Sunday, September 27

5th Bite

On our third day we had an easy time using the subway to get to our 9:30 reservation for the ferry from Battery Park to the Statue of Liberty.

We had opted out of spending money on the audio tour, so were pleasantly surprised to see free tour times posted- the first of which was only ten minutes away. Rangers who work for the National Park Service give them, and ours was very friendly and knowledgeable. Before the tour started we were the only ones waiting, and she told us some interesting things about Ellis Island. I hadn't thought about it until then, but talking with her reminded me that my grandma Ella went through when it was active.

We learned a lot about the statue- I recommend that tour to anyone. I was pretty eager to see if I could find my grandma's manifest, so we skipped the pedestal part of the tour (we were told there wasn't really much to see in there, but who knows) and headed over to Ellis Island. I bet my great grandparents were even more excited to see it.

We looked all over the building, watched a National Geographic movie they had playing, and then went to the Family Immigration History Center. We were met by an LDS missionary couple and learned that the church is largely responsible for the center.

I found my grandma! She was 5 when she went through. She is listed with her family, and there is information written on there, like how much money they were traveling with, the address they left and where they were headed, skills they possessed. I just sent the copies we printed to her, I hope she likes them.

When we got back to Battery Park, these guys were putting on a show. They could do ANYthing! Run up trees and flip off them, stand on any appendage- it was like gravity had given them the day off. Here is one guy jumping over a bunch of people.


Like I mentioned before, we went back to the Met. Here's one pic I forgot- the sculpture on the roof. Reminded me of "War of the Worlds."

After the Met, on our way to the subway, we passed a crowd watching the filming of something. We asked an excited-looking woman what it was and she said in a French accent, "Sex in zee Citeee Two! Just inside zat building is Seghah Jessica Pahgckeh! So exciteeeng, no?!" Actually, no. But I nodded enthusiastically for her as we left. Sorry- to all you Sarah Jessica fans...

I forgot to mention- somewhere in here, we got stopped by a news crew and were asked what we would do with a million dollars. We couldn't say anything practical like a house or school or anything. I said I would pay for a lifetime of massage. I guess my aching legs and feet were all I could think of. Zach said he would pay off student loans. Then they asked us to show our reation to winning a million dollars. Zach shook his long hair and screamed and I just stood still and looked like I was about to faint. Haha- I bet we didn't make the cut on the show, whatever it was.

We went down to Little Italy in search of arancini, my favorite snack when I was on my mission in Sicily- which I have never tried to replicate. It took some doing, but we found a place that had them.

They were cosi-cosi. ;) You can tell how enthusiastic I am...

Then we hopped over to the Brooklyn Bridge just after the sun set. It was quite a walk.

Our last night in New York.

A few blocks away was Ground Zero. We found walled-off construction, and advertisements for the building to come. There is a memorial in the church just west of the site (if I remember the orientation right,) but we were there way past the tour hours. A plaque informed us that George Washington had been in that church on the day of his inauguration.
So much has changed.

The next morning we took advantage of all our earlier window shopping and did the actual buying with exactly what we wanted in mind.

Back at the Hershey's Factory. No, they don't sell cheese. That was just us.

Saw some nice cops and horses- not exactly what you think of when someone mentions the NYPD, is it? I didn't expect to be petting a horse that morning, but there you go.

We boarded another shuttle, and met yet another interesting driver. This one had Superman paraphernelia plastered on every inch of his dash. It was through his windshield we waved a fond goodbye to the Big Apple. And prayed we'd make it to the airport. Those guys drive like maniacs.

The End.

4th Bite

After we got our Poppins tickets we decided we would walk to the Met instead of taking the subway, because then we could sight-see 5th Avenue. If we had it to do over again, I think we would have done some more walking before we left for New York. We were pretty messed up by the time we got to the museum. Even though it put a damper on our walking the next two days, looking back, I'm glad we walked it, because we saw some great stuff.

The Ghostbusters library was under construction, so this was the only good shot I got of it. We didn't go in, because when we did ten years ago we thought it wasn't that exciting, and we really wanted as much time at the Met as possible. Maybe next time.

A few blocks north is St.Patricks Cathedral. Wow. I saw quite a few major duomos in Sicily, but without the Italian backdrop, this place really stood out.

They were holding mass when we came the last time, so we didn't get to see it as thoroughly. We didn't mind that we were losing Met time, the inside is even more wow.

On our way again, some of the sights right below Central Park:

I'd seen pictures of this building and thought the photographer was showing off a cool bendy lens. Nope- it's really a bendy building.

This baffled me. It's one of many many swanky condo/townouse buildings on 5th Avenue- I definitely wasn't picturing the people who lived in them as kind and loving neighbors. Then this popped up and made me wonder who put it there and why. I Googled it. It used to be an Jewish office or church building, was almost going to be a synagogue, but then it was sold and converted to posh housing. The engraving was almost removed when they re-did the buiding, but they kept it for some reason. Cool.

Finally we arrived at the museum. We found out they close early and we had less than an hour to look around. It wasn't long enough, so we ended up coming back the next day, too. These pics are from both visits.

My favorite room. Probably a lot of peoples' favorite.

Why is Cleopatra's boob exposed? You'd think someone would tell her, being so prominent a historical figure. Sure- that's just how artists portrayed women, always with one boob hanging out. Because it's much more realistic, I guess. Maybe I should be asking why nowadays we women don't lounge around with one boob hanging out. Looks so comfy...

Janet wasn't being slutty- she was being renaissancey!

I loved this one called "Nydia, the blind flower-girl of Pompeii." She's a character from a book, "The Last Days of Pompeii."

My absolute favorite sculpture there was called Ugolino and his Sons. The story is fascinatingly morbid. Yet another reason to read the Inferno (which I seriously doubt I'll have time or brain-power to do for another few years.) Meanwhile I will appreciate one of the creations it inspired. This foot gave me goosebumps, it looked so real. This is my favorite part of the statue.

Both Zach and I liked "Springtime," by Pierre-Auguste Cot. I was kind of surprised he liked such a sappy picture, but he is a pretty sensitive guy... ha.

But not too sensitive. ;) Special request for a shot of the cool little Samurai dudes.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. During both visits we spent about four hours. For me, that was just right.

We hobbled to the subway, ate at the subway Subway, and then went to see the city from the Top of the Rock.

On the way up- you can see through the ceiling of the elevator- each floor is lit so you can tell exactly how far up you have to go. Freaky!!!

Last trip we did the Empire State Building, so we thought we'd mix it up a little.

We remembered from the Empire State Building, Central Park looked like a teeny patch of lawn and decided we liked the Rockefeller Center view better.

No Tina sightings- sorry.

We had some time to kill before our show, so we went back to Times Square. Earlier, while I was waiting in the ticket line I had gotten more and more curious about the people sitting and baking on the sun-drenched red steps. No one seemed to have a reason for sitting there, so I decided I'd go sit on them and see what the deal was.

Fun little "Where's Summer" game for ya...

It is a lot nicer than standing in the middle of rush-hour traffic trying to "experience Times Square."

Mary Poppins was surprisingly awesome! It turned out to be a great show for us- quite a lot different than the movie, and the woman who played Mary was just incredible.

#17 Cherry Tree Lane

So ended our first full day in the Big Apple. When we got our aching joints back to our hotel room we thought maybe we'd bit off more than we could chew. Yaaaaay Advil!

Sunday, September 20


Thought I'd take a break from writing about our trip to put up some much anticipated photos of Mia's Unicorn/Butterfly/Bounce House/4th Birthday Party!

Since she said it was a Unicorn/Butterfly birthday, I did what I could, but had trouble finding anything. The super party store in Ohio only has themes like Dora, My Little Pony, and Disney movies. I think got the last unicorn pinata- they said they stopped selling them, but I spotted this guy high on a shelf.

She asked for a special princess hair-do.

And a unicorn cake. I just remembered she also asked for a yo-yo, which I still haven't gotten out of my purse. Oops.

About twenty cute little friends came and they bounced around for an hour. The place we went has six different bounce houses, with obstacle courses, slides, and some little bounce areas. It was so much fun I forgot to stage a good bouncing photo of Mia. It was next to impossible to get a candid one once we let her loose in there. The floor is padded, and there is a drinking fountain in the room. It is also really hot. They are planning on getting air-conditioning in the bounce area next year. So when the kids got nice and tired out...
they came into the air-conditioned party room.

We had cake and icecream and opened presents. The place is owned by a husband and wife, and she was our personal party planner. She served all the food, helped each kid into the throne with Mia while she opened their present, and wrote which gift was from whom. It was amazing to watch her keep track of everything. Mia had a blast.
Her friends were all so kind and patient- we didn't think about how long the unwrapping process would take with so many kids there! It didn't help that I was so busy taking photos and video, I didn't notice her trying to read all the birthday cards before she unwrapped each gift... it doesn't seem as polite when it adds ten minutes of everyone waiting to go play again.
Mia and her best bud

All around a very memorable party. We are so grateful to our sweet friends for coming. The party was almost a week ago.

Here is what has been keeping me occupied since: They are doing pretty well. They still have accidents if I put them in panties. If they are bare-bummed they remember every time. (#'s 1 and 2- yay!) I estimate we've already saved at least five dollars in diapers.

The night of the party Zach decided he was done with his nine-month-old ringlets. He had to go on call overnight the next day and didn't want to deal with it anymore. :( That was my face the whole time I was cutting.