Tuesday, October 27, 2009

October Happenings

So do you slow down at this time of year and start to hunker down for the winter months? I admit I truly do not enjoy the cold and dark months of winter but I do love the month of October with all of the leaves changing color, the harvesting of delicious corn and other fun things to see and do!


I started off my month by going to a show at Radio City Music Hall and enjoyed beyond words the playing of The Fellowship of the Ring on a huge screen accompanied by a 300 piece orchestra along with choirs that were so talented that at times I had to be sure that it was live music and not the actual score to the film being played, they were so perfect!!!




I am really looking forward to attending the showing of the 2nd film, The Two Towers,  at the same time next year.  There are a lot of great videos on You Tube if you want to get an idea of what it was that my friend and I experienced together.   We were in the 3rd mezzanine but honestly the screen was so huge and we were there to experience the score from the film so it didn’t matter where you sat in the venue.  Another bonus was that Howard Shore gave a talk before the show began and he discussed his current project, the filming of The Hobbit which is due out in 2011.


The next day was a gorgeous fall day and I took Alex to the pumpkin farm and the Middle Earth corn maze (keeping in the theme of the weekend?)  Is there anything better than roasted corn drenched in butter?  Seriously, one of the highlights of the fall months, in my opinion.


03 We enjoyed our corn and then Alex decided to go into the corn maze with his friends Jesse and Angelina who were with us while my friend Margie and I got to sit in the sun and enjoy some adult time while the kids were off having some fun.  The entire maze was in the theme of Lord of the Rings including the entrance, how cool is this? 

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Finally we picked out some pumpkins to carve and made our way back home but not before a quick stop at one of our favorite places, the Gingerbread University, to get a cookie treat before finishing off our perfect day.




The following weekend we headed to Virginia to spend some quality time with Cole (oh yeah, Nancy and Paul too…hehehe) and I was thrilled that Alex didn’t have a cold so he was able to really play with his baby cousin and feed him and he enjoyed it by the looks of things.  On saturday he didn’t even get out of his pajamas and we sent Nancy and Paul out for lunch and some shopping so that we could have our special Cole time.  We are looking forward to visiting again soon.

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

September happenings

Since we are pushing close to November here I figured I better do a quick version of what we did in September so that I can remember it all for my scrapbooking when the time comes! Part of the reason I am trying to keep this ‘online journal’ if you will, current is so that when I am ready to put these memories to paper I can have something to go back and read.

The first day of school for Alex was September 9th and this year he is in the 7th grade which just boggles my mind that he has grown up so fast, sometimes I wish that I could slow life down and make some of these special moments last just a bit longer. Every year I like to take a first day of school photo and now that Alex is a big middle school kid he didn’t want me to take his picture but I told him he had 2 choices, I take his picture inside or I take his picture outside. He opted for the inside version. :)

02 He looks so grown up this year.

Of course when he went out to wait for the bus I couldn’t resist sneaking a couple more shots when he wasn’t looking…hey…you gotta do what you gotta do sometimes, right? It’s all about the scrapbooking and preserving these memories for the future, I’m sure he will forgive me when he gets older and sees his scrapbooks and shares them with his children and possibly his grandchildren.

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I still can’t believe he’s 12 and in the 7th grade….sigh. I know he is going to have a great year and do really well, his education means a lot to him and thankfully he has a great group of teachers.

On the 14th of September one of my favorite authors was doing a book signing at a book store not far from here and I had to go and pick up his new novel and get it signed and listen to his talk about the book. I was supposed to go with a friend who couldn’t make it at the last minute because she wasn’t feeling well but I wasn’t going to let that stop me because I feel that if there is something I want to do I am going to do it no matter what because I don’t want to leave this world with any regrets. Having both of my parents leave this earth too young taught me a valuable lesson about life and how to take each day and live it to your fullest.

Nicholas Sparks spoke about his book and some other future projects for about 1/2 an hour or so and then went upstairs to sign books. I browsed throughout the store as I waited for my turn and then went upstairs when they called my group and got in line. The book store, “The Book Revue” is really nice and I enjoyed looking around while I waited. They were asking everyone to open their book to the title page and I told the girl that I wanted my cover signed and she said he is signing the title page but you can ask him when you get to the table. There was another store employee at the table willing to take your camera and take photos for you and I was really happy about that since I was alone and didn’t have anyone to take my picture (I did ask the people behind me and they were willing to do it but as it turned out I didn’t need their help). The table for the book signing was set up so that when it was your turn you sat down in a chair next to Nicholas and they took your picture and you got your book signed so when I got to the table I asked him if he would sign the cover for me and he said, “Of course I will sign the cover, absolutely, let me switch pens…” and he took care of that and then he put his arm around me and moved his cheek up to mine to take the photo and before I stood up to leave he rubbed my back and said, “Thank you so much for coming out.” Nicholas Sparks is such an amazing author and a wonderful, kind and down to earth person, this was my 2nd time meeting him in person and I hope to get an opportunity to do it again when his next novel comes out. I haven’t had a chance to read “The Last Song” all the way through yet, I have about 5 chapters read but I put it down to read a book that was for a book discussion at work and then got distracted with some other books but I will get back to it. The film for the novel comes out in January of 2010 so I really hope to have it done by then.

01 My picture with Nicholas Sparks. If you haven’t read any of his novels I recommend “The Notebook” and “The Wedding” to start…wonderful stories to read and cherish for my years to come. I can still hear mom’s voice on the other end of the phone when she finished reading The Wedding a few years back and she called me to tell me she had finished it, “Oh my GOD….awesome….WOW….” Yep, I told her she would love it.

On the 26th we went to a surprise 40th birthday party for a friend of ours and it was held at the bowling alley down the street from where we live. Alex, Jim, Robert and myself all had a really good time. I didn’t bowl because I was worried about my back so I just watched the action and took some photos to remember the evening by.

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September 28th was a day off from school for Yom Kippur, a Jewish holiday, so I decided to take Alex and a friend of his to the Fire Island Lighthouse this time, we had visited the Montauk Lighthouse earlier in the summer and when Alex saw a model of the Fire Island lighthouse in the airport he wanted to go and I was happy to make the trip. The day was warm but very windy so I was disappointed that we couldn’t really enjoy the beach too much because the sand was blowing around so much it was literally hurting my eyes but it didn’t stop Alex from trying to go swimming even though the water was pretty chilly by then, nothing compared to the bath water we swam in back in August on the beach.


The lighthouse is a bit of a walk from the parking lot but it is along a beautiful boardwalk and I enjoyed the stroll and the sun as we made our way over. The walk up to the top of the lighthouse was quite a work out, not only was I out of breath but so were the young boys so I didn’t feel bad!!

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Well that about covers our fun for September, I will blog more really soon and get caught up on the October stuff…yes we have been out and about, of course!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Baseball playoffs!

You have to love the excitement this time of year, even if your favorite team isn’t in the post-season!


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Monday, October 12, 2009

Trip to Virginia

Alex and I took a trip to visit baby Cole at the very end of August (it would be his last vacation and free time before the new school year started) and once again I had quite a bit of things planned out ahead of time for this trip. We flew into BWI and went to spend the day on Nancy and Paul’s boat and motored out to a very cool marina where we docked and had a delicious lunch and after eating Alex got to swim for a little while since there was a small beach nearby.

Alex and Uncle Paul

Alex and Uncle Paul looking for crabs!

Me and little Cole

Me and my favorite nephew!

Alex and Aunt Nancy

Alex and Aunt Nancy as we are pulling into marina for lunch


The happy little family



We drove back to Nancy and Paul’s house and spent some time with Cole just relaxing and visiting.

Some of the things I had planned out for this trip was a visit to the International Spy Museum in downtown DC where Alex got to try out his skills at being a Spy with their newest attraction, Spy in the City and we had a lot of fun going that. You get a handheld GPS and you have to follow instructions and find clues throughout the city and complete your spy mission. It was a great way to walk around and see some of the sights, in my opinion.07

After our walk through the city we had lunch at Potbellies and then walked back to the museum to see the indoor exhibits before taking the metro back to Nancy and Paul’s house. On the way home I had planned out 2 stops that were off the Metro…a very quick walk into Arlington cemetery where I wanted to pay my respects at the Kennedy grave because Ted Kennedy had just passed away from glioblastoma and it was just something that I felt the need to do for myself and for my mom. We also stopped at the Pentagon to see the memorial for the victims of the 9/11 attacks.

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Paying my respects at Ted Kennedy's grave and Alex posing at the Pentagon Memorial

The next day we drove out to the Marine Corps Museum and really enjoyed seeing the work that went into building all of the exhibits. I think Alex liked the indoor digital rifle range the best.10

A stop at IKEA on the way home to check out a few things and then it was back home to diner and an evening of quiet time. Our last day we spent some time at the pool even though the water was a bit chilly for Alex he did go in for a little while. We made a quick trip out to the National Cathedral to check out the gift shop because Jim wanted me to see if I could replace the cross pendant that he lost which I had purchased for him there a few years back…I didn’t find the exact one but something similar.

We took Amtrak home from Alexandria back to Penn Station and the only regret I had in this planning was that we got back to NYC during rush hour and had to squeeze on a rush hour train to head back to Long Island with our suitcases, a lesson learned for sure on my part.

All in all this was a great trip and we got to spend a lot of fun time with Cole…every time we see him he is getting bigger and bigger and his personality is really emerging, I can’t wait to see him again!! 12 11

Windows Live Writer

So my sister told me about this Windows Live Writer and I figured I would check it out to see what it does and if is something that would make my blogging a little bit easier…so I suppose we shall see, not really sure what this does or how it will change my blogging experience but I’ll give it a shot!

At the end of August I went to the Maritime Museum for a Seafood and Crafts Festival but the main reason was because Matt Scannell from Vertical Horizon was doing an acoustic show and the admission was $5.00 to the Festival, where are you going to go to see a concert for 5 bucks? Seriously!! It turned out to be an overcast day after some heavy rains the day before so they had set up a tent with some picnic tables and it was like hanging out in my back yard watching Matt play guitar and sing, it was so very cool!!!


Saturday, October 10, 2009

A day in NYC!

August 28th

I had planned out another really fun day for Alex in NYC to continue his birthday celebration...I have to laugh because I have some friends who celebrate their birthday "month" and maybe that is what I did for Alex this past year and I truly enjoyed every memory that I made with him.

We took the train into the city and met up with my friend Sandi who had her mom and her daughter joining her for a day of fun, as well. First stop would be lunch at Junior's which is in Shubert Alley in the heart of the theatre district. After a great lunch we made our way just across the street from the Shubert theatre to the Titanic Exposition and as luck would have it I was able to score a 20% discount...thanks Nancy!

I loved walking around and seeing all of the artifacts that were brought up from the bottom of the ocean and reading the stories of the passengers on that voyage. Alex liked it to a point but started to lose interest toward the end so we finished up and went to wait for Sandi and her family in the gift shop/snack bar area. I think by far my favorite was the way they recreated the staircase in the grand ballroom, it was so beautiful.

Our next stop was a ride on the NYC Ducks tour! This was so cool because you board on land and ride around some of the sights of the city and then you head down to the Hudson river and splash down for a ride in the water!

Alex and I waiting in our seats for the ride to begin!

The NYC skyline behind me as we are riding in the Hudson River.

I was so excited for Alex when the captain of the boat let him drive for a few moments while we were in the Hudson! What an awesome thrill and memory for him to have, he couldn't wait to come home and tell dad what he did on his day out! This was a great day overall and I'm so happy that Alex enjoyed himself.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

I am so behind in my blog

I really need to get caught up because I know when I get ready to scrapbook some of these adventures I won't remember a lot of the details and that makes me nuts!!

On August 23rd we went to CitiField to see the Mets play again and Alex brought his friend, Matty, with him since we had 4 tickets and Robert didn't want to join us this time.

We had really nice seats, even though we were in the outfield we were front row and having been up in the nosebleeds the last game this was a better vantage point in my book! We enjoyed our afternoon and the game was pretty exciting even if the Mets lost. We were threatening in the end but the Phillies pulled off a triple play to win it! It was insane. **Note to self-do not get tickets to a Mets-Phillies game next season...too many Phillies fans make the trip to NY and are annoying!! HAHAHA!**

August 24th and 25th I took Alex to the beach. Honestly I have to say that even though we live just 3 miles from the Atlantic ocean and the beach I have never been a beach person but for some reason this summer I spent some time on the beach and realized that I have been missing out! Look out next summer!! I have lived on Long Island for almost half of my life and I had never been to any of the Fire Island beaches which is pretty funny. On the 24th I was meeting my good friend Paula to spend the afternoon at Sailor's Haven with our kids. You have to take a ferry over to this beach and it was so wonderful to spend the afternoon there because not everyone will spend the money to park and then pay for the ferry over but it was so worth it because it was not crowded and the kids had such an amazing time together which allowed the moms to just relax and chat.

Alex being silly on the ferry ride!

The water was so warm and the kids really loved swimming and spending time together, I think I have been missing out all these years and I plan to enjoy the beach more next year for sure.

"Mom, can we come back here again tomorrow?"

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Mystic trip

To continue Alex's birthday week I had booked a trip to Mystic, CT and planned loads of fun stuff. Dad was working so it was just a boy and his mom for an overnight trip. We set out early in the morning for the 45 minute drive to the ferry out of Orient Point which is the end of Long Island on the north side for those of you who don't know where we live. You can check out the map, we live in Shirley and we drove all the way to the end of the island so all the way to the right. :) It was a great drive and Alex enjoyed watching the sun rising. It was very foggy as we got into Greenport and the visibility was pretty bad but I slowed down and we made it just fine and got on the ferry for the hour ride over to Connecticut.

It took a while for the fog to lift and there wasn't much to see on the ride over so I was a bit disappointed since it was Alex's first time riding on a ferry but he seemed to be enjoying just being out there and watching the water all the same.

The fog lifted when we got over to the other side and it was really a lovely day and we watched the sights as we docked into New London.

We arrived at our hotel and dropped our stuff and walked across the street (yes I planned that out so that we were across the street!!) to the Mystic Aquarium and spent the afternoon enjoying the exhibits and some lunch.

I would have to say that the highlight of the day was our time in the bird exhibit...Alex absolutely loved the fact that he could feed and even sometimes pet a bird!!! I loved taking a million pictures, of course!

We finished off our day with dinner at Mystic Pizza and if you aren't familiar with the movie, check it out. Aside from the fact that a movie was filmed here, the pizza is out of this world!!!

Alex enjoyed the indoor pool until 10:00 that night once we got back to our hotel and then promptly passed out cold and allowed me some quiet time to read my book before I drifted off after a long and full day. I thought about the fact that I was spending a lot of time making memories for him this summer because our circumstances didn't allow us to do very much last summer and yet at the same time I feel that we were all so very blessed to have the time that we did to spend with mom last summer while she was living with us.

The next morning we got up and had a delicious breakfast buffet and checked out of our room and Alex wanted to just swim and I allowed him the freedom on this trip to do whatever he wanted, this was his birthday vacation and although I told him we could go to Mystic Seaport he didn't want to go, he just wanted to play in the indoor pool and I said that would be fine and so for 4 hours he did just that...swim, swim and swim some more! I literally read 10 scrapbooking magazines that I had brought with me while he was in the pool.

I had wanted us to visit the Mystic Seaport but Alex didn't want to so that was fine with me...he changed his mind at the last minute and it was kind of late so we just checked out the store and looked around a bit and decided that we would go back next summer for sure.

We headed back to the ferry and the ride home was lovely, the sun was setting and the colors of the sky is something we will not soon forget.