Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New York- Part 3

Monday was the last day of my trip and I needed to squeeze in one more VERY important tourist destination.  The TODAY SHOW!!!  I'm kind of a HUGE Today Show fan.  I watch a portion of it pretty much every weekday!  Becca was nice enough to help me navigate the subway and streets to help me get there by 8:45.  Everyone else wanted to sleep in or had to catch their flight earlier than I did.
 (I also love 30 Rock. :))

 We almost moved spots to try to get on the next "camera panning the audience" clip.  But I'm so glad we didn't.  They started the 9 o'clock hour right in front of us!!  I wasn't sure if we had made it in the shot, but I called Dan and told him and McKenna to watch for me and Becca.  He called and said we were totally on TV!  McKenna still talks about how she saw mommy on TV. :)  

Starting the 9 o'clock hour
 I took this picture right after I shook Savannah's hand!
 The best I could do at getting a picture "with" Ann Curry.  That's my neck. 

My New York trip was SOOO much fun! Thank you to Dan for letting me go and I'm glad that he and Kenna were able to have some great one-on-one time.  Till the next girl's weekend-- So long!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

New York-Part 2, Lots of Pictures!

(We arrived on a Thursday evening.  Friday we hung out and saw STOMP (previous post).)  

Saturday was a long day of sight-seeing.  We first took the Staten Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty.

Some of the New York skyline
 Then we rode on the subway to Times Square
 Lunch at Hard Rock Cafe.  YUM! 
(Like I said, it was AWESOME to have both my sisters there!)

The infamous NYPD...wanted to hug those guys!
 The New Year's ball
 Times Square is just like the Las Vegas Strip to me.  Sensory overload!  
So many sights, sounds, and smells.

 $2 to get a picture with this guy.  A very respectable way to make a living, right?
 Didn't want to pay for this one, but wanted to show McKenna I saw Minnie Mouse. :)
 Those blasted pigeons got the stroller... Yuck! At least it didn't land on Ben.
 I also have a sweet cousin who lives in NY and was kind enough to meet up with us at crazy Times Square on a Saturday.  Love you Kiel!
The last thing we did that day was the 9/11 Memorial.
Becca's apartment is about three blocks from the WTC site.  This is one of the new towers being built.  
 It was such a BEAUTIFUL memorial!  I especially loved that we went at night.  The lights made everything so stunning.  The whole atmosphere of the memorial is very peaceful and reverent.  

I LOVED looking at the thousands of names that were backlit.  Finding the names of everyone in my family made it very personal for me. 

 I know this one is difficult to read, but the bottom line says ..."And her unborn child."  So heartbreaking.
This is a diagram of what the memorial site looks like.  The outside borders of the pools are color-coded so it's easier for people to find their loved one's name.
 The South tower pool
 The North tower pool

 The Survivor Tree
Check out it's story here.
A map and picture of the old (right) and new (left) WTC site found in the Visitor's Center.
 The Visitor's Center also has this timeline displayed.

The whole experience of the memorial is quite humbling and inspiring.  

After SO MUCH walking and site seeing on Saturday, Sunday was spent chillin' at the apartment, eating too much junk food, and watching all the Twilight movies.  Yes, I know we're nerds.  But it was good times!  Stay tuned for one more NY post.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New York- Part 1!

I so have this friend.  She's an awesome friend.  She's actually better friends with my older sisters, but when you grow up in an area where there aren't very many LDS teenagers to hang out with that hold your same standards and values, you become good friends with your siblings friends too. :)  Anyway, this friend, we'll call her Becca, married an awesome guy who got a job working for the State Department.  Therefore, they move around a lot.  They have had some amazing adventures in AFRICA (Congo and Zimbabwe) in fact.  But now, their new assignment is in NEW YORK CITY!!  So, long story short, Becca's husband, arranged to have as many of Becca's girlfriends come out to NY to have a girlie weekend as an early birthday present for her!!  I took Ben with me, since he's still kind of attached to me (4 times a day to be precise), and Dan was able to take off 2 1/2 days of work to take care of McKenna.    

During our drive from the airport to her apartment, in the north Battery Park area, there was an awesome sunset behind the skyline.  I was a little slow getting out my camera, so this was the best I got. 
Becca was SOOOO surprised!  We arrived around 7:30pm and she was already in her pjs ready to chill for the night.  
Here's Becca, my sister Mickelle holding Ben, Sarah, and my other sister Emily.
(P.S.- It was the BEST having BOTH my sisters there for this fun girlie weekend!)
Insert me in Sarah's place
We also skyped with another girlfriend, Andrea, who was unable to make it.
We stayed up WAY too late pretty much every night.  And I tried not to have too high expectations for Ben and his sleep.  We just did our best to get sleep when we could and then try not to be too tired when it was time to get out and see the sights!

We had one more friend, Mary, come up LATE that first night too.  She had just had her first baby 5 weeks earlier.  She lives in MD so she drove up, stayed for one night and day.  So that's whose baby Becca is holding in this picture- Mary's tiny 5 week old baby girl.   
We chilled at the apt the first morning, took our time getting ready for the day, and then headed out to get our tickets to see a show.  We were all on somewhat of a tight budget, so we opted for $40 tickets instead of $80.  But we still got to see an amazing show! 
High energy, crowd interaction, funny, and of course, LOUD. :)  So fun and SOOO glad that Becca's husband was willing to watch Ben. It was great night, topped off by us walking about 2 miles back home. Not as fun since we couldn't get a taxi to take us home.  It was late and the drivers knew they weren't very likely to pick anyone up on their way back into the city, so we were turned down multiple times.  We were also kind of scared to ride the subway that late at night...hence the walking.
Some pictures of me and Mary and our babes.  I've been bffs with Mary since we were in 4th grade, we were roommates in college,  and I hope our friendship continues for many more years to come.  
Ben was fascinated with this little girl.  I also told him it's ok if they want to date each other in the future. :)
Don't mind me just inspecting her precious feet and toes.
Here's ALL the girls who made it for the trip!  Wonderful memories!
Like I said, LOW sleep expectations for Ben boy.  He did a LOT of these kinds of naps while we toured around.
And here's Benny enjoying crawling around their apartment.  

He also got quite vocal the day we were leaving.  Just some cute babbling. :)
Stay tuned for part 2...