Monday, November 30, 2015

Family, Turkey, and Macy's

Sunday at Sur La Table we had a 8 year old girls birthday party.  She had 9 friends at the party.  For the birthday party they had nice red Sur La Table aprons.  It was an all chocolate class!  Chocolate chip cookies, chocolate bark, chocolate covered strawberries, and chocolate soufflĂ©.  The soufflĂ© was wonderful!  It was a fun class!

Sunday evening I was talking to my friend Lon at Starbucks.  He was wearing a cowboy hat and never does so we talked about that.  He called me a Cowgirl then Lon was afraid it was an insult.  I explained that it is not an insult in Texas.

Tuesday, was the Thanksgiving service at Valley.  I had never been to a Thanksgiving service.  There were several baptisms.  Afterwards we had pie.  I was able to see some friends and had some good chats with folks.  Pat, my Connecticut mom, saw her friend Susan and Susan said they need help at their shipping store during the holidays.

Tuesday evening I stayed up late with Pat while she made pumpkin bread.  We chatted while she baked.  Pat gives very good advice.

Wednesday, I babysat for the family that has 3 kids.  Todd, my Connecticut dad got me that job.  I took the two younger kids - 4 and 2 to the park.  There older sister was at school.  Their mom is awesome.  She just left me the car keys and said feel free to take them somewhere.  The kids are very obedient to.  They are a great family!

Later Wednesday I went over to Mikes parents house to help them rake leaves.  I ended up just talking to Mikes mom, Marcia, the whole time.  She is awesome!  Very nice lady.  She showed me the woods in their back yard.  Marcia told me how she likes to go on hikes in the back their while its snowing.  Marcia made me tea.  It was wonderful!  She is very good at making tea.  Marcia knows a lot about tea!
Mike and I went for a walk around this reservoir.  We went at sunset.  It was very pretty!  Mike said there are a ton of places like that.

That evening I talked with Todd and helped him make apple sauce.  He got fresh apples from the orchard.

Thursday I woke up at 3:45 I meet Stephen and Gave in West Hartford.  The bus left at 5 to go into New York to see the parade.  We got to the city a little before 7.  The bus dropped us off at the Plaza. We looked for a good spot and decided to stay.
We saw many police!  Probably the most I have seen!  Gave and I said we aren't sure if this makes us feel more or less safe.  There were helicopters flying around.  We also saw police on top of buildings.  There were many many police everywhere you looked.
I meet some people that had a daughter about to graduate from NYU and had another daughter going to the University of Cincinnati.  They are from Cincinnati.
Stephen picked me up some hot chocolate from Starbucks.  He said it was a long line.  About an hour later he came back.
I walked around a little bit and tried to find a place to use the restroom.  No hotel would let you use the restroom.  Even most shops wouldn't let you in.  I found a bike store.  Don't know why they were open on Thanksgiving.  I asked if they had a restroom.  The man said maybe.  I asked if I could use it and he said yes.  It wasn't nice but it worked!
I was trying to get back to Stephen and Gabe.  The police began to barricade more and more things.  We couldn't walk on the street.  There was one section that was jam packed. The people didn't leave an aisle open.  One person trying to go the opposite way I was said you won't get through.  We have been trying to get through for an hour.  One little boy was crying.  Then, some more aggressive ladies came by.  One lady said she has to get to her yoga studio. Another lady said some people live here and we need to get home.  So there was about a group of 4 of us that stuck together trying to get our of this section.  We were slowly able to get past one crowd of people.  We got to the next crowd and were stuck again.  The aggressive lady was trying to get through.  These people wouldn't let her pass.  I asked her what our plan was.  She said these people won't let me through.  You try.  I tried and it didn't work.  The people said to get cozy.  This is a good place to watch the parade.  I was afraid we would be stuck there!  Then another lady came by and she said I have a pass.  She said we will show them the pass and they will have to let us through.  They didn't let us through.  They made fun of her for being a rich white lady.  They thought it was fun trying to see us get through.  We decided to go a different route.  One man let us through.  Everyone was mad at that man.  He said sorry, I guess I feel for it.  But, we were barricaded in.  It is impossible to get out!  We realized we couldn't get anywhere there so we went back.  The police forced these people to open up the walk way.  Then, we were barricaded in again.  This lady showed her pass to the police.  He said you will have to go around.  She explained how it was impossible.  She said I have a pass!  He said okay, how many people are with you?  She said yum, its just like me and my three kids.  So we got through!  It was funny because she was only about 10 years older than me.  One other lady with us was probably older than she was.  Another man there was counting and he counted 8 of us.  But, we got through!  We all thanked each other for the help.  I was able to get back to Stephen and Gabe.
The parade came to us around 9:30.  First there was a few black police cars that drove by.  Then, there was a large police van.   They had police men on every side of the van with these huge guns.  Then, the parade began!  It is much different to see the parade in person than on tv.  Some of the floats looked like they could be inflated more.  Many of the floats with celebrities were taking pictures of the crowds.  The circus de soleil float had a small ambulance behind it.  Those people were doing some crazy things on a moving float.  Later in the parade some older folks in the parade needed to rest I guess so they stopped.  One person with the parade picked them up on a golf cart.  The other two people hopped in a truck of another float.  I meet some people from New Orleans.  I was able to give the some advice about their trip here!  Who would have thought, the little Aggie giving New York tourists advice!

Once the parade was over thankfully walking back to the Plaza wasn't to difficult.  They still had everything barricaded so we had to go the long way.  Gabe and I grabbed something quick from the Plaza food court.
I went to the restroom.  Of course, the women's line was huge.

We meet the bus and had an easy ride home.  I was able to sleep for about an hour of the two hour ride.  It's hard not knowing towns well.  I wasn't really able to tell how close we were to being back.

After we got back I went straight to Uncle Paul's.  I played with Grace and Will in the backyard and talked to Danielle.  The kids remembered me and ran up and give me a big hug.  Grace had a very pretty dress on.  The table was set very nicely.  We had assigned seating at dinner and I switched my seat with Kara's so I could sit by her dad, Uncle Paul.  Later I said I hope that was okay if we switched she said well, I didn't think that was an option.  We had a great dinner.
I hung out with Uncle Paul and watched him edit pictures.  Paul and I watched a little of the Cowboys game.  Michael and Kara watched all of it.  The half time show is my favorite part.  That is the part Mike doesn't watch.  I brought some whipping cream.  Michael made it.  I was impressed by how well he made it. It was nice of him to make the whip cream I could watch the show.  We had apple, pumpkin, and I brought a chocolate pecan pie.  All of the pies were good.

I got home around 8:30.  There were still about 6 people over.  I got a few left overs and chatted with everyone for a bit.  I was helping clean up and Megan, my older sister said to sit down.  I went to bed kind of early because I was exhausted!

Friday I went to Starbucks, like usual.  I saw Jeff at Starbucks.  He used to live outside of Manhattan and went to NYU.  He has a lot of good information about the city and was giving me some good tips.

I came home to have Thanksgiving leftovers with the fam.
Todd, Pat, Amy and I went to pick out our tree.  They go to the same spot every year.  It's about 20 minutes away from our house.
When we arrived a man directed us and said there is a spot right in the front for y'all.  Todd jokingly said since we're regulars we get the good spot.
We saw Erin, my CT sister and her roommate there.  They had finished getting their tree.
At the tree farm they have several nice wreaths for sale and inside a small inside area you pay for your tree and they have orntaments for sale.  I bought an orntament that was cut from a tree and had a truck driving a Christmas tree.
We walked around to pick out the perfect tree.  Todd saw one right away that he liked.  We decided to keep walking.
There are trees with and without blue tags.  The trees with blue tags are a little cheaper.  The game is to find a good tree with a blue tag.  The Kenneys said at some tree farms you can go earlier in the year and put a tag on the tree and claim your tree.  When we went it was a perfect day!  The Kenneys said the weather is never that good.  They said usually you run in get the first good one you see and leave.  Since it was such a nice day many people were lingering longer than they would have if it wasn't a nice day.
We crossed a bridge to more trees.  We saw some people going back without a tree.  Pat asked them why they didn't get a tree.  The Kenneys said if you go out that far you are determined to get a tree.  In that area there were mostly bruce spruce trees that are spikey.  The Kenneys were explaining how it is hard to decorate because it is so spike and hurts.  We saw a bruce spruce tree we liked but no one would want to decorate it so we decided not to get it.
In that back area we finally found a good tree.  I wanted to cut it down since it was my first time.  I tried a little then Todd gave me some suggestions.  He said you have to sing a sad song while you cut.  He began singing "Nobody knows the Trouble I've Seen".  Then, I went back to cutting.   I sang "Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work we go."  It got harder to cut so I gave the saw back to Todd.  He said it's almost to the end and offered to let me cut it.  I cut it down and the tree fell.  Todd yelled "timber" and made sure the tree didn't fall on me.
Todd brought gloves for he and I.  We carried the tree back.  It was a long walk since we went over the bridge.  They do have carts you can wheel the tree on but I wanted the full experience.
At the tree farm they had a machine that would wrap the tree.  The Kenneys said they haven't always had that and it is helpful.
Pat got a wreath, Amy and I got hot chocolate.  The tree farm had supplies for free hot chocolate.  They also had marshmallows and candy canes too.  Todd tied the tree on top of the car.
Once we got home Todd sawed the tree a little since it wasn't a perfect line.  He also had to cut off a few branches so it would fit in the tree base.

Erin, and I meet Todd, Pat, and Amy at the AMC to watch Creed.  Todd got us reserved seats and we had perfect seats.  We got popcorn to all share.  Everyone in the theater was really into the movie.  People were cheering during the fight scenes.

After the movie Erin, Todd, Pat and I went to P.F. Chang at the mall.  Todd and I rode together and Pat and Erin rode together.  Todd and I made a reservation on the way there and Erin and Pat made a reservation on there way there too!  We thought it would be packed since it was at the mall on Black Friday.  The mall parking lot was full but not impossible to get into.  Thankfully P.F. Chang didn't have any wait so our reservation was unnecessary.  I don't know why they didn't have a wait since it is Black Friday at P.F. Chang is at the mall.  We got 3 appetizers and 3 entrees.  You've got to love P.F. Chang!  So good!

We came home and Pats sister sent us some baked goods.  That was a nice treat!

Saturday I spent most of the day at Starbucks.  I went to see the Good Dinosaur with Mikes mom and 8 year old nephew Hayden.  Hayden and I went to Starbucks to play cards while his Grandma, got a hair cut.  We played one round of War.  He won.  I taught Hayden how to play 21.  We played 3 rounds and he won all 3.

Later that evening I went to babysit.  I babysat the two girls I usually babysit and their two friends who I have babysat before.  I like it when we are all together.  It is more fun.  We had Thanksgiving left overs, watched Elf, Home Alone and had peppermint ice-cream.  The kids also made lots of jokes. It was a fun evening!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

I think I'll go to Boston

Well, this week was kind of a let down after a great week in New York.

Kelly and I hung out Monday.  We went to this popular new restaurant in town.  They had good tea.  It is so hard to find good tea around here.  I wanted the brisket for lunch.   Our waitress said we have everything but the brisket!  So, I got pulled pork.
Kelly and I lead our freshman girls together and on Wednesday we were having a Thanksgiving party for the girls.  We got some supplies to make a craft.  We went to Michaels to get some fall leaves and all we saw was Christmas things.  I felt confident they would have fall leaves since Thanksgiving hadn't passed.  We asked and they said the fall things were long gone.

I began working at Sur La Table this week.  I am a kitchen assistant.  I do what I did at Central Market in the cooking classes.  It is fun and nice to be back in that routine.  

I am at Starbucks a lot and I usually sit next to Alex, a retired art teacher.  He is very funny!

Wednesday was our thanksgiving party with the girls.  We had apple and pumpkin pie, the girls wrote a thank you note to someone, and we made candles with mason jars and fall colored tissue paper.  The girls really enjoyed it!

Thursday, I had lunch with my Connecticut sister Megan.  We went to George's and got Bacon Cheeseburger pizza.  It was good!  We both liked the Taco pizza from last time better and we are planning on getting baked ziti pizza next time.

Friday I didn't have anything until I was babysitting in the evening.  I had the whole day and I wanted to go to Harvard before it got to cold so I decided to go.  I was going to try to go to the Boston Science Museum while I was so close so I left the house by 7.
I wanted a tea from Starbucks before the road trip.  I wasn't able to do a mobile order but I called and they got me my tea ready ahead of time.  They said they don't usually do that!  I get a hot tea iced so it takes longer to make it. I have such a good Starbucks!  They will even walk my drinks to me when I'm sitting down.  I'm so thankful for my Starbucks!
It took about 2.5 hours to get to Cambridge where Harvard is.  I was trying to figure out where to park they said to park in Harvard Square.  I thought Harvard Square was going to be like Southlake Town Square.  It wasn't as nice and it wasn't a square.  There were a few homeless people there.  It was probably a .5 mile walk to campus.
I went to the Harvard Museum of Natural History first.  It was nice.  They had a neat Latin American section.  They also had a large collection of animals.
Then, I headed to the Harvard Art Museum.  It was 3 stories.  They had a few modern paintings and including a Monet, and another famous painters painting.
Then, I went to the Curious George store.  It was small and had many kids drawing on coloring pages.
I saw a Shake Shack and Kimberly and I saw one in New York and she said they were good.  I got a burger and fries.  The burger wasn't much better than McDonald's in my opinion.  The fries taste like Braums fries which isn't that great either.  They had a few holiday shake flavors.  I got a Christmas Cookie shake.  Oh my goodness, it was good!

I had enough time to go to the Boston Science Museum.  It was about a 15 minute drive along the river.  They had a parking garage right there so it was easy.  They had a Pixar exhibit that I went to.  There were times of when you could enter.  The museum wasn't to crowded which was nice.  It was a good educational museum.

Then, I realized I had more time before I needed to head back so I went to the Massachusetts State House.  I parked about .5 miles from the museum.  I walked through a pretty park to get there.  The capitol has a gold dome on it.  It stands out.  I was going to go on a guided tour but the next one was in 45 minutes.  So I went on my own tour.  Someone told me the legislators meet twice a week!  Can you believe that?!  The house of representatives didn't have very large desks.   I don't know how they do anything on those tiny desks. In Massachusetts and Connecticut the Senate desks were in a circle.  In Texas we couldn't make a circle with all of our desks.

I still had more time and passed Cheers on my way there.  I went inside and that was a tourist trap!  They had two bars one where the show was that still had lighting up and another one.  They had two gift shops.  Many people were taking pictures outside and getting taxis to and from there.  It is on a nice kind of rocky brick street.

I headed to this nice street close by where there are lots of shops.  Last time I was there I saw a good cupcake shop but it was early in the morning so I didn't need a cupcake.   This time I got the cupcake.  It was a very good fresh cupcake.  I waked back through the pretty park to my car.

Todd told me to allow 30 extra minutes to get home with traffic.  I'm glad I did.  I should have had 45 minutes to spare before babysitting but I had 5 minutes.

Instead of babysitting for the two girls I usually do I was babysitting for their friends too so I had 4 kids.  I like having more kids.  It makes things more fun and interesting.

Saturday I meet with two freshman.  One at Starbucks and one at Tuffles, my favorite lunch spots.  The freshman was telling me how they had homecoming the night before.  I asked if they won.  She said what? I said you went to the homecoming football game.  Right?  She said no, it was a homecoming dance! So many differences between Texas and the North East.

Pat, my Connecticut mom who I'm living with and I have had a couple of good late night or early morning conversations.  I really like talking to her and she gives good advice.  

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Big Apple

Sunday at church there are a couple of guys who like Johnny Manziel.  A few of them are in my class.  I showed them a picture of Manziel at A&M recently.  I'm so thankful I have people here that love my school. 
At church we have been talking about the Old Testament for about the past 5 weeks.  Jenn asked someone to explain the story she has been explaining.  We have a couple of boys that goof off a lot and one of them told the story and did a great job!  It was almost like he was doing a rap with his hand movements.  I was so proud!

We were planning our Christmas party after church.  We had sandwiches, not grinders this time, sandwiches and planned.  I think it will be a great party! 

Kelly and I took our freshman girls to see the Peanuts movie.   I thought it was a good movie but kind of slow at times.  We went on opening weekend so the theater was filled with kids. 

I went to Target for the first time in 3 months!  It is about 20 minutes away.  I never pass it.  I have to go out of my way to get there.  I think that is the longest I have been without going to Target.  My dad wanted me to get a good snow scraper.  The other day when I was with Meghan I thought I saw a good snow shovel to keep in my car but she said it wasn't good and it would break easily.  So, I asked a guy about my age at Target which shovel to get.  He gave me some good recommendations.  He warned me that the winter will be bad. 

Later that evening I meet Mike at J. Timothy's.  They have the nations second best wings and Connecticut's best.  They were good wings.  I cut the meat off of the bone.  I should have done that all along.  I think that comes from my political background. 

After dinner we saw Spectre at AMC.  I had never been to this AMC before.  They had a huge lobby. The movie was pretty good.  We saw it in IMAX. 

Pat had a party for one of her co workers.  It reminds me of when my mom has parties.  It was nice to come home and have the left overs.  That is always the best part of a party, I think. 

Kelly and I meet Monday morning at Starbucks.  We have a great game plan for our freshman girls.  There are a lot of exciting things coming up at church.

Grandma tells me that wherever she has her candle sticks that is home.  I was thinking about what makes a place home for me.  I think it is knowing people at Starbucks.  That takes time and effort.  I now know several workers and many regulars. 

Monday evening I had tentative plans but fell through so I texted Uncle Paul to see what he was doing.  That man is crazy!  He does so much!  He told me he was going shopping and so I asked if I could join him. 
I meet him at his house. 
We went to this nice outdoor shopping area about 15 minutes away from his house.  Paul said he is starting over with his wardrobe.  I helped him pick out a few things. 
We went into Anthropologie.  I'm thankful he waited with me while I made a return. 
In the shopping are they had a L.L. Bean store.  I had never seen a L.L. Bean store before! 
After shopping we went to Ted Montana's for dinner.  Paul is on a strict diet so he had a salmon salad.  I had a bison cheeseburger.  It was lovely to have dinner with my favorite uncle. 
I love seeing Paul interact with people.  His friendliness reminds me of my College Station dad. 
We got to Pauls house around 10.  We chatted with Laurie for about 2 hours.  They are helping me solve all of my problems.  We had a good talk!  I am thankful for those two. 

Tuesday, I had lunch with my wonderful older sister, Megan.  We went to George's.  George's is very close to Megan's doctor office where she works so she goes their often.  We got a Mexican Taco pizza. It was so good! 

Thursday morning was the day we had been planning for a long time!  Thursday was the day I was meeting Kimberly and the Harpers in the big apple!  Todd and Pat went out of town to Williamsburg so it worked out well that I left that weekend too.  I got up at 6, left at 7, and got into the city at 10.  It took longer than expected with morning traffic.  I arrived at the London NYC and left my bags.  It was a very nice hotel.  The Harpers stay there ever time.  

I asked the concierge what the best way to get to the Natural American History Museum was.  He said the subway.  The concierge gave me clear directions and it was so simple even a Texas Aggie could do it!  The subway was about a block from the hotel.  Easy walk!  While I was waiting for the subway I saw a homeless man with a very torn up jacket and looking through the trash!  So sad!  Living in America with so much wealth there is still so much poverty.  The subway led me to a back entrance of the American History Museum.  The security guard there was very careful that nobody got past and everyone got in line.  The Harpers got us the New York City pass.  That was perfect!  We got into just about everything free.  The Harpers shipped me the pass so I could began using it.  The Natural History Museum was great to see.  That was where they filmed the movie Night at the Museum. It was a huge museum.  It looked very old.  They should probably remodel.  It was very confusing to walk around.  I don’t think it was designed very well.  I think it should be designed more like Disney World in a circle.  Not in all of these crazy sections.  They had sections from all around the world which I loved.  Neat music to match each section.  The gift shop had some international things which was fun.  They had a Hawian section which reminded me of the gift shop at the  Polynesian hotel at Disney World.  The museum had several gift shops and cafes.  

After leaving the National History Museum it was raining and I walked through Central Park to get to the Metropolitian Museum.  I asked a lady at a hot dog stand how to get there and she was very helpful.  The Metropolitian was a nice museum.  Upon arriving I went to the cafe with a large glass window over looking Central Park to get a Coke and to rest.  The museum also had several restaurants for members only.  The Metropolitian had a lot. I think museums with room displays are more popular here than in Texas.  Maybe it is larger museums.  I’m not sure.  I was exhausted from walking both museums so I walked quickly through the Metropolitian.  

I took a taxi to Time Square.  I went to M&M world.  They had two floors like the one in Vegas.  I was kind of hungry so was excited that Hershey’s was across the street and I was going to get a cupcake.  I was so excited until I walked inside and it was very small.  Smaller than the one in Chicago and NO cupcakes!  No baked goods.  It was very disappointing.  I collect mugs and was going to get a mug but all of the mugs had candy in them and I don’t need any candy.  I went to the Disney store.  It was two stories.  They said have a magical day.  It was nice to hear since the last time I heard that was at Disneyland.  

From Time Square I walked quickly back to the hotel, faster than a New Yorker.  The only bad thing is that there is always lights so you walk so quickly then get stopped by a light and the slow people catch up with me.  It was great to see Kimberly, Clint, her brother was there and his friend Matt.  We dropped our stuff of in the boys room because our room wasn’t ready.  They have us their key so we could get in after our room was ready.  Kimberly and I walked around Time Square.  Our hotel is in a great spot!  About 7 minutes from Time Square, 7 minutes from Rockefeller Center, and 7 minutes from Central Park!  So perfect!  We came back to the hotel got our stuff from the guys room and went to our room.  Our room was the same as the boys.  Large area with a desk, and comfy couch.  Two swinging doors that lead into the bedroom. The room had a very large very nice bathroom .  The bathroom had a shower with the water coming from directly above and a tub.  The tile was a nice white which I liked. It looked very clean.  

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Moving Time

Sunday I went to this place called Texas Barbecue.  It is close by.  They have Dr. Pepper which is almost impossible to find here.  They also have fun Texas decorations that you wouldn't find anywhere else in Connecticut.

It was a rare day that I let myself take a nap.

Later I went over to my dear friend Rachels house and we made apple triffles.  We cut the apples and cooked them on the stove with spices.  We added ginger cookies, whip cream and the apples into layers in a dish.  It was good!

Just about every day I hear the words Fox Wood and Mohegan Sun.  They are two casinos in Connecticut about an hour away from me and about 20 minutes from each other.  On Monday morning I went to check them out.  Not to gamble but to see what all of the talk is about.  They both have free parking which was nice.  Foxwood looked more like Vegas Casinos.  Mohegan Sun looked like Great Wolf Lodge.  I did go on a Monday morning which helped. They were not as loud, smokey or obnoxious as Vegas casinos.  There were mostly older people there.  No young people my age.  Foxwood has outlets there.  I got all of my winter gear at Columbia.  There was a very good worker there that helped me find what I needed.  I think I am set for the cold!  I found a Cinnabon place there and had to stop for a Cinnabon.  I asked the worker how he was and he said to be honest it sucks to be here.  He went on to explain how he is in a band and they had a great show the night before but now he is back to work at his minimum wage job.  At Mohegan Sun I went to Carlos' Bakery.  I went to Carlos' in Vegas and didn't like it.  I was going to give it another change but the cupcake I got was terrible.  In my opinion Carlos is only good at decorating.  The good thing is that I got a cool grocery bag from Carlos.  I went to Bobby Flay's Burger Palace for lunch and that was good.  I got a burger with chips on it.  I went to Bobby's Burger Place in Vegas too.  Flay has a nice restaurant at Mohegan Sun that I would like to go back to sometime for dinner.

Monday afternoon I went to the chiropractor.  I finally found a good chiropractor!  I called a few places and all of the people on the phone weren't very nice.  This place is great.  Nice workers.  Instead of having rooms they have their adjustment tables out in the open.  I hadn't seen that before.  Dr. Brian was great.  I saw him the next morning at Starbucks.

After the chiropractor I got my hair cut.  I found a great lady at a salon but she moved to this new place.  She rents a space in a salon.  It was a nice place.  She has a surprisingly great memory.

I picked up a pizza for me and Gabe and Stephen at a pizza restaurant I pass by all of the time but have never been in.  In New England they have lots of different types of pizza.  I got a baked potato pizza.  It had potatos, sour cream, bacon, and cheese.  Stephen and Gabe were helping me move so I bought them dinner.  I found out after I bought the pizza that Stephen doesn't like potatoes.  He was a good sport and pretended to like it.  I felt bad after he was doing something so nice for me and I am giving him his least favorite food.  I asked Stephen and Gabe to both bring their cars so we would have three cars when we move.  Although all of my stuff fit into Stephens Camry when there were four of us driving to Connecticut from New York when they picked me up.  I only moved about 15 minutes away.  I'm so thankful that the boys helped me.
The Kenneys have a lovely home.  My room is perfect with a nice desk and dresser.  I am SO thankful to be with the Kenneys.

Tuesday I babysat the girls.  They don't have school on election day because the schools are used for elections.  I think a politician just wanted to use his kids in their campaigns and had to have a reason to close school.  One of the girls had a birthday party at a miniature golf place.  The other daughter and I played golf together while the other girl was with her friends.  The 7 year old beat me by about 20 points!  This miniature golf place was all decorated for halloween.  They had great decorations.

I try to get a pedicure once a month but it had been two months!  I am picky about where I get my pedicures.  I found a great place though!  It is in a popular shopping area here.  I also found out that you don't have to be licensed to do nails here so technically I could get a job doing nails.  They told me at my new good place that I have to be careful about where I go.

After getting my nails done I came home and Todd and I went on a walk.  That reminds me of my walks with my dad.  In Burlington where I live there are a lot of hills so we were always going up ad down.
Todd had already eaten but he sat down and had dinner with me.  I really appreciated that.  We talked about the sermon which was about miracles.  It was a good conversation.

Meghan, the Kenneys oldest daughter and her brother in law came over to get more furniture to move to Meghan's new house.  They needed to get some furniture outside but couldn't get it because there was a mamma bear and two cubs!  Just that morning Pat said the garbage was in a different spot so bears probably came.  She said they are hard to actually see but we saw them!  The cubs were almost as big as the mom.  They were in the Kenneys large wooded back yard.  They were standing close to the trees in case they needed to climb.  There was no tag on the bears ears so they had not been reported.  I need to look up some bear safety tips.  Whenever I come in at night I am going to need to look around and make sure I don't see any bears!

Later that evening I went to Starbucks and saw two of my freshman girls from church.  I also meet their leader form last year that they were with.  It was great to talk to the girls and their old leader is fabulous.  The girls gave me some suggestions about our group.

Wednesday I went to Hop Meadow County Club to learn more of the event side.

Wednesday evening instead of meeting at the church we meet at the Masters School, a private christian school in the area.  It was nice to go there because I know a few people that teach there and several students that go to school there.
We had glow in the dark soccer.  I ended up playing on an all guys team.  People on our team kept saying okay, guys, and girl.  Curtis one of the other leaders was on our team.  He would always make funny comments while we were playing.  It was fun to play because it was completely dark and we didn't know who we were playing.  The goals had glow sticks around them so we would know where we were going, each person had one glow stick around their neck, and the ball was glow in the dark.
Later we had a pumpkin smash.  People brought pumpkins and someone built this thing out of wood to launch the pumpkins.  The heavier the pumpkin the worse it did.
A leaders shared his testimony.
We had a "bonfire".  Anytime we have a fire we have s'mores which is fabulous!
There was pizza, popcorn, apple cider, and apple cider donuts.  I tried to heat up my pizza over the fire.
It was a great evening!

I am meeting lots of people at my Starbucks which is great. I think about all of the workers know me.  They know me more than I know them because I used to bring them cupcakes.  If you want to make friends fast bring food.

Random fact, here in the North East roads aren't very well light so driving at night I have to use my brights most of the time.  There are also lots of windy roads.

At the Tiffany Juliet House about a month ago the chef was telling me went to the Great Jack O Lantern Blaze.  He went on to tell me how there are about 7,000 pumpkins carved into different shapes.  I went online to find out more.  I found you have to pre purchase tickets to go.  The soonest I could get tickets was November 5th.
The day finally came after about 3 weeks of waiting.  I took the day off of work to be able to see more things in New York while I was there.  It took me about two hours to get there to the Hudson Valley.

First, I went to Franklin Roosevelt home.   They had a nice newly built gift shop and place to purchase tickets.
The guided tour of the house started in the new building on a mosaic tile map of the area.
Our tour guide was formerly a teacher.  He was very good at teaching and capturing and keeping my attention.  It was a pretty time to go to see the trees changing colors.
At the beginning of the tour our guide was asking where everyone was from I said Connecticut.  He said that's a big state, wandering specifically in Connecticut where I was from.  I thought that was funny he thought Connecticut was a big state.  Compared to Texas Connecticut has nothing!
I meet a lady named Wendy.  She was going to the Culinary Institute of America after the tour like I was.  I think a lot of people do that because they are so close.  Wendy also told me you can tour Eleanor Roosevelt's home.  I did not know that.  I tried to make that work but it wouldn't fit into my schedule.
On the tour I also meet a lady that used to live in Austin.
After the tour of the home I went into the library/museum.  It was nice but not as good as the Bush's but there are newer and George Bush's library at A&M is automatically better because it is at A&M.  

Next, I went to the Culinary Institute of America.  My friend Otto went there.  It was about 5 minutes away from Roosevelt's home.  They had several dorms, and a tennis court.  Street names were named after spices.  There was a main building with a crammed gift shop and 3 restaurants.  They also had a few classrooms you could see in.  Students are dressed in chef clothes.  It reminded of of A&M instead of people  being in military uniforms they were in chef clothes.  I went onto the Apple Pie bakery.  I got mint lemonade, a cookies and cream macaroon and a beef dish.  The presentation was perfect.   I saw them making the macaroons earlier.

Next, I drove about 20 minutes to Rhinebeck.  Otto recommended that I go there.  At first it seemed kind of lame.  Just a town with shops.  Then I started shopping and the shops were really great.  In some ways it reminded me of Fredericksburg.  Cute town with shops.  I bought some cool juice cups that look like Coke cans, wooden spoons in the shape of guitars, and maps of New York.  I will eventually get those framed.

After Rhinebeck I drove about 70 minutes to the Rockefeller's estate.  I went on the Classic Tour.  We started at a very old gift shop.  The bus drove us to the Rockefeller's home, Kykuit.  Kykuit means high point.  They have a great view of the Hudson.  It was a cloudy day where it looked like it could rain at any minute, thankfully it didn't.  The exterior of the house was definitely the nicest I have ever seen.  The house was well advance for its time.  The tour was 2 hours and 15 minutes.  At first I was concerned about the tour being so long but I feel like we barely saw a fourth of Kykuit.  We saw the first floor of the home.
Next, we saw part of the outdoors.  The gardens were remarkable.  They had a rose garden which was very pretty.
We saw an art gallery inside the basement of the home.  After Rockefeller's request Picasso hired a lady to make tapestries of his work.  Many of the tapestries were inside the home.
Next, we saw the stables.  Very, very nice!
Our tour guide tried to make us have a good view of the Rockefeller's and how they donate a lot of money, ect.  One of the ladies on our tour was from Tennessee and said that she heard some bad things about the Rockefeller's that our tour guide did not mention.
On this tour there were many people from out of state and even a few international visitors.  I saw a couple of people coming and leaving in taxis.  On the Roosevelt tour there were mostly people form just the New York area.

I found a little place in town to get pizza.  In the North East majority of pizza places sell slices.  If you call ahead they will warm it up for you.  This pizza place had chicken parmesan pizza.  I think it was the first I had chicken on a pizza.  I think my pizza is better off without chicken.

I drove about 10 minutes to the Van Cordt Estate where I saw the Great Jack O Lantern Blaze.   There were cops directing traffic and many parking attendants making sure you parked in the right spot.  Then, people were directed through the gift shop.  They had everything from postcards, to bookmarks, to globes, blankets, t shirts, and books of the Blaze.
Then, we were directed into a tent where they were selling apple cider donuts, popcorn, cupcakes, and hot chocolate.
There was a long line to get to the front of the exhibit.  Everyone had times.  I had the earliest time, 5:30.  Me and every kid had that time.  Lots of kids and strollers.
The pumpkins were incredible.  There was a pumpkin in the shape of a circus train, snakes, dragons, a clock, and much more!  It is incredible!   They would combine several pumpkins to make things look full size.  It is like ICE at the Gaylord but instead of ice pumpkins.
The Van Cordt seemed to be more like an old house than a really nice house like the Rockefeller's.
About everyone in the Hudson Valley knew about Blaze.  It is kind of the thing to do around there.  People in Connecticut haven't really heard about it.
I guess you can really carve anything out of anything: ice, butter, pumpkins.
It was a perfect evening to be walking around outside.  A jacket wasn't even necessary.

It took me about an hour and fifty minutes to get home.  I got in around 8:20 which was good it wasn't to late.  I talked to the Kenneys.  They were eager to hear about my day.
Todd was showing me of the best place to park my car.  As were were outside we heard something and Todd motioned for me to stay back.  We think it was a bear.  We then ran inside.  I asked Todd if I would always be a blue to hear bears.  He said no.  So anytime a bear could just sneak up on me.  My newest fear is bears.
Pat and I stayed up a little later talking about the Lord, life, and our families.  Pat has such a passion for prayer and that is easy to see.

Friday morning I forgot something so turned back and I saw many old doors and window in front of a house that was for sale with a sign that said FREE.  I pulled in and got a window.  The possibilities of what to do with it are endless!  Those people could have sold them for at least $30.  So thankful for that find!

Friday evening I ended up not working.  Todd and I had left overs at home.  We worked together quickly to get the food on the table for an early dinner.
Megan their oldest daughter came over.  I asked Megan if she would be my Connecticut sister and her response was like duh, of course!   I went shopping with her for some furniture for their new home.     I wasn't planning on buying anything but found two things I liked.  I told Megan she was a bad influence on me.  She said that is what big sisters are for.  Erin meet us out shopping.  We had fun shopping together.  Later that evening Todd and Pat and I were home and Todd always says the funniest things.

Saturday morning the middle school and high school meet at the church to rake.  We raked an older persons yard from the church and their neighbors.  There was probably 50 of us.  My chiropractor came with us!  He has a son in middle school.  He seems like a cool guy.  The raking went by very quickly.  We did 9 yards in 3 hours.  It was fun to watch.  In the North East in some towns you don't have to bag your leaves.  You can just rake them to the curb.  Some people brought leave blowers and that was helpful!  I had some good conversations with some girls when we weren't raking.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Halloween Week!

On Sunday I worked the Farmington Bridal Show representing Hop Meadow Country Cliub.  I worked with a guy named Mike who works on the golf side.  He's a pretty cool guy.  The day turned out to be a lot better than it could have been.  Mike brought a roll of grass for guys to golf on.  We also brought a model sweetheart table.  I know more people at the bridal show than Mike did which is funny because I have lived here for two months and he has lived here for years.  Bridal shows are interesting places to people watch.  There are a lot of mothers and daughters, and grandmothers, mothers, and daughters, some girlfriends that go together and some couples.  I think bridal shows are only good if you haven't gotten anything for your wedding picked out.  One couple made a sticker with their information instead of continually writing out their information  to companies they were interested in.  They also made an email address for their wedding day.  That couple was  smart!

After working the show I went back to the club and stayed for about an hour at Freight Fest.  Kids dressed up in costumes, we had a dj, fun desserts, and good food.

Monday I went to Greenwich.  I ate at this great restaurant at a nice hotel I had been wanting to go to for a while.  It is the second best hotel in Connecticut.   The restaurant was perfectly designed and had great service.  The hotel lobby was nice but small.  I walked along the Greenwich harbor.  Greenwich had a nice downtown area with shops but parking was very hard so I didn't get out of my car (which may have been the best situation to not shop).

After Greenwich I drove about 45 minutes away to the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum.  They were changing out some exhibits so it was kind of a terrible day to go.

After coming back I went to West Hartford and found a cool coffee shop.  The coffee shop didn't have wifi!  What kind of a coffee shop doesn't have wifi?!

I meet Mike from work at the Cheesecake Factory and I used the gift card my parents gave me for my birthday.  One of my favorite things is getting a slice of cheesecake and eating it for days at home.

Mike and I saw Bridge of Spies at this nice area in West Hartford.  The area reminds me slightly of a trendy shopping area in LA.  Bridge of Spies is a wonderful movie!

Tuesday, I worked at the club putting things up from the bridal show and emailing brides whose contact information we got at the show.

Stephen was over at Grandmas when I came home for the afternoon.  I love cousin visits!

I was able to get back into the routine of babysitting the sweet girls I babysat a month ago.  In the car we listened to Cray Button, the Lecrae song we made a dance to with our student ministry in Texas.  The 7 year old girl I babysit loved the song and asked what a cray button is.

Wednesday evening I worked at Hop Meadow Country Club.  There was an event and a Sate Representative was there.  I got to talking to him and told him of my political involvement in Texas. He asked which side I was on.  I said Republican.  He said he was on the opposite side but would still talk to me.  He gave me his card and offered to help me get involved here.

Thursday and Friday I worked all day at Hop Meadow.  I am really enjoying working there!

Saturday I had breakfast with a high school girl at my favorite breakfast place Dish n' Dat.  Pouring into younger girls is one of my favorite things!

I went over to my co workers house and we made popcorn balls.  She had the great idea of adding food coloring.  That was fun to experiment with.  I really appreciate her making them with me.

Saturday afternoon I went over to Paul and Lauries house and Laurie made me the best poodle skirt I have ever seen in my life!  She got the felt and sewed it.  Laurie said she couldn't find a good poodle so she just made one!  She acts like it was nothing.  It is a perfect poodle!  Then when I came over she made sure it fit and just sewed on some felt to keep it together and I was good to go!

It really comes in handy having your cousin as a photographer.  Paul took some great pictures of the outfit.

Then, Mikes kids and family came over.  Grace, his daughter and I both were 50's girls.  She was cute!  Will was a pilot.   He was adorable!  Paul took some great pictures of us!

Laurie bought the kids books and some cute Halloween candy.

We went over to Mikes friends house he has known since elementary school.  They have 2 kids Grace and Wills ages, in laws, brother in laws and girlfriend, were there and another school friend.  We had pizza for dinner.  Mike made mold cider.  Don't know why its called mold.  Mike got me some cider before we headed out to go trick or treating.  I appreciated that!  There were 10 adults and 4 kids trick or treating.  I was concerned it would be very cold but thankfully the weather was fine!  It was a good halloween thanks to my great cousins!