Thursday, November 3, 2011
Friday, September 30, 2011
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
We decided to start our morning off looking for Strawberry Fields in Central Park. We walked and walked and walked some more and finally found it.
We stopped for a bit watching people lay on top of the circle and basically being asses. Then we went across the street to the Dakota where John Lennon was shot. It was pretty interesting to see a place of modern history. It hasn’t changed and I wonder what Oko thinks each time she leaves the hotel, walking through the same arch that her husband was shot in.
We were tired of walking so we jumped in a cab and went on our way to Wall Street. We walked around a bit and checked out the NY stock exchange building. There was a photo shot of some sort happening so we got to see a real live NY model standing ontop of some historic building. Real NY models look just like real LA models.
We had about a hour to kill so we walked around an Apple store and had lunch at a bar/restaurant named Gaslight. The pasta was so good, a seafood pasta with red sauce. Chad ordered pizza, I thought it was ok but Chad seemed to enjoy it. We both had a bloody mary and it was very different, super thin tasting.. if thin tasted.
After lunch we met up with our 911 tour and were escorted in a very small room. I was surprised at how small the space was and sort of felt like we had been duped a bit. I was so wrong. We were given a set of headphones and a small audio device. As we walked around the room we were able to hear details and information on the artifacts and pictures in the museum. It was very moving. It felt like you really got a chance to see what it was like down at Ground Zero. Some amazing things do come in small packages. Gary Susson was the only photographer allowed at ground zero during the recovery process. He was able to collect items like shoes, pieces of window, steel and desk objects. It was a very moving display.
I have a few photos of the displays to share with you. Gary was able to collect the Calendar that was found in a subway control room. Left is his display: Right is the original location
Switched this time: Clock found in a breakroom I believe.
On our way back to the hotel we stopped in at a Bakery and picked up some cheesecake and canolis. Once we got back to the hotel and after Chad did some iron board vaulting we had a dessert feast and promptly passed out in our mess. Well almost in our mess.
The rest of the story is we went home the next morning.
So to wrap up. My last trip back in 2002 was sad and melancholy. 9/11 was still very fresh for a lot of people. I was toured around with a New York native and it seemed I got a different view of life in New York. This time I felt like visiting was so light and fun. Good weather, good people and good food. I also think having Chad as a traveling companion didn’t hurt. So all my pre-planning ended up working out and we have the memories to prove it. Thank you New York for giving us some great memories. We love you!
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
My last visit to New York was months after 9/11. The place was so different this time. It felt more alive and bright. Like the cloud of despair and sadness had been lifted. Chad had left the Sunday prior to my leaving on Wednesday. I caught a red-eye at 10:30pm from LAX and the turbulence was crazy bad. My hopes of sleeping through the flight were demolished. I finally got to JFK at 7:00am and was picked up by the Shuttle for a 2 hour trip to the hotel. I hate shuttles. I like the price of Shuttles but I hate riding in them. Once I got to the business hotel that Chad was at I rushed downstairs to find some food. I was starving. I wound up at Utopia a small restaurant for breakfast. I had the salmon and onion omelet and it was very good. I must have looked like the walking dead because each person I spoke too asked if I was ok. After my meal I stopped into a deli to grab some water and headed back to my room for a nap. I finally woke back up at around 1:00pm and decided to go ahead and research some Tattoo places for my possible inking. I found one that was about a 11 min Subway ride away so off I was. I purchased a $10 metro card and got on at 72nd street and took it downtown to Red Rocket Tattoo. After making a reservation for a Sat night tat and then walking around in that area and picking up some much needed face powder I got back on the subway and went uptown to Colombia University were Chad was taking his test. I love the Subway. This was my only time riding it and I wish we would have used it more often for Transportation. Something about the speed and the different people you see makes you feel like your on an adventure.
Columbia campus is wonderfully green. I knew I had a few hours to kill so I found a Japanese restaurant to sit at and enjoyed a glass of plum wine and very salty edamame while I waited. I also put on band aids because the blisters that were developing were making it impossible to walk. After about a hour of sidewalk banter with crazees I walked to the building that Chad was taking his test in. I waited by the entrance and after 30mins I saw him walking out. The news was not good. Apparently Chad felt that he had blown the test. Let's fast forward to the dinner that night at Le Monde when he finds out he passed. After the test there was a wine reception where everyone was discussing how badly they failed. We then joined the class for dinner were more discussion were had about how horrible the test was. Later that night for those that stayed till the end of dinner scores were given out. Dryden and Chad had passed. What a relief. For celebration Chad wanted a cigar bar. So we found the Carnegie club after a quick change at the Hotel.
What a great cigar bar and the drinks were so good that the rest of the evening gets a bit fuzzy. We did go to the Plaza and shut down The Rose Club. We had one more drink there and by the time we got home at about 3:00am... well lets just say we celebrated the passing of their test in New York style.
Friday morning included sleeping in for me and packing to move to the Parker Meridian hotel. I had all the bags ready to go and waited in Dryden's room for the boys to come back from their last day of classes. Around 3:00pm we headed to the next hotel, Le Parker Meridian. After Chad gashed his head on luggage and we made a cluster of the hotel lobby we finally got to our amazing room. Perfect view of Central Park. We left quickly to go find a replacement purse for my completely trashed one and then returned in time to get ready for our night out. Dinner at the Harvard Club with Dryden and his niece and then Spiderman. Dinner was very nice, not the best meal in NYC but I blame that on my bad ordering. I strayed a bit far from what I typically order. No drinks to speak of here other than a great cup of coffee at the end which ended up hurting my tummy later that night.
After dinner at the Harvard Club we walked to Spiderman and made it just in time. It was an amazing show. Not the typical Broadway show, a stunt show mixed with crazy good music and so much action. You can tell it was still in preview because there were a few hiccups but overall most things went well. The stunt work was just amazing. I had to hold my breath a few times during the aerial work. I am excited to to get the soundtrack when it comes out. After the show we walked around Time Square for a bit and took some shots by the ticker. Dryden was an amazing host and knew so much about NYC. Dryden wanted to treat us to a drink at the Peninsula rooftop bar. Salon De Ning is located on the 23rd floor of the Peninsula Hotel. Very trendy and crowded. I ordered a Cucumber Martini and was floored at the $23 price tag. Chad had a Makers Mark. Lets just say they pour them deep at this place. There was an aged women DJing outside and I couldn't help but laugh at her lack of skills. This was the type of "to be seen at " bar that New York is well know for. We had a Raspberry Mousse for dessert that was to die for. Amazing!! The view was wonderful and the weather was perfect. It was the perfect way to end the evening.It was about 1:00am so we cabbed it home and fell right to sleep.
Saturday morning we woke up and met Dryden for breakfast in Central Park. It was as if we were exactly were we should be our whole trip. Sitting in Central Park and just watching life move around us was nice. Then we decided to go check out some stores and Dryden wanted to share with us the Plaza Grand Ballroom. Now there are not many times in life when I can go speechless but this was one of them. When we excited the plaza elevator that placed us into the lobby of the Ballroom we were greeted by the most beautiful pieces of floral artwork that I have ever seen in my life. Chad and I literally stood with mouths wide open in awe. I couldn't move or talk. I actually started crying because I had never seen something so beautiful in my life. I decided to not take a picture, one because it just didn't seem right and two, it would have not done the work justice. The Grand Ball room was very nice but having spent my fair share of hours in ballrooms decorating and so forth it didn't really have that much of a wow factor for me. Those flowers however. They will remain in my mind for the rest of my life. A room so full of floral pieces that it literally moved me.
We checked out FAQ Schwatrz were Chad was able to see the Big Piano and walked over to Grand Central station. I wanted to jump on a Subway so bad but Dryden explained that Times Square was only a few short blocks from us. It was time for our amazing tour guide and Chad's boss to leave. With a mighty handshake and warnings of taking cabs he was gone.
After our Saturday tour with Dryden Chad and I walked towards Time Square to pu tickets for the Harry Potter exhibit at the Discovery Museum. We stopped for a break and bloody marys at a small tavern. Happy Sat mid morning prices were refreshing. 2 drinks for less than $20.00. AMAZING! We finished up and literally walked right into Harry P. No line, no issues. The exhibit was very cool. Tons of props, costumes and various movie decor were setup in a walk around style tour. My favorite finds were the wands and how individual each was. I also liked the costumes and seemed to be transfixed by the shoes of each character.
We left the exhibit after more than a hour of wandering and found a BBQ place called Virgils. We had TRAIN WRECK FRIES-fresh cut fries, covered with melted cheddar cheese, smoked bacon, scallions, pickled jalapenos and topped with ranch dressing, BBQ riblets and Biscuits and Gravy. While we were being served a Navy Dr. that had been sitting next to us offered up 2 free Matinee passes to Catch Me if You Can. We were in shock. Another show! We hurried through our meal and ran to the Neil Simon Theatre just in time. The show was great! The typical musical of Broadway, different than Spiderman but a great contrast for Chad to experience.
After the performance we headed home to change before my tat apt. Chad bought a touch of liquid courage for me and a few cigars for himself. While in the shop he saw Rev. Al Sharpton. Hmmm interesting. We decided to cab it to the shop.
After the tat we walked back to the hotel with a few store stops. We decided to eat at the Hamburger spot located in our hotel. It had rave reviews from yelp. We ordered 2 huge Hamburgers and fries and went upstairs and ate and ate and ate. It was pretty good. That night we fell asleep in a food coma.
Part 2 to follow
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Having an active 2 ½ year old can be interesting at times and I think Marilyn is enjoying the experience, 2nd time around. I also think she has forgotten some of the not so great trials of children like tantrums, potty training, excessive whining and the endless guilt trips they give you if you don’t give them what they want. Our other two keep us on our toes in different ways.
I took a few days to let the news of Osama’s death sink in. It brings back the tragic memories of 9/11 and reminds me that everyday could be our last. We don’t know when our Lord will bring us home. I don’t think any of the victims of 9/11 thought that it was going to be their last day on earth. If we knew when we were going to die would we live any better? Would we be better people? I wonder if Osama lived everyday as if it was his last, knowing that he was the most wanted man on the planet? I was sadden when I heard his 13yr old daughter saw him shot. Even more so when I read that Osama was raising her to kill as well. I feel for her, she had no choice who in the world would be her father. She didn’t ask for it. I don’t really speak much about terrorism or politics, I tend to sort of keep my opinions to myself.
In my lifetime Obama will be the first real president that I ever listened too. I mean I really wanted to sit and watch or wanted to hear what he had to say. He did something that not many people would do. I applaud him for his bravery and his trust that his choice was right. I wonder if he prayed about his decision before he made it.
I saw that second plane crash into the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11th and I was in bed Sunday night on May 1st when I saw President Obama announce Bin Ladens death. Everyone talked about closure and there doesn’t seem to be any closure for me. In fact it wakes up the old feelings a bit. Why would I want closure really? I mean I lost some tint on my rose colored glasses that day but physically I was ok, my family and friends were ok. Mentally I took some blows. I guess thats what makes the difference. And how do you feel closure on history. Do we have closure on JFK or MLK Jr. Those people who stood on the street while our president was assassinated, did they find closure when suspected shooter Oswald was killed? I am just processing all of this, more so for my children really. The questions will come… this time I won’t have one little 2 yr old baby girl. This time I have 3 sets of eyes and ears and mouths. Mouths that will start asking questions that I just don’t know the answers too.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Thursday, April 7, 2011
How was I supposed to drag him away from one of the wonders of every small child's life. The travels of snails. How excited he was, "look at the big eyes mama, ewww gross". I dropped the bags and crouched next to him and we hung out for a bit looking at all the snails and how they were moving really fast ..... for snails that is. He was thrilled and I was sad. Sad that me hurrying could have made him miss such a simple but amazing adventure. I have to stop and slow down. I forget that this little sponge needs some water to soak up. He walks plenty but only to get to places. Does he really stop and inspect like I use to when I was a child. Monday- Thursday just feels like this circus and I am the clown juggling all the balls. Then Friday - Sunday we all recharge and try and slow it down but why does it only happen on the weekend? Why can't every day be treated like a weekend? What did I lose, a few minutes late to work. Hmm late for a job that while I am grateful to have is not very rewarding, doesn't make me so happy and fulfills maybe my pinkie finger full of satisfaction in my life.
By coincidence I read a blog post this afternoon that touched on this same topic. www.huffordhouse.blogspot.com. It seems like I am not alone in this challenge of life. So I ordered a patio set. You know because thats how you slow things down. You sit your butt down. No but really, I need to make these nests around the house. I need places for each of us to get comfortable and rest our weary heads. Less running around and more experiencing. It's a good thing.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Monday, April 4, 2011
So Charlie is less than thrilled. He growls and what not. He has the stink eye perfected. Piddles.. hmm she thinks she is hot stuff. She's not. Oh piddler on the roof, you are such a muttzuuu. Charlie Babbit, your a young ole man. Welcome home Crockpot. We love you!
Oh and something new this Spring. Sunday Bloody Mary/Mimosa brunches with Joan and Scott. Soon will be the Friday night porch drunk extravaganza's. With boxes and all. I look forward to spring for more than one reason now.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
I loaded the car up and asked Julia to get the baby bird for me, she did and remembered to turn off all the lights on her way down. Even the baby got the memo! He was all smiles and happy to be awake. No poop diaper (saves at least 5 mins). Jack had already prepared a car snack for him. Not once did James run around the kitchen screaming SNAAACCKKKK and then crying when he didn’t get what he wanted. Into the car and everyone was freezing but no tears and outbursts, no demands of .. please go get me a blanket….. We were off and lo and behold the singing started. The kids were singing nursery rhymes with James. Using the right words.. no one replaced spider with poop or star with poop. I had to pinch myself. I couldn’t stop smiling. Drop offs at all locations went well and I ended up at work 10mins early. If every morning was like this I think my forehead wrinkles would disappear.
Monday, February 28, 2011
After waking up from a busy Saturday we rolled into Sunday and Chad called the campground for an update on snow. Uhhh yes they said, 2 1/2 feet and it was sticking. There went the laundry and room cleaning and organizing planned for the day. Insert rushing around, layers of clothes, laughing, yelling, crying baby, DVDs for the car trip, laundry baskets used to hold food, snacks and more clothes. Mittens, jackets, scarves, hats, sleds, make shift sleds, shoes, tons of shoes, blankets, water, camera and the kitchen sink. We made it out in under 50min. I think it was a record. 3 children and 2 adults layered up and ready for the snow. And boy did it not disappoint. Our camp ground was covered with snow. This post is useless without pics and I have to post some but even without the pictures, the memories of this trip will last. Julia made the first hill to sled down. Jackson added a bump to it so that everyone could break there butt on it. James was thrilled with all the snow but not so thrilled with his gloves that would not stay on. Poor baby had frozen hands. After sledding Julia's hill and having a snowball fight with mama getting the baby in the side of the head, we ventured over to another part of the campgrounds that had a very steep hill. This is were we had the daddy snow hill. It was the longest run all day and it was awesome! Again pictures would be good here. So some lessons learned. Layers are good. When you build a snowman do not leave it unprotected because some punk kids will ruin it. Make sure your 2 1/2 year olds gloves fit. Bring pillows and blankets for the ride home because everyone passed out.
I kept saying to Chad how happy I was that we bailed on our "stay at home and work" plans to take this opportunity for a snow day. We don't typically get this opportunity so it was a blessing. Another blessing was the fact that we had the whole place to ourselves. The campgrounds were empty so it made it easy to maneuver around. Our little secret hideaway.