Pizza, Art, Automattic & Fireworks in New York City

One of the perks of my husband Dave’s really amazing job is that he gets to travel to meetups to work with his coworkers. This was my 3rd time I’ve tagged along with him. I’ve gotten to go to Santa Cruz and Tokyo which were both amazing. I just got back from a week in New York City and since I’ve blogged about my other two meetups, I thought I’d make this a tradition. Dave does work for the Mobile team at Automattic so he goes on the meetups. The Mobile team is very spouse friendly so I get to hang out with the team and other spouses more than I would on other meetups.

This was my first vacation trip to New York City. All the other times I’ve gone, it’s been for work. When I was there I had only a day or two to explore the city. I intentionally didn’t plan any business meetings because I wanted to just enjoy myself.

First stop was the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I walked around the Met for FIVE hours last Monday. If you haven’t been, GO! I’ve taken quite a few art history classes while in school, which gave me a great appreciation of what I saw. I had only seen things in a text book so it was so wonderful to see it in person. The two highlights of the Met for me were the Egypt and Greek/Roman wings. I just couldn’t stop taking pictures of everything.

Here are some photos of the Egypt wing. Look at the design and colors. INCREDIBLE.

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In Art History I, I just fell in love with Greek sculpture. They just captured the form of the body in such a breathtaking way. This was the first time to see Greek sculpture in person. It was just simply amazing. I am so thankful I got to see it.

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I shopped so much on the second day of our trip because the next day was Dave’s birthday. I stopped by MarieBelle to pick up Dave a tin of Iced Chocolate. Ahhhhmazing! Also picked him up some Sugru at MoMA. That night I went out with a few Automatticians to a moving party for one of Dave’s coworkers.

The next day I visited the Frick Collection in the Upper East Side. I can’t stress how incredible this museum is. I was BLOWN AWAY. They don’t allow you to take any pictures in the museum so you’ll just have to look on their website. It was the home of the Frick family. Then they turned their home into a museum with their collection of art. I loved how intimate it felt. I told Dave I felt like I was viewing art like it was meant to be viewed – in a beautiful home.

Matt Mullenweg (WordPress creator and CEO of Automattic) invited the Mobile team and other Automatticians to his apartment in SoHo for pizza. That was just such a treat for me because I have been wanting to meet Matt. He’s a celebrity in tech/internet world but he is so nice and personable. He grew up in Houston, Texas. He lost his accent a bit, but didn’t lose his Southern charm.

After the meetup was over, Dave and I visited the Museum of Natural History. Then we went to Brooklyn to see the fireworks on the 4th of July. This was highlight of my trip. It was simply incredible to watch. We were on the East River at Pier 2. We could see the Statue of Liberty, Freedom Tower (World Trade Center), Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge. The fireworks shimmered off the buildings and river creating this magic I’ve never experienced before. I am telling everyone that it’s worth the trip to go just for the fireworks.

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Here’s a few food recommendations for you!

Shake Shack  Ahmazing burgers!

Totto Ramen Tasted just like it did in Tokyo. GO.

Ladurée Incredible Macaroons. I bought a box for Dave’s “cake”

Dean & Deluca I know it’s a chain, but they have an amazing Tres Leches Donut I just loved.

California Living

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I got to tag along with Dave last week for the annual Automattic grand meetup in SANTA CRUZ, CA! (Everyone that works for Automattic is fully distributed (can live anywhere in the world) but they meet once a year for a week.) The two best things about the trip was getting to hang out with sea lions and Dave’s coworkers! I got to hang out with a bunch of the Automattic designers who live all over the world… Portugal, Denmark, England, Australia, etc. This company is stacked to the brim with world class talent. It was so fun to get to be around that. And I was filled with such pride of how talented my husband is. It was music to my hears to hear a few of his coworkers speak so highly of his work. I wish I loved code and designing for the internet, because then I would totally apply to work there. There is a new book just released by a writer who worked for Automattic. Dave got us copies and I can’t wait to read it!

Okay enough of that. Let’s get to the most important part. SEA LIONS!

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Underneath the Santa Cruz Wharf are so many sea lions! I kept saying thousands, but Dave kept telling me it was probably hundreds. But to make it a better story, I’m going to go with THOUSANDS. You can hear them talking from far away. They kept saying, “Kate! Come see us!” I took over a hundred photos of sea lions. We don’t exactly have wild sea lions in the South. It’s not everyday I get to out to California so I had to take advantage of it.

I mean… LOOK how many sea lions are in this picture!!! Amazing.

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And this one totally waved at me! He was just chilling out but then saw me! He turned over and started waving his fin! AH!

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This one is a model.

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We rented a car on Saturday to visit Carmel and Monterey! Is this my life?! We visited Point Lobos State Park. If you are ever near there, GO! It was amazing to see such beautiful beaches and Pacific Coast wildlife.

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You can borrow binoculars from the visitor’s station. Here’s Dave looking at the thousands of sea lions covering those rocks. Yes those rocks are covered in sea lions. I couldn’t believe it. Best thing ever? YES.

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We saw porpoises, seals, and sea otters. And we heard people had seen whales earlier that day so we stayed a long time looking. I finally saw some spouts and massive fins coming out from near the horizon! I saw humpback whales!

While Dave was at “work,” I spent most of my time working on my 2014 calendar! I realize it should have been done in August, but I’ve had a busy few months. I knew what it was going to be a few months ago, but I didn’t want to tell anyone online because I haven’t seen it done well yet. I’ve drawn everything except the patterns for the backs of the pages. I have a busy week ahead working to get this ready for the printer. I hope to have it ready by the first of next week to send to print. Here is a sneak peek. You’re seeing the raw, unedited version. You might notice a few typos in there! Thank goodness for my computer!

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