I woke up relatively early today, in my own bed, after having grown accustomed to living three hours ahead on the East Coast.

Now that it’s all over, it feels like the trip passed in the blink of an eye, and yet I can’t figure out how we managed to cram so much site-seeing, touring, walking and eating into a six-day trip.

Since my last post, us three wannabe New Yorkers took the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, where my great-grandmother landed after weeks of travelling across the Atlantic. We visited the Top of the Rock, which is almost 70 stories above 30 Rockefeller, home to NBC studios. And as timing goes, about an hour after photographing the beautiful panoramic view, Virginia was hit by the magnitude 5.8 earthquake.

We happened to be on an NBC tour at the time, where we saw the set for Monday Night Football, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Saturday Night Live. It wasn’t until a reporter informed our guide that we couldn’t view the NBC news studios – because they were busy producing “breaking news” – that we knew what had happened.

Our broadway play for the trip was How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. It was absolutely phenomenal. Everything from the set to the talent to Daniel Radcliffe was spectacular.

We literally ran through the Museum of Natural History an hour before closing in search of their dinosaur exhibit. The Ben Stiller movie Night at the Museum was filmed there, and in one of the scenes, the dinosaur skeleton comes to life, as do the other displays. Most kids would remember the scene where an Easter Island statue wants gum, or something like that. Either way, my sister clearly remembered, and so we sprinted through exhibits and dodged security guards clearing out the building for closing until we got our photo.

We saw Brooklyn, briefly, and walked the Brooklyn bridge. We trained to Coney Island to ride the wooden Cyclone roller coaster, and eat a hotdog at Nathan’s.

In my previous post, I mentioned how much I love the Met. Well, my favourite part of that museum was the section of modern art and famous paintings, and I soon discovered that MoMA is essentially a full gallery of my favourite floor of the Met.

We also visited the World Trade Centre site, where a memorial garden is being built. We saw Wall Street, City Hall, UpTown, MidTown and DownTown.

The stories are endless, and the three of us can’t wait to get back.

In the mean time, I’m turning to my 10-year list to see what else I can cross off.

This past week, I’ve accomplished #2 and #26, which are travelling to New York and turning my cell phone off for a week.

As an aside, I’d like to address the latter of the two, and the comments stating that it doesn’t count if I go on vacation for a week and leave my phone at home.

First, this was not a vacation. It was a chaotic site-seeing tour where we ran around the island of Manhattan until we could no longer use our feet. Vacations are for relaxing.

Second, I suffered from not being able to use my phone, and for several reasons: I couldn’t tweet what I was seeing, I couldn’t tweet breaking news about the East Coast’s first earthquake of such a magnitude in decades, I couldn’t call home to say we were fine (because the earthquake was barely felt in New York), I couldn’t text my loved ones, I couldn’t text those whom I don’t love but like a lot, I couldn’t choose to not text those that I dislike, etc, etc.

Long story short: Once upon a time… It COUNTS! … The end.

I have now knocked off 15 items on my list, and have a mere 86 to go.

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It is finally beginning to look and feel like summer here in White Rock, which is untruthfully dubbed as the city that is always sunny.

Now normally, people – namely women – will attempt some sort of trendy detox diet to shed pounds before bikini season. But not the ladies in the Woodin household.

Here we are, almost a week into August, and I’ve barely had the time to go to the beach, and hadn’t had a socially commitment-less week so I could lock myself in my house and munch miserably on celery for 168 hours. I know I’m supposed to work my lifestyle around healthy eating habits, and not just squeeze in my daily servings of fruit and veggies in between parties and birthdays and other celebrations that involve cake and eating out. But it’s summer, and I do pilates once a week. And really, it’s all about justification.

But in preparation for our trip to New York, my mom, sister and I decided to go on a seven-day cleanse.

Last Sunday, we began the Cabbage Soup Diet, also known as the Sacred Heart Diet. From what I’ve heard, it’s created for heart surgery patients who need to drop weight fast before an operation.

During the cleanse, you are allowed to eat as much homemade cabbage soup as you’d like, whenever you’d like.

Each of the seven days has a strict list of what you are allowed to eat along with the bland and watery meal. For example, day one allows you to eat all of the fruit you’d like, on day four you can eat three bananas and drink an unlimited amount of skim milk and on day seven, you can indulge in veggies and two cups of brown rice.

Luckily, I’ve made it to day seven, and can honestly say I feel great. That’s not to say, however, that the journey did not put the three of us through hell.

You don’t realize how much you eat in a day until you’re consumption is limited. You don’t realize how many carbs you crave, you’re snacking habits or how much fat and sodium seeps into your daily diet through dipping sauces, cooking oils, butter, seasonings, etc.

What you also don’t realize, is how full a vegetarian diet can make you, and how little fuel you need to make it through the day. The diet forced us to find unique ways to prepare vegetables and how to make the most of limited ingredients.

Tomorrow will be my first day back in the “real world.” I’ll be trying my hardest to not completely undo the work I’ve done when I go to The Keg for a celebratory dinner tomorrow, and for an Indian food buffet the day after for a birthday.

But as long as I keep up my pilates and stay far, far away from McDonald’s, I’m sure I’ll be just fine.

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(PS: I should probably mention the diet’s effectiveness. Apart from being a dietary eye-opener, each of us has probably lost between five-10 pounds.)