Thursday, June 30, 2016

Girl's Trip to New York City Day 1

For Christmas last year, my sisters and I decided give my mom a trip to New York City with us. Before we revealed the big surprise, we each gave her little clues in our gifts to her. She didn't pick up on any of those. For her revealing gift, we had her open several bags which held clues to our destination. The last bag had a card which revealed our location.

Last Thursday began our girls trip to New York City.

My dad dropped my mom, Bec and myself off at the airport. My other sister would eventually meet up with us at LaGuardia Airport.

Once we landed, we met up with Jen and our driver who took us to the hotel. We stayed at the Ritz Carlton in Battery Park. It overlooked the Statue of Liberty. I thoroughly enjoyed this particular location because it was on the quieter and less chaotic side of town. We were within walking distance of the 9/11 Memorial, Wall St, local cafe's and restaurants.

Here is the view from our room. Of course, all the Liberty views were taken. We were not planning to spend our time in the room so the view didn't matter to us. I am sure this is what the views look like for a lot of the residences in NYC.

We had just a few moments to lay our belongings down and see the view before heading out to lunch. We ate a place across the street called Gigino. We could see the Statue of Liberty in the background while we ate.

We all got a different type of salad. They were really good! 

After lunch, we walked around downtown before heading to the 9/11 Memorial.

Trinity Church

Discussing our financial gains and losses over coffee.
When we were deciding on what to do while we were in NYC, the 9/11 Memorial was a must for all of us! The last time I was in NY the Twin Towers area was still roped off and under construction. I was excited to finally be able to visit this area. I will not go into detail about everything we saw or read.  Their website explains everything better than I ever could.

The North and South 9/11 Memorial Fountains

The 9/11 Museum

The museum houses many of the remnants left from the towers. When designing the museum, they did a great job incorporating everything. Inside you can see what the Twin Towers were before 9/11, a timeline of 9/11 and the rebuilding. The names of all the victims are located at the fountains but their names, pictures and bios can be found inside the museum.  Also, a lot of what you see in the museum is located underneath the fountains.

If you ever make it to NYC, the 9/11 Memorial is a must see attraction. The only thing we did not do that I regret now was the One World Trade Center. I thought it was a building filled with offices. We did not realize there was an observation deck at the top. Our driver who took us to and from the airport failed to mention that piece of information until we were leaving NYC.

After the museum, we ate supper at Balthazar, a French brasserie restaurant. I had the COQ AU VIN(chicken....yes we had to look it up) with smocked bacon, pearl onions on top of truffled basmati rice. This dish tasted just as good as it sounds!

After supper, we headed back to the hotel. We had been up since 3:45 am so we were exhausted!

Next up, Day 2 of our girls trip.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

First Family Camping Trip

A couple of post ago, I mentioned several changes that had occurred in our family. I failed to mention 1 particular item because I wanted to do a separate post. At Christmas time, we bought our first travel trailer. We had discussed getting one for years but kept making excuses why "now" was not a good time. So when a friend had his for sale, we decided "now" was a good time to make it happen. 

Back in January, we went on our first family camping trip. We went to a campsite close to home just in case something went wrong. We had a very quiet relaxing weekend! 

We colored, played games and put puzzles together.

We cooked meals outside.

We fished, hiked, relaxed in the Eno and sat by the fire.

We made s'mores by the fire.

We learned a lot on this trip. Things we still need and what didn't work. One of the biggest issues was sleeping. We had enough space to sleep but the comfort level was rough. 

Once the weekend was over, we decided it was nice being outdoors, with each other and away from technology.

We have another camping trip planned very soon somewhere different. I am looking forward to see what fun we will have this go round!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Parker Reunion at Mountain Lakes

Since I was MIA for a little while, I decided to pick back up with the present. Although.....don't be surprised if I travel back in time every now and again. 

Last weekend  A couple of weekends ago, our family traveled to Cleveland, Georgia for our annual Parker reunion. I have missed the last 2 years due to school, so I was extremely excited to be able to go again. We stayed at the Mountain Lakes of Blue Ridge. It is about 6 miles from Helen. There was so much to do at Mountain Lakes that we didn't even have to leave! 

Upon arrival, we met up with everyone and ate. After supper, we rode around to check out the area. As far as accommodations, they had cabins, chalets, condos and a campground. They had several activities to choose from each night. The first night was a drive in movie.

After a good nights sleep, we had a full day ahead of us!

We went next door to where my parents were staying and had breakfast on the balcony overlooking the lake.

After our bellies were filled, we went down to the lake for a ride on the paddle boats(no pictures.....didn't want to loose my phone in the lake). We worked up a good sweat so we went to the waterslide.

Since mini golf was right next door, we dried off while putting a few.

After lunch, we went swimming in the pool for while before it was time for my date.

Nope.......not with Laney.......I just really liked this picture! However, the helmet on my head should give you a huge clue as to what I would be doing and with who!

We rode for about an hour before we had to be back for supper. For some reason, I didn't get any pictures that night. Now I remember.....I only have videos of karaoke. Those are pretty private!! I will just let you know we had the crowd a jumpin with....."I Love Rock 'N Roll"..... "Y.M.C.A".....and a crowd pleaser....."Ice Ice Baby"

Laney wanted me to take a few pictures of her and Ella later that night. They are some of my favorite from the weekend.

The next morning we had a worship service and said our goodbyes.

The kids and I decided to spend the afternoon in Helen. We walked around, shopped and ate lunch before heading back home.

Ella was mad in this picture because I would not take her tubing.

We had a fun filled weekend with 47 members of the Parker family! Can't wait to hear where we will go next year!