Monday, June 30, 2014

Fireworks, with the BEST view in the house!

Didn't think the answer would come so quickly did you? I kind of left you hanging on the last blog but it was for two reasons, one being that the last post was already picture heavy and two because I am not sure uploading the video I have will work and I spent a lot of time on the last post and therefore I didn't want to risk losing it screwing with things I'm not sure will even work.

SO! Last night we were laying in bed and all the sudden this unbelievable racket started.. Jason and I went out on the balcony only to see that they were putting on a huge fireworks show in NewYork, but right on the Hudson so we had a front seat view! I didn't know they were planning on doing it, and I am going to assume it for was Pride weekend because I'm not sure what else was going on in the city this weekend to warrant a fireworks display like that!

Naturally if you know Jason at all you know that he LOVES a good fireworks display and therefore we threw on some decent clothes and ran downstairs to check it out close up!

Again with the grainy iPhone pictures! In my defense I literally had two second to throw on clothes and run downstairs! I wasn't even fast enough for Jason to wait for me.. I couldn't dig out the camera that is potentially dead anyways.. I just couldn't.

That damn light was totally in my way!

So as I mentioned Jason ran down before me.. which I didn't mind.. who am I to stand between him and his beloved fireworks? Its really funny how much he thoroughly enjoys them! Anyways I was in the elevator on my way down and there was a woman and her little girl in the elevator with me. The woman was holding this little girl on her hip and they were talking about the fireworks. All the sudden the little girl started making a fuss and then GUSH.. she peed everywhere! I almost died! The poor mother was mortified and quickly opened the elevator door and ran out.. I didn't know what to do.. I mean did that really just happen?

Now here is the big question.. can I get the video I took to upload here.. I don't know because I have never had luck with uploading anything but pictures but I am sure going to give it a whirl because I think it is worth sharing!

I would also like some bonus points for two blogs in one day! You can take it away if I cant get the video to work, and if I don't then I will do some reading as to how its done!

Happy Monday!!

I think it worked!! Who knew it was so easy!!! ENJOY!

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Gateway To American - Fort Wadsworth, Staten Island

Hello hello blog readers!

As I mentioned yesterday we spent our day yesterday on Staten Island at Fort Wadsworth checking out some American history! Truthfully there isn't a ton to do in New Jersey and we lived in New York before so when it comes to new things we are a little limited. We didn't feel like going into the city this weekend.. the subway is much less appealing when its hot as hell out and you know because its a weekend its going to be PACKED, and we just had nothing we cared to do in Manhattan so we decided to actually get in the truck and go somewhere!

Jason had looked up Fort Wadsworth a couple of weeks ago and although we didn't plan to go this weekend we thought on Sunday it might be a good day for it. I am a history buff and love that kind of stuff, and Jason is a true American and loves to do anything that shows American pride so we got in the truck and headed out early yesterday morning. Let me warn you all, if you are heading there from New Jersey know that you will go through multiple tolls and one of them will cost you $13.00.. I kid you not! Jason almost died!!

Anyways it was a gorgeous day to get out and tour around, I will give you as much information as I can and of course share pictures but if you are interested in reading about it for yourself I highly recommend you click HERE.

Gateway National Recreation Area embraces an area known for over a century as the "Gateway to America". Covering over 26,000 acres, the park extends from Sandy Hook, New Jersey along the South side of Staten Island to Jamaica Bay and Breezy Point in New York. Part of our touring around included Breezy Point, we walked along the beach as well as the boardwalk, but I will get to that in awhile.

Congress designated Gateway National Recreation Area in 1972 as one of the first urban parks in the National Park System.

The United States defended its shores for centuries with a complex system of fortifications. One heavily defended area was New York City, the nations center for business and finance. The harbor defense system started in lower Manhattan and eventually extended to Sandy Hook, New Jersey. Prinipally active during wartime, New York's harbor system defended the region until the late 1900's. 

Staten Island's Fort Wadsworth - Guardian of the Narrows - guarded the entrance to New York's Harbor for over 200 years. Because of the strategic location, Fort Wadsworth continually evolved as new technology became available. From Battery Weed, the Civil War-era gun battery, to modern anti-ship batteries that services through World War II, Forth Wadsworth presented a formidable defense. Today when you visit you can see the harbor from the highest point in the city. 

 This area was really neat, although you can't see on both sides of the buildings there are secret windows where men stood on defense to intruders. 

Although you probably cant make out the words on this display you can see the picture which gives you an idea. 

This home was part of the military base, for the most part it is completely intact as it was. You cannot enter this home but you can look around. Sadly right on the front step was a dead bird that ran into the window. What are the odds? I believe that is bad luck isn't it?

The fort is right on the ocean and the views were beautiful!

There is a ton to do and see in the area! However as the day progressed and the temperature got hotter Jason was less inclined to run around and climb the hills in the heat, so there were parts that we just drove around and explored rather then got out and scoured on foot. However I will give you some information on the surrounding areas just for your knowledge. 

** NOTE: All information provided here comes from the National Park Service, U.S Department of the Interior. It was provided in a pamphlet I received at Fort Wadsworth.**

In the area you can also visit:

Fort Hancock: Sandy Hook Peninsula has long served as a site of military importance and innovative technological developments. In 1874 the U.S Army established the nation's first weapons proving ground here, and in 1895 built Fort Hancock as the outermost defense point in New York City. Over the years the defense included concrete gun batteries, anti-aircraft positions, and advanced Nike missiles. You can explore this 1800's military post, one of the best preserved in the Northeast. 

Floyd Bennett Field: Boasting its strong concrete runways and modern facilities, Floyd Bennett Field opened as New York City's first municipal airport in 1931. In the 1930's the airfield became legendary for its record-breaking flights by aviators like Wiley Post, Howard Hughes, and Jacqueline Cochran, the first female pilot to break the sound barrier. Ownership of the field passed to the U.S Navy in 1942; it was the busiest military airport in the United States during World War II.

Jacob Riis Park: In 1936 Robert Moses, the influential New York City Parks commissioner and politician, designed Jacob Riis Park with an innovative eye for public space. The city developed the site in 1912 as a public beach, but Moses put forward plans that remodeled the bathhouse and introduced landscaped walkways, boardwalks, and courtyards. The parks name is a salute to Jacob Riis, the prominent social commentator and photographer. 

Sandy Hook: New York City merchants, wanting to guide cargo safely through the harbor to Manhattan, financed the building of the Sandy Hook Lighthouse. First lighted on June 11, 1764, the Sandy Hook Light is the oldest lighthouse in the nation, and it is still an active aid to navigation. The lighthouse originally stood at the end of the peninsula, but centuries of shifting currents have driven sand northward. Today the lighthouse is over a mile from the tip of the peninsula. 

After touring around we couldn't help but make our way to the beach.. how could we not? I was really interested to see what the beach would be like down there because let me tell you, you couldn't pay me to stick my foot in the Hudson River outside of our apartment. 

Ha! Not only did I take a picture but I INSISTED we park here.. I felt like it was probably safe! 

The fact that there were a ton of people fishing and therefore big hooks swimming around in the water, I had decided then and there I probably wouldn't want to get in. 

I know it looks nice but the water was pretty dirty, not to mention this is the passage way for trash barges. 

As well, behind us the beach was COVERED in trash. I felt no need to take pictures of that but I wouldn't lay out on the beach either. 

Where the boardwalk was happened to be a little nicer and believe it or not from this picture packed full of pictures. There is a reason they call it Breezy Point as well.. it was windy as hell. 

We walked down the boardwalk and decided to get some Italian ice. Jason absolutely LOVES Italian ice and I am not really a huge fan but decided to give this stuff a whirl and let me tell you... Pina Colada with coconut flakes is TO DIE FOR! 

So that was our day on Staten Island, I really enjoyed touring around and just seeing something different for the day! I think I would say at this point it was worth the $13.00 toll but I'm not sure Jason would agree. We got back later in the afternoon and spent two hours at the pool before making dinner. We went with an easy dinner as we are preparing to leaving this Thursday morning for home and therefore we are trying to be strategic about leftovers and what not. 

I got in bed last night at a decent time, as you remember from my blog and had no intentions on getting out. Jason got in bed not long after me and all the sudden all we heard were these crazy loud bangs coming from outside... stay tuned to find out what it was...

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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Cheat Post

So I came around yesterday and said that I was going to blog everyday this week.. including today. This is when I thought I would most likely sit around the apartment most of the day today and maybe lay around the pool, that did not happen.

Last night I blogged and right after Jason said, lets go for a walk. So about 8:45pm we headed out the door. I wish I would have taken my camera (which I finally found the charger to today, and it was in the truck this whole time!!) because it was a fantastic night. I thought I would tell you all about that today until Jason came in this morning from the gym and asked if we were going to Fort Wadsworth? We had talked about it but never mentioned going this weekend so I was shocked but jumped up to get ready and head out the door.

I'm not going to lie the battery is going to die on the laptop so I am going to give you some crappy iPhone pictures from last night.. They are so grainy I cant even handle it but I still think they are worth seeing and I promise to take my actual camera out the next time we go for a walk at night. I know I could fine the charger but I am in bed and don't want to get up and go and get it.. and I really feel like I need to go to sleep. Having said that I can wait to chronicle our day today on the blog for you tomorrow!!

Let the record show.. I showed up here today and let these pictures be proof!

See... terribly grainy but kinda worth seeing!

We had some company on our walk last night.. this couple in front of us were getting so close and I wanted to warn that lady getting bit by a goose hurts!

iPhone pictures suck. Those babies grew so fast!

This is what I wanted you all to see the other night! The Empire State building looks so good lit up!

The Colgate Clock.. Pinterest says its the largest clock in the world! See HERE.

This is a really crappy picture but if you look out in the middle you can see Lady Liberty with her flame lit bright! Somehow we have better views living in New Jersey then we did in New York!

So I cheated basically, this isn't really the post I promised and the pictures are HORRID but I will make up for it tomorrow. I would like to just say that I made the effort to get here and that has to count for something. 

I will leave you with this.. the other day I was reading Lil Blue Boo blog, she and her family have recently relocated to the smokey mountains in North Carolina and she mentioned this quote she found in a magazine originally from 1919 republished in Smokies Life Magazine recently:

First I came here for health's sake and peace of mind. The grand old hills and forests gave me both. I return to them a fond affection. 

Then I got liking the people. They are plain, honest, brave and independent folk. They are pure Americans, with true American ideals. They are hospitable, with genuine good will, and not for the sake of gain. They judge a man from his own deeds and bearing; not from his pocket book or family tree. 

Towns are few and small.Outside of them people are quaintly old fashion, with ideas of their own, not borrowed ones. They are original these mountaineers; nearly everyone is a character. 

- Horace Kephart, published in All Outdoors Magazine. October 1919

It just struck me as the kind of people you would meet and love in North Carolina.. the kind of quaint towns you find there.. and you know I never pass up an opportunity to talk about home!

Hope you all had a great weekend.. I definitely did!

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