Monday, July 25, 2011

Two Days in New York

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My first impression of New York was that it was dirty, smelly, and just plain gross. The day I arrived, the temps were in the 80s and it was HUMID! No sun; just a hot, sweaty, smelly place. The subway tunnels were like an oven, and they were baking garbage and urine.

I decided to drop off my luggage at a luggage storage company and take the Staten Island Ferry. I figured I’d get a view of the Statue of Liberty and a breeze. The day was not a good one for photography—all hazy and gray—but that didn’t stop people on the ferry from crowding along the sides of the ferry to grab their shot. Here’s my crappy view. I took one picture and decided it wasn’t worth it. Better ones can easily be found on the internet.

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After the trip, I headed back to where my luggage was located which happened to be in the same neighborhood as Macy’s and the Empire State building. I had a look around Macy’s, which is HUGE! They had these old wooden escalators…

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and a couch where I took a little rest and thought “wouldn’t it be nice to have a non-broken, comfy couch like this at my house.

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I just looked at the Empire State building. No need for a tour. I needed a nap. But I didn’t get one because I spent almost 30 minutes sweating in the subway tunnel waiting for the number 1 train to take me to Columbia.

Today we were given some interesting ideas on how to use music to teach history, with a performance by Bob, the sheriff. (I don’t think he’s a real sheriff.) That was followed by a “Gangs of New York” tour, where I got completely drenched from today’s rain (no umbrella or rain coat) and saw this:

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(From Law and Order and totally unrelated to the gangs of New York, although modern day gang members may find themselves here sometimes).

Yesterday I walked past this:

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and this:

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(from Ghostbusters—in case you didn’t know).

Here’s a little view of my room. Dorm life is smaller in New York. This is actually a double room, although in my opinion it is just too small for two people.

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There is a second bed, just out of view next to this one, with less than a foot of space between them. Better like your roommate! Glad I don’t have one.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mosquitoville, USA

This place is seriously thick with mosquitoes. We have had to be well-armed and sticky with layers of bug repellant and sunscreen before leaving the house. The boys really want to make s’mores every night, but no one was willing to stay outside with all the bugs, so the s’mores operation was moved inside tonight. Nothing says camping fun like roasting marshmallows on an electric stove in the kitchen.

We’ve spent two days exploring Yellowstone and torturing Simon along the way. We saw a lot of interesting things (at least I thought so); Simon had a different viewpoint. His looked something like this…

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this…

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this…

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and even this…

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I thought he might enjoy all the wildlife we saw in the park, and he was sort of impressed with the bears.

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The buffalo in the middle of the street was mildly entertaining.

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He missed out on the snake because he stayed in the car.

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He wanted to take the ground squirrel home for Freckles to play with.

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The elk was just ho-hum.

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He really wasn’t impressed with Yellowstone until the very end of day two. After multiple slow-downs while people stopped driving in the middle of the road to get out and take pictures of the buffalo, Torsten lost his patience and was getting upset with the slow drivers in front of us. “It’s just a stupid buffalo. We’ve seen like a million of these,” he said. Then Steve looked over and said, “But how many have you seen pooping?” And that was it. Simon was finally impressed. When we got back to the house and someone asked how his day at Yellowstone was, he replied, “It was awesome!”

P.S. Here are some of the cool things I saw. Simon was too busy complaining to notice.

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Middle of Nowhere, Idaho

He we are in the middle of nowhere, otherwise known as Island Park, Idaho. It’s rustic, but pretty. Day one included a float trip that required more paddling than anticipated. I did not do much of the paddling, but it was a lot of work for those who did. I mostly sat back and enjoyed the scenery.

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Boys in one boat:

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Moose:

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Baby moose:

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Friday, April 1, 2011

Break from Winter

We took a break from winter this Spring and found Summer in the desert. Here are some of the highlights.

Randall Henderson Trail:


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Swimming at the WorldMark:

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Tahquitz Canyon:

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More swimming:

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Aerial Tramway to San Jacinto Mountain:

IMG_0543 San Jacinto Mountain IMG_0558 Amazing View

The Living Desert:

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Boys trying to get water from the misters at the Living Desert (90 degrees at 10:00 in the morning):


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We are now sitting in the Oakland airport waiting to get back to winter weather. It was a good trip. We may have to go back next year.