Empire State of Mind – NYC Trip Day 1

For Jennie’s 30th birthday I surprised her with a trip to NYC. Let’s just say she was surprised, maybe not in a good way, but I was determined to make her love NYC just as much as I do.

We headed out on Wednesday morning about 10.

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We got to the airport and scanned the credit card to check in, it asked if we wanted to upgrade to first class,  it wasn’t that expensive, so we did it. It’s vacation!

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Then we enjoyed a little breakfast, hopped on the plane and headed to NYC.

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The flight there was uneventful and no one famous (other than us) was in first. Flights that short, the upgrade to first probably isn’t worth it. I am sure longer flights are more expensive though.

We took a cab from the airport to our hotel, the Sheraton Tribeca. Something I was wondering was what TriBeCa stood for. Anyone here know? Anyone? It stands for “Triangle below Canal Street”.

We rested for a bit then took a walk down to the WTC site. The new tower is big and almost looks complete. The memorial is set to open this Sept. You couldn’t see much of it, but it does look like it will be very nice.

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From there we walked on down to a dock area and took a look at the Statue of Liberty.

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From there we walked on down to Bowling Green park which is in the financial district.

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The north end of the park has the famous Charging Bull sculpture.

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That was it for day 1, we did quite a bit of touristy stuff for just getting in the city about 2 pm.

 

Triathlon 2011

On Saturday, June 25th, Chad competed in the Old Hickory Lake Triathlon for the second time. I didn’t get to go last year, but I was able to cheer him on this year. While waiting for Chad to pass by, I made some friends. A mother with her daughter and daughter’s friend. I helped them cheer for Bob and they helped me cheer for Chad. I think we were the loudest people out there. We even cheered for people we didn’t know because we could see their names on their bibs. The girls loved Chad’s reaction to their cheering.

Chad did a great job! He hadn’t been able to train for a couple weeks before this one because we were in Canada a week and then he hurt his knee playing basketball, but he still did awesome. I’m so proud of him!

Here are the results from this year and last year.

2011

Swim (400 yards) 8:48

Run (1 mile) 9:56

Bike (12 miles) 43:58

Run (2 miles) 20:43

2010

Swim (400 yards) 6:42

Run (1.5 miles) 17:39

Bike (12.5 miles) 46:56

Run (1.5 miles) 15:11

Canada-Part 3: Ottawa

Wednesday, June 15th- North Bay
We hit the road this morning for the long haul to North Bay. Our final destination is Ottawa, but we did not want to make the entire drive in one day (especially with Brody). On the way out of Timmins, we stopped at a Giant Tiger store and I got a t-shirt and sweatpants. We also stopped to see the grave site of Paul, Mamere’s late husband. To pass the time, we played some trivia games on my iPad. My favorite was Family Feud. The drive took about 7 hours including all the stops, so we were ready to get here.

Family Feud

We rested and had dinner at a pizza place. Then we went to the shore to see the sunset and take some pictures. It was very pretty. Brody got to step in sand for the first time, but he didn’t care for it too much.

We will hit the road again tomorrow. It will be the last day of driving for us. Yay! Well, riding for me, driving for Chad. Thanks for doing all the driving, Chad!

Thursday, June 16th- Ottawa
This morning, we made the final drive to Ottawa. It took about 6 hours, I guess. It seemed like we stopped quite a bit but I don’t know. I got my second helping of poutine. It seems to be on the menu of every restaurant here. I’m just glad we’re done driving. We got to Chad’s uncle’s house, Gilles, where I met him and his wife Susie, their daughter Lisanne, their son, Alain, and his wife and daughter, Mel and Emma. We had a wonderful home cooked dinner and played outside with the kids. Emma is so cute. She speaks more French than English, so I didn’t know most of what she was saying. I got to ride in the back seat with her and she was teaching me words in French, but her mom said they weren’t right. Alain and Mel are letting us stay in their home. It’s very pretty. We took it easy tonight, but I think tomorrow will have more in store.

Friday, June 17th- Ottawa
This morning we went to Gilles and Susie’s for breakfast. It was quite a spread, complete with veal sausage. Then, we left for our day out. We first stopped to where we could look over the water to see Quebec.

View of Quebec

 

We then went to the market area. It had outdoor stands as well as a lot of shops. Ashley and Brock tried a beaver tail, which was a pastry kind of like a funnel cake. We walked around a lot and went to the Parliament. Susie told us they were getting ready for Canada Day. Prince William and Kate are supposed to attend.

Chad and Jennie in front of Parliament

 

Parliament

We stopped back at the house for some lunch and to drop Brody off for a nap. Then, we headed to the mall to do some more shopping. I got a couple things from Roots, a Canadian retail store.

Tonight, we came back to Alain and Mel’s for dinner. They had great food and dessert. We took a few pictures, but unfortunately not with our camera again. Emma danced for us and Brody joined in a little. They were so cute.

Saturday, June 18th- Ottawa/Home
This morning, we said our goodbyes to everyone and made the trip home. The airport provided my last Tim Horton’s treat for a while. I don’t know how many times we ate there during the week. We flew from Ottawa to Chicago, then to Nashville. The ride to Chicago was a little bumpy and did not feel well, but it didn’t last long.

I am glad to be home, but the trip was so fun. I am so glad I got to meet everyone. It is nice to now put the faces with the names. Everyone is so lovely and I am excited to get to visit again. THANK YOU to all of you who made me feel so welcomed and comfortable! And THANK YOU Jerry Webb for planning this whole trip!

Canada- Part 2: Timmins

Monday, June 13th- Timmins
Today we hit the road and took the boring trip from Sudbury to Timmins (home of Shania Twain). It seemed to take forever, but it really only took about 5 hours with a couple stops.

On the way to Timmins from Sudbury

We checked in to the beautiful Cedar Meadows resort and spa. We won’t be taking advantage of the spa though.

Chad and Jennie at Cedar Meadows

We went to Chad’s uncle Paul’s house where he had dinner for us. A lot of family were there. I met Paul, his wife Lisanne, and kids Kelsey and Nick; uncle Peter and his wife Aline. Their son, Richard, his wife Abby, and their kids Reece and Elyxiana (that probably isn’t spelled correctly) came too. I also met uncle Ray, his wife Julie, and Chad’s Mamere (grandmother). They had so much wonderful food for us. We spent the evening outside and it was so nice. Some even went swimming. Chad and Brock also played video games with Nick and Kelsey. Everyone was so welcoming and kind. It was a really fun time with family.

 

Tuesday, June 14th- Timmins
We slept in this morning until about 9:15 and then Chad and I went for a run. It was nice (and needed because of all the food). The scenery and weather were great. We then went back to get ready and left to pick up Mamere for lunch. Paul met us all there too. After lunch, Mamere suggested taking Brody to the lake nearby to see the ducks. What a good idea! He loved them. He chased them and giggled. He would have gotten in the water if Ashley hadn’t stopped him.

Brody watching the ducks

This afternoon, back at the resort, we went on a wilderness tour, which was a tractor ride around the property. It was a lot of fun to see the animals, but it was really fun to see Brody’s reaction. He was very interested but not quite brave enough to get too close or touch any animals. He acted like he wanted to, but he wouldn’t. We saw a reindeer, swans, elk, moose, and bison. We even got the elk to eat right out of our hands. It was neat.

Ashley with Brody looking at a moose

 

Chad with bison
Chad and Jennie with a moose
Jennie feeding an elk

This evening, we went to Paul’s again and ordered pizza from Don’s. Abby had suggested it last night and everyone raved about it. They told us that it was Shania Twain’s favorite pizza place. It was really good! Then, we went to Mamere’s home for a while and visited Ray and Julie’s house as well. We went back to Paul’s for a bit and said our goodbyes until next time. I can’t get over how sweet everyone was and how comfortable they made me feel.

 

Jennie, Chad, Mamere, Ashley, and Brock

Canada- Part 1: Sudbury

I wrote a little each day while we were in Canada so that I would be sure to have a post. Here is the beginning of our trip.

Friday, June 10th-Nashville/Toronto
We finally got in to Toronto tonight. Our flight was scheduled for 10:45 this morning. So we loaded up and left from Bowling Green with Ashley, Brock, and Brody at 7:30. After checking in and going through security, we waited at the gate. We heard on the loud speaker that the flight was overbooked and they needed 3 volunteers to get on a later flight. The offer: $800 cash each. We took the deal. We could only get it for the 3 of us, but we all got on the later flight and we will split it equally. They also gave us lunch vouchers, so we ate and spent 6 hours in the Nashville airport. It wasn’t too bad. I took my iPad and downloaded some games. Brody was really good. He didn’t fuss hardly at all, even on the plane.
This is mine and Brody’s first time in Canada. It will be nice to meet all the family that I’ve heard about and be in a country I’ve never been to before. We are staying in a hotel in Toronto tonight and then we will hit the road tomorrow morning. Jerry and Peggy drove up early with our bags and rented a car for us. Basically, all I am seeing in Toronto is the airport and the back of my eyelids.

Saturday, June 11th- Sudbury
This morning we got on the road and I got to experience 2 Canadian treats- Tim Hortons and poutine! We got breakfast at Tim Hortons and I only got a bagel, but I did try Chad’s breakfast sandwich. Later, I got a taste of the doughnuts by trying a timbit (like a donut hole) or 2. I’m a fan. I can see why they are everywhere here. I’m sure we’ll go a few more times before we leave. On the road trip from Toronto to Sudbury, we stopped at a fishing shop and grabbed a snack. Chad and I shared some poutine. I had heard of it, but this was my first time trying this interesting dish. It is French fries with gravy and cheese. It was good!

Poutine

In Sudbury, I met Paavo and Monique at their home and I also got to meet Matti, Gillian, Leah, Brendan, and Richard. We ate (a lot) and visited. They were all so nice and it was a lot of fun. Leah loved playing with Brody, and I think he loved the attention and energy. We are staying in a hotel here for the next 2 nights. The first room they gave already had someone in it. I’m glad that’s never happened to me! It’s a nice hotel, which is good because we all need to get some rest.

Sunday, June 12th- Sudbury 59 degrees (rainy in the morning)
Today, Monique and Paavo took us to see the Big Nickel. I’ve heard about it from Chad, Ashley, and Brock. It was exactly what it sounds like… A big nickel. It was very chilly- high of 59 degrees and rainy. Later we went to a farmers market and the mall. We didn’t get anything but some food. We must have been tired because we then went back and Chad and I took a nap for a couple hours.
For dinner, we went out with Paavo, Monique, Gillian, Richard, Leah, and Brendan. Then we went to their house for yummy cake and ice cream. We visited and watched Leah and Brendan play with Brody. Leah even sang to us. She has a beautiful voice! We took some pictures (just not with our camera) and said our goodbyes. It was a great visit!

Ashley, Monique, and Chad at the Big Nickel

 

Jennie and Chad at the Big Nickel

3rd Anniversary

This year, Chad and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary. It was on a Tuesday, so we didn’t do anything too big, but we did go out to dinner. When I got home from work, Chad had some beautiful multi-colored roses, candy, and my gift sitting on the table for me. The gift was actually wrapped in wrapping paper (not common for Chad Webb).

He got me an iPad! This was a great surprise. He also got me a cute pink cover to go on the front of it.  A couple of months earlier, I was close to winning an iPad from school and Chad was really excited for me to win it, but unfortunately, I didn’t. The gift is very cool and I like it a lot. Chad likes it and uses it just as much as me.

The modern 3rd anniversary gift is crystal, so I got Chad a new watch with a mineral crystal face. He doesn’t wear it much because he is afraid he will break it or scratch it and because he spends most of his time at home where no one sees him. But it does look very nice on him and I’m glad he likes it.

We have had an awesome 3 years. I’m so glad I’ve gotten to share them with the best husband I could have ever imagined. I love you, Chad!