So, Olympic fever has set in at our house. The kids LOVE watching it all. My youngest is amazed by most of it. The highbar in mens gymnastics is probably her favorite, but she discovered pole vaulting the other night and liked it too. My daring middle daughter likes the still rings in gymnastics and all the diving. Makes me wonder how long till we visit the emergency room. Maybe the Olympics should come with a disclaimer...please don't try this at home, these events are done by highly trained athletes. Oh and BTW, the youngest is in love with Michael Phelps...she couldn't miss any of his races while my son has a big crush on Shawn Johnson.
Vacation...we finally took the kids to New York. I can't feel to bad about it being a trip we put off as they have been so many other places no one they know have been. Plus now they were a little older and could enjoy much more of it.
We chose to stay in a Hotel in Jersey to save a few bucks. We stayed at the Hyatt Place Fair Lawn. It was lovely, clean and not a bad drive for us to find a way into the city. The staff was extremely helpful and always remembered our name as if we were wearing name tags. I will definitely look at staying at the Hyatt again. Next time though we will probably choose a hotel in Manhattan...it would just make things that much easier.
We left last Wed. and used the GPS to tell us the fastest route. After a VERY strange backtrack it led us on in DC, it took us off the major freeway and led us on a path through rural Pennsylvania. A drive that we expected to take about 6 hours took us about 8. The drive was beautiful, but slow. We had hoped to go into Manhattan on Wed., but after all the driving we just crashed at the hotel. That was ok with us, as the Olympics were on. Thursday morning we got up bright and early so that we could visit the Statue of Liberty. We had prepurchased our tickets and also ask for monument passes. Only a limited number of visitors are allowed in the monument. Unlike when I was a kid, you can only go into the base and gaze up the inside of the statue. After doing this I now know why. The spiral staircase up is very tiny, and there is only one. We stopped at Ellis Island first, but only walked into the lobby area as our tickets for the monument were timed. We later learned that really didn't mean anything as we stood in line for over an hour to get in. Also, with all the genealogy research I have done, I have yet to find a relative that has come through Ellis Island. From what I can see they all came to Canada first and then immigrated from there.
The statue was beautiful. The kids also enjoyed it. At this point, the vacation for Craig took a turn for the worse. He was stung by a bee or something similar on the left bicep. He took the last two benadryl I had, but still the arm swelled all the way down to his wrist. By the end of the day with more benadryl in him, his arm was so swollen that you couldn't feel the bone in his elbow. It felt as if there was jello in his arm. YUCK! The heat, pain and swelling continued until Sunday night, even with the benadryl. I think it may have been a localized allergic reaction, and the next sting will be worse.
After the statue, we took the ferry back to the New York side instead of the Jersey side. We bought all day tickets for the subway, and began our trek through the city. We stopped at the Girl Scout Headquarters in New York City, and the Empire State Building. We didn't go to the top of the Empire State, that will have to wait until next time. We then headed up towards Central Park. We decided to take a carriage ride through the park. At this point of the day, a storm was just about to hit. It did this during our ride, so we had to ride with the top up. Our carriage driver also told my daughters that the crowd outside The Plaza Hotel across the street were there to watch the filming of the Jonas Brothers new music video. My oldest couldn't wait to get off the carriage. Unfortunately it began raining hard before the had started shooting, and no one had seen the band. We waited about an hour for the rain to pass, but finally the crew began to pack up and we knew they wouldn't be shooting that day. The girls were bummed, but we did all we could for them.
After Central Park and the Plaza Hotel, we went to Rockefeller Center and Times Square. We didn't catch a Broadway show this time. This trip was really all about the Yankees. Neither Craig or I, both long time Yankees fans, had ever seen a game in Yankee Stadium. This is the final season in Yankee stadium, so it was now or never. As a side note, I have never been at a game were the Yankees have won. It hasn't matter what stadium I have seen them in, who their opponent was, how good either team was, who was pitching, etc. I have seen the lose the year they had a record number of wins, and have also seen them lose years they have won the World Series. It is so bad, I have friends who are Red Sox fans who have offered to buy me season tickets. Long Story short, Friday was game day, we chose to drive into the city and park as we learned that public transportation in the late evening hours, especially to Jersey is very lacking. This would explain why in extra inning games the stadium doesn't look very full. They all need to catch the last train. So, we got there early, and explored the area of Brooklyn right around the stadium. We had lunch, hotdogs from a cart of course, and got in line early to see Monument Park. We also wanted the final season commemorative coin they were handing out. We got in the stadium, saw the monuments and were settling in for batting practice when it began to rain, and the ground crew began covering the infield. This was at about 530. The game was scheduled to start at 705. We sat in the concourse to stay dry until about 830. By then it had pretty much stopped raining and they began to prep the field for play. The game was great, very exciting it was tied at 3 at the top of the 9th when Mariano Rivera came in. At this point I was expecting extra innings because well duh it was Mariano, after striking out I think 2, with one on base, he threw a wild pitch that scored a run. What! Mariano, who you expect to be perfect wasn't. We did get out of the inning giving up only that one run. Bottom of the 9th and the Yankees were still in it. Two outs, bases loaded. I think both Jeter and A-Rod were on, and Jason Giambi was at bat. Jason was 0 for 4 that night, so he was due for a nice hit. But instead of a lovely walk off grand slam, or even a simple base hit, he popped up to center. Game over...Yankees lose. Same story, for me at least. Just once, I want to be in the stadium when they win, however it is getting to the point, that I don't want to see them play, so they at least might have a chance to win. BTW, did I mention the were playing the Kansas City Royals. The Royals! They lost to the Royals!
We drove home the next day, ignoring the GPS, and taking the Turnpike to I95. It took almost as long, maybe the GPS was right.
Non vacation news...I started on a new knitting project while on the trip, if I had brought it to Yankee Stadium, I may have finished it during the rain delay. It is Tank Girl, by Vicki Howell. You can find it on Knitty Summer 08. It is very cute, and I will post pictures when it is done.
Also, while on vacation my grades for last semester were posted. I received all A's...a 4.0 feels so nice! I start my next smemster on Monday. For the most part the classes won't be hard. I am taking Spanish 1 ( cake considering I was fluent when I graduated from High School, although I am not as confident anymore as I haven't used it), Basic Math, and Anatomy and Physiology. I think the Anatomy will be my hard class, but fortunately I don't have other difficult classes that will also eat up my study time. Actually the only thing eating up study time is life and other commitments, like Girl Scouts and Cheer. BTW, my oldest and youngest are doing a read a thon fundraiser to raise money to purchase cheer mats. We are required this year to own our mats instead of using the schools because of MERSA. If you would like to sponsor the girls, or just give a flat donation, that would be greatly appreciated. It is a tax write off, and I can provide a receipt. Just let me know. Thats all I have for now, Miki