Sunday, February 21, 2010

Cambridge Ladies' Tea

On Saturday I attended the Ladies' Tea at Cambridge, an event honoring the senior girls of the Class of 2010. The female faculty each blessed one of the eleven senior girls, talking about what makes them special and giving them a challenge and words from scripture to carry them into the next stage of their lives. I chose to bless Katie, a very sweet senior who has been very special to me this year. I've not been at Cambridge very long, but it seems that this particular class has a very sweet spirit about it, and though the girls are each very different, they are also very much alike in their giving nature and their love for the Lord. What a special day to celebrate their accomplishments!

Amanda's 30th Birthday

Tuesday is my friend Amanda's 30th birthday. We celebrated this weekend with a karaoke party at her house. There were tons of people, and lots of yummy foods. Amanda was in her element - flowers, friends, and dancing. A small group of us decided to play a new game called Quelf - very random but lots of fun. My character was "Mrs. Picklehead" - rather appropriate, I'd say. It was a really fun evening celebrating a great friend.

New York City - Shutter Buds

It is so fun to travel with friends who enjoy taking pictures almost as much as I do. It means I don't have to worry too much about slowing them down, because they're taking pictures at the same time I am. We can confer together about the best setting to use in any given situation, and we share pics so we have a great selection of memories. I am so thankful for my shutter buds!

New York City, Day 4 - Heading Home

On Tuesday, our flight was scheduled to leave at 6:10. We had to leave the hotel at 4:30 - far earlier than any of us really wanted to get up. We were all exhausted after not getting much sleep throughout the weekend, so we all crashed on the first leg of the flight. I think we were all happy to look out the window and see Dallas - not because we were ready for our trip to be finished, but because we were all ready for some good sleep!

New York City, Day 3 - Today Show, Statue of Liberty, China Town, Central Park

Day 3 started off with a walk over to Rockefeller Center to see the taping of the Today Show with Hoda and Kathie Lee. Most of the Today Show cast was in Vancouver for the Olympics, so they didn't do the early morning taping (thank goodness! I don't think I could have handled another early morning!). But the 10:00 hour returns to New York, so we were there for that part. We grabbed breakfast at Dean and Deluca across the plaza, then got to the window about 10 minutes before filming started. Hoda and Kathie Lee came out, and waved, and we were the "stupid tourists" taking pictures and waving outside the window. It was so much fun! We let a few people back home know that we were there, and Dave dvr'ed it and took a picture of us when we were on screen. A couple of other people didn't even know we were there but saw us! So cool to be on national tv!
Check out http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/35407960#35407960 - I tried to imbed the video but it won't seem to work.

We didn't stay at the Today Show very long, because we had 11:00 tickets for the ferry to the Statue of Liberty. By the time we got down there, picked up our tickets, and stood in the long line for security, we ended up on the noon boat, but that's okay. It was such a gorgeous (and cold!) day, so we enjoyed the scenery at Battery Park and waited our turn. Finally we made it on the ferry, grabbed our seats, and took off to Liberty Island. As soon as we got close to the Statue, people swarmed the front to take pictures - we were right there with them, of course. The ferry gave us fabulous views of the Statue of Liberty and the New York skyline.
To be on the island looking up at Lady Liberty was so amazing! From a distance, she looked really small, especially compared with the skyscrapers of the city. But up close, she was huge and impressive! We were disappointed the tickets to climb up to the crown were sold out, but just to be there was worth the price of the tickets. So incredible!We got back on the ferry to head back to the mainland, by way of a brief stop at Ellis Island. We decided not to take the time to get off the boat at Ellis Island, since the day was getting away from us. But while the boat was stopped, we walked around the back and I found this area of gorgeous light and started snapping close-up pics of the girls with my zoom lens. They turned out so good! I was really pleased with these pics. :)
Back on the main land, we took the subway up to China Town, where we enjoyed the sights, sounds, and smells while wandering down to a restaurant suggested by my New York travel book. The restaurant was definitely well-loved by locals, who gave us their menu recommendations as we waited in line. The food was delicious, and helped energize us to finish out our last day in the Big Apple.
Our day wasn't over yet! We took the subway to Grand Central Station and marvelled at the turqouise vaulted ceilings and hustle and bustle of the train station. We also found the Whispering Gallery, were you can stand in opposite corners and hear one another talking as clear as day. Awesome acoustics!
Finally, after a quick stop at the hotel to freshen up and change into more comfortable shoes, we took a brief evening walk through Central Park. The park was so beautiful with all the snow on the ground and the lights sparkling all around. It started snowing while we were there, nice big, fluffy flakes coming down, and we had an impromptu snowball fight with the snow already on the ground. Such fun... :)
I almost felt bad about throwing that snowball when I saw the look on Amy's face - almost!
It's okay, she forgave me. :)
We finished our trip by having dinner with one of Amy's childhood friends from boarding school and her boyfriend at a nice Italian restuarant. The snow continued to fall as we ate dinner, watching it out the window. And as we returned to our hotel for the last time, I couldn't resist trying to capture the flakes on "film." The photo doesn't do it justice - what an awesome way to conclude our whirlwind trip, watching snow fall in Times Square!