Monday, September 29, 2008

Let's try this...

Here is a MEMORY GAME challenge for you. Saw this on my friend Ashley's blog and thought this was a fun idea. I'd love to hear the memories we have shared together! Heres what you do: 1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember! 2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty cool (and funny) to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Samantha!

Samantha Marie turns 2 years old today! We love her so much! She is a little troublemaker and she makes us LAUGH!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

More Pictures...

St. Patrick's Cathedral

Bethesda Fountain

Belvedere Castle

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New York Part 3

Okay I think I am dragging this out too long now so I'm going to wrap it up! I don't have a ton of good pictures left either!

Saturday we went went to Harlem. My dad has a friend, Dennis, that lives there in a brownstone that he has been restoring, and he was going to let us see it! Unfortunately we didn't bring the camera. We have some video, but its not great video. His place was really cool, I wish I could remember all the facts about it. He lives on one floor, and rents out the other 3. He has done a great job with it. It was amazing to see the before photos and be able to see the finished product. Dennis has lived in New York about 20 years and he knew a lot about it. Especially about his neighborhood in Harlem. He took us on a great tour. Except it was SO humid! We ate Fried Chicken at a wonderful Southern restaurant called Spoon Bread (after walking about 100 miles, Dennis knows how to walk!) and finished up with the BEST peach cobbler I have ever had. After that, Michael and I separated from the group and went back to the hotel to cool off. We met up with the fam later to eat at B Bar and Grill- I highly recommend it. Form there we went to Dylan's candy bar- cause who doesn't like candy?! Then of course we went to Serendipity for Frozen hot chocolate and other desserts we did not need. But hey, we did walk A LOT. Our plan was to go to a club that night, my cousin Kelly very kindly gave us some good options. I'm not sure what happened-Oh yeah, it poured BUCKETS of rain from 4pm to 11pm thanks to the hurricanes. And me and Michael realized we are way too old and not hip enough to go to clubs. So we put ourselves to bed.

Sunday morning we woke up and got ready for church. We looked at the building locator online to figure out where the ward was meeting that was in the temple building. It told us where to go and what time it started-11am. We took the subway, barely making it on time, only to find out the building was closed for construction. We were so disappointed! At that point we wouldn't have been able to make it to any other meetings. At least we tried right? We went to lunch at the 5 Napkin Burger on restaurant row. It is very good, nice BIG juicy burgers. Except mine came out mooing and I kinda lost my appetite. We went to Rockefeller Center and St. Patricks Cathedral and then walked by all the fancy shops on 5th avenue. Then Michael and I, and Jeff and Natalie decided to go to Central Park and rent bikes. I got to see all of the things I've been wanting to- Bethesda fountain, Belvedere Castle, Sheeps Meadow. I highly recommend renting bikes to tour Central Park. We got to see everything without killing ourselves walking. It was a BEAUTIFUL Sunday and I think one of my favorite parts of the trip!

Michael and my brothers and Natalie left early Monday morning. I changed my flight so I could stay one more day with my parents! Michael took the camera home, so no more pics at this point!

Monday morning I got to go to the lower east side Tenement Museum. It was very cool. A lot of history there and I love to look at old buildings. We went over to Greenwich Village and of course, got some more cupcakes at Magnolia, and then ate lunch at Le Pain Quotidien. My parents needed to leave- they had tickets to the US Open, so I had the afternoon to myself. Which was great! I would hang out by myself in NYC any day! I went down to Bryant Park. It was Fashion week, so I stood by the tents people watching for over an hour. I was trying to catch a glimpse of someone famous, but no such luck. I went shopping around Times Square, ate some dinner in a little cafe, and then went to see "Chicago". Can't say it was my favorite Broadway show, but it was entertaining. I walked back to the hotel by myself at 10:30 pm, stopping on the way to get some soup. I was so glad I stayed another day- EXCEPT...

We had to wake up EARLY Tuesday morning to get to JFK. Our flight was at 8am. We got on the plane on time and got on the runway. And then we stopped. The captain came on the intercom and said that there was bad weather up ahead and that we were grounded until it came through. We sat for two hours on the plane before it even started raining. We sat for another two hours waiting for it to pass. We were finally getting close to leaving, we were 4th for takeoff, when 1 lady on our plane decided she wanted to get off. After 4 hours the airline cannot force you to stay on the plane. We had to turn around and let her off. People were NOT happy. I was starting to feel hysterical from being cooped up in a plane for 4 hours. We were given drinks and some nasty snacks. It took another 2 hours to refuel, re-stock the plane, and change crews. After 6 hours of sitting on the plane, we left on our 5 hour flight to Phoenix. We arrived in Phoenix, got some food, and drove to Tucson. I got home at 8pm, 11pm NY time, just in time to see the kids before they went to bed. The whole travel experience was AWFUL.

But I LOVED my trip to NYC. And I got some great news in my email inbox a few days later. Jet Blue gave me a voucher worth my round trip flight to NYC!!! Now I have to go back. How awesome is that?! Its time for that girl trip we've been talking about! You know who you are, lets get it planned! Whoever wants to come! :)

Closest subway station to our hotel

B Bar & Grill

Dylan's Candy Bar

Serendipity Frozen hot chocolate

Monday, September 15, 2008

New York Part 2

Friday morning we woke up jet-lagged, but eager to start our day. Well some of us were eager! First thing we went to the Empire State Building. Since we went early, we had NO lines! I think I like the view of the city the best from the Empire State Building. Or maybe that's because it was my first view of the city in the day. I have been to the Top of the Rock a couple times, but only at night. Both views are awesome! From there, we took the subway to the WTC center site. We walked by the site, but right now there is not much to see. Just a lot of construction. Then we walked down to the water to catch some views of the Statue of Liberty. We walked along the water a long way, headed toward Battery Park. But we never made it that far- everyone got too tired. Bunch of wimps I tell ya. :) I really wanted to go to the WTC tribute museum so we headed that direction. It was very sad. But I am glad we went. Afterward we were all a little depressed, but hungry! We went to La Esquina Taqueria for lunch. Very good food. After lunch we went to China Town and got new purses and watches etc. It was really hot and I was ready for some cupcakes, so we took the subway to Magnolia Bakery. YUM! I am not normally a fan of cupcakes, but these ones are GOOD. About this time I think we were all about dead. We went back to the hotel to rest and to get ready for dinner and the show. We saw Mary Poppins, my mom and I for the second time. I think everyone enjoyed it. It was a good end to our day.

The Chrysler Building from on top of the Empire State Building. It was a little hazy. Obviously.

The Camera guy


Fire station across from WTC

Ready for the show, but falling asleep in my chair. We walked A LOT that day.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

New York Part 1

I've decided to chronicle our trip by the day. The thought of another HUGE New York post makes me a little overwhelmed. And this time I've got way more PICTURES!!! Although maybe not as many as Michael promised since he got tired of carrying around the camera after the first day. This trip was taken with my mom and dad, my 3 younger brothers Sean, Andrew, and Jeff, and Jeff's wife Natalie and me and Michael.

We began our trip Thursday morning the 4th. We all met at my brother Sean's house at 7am for our drive to Phoenix. He very kindly went out and got us all bagels for breakfast! Our travel was pretty uneventful, Jeff was a great chauffer, flights were amazingly on time and we loved watching satellite T.V. on our Jet Blue flight. We arrived at JFK around 8 pm where we were supposed to have a car waiting for us that my mom had reserved in advance. Of course they had no record of us whatsoever, even though we had a confirmation number with us etc. So we hopped in another car and off we went. The first sights of the city always make me deliriously happy, when you come up from the tunnel and there it is! We arrived at our hotel- The Residence Inn Times Square. My parents, who had arrived the day before, were standing outside waiting for us. We're ready to head up to our room when all of a sudden Sean realizes he doesn't have his backpack- he left it in the car that sped off a few moments before. His backpack with his new apple laptop, his ipod and other various important things. Amazingly, his fabulous sister (that would be me) suddenly remembered being given a business card by the guy at the airport, who got us the car. I scrambled through my purse to find it and they quickly called the company. They located the car and said the backpack would be returned within a couple hours. Phew!

We headed over to get some dinner. We stopped at a little roadside pizza joint and it wasn't the best pizza, but who cares! We were in NYC! We went by a subway entrance and I had to go down and get a whiff- Aaaaaaaah,the smell of New York. Call me crazy. Then we went over to Times Square. It was about 2 blocks from our hotel. It was hopping as usual. Sean was unable to enjoy himself because he was still worrying about his backpack, so my dad and him (him and my dad?) headed back to the hotel to wait. To Sean's great relief, it was returned with everything intact, and they met up with us again later. We continued our tour of times square, stopping in our favorite shops and watching the crazy people. I asked a police officer if I could take a picture with him. He said sure and asked if I wanted to sit on his bike! I felt like a star because for some reason lots of people found this entertaining and took my picture! There were some government things going on downtown and further down the road was another officer with a machine gun. He did NOT want his picture taken! We saw Batman, well he was the African American version of Batman, and an old lady wearing lingerie singing songs. NOT a pretty sight! We went to the Hershey's store and the M&M store- lots of chocolate, YUM! We were all pretty tired about this time and went to back to the hotel around 1am. Enjoy the slideshow!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

See ya next week!

I'm leaving on Thursday for Manhattan! I can't possibly love it as much as last time- right? I have a feeling I will. Michael says he is taking 365 pictures of NYC so I can start my own NYC daily photo blog. Stay tuned! Here are some pictures of the kids to tide you over while I'm gone.

Samantha with her bottle that we FINALLY got rid of. Yep, she'll be 2 on the 19th so its about time.

Ashley got her face painted at the safety fair by our house.

Taylor really wanted to get his face painted- but he was TERRIFIED of the "mascot" a guy in a stuffed dog costume, who was walking around. SO, Michael said he would paint his face at home.

Of course, then Samantha wanted hers done too.

We're just getting excited for Halloween. Except for Halloween, we will be the Cullen Family. Yep that's right, a family of vampires. Will someone please invite us to their Halloween party so we can wear our cool costumes? :)
Have a good week!