Hello from 25,000 feet (or however high shuttle jets fly) - on my way to Ohiiiiiiio for a big meeting and recovering from a nasty 12 hour bug that is systematically running through the whole family - I had it yesterday and believe me you don't want it! Had an ominous text from Simon on the way to Teterboro Airport and I have my fingers and toes crossed that he doesn't get it.
We've just come back from a lovely getaway over Memorial Day weekend. Although we don't go to the Hamptons much, we decided to this past weekend and probably will do so over a couple of weekends this summer. On Saturday afternoon, as we've done in previous years, we attended Jason & Haley Binn's Hamptons Magazine party - always a big opening summer event. At least the sun was shining most of the weekend but generally it was pretty cold (especially out of the sun). But despite the temperature we did have a lot of fun - there's never enough time it seems, and I don't know how some people do it. 10 parties in 3 days? We only made it to 5 of them, and otherwise had an amazing time playing with the kids and deer-watching from around the pool of the house we rented.
Just before we started filming last year we'd completed major work in the basement, which involved underpinning the foundations and lowering the floor to allow for an 8' ceiling height adding a further 1000 sq. ft. of usable living space. So in the basement, in addition to an additional bathroom and laundry, the boys have a huge playroom which unfortunately you only saw in very brief clips in the show. The basement walls are beautiful rough stone and sometimes you could see glimpses of these (I think the stone wall was used as a backdrop for some talking head shots we filmed). Once the floor height was lowered we had a new staircase made with spindles and mahogany railings to match the others in the house. And once that was completed we started removing the 5 layers of different floor tiles/vinyl that was covering the 100 year old hallway floors and the staircase up to the parlor level. That was the stage that it was at when Bethenny came for François's birthday last October and with us being so busy with filming the show we decided to put the work on hold until spring as between working full time, filming most evenings and weekends being our own project manager was just going to be too much. Now that Spring is here we've had the contractors working on and off since March and with us being away for a few days we arranged to get the hallway and stairs sanded and varnished so they could dry without tiny and not so tiny feet walking on them. All the sheetrock has been pulled off to reveal brick walls, and with the tin ceiling and wood floor it just looks amazing. We just have some minor re-pointing of brickwork and staining of the stairs railings to do and then the hallway will be finished!!
Next up is moving the kitchen from the ground floor to the parlor, though we've been slightly horrified that we might need to demolish and rebuild the extension off the back of the house - I hope that doesn't happen! Either way it will take time to redraw the plans, get permits, etc. Oy, did I say it was a 3 year project?!
What else? If it's Memorial Day it must be Robin Hood time. Simon has been the hotel sponsor for the benefit gala for the past 6 years. The most amazing thing about the Robin Hood foundation is that 100% of the monies raised go directly to the programs to end poverty in NYC, due to a powerhouse board who underwrite all the charity's overhead. That's right - zero dollars get eaten up by costs, 100% goes right to the people who need it which is enough to make you cry with relief when you hear the stories about New Yorkers, especially children, in need. To learn more about this amazing charity go to www.robinhood.org. We were all treated to the "Lost Footage" episode this week. An out-of-control François in art class - whoo hoo! It's been more than a little irritating that almost every time we've seen François on the show he's been acting up, but apparently that's entertaining. He has his good moments and his little terror moments, just like any other 3-4 year old. Actually it's really interesting to look at the difference between then and now with him. Having been in school 9-3 for almost a year has been fantastic for him - also we have a professional nanny and much more of a routine with my job - things are so much better now than they were at that time. What a difference a year makes. I am also very happy to report that our friend Nanette (who you saw last night) has franchised her art & music classes and they are now beginning to be available throughout the country - go to www.artscetera.com to see what's offered near you. Johan is now taking the same art class and loves it!
The dinner party? To quote Jill, you didn't see even half of it, extended footage included. What a night - could have been its own special episode. Enough said. ;)
Today is Simon's and my 8th wedding anniversary, and I hate it that we're not together since I'm traveling. We did stay up until midnight last night and saw each other briefly this morning - balancing work, family and life is never easy, but we make a huge effort to do so, including taking turns going out to events so that we're never away from our little chums two nights running. Simon will be with the boys while I'm gone, and then this weekend we'll sneak out together to the Brooklyn International Film Festival, which he also sponsors - it's a great time to catch up on Italian film as the male half of the husband/wife team who curate the festival is Italian and has great taste. Only thing is I owe Simon a flyer design for the gift bags - it's Tuesday and it needs to be printed by Friday - aagghh! Life in New York - it never stops and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Bon Anniversaire, mon mari - je t'aime!