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Adventures in Burkeland - Thursday, 19 April 2018
A little working family on a little hobby farm.
 
 Thursday, 19 April 2018
We were all up around 9am and, oh, doesn't it feel good to have some real sleep behind you!
We were almost human and able to think through problems that seemed insurmountable the day before. (Like Nolan wanting an NYC sweatshirt, but expecting it to only cost about $3.)
We packed up our bags, and stored them at the desk downstairs before going back out to some shops for NYC souvenirs and then heading to Battery Park to pick up our Statue of Library tickets. We had booked tickets to climb to the crown back in January. (We were actually only intending to check on the tour times, but had quickly realized there were only two tours left we could get four tickets for on this day.) So we were some of the lucky few that actually got to enter the pedestal or statue, which have tight security since re-opening after 9-11. The ferry took us out to Liberty Island where we had to leave everything except cameras and water in lockers before entering the statue. It was such a great experience! I doubt the boys will ever forget climbing the (very narrow!) steps to to the windows and looking out over the water. Very cool.

Back down where we walked around a few more times at the pedestal and then at the ground level, before re-boarding the ferry to Ellis Island. We hadn't talked to the boys as much about Ellis Island, but they knew the general story of immigrants coming past the Statue of Liberty to the vast falls where they were processed and allowed, or not allowed, through to the United States. We looked up Scott's great-grandpa William Burke, and then finally headed back to Battery Park.

Once we swung back through to get our bags another Uber took us to our car rental place, just a few blocks from the entrance to Carey Tunnel, which allowed us to exit Manhattan ASAP after picking up our car:) On the road, traffic was heavy at first, but continued to lighten as we got closer to Scott's Aunt Patti's house in south New Jersey - just about 25 minutes outside of Philadelphia.

So good to see family again! We ate Chinese food and spent the night catching up with Patti, Neal, Katie and Joey before crashing for a second good night's sleep.

04/19/2018 16:46:32 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #       |  Trackback
 Wednesday, 18 April 2018
Wheels down at New York's JFK around 5:15 this morning. Whew. We each managed a few hours of sleep on the plane - now we get to see if it's enough to get through a day in New York City.

Scott called and Uber to take us to our hotel, the DoubleTree in the Financial District. To our pleasant surprise the hotel was willing to give us our room despite our arrival 8 hours before check-in time at 3pm! With an hour to settle in, and take the world's briefest naps, we were back out the door around 8am, heading from the Financial District to midtown on the subway with roughly 5,000 of our closest friends. (It probably wasn't the best "first-impression" of the subway for the boys...)

When we told the boys we were going to NYC, they each got to pick 3-4 things for us to do. Together their list includes the Empire State Building, Central Park, the New York Public Library (we had just finished reading The Land of Stories series, which ends at the library), Times Square (Nolan wanted to eat at the McDonalds) and the Statue of Liberty. (We later added the World Trade Center.)

So with those stops in mind, our first stop was the Empire State Building! Luckily the line wasn't too long so we walked through most of the waits for elevators and security without too much delay. And then we were on top of the world! Where it was very cold. Almost too cold to really be out on the balcony. But there are plenty of things to see from inside the observation area and, in the end, we were there.

Next we walked a few blocks to the New York City Public Library, where the boys started complaining about their feet hurting. (Well, that didn't take long! Clearly we should have walked a few more laps on the driveway before we tackled NYC.) The library is impressive! It's almost funny to think about our small city library in comparison. We explored the different rooms, found the original Winnie the Pooh animals and the map room (I love maps), before moving on toward Times Square.

We had tried to warn the boys that Times Square can be a little bizarre sometimes, so they were a bit nervous about scam artists or being approached by performers, but it was fine. We stayed in the zone where you can watch the performers without being approached and slowly made our way to McDonalds, where we took a lunch break.

By this time the kids were starting to really protest their feet, so we agreed to grab a taxi to Central Park, where we surprised them with an hour-long carriage ride through Central Park. (We knew in advance they were going to be dragging by this point, so we can set it up in advance.) The carriage took us right past all the sites they wanted to see (mostly from movies): Bethesda Fountain/Steps, the Balto Statue, and Sheeps Meadow. The driver also pointed out all of the places famous people had lived on the east and west sides, as well as where movies had been filmed (Elf, Enchanted, etc.). It must have been good, because we all manged to stay awake the entire time (or maybe that was the Starbucks stop before we climbed on board).

After our ride, we coaxed the boys into trying the subway again and found it considerably less crowded at 1:30 than it had been at 8am. Back at our hotel we all took another catnap to recharge our batteries. Afraid that too much sleep would make it heard to ever get used to the time change, we pulled ourselves back to our feet around 4pm, and headed out to the World Trade Center site, not far from our hotel. We spent an hour looking into the pools at the bottom of the sites where the two buildings had once stood and reading some of the names engraved on the sides. After some more sitting and people watching, it was time to find some dinner and head back to the room, via a few shops. Our intent had been to ride the Staten Island Ferry after the sun went down to take in the lights of the city, but once we got back to our room, we were all done. It was time to get some real sleep. Good night NYC - you hold a lot of sites for these Oregonians!
04/18/2018 16:27:42 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #       |  Trackback
 Tuesday, 17 April 2018
Our bags are packed and we're off to spend the next week on a major field trip for the boys!
Flight AS450 leaves PDX at 9:30 tonight and the questions is: Can we all make it through a day in NYC with whatever sleep we can manage on the plane tonight?
Time will tell - we're counting on adrenaline to help get us through!

04/17/2018 16:35:53 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #       |  Trackback
 Sunday, 08 April 2018
SJS needed a trailer for a murder mystery project they were doing in the month of April. They thought they had one lined up, but it fell through so at the last minute we found ourselves backing our trailer into the front patio of the school. Nolan is dedicated to trying not to let on that it's our trailer as all the students go through it looking for clues to solve the "murder" over the next few weeks.

04/08/2018 13:52:17 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #       |  Trackback
 Sunday, 01 April 2018
It's not often the Easter falls on April Fools day. I have to say, I think it's hilarious.

 
04/01/2018 13:46:39 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #       |  Trackback
 Thursday, 29 March 2018
We wanted to go somewhere during spring break, but with an upcoming trip to the east coast there wasn't much room in the budget. So we looked around and settled on Belknap Hot Spring, just a ways down Hwy 20 from Clear Lake. We booked one night in the lodge (we should have done two) and drowned our winter chills in the 'wow-that's-almost-too-hot' water. The next morning we drove down to the "resort" at Clear Lake and tackled the 4+ mile hike around the lake, which still included A LOT of snow in some places. As in, "Um, where exactly is the path?" levels of snow and "Wow, I just sank in up to my thighs" snow. It took almost four hours, but by the end when we offered to let the boys hang out by the first cabins we passed when we got back to the report they both flatly turned us down. "NO! We are finishing this." Well done boys. It was a hard-earned finish!

 
03/29/2018 13:44:29 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #       |  Trackback
 Sunday, 25 March 2018
Well, look at these lovely visitors that showed up in the trees behind the barn (and made us a little late for church this morning).

03/25/2018 13:35:21 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #       |  Trackback
 Friday, 23 March 2018
There is not a flake of snow at our house, but apparently above 1000 feet the clouds had not been informed about the start of spring break.
So we packed up the new Pilot (not a 4-wheel drive, for the record) and made the, you know, 12 minute trip up the hill!
That was easy.
And fun, let's be honest.

   
03/23/2018 13:33:21 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #       |  Trackback
 Tuesday, 20 March 2018
Surprise! I noticed today that the second ewe had a milk sac on her, confirming that she was indeed pregnant. We had the Collins' over for dinner and by the time they left, we had a lamb! Glad she had an easy delivery, because we were not watching her! We named the lamb Taco, because that's what we were eating when she was born:)

03/20/2018 13:30:59 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #       |  Trackback
There are some advantages to homeschool!

03/20/2018 13:21:19 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #       |  Trackback
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