Traversing Big Sur and Pebble Beach in the 2014 Range Rover

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Lucky Duck looks out at a spectacular view in California.

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to see one of the most gorgeous places in the entire country. I flew from the concrete jungle out to Monterey and adventured on the beautiful California coastline in a 2014 Range Rover. #luckyme

Old Coast Road

You can drive over the Bixby Creek Bridge, or you can hang an unexpected left and take Old Coast Road. I wouldn’t recommend it though – unless you’re in a Land Rover vehicle. It’s 10 miles of bumps, twists, turns, cliffs, and dirt. BUT, if you can get out on Old Coast Road, there are a few places to catch some sweeping views.

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Big Sur

The vast, expansive coastline of surf and lush greenery makes it hard to look at anything else from the back seat. Good thing, because there is no cell phone reception, so you’ll have to text your photos when you’re back in town.

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Pebble Beach

17 mile drive is one of the prettiest drives in the U.S. It is $10.00 per car, and completely worth it.

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Where to eat in Carmel

I had the privilege of eating at Casanova Restaurant in Carmel with Mike Serlin, Hollywood stuntman! He wore Hugo Boss, and I wore Badgley Mischka.

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We had the seafood linguini, gnocchi (their signature dish), steak, salmon, beets, Brussels sprouts… a red, a white, The Chrysanthemum… several desserts… EVERYTHING was phenomenal. What a delicious, wonderful meal.

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The New York Knicks beat the Milwaukee Bucks at Madison Square Garden

New York Knicks at MSG

Lucky Duck attends his first Knicks game.

It was an incredible opportunity to get four Club Seats at The Knicks game this weekend. I picked my favorite people from work and loved crossing another bucket list item off my list. I couldn’t have attended with a better group of gals, or had a better time. I love my life in New York City, thanks to these people.

Tickets My favorite people

And here are The New York Knicks

Pre-game festivities always excite me, so I raced uptown to Madison Square Garden to catch the team’s announcement and order up some nachos from Club in-seat service. We had an incredible view, poised to be spoiled for the next two and a half hours.

My moment of a-ha!

As I chatted about some work related projects during the game, I was excited to know that I was “doing business” at a Knicks basketball game, in a killer seat, in New York City. And not only that, but I was hosting the experience, and that made me feel proud and happy. A guy didn’t buy me the tickets. A boss didn’t invite the team. I scored these tickets at my killer job in advertising, and I got to take my favorite colleagues and friends out to MSG to see The New York Knicks. This wouldn’t have happened in Seattle, and as the moment sunk in, I recognized that taking a chance on a new life in New York City was a smart decision and that I did the right thing.

The New York Knicks win

And fittingly, I got to see the Knicks win during my first game! As I was leaving Madison Square Garden, I texted my dad, “I love my life today!” and I meant it. It was such an awesome afternoon.

New York Knicks win

There’s always something cool in New York

After a year and a half in The Big Apple, I love that I’m still doing new things week over week. When I left Seattle and first got out here, I couldn’t have guessed where I’d be a year and a half out. These days, New York feels like home, and I know in my heart that there’s no going back. This New Yorker bleeds blue, and I’m here to stay for a while.

More from my musings at MSG

My first Rangers game at MSG Read the post and watch a video from my first New York Rangers hockey game at MSG: https://goluckyduck.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/new-york-rangers-hockey-game-at-madison-square-garden/
My first bull riding event at MSG Read the post and watch video from my first bull riding event at MSG, courtesy of Monster Energy Drink: https://goluckyduck.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/pbr-monster-energy-buck-off-at-madison-square-garden-in-nyc/

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Empire Diner reopens in Chelsea New York City

Empire Diner has reopened

Lucky Duck dines at Empire Diner twice in one week.

The Empire Diner in New York City is back! And I’ve indulged in its delicious menu, dim lighting, exceptional service, and lively vibe twice this week. Twice. This week.

A New York icon is back in business

The Art Moderne dining car at 210 10th Ave. in New York City has been in movies, such as Men In Black and Home Alone 2. It has a Wikipedia page. After a brief closure recently, The Empire Diner is open, back in business, under new management, and better than ever.

The service is stellar, and Chelsea is lucky to have such an awesome spot to enjoy a five star experience at a very fair price point, among a buzzing atmosphere. Seriously, how cool is this?

Empire Diner back open

What to order

Anything! I actually ordered the Brussels sprouts twice because they were so delicious. I love absolutely everything that I’ve eaten at The Empire Diner. The menu’s aesthetic is retro, but the dishes are modern and filled with flavor. Amanda Freitag, the head chef, is in-arguably one of New York City’s best chefs.

From the incredible menu, I picked (aside from the Brussels sprouts) (among a table of friends to share – don’t judge) the kale salad, the octopus Greek salad, the orzo mac & cheese, cauliflower, salt and pepper fries, French onion soup, lemon chicken, banana split, and peanut butter cream pie with pomegranate jelly.

Banana Split at Empire Diner NYC

Here is a video of the food at my table, as well as some commentary describing how excited I was to be back at my new favorite spot.

Meeting Amanda Freitag, the chef

The attention to detail, in every aspect, is top-notch. Amanda Freitag personally checks in on guests and prepares the menu. It was an honor to meet her!

Amanda, Chef at Empire Diner

Cheers to New York City’s newest gem

I hope that you’ll try Empire Diner and let me know what you ordered and what you think. I already can’t wait to go back and try the Green Plate Special, a rotating dish, left up to the element of surprise.

So make a reservation: 212-596-7523

Pier 60 cocktail at Empire Diner

Aviva Drescher launches new book, Leggy Blonde, at Red Door Spa

Shannon and John with gift bags

Lucky Duck celebrates New York Housewife, Aviva Drescher’s, new book.

John Basedow and I attended an exciting event together at the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa in New York City. The Big Apple’s amazing Aviva Drescher launched her new book, Leggy Blonde.

Leggy Blonde by Aviva Drescher

#LeggyBlonde throws a fantastic party

The tent was packed at the 5th Ave. Beauty Mecca. Fig & Olive catered. Naked Grape was pouring. The flowers by Marzan Flowers were stunning.

Fig & Olive cater Open Bar (2) Beautiful florals

Andy Cohen made an appearance.

Aviva Drescher and Andy Cohen

The family looked beautiful.

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Books were flying off of the shelf.

Book Signing

The gift bags were generous.

Gift bags from Red Door Spa

Mini-makeovers took over the lobby.

Makeovers at Red Door Spa Nail Polish

The cake was pretty incredible.

the cake

John Basedow and I rock the step and repeat

He is one of my favorite people in New York City, and as always, we killed the step and repeat.

Shannon and John point on the step and repeat Shannon Truax and John Basedow
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Rebecca Minkoff influences my new workout regime

Rebecca Minkoff Almond and Black Travel Tote

Lucky Duck buys a Rebecca Minkoff tote for the gym.

I’ve been a Chelsea Equinox member for over a year, and today, I upped the ante – I signed up for the Passport membership! There were a couple of solid reasons for the extra $43/month spend:

  1. This means that I can go to any Equinox location in the world. Chances are, I’ll only be hitting up New York, but it gives me a better chance to work out with #myfavorite, and hit the hamster wheel even if I have dinner out on the town with friends. It’s also a solid basecamp for Springtime runs in Central Park.
  2. And now, I have numerous spots to use the restroom in New York City, a huge plus.

Gearing up for the Passport

When you live in Manhattan, you’re on foot and carry everything everywhere. If I want to be enthused to carry my gym bag from Chelsea to Columbus Circle, the Lucky Duck Duffle would have to go. It not only looks a bit goofy, but it’s awkward and doesn’t hold nearly enough. See the huge difference between the Rebecca Minkoff tote that I bought on bluefly.com and this:

Lucky Duck Gym Bag

At the slightest pain in my foot the other day, I ordered new running shoes to prevent injury. Mizuno stopped making the Wave Alchemy, but the Mizuno Wave Paradox is supposed to be a solid replacement. I should get them this week, and I can review more then, but I will say that I’m thrilled that they don’t come in Easter egg pastel colors. I can’t stand when they do that to Women’s Running shoes.

Mizuno Wave Paradox

I even filled up my toiletries bag with fresh, high quality travel sized products from Sephora, including a Clarisonic Mia. I didn’t need to pack shampoo; Equinox provides Kiehl’s.

One last nod to Rebecca Minkoff

Last year, I sat front row at Rebecca Minkoff’s runway show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, in the blizzard. I had on Sperry snow boots and a Mackage winter jacket.

My shots from front row Rebecca Minkoff

Now it’s time to lace up those sneakers!

You can have the membership and the bag, but if you don’t go, it’s pointless. So keep me honest! My goal is to hit it up four times a week and go from there.

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My first mouse in New York City or Ever

UPDATE: (2/13/14) I am pleased to report that I never saw Mickey. Not in a trap. Not scurrying around. Not eating out of my trash. I am hoping this issue has been resolved by the patchwork they did.

Mouse Trap Board Game from the 80s - 90s

Lucky Duck catches mice.

The unthinkable happened. Ok, I exaggerate – I do live in New York City, so I shouldn’t be too shocked. Nevertheless, I was completely traumatized when I woke up, walked into my kitchen to make coffee, and saw that a critter scratched the hell out of my garbage bag. Hashtag EEK!

How it happended

#myfavorite person in New York City came over to my place to personally make me his signature dish – Spaghetti Bolognese! He rolled fresh pasta for me with a rolling pin and made me the sauce from scratch.

#myfavorite makes me an amazing meal

My piece was to chop the carrot and celery for the sauce in advance, and I chopped too much. After a while, the extras dried out in my fridge so I dumped them in the wastebasket and went to bed.

An odd dream predicts the events

Later that night, I had an extremely timely dream. In the dream, I was laying in my bed, and I saw something odd on my wall. As I investigated, I realized that it was a hole, and someone was LIVING in my wall! When I called my apartment management company, they were unsympathetic and told me that this happens in New York City, and to get used to it. I woke up in a sweat, went to my kitchen to make coffee, and I saw the Mickey issue first hand in my garbage can! I felt sick.

Dealing with the problem

Obviously, I was shocked and traumatized. I called my building’s management company, and they did not tell me “tough luck.” They were very sympathetic and showed up with two contractors who patched two holes and laid glue boards around the borders of my walls.

What are glue boards?

So, glue boards are designed to catch the mice as they run along the perimeter of your apartment. I was asking my seasoned New York friends about this, and overall, they think that there is a 2% chance that I will actually catch a mouse. They think that after Mickey feasted, he went back through the wall, and now that I’m patched, I’m good. Time will tell.

But let’s say, for kicks and giggles, that Mickey is still hanging around Club Shannon…. I have to pick the glue board up, mouse stuck to it, put it in a garbage bag, and throw it out in the trash!

I’m horrified. If I have to do that, I’ll die.

Stay tuned

Please cross your fingers. I don’t want to have to do that. However, if I do, I have to admit that it will be a solid NYC rite of passage. And hey, you know the saying… if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere!

Oh… and I should add that #myfavorite’s Spaghetti Bolognese was awesome, and I still have two large sauces in the freezer. I’ll probably head out to the Italian grocery store in Chelsea Market this weekend to get some yummy noodles for it. Of course they won’t compare to the fresh hand-roll pappardelle, but it’s little more authentic than Barilla.

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Foo Fighters and Zac Brown Band blow it out of the box at Bud Light Hotel in New York City

The crowd loves Foo Fighters

Lucky Duck cheers on Foo Fighters and Zac Brown Band at The Bud Light Hotel in New York City.

Twitter extended me an amazing ticket to watch the Foo Fighters and Zac Brown Band kill it during Super Bowl Week. It was my second trip out to The Bud Light Hotel, after having just been able to see Aloe Blacc and Imagine Dragons last night, courtesy of Facebook. Imagine Dragons wasn’t in the house this time, they were hosting Saturday Night Live.

Hottest ticket in town prior to kickoff

Zac Brown Band impresses

After an awesome pre-funk at Ink48, where @Kimpton actually favorited my tweet (yay!), we had the time of our lives! And @NYCCountryMusic favorited my checkin tweet!

My friends rock

Shortly after walking in, Zac Brown Band covered Metallica’s Enter Sandman!

Zac Brown Band plays at The Bud Light Hotel in NYC

Foo Fighters freaking rock

I’ve been a huge Foo Fighters fan, since the 90’s when Learn To Fly came out. In fact, whenever I hear that song, I think of the infamous Adam. I told all of my friends that if I could pick one song to hear it would be that one, and when it came on, we all went crazy. In a good way.

Having a blast at Foo Fighters Bud Light Hotel

Foo Fighters blow it up at The Bud Light Hotel

They played everything, and this one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen.

Foo Fighters perform at The Bud Light Hotel Foo Fighters perform at The Bud Light Hotel in NYC

But the encore!

When Foo Fighters came back out to the stage and covered Tom Petty, I thought, cool… but I KNEW that Everlong would be in our future… and it was! It was the perfect way to end the show, and I was glad that I stayed out until 2:00 in the morning to see it.

Celebrities are in the house

Can you spot the two celebrities above us on the balcony?

Stars are in the crowd

It really is all fists

EVERYONE had a blast. Honestly, out of anywhere you can be in New York City prior to kickoff, The Bud Light Hotel is your best bet, IF you can get in.

Foo Fighters rock The Bud Light Hotel NYC

The carnage

Safety is always first, and Bud Light did a great job plugging Uber and cabs throughout the night, to follow up on their beverage generosity.

The carnage at The Bud Light Hotel

The Bud Light Hotel hosts an awesome concert

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