Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Today's NYT

On November 5th, after Barack Obama won the election, I had a really hard time finding a copy of the New York Times. I would guess that after about 7am or 7:30am, there were no longer any for sale in Manhattan. I checked my local bodega at 8am, and the cashier looked at me like I was crazy.

So for this morning's paper, I wised up a little. It may sound silly and archaic, but I really like keeping newspapers as commemorative pieces. I normally receive the Times on Saturdays and Sundays, but I called customer service yesterday and asked if I could get weekday delivery this week so that I could receive today's paper. And voila - it arrived at my doorstep this morning. See below for pics of the 11/5/08 paper and today's paper.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

History in the making

Today was truly an historic day. I am proud to be an American. I know that our country has tough times ahead, but our future is in good hands now. Here's to the next four years with Barack Obama as our 44th president!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Baby, it's (terrifyingly) cold outside!

Brrrrrr, we've had arctic weather this week. What a way to welcome me home from Florida. I was there last week with my family, and had an absolutely wonderful time. Here's a recap!

Wed. Jan 7: Due to potential bad weather, I rescheduled my flight (for free-thanks jetblue!) so that I arrived within a few minutes of my parents and Jake. I really enjoyed flying on JetBlue, and since I departed from JFK, I got to see the amazing new terminal. All went well with the flight, and I arrived around 11:45a. I met my mom and Jake at baggage while my dad went to get the rental car.

My parents had signed up to 'test-drive' a time share at Marriott Grande Vista, so we went there first to check in and drop our luggage off, and then off to Animal Kingdom! We were only there for a few hours, but got to enjoy our favorite attractions: Kilimanjaro Safaris and Dinosaur. While I was on a ride with my dad and Jake, my mom ran into an old friend of mine from Appleton who was on her honeymoon! It's a small world indeed.

After the park closed, we popped over to Downtown Disney for a little shopping and free-chocolate-taste-testing. Then we went to Boma for a feast fit for an African king or queen. It was absolutely delicious. Afterwards, my mom and I stopped at the grocery store to stock up on breakfast food, snacks, and water. What a long day.

Thurs. Jan 8: We went to Disney Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM Studios) We had a really fun day, and the sunny weather only added to our merriment! We rode my favorite ride, Tower of Terror - twice! woo hoo! Jake and I harassed a 12-year-old punk in line, which is always fun - he deserved it.

All of us went on the best new ride, ever! Toy Story Mania is a 3D ride where you use a spring-loaded shooter in old-west style carnival games. Make sense? Probably not, but it is great fun! Around 7p, we left the park and went to get our race packets at Wide World of Sports. We took the easy way out that night and had Subway for dinner, which is always fine by me.

This was a pic of our drawings of Donald Duck, which we drew in the animation studio.

Fri. Jan 9: Happy Birthday, Dad!

And what a way to start your birthday..with a 5am wake up call! (well...actually the hotel wake-up call never came, but that's beside the point. Thank goodness for cell phones.) We got up early to run the Circle of Life 5K at Animal Kingdom which started at 7a.

Mom and I ran/walked together - she walked (fast) and I baby-jogged. I didn't want to strain any muscles by powerwalking the day before the Half Marathon, so I looked a little silly jogging next to her, but meh, I didn't care.

Jake and Dad ran ahead of us, and we met up at the end after we received our awesome medals...and by awesome, I mean rubber. You'll receive your rubber at the end of the race! Leave it to us to find perverted undertones in all things Disney.

After the race, Jake and I went to Nick's Grill (at the hotel) for a bountiful breakfast, while Mom and Dad went to their mandatory mtg for the timeshare. When J and I came back to the hotel, we watched a little tv. I must give him credit for his expert movie skills - after hearing about three notes of the opening credits' music and seeing the font of the first credit, he said "Might Ducks." Sure enough. We watched about fifteen minutes before falling asleep. Quack, quack, quack Mr. Ducksworth!

I woke up about a half hour later and started to get ready. Eventually, Mom and Dad came back and we packed our bags to head to the WDW Polynesian Resort! It's no secret that it's probably my favorite place in WDW, so I was thrilled that we were staying there for the night. (My mom thought it would be a good idea so that we could take the monorail the next morning to the race, which was definitely a good idea!)

This is the "castle" view from our room heehee. I had to lie down on the balcony and zoom in, but here it is!

We parked the car and zoomed off to Epcot on the monorail. We had another beautiful day of perfect weather. We were all starving for lunch so we went to Biergarten in Germany for a tasty and filling buffet! My dad even got a birthday card in German signed by all the servers. We went on some awesome rides there as well, notably Test Track, Soarin' and the updated Spaceship Earth.

Senor Jake pondered buying a monster-sized sombrero, but settled on a plaid poncho instead.

At the end of the night, we went back to the Polynesian and got sandwiches there. With the race the next morning, we didn't want to eat anything too risky. Everyone fell asleep around 10p, and I was up until about 10:45p, but it was the first time I fell asleep before 11p in a long time!

Sat. Jan 10: Race morning!! Mom, Dad, and I woke up at 3:15a, left for the monorail by 3:50a. It was a chilly 45*, but we knew it would warm up. At the start of the race, my dad and I went into corral B, and my mom decided to start in corral E, as she planned to walk most of it. At 5:50a, the gun went off and the race started! The fireworks went off right over us - it was pretty cool!

The crowds were quite packed at the beginning of the race. My dad and I were hoping to finish in under 2 hours, which would have required us to run 9:10 min/miles. At the first mile, we were already at 10 minutes, so I was a little worried, but felt like I could pick up the pace easily. At mile 2, we had shaved off a little time and were running 9:45 min/miles. Around miles 5 and 6, the crowd was thinning out and slowing down, so I told Dad that we could start going a little faster if we wanted to make our goal time. Around mile 10, my legs started to feel heavy, but I knew we would finish in under two hours if we kept going. We finished strong and came in at 1:56! After all of my training and hard work, I was so proud and excited! We grabbed some water and post-race food and went to find my mom. We saw her at mile 12, and she looked really good! She was running, too, which we knew was a good sign! We found her at the end of the race, and she said it went really well. I was so happy! She finished in 2:48, well under her estimated finish time! Congrats to all!

We made our way back to the hotel for a little rest and relaxation on the beach at the Polynesian. Our room overlooked the beach/lagoon, and I zoomed down to a hammock for a little post-race nap. Mom and Jake followed, and Dad came down a little later after fetching coffee for everyone.

The sun felt so good, and we really did not want to leave.

Eventually, we got ready and went to Magic Kingdom for another fun day in the sun.

We went to Pecos Bill for some grub and then off to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad for the fasted ride in the wilderness!

We also went on a bunch of my other favorites, including Jungle Cruise, Space Mountain, and
Philharmagic!. We also stopped by to say hi to Cap'n Jack Sparrow at Pirates of the Caribbean. Jake and I had fun harassing some line-jumpers at Haunted Mansion. I doubt they jumped any lines after that. That evening, we went to Liberty Tree Tavern for their family feast from the Revolutionary War era. After our hard work that morning, the comfort food really hit the spot! We went back to the Marriott that evening for a good night's sleep.

Sun. Jan 11: Our last day in Florida - sad! It was once again a beautiful day, which made it all the more difficult to pack our bags. After some deliberation, Jake and I decided we were too tired for Universal Studios and headed to Epcot with M & D instead. We really enjoyed the day, and went on some of our
fav attractions again. We also dined at the sit-down restaurant in Mexico, San Angel Inn. I really enjoyed my margarita and entree - beef tips, black beans, and corn tortillas! Before long, however, it was time to head to the airport. Although security was really tight (it took over 45 minutes to get through!), and I was a little nervous flying into NYC, all went well with the flight, and I arrived home safe and sound. I was happy to see Luke! But the weather was not a pleasant welcome-back.

Work was a tad rough this week, but I was happy to see all of my co-workers again. They all put up with my post-vacation-depression, and after happy hour on Wednesday and Friday, I was back to my old NY self.

That being said, is it spring yet?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

I'm back!

Dear friends,

I've been gone for too long! It was a busy holiday season, but I am back! I had a wonderful break in Wisconsin! However, the temperatures were chillllly! I made this adorable gingerbread house with Emily. We even used that special frosting, so that we didn't have to glue it. Clearly, Martha would be proud.

My family had a fabulouso dinner at The Melting Pot in Appleton. I highly recommend!

The next morning, we had brunch at my parents' house, and it was great to see my aunt, uncle, and cousins again! My grandma took this pic of me with my grandpa.

Unfortunately, I developed a cold after Christmas, but it didn't stop me from having a good time at New Years back here in New York! Our favorite visitors from Chicago, Jenny and Tim, joined us! We had a blast!

Happy 2009!