Sunday, April 13, 2014

Lliam's Minecraft Birthday Party

Holly's Baby Shower

Pics here!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Montana Pics

Click here for pics of the Montana portion of our trip.

Central Park Photo Shoot

Central Park Photo Shoot, a set on Flickr.

We hired a photographer to follow us around Central Park and take family photos. This is the result!

Monday, October 7, 2013

NYC collection posted!

I haven't had time to blog about the rest of our trip, but I did manage to post the remaining photos. There is some story in the captions and descriptions.

Click here to view the complete collection.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Day 2: Cruise, Fraunces Tavern, Wall Street, Google

New York City is under construction. So far we haven't been able to walk a block without seeing evidence of this. Everywhere we go, there are diverted sidewalks, scaffolding, even streets partially blocked off. I couldn't tell whether this is the natural course of keeping a city alive, or whether we're seeing a boom period. As we walked through a maze of pedestrian walkways in Times Square, it occurred to me that there must be a law that is responsible for these unsightly annoyances. It turns out that Local 11, enacted in 1998 is indeed responsible. Many building owners choose to leave scaffolding up between inspections just to avoid the cost of tear-down and subsequent re-erecting of said scaffolding.

Liberty Island Cruise

It took us over 2 hours to travel 5 miles yesterday. We had set out from our hotel down to Statue Cruises where we had originally reserved a spot to climb to the crown of the Statue of Liberty. Sadly due to the government shutdown, we were not going to get within spitting distance of the Lady, so we resigned to exchange our tickets for a sightseeing cruise instead.

On our way over, we fell victim to bad directions (from a confusing website), a very late bus, construction delays, and misleading signage to the ticketing area. Our misadventure took us past New York City Hall, the construction site of Freedom Tower, the Hudson River, the Irish Hunger Monument and ferry terminal. By the time we found the ticketing and boarding area, it was 1:30pm and we hadn't actually done anything yet. My head was aching and I was tired.

Once on board the boat, I sat on the bench with a blank look on my face and handed the camera to Will. As a consequence, I'm actually in some of the pictures! It was a short jaunt over to the statue and by the time got over there, I had perked up considerably. It was a beautiful day and quite awe-inspiring to see Lady Liberty off to starboard. I attempted to get an extend-o shot of me and Will kissing in front of her but ended up with a series of blurry, crooked images with a green blob in the distance. We did manage to get a good one though.

Lliam took a couple of looks at the statue and then found that sitting on the metal bench and producing funny noises by scratching it with his fingernails was more entertaining. Meanwhile, I was playing around with the panorama feature on my phone, and found it to be quite good.

Here are all the pics:

Like my new hat?Freedom TowerWill & Lliam at the towerJulie & Lliam at Freedom TowerLliam & freedom towerFreedom tower in the skyline
On the boatLower Manhattan skylineFreedom towerPier AJulie & Ellis Island
It was windy on the waterThere she is!Lliam, Julie & the ladyWill & the ladyLiberty IslandLady closeup
Pedestal & monumentJulie & the ladyJulie & the ladyJW & the lady
Liberty Cruise, a set on Flickr.

Fraunces Tavern & Museum

After disembarking, we plopped down on a nearby bench to inhale some snacks and figure out our next move. I started randomly googling things, and looking on a map realized that we were not far from Wall Street. I also found that we were close to the Fraunces Tavern and museum, which has some colonial history.

It gave me the shivers to pass the threshold of a nearly 300-year-old building where George Washington himself frequented and conducted business. The Long Room and George Clinton dining
room were particularly breathtaking.

Wall Street

On a whim, we navigated over to the famous bull where we were going to take some pictures. It turns out that 100 of our closest friends had the same idea, because there was a line to get to the photo op. 

We snickered as we noticed that just as many people were waiting to take pictures with the bull's upturned hind quarters as its front. We headed over to Wall Street expecting to see something spectacular (I don't know, maybe dollar bills raining from the sky?). It turned out to be this narrow street paved in cobblestone with tons of construction. 

Tackling the bull togetherFraunces Tavern & MuseumNow who's the butt of the joke?Bull showing its colors to BroadwayThe lineThere they are up close
Random tourist posing with the bullBroadway skylineBowling greenStreet sceneAnother street sceneDa bull!(s)
Lliam with da bullLliam petting the bullWill & the bullLliam and the bullHanging on for dear lifeBull market, or ball market?
NYSELliam @NYSEJulie @NYSEWall StreetWill & Lliam on Wall StreetWilliam & Wall
Wall Street, a set on Flickr.

Google NYC

Just after 6pm we were on the subway and for the first time experienced a rush hour train ride in New York City. Compared with BART, it was marginally more packed than say, an eastbound train leaving Embarcadero station. The major difference is that the trains go much slower and are far more jerky, so holding onto something is mandatory.

We arrived at 8th ave & 15th street a little bit early to meet our friend Steve and his wife Charlie. Steve works at Google and graciously offered to host us at the office. We were glad we took him up on it, because little did we know that a whole common area was Lego-themed. We chatted for a couple of hours while Lliam eagerly pulled lego bricks off the wall-mounted compartments and built some unique creations.

This was after we were treated to a delicious meal in the Google cafe, which we ate on the 8th floor rooftop seating area with spectacular views of the NYC skyline. The Empire State Building stood out with the Chrysler building in the distance.

Front lobbySkyline view from Google rooftop cafeEmpire State Building at nightCrysler building at nightCool looking towers at nightFlower thing on top of building
Gold-tipped building lit upGoogle Lego creationsThe Google lego wallGoogle lego cafe signGoogle cafePondering the next big algorithm
Google lego lampHard at workHangin out in brickvilleSuperhero!The gangAnimebot
Another attemptSpider-man lego kid!Super men!Lliam's creationsLego artGoogle building in lego
Google NYC, a set on Flickr.