Saturday, December 13, 2008

Day Trip: New York City

When I was younger, I developed a real fascination with NYC. I have no idea where it came from (Felicity-maybe?), but it was so serious that I actually applied to (and was accepted to) NYU. I would have gone there had I not decided between following the man who was to be my husband to ASU, or my friends to Purdue. However, up to this day, I have never set foot in the city. We finally remedied that situation.

We took a shopping trip today.

New York City is about 135 miles from our house. It is actually a quick jump away; about two hours (and $8) on a swiftly moving Jersey turnpike put us within sight of the city. Brian was very disappointed that I didn't scream when I saw the Empire State Building (as I did when we saw the Hollywood sign), but that has never been such an icon for me.  But seeing the city for the first time was memorable.

We then exited before the London Tunnel (the only bad traffic we got into) and parked in Hoboken, New Jersey (a very-very cute little neighborhood). We paid $7.50 each way to take an 8 min ferry ride across the Hudson River, and we were finally on Manhattan soil (well, concrete).  A bus/train would have been cheaper, but not as scenic.

For once in my life I wore comfortable shoes, and it was for very good reason. We walked many miles across the town, mostly window shopping throughout the borough. We saw so much in such a short time-Times Square, Broadway, all the high-end stores on 5th Ave, the tree in Rockefeller Center, and the horse-and-buggy carriage rides in Central Park. It was so crowded, but it didn't really bother me that much.

Interesting sights and sounds included: the smell of roasting nuts on every other street corner, the guy in Central Park who offered us a map and illegal substances, and the very tall "woman" with a surprisingly deep voice working at Macy's.

One of the interesting parts of the holiday season is all of the elaborate store window displays that all the stores put up.

*I was very proud of my husband, when he visited all 10 floors of Macy's (both buildings). Without complaining!*

Walking back toward the dock, we spotted this little place in the Garment District. Of course it intrigued Brian, so we ate their for dinner. It was pretty good.

We took this picture back across the river in New Jersey, with the Empire State Building right behind us. We will definitely be back to take in more sights... the Guggenheim, MET, Statue of Liberty, and seeing a play on Broadway are on my list for next time.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Anniversary Homemade Pizza

On Dec. 2, 2000, Brian and I enjoyed our first date (pizza and a movie). For years we have acknowledged this anniversary, but that has waned somewhat since we have a new wedding anniversary. However, we normally still remember it.  This year, for the first time, I actually missed it, while Brian remembered it. Once I realized it was our anniversary, we decided to recreate part of our first date. We made a homemade pizza-one of our hobbies of late. So far, Brian has put the following things on various pizzas (though not all at the same time): artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, carrots, corn, onions, and black olives, along with various meats.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas Tree 2008

Newark Winterfest 2008

On Friday, we headed downtown to the acclaimed "Winterfest" of Newark. It was actually quite cute, and though we missed the tree lighting, it was a very festive atmosphere with ice carvings, carolers, and free cookies. There is also a walk/run race, which we may train to do next year. It'd be a great way to warm up in December. All in all, the town felt very much like Star's Hollow (fictional setting of Gilmore Girls).

We also enjoyed a meal on Main Street, at one of our favorite (pricey) places. Iron Hill Brewery is fabulous. I normally order the chicken fried chicken.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

This Thanksgiving was the first one we spent in Indiana in a few years. Well, Indiana and Ohio. It was a very quick and whirlwind trip.

First, we woke up early on Thanksgiving, and headed for Toledo. We drove diagonally across Pennsylvania, and then across northern Ohio. It was a very pleasant drive, hardly any traffic, and though there was snow on the ground, none was on the road. I was impressed when we passed Penn State's football stadium-a huge fortress in the middle of nowhere.


We then spent the day with my husband's paternal side, before traveling on home to Indiana.

On Black Friday, my sister and I went out to make a purchase, and then did a little more shopping around Huntington. It really wasn't very crowded at all. Then, another of my sisters met us to see Twilight (the movie). The one had saw the movie already, and I made the other read part of the book on the drive there. They were each so loud during the movie-asking questions and making comments-I was about to kill them-but it was still fun to see the movie together.

That night we had dinner with my maternal side. After the delicious meal we participated in many rounds of corn-hole tournament. Apparently, my grandpa saw the game recently at a festival and decided to build his own. A couple years ago we were racing Matchbox cars on a track he built-we are a very competitive family. I was unofficially the worst player throughout the first few rounds. I did finally start doing good, and actually got three or four in the hole in a row.

We then headed back to Ohio, this time down toward Columbus, for my husband's maternal side. The game at this family was Quiddler-a word forming game based on cards. It was kind of a cross between Scrabble and Gin. We then traveled back to Delaware, stopping overnight in Morgantown, WV. The drive back was much slower, with rain, fog in the mountains, and more traffic. We did make one stop, trying one of the many wineries, Frederick Cellars. It was an okay place, nothing really stood out to me though. We did get the following:

-Chardonay "A lightly-oaked Chardonnay with delicate notes of pineapple. A nice compliment to just about everything."

-Rose 2007 "A dry Rose in the Rhone tradition; summer in a botthe with hints of strawberry. PAirs with fresh fruit, mild cheeses and grilled salmon."

-Merlot " From Annapolis, a smooth, full-bodied Merlot with flavors of blueberry and blackberry; pairs exceptionally well with hearty or spicy foods.

Monday, December 1, 2008

My New Classroom

I have been at my new school for almost a month now. My job is a little different.  I basically have 6 classes, with 5-11 kids in a class. I work with them on math, trying to close gaps they have in math understanding.

$500 Dent

We really just have bad luck with cars... this happened in a one-lane construction zone, where something very large and hard was bouncing around the road. We had to rent a car to get it fixed since the paint had to dry for a couple days.