Sunday, May 31, 2009

I Heart NY (and Boston)!

If you look up "slacker" in the dictionary, chances are you will find a picture of me! But seriously, I have been quite busy these past couple of weeks! I finally left Salem on May 15. I drove to Boise, then Salt Lake, then flew to New Hampshire, drove to Boston and then drove to New York. A crazy couple of days for sure but SO MUCH FUN!! This promises to be a lengthy post, so buckle up!!

I flew into Manchester on Monday night. Kim picked me up and we drove to her house which is just outside of Boston. Tuesday we went to Boston and did all sorts of fun things! I have never been to Boston so everything was a fun, new experience for me! We went to Faneuil Hall Marketplace and looked around and shopped a little. We walked almost the entire Freedom Trail and saw some cool historical sites, including Paul Revere's house and the Old North Church.
That's me in front of some random fountain in Boston. Notice my sweet wannabe Coach sunglasses that I got for $12. I also had my first cannoli while in Boston! YUM! I think people thought I was a little weird for taking a picture of a pastry, but it was quite a momentus occasion!
We also saw the USS Constitution which was really quite cool!
We then decided we were kind of hungry. We were walking around in Boston and saw a sign advertising a 1 lb. lobster meal for $13! I couldn't believe my eyes! Apparently prices like that are common back east, but you're lucky to get a lobster tail for $35 in Utah or anywhere else I've lived! So we went on in and had some delicious lobster! Unfortunately, we showed up about .5 second before some pub crawl! Needless to say, we couldn't even hear ourselves chewing. The lobster was still awesome and the waitress even gave us a free piece of Boston Cream Pie to make up for the noise we had to endure. I got a little discombobulated with all the commotion so I failed to take a picture of my friend before I ate it. It was only the second time that I've had whole lobster so Kim had to give me a bit of help to get it all open. All in all a fantastic experience! Kim is a HUGE Red Sox fan so she took me by Fenway Park after we ate. There was a game going on so it was all lit up and the streets around the park were closed down.

I even saw the famous Citgo sign!
We were pooped by the end of the day and went back to Kim's house and crashed! On Wednesday, Kim took me to a fantastic seafood joint up in New Hampshire. It was right near the ocean and the lobster was only $11.99 per pound! Again, I was astounded at the price!! We each ordered up a 1.5 pounder and Kim got some steamers. I thought the lobster in Boston was good! This lobster was to die for! They were live and walking around before we got there. The guy picked them out of the tank and weighed them live right before us! Talk about an amazing meal! Again, I was slacking on the photography and didn't get a picture. I don't know what the heck was wrong with me! We also had some lobster bisque soup. Also delightful!! Kim took me over to the beach and the weather was not the best but we saw some really nice houses. We decided to head over to Salem (Mass, not Oregon!) and check out the witch history there! On our way there, Kim spoke to a friend who had some Red Sox tickets that she wasn't going to be able to use. So we scored some tickets to the game that night against the Blue Jays for $30! I was so excited! I had never been to a major league baseball game. Unfortunately, we had to make just a quick drive through Salem so we could get back to Boston for the game. I only got a couple of pictures.
We ended up being late to the game, but I got a Fenway Frank!! We showed up in the fifth inning right in time for all the action! The Red Sox scored 5 home runs in that inning right after we got there! And our seats were pretty darn good! We were 11th row right up behind the bullpen. Kim was pretty excited because Papelbon was down there warming up for a bit. I was just excited all around because it was my first MLB experience! And to have it at Fenway Park was awesome!

What a fun night!! Definitely an experience I will never forget!

On Thursday, Kim drove me out to Long Island to my brother's house. It was kind of a long day, especially for Kim! Traffic near NYC and out to Long Island was pretty crappy. So what should have been an 8 hour round trip ended up taking Kim close to 12 hours. Ugh. I'm just glad she finally made it home! I got to my brother's around 4:00. I was so excited to see my niece, Amaria! I haven't seen her since Thanksgiving. She has grown about a foot. We hung out in the back yard and then picked my dad up from La Guardia later that night. My dad and I stayed in a hotel so we wouldn't crowd my brother and everyone else in the house! On Friday, I went to New York City for my very first time! It was amazing! I am already anxious to go back. My brother wanted to go to the Empire State Building first. Apparently he has tried to go several times but the weather has always been crappy so visibility has been zero. We arrived at Penn Station and walked over to the Empire State Building. I think we waited in line for over 2 hours so everyone was a little cranky by the time we got to the top. But of course the views were amazing!

As you can see, it was slightly crowded up there! After we finally got down from the top, we are all starving. Fortunately, there was a genuine hot dog vendor out on the corner! So we all got hot dogs and drinks, and Robert got some meat on a stick. Amaria was pretty excited about her hot dog! So was my dad! This is them in front of the hot dog cart.
We took a cab up to Central Park and the Museum of Natural History. We walked through the park and went up to the Jackie Onassis Reservoir. The weather was beautiful and there were a lot of runners and joggers and people just enjoying the sun and the park.

This is me and Melissa in Central Park.
And of course cute Amaria in the park.
We went to the Museum of Natural History next. They had a butterfly exhibit in there and Amaria about died! She loves butterflies! It was actually really cool. There were all sorts of colorful butterflies flying around everywhere. The room was kept at 80 degrees and humid so my hair was nice and frizzy by the time we were done.

We made it over to the dinosaur exhibit but after that the museum was closing so we didn't get to see the other exhibits we were looking forward to. Oh well. Maybe next time.
By this time, our hot dogs from earlier had pretty much worn off. We decided to take a cab up to Times Square and then catch the train back to Long Island where we were going to eat at a bar b que joint that my brother really likes. I got to ride in the front seat of the cab. Just a little bit scary!! This is a picture of Robert looking like a convict in the back of the cab.
We were almost to Times Square when Melissa spotted the Stage Deli. If you haven't heard of the Stage Deli, it's a fantastic deli where the sandwiches are named after celebrities who have actually come in and designed the sandwich. And the sandwiches are HUGE! The cabbie pulled over and let us out. My sandwich was awesome!! I had the Mel Brooks (turkey, pastrami and swiss).
Don't worry, I only ate half of it! It was so good! And their Russian dressing topped it off nicely! After our gigantic meal, we walked over to Times Square. There were about a million people there even though there wasn't really anything going on. This is the crystal ball they drop on New Year's Eve. Not anywhere near as big as it looks on TV!

By this time we were all pretty beat. We walked back to Penn Station and rode the train back to Long Island. A productive, awesome and exciting day!

Saturday, we went out to Montauk which is at the very end of Long Island. There's a lighthouse there.

There's a tour of the lighthouse but we didn't go on it because we were all pretty hungry. We stopped at a seafood joint on the side of the road and everyone had a different kind of seafood. I had lobster salad on a roll (yes, I love lobster!). It was delicious! We drove through some ritzy long island towns including the Hamptons. Talk about some mansions! We went back to Robert and Melissa's and had some authentic New York pizza! I don't think I will ever be the same! Pizza Hut just isn't going to cut it anymore! Sunday was a pretty laid back day. Melissa's mom had a gigantic bbq, and we just hung out at the house and played in the yard. My dad left on Monday night so it was also a pretty laid back day. We did some more hanging out and a little shopping. The weather had been perfect for my entire trip!! On Tuesday it started clouding up and even rained that night. Tuesday and Wednesday I just hung out with my brother and we went to White Castle for some burgers! yummy! We played some Trivial Pursuit on the Wii and just had a good time! My flight left on Wednesday evening and I finally made it back to Salt Lake late Wednesday night!

So here I am in Salt Lake! I was supposed to take a charting class for HCA facilities (St. Mark's) on Thursday but it was full. So as a result, I haven't been able to work at those hospitals with the greatest need, which means I haven't been working at all! It is definitely nice to have some time off, but unfortunately bills still have to be paid! The next class isn't offered until June 10th so hopefully I can get some shifts at other hospitals in the mean time. We shall see. It is definitely good to be back home! There are about ten million birthday parties and other things going on in June. It promises to be a busy month! I went out to my home site on Thursday and they haven't even broken ground yet! How annoying! I don't have a frame start date yet so I don't have an estimated date of completion. Hopefully I will get that in the next couple of days. And of course I haven't heard a peep from Westminster. They are now telling me that I should have an answer by June 8th. I will believe that when I see it!

Whew! Talk about a marathon post!!! That is my life for the past couple of weeks! A fabulously fun vacation! Hopefully I can get back to work soon and my house will at least get started!

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

I'm sorry to say that I don't have any pictures to post, but I am going to make a post anyway because I have a feeling it will probably be a long while before I have time to post again. I wonder if I could have said post a few more times in that last sentence? Anyway...things are moving along at lightning speed! And going quite well, too! I made an exceptionally quick trip to Salt Lake last Tuesday to Thursday. I finalized all my choices for the inside and outside of my house. It was so much fun! I also met with them and finalized the plans for the house. This was a little over my head, but I chose placement for all the outlets, phone jacks and tv boxes, among other things. It was so great to have my dad there with me for all of these meetings! He gave me a lot of helpful insight not only from someone who has owned a house but someone who has built them, too. I think I probably would have made some different decisions that I wouldn't have been as happy with in the long run. I also wrote a very large check which means they should be starting on the house any time now! I can't wait for any progress at all! I'm so excited! The house next door was just being framed the last time I was in Salt Lake if I remember correctly. Now it is almost all the way done. I snooped around inside and it looks like all that is left to do is lay the carpet and the paint touch up stuff. My lot remains unchanged. Otherwise I would have taken photos! I know how much you would all love to see a hole in the ground, right?

I have a mere two shifts left here at Salem Hospital. This is the light at the end of my tunnel! I really have liked working here and I have enjoyed everyone that I work with. I am just anxious to get home and get on with my life, I guess. I am also heading to Boston and New York on Monday. Can't wait!! I'm sure there will be pictures to post after that trip. Unless my stupid camera breaks right the middle of it! So...I am leaving Salem for good this Friday morning. I'm going to spend Friday night and probably Saturday in Boise with my dad and then head to Salt Lake. My cousin and her husband are being so kind and have my room all ready! I think it will be a fun four months! However, I am not excited for it to be revealed to others how lazy I really am! Oh well.

I hope everyone had a great mother's day!! This is the first mother's day that I haven't been with my mom. Kind of sad but I guess we will all live.

Everyone have a great couple of weeks and think about me while I am living it up in Boston and NYC!!