Jun 5, 2012

Our Visit to the Big Apple

Times Square
What a different skyline without the Towers
  What an adventure this vacation was!  On Wed we ventured back into the city.  This time our destinations were; Staten Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty, then on to Times Square to see the sites and visit the Toys R Us and then to see the Empire State Building.  What a trip.  Took a train into the city and then took the subway to the south ferry.  There we caught the Staten Island Ferry and saw the Statue of Liberty.  Which is a beautiful sight as far as I am concerned!  I believe everyone should make a trip to see her standing strong and proud!
Then back on the subway to Times Square.  The kids did fantastic.  In fact they loved every minute of it.  Toys R Us was a whole other adventure.  The kids loved it naturally.  With the Ferris wheel and all the different things, characters and animated creatures it was like going to an amusement park.
1st Subway ride
Loved this sailboat
Riding the Staten Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty
   Had one issue with that store and I plan to address it in a formal letter to the company.  Not going to go into the details here but I was one hot momma and I am to make sure that the company knows that there needs to be some kind of policy change in that store PERIOD!
Ferris Wheel in Toys R Us
Anyway the kids loved it.  They were so great.  We talked about safety before going and had buddies.  They got to use their gift cards that Auntie Caitlin gave them which made EVERYONE happy. 
While on the subway a gentleman played a song he had wrote.  Nothing unusual for the subway I might add.  But this was different because the song was about God’s love and how His love can heal all pain.  It was a beautiful song.  Sean even gave the guy a few dollars of which we would never do but felt led to do.
Later before catching the train home we saw him again.  This time he was witnessing to a lady and sharing scripture with her and talking about Jesus’ love for her.  It was a sight  I will never forget.  I took the time despite Sean’s pleading to go to tell the gentleman that his song really touched my heart and told him I would be praying for him.  I hope he was able to lead that woman to Christ!

Lady Liberty
Penn Station
On the other hand we also saw another guy on the subway begging people for money saying he was homeless and was hungry.  Now don’t get me wrong he might have been but most homeless people do not have money from the subway, most do not look or smell clean or wear top notch clothing either!!!  This guy gave me the creeps and despite the fact that Kris really wanted to give the guy his gold $ coin I had to explain to him that we don’t always give money away to people that do not seem to be what they claim.  It was hard to tell him now because I know in his heart he really wanted to help the guy.  But as we talked about it I asked Kris if he felt God wanted him to give it to the guy or if he felt guilty that he had the coin and the guy didn’t.  He told me he felt guilty.  I told him God would not make him feel guilty about having the coin, but that God would make him feel happy about giving it to the man.  It was a hard situation and sadly there are so many con-artist in NY that sometimes it’s hard to know who really needs help.

Loved this little church amongst the sky scrappers.
All in all it was a GREAT DAY in the Big Apple!

Jun 4, 2012

A Trip to the Lighthouse

In May of 1996 Sean and I took a trip, the day after he proposed, to NY.  He not only introduced me to his family but announced that I had accepted his proposal.  Talk about a shock to his family but they accepted me as if they had known me forever. Anyway during that trip Sean took me not only to Port Jefferson, where we sat in a small deli and ate lunch it was during that trip I realized just how much I loved this man. That same week he took me to Fire Island. We were not able to go into the Lighthouse but we took many pictures.  It was during that trip that I fell in love with light houses.  
 So we knew no matter what that we would be taking the kids to see the lighthouse.  It holds special memories for Sean.  He grew up spending summers at the beach, living in a beach cabana with his family and seeing the lighthouse every morning.  It is also where the family donated money in honor of his late father Eugene Kelly to help restore and maintain the lighthouse.
    So off we went to spend the day at the lighthouse with Paul and Kathleen.  We parked at the Robert Moses State Park and walked along a nice board walk to the light house.  It is about a mile and a half walk to and from the light house (I think).  The board walk is new, when Sean and I last went we had to walk along a sandy road to get there.  It was a wonderful day.  HOT day but wonderful! 
Eli being all NY cool like
Hot day!  Poor Kris had major blisters on his feet so he
 put on his daddy's socks.  Next time I will remember not to get him flip flops!
The plague in honor of Sean's father.

Sara went up the lighthouse with Uncle Paul and Kathleen. 
Climbed 192 steps.

Sean and Kris climb to the top as well.

"A Day at the Museum"

Kris was in heaven!  In fact that is exactly what he told me..."I AM IN HEAVEN!"
Monday came and a trip was planned.  We gathered everyone up into cars and off we went into the city.  Paul, Nancy, Meghan, Kathleen and Sara in one car and Sean, Michele, myself and our three boys in another.  The destination…American Museum of Natural History….the same museum that the movie “A Night at the Museum” is based on.  A wonderful museum full of riches and wonders of the world.  Honestly the museum is HUGE!!! FIVE levels with numerous rooms full of everything you can imagine.  We were able to go and take part in a few extra exhibits all FREE!  Michele has a friend that is the head of security and fraud.  In other words this man makes sure that everything that the museum exhibits are REAL artifacts and not fakes.  Anyway he gave us 11 free tickets.  Saved us a TON of money.  What a blessing that was to our family. 

   The best part is that our children were able to experience the museum with their cousins and aunts and uncle.  Naturally Kris LOVED the dinosaurs.  We also got to go to the Butterfly Observatory, the Planetarium, and Nature’s Lights of Wonder which was an exhibit of fire flies and live glow worms and other things that naturally glow in the wild.  It was pretty neat but very crowded so you really couldn’t enjoy it much.
The duck billed dino. 
Listening to info on more dinosaurs.
Seeing the sky scrapers for the first time.
Midway through the day we went out on to the streets of NY to get a Dirty Dog, for those that don’t know what that is, it’s a hot dog with mustard.  They were great.  The day was super hot and the kids were exhausted and hungry so we had a bit of a small melt down by Kris but as soon as we were able to get him a drink he was good to go.  Another reason for the melt down was because he wasn't able to spend as much time as he wanted to checking out all of the animal and dinosaur bones. He wanted to read about each exhibit which would of taken all day long.  He has loved dinosaurs since he was 2 yrs old.  In fact he was able to say these long dinosaur names before he could say cat or dog!  Not kidding here.
The trio with the triceratops.
Sara in the Butterfly Observatory

The Blue Whale
Everyone was tired by this time mainly because between each floor were two LONG flights of stairs that we went up and down many times.  Talk about the work out that day!  Naturally my knee was screaming by the end of the day but it was well worth it to see my kid’s faces light up with all that they were able to see and experience.  A chance of a life time and I HIGHLY recommend if you are in NYC to go visit the museum!!!  I know we will be going back again the next time we go to the city!  That is for sure!

Jun 1, 2012

NY Vacation

Off to NY we flew drove.  Flying would have been so much faster!  Driving was so much cheaper! Traveled through KY, W. Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, NJ and then to our destination…NEW YORK.  Long Island actually…Blue Point to be exact. 14/15 hrs later we arrived ready to burst out of the van.  Let me tell you, our new van is WONDERFUL on gas!  We only used 2 ½ tanks full to get to NY.  When we have traveled in the past with our previous van it would take 4 full tanks.  I budgeted $800 for gas round trip and we only we actually only spent $325 for the whole trip!!!! How amazing is that!  Let me tell ya we are for sure jumping for joy!  Now we have gas money budgeted out for other trips we plan to take this summer such as a trip down to visit my friend Elaine and a trip to the Cincy Zoo. 
   So we arrived at Paul and Nancy’s house…Paul is Sean’s brother.  We were greeted by them and their lovely daughters Kathleen and Meghan.  We just love those two girls to death!  Sweet, polite, funny and just down to earth girls.  Oh and I can’t forget Lady and Bernie (the dogs).  The kids fell in love with their two pups. 

   That night we were surprised by Sean’s sister Siobhan who we haven’t seen in 10 years.  We had a cook out and Sean’s other sister Michele came over as well.  It was so great to see the four siblings together.  Sean has another brother Eugene that lives in Colorado and another sister Caitlin who lives in Manhattan.  To see Sean laughing and joking with his sisters and brother made my heart smile.  Yes my heart smiled!  I was so hapy that he was able to see them.  Saturday night Caitlin came in from the city for the weekend and we were able to spend time with her as well.
 I believe Caitlin and Sara look a great deal alike!  The kids fell in love with all of their aunts and of course Uncle Paul.  It’s sad that Eugene wasn’t able to come for the weekend but he is a busy professor at Colorado State Univ.
   Other than spending time with the siblings I think the highlight of the night was seeing Nannie (Sean’s Mom) with her grandchildren.  I don’t think she ever stopped smiling.  She even sat and played Jenga with Kris for a while until the other kids joined in on the fun.