Friday, February 5, 2016

New York Trip Part 1

Matt went to New York for work and gave me the opportunity to spend time there for a few days so we decided to take our oldest son with us because we don't often take trips like this.
Matt has done a fair amount of traveling over the years and has seen quite a few places  because of the Army and family travel as a child. This was the first time that Nathan and I have been on a commercial flight. I've been on a few small planes and a helicopter before, but never a bigger airplane...I have to say, it really isn't that much different except that the smaller planes and especially the helicopter are more exciting, but that's a story for another time.

We spent four wonderful days in New York. The cab ride from the airport to the hotel was the very first sign that we were stepping into another world. It was about eight miles of terror zooming in and out of cars on the freeway with so many near misses, literally inches from the cars to the left and the right of us. At one point I noticed the speed limit. Holy Cow…60 in a 40 with only inches between the cars in front and behind. I've never experienced a car ride with that much skill, and yet still be so terrified in my whole life…it was a journey all it's own.

The city truly never sleeps. Looking out of our hotel window(we were on the 35th floor) no matter what time of the day it was people were milling around. It was all very surreal.

 It has been a hope of mine since I was probably about eight years old. Old movies, historical documentaries, photos, trips by friends, but mostly some old pictures that I found in some of my mom's memories of New York in the 1960's and a picture of Niagara Falls when I was a young child all just made me really want to be able to go at least once in my life...I have to say, once is not nearly enough! There is so very much to see. I would never want to live there, but being there, walking down the streets, seeing things close up that I saw on television all my life and wanting so much to be there. It was so amazing.

Although, we didn't do everything that we had on our list of possibilities(not even close),  the things we did get to do will be some of the most amazing memories for the rest of my life...and I hope they are for Nathan too.

So what did we do...Well, mostly a whole lot of walking with a lot of stopping for me to take pictures. At some point Nathan made me stop stopping to take was taking up too much time, and he thought we weren't getting anywhere fast enough.

On the Thursday we got there and got settled into the hotel and went eat supper, and found a great little bakery, Magnolia Bakery and ate dessert. Later we ventured out to just walk around. We went to Times Square. I have to say no matter how many times you see it on television, you really can not get a sense of it unless you are standing in the midst of it all. We went to the Hershey Chocolate Store, The Disney Store, and a few other stores on Times Square. We also walked near the Tonight Show Studio, Radio City Music Hall, The Rockefeller Center and the skating rink at Rockefeller Plaza, and The Lego Store.

On Friday, we got up super early and went out to the Today Show Set. It was very interesting to see how very small the filming area was. We didn't stay long because we figured that it would be better to use our time finding things we wanted to know, some of the usual sites: the Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Station, the Empire State Building, some of the Museums, Central Park, just everything possible...We walked around until almost lunch time and Matt had to go to work, so after walking back to the Hotel, Nathan and I continued our explore.

We decided to brave the subway and try to go to The Brooklyn Bridge, The Memorial site for 9/11, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, and The Natural History Museum. After standing in front of the ticket machines for the subway, one of the people working on the machines helped me buy my first metro card and gave me all the ends and outs of riding the subway...said we'd be fine and sent us on our way. We went down into the tunnels and found our first map, figured out where we wanted to head and started out on our way. We got on our first train and headed out, it was a little confusing figuring things out uptown/downtown, but it didn't seem too bad...but time was not our friend. We made it out to the Brooklyn bridge, but not exactly where I wanted to be. Nathan was a little uncomfortable with the area...It was definitely not Manhattan...We walked a while, found the financial district, but didn't find Wall Street; found the Court House and Government Buildings, walked around for a while trying to figure out which way to go to get to the Staten Island Ferry...We got lost instead and realized that we were short on time and had to go back so that we weren't late for the show that we were going to see that night. So after a bit of walking around in a circle we finally found our way down to the subway and headed back to the hotel...we made it back and felt pretty successful on our first trip out alone. Got back to the hotel got ready to leave and we were off again this time for dinner and a show.

Continued on Part II soon...

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Happy Birthday Benjamin!


Benjamin turns three.

Our sweet baby boy is officially out of those baby stages and on to bigger and better things. Learning his letters, numbers, able to communicate clearly what he wants...and doesn't want; he has quickly picked up on that little treasure. He is now big enough to do what all of the others are doing(or so he thinks) and is doing his best to keep up.

Since he has been old enough to stand and walk, my walls have never been better decorated; he is very artistic and loves to paint, use markers, chalk or anything else that makes my walls look prettier than before he got to them. Lets just say I am really glad I haven't decided on a wall color to repaint yet.

Benjamin is helpful and loving and always ready for cuddle time. His sweet smile is always charming. He is outgoing, friendly and always ready to make someone smile.

I often get hugs and reassurance that I'm his number one. He runs to me throws his arms around my neck, and says in a deep husky voice, "You're my best Mom", and I tell him he's my best Ben...Then he proceeds to go to each of the other family members saying each in turn, "Your my best Dad", "You're my best Nathan"...He is just so full of love for everyone.

He's got a great spirit and lots of energy to share. He truly makes everyday more fun, entertaining and joyful. He wakes up with a smile, a hug, and lots of love and goes to sleep the same way as he snuggles in between Matt and I and sweetly says good night, I love you.

Happy 3rd Birthday
May you always be sweet, loving, caring, and an adventurous explorer in life. My your life always greet you with new and better adventures with a bright future and plenty of loving, caring family and friends to surround you always.
May God Bless You Always.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Sweet Sixteen

Happy Birthday to our sweet, sophisticated, dapper young man; he has always loved dressing up and feeling stylish. He got to spend a few days in New York this year. It was really funny to see how well he blended in while we were there. He and I had lots of new experiences together. Plane ride, Big City Life, The Subway, Big Buildings, Bright Lights...The city that truly never sleeps. I think Nathan could truly fit in among the local population there.
He became very good at navigation and direction pretty quickly...I think he liked telling me where to go. It was a wonderful experience being able to spend time with my soon to be adult young man. Being able to spend time with just him, watching the young man he has become has been a real treat. I think he has partly gotten lost in our family life and truly needs more room to spread his wings...we will be working on that some this year. I now see he is getting really close to wanting to jump out of the nest and begin his own adventures. So here's to the future and to new adventures that await. Letting go is the hardest thing in the world to do...but seeing the potential to watch him soar is worth all of the heartache that comes along with it.