Thursday, July 30, 2015

Our 4th of July Surprise

We're relatively new to Wisconsin.

We never get invited to people's holiday activities because of that newness. People have their own families, traditions, and lives that just don't include us.

Typically it's on these smallish holidays that I get a bit blue. While everyone else is grilling and having a great time, the 4 of us just sit here doing nothing, wishing we were invited.
This year we decided to invite one family, who we met through our kids school, to our house. We've spent quite a bit of time together over the past few months due to play dates and such, and we've found we have a lot in common. They said yes.
Finally, not alone and bored on a holiday!

We had a nice cookout, and I made all super healthy foods, which they appreciated because they like to eat the way we do.

Towards the end of the evening the husband of my friend came in the house to tell us there were 2 hot air balloons coming toward our house in the back. We grabbed cameras and ran out.

One of the balloons took off, but the other one just kept coming right at us, super low. So low in fact, we could hear the people in the balloon talking! We yelled hello. They yelled hello.

Then the pilot said "Hey, can I land this in your driveway?".

Almost hit our tree!

Ha ha, sure, go ahead. Set it down and join us for a beer. Giggle. He's kidding, right?
Nope, not kidding!

He truly needed an open place, free of power lines, to set it down. So he did. My kids freaked out!
My younger daughter said "I just can't even speak right now" and the older one said "This isn't something you see every day!".

He let the kids get in the basket. Then he deflated the balloon, which was so huge it lay across the whole street and into the neighbors driveway. Then he taught the kids how to pack it up.
Then we all had champagne!

Seriously. Where who thought this stuff happened in real life? My kids could not stop smiling!

Best 4th of July ever.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles!

Phew, we're back from our long trip to New York.
We were gone for a total of 9 days and took just about every form of transportation during that time.

First we drove from WI to our hometown in Upstate NY. We spent one night there then flew to NYC the next morning. At the end of our stay in NYC, we took the Amtrak train back to our hometown for another couple of nights, then we drove back to WI. Are you still with me? It was absolutely exhausting!

Since there were 7 of us on this trip, we rented an apartment in a residential neighborhood in Brooklyn. It was a 4th floor walk-up. In case you're wondering, that means no elevator. I had no problem getting in 15-20 thousand steps on the pedometer each day!

We had a patio and a balcony which were awesome for hanging out after the kiddos went to bed. The patio and balcony were opposite each other so if the sun was too hot in one place, we just went to the other.

The most amazing and wonderful thing we saw while in NY was the brand new World Trade Center. It's actually called "One World", and it's beyond fabulous.
Of course I was in awe of the architecture, because it is truly a masterpiece. However, I was also overcome by the emotion and symbolism wrapped into this building.

Once at the top, you can see the entire city and New Jersey. I can't even describe it. Just make sure if you ever have the opportunity to go to NYC, this is the one thing that you MUST SEE.

Here you can see my kids looking out over the city. They really could have stayed there forever.

We have spoken to our kids about the tragedy of 9/11 and they learn about it in school. The significance of all those names was not lost on them.

This part was very emotional for me even though I didn't personally know anyone who died in the attack.
So many names.

We also got to visit with my husband's extended family who all live on Long Island. That was actually the main point of the trip since his one aunt is not in good health. They're a fun bunch of people and they showed us a great time.

Now that we're home, we're trying to get back into our regular routines. That means summer school for the kids, work for the hubby, and TONS of gardening, laundry, and shopping for me.
I'm sore from pulling weeds! I think when the home owner goes out of town, the weeds call all their friends over for a party!

I still got up and went to my spin class this morning though, because I'm just that crazy.

That's all for now folks.

Hope you enjoyed the pics. Have a great night!