Sunday, August 3, 2014

New York!!!!

On July 24th we jetted off to New York! We had a sweet deal in front of us bc Chase's dad was going to Buffalo for work and his work covered the hotel and rental car.... so if we could scrounge up the money for the flights and other minimal expenses- we could party in new york for half the cost!!! Nevertheless, our bank account is quite low right now! But we can work our butts off again and enjoy the memories we created. It was a TRIP OF A LIFETIME!! Everything went perfectly and we had so much fun. We had the city life, amish life, the spiritual life, the canada life, and the family life! I am so grateful we got to go and now can share over 90 pictures with you.... brace yourself. 
the flight over wasn't my favorite. we flew down to houston and then to laguardia.... so it was a 10 hour day with 7 hours of flying. capri did well enough and we were so happy to land in new york!

oh yah...... so sometimes ciara reads this and sometimes she doesn't. but i'll spill the beans here. 
we played a prank on ciara and told her we met andy grammar in the houston airport, waited in a huge crowd to get to him, and finally got to speak with him. 
I took a picture with a random guy sitting next to us who looked NOTHING like andy grammar..... but she still bought it. 
she is obsessed with andy grammar and even cried on the phone bc she was so disappointed she wasn't there to meet him. she was already upset she wasn't coming to ny so we decided this prank added to that longing to be with us. we are a loving family. 

we love you ci ci!
ok moving on.

our first glimpse of the concrete jungle, NYC! we got in at midnight, got to our hotel and in bed by 2 AM, and headed out to NYC the next morning at 7 AM. So we were very tired but we didn't want to waste a minute during our one day in the Big Apple and it was such an amazing day! 

Also.... my in-laws read a lot about new york city and their bed bugs.... so this happened at 2 AM at our hotel. bahaha

we took the subway (interesting with a baby) to Battery Park and headed on the Ferry to Liberty Island (aka where the Statue of Liberty is). This was our first glimpse of the skyline and so we took a selfie.

half the fam on the trip. i swear dave and julie were always with us.... yet mia in our pics. classic. 

there she is! in all her glory. it was surreal to finally be in new york and looking at the statue of liberty!

a thousand pics! you're welcome.

we were able to capture the best view of the city from Liberty Island! I fell in love with New York in a day! 
We now plan to move to northwest New York state and live 3-4 hours away from Manhattan. Perfect set up. 
Capri is a world traveler!

See, the rest of the fam!!

Then we ferried on over to Ellis Island. 
It looked just like Hitch portrayed and it was cool to read the stories!

when we got back to the main island we walked the few blocks down to the 9-11 memorial for our tour there. we passed broadway and wallstreet and other famous buildings that slipped my mind. 

they have these two amazing fountains (this doesn't do it justice.)
so i added one from the internet.

being at ground zero and learning about the construction, annihilation, and rebuilding of the twin towers and memorial & the pre and aftermath of the war and lives of the victims. it was a sombering, amazing couple of hours. the memorial was incredible with a lot of preserved items from the wreckage and personal stories. 

and across the street from 9-11 memorial, our good friend Ee Chien (singapore high school buddy) was working. So we visited with him and he showed us some delicious lamb over rice vendors. We have always loved Ee and it was cool that last month he was at our house in Provo and now we met up in New York! 

then it was on the subway again to Central Park! We paid $60 for an hour tour of Central Park on these bike thingies. It was so worth it and we were able to learn so much of the history and cool stories about the park from our tourguide that we would have missed had we walked. Dave and Julie were in one bike and we were in the other right alongside them- we took up most of the path. 
And walking would have taken all day. Julie and I both agree that when we visit New York again, we will spend a whole day in this beautiful park!! And obviously our tour guide was a champion for lugging Chase, me, and the baby up and down the hills of central park. It was quite humorous at times. We paid him a genorous tip! 
Chase's camera started taking pics in a weird mode but the pics are still delightful to me. 

it was a beautiful park with bridges, hills, street performers, canoeing, sunbathers, etc. 

Capri slept half the time so that was awesome. A famous fountain in the park from Enchanted and what not- the name has slipped my mind. And my fab father-in-law photo bombing. 

the most expensive apartments in NYC behind us.
and we kept our eyes peeled for Brangelina since our tour guide showed us where the live and like to hang out. They were hiding from us- sorry, Cody!

the Friends fountain. 

after our lovely afternoon in central park, we walked to Times Square. You can see Time Square down the road from Central Park. I loved being in the city and seeing how all the famous sites related to each other geographically. 
unfortunately on this walk, capri lost her bottle. when she is done drinking or eating, she takes her bottle or leftover food and tosses them on the ground. I didn't see her discard the bottle- but luckily I brought multiple into the city with us! that is the only item i lost on our whole trip so i'm quite pleased with the # of casualties. 

Time Square with my love!
and in panorama. 
it was quite the busy place. obvy.
bible preachers. lunatics running around and screaming. palestine protesters. photo shoots. etc. 

last stop in the city was central station. i didn't see serena, blair, or chuck but we still had a beautiful tour!

and our awesome hotel was in china town so we had the best dinner at this cute chinese restaurant late that night. 
everywhere we ate- julie had trip advisored and did her research... so we ate like royalty. and now i must do a cleanse for the next week so i don't feel like an umpa lumpa. 

oh yah and these gems. i've always wanted to do a character thingy.... hahahahahha. julie swears it looks like us but i'm not so sure. what to do with these babies? we have no wall space......

and i absolutely love this piece that we bought. it's hanging in our house right now. this was done by a street vendor from spray paint. we saw youtube videos (LINK here) before our trip- bc we googled and researched as much as we could. we were so happy to find someone making them and we LOVE it. we got a frame from hobby lobby and it made it safely home. 

the next day we drove to Buffalo. 6 hours of beautiful scenery! it was fun to drive the streets of nyc as we left. and we passed through scranton, pennsylvania so of course we stopped there and ate lunch at the best pizzeria (it was a very small restaurant but worth the detour! thank you, trip advisor). and we all headed out to the car and julie went to the bathroom. the owner and waiter had thought we had all left and when julie came out of the bathroom she heard them say, "i just loved them! what a fantastic family...." 
that makes ya feel good :)

the next morning we drove to the canada side of niagara falls! it was just an hour trip from our hotel and i loved this part of the trip!
it was awesome walking along the boardwalk and feeling the mist from over a mile away. what a crazy part of mother nature.
 it was sunday, so it was nice to bask in god's beauty and see his creations as a family. 
what a lovely site.

chase and i didn't realize our shirts clashed so much in color but i try not to let it bother me ;) fwp (right, grant?!) oh that reminds me- i have to get to baking and writing for his package tomorrow. he will get his raincoat tomorrow, mamma. 

and the next day was monday. dave's last day of freedom before he had to get to work so we went to the church sites. 
it was amazing being in a visitor center area again and feeling the spirit of the sites and sisters. i just love church sites!
i had never been to palmyra, ny- and it was such a special place and the Spirit of God was everywhere with intensity!

it was raining that morning but it didn't stop us from getting out and seeing the sites fully. we left the baby in the car for this view. we first stopped at the hill cumorah and the hill cumorah visitor center. 

then we walked the grounds of the Palmyra Temple

next, it was off to the smith residences. 
it was incredible to be standing in the home where the Angel Moroni appeared to Joseph about the Book of Mormon. I had an enlightening moment when one of the sisters was talking- Joseph Smith was just as important to Moroni as Moroni was to Joseph. Moroni prepared his whole life to give the plates to Joseph and waited almost 1000 years for him to be born and prepared to translate them into the Book of Mormon! Heavy!
their property was 100 acres and I could picture their humble, hard-working, big family life! 

and next to their home is the sacred grove (which was the best part of the day. all i can say is WOW!)
it was amazing to picture God, the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ, coming down into that Sacred Grove. As the rain stopped and the sun came out- you could see how the crowded trees still had pockets of sunlight  shining down and the reality of what took place in this grove almost 200 years ago really hit me again! what an amazing time to be living with the gospel back on the earth and the sacrifice of the saints.
it was really special to stop on the path and have Chase read about Joseph's First Vision from the scriptures with Capri  and feel the reverance and solitude. I'll always remember that. 

we also went to David Whitmer's farm where the first church meeting was held and many baptisms took place.
the sister missionaries then suggested an amazing amish grocery store, called Sauders, down the road. they were true to their word. it was delicious and i loved talking with the Mennonite workers and they answered a lot of my curious questions. what great people who really know how to make great food! and i'm glad a couple days later we went to more amish communities.

the next day we went to downtown buffola and went to the botanical gardens and toured some of the churches. i've never seen so many grand, old(er- for america's age) churches than in the state of new york. 

so the buffola botanical gardens are famous for their corpse flowers. i don't have a pic of it- i need to get it from my mother. oh i'll just google it- here you go

so here is a pic of the corpse flower "morty". these flowers smell like death apparently. when we were there it wasn't in bloom so the smell wasn't too stinky. but it does attract a lot of flies- so the venus fly traps were in heaven. 
and as we were leaving we saw that i was scheduled to bloom in 9 days (they only bloom for 24 hours) and chase asked how often they bloom and the worker said every 6-10 years. chase was really chapped off and it was hilarious (to julie and i) that we missed it and would be flying home 5 days too soon. 

the gardens were beautiful and i must say a little tidbit about capri. the only thing i was worried about with this trip was capri's sleeping aka grumpy tiredness. we shared a hotel room with all 5 of us- 2 queens and a crib. and i didn't know how well she'd do with sleeping in a shared room. but she was a champ! we toted her all over new york and she slept great at night and in her carseat like a pro! i'm so proud of that little girl and grateful she helped make our trip so enjoyable!  

and later that night we ate out once again. and found this cool sculpture of the famous empire state building construction photo. and buffalos were everywhere.... so yah. 

the next day was amish day! we spent the whole day driving through quaint little towns and after 2 hours got to the amish community and i LOVED it!!! we found this homemade cheese that we obsessed over. when we finished our first buyings, we turned the car around and went and bought more. SOO good. and the bread and fudge- i am becoming amish for the lifestyle and food. it seems like a happy way of life! and i once again asked a lot of questions to the people we met. i asked about epidurals. they didn't know what i was talking about at first- but eventually i learned that i can be amish and still have epidurals. so yah i'm hooked. 

and p.s. my mother-in-law was the only one legally registered to drive the rental and that was a riot on its own because she drives VERY slow. and it was proven to us in the amish community when the horse and buggy were flying by her. we all had a good laugh about that. 
chase wouldn't get out of the car to take it but you can still picture the beauty of this land.

our amish baby!

and i gave her her first taste of lemon

and some of mine and chase's morning was playing in the hallway with her until everyone else woke up
oh and she learned to crawl the DAY before we left for new york. i was relieved that my 10 month old finally learned to crawl so i wasn't too stressed that we'd have a mobile baby on our hands. it mad the trip more interesting and more hazardous but also more fun! 

and a little firedrill practice. what would i do if the whole building was on fire and chase passed out? 
it has been decided that i would kiss him goodbye, take capri, and see him in heaven. there is NO WAY i could move him. i hurt my back with this exercise. 

and on our last full day in new york. we went back to canada. toured, walked around, and had fun at the beach!!
buffalo from the canada side. 

this little heart melter!

the weather the whole week was in the 70's (perfection!!!) and the water was still surprisingly warm and we had a great time swimmingin lake erie. 

and on the way home from canada, we played a trick on julie. chase was the navigator (the whole trip) and as we were getting onto the freeway he screams "no, no, wrong way!!!" and i never heard such loud profanity out of julie's mouth and swerving and since we all stayed safe, we laugh about it. julie is still upset about it! if only i had thought to video it. so funny.

and the last story. the iphone miracle. on our flight back home, we stopped through detroit. Our plane was delayed 1.5 hours which was a good thing (now that we look back) bc chase left his phone on the last plane and we needed the time to find it.. we called the gate and they checked the plane and they couldn't find it. an hour later we are still looking for it in bags and anywhere we can think of and then chase remembered the Find My Iphone app. We looked it up and spotted it- it was on our old plane (which still hadn't taken off- another miracle). We ran over their (on the other side of this massive airport) and had to persuade the gate worker to look again bc our map says its on there. Long story short- she found it in the plane. and it was such a weight lifted off our shoulder. buying a new phone right now?..... not ideal. and we never prayed so hard and prayed so gratefully afterwards either. ok that's it. 

so our trip was a blast. it was full and crazy and amazing. i am so grateful we got to go with dave and julie and we will have this trip to remember forever!!! 

(p.s. i did not proof read this. i'm going to be late for church. so i must go.)


THRASH it SHRED it FLIP it SLICE it FLY it TAP it POW it said...

glad you had a great time and made so many new memories at some great places.

Cam said...

What an awesome trip!! I'm so glad y'all got to go! And seriously, cutest family ever.