Sunday, February 21, 2010

Roan Mountain 2009

Time for Roan Mt. again! This year we were very excited because we had all been watching the weather and knew to expect snow! ALSO, this year we had Oscar for the very first time! This was Oscar’s first Christmas and first time at Roan Mt. We had all the usual fun, getting the tree, making decorations, home cooked meals, walks, sledding, puzzles… it was all good! Here are some pics:

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

NYC: Day 4

I let Alyssa sleep in on this last day while I packed. After she woke up, we had breakfast at the cafĂ©, and then walked up to Central Park one last time. On our first day there, Alyssa had mentioned wanting to ride a horse and carriage through the park. We had just enough time to do that before going home. It was funny the way all the pigeons ate the horse’s food. When the horse bent down to eat, they all flew away then came right back when he lifted his head again.
While riding through the park we noticed some sidewalk artists which reminded Alyssa that that was something else she had wanted to do. When the ride was over, we walked back to find one. As we approached one guy, we asked how much. He said $150! I said, “No, thank you.” and walked away. He kept calling out numbers. He made it all the way to $30 before he gave up. We went on until we found a man who advertised for $15. That was more like it. He took Alyssa’s picture so we could walk around while he drew.
When we returned he was almost done and we watched him for a few minutes. He did a really great job and was very nice.
At that point we high-tailed it back to the hotel, running most of the way. We ran up to the room, grabbed our stuff, and made it back to the lobby just in time to meet our town car. He took us to the airport and the end of our trip. Goodbye, New York!

NYC: Day 3

Friday was another beautiful day! We decided to do the Statue of Liberty first. So we hopped on the subway which was very crowded with Yankees Fans. There was a ticker tape parade celebrating their World Series win and the parade was starting right next to where we were going. It was fun and a little scary being squeezed so tightly in the middle of the Yankees crowd!
When we got off the subway we staked our spot for the parade. We just wanted to see the ticker tape! It was pretty cool. After about 30 minutes we squeezed our way out of the crowd and went to get on the ferry. This was Alyssa’s first time seeing the Statue of Liberty. It was very cold and windy on the boat but we HAD to stand right in the front of the boat for the best view! When we reached the island, we decided to eat lunch first before looking around.
After we sat down, I realized I had forgotten to put ketchup on my burger, so I took my bun with me to get some ketchup. When I returned, all of two minutes later, Alyssa was running around the table frantically waving her arms. Her chicken strips and fries were scattered all over the table! I asked her what happened and she said the seagulls attacked! She had been taking a picture of one seagull when she felt a rush of wind and her food spilled all over the table as a gull dive bombed her food trying to steal a piece of chicken. As I laughed at her I reached down to put the bun on my burger, but the burger was gone, the WHOLE BURGER! Now she was laughing at me! Fortunately, they gave me another burger free of charge.

After lunch, we walked around the statue taking pictures. On the other side of the island, we stopped to feed the gulls some of Alyssa’s leftover fries. It was such a beautiful day. After returning to the mainland, we took the subway to the Empire State building. We reached the top just before sunset. It was beautiful.

Did you know that the spike at the top was built to be a landing platform for dirigibles?I had never heard that. It was only used once because it was deemed too dangerous. I recently watched the movie ‘Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow’ (really good, you should watch it) and noticed that at the beginning of the movie, they disembarked from the top of the Empire State Building.

After another fun-filled day, we went to bed. Tomorrow we are going home. Only one thing left on our agenda….

Monday, February 15, 2010

NYC: Day 2

We started off day 2 with a delicious breakfast. It turns out we get a complimentary breakfast every morning at the cafe downstairs! We had French toast with bacon and fresh squeezed OJ. It was so YUM! We then took the subway to about halfway up Central Park and walked across the park to the MET. This was a ‘must see’ since Alyssa loves art and was, after all, in NYC because of winning an art contest. We had a lot of fun roaming the museum looking at all the fascinating exhibits. We really enjoyed the Roman exhibit. Alyssa loved seeing the real columns that she once made in miniature for a school project. These are the ones she made two years ago in sixth grade:We also loved looking at the paintings, especially Van Gogh, Monet, Picasso, and Dali. We visited the gift shop before calling it a day. I bought a Christmas ornament and a print of Van Gogh’s ‘Wheat Field with Cypresses’ (We were very disappointed later to realize we never visited the Egyptian exhibit.) Afterward, we went outside and ate lunch from a sidewalk vendor on the steps of the MET. It was actually very tasty! I had a gyro and Alyssa had chicken with rice. It was very cool eating there on the steps. Alyssa fed some of the pigeons and that turned out to be one of the highlights of her day!

There were also some guys singing and they had gathered quite a crowd as they were really pretty good. We even bought their homemade CD as a souvenir.

After the MET, we walked back across Central Park and took the subway to Rockefeller Plaza. We saw the ice skaters and the site of the huge Christmas tree (although it wasn’t up yet) then walked up 5th Ave. for a while. We went into Tiffany’s,a Lindor’s chocolate shop, Trump Tower (just the lobby), the Apple Store (very cool) and FAO Swartz. There, I saw ‘Ugly Doll’s’ for the first time and fell in love with them. I took a picture so I could later make one for my nephew, Oscar, for Christmas.

We walked back to the hotel with enough time to get ready for the big event! It was time to go to the Exhibit Event displaying Alyssa's winning project and to receive her prize. We and the other three winners were all picked up at the hotel and taken to the 'Society of Illustrators'. It is a museum for Children's Book Illustrators. We wandered around looking at the art and eating hors d'oeuvers. Eventually they called everyone to order and presented the winners with giant checks! We loved that! We had such a wonderful time. It was such an honor and they made Alyssa feel very special. When it was all over, they returned us to the hotel before we turned into pumpkins :). We grabbed some desert-to-go at the cafe and brought it back to our rooms. We finished the day relaxing in front of the TV with our deserts. Ready for Day 3...