Monday, July 30, 2007

Stardate 61577.65 - Saturday Morning

We woke up Saturday morning and it was a dreary day. But after an hour or so the sun came out and I took a picture from our room of the Dayton Convention Center across the street.

People started lining up early for the "Stay in School" event.

We decided to walk over to the Second Street Market, and Cheryl took this picture along the way.

The market was pretty cool, and the food there was really good. We didn't plan to spend a lot of time there, but we ended up walking through the entire market and picking up little things to eat here and there. They even had live music!

Loren fell in love with the caboose parked outside of the market and we literally had to drag her away from it when it was time to go.

The sun was in and out all day, and Cheryl took this picture on the way back to the hotel. We didn't have too much time for anything else because the wedding was taking place Saturday afternoon.


Friday, July 27, 2007

Stardate 61569.37 - Dayton on a Fri in July

On a rainy Friday in July there is not too much to do in Dayton, Ohio.

We ate breakfast with Cheryl's parents in the hotel and then explored the hotel, eventually ending up at the pool where "no fear" Loren just walked over to the steps leading into the shallow end and stepped into the water. I was there to stop her and take off her shoes before she did it again.

Then we did a quick walking tour of the funky downtown stretch of bars and restaurants and erotica shops (the Oregon District). Loren (and Cheryl) then took a nap before her brother Andy and his wife Jen arrived. We were about to leave for lunch when we ran into Steve and Ethan (Rachel was up with Ellie who was napping). We all went for bar-b-q at a local place (I forget the name).

Finally we all went to the National Museum of the United States Air Force. An interesting place with lots of cool things, but not exactly built for small children. It was spread out across 3 huge hangers, and contained all kinds of planes and exhibits. Below is a picture of just one of the hangers.

There was also a small memorial park outside.

Ethan and Ellie were also very excited to be with all the planes.

Only a couple of the planes were interactive (i.e. you could get inside), and that is what Loren really wanted to do. She had a little mini-meltdown when I tried to explain that they were old and fragile and she couldn't go under the railing to run over to one to touch it or climb into it.

No collection of old fighter planes would be complete without a picture of the one below.

While not in blue, Loren was dressed in a camouflage skirt.

We then ate dinner at Don Pablo's and went back to the hotel for bath and PJs for Loren. And if you want to see how bad - I mean how truly, truly bad - Don Pablo's is for you check out this nutrition information on the food there.

Wedding is tomorrow!

Dayton, OH

Stardate 61569.34 - In Ohio, Messy Dinner

We got to Ohio with no problems. Since we were on a small plane (2 x 2) Loren got to walk out onto the tarmac and onto the plane, so it helped her realize that she was actually on a plane, and I think that made it a lot cooler for her.

We drove from Dayton up to Cheryl's Uncle and Aunt's place and visited with them, their daughter, and Cheryl's Grandpop for the afternoon, then we drove down to Troy to dine at La Piazza. Cheryl's parents and brother Steve joined us, as did her cousin Brian. Loren enjoyed her pasta a lot, as you can tell from these photos.

We then checked into our hotel in downtown Dayton, OH. We have the day Friday of sight-seeing before the wedding on Saturday.

Dayton, OH

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Stardate 61563.92 - Middle America, Here We Come

We're off to Ohio for a wedding - Cheryl's cousin. We're packing now, leaving Thursday morning.

We'll try to post pictures as we take them, but just my family and friends will be watching because I think everyone Cheryl is related to will be out there!


Monday, July 23, 2007

Stardate 61558.22 - Loren and the Raincoat

Today it was torrential rain most of the day, so Loren and Cheryl had to take the bus. Cheryl found this raincoat that she purchased for Loren months ago and we'd never used. Loren was not to thrilled about it, but she accepted it in the end.


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Stardate 61555.55 - Video of Loren on the Slide

Here is a video of Loren and me on the slide:


Stardate 61555.53 - Loren at the Playground

We spend Saturday afternoon at the beach but left the camera in "Bobby's" condo so no pictures. We then went to Cheryl's parent's place for dinner Saturday night and stayed over. Loren took so long to fall asleep (90 minutes) we decided to get back home early Sunday so that she could be sure to get a full 2-hour nap (rather than 60-90 minutes in the car back into the city).

In the afternoon we went to the playground near the new place (also we checked the mail while we were there). Loren had a blast, as these pictures attest.


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Stardate 61551.54 - Heading to the Beach

Here is a picture I took of Loren from our balcony (which we never use). I like the picture, other than the fact that it shows how badly the glass in the door needs to be cleaned (Cheryl probably won't like the fact that I posted it). Living next to a construction site for the past year and a half, coupled with the general NYC soot, makes for dirty windows. I don't remember windows getting this dirty in VA over the entire 4 years we owned our house there, and I am pretty sure I cleaned this window at the beginning of the spring.

We're headed back to NJ today for a beach afternoon, so I should have some good pictures to post upon our return.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Stardate 61545.2 - Circumnavigating

Today I had no meetings at work, and after a long week with travel down to VA last week, I decided to take a day off and reduce my vacation total (which is approaching the point of no longer accruing) and go for a sail. Since I am not skipper-qualified I needed a skipper and so I contacted Thomas and he was available so we met at the Manhattan Sailing Club at 0900 Wednesday morning.

In the pouring rain.

With thunder and lightning.

Did I mention I was taking a day off work for this?

We decided to try and wait it out, and by 1030 the rain had ended, and we set out under overcast skies to circumnavigate Governors Island.

You may remember that I've actually been on Governors Island before, and recommended the place as a cool day trip idea. After a close-haul down to the Statue of Liberty we threw in a series of tacks to get over to Buttermilk Channel. Passing by the Queen Mary II, we had to use the "Iron Genny" due to the wind shadow, but were soon running at a slow pace back across the Hudson. After 4 hours or so out on the water we returned to North Cove.

There is nothing like a nice sail under gray skies to relax you!


Monday, July 16, 2007

Stardate 61539.06 - Loren Running Around

Loren in mid-stride.


Stardate 61539.04 - Loren Eats Breakfast

Here Loren eats breakfast (some type of fruit, her favorite food) and catches up on world events by reading the New York Times.


Stardate 61537.98 - Too Busy to Post

I had a trip down to Virginia for most of last week, and with all the renovation paperwork we've been working with and picking out things like lights and stuff I just haven't had time to post. We have a bunch of pictures, so I'll get stuff posted as soon as possible - but I have an all-day meeting today so it may be a couple of days still. Hang in there!


Sunday, July 08, 2007

Stardate 61517.19 - One Hot Weekend

You may remember from last Fourth of July that Cheryl and I just watched the fireworks from our apartment window. Not this year. The monstrosity of a building across the street completely blocked our "window" out to where the fireworks appear. So although we heard them on Wednesday, we did not see them.

It has been pretty hot in NYC this weekend - so hot we turned the A/C on this morning and it has been running all day, and we'll probably even leave it on tonight and through mid-week.

Friday night we had a horrible night with Loren. She took 90 minutes to fall asleep, and then woke up Saturday morning at 0300 and would not go back to sleep. I tried for an hour, then I woke up Cheryl and she tried for an hour while I slept. We then moved Loren back into our bed, but after 30 minutes of rolling around Loren climbed out of bed and ran into the living room. So I got up with her and let Cheryl catch an hour or so of additional sleep.

After our early-morning wake-up on Saturday Cheryl decided to go to Sea Bright to visit her Grandmother and to take Loren to the beach - I remained in NYC since I had my sail (and I already posted about the excitement during my sail Saturday). Cheryl left before 1100 and the traffic was not too bad. I watched a movie (the review will be posted today or tomorrow), and then went and had my sail.

Compare this picture to Loren at the beach last Fourth of July.

Amazing how quickly she is growing up. Anyway, by the time I got home Saturday night, Cheryl had Loren asleep in bed.

On Sunday we ran some errands and then I took Loren to the playground across the street for her to get some outside activity, but it was pretty hot and after an hour we came back.
Later in the afternoon we went to the new playground near where our new place is for Loren to get some more outdoor time. I also wanted to check the mail and look in on our co-op just to make sure everything was good. Loren seemed to like that playground as well.


Stardate 61516.09 - Helicopter Crashes in Hudson

As I was sailing yesterday, a helicopter crashed in the Hudson across from our sailboat. Our skipper monitored VHF 16 to see if there was anything we could do (I was on the helm at the time), but several powerboats were in the area and quickly converged on the scene to pull people from the water. (We realized pretty quickly that we were too far away to get there in a timely fashion, either by sail or the motor). By the time we got closer to the accident everyone was out of the water. That is when one crew member said, "Could that thing still explode?" So I turned us up-river and we continued on our way.

Remarkably, no-one was injured. Here is another article on the subject. And here is another.

I can't see the number on the sailboat in the picture with this article, but if it is a "7" then it is us.


Friday, July 06, 2007

Stardate 61510.46 - A History of Violence

Wednesday night Loren was pretty tired and was asleep by 8 PM so Cheryl and I watched A History of Violence. We both gave it a thumbs-up, although with the graphic violence and sexual content this is not one for the kids to watch.

Basically, a small-town diner owner gets high-profile recognition due to a heroic act, and suddenly strangers are showing up claiming that he is not who he says he is. Is he in witness protection? Is it just a case of mistaken identity? The movie keeps you guessing for a while, before the truth is revealed.

It has some big name stars in supporting roles - Ed Harris and William Hurt. Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn from Lord of the Rings) is the star.

Two thumbs up.


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Stardate 61508.07 - Overheard on the Street

From Cheryl:

Mom is walking with 4-5 year old boy and pushing toddler girl in stroller
Mom: "But a dog takes a lot of maintenance."
Boy: "But I need company."
Mom: "You have your sister."
Boy: "I don't want her company. I need company from a dog."


Stardate 61507.89 - Props to Jet Blue

Regular readers know that I pimp for Jessica Stover a bit, because I like her writing and I believe in what she is producing and her content is better than a lot of what passes for entertainment these days. As you may recall, she is in the middle of producing a movie, Artemis Eternal, and has been soliciting donations big and small to help fund the film.

Jet Blue just decided to sponsor the airfare for the film.

I've flown Jet Blue once, out to the West Coast. I enjoyed the television system they have, and it certainly made the trip faster and more enjoyable. Because I have had a good experience with them, and because they are now sponsoring the airfare for Artemis Eternal, I'm giving them a plug here.

So for all those who have been doubters in the past - know now that this is not some hobby-film Jess is putting together. This is the real deal. To those friends who have donated to the cause, thank you. For those who haven't, what are you waiting for?

It is going to be big.


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Stardate 61505.96 - Mini-Vacation

Cheryl's Grandmother went to California to visit one of her daughters and offered her beach condo in Sea Bright, NJ to us for the weekend and the week of the Fourth. We went out on Saturday and stayed until mid-day on July Fourth (we figured the traffic would be lightest mid-day on the actual Fourth of July for our return to NYC).

After lunch on Saturday we loaded up the car (it still amazes me how much stuff we have to take with us, even for just a 4-day trip!). We got a bit of a later start because our laundry had some issue and even though they assured Cheryl on Friday that they'd have our clothes back that afternoon it was something like 1130 on Saturday before they showed up.

Traffic was light out of the city and we immediately went out on the beach once we got to Sea Bright. We had a great time! Loren really liked the sand, and is now willing to spend a lot more time playing in it. She especially liked having "Daddy build Sandcastles!" which she would then destroy.

The surf was not conducive for putting Loren in the water, so we spent a lot of time walking around with her and building short-lived sand castle compounds. For dinner that night we went to Gaiter's for seafood and beer. Loren was very punchy and extremely tired from an exceptionally short nap, and she drank way too much OJ before we got to the restaurant and then put away a ton of milk because the cup was neat and she liked drinking out of it.
All this liquid did not sit well with her, and she had a couple of deep, specific-sounding belches that served as our early warning system that she was about to lose it. Cheryl got her most of the way across the outside seating area before it all came back up. Well, it wouldn't be a vacation until Loren had her 1 vomit episode! At least she got this one out of the way early.

On Sunday it was really clear and you could see all the way past Sandy Hook and to NYC (if you click on the photo below to display the bigger version it is probably more obvious).

Loren fell in love with this stump and had to visit it every time we returned to the beach for the next 3 days.

Sunday afternoon we went to Cheryl's parent's place and we didn't take any pictures, but how many new pictures of her in the yellow car do you really need? We had a terrific dinner and then returned to Sea Bright, hoping that Loren would fall asleep in the car - but no such luck. So her bedtime was almost 10 PM Sunday night.

On Monday we went to breakfast at Amy's Omelette House in Long Branch (recommendation from Cheryl's Mom). Amy's was outstanding! I had pancakes and Cheryl had the "Stingray" omelette (sausage, asparagus, and hollandaise) with potato pancake, all formed into the shape of a fish! We then spent another gorgeous day on the beach, and Loren took a fantastic nap (2.5 hours) so we got some leisure reading done before heading back out to the beach for the afternoon. That night Cheryl's parents came out to Sea Bright for dinner and we went back to Long branch to Sallee Tee's. Sallee Tee's was surprisingly good - I had scallops and Cheryl had steamer clams and salad with argula, prosciutto, roasted red peppers and a pear. Loren had fries and cheese sticks but she mostly ate Cheryl's pear.

On Tuesday our friend Linda came out with her niece and two children (Hadley and Logan) and we all enjoyed the beach, although Loren was pretty tired by the time we got out there and was not as active as she was all the other times we were on the sand.

Tuesday night Cheryl's parents came over again to babysit Loren so we could enjoy a night off-duty. We went to The Shack - highly, highly recommend this spot for excellent seafood with a Mexican flair. Just remember to BYOB as they don't have a liquor license (not unusual in NJ). I had an excellent Tuna, and Cheryl had a fantastic grouper!

Wednesday was cloudy with a cold breeze coming off the ocean so we ate breakfast and then packed up and left, without a final trip to the beach.

We made a quick stop at Babies-R-Us to get a big box of diapers, and then we quickly stopped at Burger King for lunch before the drive back into the city. It was Loren's first fast food Kid's Meal, and she got a Transformers truck as her toy. Lady Loren also enjoyed wearing a crown.

We hit a 10-15 minute backup at the Lincoln Tunnel but otherwise traffic was light. Loren slept for about an hour, so it was a short nap and hopefully she'll go to bed easy tonight.

We were all glad to be home, but not so glad that we have to go back to work tomorrow.