Track 4

"New York State of Mind" by Billy Joel

I don't know why yesterday's post left a bad taste in my mouth, but it did, so I am doing something I've never done before: write two posts in two days! Let's just move right into a fun time in my life: traveling! Back in 2008-9 the travel bug bit me. I had always enjoyed travel, but never really did it. It
wasn't something that was a big part of my growing up years. We only had one big family vacation and that was to Yellowstone. I have the awesome white stretch pants pictures somewhere here.... Hmmm...I can't find any Yellowstone pictures, but I do have this one from the same summer (1991)!

It's almost the same. Plus, you get to see how cute Ronald McDonald was. Or me and my siblings. Also, if any of my siblings have pictures of that Yellowstone trip, feel free to post some in the Facebook comments. Ha!

Let's fast forward to 2009: Hawaii. I had planned a trip with my friend, Rachel, to Oahu. 10 days on the North Shore in a beach house. I had never been so far away before and even though it is part of the United States, it seemed like half a world away. To say I was excited was an understatement. After it was all planned, my brother, Michael, decided to move to Hawaii, the same island, the same side of said island. So, instead of my vacation being great, it turned out to be freaking awesome! I spent half the time at the beach house and half the time with my brother and his family (seriously...I miss you guys and yes, that may be a little guilt I'm laying down there to move back to the mainland, but no pressure).

Since Hawaii is so beautiful, I've decided to just do a visual tour of it. Enjoy....

One of my goals was to get a picture with all of the "hot" guys at the PCC. Yes, I did use my nieces shamelessly for this purpose. I, that's what I mean. ;)
I also used my sister-in-law. She was game. Even though there are women in this picture, you see how I am strategically next to the man.
We had way too much aunt fun that day. I let them get tattoos and everything!

Dole Plantation. Yuuuuummmmmmm. I would go back just for that ice cream.

If you are wondering what I look like just after I wake up...with a crown you go. I turned 29 for the first time!

The Epic Battle of Katrina and Stefanie Against the Coconut. I have not laughed so hard ever. Who knew it was so hard to crack a coconut? We tried the traditional way, then we decided we had to go outside and try to hit it against random things. Finally, finally, we whacked it open. And it was rotten. 

I love these girls!!!!! Also, travel tip to those not used to humid weather: wear skirts. So much cooler.

This is one of my favorite pictures I took. The sunsets were amazing. The sky felt like you could touch it.

Hawaii will always be special to me. It felt like I was on another planet away from any cares I had at the time. I loved it so much that I decided to go to the opposite side of the country the next year! Bring on....New York! And New Jersey and Minnesota...but we won't really talk about those two. 

New York is big. Really big. This is from the top of the Empire State Building. No, in case you were wondering, my true love did not meet me up there.

So many beautiful bridges connect Manhattan to the rest of the city.

The "reason" I came to New York. BEA!

Can I say enough about the food of New York? It was glorious. If anyone decides to go, make sure to take advantage of the luxurious culinary scene there.

Next time I go, I'll have to actually visit that place. I hear it's historical or something like that. Thanks France!

I just came from New Jersey. This is the only picture I have of that day.


Still so much remembrance and respect there for the heroes of 9/11. 

One of the coolest places I visited. This was an old church that had been turned into a strip mall of shops. You might think this was slightly sacrilegious, but it completely captured the spirit of the New Yorkers.

Brooklyn Bridge. Another place I'm so glad I walked across. Also, you may notice my tennis shoes in this picture (stop looking at how I posed the same way as the New Jersey picture above). I bought what I thought were comfortable, yet stylish shoes to walk New York. By the end of the first day, I had blisters where I didn't know you could get blisters. Okay, they were on my feet, which is an obvious place to get blisters, but painful nonetheless. My hurt won out against my desire to be stylish in NY. shoes after the first day. But look! The Brooklyn Bridge. 

I knew Manhattan had a Temple, but I had no idea where it was. NY was so big! As I reached the top of the Brooklyn Bridge, there it was. Like a light of hope in this huge city. I loved it.

New York had amazing nature thrown into small pockets around the Burroughs. Oh, and Central Park. This was in Brooklyn.

You may be wondering why I picked "New York State of Mind". Why are you wondering, Imaginary Cyberspace Friend? It's New York. Oh...why not a Hawaiian song? Because Billy Joel is awesome. There's almost nothing sexier than a man playing the piano. And IZ just didn't play the piano well enough ;). 


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