Hot town, Summer in the City

I mentioned earlier that Madison spent her summer traveling to a couple of theater intensive programs.  This also afforded Carie & Mackenzie a chance to visit New York (and Cincinnati, but this is really about New York).

Carie dropped Madison off in July, but Mackenzie tagged along in August when they picked her up.  They got to spend a couple of days enjoying the city and reconnecting with Carie’s sister, and her cousin.

Here are a few shots of the trip:

They took in a broadway play on the evening they arrived:

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They started the next day with a visit to the Today Show Plaza, where they got a little revenge for my trip earlier this spring.

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Stopped by the Plaza Hotel, but Eloise wasn’t in.

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2015 NYC

Had dinner with Carie’s cousin and his wife:

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Who took them to see the best view of the city skyline at night:

2015 NYC

When Madison joined them, they visited Carlo’s Bakery from the Cake Boss TV Show

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And the 9/11 Memorial

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And, when they got home, Carie’s car was in the shop so they had to pile into the convertible with their luggage to get home from the airport.

2015 NYC

It was a short trip, but they had a great time.  Here’s a link to a few more photos over at Flickr.

Cheers,
Jay

 

 

 

2014 Honduras -Day 2

Since today was Sunday, our group headed to Church. We attended our sister church, Iglesias de Christo Casa de Paz (Church of Christ House of Peace). We participated in a VERY high energy worship service and Pastor Jonathan preached the paint off the walls. Great to worship with people who love God!

We had lunch and then headed to a local hospital maternity ward where we gave the new & expecting mothers packages consisting of a “one-sie”, a newborn outfit, and a small stuffed animal for their new babies. The mothers were very welcoming and we prayed with many of them.

Dinner was at a place known for their grilled meats served family style. We enjoyed the meal and then headed for home where we distributed food items to some of the homeless men around the park.

Tomorrow is a work day as we prepare for the first medical clinic on Tuesday.

Iglesia de Christo Casa de Paz

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Pastor Jonathan preaching

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Dinner

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Cheers,
Jay

2014 Honduras -Day 1

Many of you know that I’ve signed up for a mission trip to Honduras. Well, I left home at 3:20 am this morning and landed in San Pedro Sula, Honduras at 11:10am.

After waiting a bit for my sponsor and ride from the airport, we finally arrived at the Gran Sula Hotel around 2:30pm

We grabbed a bite to eat in the hotel diner and now we will spend the afternoon getting medicines ready for a couple of days of medical clinics.

A few shots from my balcony where a festival is raging in the park across the street.

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More to come as the week progresses.

Cheers,
Jay

2014 Class Trip

Two years ago, I made the trip to Washington D.C. with Madison.  At the time, I told Carie that she had to go with Mackenzie.  Well, a couple of weeks ago it was their turn.  While I can’t give you the kind of play-by-play that I did when I was actually on the trip, I thought I’d post a couple of the apparent highlights.

Mackenzie with the Washington Monument

Mackenzie with the Washington Monument

Mackenzie & her friends at the reflecting pool

Mackenzie & her friends at the reflecting pool

In front of the White House

In front of the White House

 

Cheers,

Jay

 

2013 – California Dreaming (part 2)

When I wrote last, we had just completed our hot air balloon ride.

After a great breakfast with champagne & mimosa’s (apparently a ballooning tradition), we headed on into the valley to explore on our own. I can’t thank Gabe at Napa Valley Balloons enough for great recommendations on a couple of things not to miss on our trip.

We began at V Sattui Winery. This winery was recommended by several people and it certainly lived up to its reputation. A reputation earned by over 125 years in the wine business in San Francisco. We were early as wine tours go, but we found our way to the tasting room after exploring the grounds on our own. We shared a tasting and our wine steward treated the girls to a non-alcoholic grape juice and us to quite a variety of wines. We entered the place as Napa rookies and left with the receipts and shipping info of a veteran. Come by the house in 7-10 business days and try a glass of Pinot Noir.

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From there we headed north to Calistoga, CA and the Castello Di Amorosa Winery. Who knew that there is a 12th century Tuscan style castle in Napa Valley? Well, there is. Apparently, the grandson of V Sattui made it his life’s work to create this replica. This “labor of love” resulted in the “castle of love” or Castello Di Amorosa. This place was absolutely incredible! The castle has everything that a castle is supposed to have including a draw bridge, towers, a great hall, a moat, and even a dungeon and torture chamber. But it also has an impressive wine making operation and underground storage for aging the wine. The tour included a lot of info about the castle and the wine, and was capped off by a tasting in a private room in the wine cellar. The castle was one of the highlights of the trip so far.

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We headed back down the valley and decided to swing back into V Sattui for some lunch. It was Saturday and they were busy, but we managed to find a nice variety of meat, cheese, and bread and improvised a picnic on the grounds.

We then headed south on the Silverado Trail for a little different perspective and a planned stop at Rutherford Hill Winery. We had two reasons to stop here. First, many years ago we discovered a merlot from this winery that we really liked and bought a case. Second, Gabe told us of the view from the hillside where the winery is located. The view was awesome and made me wish that our balloon had flown in Napa earlier in the day.

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A long drive back to the city capped off the day where we called it an early night given that we have been up at 3:00am two mornings in a row.

Tomorrow, we start our drive south along the coast.

Here’s the link to the Flickr set for photos, so stay tuned.

Cheers,
Jay

2012 Labor Day

Once again, we’ve wrapped up a Labor Day visits with family visiting for the holiday.  This year, we stayed the course with the kids playing together while the adults visited and I BBQ’d ribs & brisket.

The slight change to the schedule this year had to do with Madison marching in the Labor Day Parade with the Belleville East Marching Lancers.  We had to drop her at the school early on Monday and our guests departed while she was marching.  She was a little sad to have to say good-bye so early, but we’ll see them all again at Thanksgiving.

A few photos, and a link to the rest.

Happy Labor Day,

Braddog

Surprise! Springfield, IL

UntitledMadison described it as a “surprise trip to Springfield”.  I guess it sort of was.  We realized on Friday that we didn’t have anything on our calendar for the weekend.  And, it was smoking hot outside.  So we decided that we needed a (mostly) indoor activity.  Shopping was definitely out, so we made the relatively short drive to Springfield, IL.

UntitledSeems like everything in Springfield is tied to Abe Lincoln.  So we visited his home, his presidential library & museum, and his tomb.  The only thing that didn’t seem to have a Lincoln connection was the Frank Lloyd Wright designed home, the Dana-Thomas House.

Overall, a good trip and a decent way to stay relatively cool in this oppressive heat that we’ve been experiencing in the midwest.  The rest of the photos are at the usual Flickr page.

Cheers,

Braddog