Friday, August 29, 2014

NYC 3

On our third day in New York we woke up early and went to the Cake Boss bakery. I used to watch that show a lot so this was one place I wanted to go.  I didn't want to wait in line for two hours we we just went to the time square location instead of the original Hoboken one.
I got the famous cannoli and lobster tail.  They were delicious and after eating the cannoli I had to take a break before the lobster tail.  They were just so sweet.  Bob got the other thing and it was also good.
After that we did more bus tours.  First up was the uptown loop.
We stopped at the cathedral church of St. John the Divine.  It was amazingly detailed and so beautiful.  The inside even had beautiful artwork and stained glass windows.
Right down the street from that was Toms Restaurant.  Anyone recognize it?
It is the dinner they always go to in the show Seinfiled.  The inside looked way different though so I am guessing that was filmed somewhere else.

Next we stopped at Grants tomb and then got on the Harlem loop.
We had to go to Yankee Stadium.
So this next picture is of the police outside.  Everyone kept talking about how safe the city is now but I wanted to include this because we always saw cops out on the street arresting people.  I guess if you factor in how many people live there vs incident it is pretty safe. I don't know, but I saw cop cars and hear sirens all the time.  Everyone we talked to was very nice to us.  Some people even stopped us and asked if we needed directions.  No one was rude or made fun of us because we were obviously tourists.
Here the the Apollo theater where Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson and so many more all sang.
This next building is the Guggenheim we recognized it from MIB.
There was so much to see we didn't always have time to sit down and eat.  So we ate at food carts.  Bob didn't love it, but I didn't mind.
Later that day we rode the gondala over to Roosevelt Island.  It was fun and had a great view.  The first time we rode it I was grumpy because I lost my $30 subway pass and had to buy a new one.  So we rode it again and I felt better.  If you watch the show White Collar (Bob and I do) then you might remember when the main character rides it.  I think he climbs out and does something crazy.

The view was once again beautiful.  We were lucky because the weather was great the entire time we were there.  It hovered around 80 which was perfect for us.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

NYC 2

We crammed in so much on that first day, we did the most tours and saw the most sites.  I'll just highlight my favorites for you.  This first in the UN.  They have flags from each country in the front and at the end of the work day they all go down one at a time.  They were just finishing up when we arrived so we saw some of the flags going down.
We also drove through china town and saw what the tour guide described as the best resturaunt they had.

That same day we did a Brooklyn tour that was probably our favorite tour of the entire thing.  The tour guide was just very informative and fun.  He talked about different movies that were filmed in front of his house and all about the interesting architecture.  We made sure to stop at Grimaldhis the famous pizza place.  It was delicious. I love brick oven pizza.
And right down by the water in Brooklyn has a good view of the city.  I didn't realized how big Brooklyn was.  I'm not sure if I'm remembering right so you might want to look it up, but I think they said 2 million people.
This is the day we saw Rockefeller center and madison square garden.  The NBC studio is also right there and we tried to get Jimmy Fallen tickets but we couldn't.  Bob and I both tried to get the online the exact second they were available but they got taken up.
So instead we checked out their store.

Then we went to the top of the rock and saw one of the best views of the city.  It was crazy how far we saw.  I debated going during the day or at night and I'm still not sure which would have been better.  I could see much further because it was day, and it is easier to take pictures in the day.  But I think it would have been so beautiful at night with all the lights shining.  I decided that if we ever do it again we will go at night.
The view is great because you can walk around and see in every direction.  The first picture is neat because you can see central park behind us.  I didn't realized it was an exact rectangle in the middle of the city.  The second picture is fun too because you can see the empire state building and other really tall buildings.
We finished the night out with a night tour.  It drove all around Manhattan and Brooklyn.  They lights were fun to look at.  This tour guide recited poems about the Brooklyn bridge and the Statue of Liberty.  He also played music that originated in NY.
We were so exhausted by the end of the day, but I had a blast.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Anniversary Gift Ideas

As you know Bob and I just celebrated our 8th anniversary.  The years keep going by so fast coming up with a gift can sometimes feel like a burden.  That is why I wanted to make a post talking about perfect anniversary gifts.

Now this isn't an all inclusive list, it's just a few things I like.  I am big into gifts that are meaningful. If I can tell the giver put some thought into the present that makes it ten times better.  I also love photography and not spending a lot of money.

Here are a few of my favorites, a few from my past and hopefully some from the future (hint hint).

1. Anniversary Card- I'm not talking about a boring run of the mill card you pick up at the grocery store.  If you go here and have a look they have tons of anniversary cards where you can upload your own pictures to make it unique.  Just write a meaningful and personal message inside and you have a great gift to either add on to something else or stand alone.

2. Iphone case- It seems like everyone these days has a smart phone so what better then a new case it your picture on it?  They have some really cute designs that would not only make your phone stand out but look amazing at the same time.  The thing I like about this gift idea is that it will actually get used.  So often it seems like presents get put up on the shelf and ignored but this is something that will get used day in and day out.
3. Photobook- One of my favorites.  Think about making one with pictures of the last year together.  Or maybe one with your wedding pictures that never get looked at.  We have given these as gifts several times and they are always a big hit.  Go here to check them out.


4. Photo pillow- These photo pillows are adorable and really comfy.  You can have one made with your exact bedroom or living room colors.  Or one with a funny saying, or even a picture of you guys as a couple.  The possibilities are endless.

I think I need to email this post to my husband for our next anniversary.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

New York #1

For our eighth anniversary Bob and I decided to go on a trip.  This was our first big trip alone since our honeymoon and we decided to go to New York.  It was Amazing!
That first picture is probably my favorite out of all 800+ we took.
But for our trip we needed to do it as cheap as possible, which meant visiting all the free tourist stops and taking the bus from Cincinnati.  Neither Bob nor I had ever done a long bus ride before but we were optimistic.  It only cost $240 for both of us round trip and we wouldn't have been able to do it if we had to buy plane tickets.  We did have one little (ok big) hiccup though.  Our bus left Cincinnati Sunday night at 8:30 and was supposed to get to New York at 9:00am Monday morning.  We were planing on sleeping on the bus but in the middle of the night the bus driver pulled over.  He didn't really speak English so we had no idea what was going on.  After a few hours on the side of the road in Pittsburg we got in a van a couple at a time and sat at a gas station for a few more hours.  Long story short the bus broke down and we waited for 7 hours for the next one the whole time not knowing what was going on.  It was pretty miserable, but it could have been worse.  We could have had our kids with us.  Here is a picture of Bob waiting with our stuff at the gas station, this was taken before the owner came out and made us move around back near the stinky dumpsters.
We ended up arriving Monday afternoon and we were pretty beat.  Our plans for the day were ruined so we found something to eat and just headed back to our place.  I'm so glad I planed an extra day in our trip to do whatever we wanted.  We ended up using it on the first day, but we didn't end up missing out on anything we really wanted to see, I just had to rearrange our schedule.
Hotels in NYC are crazy expensive so we tried out Airbnb.  For those who don't know it is a website online where anyone can rent out anything from their couch to their spare apartment.  We ended up with a basement apartment off someones house in NY.  It was perfect for us.  The only downside was it was about 45 minutes away from the city.  I was worried that it wouldn't be safe but it was in the Ironbound area which I guess was ok.  I felt pretty safe but just wasn't used to being a minority and there being lots of people out on the street at midnight.

Here's Bob infront of our place with his backpack.  We each just packed one backpack for the week.
For the next two days we did hop on hop off bus tours.  This was the best investment we made!  For only $50 we saw pretty much everything.  We saw so many cool things we would never have been able to look up or even think of to go see ourselves. (Bob was chewing gum in the picture but it was the only one of us on the bus so I'm sharing anyway.)
One of our first stops was at the 9/11 memorial.  They built these two amazing square fountains in place of the towers.  Around the edges was engraved the names of all the people who died.  It was beautiful but sad at the same time.
The next is a picture of the survivor tree at ground zero.  Although severely damaged it made it through the attacks and is now growing strong.
A rose is placed on each victims name on their birthday.
Also while on the bus tours we saw so many places where they film movies and tv shows.  Here is a picture of me on the courthouse steps where they film NCIS.
This next one is a picture of where they filmed the Bill Cosby show.  There were seriously so many, I can't even remember them all.
I though this next building was cool.  It has the swerve design so each apartment can have sunlight.  But the coolest part is that it has it's own elementary school for the kids who live in it.  Imagine, taking your child to school would be only an elevator ride away.

Later that day we saw a bus accident with one of the exact hop on hop off tour buses we were on. Traffic was insane there, it's no wonder everyone rides the subway.
I have so much to share about our trip, this will just have to do for now :)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Onmimax Skyline and the Roeblin Bridge

While in Cincinnati we had a couple days to relax and visit with family.  For those who don't know Cincinnati is right on the boarder of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.  So we made a stop in Kentucky and walked on this beautiful bridge.

The architect was John A.  Roebling and it was built in 1867.  He is the same person who designed and died building the Brooklyn bridge.  I thought it looked cool.
After that we took the kids to the Omnimax.  It's pretty much like an Imax but more of a dome shape where the picture goes above your head as well.  I thought the kids would love it but all four were scared to death.  Penelope was the least scared and she calmed down after a minute.  Scarlett and Tucker were also upset but managed to watch it ok.  I had no idea that it would be a scary thing.  Leon kept his face in bobs arm and faced the seat during almost the entire movie.  They are right in the middle and it was pretty high up.
We also went and visited Grandma Woestman at her new place with Aunt Dot.
And Uncle Bill and Aunt Nancy.
No trip to Cincinnati is complete without a trip to Skyline Chili.  Skyline is a different kind of chili that is a little more runny and you put it over noodles like spaghetti.  I think it is ok, but some people think it is the best ever.


It was nice to go back to where Bob grew up.  I only wish it wasn't so humid and muggy there!

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