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Sunday, May 20, 2012

San Francisco

I spent a wonderful weekend in San Francisco, visiting friends and celebrating the investiture of Elaine Hammond as a Federal Judge. I arrived early Saturday morning and met my friends Dan and Henry for lunch, then the three of us walked across the Golden Gate Bridge.

The views were amazing and the weather was great!

Dan and Henry standing on the bridge, not jumping:

I drove down to Menlo Park for the party. Here I am with Joanna and Elaine at the party:

The next day, Henry, Dan, and I hiked Sweeney Ridge, which is part of the Golden Gate National Park but is south of the city, overlooking the airport on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other.

Starting the hike

Looking towards the lake and the airport

                                              Me with the Pacific Ocean in the background

After the hike to meet Elaine and her family (and extended family!) and Joanna and her daughter to take the ferry to Alcatraz: 

Not where I slept

On Alcatraz

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Grand Ol' Opry -- Nashville, TN

I think I once had a hamburger at the Opryland Hotel on a layover, perhaps 15 years ago. But I can't recall another trip to Nashville. Ever.

So when I saw tickets for sale for Loretta Lynn at the Grand Ol' Opry at the historic Ryman Auditorium, I snatched them up quickly.

The bad news was, by the time the show rolled around, Loretta had changed dates. But I still loved the show and the venue.

Ryman Auditorium
This, unlike most of my trips, was an honest-to-God Road Trip. Jonathan, Barry and I drove from Atlanta and got to Nashville at 5:00. We sat outside on a patio upstairs at Rippy's BBQ, just across from the Ryman auditorium, where I took the picture above.

Afterwards, we had some time to walk down to the Cumberland River and see all the bars, each one with a live entertainer, singing and hoping to one day make it big.

Going into the auditorium, we were greeted by a Minnie Pearl and Roy Acuff. (Well, at least a sculpture of them. I always loved Minnie Pearl.)

We had great seats in the Ryman. The show was hosted by Larry Gatlin and featured The Oak Ridge Boys. (Queue up "Elvira" in your heads...)

Other performers were Moe Bandy, and awesome new talents Mallory Hope, Dustin Lynch and Jamie O'Neal.

Dustin Lynch's Grand Ol' Opry Debut

Sunday, May 06, 2012

New York

Another great weekend in New York!

I flew into town on Wednesday and stayed in Harlem for the first time. The Aloft Hotel was really nice. I decided while I was there I might as well explore Harlem, so I walked down Frederick Douglass and saw several really cute restaurants before choosing Melba's. There, I enjoyed wonderful braised short ribs, collard greens, and macaroni and cheese.

The next day, I changed hotels - The Grand Hyatt. This was closer to the UNICEF Annual Meeting, which was the reason I was staying in New York for the weekend. Fellow South East Region Board Member Sherry Madigan White and I had planned to stay after the meeting for an amazing weekend.

The opening dinner was at 583 Park Avenue, a wonderful event venue. The dinner was delicious and the speaker, Fareed Zakaria had an inspiring, optimistic message. The next day's meetings were very interesting. It was a great experience to see UNICEF in action. Lucy Liu, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, was one of the featured speakers. Danny Kaye's daughter, Dena Kaye spoke, as well as Audrey Hepburn's son, Sean Ferrer, on what happened to be the anniversary of his mother's birth.

Lucy Liu, UNICEF Ambassador

Some of the weekend highlights: Dinner at 5 Napkins Burger, hanging out waiting for Ricky Martin to leave the Marriott Marquis after his performance in Evita, Saturday Dim Sum at Jing Fong restaurant in Chinatown then shopping on Canal street, Cinqo de Mayo margaritas at Mercadito and frozen margaritas at Monster, an awesome dinner at Sushi Samba (Brazilian, Peruvian and Japanese fusion), and hanging out with a famous Australian actor (Hugh Sheridan) who I didn't realize was famous until some other Australians told me.

Ricky Martin leaving the theater

Jing Fong
Actor and Singer Hugh Sheridan
Specialty Margaritas at Mercadito in the West Village
Round 2: Frozen Margaritas for Cinqo de Mayo

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