Sunday, September 11, 2011

Stardate 65694.12 - 9-11-01, Ten Years Later

Cheryl and I moved to NYC in November, 2001.  She received the job offer in August 2001 and we were starting to make plans to visit Manhattan to look at apartments when 9/11 occurred.  It was odd to be looking at apartments in the weeks after 9/11 and have landlords and agents ask if we were relocating from lower Manhattan.  Of course, 9/11 literally hit pretty close to home as we were living in the DC-suburbs of Northern Virginia at the time.  Cheryl was in her office at the US Census Bureau and I was in a meeting at my job at Booz Allen Hamilton.  I came out of the meeting and had a voice mail message from my mom asking if I was in the Pentagon that day (I had Pentagon access at the time).  I thought it a very odd question at the time, until a secretary ran by and told me what had happened.  I called Cheryl and while I was on the phone with her she was told her office was evacuating so she started what became a long drive home.  We lived only 10 minutes away from my office so I went home as well and we watched everything unfold on television for the rest of the day.

People asked me afterwards if we were still moving to Manhattan.  I tried to explain that I could have just as easily been in the Pentagon on that day (and Booz Allen Hamilton did lose 3 people in the Pentagon that day).  I don't think either of us really gave a thought to not moving.

Five years ago I took the following pictures from the balcony of our rental place at 66th and 2nd ave.  We don't live there anymore and I don't think I've taken any more recent photos so I've posted these again now.  I felt like I should put something up here on the anniversary but I also think we've moved on.  Maybe because I personally didn't know anyone lost on that day, but at some point we have to get past it.  Not over it - never over it - but past it.

I'm glad to live in Manhattan, to have my kids go to school there, to work there.  Even though we usually spend our weekends outside of the city we have no plans to permanently relocate out of Manhattan any time soon.  I said it 5 years ago and I'll say it again - we're proud to be in NYC since November, 2001.

Atlantic Highlands, NJ

Friday, September 02, 2011

Stardate 65669.46 - A Wedding on the Outer Banks

Back in May my cousin Jenny Orrock got married on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  It was too far of a drive and too expensive to fly everyone down there, so I went to represent my family and my cousin Angelique went to represent her family.  It was a wedding on the beach with reception in the large beach house they rented for the bridal party.

The mother of the bride, my Aunt Melinda.

My Uncle Harry, with his daughter Jenny.

I loved the cake with brown sugar as the "sand" on the beach.

Atlantic Highlands, NJ

Stardate 65669.43 - March of Dimes Walk

So I am pretty far behind (as usual) in posting items to the blog.  Back in April of this year, after we returned from vacation, we participated in the March of Dimes walk out in NJ.  Our neighbor (Michael St.Amour) from when we rented the house in Highlands, NJ (before we purchased a place one town over) asked to borrow our kids for the walk.  He had constructed a double-decker carrier for his own kids (who, as you can see from the pictures, are far too big to fit in it anymore), but had made a tradition of walking with this contraption.  We walked with him in NYC last year with the kids in it, so we agreed to do it again this year (only in Asbury Park, NJ).  Here are some photos from that event.

Here is daughter, now far too old to ride, helps get our kids situated.

It was a very overcast and cool day.

Atlantic Highlands, NJ

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Stardate 65557.05 - April Vacation to BEYC

Back in April we took a 1 week vacation to the Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands.

The club was great, but getting there was not. We were not sure Cheryl would be able to be away from work until shortly before Loren's Spring Break, and the cost of the airfare was so high we decided to travel on miles. This meant that we had limited options on getting there. So we flew from JFK to St. Thomas, stayed overnight on St. Thomas, took a taxi to the ferry which took us to Tortola, took another taxi to the dock where yet another ferry was to take us to Virgin Gorda and the BEYC. Then we repeated in the opposite direction for our return trip. It was a lot of travel to get to our destination and back.

Here is the pool at the hotel we stayed at on St. Thomas.

Here I am trying to keep Kate contained as we wait for the ferry to Tortola.

We ended up not seeing part of the paperwork we needed to complete to enter the BVIs, so after a huge melt-down (me and the kids) at passport control, we ended up missing the ferry to the BEYC. Luckily, they sent a power boat to come pick us up. Unluckily, it was quite a bumpy ride. When we finally got to the BEYC this was the view we had from our room.

Here Loren waits for the "taxi" car to take us down to the main resort.

The food was pretty good, especially the open air bar-b-ques at night. We ate right down by the beach and the kids loved being able to play when they were done eating and we could easily watch them while we finished eating.

Here is the view from our usual table.

There was also a pool, and for the first couple of days we spent a lot of time in the pool.

We took a sunset motor around the resort. It was supposed to be a sail but winds were very light while we were there.

Our room is in one of those little huts up on the hill.

We also took an excursion one day up to Anagada. This trip also involved open pick-up truck taxis to get us to the beach, after a high speed ferry ride to the atoll.

Here is one of their taxis, back at the resort. We walked the first couple of days, but it was a good 20 minutes to get to the main resort so by the end of the week we just called for the taxis.

Loren met a friend (Sadie) at the resort and we ended up hanging out with her parents a lot while the kids played.

We also took a small Boston Whaler out to Oil Nut Cove where a very exclusive resort was just about completed and ready for guests.

Here the girls play after breakfast on our last day at the resort.

And now we're back in the pool on Tortola before our flight back to NYC. At least our return flight was direct - we had a stop in Miami on the way down.

And finally, here are a couple of iPhone photos Cheryl took.