Wow...summer sure has a way of flying by, doesn't it? What did you all do this summer, anything fun? I sure hope that you were able to make some great memories and that you all took plenty of photos to remember every moment!
I can't believe that Alex will be starting the 8th grade on friday, first time that our school district has started school before Labor Day to my knowledge and I know a lot of people typically will go on vacation the week before school starts so I'll be very interested to see how many kids do not attend on friday.We did a TON of stuff this summer so I am feeling pretty good about that whereas last summer I felt that we didn't get as much done and that was in part due to the crappy weather we had last year but we really did have a wonderful summer here in the northeast so I can't complain. For scrapbooking journaling purposes I am going to head on back to the beginning of the summer now...
I took Alex to a park nearby where we like to feed the ducks and have a picnic lunch from time to time, it is called Kahler's Pond and Alex enjoys going there to hang out and I love to sit and watch him play. We brought along a fishing pole with us this time but eventually the line got caught in one of the bushes and it snapped so that was the end of the fishing that day.
I actually wasn't surprised that Alex wasn't really interested in "watching" fireworks but rather wanted to make his own and Jim had bought a few small things from a guy off a job so they had fun lighting bottle rockets and firecrackers in the driveway. I was a bit disappointed that he wasn't able to get any sparklers because those always make for awesome photos but I guess that's the way it goes. I've already scrapped the photos from this 4th of July so here is that 2 page layout. I love the picture of Alex with his fireworks.
We finished off the little league season and overall our team had a good season, they started off really strong and then lost a few toward the end but we had a good time this year and had a good group of kids. Next year Alex will be moving up to the Junior division and we still don't know if Jim will be moving up with him or staying down in the midgets with his team...we will find that all out in the spring and it all depends on how many kids sign up and if they need Jim to take a team up in the juniors...otherwise Alex will have a new coach until his dad moves up.
To start off the summer concert season at Jones Beach which had such an amazing line up this year ( I would have gone to probably twice the amount of shows I went to if I had more money!!) I went to see the American Idols tour with my friends Paula and Arlene and we had a great time together!!
It was great that all 3 of us liked the same contestants this season too! Casey James who is super cute and of course Lee Dewyze who was the winner this year we all loved! Overall it was a great concert and I hope that the promoters decide to bring the Idols tour back to Jones Beach again next summer because I would go again but this time I would wait until closer to the date because we were able to upgrade our seats for only $10 and I am pretty sure we would be able to buy $10 or $20 seats again if they come back next summer.
I don't ever sit in the mezzanine at Jones Beach but I thought it would be cool to go up there and get a shot of the entire venue with my night feature on my camera and I love the way it turned out!! You can see the water on the bay side and in the horizon beyond the lights is the ocean. There is no better place for a concert, in my opinion.
Uncle Robert came for a visit for the week and we took him to Kahler's pond for lunch one day and had a good time.
He also got to attend a Mets game with Jesse, of course!! We had a nice visit with him and look forward to seeing him in December again when we are planning to travel to Nancy and Paul's to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas all at once since Nancy and Paul will be in Montana for Christmas this year we will be doing something a little different and that's fine.
I had been planning this for a while now, a surprise night out for Alex and at the last minute Jim had a gig and couldn't join us and I was a bit disappointed but Alex and I set off in the car for the secret surprise and he had no idea where I was taking him and I couldn't wait to see his reaction!! Alex has been into The Beatles lately and I wanted to take him to see a really cool tribute band and it just so happens there was a free outdoor concert about 15 minutes from where we live so it was a perfect opportunity!!
I think he had a great time, when he saw the performers come up on the stage he was thrilled!! I found a video on You Tube which is a great montage of what we saw that night!
The concert season continued on that following week with one of my favorite bands, Train, opening for John Mayer on July 21st. Train's set was awesome albeit too short for me but I am glad that I went to see them either way because it was close to home and again it was a fantastic night out with Paula plus we got to hang out and tailgate a bit with my friend Laura and her husband Mark which was fun.
John Mayer...meh...it was the first time I saw him live and I will probably never see him again because to be honest he spends way too much time playing guitar and not enough time singing...I am not into watching him lay on the stage for 10 minutes playing his guitar, sorry...a bit too much into himself and not enough with the crowd. But having said that and even though we left about halfway into his set I'm glad I saw him because at least now I know what his shows are like...I enjoy his CD's but I guess he's not someone I'm into seeing live again.
On July 22nd I took Nicole (my future daughter) to see The Altar Boyz at a local theatre and we had a really nice time together! I saw the show off Broadway and really liked it and I knew she would enjoy it too plus the price was cheap and it was 10 minutes from home so you can't beat that!! The picture of us that we took didn't really come out good so I guess I can't really scrap that but I will keep the ticket and playbill to remember the day.
A wonderful day at the beach with friends, it doesn't get any better than that does it? We took the ferry over to Sailor's Haven and had a truly fun day even though it was a little bit chilly for us. Alex always manages to find something to keep him busy and today was no different, he spent a couple of hours finding sticks and other things and built this amazing little beach fort and he had so many people stopping to see what he did, it was pretty funny.
Even after his friend, Andrew, left to go home Alex still entertained himself with his fort up until the very end when I had to drag him off the beach so we could catch the ferry home.
The only bad part about that whole day was that it had been so humid the past few days that I was attacked by mosquitoes and was I miserable on the way home!! I had anti itch spray but no allergy medicine with me so as soon as we got over to the other side I stopped at a CVS and took a pill right away! Phew!! Being allergic to bugs really sucks!!
One of the first things that Alex said to me when mom got sick and we knew that we would have to sell her home in Florida and move her to live with us was, "We will never be able to go to Disney World again, will we?" and I promised him that we would and that I would do whatever it took to make it happen. This past spring Alex and I volunteered at the nursing home where mom spent 2 weeks about a month before she passed away and as a result of that we were both awarded with a free ticket to any Disney park of our choosing and I let Alex choose and as luck would have it he picked EPCOT which is my favorite of the parks. I also made plans to stay at a hotel that we had never stayed at with mom so that we could make some new memories, even going to Downtown Disney would be different on this trip and we would explore the other parts that we had never been to before like Pleasure Island and the other side of the downtown disney area.
We left on sunday and got a ride to the airport from dad. Too bad he got to miss out on the trip but I guess someone has to stay with the dogs and keep watch on the house.
Alex had asked me if he could bring his scooter along on the trip and at first I resisted but I realized that we were staying at a resort that had a lake and there was a promenade around the lake area that he would enjoy riding his scooter on so I told him to find a bag and we packed it and boy was he glad to have it!! I took my walks and he joined me with his scooter, it was loads of fun! We were staying at the Caribbean Beach Resort and I had been there in the past with Jim, Jesse and Robert when the boys were very young so it had been quite a while but I knew it was a very nice place and Alex would enjoy it.
I really tried to let Alex lead me on this trip after the initial planning, I wanted this to be about him and what he wanted to do so that he would have fond memories of this vacation even if grandma wasn't with us. There were boat rentals on the lake at the resort and he asked me if he could do the small speed boats and he said he would pay for it out of his own money which I thought was very grown up of him so when we went to the marina I told him that it was my treat as part of his birthday present and he was very excited.
Monday was our day to visit downtown Disney and we took the Disney bus and instead of getting off where we would normally always go with grandma I told Alex we would stay on the bus and explore the other side so that we could make some brand new memories and he was ok with that.
We walked around and checked out some of the places we had never seen before and then we decided to have our lunch in the T-Rex restaurant and of course we talked about how when we ate at the Rainforest cafe we ordered the volcano dessert and Aunt Nancy went to the bathroom and when she came back it was all gone...her face was priceless and so was my mom's! That was the trip we took to Disney in December of 2007 right before mom's diagnosis. Alex asked if we could have one of those special desserts and I couldn't say no to him even though I knew we would barely eat 1/4 of it...it was fun all the same and he loved it! We hit up a few more shops along the way and Alex bought a Mickey Mouse chocolate covered apple to enjoy back at the hotel...yummy!!! Of course we stopped at Legoland and that pretty much wiped out all of the rest of Alex's money that he had brought with him and I had to laugh because he had told me he wasn't going to bring his money because there was nothing he wanted to buy but meanwhile he had $90 with him and it was all gone by the time we went home!
After our day at downtown Disney we went back to the hotel and Alex asked if he could have his drawing done by the artist in the foodcourt area and I thought it would be a good memory of the trip so I agreed and let him do it, he had a good time getting that done and he told me that there was a man standing behind the artist teasing him saying, "Did you want her to draw you as a MERMAID?" HAHA! I think his caricature turned out great and he loves it!! Of course he had to keep his glasses on the whole time! He loves his "John Lennon" rainbow glasses that I got him on Ebay and he wore them almost the whole trip.
Tuesday was our day to visit Epcot Center and I chose that day because it was the day there were 3 extra hours for guests of the Disney resorts and I thought it would be nice to have the extra time, as it turned out we did and saw everything by 7pm and went back to the hotel and Alex swam in the pool until 10pm that night but I was ok with that, I had my book and my iPod and I relaxed while he enjoyed swimming with his friends (Alex always manages to make friends no matter where we go!!)
Check out our "Voluntear" buttons that they gave us when we checked in at the gate with our vouchers for "Give a Day, Get a Day"!! Alex was actually moved up to the front of the line on one of the rides he went on because he was wearing his button and I thought that was so cool! A few of the Disney cast members asked us what we did to volunteer when they saw our buttons, it was really fun to be treated like sort of royalty because we gave our time to others. A great lesson for my son to learn. :)
We headed on over to the World showcase (my most favorite part of Epcot) and visited all of the countries and had a great time!! As luck would have it, there was a Beatles tribute band playing and Alex and I really enjoyed their set...I found it fascinating that my son was able to sing all of the songs...he knew more Beatles songs than I did!!
Wednesday was our last day and we spent it just enjoying the pool at the resort, Alex really loved the water slide and the water cannons, the theme of the pool was pirates and that was loads of fun.
I thought it would be fun to ask him some questions.
What was your favorite part of your trip to Disney? The pool.
What was your least favorite part? When I had to leave the pool.
What is your best memory of the trip? The hotel because it had the pool.
Ok...so I guess he liked the pool!
July 30th-August 1st
This was my No Frills weekend crop that I love to do every summer and I was able to enjoy myself and scrap 49 pages between friday and sunday and considering the fact that I didn't stay overnight at the hotel I think that is pretty good! On friday I actually got there in the morning but left at 5:00pm because I had tickets to see the Goo Goo Dolls that night at Jones Beach so I met up with Paula at about 6:00 and we tailgated a bit and then went inside to check out the opening band, Switchfoot and then the main event which was awesome!! We had seen the Goos before and I really love them live...their bass player, Rob, is fantastic!!
I went back to the hotel first thing in the morning and scrapped until about 11:00pm that night and when home to sleep and returned on sunday morning for another full day of scrapping! Here are just a few layouts that I did that weekend.
Ok...so that was my July and I am tired from just posting and reliving it...haha...but it was a full and busy July for sure. I will post my August happenings next so stay tuned.