Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving Day

This Thanksgiving Julee and I didn’t cook turkey or any other typical foods. Instead we woke up early and rode the subway down to Times Square and Watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. We arrived two hours early and there was already a big crowd. We claimed our spot somewhere in the 8th row of people. At about 9:30 the parade was getting close to where we were it started to get exciting. There was a group of six people who pushed their way forward behind a wheel chair. They had southern accents and were defiantly not from NY. As they got closer to the front people were more and more reluctant to let them by. The group reached as far as in front of us and then couldn’t make it any farther. She called out and said that a policeman had said they get to push to the front. Then people in their NY accents replied back that the wheel chair could move forward but not the whole group. The lady looked flustered and said something about how “Just like New Yorkers they were” and then the person in the wheel chair was pushed to the front. Luckily for us the group of ladies stayed in front of us.

I thought it was a little annoying how they thought they would be able to show up right when it was starting and push their way right to the front despite the fact that everyone that was there had been waiting for hours, but right then the balloons started passing and I forgot about the them. After several Balloons had passed some kids pushed their way through the crowd and people let them buy. Then their parents came pushing through; and guess who started getting in their face and full-out blocking them from getting buy? You guessed it, the Southern Ladies. I couldn’t take the irony and asked the lady how she of all people could be giving people a hard time about people pushing forward? She didn’t care to answer. The Black lady and husband that were pushing in then almost got in a fight with several people including the black and southern ladies slamming into each other and the black guy threatening to beat up some other man. Finally someone called for the police and things quieted down. In short there were just eight or so really rood people amongst the 200 or so that were pack in with us.

The Parade was cool, the Balloons were huge, and overall it was a good time. Julee and I both got tired and we decided to leave a little early. The problem was that the crowd had grown from being eight rows think to being one whole block thick. It took ten minutes to push our way out and when we did it was a relief to be able to stretch and bend our legs.

After we escaped from the crowd we then headed up to central park were Julee did some ice skating (Can you find here in the picture?) and then we headed to JFK airport were we saw Cyri and Owen (Julee’s sister and Brother in law) who were on their way to Europe. By the time we arrived home we were beat. We did have turkey and stuffing -leftovers that Julee had brought home from a work party meeting our turkey requirement for the day. All in all a very different Thanksgiving experience.

My Parents are Incredible!

I like to think of myself as a pretty adventurous type, I am young and in good shape and enjoy challenges. This last August before Julee and I headed to New York we made one last quick retreat to Zion with our buddy Steve (shown in the picture) to get a little adventure in. We did several slot canyons and had a good time. Around the end of October my parents along with my Uncle Jeff and Aunt Marcie headed down to Zion national park and did some canyonearing as well. To keep this short they ended up doing one of the canyons that we had done called Spry. It is probably my second favorite slot canyon with over 10 repels and variety of open and very narrow terrain.

Unfortunately my Mom dislocated her shoulder near the end of the canyon (the picture is of them both before she was hurt). At that point the only way out was to continue down the canyon through two or three large rappels. I am sure it was not very fun, and the memory might keep my Mom from letting my Dad talk her into another adventure. They made it though and since then my Mom’s shoulder has been re-located and the ligaments were not torn. My parents both turned 59 this year and I am left hoping that Julee and I are able to continue adventures when we are their age.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The New York Marathon

On Sunday the 4th Julee and I went to church and then afterwards could not get home. The Marathon had taken over the city and First Avenue was blocked off. We took two hours and watched the race on 87th street and also in Central Park. What a fun race!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

How our apartment came to be

Our Apartment When it became obvious that we would be moving to New York we started looking into getting an apartment. One of my old roommates I knew had a sister that was a real-estate broker in NY, so I got her number and gave her a call. She was way exited about helping us out and informed us that she would charge us only 15% of the first years rent for her services. Now we were expecting to pay somewhere between $1,500 and $2,000 for rent, so that means that she would be charging us $2,700 to $3,600 for only finding us an apartment! I could not believe it! I thought there had to be some way around it. Julee and I started to look through Craig’s list and other listings for an apartment that would not require a broker’s fee. Time wound down and we didn’t find anything and we didn’t want to travel to NY just to set up an apartment, (although now I think that might have been a good idea).

We ended up finding an apartment to sublet for 21 days while we looked for our own (the first picture is of that apartment). The apartment we subleted was in the Lower East Side and that is all we knew. Looking back I think it was weird that we didn’t even ask to see a picture of it before we paid, Julee and I both felt good about it and so we did it. I am sure it was the Holy Ghost leading us. Once we were in NY the apartment we subleted was dirty, old, and not in the best neighborhood. Most, if not all of the apartments that I stayed in while on a mission in Venezuela were better than that place.

I started going to school and Julee went to work on finding us a place to stay. We finally realized that we would probably have to use a broker and went to see some apartments with one. While Angie and Cyrie (Julee’s sisters) were here visiting us we went to go see some apartments in the Bronx. The whole time we were there we were there I was afraid for our lives. One old man stopped and asked us if we were lost; when it is that obvious that you don’t belong there, it is not a good sign. Luckily we were not robed or shot and we made it back to Manhattan safely.

Down to a week before we would be kicked out of the place we were staying in we still didn’t have anything set up. Then Julee found one that she like, it was in our price range and in a good neighborhood. Before taking it though, we decided to go view some apartments the next day with a Broker that we already had set up. We went and the first place she took us to we loved! After walking in and seeing the place for thirty seconds Julee and I looked at each other and we know it was for us.

Now that we had the place picked out we only had to complete the slightly less difficult process of getting the lease signed. To save you from the boredom of that process I will just say that I don’t think that they could have made it any more difficult to get an apartment in this city. Our place is a studio apartment, one all purpose room with a bathroom. It came furnished with a Murphy bed, couch, desk, and TV. It is on the fourth floor of a five story walk up and is located on the Upper East Side in Manhattan.

I hope we never have to move within the next four years…..

Friday, November 2, 2007

Rock Climbing in New York

The other day while looking at steep and cheap there was a pair of climbing shoes on sale for 70% off! 70%! They were a mix between a climbing and an approach shoe. And since we would probably never go rock climbing in the next four years I had to get them. When I told Julee about how much money I saved on these new shoes and all she could talk about was about how many pair of climbing shoes I already had. She just didn’t get it, I SAVED! Well yesterday was Julee's day off and so after I got home from school we headed over to Central Park. The day before, feeling bad about the shoes that I had bought, I had looked online and found out that are in fact, some places to go climbing in Central Park, or at least Bouldering. The directions online were not clear or precise so we wandered around a while until we saw some people with rock climbing shoes. We asked them where to go and they steered us in the right direction. It’s called Rat Rock, not very impressive but heck, beggars cannot be choosers. When we got there, there was a guy bouldering that looked really good. I tried the same problem and couldn’t get past the holding on part. Luckily I am comfortable with the fact that I suck a climbing, and so was not ashamed of move over six feet to the easy area. Julee and I worked on some problems for a half hour and then figured that we should take some pictures. It was getting dark then and my camera phone isn't any good to beguine with, so sorry for the crappy pictures. In the future I promise better.

Monday, October 29, 2007