Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Time in NYC

I am in the Big Apple for work this week. A last minute trip, but welcomed. Besides having my flight cancelled at 6am, so far so good. I was never a big fan of NYC, but have learned to appreciate the city over time.

Walking from the office to my hotel, I pass by Rockefeller Plaza and Radio City Music Hall. The area was abuzz with people taking pictures, shopping and sightseeing. The swarm of people is so huge, the police are in riot patrol the entire day.

Demonstrating my ignorance, I was cut off from crossing the street by a cop as he roped off the walkway. Noticing the street was completely lined with barricades (as if a parade was coming through), I ask what the special occasion was. He looked at me with incredulity. Asked where I was from and said, "Hello, look up. This is Radio City Music Hall. It gets 3-4 thousand people a day." I was flabbergasted. He then added, "The ropes and barricades are to keep the sheep (us people) organized." I recovered from the insult and said, "Must be New Yorkers. Chicagoans are more orderly!"

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Chicago Botanical Gardens

A trip to the gardens, you say? What could be growing in the winter? Well, it is not floral or fauna or whatever...IT IS TRAINS!

The Chicago Botanical Gardens created a holiday train display along with lighting up the entire grounds (supposedly looks great at night). I would not have known about it had it not been for Groupon. We bundled up for what has been the coldest day of the year (so far) and headed north. We actually thought we'd go outside and run around the grounds. Ha!

The train display was impressive as the entire scape was made by hand - out of wood - including many replicas of Chicago landmarks. Gilbert could not have cared less. All he focused on was, you guessed it, the trains! Freight trains, passenger trains, trolleys, and more. The display had it all and Gilbert loved it!

Getting to the display did require traversing the grounds. There was the snow and then there was the WIND! Thankfully, Gilbert thoroughly loved it! He ran around with a grin on his face. We threw snowballs, laughed, and ran around from building to building.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

No Snow? No Problem

Who needs snow when uncle Ryan will take you for a bike ride in 20 degree weather? After Thanksgiving dinner it started to spit snow and my brother said he would take the boys sledding the next morning (my brothers house has an awesome hill) if it snowed enough- well it didn't snow enough, so a Chariot ride was the next best thing. The boys rode the bumpy dirt roads in enclosed comfort - they saw deer and passed the Christmas tree farm. Big excitement for a city kid- just another day with dad for his cousin Jasper!

Talking Tucan

(posted by Kristen- I know I need my own log in so you know who is writing, but I have not gotten to it- not an excuse, just the facts)

Growing up my grandparents had a Parrot(not a living bird, but a toy)- a talking Parrot- that lived on the Bar in the Basement. All of the kids (and the adults after a few cocktails) would talk to the bird and it would repeat everything you say- EVERYTHING! So when this little bird (shown below) was brought out at Thanksgiving we all had a good laugh. When we were younger we would say swear words to the bird (why we found this so funny I am not quite sure) but I am sure in the years to come Gilbert and his cousins will continue this tradition.

Lots to Catch Up on

Little Man and his parents have been going a hundred miles an hour for weeks now, it is time to get back to the fun in life. Here are a few pics of what has been going on.

Thanksgiving- My brother and sister-in-law hosted and it was wonderful, good food and good conversation. The kids had a blast and the adults ate too much. Didn't get the best photos, but here you go....