Monday, November 9, 2009

NYC-Day One

Alyssa recently entered an art contest called Henkel Helps Create. Henkel is a marketing company behind many recognizable products. She had to create a work of art that answered the question, "How would you make an easier, cleaner, more beautiful world?" Here is her entry:
People should be kind to each other and families stay together.
We should use a cleaner energy source, reduce pollution and plant more trees."

Alyssa won the grand prize for her age group! The prize was an all expense paid trip to NYC for both of us, plus $500 spending money and $1000 toward her education!

Last Wednesday, we woke up at 4:30 am and Dean took us to the airport. This was Alyssa’s first airplane trip! (not counting the time when she was only 6 weeks old!) She loved it and was fascinated with the clouds and rivers, etc. She took these pictures from the plane:
As we flew over NYC, she took these from the plane:
We had a direct flight and flew into LaGuardia by 9am. Henkel sent a very nice car service to pick us upand take us to our hotel, The Wellington. It was located in Midtown only 3 blocks from Central Park. Check-in was not until 3 and while you are normally allowed to leave your bags with the bell-hop but they wouldn’t take Alyssa’s artwork because it was fragile, and then they offered us a different room so we could check in early but the travel agency hadn’t paid yet, and they were on the west coast so they weren’t open yet, and I only had a debit card with me, so long story short (too late), we spent a couple hours in the lobby waiting for the travel agency on the west coast to open up and pay for our room.
Good news is, because of this hassle, the hotel upgraded us to a suite, no charge, woot! After we finally got into our room, we decided get lunch in the café downstairs then walk around Central Park for a while and go to the Central Park Zoo. We had fun taking pictures, too.
Our favorite part of the zoo was the rainforest but we didn’t spend a lot of time in there because it was very humid and we both had just had our hair done and didn’t want to ruin it. What? This IS a girl’s only trip. Hair matters.

After the zoo we returned to the hotel because we had to deliver Alyssa’s artwork to the front desk for pick up. They finally accepted it just for a few minutes under the condition that we understood they were not liable. We then took the subway to Times Square. We went to Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum.
The best part of that in my opinion was when Alyssa got to dodge laser beams just like Mission Impossible. That was pretty cool. We ate dinner at McDonald’s (Alyssa’s choice, sigh) then walked around Times Square looking at all the lights, etc.
We also went into the Toys R Us with the 3 story ferris wheel and bought the boys some legos.

This was the end of Day One and we were off to a great start!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Camping!

Roan was very excited to participate in his first cubscout camping trip! I was excited (and a little nervous, truth be told) to be going with him! We arrived at Camp Barstow in the pouring rain, but it soon stopped. Fortunately we were the first ones to arrive at our particular campsite so I was able to assemble our brand new tent for the very first time without an audience! It went pretty well, actually. Here is Roan in front of our tent with a couple friends. This was one of the happy surprises of joining the cubscouts. It turns out three of Roan's school friends are in his den! Pictured above are Hayden and Riley. After opening ceremonies, we took off for the first of our activities. Roan learned how to shoot a B.B. gun and even hit the target 3 times! Next was Archery:He also played games, decorated a pumpking, got his face (and arms!) painted, and climbed a rock wall!
(Above is Roan's third friend, Caleb, who arrived a little late.)
Occasionally Roan would run ahead of me because I was apparently too slow. He kept running ahead and yelling, "MOM, come on!" This is significant because he was calling me mom for the first time, not mommy. *Sigh* They all grow up someday, don't they?

At this point we returned to the campsite and hung out for a while before dinner. The boys had so much fun running around, watching the fire, playing in the woods and swingin on vines!After dinner we all went to the council circle for a bonfire, skits, songs, etc. then departed for a walk through the Haunted Forest. Roan really enjoyed that part.
When we got back to camp, we made a few smores then crashed. Roan was very excited to sleep in the tent. He slept like a log. I slept, well, not much! It was fun, though. Next morning after breakfast, we packed up and went home. I think I can honestly say I look forward to next time!

Airshow

On Saturday morning, I woke up and eventually made my way to facebook. I noticed a friend had just updated that she was going to the airshow. I hadn't even heard there was going to be one but I had recently been thinking how fun it would be to go again. Last time we went, Kai was 4, Alyssa was 6 and Roan was only about 6 wks old! So I immediately looked up the info, showed Dean, and we decided spontaneously to go.
It was so much fun. We saw jets, apaches, tanks, and so much more. video
And not just current day either. They had stuff dating all the way back to the Civil War! Alyssa was in the middle of a school project on Vietnam and was excited to see things she was learning about in person. They also did search and rescue demonstrations. It was all very exciting!
The kids also enjoyed getting to climb inside jeeps, tanks, helicopters, etc. We love the airshow!

Roan Quote:

(FYI, I apologize if some may consider the following to be a bit TMI, but this is essentially my journal and I want it recorded)

Dean recently had a vasectomy and as we have always been forthcoming about certain things, he explained to the boys what that meant. Roan came to me later and told me that "the doctor cut the two tubes in the ball things in daddy's private spot!"