother all opted for the seafood paella with squid ink rice. Kuochun was so jealous, next to Chinese food his favorite is tapas. He wondered if we could bring him a care package home!

After dinner, it was time for cake. As shown above, the cake was covered in black fondant. The beautiful flowers were made of colorful fondant as well. The cake was yellow with what I think was a hazelnut filling, perfect for me! I am not a fan of fruit in cake, I think it makes the cake layers soggy. There was lots from the fruit platter remaining as well as the rest of the cake which the restaurant staff packed up for us to bring back to the apartment. It was a very successful evening. I was only able to snap a few photos so we will look forward to the professional photos when they come in.

On Sunday, the weather was back to being miserable but we were determined to get out and go somewhere. I wanted to do two things in New York food-wise - get a good bagel and try New York-style pizza for the first time. Mother picked up breakfast bagels from the deli next door to the apartment and they were fabulous. We did not get a chance to try the pizza this trip but hopefully another time.

Mother is a huge fan of Eileen Fisher clothing, her entire wardrobe is Eileen Fisher. She learned of the Eileen Fisher Lab which is about 20 minutes away from the apartment so we went to check it out. The Lab is where the company tries out new concepts so they definitely had lots of items we had never seen before such as handbags and sparkly socks and different styles of clothing. Mother picked up a pair of jeggings, her first pair! She said she is going to live in them. We shot the photo below for best friend Cam, who is an Eileen Fisher devotee as well.

After Eileen Fisher, we went to Stew Leonard's grocery store which I remembered was in nearby Yonkers. Dad took us there on our last trip and I marveled at the store. It is sort of like Woodman's but the focus is on food. You enter in one place and all the traffic goes in one direction until you reach checkout. If you forget something, it is like swimming upstream to get back to where you were. But it is all part of the experience! We not only picked up some food we could eat right away and fixings for sandwiches for the return trip home but some non-perishables we could bring home. I love Woodman's but wish we had a Stew Leonard's!

Monday we headed for home, this time on three hours of sleep. I spotted an Antique Mall sign while we were driving through the Poconos area of Pennsylvania so we detoured off the road and headed over there. It was a good mall with about 100 vendors. Mother found some adorable little shadowbox pictures, each with a different enameled flower accented with velvety millinery leaves and I found some sterling jewelry to resell. It was very windy driving back but we were glad there was no snow or rain. We were very grateful to finally arrive home after hitting a traffic snag in downtown Chicago late Monday evening.

In addition to bringing my laptop to try and keep up with estate sale work, I brought lots of sterling silver jewelry to organize, polish and price. We really got through a lot of it and it enabled me to add new pieces to the caravan this weekend. Several of the pieces have found new homes already! The silver backlog feels a little less overwhelming now. The goal is to get through this backlog by the end of the year which would be a significant milestone to tackle. I would like to start working on the costume jewelry which needs repair such as missing stones etc. this winter. But for now as usual it is time to get back to estate sale paperwork!