December 12, 2013

parading around on thanksgiving.

     We checked a HUGE thing off of our bucket list this Thanksgiving: we went to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade! It would be downright ridiculous if we did not take advantage of living in New York and not get to see the parade at least once. What made our experience more fun was having my parents in town for the holiday. I still can't believe we convinced them to wake up early, in the freezing cold to go to the parade.

     We were really lucky with the way things turned out. Jason ended up talking to one of his friends from class who had been to the parade before and he offered to take all four of our chairs down early to save our places. We were expecting good seats, but not great seats! Seriously, you couldn't pay for a better spot. We had front row seats to all of the action.

     After waking up at 3:30 AM, taking the train to Grand Central and a subway to Columbus Circle, we waited two more hours in the 30 degree weather before all the excitement started. I thought I was going to just sit back in my chair the whole time, but I couldn't help but stand up and cheer as the floats and balloons came by. It also helped to keep us warm. 
Waiting for the parade to start
Trying to keep warm 
Jason's way of keeping warm
     With the seats we had, the balloons were close, but because of the strong winds that day, the balloons were even closer. Some of the balloons took a beating. Poor Spider-man's arm was torn and flopping around and we heard later that Sonic the Hedgehog got stuck in a tree. Sonic was one of our favorites balloons. We also really liked classic Snoopy, Julius the sock monkey, and of course, Spongebob Squarepants. Snoopy and Spongebob were a little different this year, a Santa hat was added to Spongebob and Snoopy wasn't wearing his pilot goggles. What the parade really needed was Perry the Platypus.

    Although I'm never really impressed by floats, there were a few that we actually loved. There was a Despicable Me themed float with Gru and his Minions and we also liked the Cirque du Soleil float with acrobats flippin' and bouncin' around. Other than that, we really focused on WHO was on the floats. We saw Jimmy Fallon, Richard Simmons, Ariana Grande (who was freezing her earmuffs off), Florida Georgia Line, Cheryl Lloyd, Kellie Pickler, and Kristen Chenoweth. When the Goo Goo Dolls rolled by, Jason yelled "I love you, Johnny!" And Johnny Rzeznik, the frontman of the band turned and pointed to him! It was pretty great. Since we didn't get to see any performances, I was actually happy to listen to the bands play Christmas and hit songs.
Jason's favorite balloon
Snoopy and Woodstock
Sonic the Hedgehog 
Sonic the Hedgehog 
Taking a trip to Sesame Street
Jimmy Fallon
Hello Kitty 
Richard Simmons on a turtle? 
Julius, the Sock Monkey 
Sock Monkey sporting a jetpack
Marching Bands a plenty
Ronald McDonald 
They had just as much fun as we did
The Sponge
Spiderman, Spiderman does whatever a spider can
The Big Apple
Gotta catch 'em all
My fellow Minions
My whole head would fit in his belly button
Confetti everywhere
This elf left his shelf
Papa Smurf
Santa's coming! 
     Overall, it was a fantastic experience and I would definitely say it was worth the wait and frostbite. After getting back to Tuckahoe, we took a long nap and ate a traditional turkey dinner at the restaurant An American Bistro. It was the perfect end to a busy day.
Thanksgiving dinner 
Thanksgiving dinner

November 1, 2013

no tricks, just treats.

      My favorite Fall tradition is finding a local pumpkin patch and picking out a pumpkin to take home to decorate or carve. This year we found a place only 30 minutes away called Harvest Moon. This place was packed with people, food, apple trees, pumpkins and other squash-like vegetables.
 
     We went immediately to the pumpkins to choose the perfect shape, color, and size of the pumpkin that we wanted to carve. After a little while, we finally went with an already painted pumpkin with the hopes of being able to scrub off the paint because it was cheaper and had a perfect front fro carving. This year I went a different way and picked out a small white pumpkin,  don’t worry, I had a creative plan.
Searching for the perfect pumpkin
Jason's goofy pumpkin before we destroyed its face
My white pumpkin, Jason didn't understand why I wanted it
     After feeling totally satisfied with our picks, we completed the next step of my favorite tradition: drinking hot apple cider and eating cinnamon and sugar donuts. This season, while everyone else gets their pumpkin-spiced latt├ęs or whatever, I will always love my hot cider more.
These donuts were so fresh!
Mmm... warms my insides
     We did a little more walking around and went across the street to what we thought was a sister-farm to Harvest Moon, oddly called Outhouse Orchard. The name of the patch wasn’t the only thing that we had a laugh about. This place just wasn’t up to par with the other patch and the most ridiculous part of it all was that there were signs everywhere to warn people that there was poison ivy around the trunks of the apple trees, which was probably the main reason why there were very few people there.
 
     One of Jason’s favorite Fall traditions is dressing up for Halloween. I have never been a huge fan of Halloween in general because I’m never satisfied with a costume or I feel ridiculous, I’m not a big candy person, and I HATE the “thriller” side of Halloween. Anyway, I think Jason found his love of dressing up and becoming another character while acting when he was younger. So each year, he gets all excited about deciding what to be and how to put it all together.
 
     This year we decided we wanted to be something that people would actually recognize. So, we decided to be Gru and his minion Tim from the movie Despicable Me. I just wish we realized sooner that not only would people easily recognize who we were, but a million other people had the same idea. It was still fun to put our outfits together and even more fun to each make a prop to go with the outfits, especially Gru's "dart gun". 
 Papoi!
No words. . .
We had too much fun
Jason spent hours on that supposed "dart" gun
I had fun creating all of the pieces to my outfit
Skin color is the hardest to match with makeup!
Gru and Minion Tim
Best buddies
    On Halloween evening, while everyone else was Trick or Treating, we finally took the time to decorate our pumpkins. Unfortunately, Jason didn't have time this year to get creative with his jack-o-lantern template, so we got one of those books for ideas with all the tools for carving pumpkins. He decided on a design that we hadn't seen before called the invisible man. This one was a bit tricky, but with time and a little detail work from me, I think Jason pulled it off.
Just starting to open the pumpkin
Leave the pumpkin guts to me!
In. The. Zone.
     I did something completely different with my pumpkin with a little help from good ol' Pinterest. I'm a girl that likes sparkles, so I decided to cover my pumpkin in them. I covered the bottom half of my white pumpkin in mod podge using a sponge brush, then I sprinkled my gold sparkles all over where I had just put the mod podge. I flipped the entire pumpkin over so I could easily sprinkle it on and I had a large open box to catch all the excess sparkles. After letting it dry for a little while, I spread another thin coat of mod podge on top of the sparkles so they wouldn't get all over the place. I think it turned out pretty cute!
Mod Podging
Don't miss a spot
Oh yes, my favorite part
Drying
Revealing the final product. . .
     This Halloween was such a great success compared to last year. I'm so happy that this holiday wasn't ruined by a stupid hurricane so that all the little kids could go out and get candy. Funny thing for us, we didn't get ANY Trick or Treaters because our house is on such a huge hill, but we didn't mind not being bothered to enjoy an evening with our pumpkins and watching Ghostbusters.
Dunking like Kobe
I don't think I can get rid of this beautiful pumpkin
The invisible man
Happy halloween!