Friday, March 30, 2007

It's the weekend!

Soooo, it's Friday! And I don't really have any plans for the weekend. I'm thinking I'll probably go into the city on Sunday. It's supposed to be nice, so it'll probably be a good day to walk around and find something to do. Maybe go to a Broadway show or something.
Tamara's mom and brother are here (from The Netherlands) for the weekend. Katharina and I are going out for lunch with them in a little while...
I can hardly believe it's going to be April in a couple of days. Wow!! That really means Spring! I think winter is really over! We had an 80 degree day the other day. Wow, was it ever nice! Too bad I spent most of the day in the car, doing errands. What I wanted to do was go to the beach. But I don't think that's a great plan for a March day.
I got a text message from Julie at 12:30am today. They were stopping to sleep for a bit before they continued on to Alabama. The plans were to be there around 2:00 or 3:00 today. Lucky, lucky girl!! A vacation at the beach sounds so awesome!
Everyone have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

One last mention

I loved Philadelphia so much I just have to make one more post about it. It was amazing!! So I wanted to post some pictures. I lost my camera, so these are from Tamara. Thanks!
The first one is us 5 (Tamara, Sarah, me, Ellen, and Katharina) in front of Independence Hall.
#2: City Hall area
#3: It's the City of Brotherly Love...
#5: This is the room where the Declaration of Independence was signed, as well as the Articles of Confederation and the US Constitution. AMAZING!!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Sunday adventures

I have to say again that Philadelphia was amazing! and I love that city! Well, the girls picked me up around 6:30am, and it was about a 2.5 hour drive (all the way into the city, parking, everything). One of the first things we noticed about the city (the area where we parked) was that it was run-down in places, but lots of the buildings had huge murals painted on them. Really, really cool (the murals)! So we walked to City Hall (huge, old, excellent building with William Penn standing on top). Near City Hall is Thomas Paine (the writer of Common Sense) Plaza. It has huge game pieces randomly placed around it. There are Monopoly, chess, checkers, Sorry, Dominoe, and more game pieces. Next stop: Visitor's Center, which has lots of information about all of the historical buildings and sights around Philly. We then headed to Liberty Bell Center, then walked along Independence Mall to a little cafe for lunch (the girls had Philly Cheesesteaks), then we had a tour of Independence Hall. That was my favorite part of the day -- we got to go into the room where our founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the US Constitution!!! The rooms are exactly how they were when those documents were being edited and signed. The only piece of furniture that remains from the 1770s and 1780s is the chair that George Washington sat on. (The whole area is a National Historical Park.) We saw the area (outside) where, on July 8, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was read to the public for the first time. We also saw copies (that were made at the time the originals were signed) of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the US Constitution. The Articles and Constitution were drafts that had been marked by the founding fathers when they were making changes. Next was Carpenter's Hall and the NHP gift shop.
Whew! Then we went down to South St, got some ice cream, and walked to the edge of the city for a view of the Delaware River. It was nice and warm out (people were wearing shorts), the sun was shining, blue skies...
We went to Christ Church (over 300 years old), which reminds me of Old North Church in Boston. There was a man working there and he would not stop talking to us. He lectured to us for like 10 minutes, and not just about the history of the church. :S Then up to Elfreths Alley, the oldest residential street in the US. The houses there have been continuously occupied over the past 300 years!! All the houses looked kind of the same on the outside and were connected to each other. The street was very, very narrow. Then we saw Betsy Ross's house (didn't get to go in; it was closed for the day), and Benjamin Franklin's gravesite. He was an amazing man!
There's a huge lawn at the north end of Independence Mall. The grass was really green, so we had some fun taking pictures there. Tamara's Root Beer was stolen by someone walking down the street. It was half full, and the guy picked it up and drank the rest. A little odd!
Our last stop of the day was at JFK Plaza, which is about a block from City Hall. The famous LOVE statue is there, along with a fountain. There's also a street that runs diagonally (northwest) from this plaza, and it's lined with flags from all over the world. At the end of it, there's a big fountain and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It is a really beautiful sight!

That was nine long hours of walking and sight-seeing. Needless to say, by the time we got home we were all exhausted and ready for bed! I can't wait to go back and spend more time in the buildings and museums. I think it's probably a really pretty city (at least the historical part) when everything is in bloom. Some flowers were coming up already, but the trees were still bare.
I'll post some pictures when I get them. That's it for now!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

I love Philadelphia!!

Good evening! I'm just taking a couple of minutes to say what an AWESOME day I had today!! Tamara, Katharina, Sarah, Ellen, and I went to Philadelphia for the day, and I absolutely loved it! It is such a cool city, especially since I love history so much. It was amazing! There is so much history. I can't wait to go back! I'll write more later about everything we did, and about some of our adventures.
We didn't end up going to Boston (obviously) because there was snow in the forecast. We'll head up there on a Sunday in April or May probably. It was sunny and beautiful in Philadelphia, so we all felt like we made the right choice.
As we were driving home this evening, I realized it's my 5 month "anniversary" out here. I moved on October 25th. Hard to belive it's been that long. But then again, I'm really familiar with my surroundings (lots of Fairfield County and NYC), so I guess that means I've been here awhile.
I heard there's a tornado warning at home. Weird, weird weather!

Friday, March 23, 2007

My Surroundings

Hey all, how's the weather up north? We have another Spring day! :)

I just thought I'd post some pictures of my surroundings.

#1 Our house!

#2 My bed :)

#3 My car -- I love it!

#4 Our street (in the fall... it looks a little different without the leaves)

#5 Where I spend a lot of time: making dinner, snacks, eating :), homework, etc.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Appreciating #14

Good news everyone!! The NY Rangers and their fans appreciate Brendan Shanahan! Back in the summer when I heard that he signed with the Rangers, I was shocked... and I thought that they weren't going to realize how good he is, that fans outside of Detroit wouldn't love him, or really appreciate him. Last night was his first night back after being injured a couple of weeks ago. You should've heard the Garden when he stepped on the ice for his first shift. It was so loud, it sounded like the Rangers had just scored! Then throughout the whole night whenever he had a shot on goal, or touched the puck on a rush up the ice, it got super loud again. When they announced his assists, again: the place was rocking! They love Shanahan there! (The noise after his assist was even louder than when they announced Jagr's goal!)
I told Mason that I'm glad they appreciate him (even though I still wish he was a WING).

On a different note: I haven't been all that impressed by Jagr (watching him when I was there in February, or on tv), but last night he was very impressive. Although he was stoned by Niittymaki (the Flyers goalie, probably the highlight of his [Niittymaki's] career) on a breakaway, he still had a goal and many other GREAT shots. Sorry, David! Oh yeah, he also is the first NHL player ever to score 25 or more goals in 16 straight seasons. Wow.

My three "favorite" Rangers are (obviously) Shanahan, Sean Avery, and Ryan Callahan. Shanahan and Avery because they are former Wings, and I saw Callahan play when he was on the Hartford Wolfpack, and he was amazing! So it was really fun to watch him play last night for the Rangers (he just got called up within the past couple of weeks)... he's really good! All 3 played on the same line last night! It was a really fun line to watch, and they scored 2 goals.
PS The Rangers beat the Flyers 5 - 0.

It's 60 degrees here, and the snow is melting! Yea :) It's supposed to be warm all weekend, so hopefully it'll be Spring!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Beautiful Spring!

Right now there's a first for me --- it's 4:30 and none of the boys are home! Marcy and I hardly know what to do! It feels weird, but I'll gladly take the extra time to update this!

I know Spring doesn't officially begin until tomorrow, but today really feels like the beginning of Spring! It's 50 degrees out, the snow is melting, and the sun is shining! The Sound was deep blue and glistening as I was working out this afternoon... made me want to go swimming! A little too cold though.
I'm going to the NY Ranger game tomorrow vs. Philadelphia. I'm taking Mason... it'll be fun but I was hoping they'd be playing someone from the Western Conference. Still, I'm looking forward to it.
Tamara, Katharina, and I decided last night that we're going to go to Boston on Sunday for the day. It'll be a long day, but should be fun! They've never been there, so I think I might be playing tour guide. I'm hoping to see some parts of Boston I haven't been to. Does anyone have any recommendations for us? Jim~ you and Lynne should come down and meet us for dinner or something! :)
Hope everyone's having a good week!

Monday, March 19, 2007

"Playoff atmosphere"

I finally got to experience that! I guess I sort of knew what announcers were talking about when they said it, but now I know for sure. I went to a Boston Bruins game in January and a NY Ranger game in February. They were fun and I had a good time. Then last Wednesday I watched Detroit and Nashville duke it out for the #1 spot in the NHL (for now). All the announcers (radio, tv, etc) were saying that it was going to be a "playoff atmosphere." So I found out what they mean by that. Every guy on the ice is hustling for the puck, going into the corners, everytime a guy has the puck he is contested by the other team. You can tell it's more than just one of the 82 (?) regular season games. Every goal is a big one, every penalty (or powerplay) is a big one. I LOVED IT!!!
So I guess it's something you just have to experience to fully appreciate.

Back in Connecticut

I feel like I'm always saying that. I'm back in Connecticut. This time I was gone for ten days. I flew to Detroit on March 8th, Liz and her mom (and aunt Karen) picked me up from the airport and brought me home. My family didn't know I was coming. Boy, were they surprised!
Here are some of the reactions I got:
Mom: "Karen?!!!" Then she had to sit down because she almost fell over.

Dad: "Wow!!! This is shocking!!!" (Mind you we never usually get reactions from him.)
Julie: "SHUT UP!!! Shut up!!! No way!!! Seriously? OH. MY. GOSH!!!!" :)
Peter: "HI Karen" (not much of a reaction from him)
David: "whoa, hey!" (followed by a big smile)
Michelle: "What are you doing here? Wait! What's going on? Seriously, what are you doing here?"
Heidi: "WHAT'S GOING ON?!!! What are you doing here?"
probably my favorite: Katz: "AAAAAAAAAAaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!! OH MY GOSH!" Then she ran across the room and jumped on me, looked at me, gave me a hug, looked at me again... like she didn't really believe I was there.

I got to go snowshoeing 3 times while I was home!! All three times were on the shores of Lake Superior, so that was extra awesome.
Robert and Maria's wedding weekend downstate was busy and lots of fun! I don't think anyone got much sleep, including my aunts and uncles. They said they were having too much fun to go to sleep. Sounds like successful weekend, hey?
Sunday Ed and Wade brought Liz and me to the airport. Liz's flight left at 6:30, so we got there around 5:00. Mine was supposed to leave at 9:00, but was delayed until 10:15. That meant arriving to La Guardia at about 11:45... catching a bus to Grand Central Terminal (got there around 12:40), then the 1:12 train back to Noroton Heights. Tamara was awesome and picked me up from the train station at 2:00am. Thanks again! :) I finally got in my bed at 2:30. Whew!! A long, exhausting day! and I'm not going to admit how much I slept today...
oh yeah. One more thing. There was a snowstorm here while I was gone. We now have more snow on the ground than we got the entire winter! I'm ready for winter to be over.
The picture on top is in Copper Harbor, snowshoeing #1, on the bottom is near Gay/Betsy, snowshoeing #3.