Sunday, October 26, 2008

Campfire and Smores

Our FHE was not complete until we roasted marshmallows in the firepit, made smores and sang campfire songs as requested by Sydney. My sister Brenna and her family along with my brother Nate and his family joined us for this part of the evening.

Caramel Apples and Pumpkin Carving

When my siblings and I were growing up, we had a tradition of making caramel apples with Mom and carving pumpkins with Dad the FHE before Halloween. I wanted my kids to be able to experience this while we were home with my parents. Sydney and Austin sat at the table with my mom to unwrap caramels and I saw them sneak a few just as we always tried to do.

My dad helped Austin carve his "scary pumpkin" as he specifically requested. Greg helped Sydney to carve her pumpkin. Then my mom brought the candles and lit the pumpkins for them. I love the smell of burning candles in a pumpkin! It was so much fun to re-live the excitement of this time of year through my children!

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Pumpkin Patch

We had an adventerous trip to a pumpkin patch while we were in California. We had decided that we wanted to go on a Monday afternoon, so we could carve our pumpkins for FHE that night. We heard about a couple really good places that were not too far away from my parents. When I called to inquire about their hours of operation, they both quickly informed me that they were only open to the public on weekends and only open to school groups during the week. I searched the internet and found a pumpkin patch with a really great website promising hayrides, corn maze, I Spy hay bale maze, animals and of course a pumpkin patch. Afer driving over 30 miles, we arrived at the Pumpkin Patch in Kerman, CA. They had 2 sheep, 2 geese, and 2 chickens in cages, a tiny maze and hayrides that were not operating. Thankfully we were on vacation and my family could not complain that I took them clear to another town for a very mediocre pumpkin patch experience!


The day after we arrived in Clovis we took a day trip to Yosemite. Despite the controlled forest fires that were going on, it was still beautiful. There are some beautiful scenic pictures that Greg took and snapshots of the rest of us enjoying the sights! We had a delicious picnic lunch that my mom spent hours preparing. Thank you Mom and Dad for making this such a wonderful day!


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Sunday, October 19, 2008


We survived the 12 hour drive to California! We are enjoying the sunny, warm weather and time with family. Yesterday we visited Yosemite National Park. It was Greg's first time there and it was more amazing than I remembered as a child. When we return home, we will post the photos from our trip.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

On The Road Again...

Tuesday evening I made my first trip back to NYC since Camryn was born. Thankfully my sister was able to convince Camryn that taking a bottle was not so bad after all and I was able to make my 27 hour excursion without an infant in tow. To make matters even better, I still have my medallion status (despite 4 months without traveling) and I was given a complimentary upgrade to first class.

All seemed to be going seamless until I left the office Wednesday afternoon in a Town Car with a driver of Indian descent. He was a nice man, but had a hard time understanding my request. After a quick trip to Bloomingdales (to search for my favorite sales) I asked if he would take me to the nearest Cosi ( I even spelled it for him) so that I could get a sandwich. Those of you who have either been to NYC or lived there know that these places are everywhere. At the time I was on the upper east side, which I am not as familiar with. So, the driver says to me, "Oh yes, there is one on 81st and 2nd." As long as it is
en route to JFK, that is fine. We arrive at 81st and 2nd and I look all around...
no Cosi.
"Here we are!" says the driver pointing at the building on my right, ELI ZABAR'S. I must have looked quite puzzled because then he said to me, "This not OK?" "It will do", I said. Now for those of you who are not familiar, Wednesday October 1 is Rosh Hashanah and I was just brought to a Jewish Deli. Obviously none of the Jewish employees were working that day due to their religious New Year. I found the deli counter where sandwiches were made and there was a woman in front of me asking for a roast beef sandwich, the man at the counter said they were not serving roast beef that day. She started an argument stating that she was Episcopalian and she did not have to abstain from eating red meat, etc, etc. I was next. All I wanted was a turkey and provolone sandwich. Holding my breath I made the request to which the man behind the counter said, "Sure, it will be $17.95 per pound." My response, "Are you serious?" "Yes Ma'am!" At this point I did not have much choice. It was 5:40pm, I had not eaten lunch, I had 5 minutes till I need to leave the city for JFK, so $17.95 per pound it was. He made my sandwich on brioche with all the fixings. I went to pay the cashier who kindly weighed my meal of choice and announced, "$10.15 please!" Not as bad as I thought, only $2.00 more than the Cosi sandwich I planned on having; just not quite as tasty.
Once I arrived I had to make my way through security with the provisions of a nursing mother. I won't go into the details (sparing my husband any embarrassment). You mothers know exactly what I am talking about. I am told by a uniformed (thankfully female) TSA Agent that she needs to open my bag to check for explosives and screen the liquid I was carrying. I quickly explained to her what she was seeing on the x-ray and after passing the explosives screening made my way to my gate.

Now on to my next task which was to find a private room for a nursing mother to use before boarding the airplane. At the Jet Blue JFK terminal they have private changing rooms for babies with locks on them and usually a chair or two. This was not to be found at the Delta terminal. I knew there was no way I could wait another 6 hours till I was home because I had already waited 4 hours. I then saw the Crown Room sign and thought they must have something there that I could use. When I approached the Crown Room a uniformed Delta agent stopped me and asked for my itinerary. I gave it to her and explained that I knew I was only Silver Medallion and that I was willing to pay the fee to use the facility. She then told me it would be $30. That was more than I wanted to pay for a private "mothers room". So I explained to her what I needed, hoping she would have some sort of mercy on me. At that point she said that if I would make a donation in their Breast Cancer fundraising jar, then she would show me to a shower room that had a locking door, an outlet and a chair. Perfect, I thought what nursing mother does not want to support the breast cancer cause? I dropped in a $5.00 bill and was promptly shown to my room! I left the Crown Room, boarded my flight (in coach this leg) and enjoyed my last 5 hours of uninterrupted reading, TV viewing and napping!