Aloha Friday: New York City Memories #BlogHer10

This is a special post not only because it is my 50th Aloha Friday, but also because it is about a place that is special in my heart: New York City. I’m writing and scheduling this from my house, but by the time you read it, I’ll be in NYC attending BlogHer 2010.

Growing up, my father worked in the city and every so often we would get to go to his office. I remember excitedly riding the train and subway. As we walked down the streets of the city, my sister and I would twist our necks to see the tops of the gigantic buildings. (By contrast, years later, when B showed me her home city, I felt let down as I grew up thinking city = towering buildings.) When we got to my father’s building, we would run up the steps, through the revolving door, through the revolving door, through the revolving door…. well, you get the point.

When we were done with the revolving door (or when our father said we were done), we would go to the elevator. Up we would go about twenty or so stories, the exact floor escapes my memory at the moment, and over to my father’s office. He had a big window to look out of and boy did the people and cars look tiny.

Later, during college, I interned at a PBS affiliate in New York City, WNET. Before my first day, my father accompanied me into the city and showed me how to navigate from where my train would leave me off, through Penn Station, to the appropriate subway lines and to my building. Without his help, I’d have likely wandered around for hours on my first day. Thanks to his assistance, I hardly ever got lost. Just one time, really, when I almost boarded a train for New Jersey instead of one for Long Island… Oops!

I know that BlogHer is going to be busy, but there is so much in the city that I’d love to do and see. I’d want to see the Museum of Natural History (would like to see it with NHL as well). I’d like to travel to the Lower East Side to get some of the best pickles around from NYC Pickle Guys. I’d like to catch a Broadway show and see Times Square. I’d like to visit Ground Zero, see the Empire State Building, see the Statue of Liberty and Central Park and …. Well, I guess you get the idea. Luckily, the city is a quick (relatively speaking) train ride from our house. Alternatively, we could visit my parents and take the LIRR from there into the city.

While I don’t think we’ll get to see many sights in New York City on this trip, I’m sure we’ll have plenty of great memories of BlogHer 2010!

My Aloha Friday question for today is: Have you ever been to New York City? If so, what was your favorite thing to do/see there? If not, what would you most like to do if you got the chance to visit there?

Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the MckLinky there if you are participating.

Aloha Friday by Kailani at An Island Life

Aloha #50

#DisneySMMoms 2010 – Of Bus Delays and Bad Timing (Day 7)

We woke up on Saturday, February 13th to our last day of Disney World. Soon, we would be going on a plane and heading home. But first, we would go to Captain Cook’s, have a nice breakfast, and then head to Downtown Disney for some shopping.

Well, that was the plan anyway. Every parent knows that plans are meant to be broken.

JSL decided that our trip didn’t come with enough “fun” so he decided to throw up as we were getting ready. B stayed behind with him while NHL and I got breakfast from Captain Cook’s to go. Then, NHL and I caught a bus to downtown Disney with a list of items to find. We went from shop to shop, looking and occassionally buying some things. We even called B a few times to see what else she wanted.

Finally, full shopping bags in hand, we booked it back to the bus. At this point, I’d like to thank NHL. He will often complain that his feet hurt if pushed to walk for too fast, too long. He didn’t complain, though, and just soldiered on. Thanks, NHL!

Anyway, we got on the bus and it went off…. to the next stop (still at Downtown Disney). At this point, our bus driver looked back at us and informed us that his shift was over and we’d be getting a new driver. Ok, fine. We were cutting it close, but should still be fine. The minutes passed and our old driver was still sitting behind the wheel while we all waited. More minutes passed and I began getting upset. I asked what was taking so long and he finally radioed dispatch to get an update. A new driver was on the way, we were assured.

More minutes passed and *finally* someone arrived. This person wasn’t our new driver, though, but another off-his-shift driver who told our driver that he just had to wait a half hour for his replacement. Excuse me?!! I didn’t have time for this. I had to get back, get packed and get to the airport! I expressed my displeasure and we *finally* had a new driver. It might have only taken us 15 – 20 minutes, but I expect more of Disney. This was a rare slipup on their part, but it was an extremely frustrating way to end our vacation.

We got back to the hotel, got all our bags set and went to do some shopping. We still had some money left on a gift card we got from Disney (part of a deal they had when we booked our pre-DisneySMMoms portion of the trip) and needed to use it up. B went through the shops in the Polynesian and found some items she liked. Then it was on the bus and goodbye to Disney World.

At the airport, we ate lunch while killing time until our plane boarded. Of course, JSL took this moment to proclaim that he pooped. *sigh* Off I went to change him only to discover that he hadn’t done the deed. I took a second to answer nature’s call when I got another one from B. NHL had a potty emergency and B couldn’t take him because she was watching over our carry on luggage!

So I washed up and swapped kids. When NHL was done, another call. JSL was really going to need a change this time. I got out to see him hiding behind the bench. Apparently, he wanted privacy. He was going to be a few minutes, so B took her turn. Unfortunately, when she returned, she was running. Somehow, we had missed that they had called our plane. It was already boarding!

Now, silly us hadn’t eaten lunch by our terminal. No, we set up shop in the food court. Our terminal was at the end of a long hall. So B grabbed half of our bags and ran with NHL. I grabbed the other half and called at JSL to follow me.

Except JSL wasn’t.

He was behind the bench yelling “me pooped! me pooped!”

*sigh* Wonderful timing, huh?

So I scooped him up in my arms and half-ran/half-walked down to our terminal. I got to the end (out of breath) to meet up with B and NHL. We were allowed on the plane and took a seat at the back where B asked flight attendents about diaper changing. We opted to do the change on the plane’s seats despite some looks we were given to the other passengers. Sorry, everyone, but two year olds don’t always have the best timing!

Luckily, the rest of the flight wasn’t as exciting and we landed safely. Of course, while it was good to be home, we missed Disney World terribly. Until I land my dream job of being paid to take photos at Disney parks while riding the rides, eating the food and blogging about it all, we’ll just have to console ourselves with our memories, photos and planning when our next trip will be.

#DisneySMMoms 2010 – Disney Social Media Moms Begins (Day 4, Part 2)

Last week, I ended with our trip to Epcot and leaving Pop Century for DisneySMMoms. After making our way to the Polynesian, we checked in and were told to go to the hospitality area to check in for Disnet Social Media Moms. B went in there while I waited in the hallway with the kids. After awhile, she came out with a ton of swag and we made our way to our room.

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It was quite nice. I’m a fan of Pop Century, but the rooms do tend to run small. (Can’t expect much different from a Value Resort.) The Polynesian’s rooms were huge by comparison. The one criticism I’d have is that all of the buildings looked the same. We had trouble finding our way to our building. At least the Pop Century had different looking buildings.

We marvelled at the room for awhile but had to get ready to go to ESPN Wide World of Sports. We caught up with Christina (CutestKidEver), her husband Tom and son TJ by the bus stop and took the bus with them. This wasn’t your usual Disney bus. The strollers weren’t folded up and carried on board. They were stowed underneath (enough room to stow them unfolded) and we sat an nice, soft seats.

At ESPN Wide World of Sports, we were directed where to go. B and Christina went to the Disney SM Moms area to listen to some presentations while Tom, TJ, NHL, JSL and I went to the "dads and kids" area. They had taken a few of the fields and set up some games to keep the kids busy. They had basketball, football, soccer, volleyball and other sports for the kids to play.

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The kids had a blast running around chasing balls. The only glitch was when I went to kick a soccer ball. The grass was slightly wet and my feet went right out from under me and I landed on my read end/back. Getting up, oddly enough, my first thought was "B’s going to kill me if I got grass stains on these jeans!" My second thought was "Am I injured." Luckily, there were no grass stains or injuries.

Soon, it was getting dark and time for us to head in to eat. We made our way to the dining area, parked the stroller and found the table the girls had saved for us. Going with the sports theme, they had peanuts and Cracker Jacks for us to snack on.


Alcoholic beverages, too… trying to get the moms drunk?


The food was mostly meat-based (hamburgers/hot dogs) so there wasn’t much for me, but I made do. Burger bun + cheese meant for cheeseburgers + tomatoes = cheese sandwich. Some fries with cheese sauce & fruit and you’ve got a meal. Later on, they had ice cream including Mickey Bars. YUM!

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Of course, it wouldn’t be Disney if characters didn’t make an appearance. Pluto, Mickey, Minnie and others were on hand. Unfortunately, not all of them stopped by our table. TJ seemed upset about that, but I knew that we would be going with him to Epcot the next day so I told him that I knew where he could go to see Mickey, hoping that would make him feel better. (Nobody should be sad at Disney!)

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It was late so we gathered our things and started out… until I couldn’t find my camera. I ran back to the table and there it was underneath my chair! WHEW! Two lost things recovered in the same day.

With that crisis averted, we left ESPN and headed for the bus back to our hotel. On the way out, though, we were handed some ESPN hats. Very nice touch. Though it was late, NHL and TJ didn’t conk out but enjoyed some time together on the bus ride back.

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Then we went back to our hotel rooms and got some sleep. We all had a big day tomorrow. B at Disney Social Media Moms and me with the kids in the parks!

#DisneySMMoms 2010 – Epcot and Leaving Pop Century (Day 4, Part 1)

It’s been awhile since my last DisneySMMoms post. This update has been long overdue. I last left off on our rainy day 3. Day 4, February 10th, was a big day. We would be leaving the Pop Century and moving to the Polynesian Resort for the Disney Social Media Moms conference. That would need to wait until later, though, because breakfast, in the form of a Cape May advance dining reservation, awaited!

We took the bus from the Pop Century resort to Hollywood Studios. From there, we could have taken a boat ride to the Boardwalk, but the boat didn’t look like it was running right then. Instead of waiting, we decided to walk. This was a bit of a mistake. It was pretty chilly to begin with and walking alongside the water just seemed to encourage strong gusts of wind. » Read more

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