Sunday, November 4, 2012

October 2012

Time to do a quick re-cap of our trip to the New England area:
David and I have been wanting to go out to New England in the Fall for several years.  David served a mission in New Hampshire/Vermont/New York area so he has seen the beautiful fall foliage.  I needed this experience for myself. Fall is my favorite time of year and here in Arizona, the leaves on our trees just don't change color very much if at all.  Southwest Airlines had an incredible sale during the summer and we were able to get flight tickets for about half of the usual price.

So bright and early Tuesday October 16th morning (4am), David and I headed to the airport.  We left Easton in the care of my mom as we knew we couldn't site see all the places we wanted to if we had him with us.

Around 2p.m. Our plane landed in Baltimore Maryland. Immediately I was entranced by how many trees there were and all the colors! The weather was a beautiful 60 degrees. We got our tiny Ford Fiesta rental car and headed to Washington D.C. We paid 20$ for about 2 hours worth of parking. Crazy! In D.C. we saw the White House (which was much smaller than we thought it would be), the WW2 Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, Washington Monument and Reflecting Pool.
Enjoying the beautiful fall foliage in the park surrounding the D.C. Memorials
 Lincoln Memorial
 View from the Lincoln Memorial looking toward the Washington Monument
 Pretty picture of the "White House"
Of course we have to show proof we were there!

 Vietnam Memorial-David finding another "David"

 David standing in front of the US Deparment of Treasury
That night, we stayed in a hotel in Baltimore Maryland and it was a little odd.  Our room, although nice and grandiose was next the the elevator shaft so all night we could hear the elevator moving up and down and dinging when the door opened.  Because of the way the building was situated on the street, I always felt the hotel was leaning-it kind of felt like the "tower of terror" to me lol.
The next day, we went site-seeing in Philadelphia.  We saw several historic sites including Independence Hall where the fouding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence.  While in that very room, we could actually"feel" something...not sure how to describe it.  We knew how important the events were that took place in that room. 
The actual "Liberty Bell"-just like in the movie "National Treasure"! As we were site-seeing in Philly, I just kept thinking about that movie.
 David in front of Independence Hall
 Standing in "Washington's Rose Garden" which literally consisted of about three small rose bushes.  Such a joke!
Tomb of the Unknown soldier.  The flame right next to me is continuously burning.
For lunch, we stopped in this really small cafe and had a Philly cheesesteak.  You can't go to Philly and not have a cheesesteak!
Lastly, we spent two days running around Manhatten. It's a good thing we got to see almost everything we wanted to see in our first day in Manhatten because the second day it was raining the whole time.   We saw the 9/11 Memorial (so powerful!) and the new World Trade Center towers being built, Statue of Liberty, Time Square, Mary Poppins on Broadway (so amazing), Central Park, and ate at an Olive Garden in Time Square.
 Standing in the middle of Central Park-such a nice place of refuge from the craziness of the city

 Standing next to one of the Subway lines with two of the four new World Trade Centers that are being built in the background.
 Rockefeller Center-the ice skating rink that I have seen on T.V.!
 The church where many of the 9/11 victims are buried.  Many of the families waited at this church to wait for news of their loved ones who were in one of the world trade centers.  The world trade centers were just across the street from this church.
9/11 Memorial-I read the names surrounding the reflecting pools and saw one that said something like "Donna Hughes and unborn child".  This wrenched my heart thinking what this mother, who was expecting a child, went through on that terrible day.

 We learned that we never ever want to live out East if we can help it.  If David gets into a PA school out there, we will make do.  But driving there is so stressful and crazy!!  And people were so not helpful!  We paid so much money in tolls, especially in New Jersey, as well as parking garages and public transportation.  We took a few wrong train lines getting to and from Manhatten but in the end we made our way to where we should have been.  What an adventure :) All in all, our trip was amazing.  We saw so many historical sites and places where significant events took place many years ago.  We stood on many grounds where people died-and it was so crazy to think of the lives of all those people. 

Now onto planning the next vacation-hopefully somewhere much more relaxing!

Halloween 2012

This year, Easton and I courageously braved 4-yes FOUR trunk or treats.  My mother-in-law invited us to her trunk or treat the Saturday before Halloween.  I invited my mom and brother out as well.  My little brother wanted to get candy and no candy was being passed out so after eating and visitng with my in-lawes, we hopped in our cars and went to my wards' trunk or treat.  As usual, the people in my ward decked out their cars with lights and all sorts of amazing decorations.  Two days later, my mom invited me and Easton to her stakes' trunk or treat where we ate chili again (for the third time) and gained more candy while trunk or treating.  By the time Halloween hit on Wednesday I decided I couldn't handle one more bowl of Chili.  So right after work, I donned my witches hat and Halloween colored clothes and headed to Chipotle where I bought TWO chipotle burritos for 4 dollars total (normally each burrito is 6$ a piece but if you wore a costume that evening, Chipotle gave you a nice discount).  After Chipotle, Easton and I went to my brother's ward's trunk or treat which was really fun.  They had lots of games boothes, popcorn, cotton candy, a small petting zoo, and an area filled with snakes and all kind of bugs that a man in his ward collected.  It was pretty fascinating to see some critters that I had never heard of!  After the trunk or treat, my family went to several houses and did some trick or treating with the little ones.  Easton scored his mom and dad a decent amount of candy which we will gladly enjoy over the next several weeks.
Me dressed as a witch with Easton the "jack o lantern"
 My brother and his family
 At the petting zoo, checking out the chickens
 Seeing Easton's cousins pet the snake
 All the grandkids with their uncle Kyle (my brother)
 Trick or Treating in the neighborhood
 Cousin love:   Easton reached over the give his cousin Dallin a hug.  After awhile, Easton still wouldn't let go and it made Dallin a little upset.