Thursday, October 13, 2011

Day 4: Drive from NYC w/ stop over to see Sharon, VT

Collecting our belongings and newly acquired trinkets, we set off to see the birthplace of The Prophet Joseph Smith. It was about 4 hours away from NYC and just a bit out of the way from driving home back to New Hampshire. As we drove, we began to notice the leaves changing more than we had originally anticipated. (more on leaves later)




I have never been much of a Church History buff. Growing up in Salt Lake, I've come to take Church History for granted. However, seeing this spot, entirely dedicated to the preservation of the memory of his birth, really sucked me and I loved it! We took a few pictures and visited with a senior couple who had recently been called to serve in this spot. Craig swapped a few stories about when he was a missionary in that area and shared some special memories with us. After seeing this, I now have a desire to visit more Church History sites such as Palmyra. Who knows, maybe we'll get around to seeing it sometime in the next 20 years.


2011

It's nearing a close, but I'm not going to offer any apologies. Sometimes life just picks you and throws you a few feet, and sometimes you don't land for months.

Life has been very busy. Alex is in school, Cindy is very busy taking care of Baby James (now more of a toddler in all honesty)

Honorable mentions would be as follows:
  • Our trip to Disney World with family (Thank you to Lexi and her mega-awesome roommates for hosting us).
  • Our trip to Kentucky for another baby blessing and Thunder over Louisville
  • Cindy's Brother moving his family to Utah (so thrilled to have them nearby!)
  • Short trip to Lava hot springs
  • Short trip to Reno/Lake Tahoe
I may at some point get around to posting more information and pictures about those, but probably not. I come today to introduce a deeper look at our most recent adventure.

We were able to fly to New Hampshire to spend some much needed time with Cindy's brother and his family. As the time drew nearer, it was decided that it would be best for James to stay behind with family, as he would be happier hanging out with cousins and family than sitting in a car seat/ stroller all day everyday for a week and a half.

Day 3: Central Park & Rockefeller Plaza


Got to sleep in and relax a bit in the morning. We took the bus/subway to central park area and true to find the Manhatten temple. We were on a street corner and were looking all over for it, then realized it was right in front of our eyes. We visited a bit with the security guard about the church in the area.



Next we walked a block over to central park. Saw some scenic views and enjoyed the area. Took lots of pictures.






Central park was followed by FAO Schwartz and the plaza hotel. We also happened to drop by the Apple store the day after Steve Jobs died, and found some sort of vigil being held. Saw candles and flowers being laid for him as well as several cute little apples with a single bite take from them, all laid on the steps of the store.

Then we walked down 5th avenue and saw all the fancy churches and stores along the way. We headed to Rockefeller plaza and took a peek in the Lego store nearby.




We went on a tour of NBC studios and got to go behind the scenes where they shoot NBC nightly news with Brian Williams, The Today show, as well as the nerve center where all NBC programming is fed through as it is broadcast across the country. This was a highly secure area, so no photography was allowed :(


Next stop was Nintendo World, down the block from NBC studios. It wasn't much more than a really fancy Nintendo store, but it didn't stop us from getting excited about all the cool stuff they had there. We got a couple of souvenirs and went on our way.



That night we took one last stop by Time Square and took time to go into the giant Toys R' Us they had there. They had a giant 3 story ferris wheel flying around in-doors. Otherwise, it was just another really neat and really big toy store (they had a wider selection of Nintendo games than Nintendo world did... Hmmm...)

Finding ourselves properly exhausted, we retired just after sunset to our Hotel for some much needed rest. Our 3 day hurricane through NYC was complete!

Day 2: Lower Manhattan








Getting up early trying to make it to Vassey street in time to get "day of" tickets to the 9/11 memorial. Bus went much faster than yesterday so we actually arrived earlier than anticipated (by a good 30 minutes). Stood in line for about an hour and picked up our tickets.

Walked around lower manhattan seeing the federal reserve (from the outside only), the new York stock exchange, federal hall, Trinity Chapel, then made our way to the memorial at our assigned time of 10 o'clock.


The memorial was very nice. We had our tickets checked 3 times before we went through security, at which point they were scanned, stamped, punched and so on. The memorial was beautiful with it's trees and the pools.





After the memorial we headed for battery park and got in line for the ferry to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.




The statue of liberty is more impressive in person. We ate lunch on liberty island, took some pictures and hoppd back on the ferry for Ellis Island.







I don't think it's possible for anyone in the WORLD to not be related to someone that came through Ellis island. Considering in a 45 year period 26 Milliion immigrants passed through, I think it has been called the largest voluntary exodus in recorded history. The history in this place was humbling when considering the sacrifices these people made to give better opportunities to their children.


Just too bad this generation couldn't hold up those opportunities. As we made our way to the subway, we crossed paths with protestors who have beef with the so called 'fat cats' on wallstreet. Scary times for out generation, but makes for good vacation memories.




video

The city must have been still half asleep (or hung over) when we came in on the subway this morning, cause there was a lot more excitement in the afternoon. We got a couple of videos of performers "singing for their supper".



video

Last big thing for the day is the Empire State building. We had a hard time planning what to plan on time wise for it, because we had heard everything from 15 minutes to 2.5 hours. For us it ended up taking about 45 minutes to go up. We came out on the observation deck a little after sunset. It was really crowded but beautiful. We got some really great pictures from this amazing perspective.








At the bottom of the empire state building, we got some authentic NYC pizza, and took a quick trip to Times Square again (took more pictures) before buzzing home.

Day 1: Travel to New York & Wicked on Broadway

Day 1: Travel & Wicked

Got up and left town around 9, stopping to have my first taste of dunkin donuts. Driving down went smoothly after an hour of rain coming down in sheets. Wanting to avoid as much traffic as possible, we took a specific route to exclude the George Washington bridge. Planning paid off because we didn't see ANY traffic before we got to our hotel. After getting settled (and a somewhat stressful short trip to walmart) we boarded a bus to the big apple.

The bus ride was an experience in and of itself. Normally a 20 minute ride, it was budgeted to take 50 minutes to account for traffic. I respect what the New Jersey transit authority attempts in giving expected travel times, however the schedule needs some serious work because an hour and a half later we finally pulled into time square. While we were running a little late, we still made it in time for the play.

Just got out of wicked and I must say it was AMAZING. fantastic story! Incredible music! Wonderful and talented cast! Words cannot fully capture just How good it really was.





On the way back to the bus, we stopped by time square which none of us had ever before seen at night. This is another experience that can only be had in a personal way, you just have to see it for yourself. Bright lights, billboards and partys on the every street corner. Spidey was able to find enough time between catching purse snatchers to take a quick photo with us.


Bus ride home was only slightly hectic in trying to find which gate our bus left from due to no one knowing anything about anything.

Out entire party passed upon arrival at out hotel. Tomorrow starts at 6 a.m.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

James' 1st Birthday

So, before James was born I thought, when I have kids, there will be much more to 'blog' about so it will be easy to 'blog' more then! While it is true that there is more to 'blog' about, I've just been lazy about 'blogging.' So here I am, 'blogging'... and seeing it's been nearly a year since the last post, (family post). Hopefully I will be a bit more active on the blogging for this next year. :/

Yesterday was James' 1st birthday. This past year has gone really fast and it's been a joy to be a mom and share parenthood with Alex and watch him grow and see his personality. We decided to host a birthday party for James at his Grandma Kenney's house, and though it was very snowy, grandparents, aunts & uncles, cousins, and friends were there to celebrate our fun occasion! We decorated the room and ate chips, salad, and pizza.

James is crawling and it's been fun to watch him go around the house. I look forward to this next year of him growing up and doing things on his own, though it will keep Mom very busy. We love being parents.

We took James to the doctor today for his 1 year appointment and he weighs 20 1/2 pounds and 29 inches. He is getting big!

Monday, January 3, 2011

SCII quick build order

For most of you, this will be a pretty boring post, so I apologize in advance.

But for those of you who have interest in Starcraft 2, I played some SC2 with friends tonight, and thought I'd share a bit of my experience with you.

Quick build for sc2 success



-build workers's until you have 9 supply.
-use a worker to build a depot/prism/(larvae)overlord
*after that building is started, don't stop building workers until you have 2 on each mineral AND 3 on each vespane mine*
-you can save up a little each time you need more supply, as well as to build your tier 1 military building (barracks/gateway/pool)
-after your rax/gate is up, then you can build a few tier 1 units (spend b/w 300 - 500 b/w either marines and marauders or zealots and stalkers or lings)
-- this is to protect against bum rush, its very possible that they may throw a lot at you very fast, you need to be ready with at least *some* units --
*if by this time you don't have your economy maxed, don't build anything else until it is*

once your economy is maxed, you can then decide whether you want to focus on air or ground, mass or tech, expand or rush (each of these choices will effect what you do from here)

If you have questions or comments, let me know.
-Alex