Day three was chock full of bucket list items.
The first one was the subway. TV makes it look like it’s so incredibly crowded, lewd, dirty, and smelly. That wasn’t my experience. At all.
Next up – the Wall Street bull. Do you have any idea how many people were swarmed around this thing? It was nearly impossible to get a pic with it without anyone else in the shot?
Once again, Mother’s foresight helped us immensely. We didn’t have to stand in the ugly lines to get to the Statue of Liberty. In fact we were early, so we had an ice cream for second breakfast. Yay!
Okay. I’m here to tell you – the Statue of Liberty is. SO. FREAKIN’. COOL!!! I had no idea I would respond to her as I did. I felt almost reverent in her presence. I was definitely in awe. Not sure what caused it, but can’t deny it either.
We didn’t have tickets to the top, but I wouldn’t have been able to climb that high, anyway. The base was pretty cool, all on it’s own. There was a second torch inside, you still had quite a view down, and the green from the statue leaked down on the base, turning the cracks green, too.
We had the option to visit Ellis Island, but none of us really wanted to. Instead, we just road the boat back to the city.
Next – lunch! My sister was usually the one to find things, but I found the little pizza joint. I wanted to see what NY style pizza was like. The little hole in the wall served both NY and Chicago style. They were both so yummy, but Chicago was my favorite! They made their own sodas and had all these toppings to go on your pizza. Too fun!
Another subway ride, and we were at the coast. The East Coast. I’d never experienced any ocean other than the Pacific, so this was all new to me. People were actually playing in it! In the water! We touched it and found that it was warm. So weird! We’ve now been from sea to shining sea.
Next up, cross the road to Coney Island. We had more fun there than we should have, considering we didn’t ride any of the rides. Alex and I tried our first candied apple. Alex tried an Italian Ice. Meh. And cotton candy! Yay!
And then we found a photo op and things got silly.
I think we had more fun taking those pics than we would have had on the actual ride.
I ate a White Castle… burger. I’d heard about them, but had never had one. I’m here to tell you – it’s not food. I had one bite and pitched the rest. And that was after waiting a really long time for my fast food. Yuck. I won’t bother doing that again!
Next up was Grand Central Station – just to look at it. Truthfully, I enjoyed Union Station way more! It seemed grander, more ornate. The constellations on the ceiling were pretty cool, though.
See – what’d I tell you? All sorts of bucket list items, right? It was a good day.
Day 2 started with some sightseeing
while on our way to the far side of Central Park so we could see Strawberry Fields. There was an aura of respect mixed with a touch of sadness to the area. Musicians took turns quietly playing Beetles songs as people patiently took turns taking pics.
We were once again surprised by a park. It was absolutely ginormous, each section had a different feel to it, but all in all, people were just there to have a good time.
Some more sight seeing
on our way to the Guggenheim.
Remember I said I don’t like museums? Yah. This one included. Snoresville!
However, since I was a good girl, and I tried to like it, Mommy bought me an ice cream. Yay! Sprinkles!
We made our way back to our hotel to get ready for the evening.
We arrived early, so we swung into a nearby pub for a quick drink. Yah – you heard me. We got Mother into a bar. Woohoo!
Next up – Cats! I’ve always wanted to see a Broadway show – Cats in particular. Yay! We got to see it! As a former dancer, I LOVED it! Watching how they moved, seeing the choreography – it was wonderful!
On our walk home, we saw Times Square in all lit up, as well as an impromptu hot car show.
What a great day!
Our first full day in New York started with a bunch of silliness.
Did you know that there are M&M stores in Las Vegas and in NYC? I’ve now been in them both.
And then things became serious – Times Square!
It wasn’t as open as I thought it would be.
Next was the Empire State Building (in my mind, I still pronounce it “Umpire” – weird, huh?)
It looked just like it does in the movies. On the way up, they play this cute little movie that looks like the building is being built around you as you ascend. Once you get up there, they have these vicious jags on the window sills to keep you from sitting. Visitor friendly, huh? The view was pretty cool, though.
We worked our way through Little Italy and found ourselves in Chinatown. Perfect timing! (Please don’t think I didn’t eat a canolli – yes, only one.)
For lunch, we found a Kosher vegetarian dim sum restaurant. Seriously! Coolest thing ever! We actually were able to share food with Mother. It was fantasic! And so delicious! Yup. We’d go there again.
Followed by more sight-seeing.
We stopped by the Rockerfeller Center for a quick moment
At Mother’s request, we visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Oh my heavens! It was gorgeous! If you’re in the area, stop by and check it out.
I’m not into religious stuff, but it was stunning!
On our way back to our hotel, we came across Radio City Music Hall. Freakin’ RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL!!! Super cool! AAGH!!
That was a great way to end our day!
Our day started out at the Mint. There was a bunch of stuff when we first entered. Boring!
It didn’t get better until we reached the upper floor and could actually see where the coins were being made. That was a bit more interesting. They had little video screens you could check out if you wanted to learn something about that part of the process. It was very informative.
Did you know it costs two cents to make a penny? We all hate them – how can we get rid of them?
And then, food! Remember the old-timey meal that I didn’t get at Mount Vernon? I still wanted it. We asked the Big Bus barkers where they would recommend to get food that one might have gotten back in the day.
We were told to try the City Tavern.
Okay, first – Mother isn’t necessarily comfortable in a bar/tavern type of thing. Secondly, she’s a vegetarian. What kind of non-meat protein would they have for her?
But, knowing it was important to me, we started out for the Tavern. The hike was much further than we thought it would be, but it was SO worth it!
It was super cute! You felt like you might have been in Franklin’s own home. The ambiance was perfect!
And then they bring out your drinks and the bread plate. Nom nom nom! Many of the recipes were the same recipes used in olden time. Yay! And so tasty! I had the Colonial Raspberry Shrub. I’m not much of a drinker, but this was delicious.
And then they brought out the food. Oh holy cow!
I had the turkey pot pie. I’ve never had a crust so perfect – flaky, golden manna. I hate potatoes in pot pies, but they used baby red potatoes and I loved them! Mother had the tofu. It was delicious! Alex had some seafood pasta which was yummy.
After all of that, of course we had to try the dessert. It was Martha’s own recipe!
Did I mention that the chef is famous and incredibly skilled. The entire meal was superb! I would highly recommend The City Tavern to anyone in the area.
When we walked in, we hadn’t had any idea how much of an impression this joint would leave on us, so we didn’t take a lot of pics beforehand. After the fact, we knew we wanted to memorialize our lunch.
On our way back to our hotel, we did some more sight seeing.
And then we packed up and hopped on a bus from Philly to NYC. Traffic was horrible. But, then again, I’m sure tourists say that about Seattle, too. So, grin and bear it, right?
When we got off the bus, my sister had an Uber come to get us. That was an eye-opening experience! New York drivers are NUTS!!! Holy cow! I don’t know why they bother painting lanes in the road because drivers don’t pay any attention to them whatsoever – they just make their own lanes. It was terrifying!
Our driver managed to get us to our hotel without killing us.
At face value, it was a dilapidated, tiny old building with no wifi. Ugh!
But, in reality, it was a hidden jewel. We literally had an entire apartment to ourselves (it had been an apartment unit before it was renovated). It had a bedroom, full bath, kitchenette, living room, and dining room. We really, REALLY loved that room. It was fairly centrally located, and an AMAZING price for the area we were in. I would definitely stay there again!
And, as I had become used to, we spent the rest of the evening taking in the local area.
We quickly realized that we were just a couple of blocks from Central Park. So cool!
While we were there, I saw my first fireflies. What a great experience! We don’t have them in Washington state, so I’d never seen them before. I loved spotting them! Sadly, no pics!
It was a fantastic way to end our day.
Since we had arrived the night before, we were able to get an early start on our first day in Philly. And we packed it full!
Our first stop was… well, I wanted a donut. So, my sister Googled it and found a place that might work. We found it pretty easily, but it wasn’t what we had expected. It looked like it was under construction. And it wasn’t some cute little bakery.
Instead, what we got was a Food Wonderland named Reading Terminal Market. If you’re ever in Philly, and you like food, this is the place to go. Seriously. I think my sister (who is quite the foodie) wants to take her husband to the east coast just so she can take him there. It was food heaven!
They had too much to be able to take in at once. Right now, the ones that stick out in my mind are Indian, Dutch, French, Cajun, Asian, candy and everything in between. My first stop was at the Dutch bakery. Oddly enough, it was also my last stop (first for donuts, later for dessert for that evening.)
And they can claim the oldest ice cream shop in America. If I remember correctly, their first flavor of ice cream was… tomato?
We got tickets for the Big Bus, and it served us well in Philly. Another whirlwind day.
After gorging ourselves, we headed out to do some sight seeing on our way to the Art Museum with the sole intent of running the Rocky steps.
When we arrived at the museum, we all agreed we didn’t want to stand in line to take pics with the Rocky statue.
But, we did all run the stairs. I videoed them as they ascended. And then they insisted I try it. Being a fat woman, I thought it might be safe if we had an ambulance on standby. But, I gave it a go. I gave it a good go! I was so proud of myself when I almost ran all of them! It was much further than I had thought I would be able to do.
Once we reached the top, there was a man standing there, offering to take our pic. Not even thinking about it, we let him. It turns out he made his living that way. I had to respect that. He wasn’t begging. He was trying to help people out while making money. So, my sister handed him some money.
After some more sightseeing,
we found our way to Independence Hall. Well, it wasn’t actually that easy. Our first stop was at the Independence Visitor Center, where we tried to get tickets to Independence Hall. It turns out, the tickets were all gone for the day. Somehow, Mother was able to sweet talk her way into three tickets, but we had to rush to the hall. Yay!
Oh! I forgot to mention that while we were in the Visitor Center, we took a pic with this guy. I’m not sure what chemicals he had running through his system, but he seemed WAY too chill!
So we rushed over there, to sit around and wait. The wait wasn’t that long, and it was totally worth it. It was pretty darn cool to be in the rooms where our country was founded. Our guide was great fun. I would absolutely do that again!
Next was the Liberty Bell. There was a line to get in, but it moved fairly quickly. Way too many people all waiting to snap their pic with the bell!
Next was lunch. When in
We hoofed our way over to Elfreth’s Alley. I’m so glad we did! It was like taking a trip back in time. Such an adorable little street!
After some more sight seeing
we made our way back to our hotel. On our way, we found Benjamin Franklin’s grave. Did you know it’s good luck to drop a penny on it? Did you also know that pennies can damage graves? His has had to be replaced at least once, due to all the pennies being thrown onto it.
And that was all of Day 1 in Philly. It was plenty, believe me!
Day three was another day of squeezing in a whole bunch of stuff.
Our first stop was at the Smithsonian’s Air & Space Museum. I wanted to go to see the planetarium. Unfortunately, the star show is only offered on certain days (it didn’t happen to be that day). So, instead, we checked out some of the other exhibits. I had no idea how much Mother likes air and space stuff.
I thought I had taken more pics than these, but apparently not. I’m fairly certain Mother took a ton of pics, but she’s not very good about sharing those, so I’m not sure I’ll ever see them.
Next was The Capital.
Mother had the foresight to get tickets to everything beforehand. We got to go on the tours. I liked the way they did it. We were each given a headset that was connected to our tour guide, so we were able to hear him, even if he wasn’t within hearing distance.
The building itself was quite pretty. And the info the tour guide gave was actually interesting. They even pointed out statues from each state, giving visitors a way to connect with the artwork.
There was a really cool spot in one room where our guide told us to stand over a small, golden square and remove our earphones. He then went to the other side of the room and spoke very quietly. It was truly amazing to be able to hear him. The room has astounding acoustics!
We jumped through the hoops to go into the House of Representatives (or was it the Congress? I forgot). Mother had previously gotten us passes to get into them. By the time we had made it all the way to the room (in which nothing was happening) we decided that we didn’t need or want to see the other one. It’s cool that we can say we were there, but not worth all of the hassle to go through it twice to see another empty room.
We followed that up with the Library of Congress. It was kind of a cool trip to get there. We took an underground (read – “air conditioned”) tunnel from one building to the next.
I went to see the books. I mean – THE BOOKS!!! That trip wasn’t what I had expected. It turns out that you have to have a library card to see the books. And the line to get a card was ridiculously long. *sigh* So, we didn’t see the massive collection of books. We were able to go into the room of the really old books. That was pretty cool.
What we weren’t expecting, however, was how gorgeous the building was. Seriously – even if you don’t care about books, go check out the building and the art. It was beautiful!
Our last stop was at the United States Botanic Garden. Blah! I rested my sore feet while they walked through it. I have no regrets not checking it out. It wasn’t even that big.
And our whirlwind stop in DC was over.
After all was said and done, remember that amazing deal we got on the Big Bus tour? Yah, we really didn’t need it. We used it once, and it was kind of a hassle. Everything was just so close that it wasn’t necessary most of the time. If we had the chance to do it again, we’d probably just rent those tourist bikes. We LOVED the Big Bus in our trip last year, but not as much in Washington DC.
Long travel story short – buying tickets ahead of time saves time, frustration, and money. We ended up renting a car and driving to Philladelphia.
After getting into the room, we realized it… wasn’t the nicest we’d been in. We complained about the crying baby in the next room and got a free upgrade. Yay! A good start to the Philly stint of our trip.
Our second day in Washington DC was spent at Mount Vernon (Washington’s home when he wasn’t at the White House).
It wasn’t what I had expected.
I thought we’d see women dressed in olden day garb performing olden day tasks like churning butter and whatnot. I thought men would be walking around with white curly wigs and funny hats.
Nope. It was just a bunch of fairly barren buildings on some fairly dry grounds.
One of the reasons I was excited to go to Mount Vernon was for the food. Their restaurant menu (which I found online) promised delicious foods similar to those from back when Washington was there. They not only sounded tasty, but I was excited and curious about that particular bit of history.
What we got was some lame, overpriced barbecue buffet which we could have gotten anywhere. It was what they were offering for the Fourth of July. I couldn’t even coerce them into cooking anything from their regular menu (I mentioned that I had crossed the country for their fare, but received no favors. *sigh*)
There really wasn’t a lot of exciting stuff to see there. The buildings were… unimpressive. Maybe my expectations were too high. After looking into a room or two, an outbuilding or two, they all kinda looked alike.
I did enjoy the museum part of it – they had movies and things which made it more interesting. I learned more about Washington from that part of it than I did from touring his actual grounds. Our time was limited, so we weren’t able to see everything. We opted out of the rest of it. Might we have enjoyed ourselves more, had we gone to the rest? We’ll never know.
One tidbit I can share it – don’t take public transportation to Mount Vernon. It takes bloody forever, and it’s fairly expensive. Just go ahead and take a taxi. Quicker and far less hassle. We might have enjoyed our time there more, had we not been so frazzled from the trip there. We definitely would have had more time to see more things.
The one thing which made the whole thing worth it was the daytime fireworks show. I had never heard of anything like that before, and I was terribly curious. Those didn’t disappoint. I’m glad we went for those alone.
The other thing I learned was not to be embarrassed of physical weaknesses. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it – it was HOT! At one point, I thought I might be suffering from heat sickness or something. I excused myself and found the closest thing they had to a nurse’s station. I was handed a cold pack (which was almost cold) and some water (which was kinda cold). After sitting in the air conditioned room for a bit, I felt much better and thought I could resume touring the estate. (I later found out that I had, indeed, been in danger of heat stroke, so I have no regrets about taking that time out.)
It turns out I hadn’t missed much. Yay!
We took a taxi back to our hotel. As evening approached, we made our way over to the Capital Mall. The lawn was crowded with people who had all claimed a spot for themselves and their loved one. We found our own little area and staked our claim.
It was a lovely evening. This was the main reason Mother chose this time to come. Last year, she wanted to see the fireworks at Disneyland on the Fourth. This year, she wanted to be here to watch them.
And we weren’t disappointed.
We were surrounded by a massive amount of people, all getting along, all being friendly, all there for a good family-type time. Children played, filling their time as they waited. People chatted and laughed around us. It was nice. The weather was perfect and I had some great company. Mother was so sweet – she brought me earplugs (due to my history of abusive men, I don’t like loud noises, bright lights, or abrupt changes in either). Knowing this, she brought me protection so I could thoroughly enjoy myself.
The fireworks were awesome, as was expected.
After it was over, we walked back, along with the rest of the jovial herd back to our hotel. The three of us held onto each other to make sure we stayed together. Looking back, I think that might have been the most touching we did on our entire trip. We’re not a physical family!
Watching those fireworks is a lovely memory to look back on!
Okay. I have to admit – part of the reason I have taken so long to blog (over three months – yikes!) is because I normally sit down and blog all at once. I set posts to appear on consecutive days so it looks like I’m blogging daily, but I’m really not. I’m more of a binge blogger.
Since I’m finally sitting down to blog (ie – I ran out of excuses) I’m more than a little daunted by my task. I’m supposed to remember what happened months ago. I can hardly remember what I had for lunch yesterday! (Dinner, however, was memorable and terribly yummy!)
I digress. Long story short – thank heavens for phones that take pictures and date and time stamp said pics. Otherwise, I’d have to guess at what we did each day.
Our first full day in Washington DC was chock full of presidents. And some non-presidents, too!
We started our day at the Smithsonian. To be more specific, the Smithsonian Visitor Center. It kinda gave a snapshot of what the various museums had to offer. Oh just kill me now! Did I mention that I have absolutely no culture and no desire to get any? Museums bore me to tears. I grinned and bore it as much as possible.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m sure you could spend DAYS going through the various Smithsonian museums, if you’re into that kind of thing and you had the time. Unfortunately (fortunately, in my case), we were limited on time, so we had to decide which of the attractions in the city were the most important to us.
I was very thankful the museums got the axe! Yay! The visitor’s center was a cool building, though.
Our first stop was at the Washington Memorial. We came, we saw, we took the obligatory pics. Other than the sheer size of it, not much to write home about.
Next was the Jefferson memorial. That was pretty cool. There were some cool quotes carved into the marble walls inside the building.
Roosevelt was next. Did I mention that it was hot? That fountain looked so inviting! We learned that Roosevelt made his first wheelchair using kitchen tools. Pretty resourceful!
Don’t forget Lincoln (one which I was excited to see). It was pretty cool. (Do you have any idea how hard it was to get that particular pic?)
On our first full day, we all bought souvenir hats (because, like any good vampire, I HATE the sun!) On this, the first day of owning our fancy new hats, Mother’s hat… protected her from… bird excrement. Yay hat! EW!!!
One of our stops was at the White House. Well, actually, far, far from it. We actually had tickets to get into it (miracle of miracles!) and *They* decided at the last moment that They didn’t want it to be open to the public on the days surrounding The Fourth of July. What?! Seriously! So, this is as close as we could get to it. Lame!
The highlight of the day for me was the MLK memorial. Many of his quotes were etched into stone walls lining the walkways. It was wonderful!
When we finally came to the center of it, there was a giant statue of the man himself. With a line of visitors, all waiting to take pictures with him. I felt as if it would be wrong of me to get in line – I felt like it might be offensive to those around me. So, I opted to not. Instead, I got this pic:
Later, Mother took this pic of me with him. Can you see him? Way in the background? Wasn’t that thoughtful of her? She knew how important it was to me, so she made it happen.
I ended the evening with an adult popsicle – my first ever. Mojito. Yummy! I felt all grown up and stuff. There was some sort of street fair or something going on at the Capital Mall, with acrobats and everything, so we sat and enjoyed ourselves for a moment (not to mention letting me rest my sore feet!)
Random pics from the day:
Remember my trip last year? A whirlwind adventure – Oregon, Utah, Nevada, and California in two weeks. This year, instead of it being a road trip (which included long periods of rest for my while Mother drove) we flew.
Did I mention that I’ve not flown very much in my lifetime? I consider myself a novice.
Apparently, my lack of flying knowledge stressed out my sister. I didn’t know that the last call for a flight means you’d better darn well have your butt in your seat or you’re getting left. Mother and I were taking our sweet time as my sister was sweating and fretting. Mother and I kinda laughed when we realized how close we were to missing our flight. Alex wasn’t as amused. Lesson learned, luckily not the hard way!
Being such a newbie to flying, even the small things amuse me. The airline had their names on the cookies. And I forgot about the cabin being pressurized. I went to take a drink from my bottle of water, and the lid popped off in my hand like a shot. I never did find that lid.
I also was in awe of the lovely view from so high up.
Don’t get me wrong – I took a ton of pictures from on high. These were just a few of my favorites.
Before long, we landed.
We found a shuttle to get to the bus which would take us to DC. The train station in Baltimore was the smelliest, nastiest station I’ve ever been in. Not to mention the woman behind the glass (who sold us our tickets) obviously hates her job. I was glad to be securely on the train and away from that particular area.
After a little bit of scurrying around, we found our way to Union Station. Again – awe. It was beautiful. Unfortunately, it wasn’t well lit, so the pictures don’t do it justice. You’ll have to take my word for it – it was truly lovely.
On our way out, we stopped by the Big Bus kiosk. We got three days and an evening for the price of two days. Woo-hoo! Great deal! We had planned on buying those tickets anyway, but we got a good deal right off the bat. Yay!
When we stepped out of the station, we we greeted by this:
That’s the Capital! Right there! (I’m not too proud to admit that I had no idea the White House and the Capital are two separate buildings). It was really cool to step outside of this beautiful building and see the Capital within walking distance. Crazy!
What else were we greeted by when going outside? Heat. Hot heat. Hot, humid heat. Seriously. As a fat woman, I’m not a fan of hot days. I realized I was in for two weeks of hot, humid heat. Girding my loins now.
After getting settled into our hotel, I was outvoted. I wanted to rest, but Mother wanted to check out the area (lots of good daylight left!) So, out we went to see the nearby sights.
Three things stood out to me: the Capital Mall, the proximity of… everything, and the cicadas.
Having only seen the Capital Mall on TV, and only during presidential stuff, I had no idea that it is really just a park. People were there, throwing frisbees, playing with their dogs, jogging. You know – the things you would normally do at a normal park. It was really weird! Not at all what I had expected. I thought it was be deserted – being kept pristine for the next presidential whatever. Nope. Smoke your weed, scoop after your dog poops, and chillax.
Our hotel was about two blocks from the center of the mall. If we looked one way, we saw the capital, and about the same distance in the other direction was the Washington Monument. Practically everything was within walking distance. The Smithsonian practically surrounded us. I started wondering if we would really need that three day pass on the Big Bus.
And the cicadas. (That’s one of those words I read a lot, but hardly ever hear. I’m not sure I’m saying it correctly in my head). Holy cow those are noisy little buggers! And … excitable. My sister said we can only hear them when they’re… procreating. They procreated A LOT!!! At least I now know what they sound like. A LOT!
We wandered around and found a tiny park full of dark art by Rodin which none of us liked. We hoofed it to the “local” grocery store (I’m fairly certain we crossed at least one time zone in our trek) and bought some munchies. And then we had to find our way all the way back to our hotel (had it not been so freakin’ hot, this is where I would insert a line about it being uphill, both ways, in two feet of snow). Thank heavens for my sister’s desire to collect Pokemon. She was the navigator on our trip (plus, she’s just better with her phone than Mother and I are).
All in all, it was a good start to our trip.
I bet you thought you had gotten rid of me, huh? Nope. No such luck. Just a hiatus.
I’ve been a busy girl! Or, at least, that’s the excuse I’ve told myself to justify not writing. In truth, I have been busier than I was this time last year, but still not too busy to write. All of my busy-ness has proved that to me.
So, what have I been doing? Well, you know that I moved and you know that I got a first and a second job. What you don’t know is that I went on a trip to the East Coast for the first time in my life. I also did a bunch of canning. And I started a new blanket (crochet). I’ll fill you in on all of my exploits as the days pass.
That’s right – I hope to resume writing again. Yay!
The problem was – I was always either working or tired. And then canning season came along and showed me that I have lots of time and energy when I’m not at work. I need to spend some of both on my writing. I don’t know that I’ll do NaNo this year (Mr. C said he might do it! Yay!) but I really don’t have any more excuses why I can’t write every day.
Mr. C helped me realize it’s not that I’m busy and it’s not that I’m tired. I’m a creature of habit and of regularity. My children have claimed for years that I’m completely predictable. Mr. C seems to know my moves before I make them. For someone like me, having two jobs, both with irregular schedules can be difficult for me. I’ve had a hard time adjusting to it. I think I finally understand that I need to go with the flow – write when I can, rest when I can, create when I can.
If you’re not too mad at me for deserting you and you want to come back to visit, my first number of blogs will be about my trip. After that, I’ll probably share my canning exploits with you. If you’re really lucky, I’ll show you the blanket I’m working on. And if you ask really nicely, I might even share the details about my jobs. I know. I know – my life is a mile a minute, right? But, it’s my life and I like it. How many people can say that?
Today, I count myself as a lucky girl.