Thursday, July 24, 2008

New York City Slide Show

Family Trip Day Two: New York City

Not that I did not want to visit NYC, but this was a Josh pick. Being as enormous as New York is, we opted to spend two days there. Luckily for me, one of my best friends (and bridesmaid) lives about 45 minutes from the city and we were able to stay with her for two nights.

So on the first day, we got up very early (still at my sisters) and drove the four hours to New York City. As we were driving along in Connecticut, we see a sign on the road for a dinosaur museum. Of course, we pulled off the freeway to check it out.

Turns out during a large construction project in the 60's, the workers noticed lots of prints in the soil. They called the "officials" who later determined the site to have been heavily travelled by dinos. Now there is a park there. There were not any skeletons, just lots of tracks and some fake dinosaurs. But Levi and Claire still liked it.

We continued our drive to NYC. I had done a very organized (go ahead Cyp, say it: anal) binder of everything. I had driving directions, things to do, maps, airline and car confirmations, etc. So thanks to my organizational skills, we made it into the Bronx perfectly. Now we just had to find a place to park. And the subway. Once that was done we took the subway to the American Museum of Natural History.

In case there are some skeptics out there, I will remind everyone that Levi loves dinosaurs. Loves them. That is why the museum was our first stop. At our museum at the U there are maybe five skeletons. One of them is an Allosaurous. Now, an allosaurous is like a T-Rex, just smaller and apparently not as fierce. Every time we go the the Burke Museum and see the Allosaours, Levi signs "I wish we had a T-Rex".

We decided to see the T-Rex first, but there are SO MANY DINOS, it was kind of overwhelming and intimidating. They had every dinosaur imaginable! Fun.

After an extremely expensive lunch at the museum (over $40), we walked across the street to Central Park. In my planning, I knew that CP was huge, but I apparently did not allot enough time to cover the five things I wanted to see. Oh well. It was a beautiful day and very relaxing. We let the kids wander around and climb rocks, throw rocks, pet dogs... Just like a Seattle day!

The only pshyco-ness that happened that day was right when we got into CP. Levi has been potty trained for awhile. Well, on the plane to Boston, we quickly realized what a blessing a pull-up would have been on that flight. So we decided, since we were in the car for millions of hours, in a museum for millions of hours and basically wanted to be lazy parents, we put Levi in a pull-up for the trip to New York.

All was fine, until he had to poop. I have never seen him so upset. We were in the middle of Central Park, where if there even was a bathroom, I would not have used it. He was screaming because he did not want to go poop in his pull-up. I can only imagine what the people passing us were thinking.

But if that was the worst for that day, then that was not so bad.

So after the park we took the subway to Yankee Stadium where Josh left us and met up with a friend to catch a Yankee game. I was left with Claire asleep on my back, Levi asleep in the stroller and a large backpack. In the Bronx. I had to carry the stroller with Levi in it up the three flights of stairs to get to street level and find our car in the parking garage. Then I drove my kids and I to my friend Lis's where a scrumptious dinner of tacos was awaiting. Yum.

Salem Slide Show

Family Trip Day One: Salem, Mass

Being from Alaska and then Western Washington, you kind of get used to driving long distances to see historic or interesting things. Going to New England was kind of overwhelming for us! There was so much that we wanted to do and see, it was hard to narrow it down to a reasonable list that a three and one year old could handle. And the parents of course! We could have driven to a million places, but then we would have had some cranky children and we all know what cranky kids make... Really Cranky Parents!

So our first outing was to Salem, Massachusetts. This was definitely on my list of things to see. We got up early on Monday morning and drove the two hours from my sisters in Rindge to Salem.

The one thing that made all these long-distance trips bearable was our portable dvd player. We brought it everywhere. And, thank goodness, our rental gas-hogger, oops, I mean car, had an AC/DC plug in so we never had to worry about a dying battery. In case you were wondering, this is precisely what happened on the plane ride to Boston. I forgot to charge the battery to the player and right when we needed Bob the Builder to save the day, he could not. Our Awesome Flight Attendant lent us her ultra-expensive laptop so our kids could enjoy the flight. WOW.

Back to Salem.

The first thing we did was visit the Pirate museum. We knew that we could not see all of the museums there (the witch house and the house of seven gables) so we choose one that the kids would enjoy and one that was short. We choose correctly. This is a little tour complete with wax pirate burying gold, being hung, and slaying their enemies. Luckily by the time we got to the really gruesome things, Levi and Claire were bored and ready to go!

Then we just wondered around Salem. We walked on very old cobblestone streets, saw very old churches, and LOTS of old graves. By the time we did all that, it was time for lunch! After an expensive meal (they all turned out to be expensive) we walked along the port and let the kids throw rocks in the sea. Seriously, this would be the best part of the day for them.

The ONE thing that I really wanted to do in Salem was go for a sailboat ride. I found a two hour sailboat tour aboard a replica of the successful privateer The Fame. It looked so cool! Of course, right when it was time to make our way to the boat, the kids were totally loosing control and were in desperate need of a nap. So Josh gave me the best gift ever. I got to go by myself.

I know, going two hours on a sail boat in Salem Bay on a BEAUTIFUL day might not sound like every bodies idea of fun. But it was a blast! There were only four passengers on our tour so we got great information from the owner/captain. He was a real history buff and had some amazing stories about the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.

While I was out, Josh drove the kids around and got them to fall asleep in their car seats. For the record I think it took 3.7 seconds for them to crash.

After my ride, we drove back to my sisters. For dinner we stopped at Wendy's. My kids first visit to the fast food chain. This proved to be the beginning of an awful trend on this vacation!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Back at it

I know, it has been a long time since I made any significant posts. I say significant, because I do not really count my Fourth of July tribute as a real post. Just a quick little blurb.

As most of you know (because you were there!) my family just returned from our first family vacation. This was a REAL vacation; complete with airline travel, car rental, long drives, and stupid souvenirs.

On Saturday June 28th we boarded a plane bound for Boston! My sister lives in New Hampshire, about 1.5 hours from Boston Logan Airport and that is where we crashed. And yes, we did crash. My poor sister, I am sure that her house will never be the same again. Anyway, starting on July 4th, we were having a family reunion at her house. But since my husband is in lame-o school and they are super lame-o and don't give the hard working students summer breaks, Josh had to be back to start his fourth year on July 7th. Hence why my small family of four headed to the East Coast a week earlier than the rest of my family. We wanted to have Josh around for our own sightseeing adventures! And what adventures we had! Since we were gone SO long and did SO much things, I am at a loss as to how to post all the fun pictures and stories.

I have decided to be very methodical and just post each trip/adventure/city. I will also do slideshows as to more accurately portray the crazy things that we did.

So sit back, relax, and watch our vacation. This may take me a few days to get the whole thing done, so check back!