Monday, August 30, 2010

Fri 4/9

Though we had gone to bed early that morning, we decided the sooner we woke up, the sooner we could be seeing all the fun things the city had to offer. Now I don't remember what time we woke up, I just remember feeling like I got a nap instead of rest and rejuvination.

We returned to Liberty Park and took to first Ferry to Ellis Island.

When planning the trip all the kids were excited about Ellis Island thinking Grandma Packard had gone through there, but while waiting for the Ferry Dad called Grandma in curiousity. And Grandma said??? She did not go through Ellis Island...... and there went most of the appeal. Yes, we still took a minute to think about the thousands of people who went through, but it wasn't as fascinating with no personal connection. So we got off the Ferry so we could say we were ON Ellis Island, then got back on and headed toward the Statue of Liberty.
There was a High School band on our boat..

So this was the funniest thing. Adam was a little bit.. let's say testy and didn't want anyone to talk to him. So he walked the the middle of the boat and sat down. Then he realized we could see him, so he shoved his hood down.

 He tried to shove sarah away, but she wouldn't budge. She was tired, he was tired, so they slept :)

After being about to go INSIDE and up a level of the Statue we got on Another Ferry and traveled to NYC. Here our adventure started again. This time: Subways. We went to Union square and Grand Central Station, where we ironically bought California Oranges and a Baguette to share. YUMMY! The oranges weren't as good as right off the tree but what is?
(On the subway) We get on quickly and they jump on these seats with Michelle sitting across from them. Two seconds later Michelle BUSTS up laughing.. Can you see why? IT WAS PERFECT!

We continued on to Central Park where one of my favorite things happened. Apparently when in college Alisha and her roommates were in Love with Enchanted the movie, and promised eachother if anyone of them ever went to Central Park they would sing "How Do You Know". So after walking in the park and finding an area with a limited amount of witnesses, she DID IT! It was SO HILARIOUS! Michelle video taped it as proof and hopefully the video will upload. If not, just imagine it. However hilarious it in your mind, it was even more hilarious.

After Alisha's ummm.. song, we kept walking and found some swings. The second we saw the swings the little kids in each of us SHOT out and ran. Luckily there were enough swings for all the "kids" (meaning Dad didn't get one, but he pushed us).

From the swings we found a playground and though the kid in all of us did not come out, we decide Adam needed his "kid time" so we found a bench and relaxed and planned the rest of the night while he got is play on. A good half an hour after later we were heading to the subway and on to China town for dinner. Adam once again was unwhiling to think he would like the chinese food in New York, so we stopped by a Mcdonalds for him, then continued on to find a good resturant. After walking around China town for a good 15 minutes, not really knowing where to look, we found a small little resturant, ordered our food and enjoyed. Now I ate a ton because that's what I do at Chinese resturants, and everyone else was quick to fill up, but Adam was hesitant. But to no surprise after taking a few bites he was hooked and fighting for as much as he was allowed. He reminded me of me.. I loved it.

After Chinese we decided we had seen enough and really just wanted to get into bed early so we headed back to the ferry. Michelle and Alisha took this opportunity to prove their Subway Skills. All day Dad had been deciding what subway and to where and had made one or two minor mistakes, so Michelle and Alisha wanted to take a whack at it. Within two minutes they had a perfect plan to get the family to the other side of town. After successful navigating through the system they smiled in their accomplishment. They were on top of the world: They had figured out the New York Subway System :)
Because of where the ferry was we still had to do some walking and were actually able to walk by Ground Zero. We weren't that close but you could see all the construction. Definetly close enough to take the time to remember all those who's lives were lost and who showed remarkable amounts of selflessness and bravery.

Though we were in our hotel by 7 we didn't fall asleep right away. Did we get to bed earlier than the night before? Yes. As soon as mom and our bodies would have liked? No

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Thursday 4/8 Philly

Once again after a long day before we woke up early and headed into Philadelphia. We parked the car in a lot where we thought someone would break in and steal everything, and since we basically had all our possesions in the car, we covered everything up. From the lot we walked to Liberty Bell, way cool. It's amazing how much passion and inspiration can come from an inanimate object.

Then we went and got a tour of Independence Hall. WAY COOL!! They have THE CHAIR that Mr. Washington HIMSELF sat on!!! CRAZY!!

Our tour guide was funny, even though he repeated himself about three times.. but whatever.. we still learned alot.

After the tour we walked a couple blocks to Benjamin Franklins Grave. Of course as we were walking our stomachs were rumbling and we walked past a hot dog stand. You know, the ones that you see on the food channel and on tv but never see on the West Coast. Well we found one, so we HAD to get some. Personally I was expecting a cheap, poorly made hot dog that was barely warm.. but Oh was I wrong. They were actually really good. Nice big size, plenty warm, and no soggy bun! We all enjoyed but Adam didn't. He savored! He smelled it for a good 5 minutes before he even took a bite. Even after he actually started eating it still took him forever. When we asked him what he was doing he answered : " I'm soooooo hungry! I want to enjoy ALL of it!" Dad's response: "Ha. Best dollar I ever spent!"

Since you had to pay 2 dollars a person to go into the actual cementary, we said our Hellos and Thank Yous to Benjamin Franklin from behind the gate, then continued walking.

On our way back to the car we found a Ross and bought Alisha some shoes. Now I'm not saying that Alisha is in any way a nonintelligent person, I'm just saying that forgetting good tennis shoes for a trip like this was not the most intelligent thing she has ever done. But we still love her :)

After finding the lot and smurking to ourselves while the poor attendant pull our giant van out, we drove to the famous Pat's for the prized Philly CheeseSteak. The ordering was actually a hilarious thing. While waiting in line there is a poster above that instructs you how to order. After the 4 or so steps it says "If you mess up go back to the end of the line and start over" We thought it was some joke.. but it wasn't. By the time dad had finished the order and realized he had said something wrong our sandwiches were already done. Dad tried to change it, but after getting some sass from the lady taking orders we decided to deal with it. Being in the Food business I was taken back that she would talk like that to a customer but then I realized something: 1. We were on the East Coast (no offense to anyone)  2. If you are that famous and busy all the time, you really don't have to worry about one guy.

Now in my opinion, the sandwiches aren't all they are hopped up to be. It's bread, with some meat and cheese. None of the ingredients have a fabulous taste or anything. So again I'm thinking.. It's a East Coast thing. Now I think the rest of the family did enjoy them, but if I recall correctly we did decide they weren't 8 bucks worthy. Sorry Pat :(
Adam didn't like the Cheese Steaks either, and of course the poor little guy was hungry, and of course he has the nicest mom who bought him another hot dog. The funny part was that while mom bought the hot dog at another stand we found on our way to the freeway, the rest of the family stayed in the van, the van that was parked in a handicapped spot. Now the REALLY funny part was that across the street (which was a very small and narrow street, especially in our GIANT van) was a parked cop car, which we assumed was stopped to eat lunch (luckily for us a long lunch). Thankfully mom is fast so we didn't spend that much time wondering if the cop would be coming out and ticketing us.
From Philadelphia we drove to New Jersey. We went to Liberty Park, sat on nice green grass and ate melted animal cookies while we planned the next few days. Once again, thank you to the wonderful invention of broadband :) After we had planned we drove to our hotel in Jersey City and then started on our adventure.

First step of the adventure: The Train System. Gratefully there is a nice big button on the machine where you buy your tickets that says "Push for Assistance" and luckily a nice lady came and helped us. After we got a good explaination and felt like we could get to New York and back without trouble we headed off. Everyone loved the trains. No Doubt, everyone could tell we were tourists. No Shame :)
From the station we head toward Time Square. As we got closer we got hungier and decided to stop for pizza. Adam threw a fit because he decided he didn't like New York style pizza (even though he'd never tried it before) but lo and behold after practically forcing him to eat a bite... He Loves It. (Shocker) Not only does he love it but he said he never wants to eat any other kind of pizza.. Ever.  We were all able to get our own toppings, and they weren't just cheese and pepperoni but the yummy stuff. Let's just say New York knows what it is doing!

World's Largest Wall Of Chocolate :)

World's Biggest Dorks


What happened when we saw this: Michelle and Alisha BUST out in song. Sarah groans. Adam laughs.

After filling up we wandered around Time Square, saw the pretty lights, then walked to the Empire State Building.

( Alisha and Adam had a Dancing contest while waiting in line... Alisha won)

After a good long wait in line and 20 bucks each we went to the 86th floor. Never before have I felt wind like that!! Never before have I been on the 86th floor of a building either, but still.. It was WINDING!!

After freezing our tails off we went back to the train and was back at the hotel by 1 am. Did we have a Blast? Of course! Were we all sleep before we even opened the hotel door? Of course!