20170731 - Statue and Grand Arenas

20170731 - Up in the am and we jumped a train to Liberty National park where we had quite a hike to get to the ferry. We noticed at Liberty park a black line running through the park, same same kind of black line we saw at the PA 911 memorial, and this one pointed across the Hudson river towards where the Twin Towers use to stand, it was another flight path... From the ferry we had a great view of the city as we approached Ellis Island.

We didn't get off and continued on to Liberty Island where we walked around the awesome statue. What a sight it must have been coming into the country as an immigrant. We had a nice lunch on the patio and then headed back to the ferry to go to Battery park From there we walked to Wall St and on to the Grand Central Station. We toured the beautiful station for a bit before jumping on the train to the Bronx. Our destination fr the evening, Yankee Stadium.

Once inside the door the boys got their a special treat, their picture taken with the World Series trophy. We stopped at the fan appreciation booth and got certificates for our first game in the stadium, we got Aaron Judge's too.  Up to our seats in the front row of club level for a spectacular view of the grand arena. What a place! DG&I walked around the entire place searching for the perfect hat. We found one and headed back to our seats to finish the game. The Yankees won!

Back on the subway, through WTC Station, pretty much empty at this hour, and to our hotel.  We saw some great things today!

20170730 - PA all the way to NYC

20170730 - Up and had bfast at the hotel then more time on the road in PA. We stopped in Shartlesville to see Roadside America to see the huge building full of a model train display. It was awesome and the boys loved looking at all the different scenes and cool stuff they did with this. Definitely worth a stop.

On to the Peeps Factory in Bethlehem, they were closed but you could still smell the sugar in the air. We drove through a Burger King for lunch and kept on moving. Next stop was the Crayola Experience. We didn't take the tour but went through the huge gift shop and saw a wall of crayons.

That was the last stop for a while as we got in to traffic the closer we got to NYC. We drove through some pretty rough neighborhoods to get to the hotel in Newark NJ. We got settled in and then headed down to the lobby, through the tube and to the NJ PATH station to catch our first train to NYC. We made it to the World Trade Center Train Station which was AMAZING.

We came up through the bottom of the new World Trade Center and through a line that wrapped around the building  of people waiting to pay $50 a pop to go to the top. We went outside and walked around the 911 memorial fountains and talked to the boys about it. Pretty amazing and moving to be standing there. We then headed back down to the subways and made our way to Times Square.

The boys thought it was pretty awesome and we saw all the sights we see on TV. There were street artists making cool paintings, performers dancing and playing music and every language on the globe around us. What a cool place. We went into the M&M store and got a couple bags full of all the different M&Ms from the 3 floors of chocolate. We stopped in the Disney store, and got a snack from a street vendor. We took a hike and found a nice little place to eat and sit for a bit and then walked past Macy's and the Empire Sate Building. Back on the subway and the boys found the perfect seats. We made it back to the hotel and crashed.

20170729 - Day One in PA

20170729 - Up in the am, everything packed and we headed out.  The odometer started at 11,755 and we started the trip as my mentor would by listening to Holiday Road by Lindsay Buckingham. Before we knew it we were in West Virgina.  State seems a bit more empty with aunt Martha gone...  Didn't take us long until we hit Pennsylvania and G was very confused as to how we got through WV so fast.  We swung through Somerset to see a giant elephant and a globe tower on the way to our lunch destination the Castle Restaurant in Stoystown for an awesome meal.  G&I chatted with the owner and learned all about the place he grew up in.  After we filled ourselves up we headed on down the road to the Flight 93 National Memorial.  

The memorial was truly amazing and much more moving for me than I thought it would be. The black line that marked the glide path through the memorial was amazing. The displays in the memorial were very educational and there was no way I would be able to listen to the phone messages left by the passengers to their loved ones... We walked the path and read everything trying to explain to the boys what all happened and why the site was important.

Back on the road and we passed what once was Storyland in Schellsburg and a coffee pot shaped building in Bedford.  Then for dessert we stopped at a ice cream sundae shaped ice cream place we have been to before for a treat before seeing the world's largest quarter.

Our day was far from over as we headed through the Amish lands to Port Royal to meet up with our good buddy Marko we lived next door to in Wilmington NC when D was born. Marko is a huge sprint car race fan and just happened to be in our neck of the woods so we joined him for the first sprint car race for all of us. I have never seen anything like this; a dirt track, cars sliding around at 120 mph and crashing and flying into the air and the thunderous noise was incredible.  We stayed for nearly all the races, but it was getting very late and we were freezing. We got to our hotel in Harrisbug very late. What a great day with loads of awesome experiences and sights.

20170728 - Lined Up

20170728 - Up in the am and in to work trying to finalizing everything up. Stayed a bit late to make sure everything would run smooth while I was out.  Home and L had everything backed up and we had semi relaxing evening preparing for the big vacation starting tomorrow.

20170727 + College Visit

20170727 + Up in the am and in to work. VERY busy day and stayed late to help Mary Ellen get ready for the QBR in San Francisco next week. Home and chatted with L&D about the college visit to Columbus State. They said it was great and really liked campus and tour. LG&I headed to Meijer to get supplies for the trip. D&J headed to their buddy's houses for the night. LG&I watched 'Ghost in the Machine'. It had great special effects but the movie was not good. All to bed and I looked at NYC sightseeing stuff until late.

20170726 + Snorkel

20170726 + Up in the am and in to work. Had a customer on site doing a physical walk of the site measuring space. J had CC today. Met LD&G at Academy Park where G had a tryout for Fall ball and D had a practice. G did great, the other kids, yikes... Then LG&I went over to watch D's practice, G helped. My buddy Joe from high school is one of the coaches and the boys were having a good time. Home and L&I finalized vacation plans.

20170725 - Setting a Goal

20170725 - Up in the am and G and his buddy Brady still awake :-o In to work and started the morning unraveling a puzzle of reports and repair data. Had a pretty productive day. The boys were not good today L about to lose her mind... I ran and got a couple auction items after work. Home and D&G back at the Gahanna tryouts again tonight. After the tryout several of the dads and kids came over to play and chat. D&J put up the soccer goal I got for J at an auction for $30, it is HUGE. Everyone left and we all headed to bed. Up late looking at things to do in NYC & Boston.

20170724 - Baseball Buddies

20170724 - Up in the am and helped L get J out of bed for CC practice.  Dragging in to work and worked in the back office most of the day catching up from being off Friday. L sent me a pic of G's buddies from the Gahanna baseball team that walked to the house before tryouts to pick him up. Home and straight back to G's tryouts where D was helping. G did good and looked to be having a great time with his buddies. Bill, Tom and their boys came to the house afterwards for a brat and a beer and to chat. They sent G his offer. Brady stayed the night and DJG Brady and I watched the movie 'Paper Towns' before DJ&I headed to bed. I was up until 3 catching up on email.

20170723 - Sorting

20170723 - Up and in to work, yes on a Sunday. Spent the entire day helping with an inventory. Home, L had cooked a nice dinner and we hung out on the back porch. There was a baby praying mantis hanging out with us that was pretty cool to watch. JG&I ran out and got the movie Logan to watch this evening. D went to Grove City to play basketball with some friends.

20170722 + Boys are Back

20170722 + Up way too early and drove at high speed to pick boys up at camp.  I was unsure of the time and was afraid I was going to get there late.  I got there in plenty of time and met up with them as they walked up from their campsite in the rain. I got the boys in the car and dried up a bit and we headed to the Dutch kitchen.  The boys talked and talked about all the stuff that happened.  D told of a great speech he gave that made everyone cry.  They had a lot of fun and did a bunch of goofy stuff and were boys for a week without their phones and electronics they are a joy.  I love my boys!  We stopped for lunch with the Pack and then they got their phones for the drive to the Farm.  We stopped for a quick visit and then headed home.  We got home and the boys got cleaned up and contacted their friends.  I took a couple hour nap and woke to L making dinner.  D had DGF7 over and the boys told L all about their week.  G&I got the Kong movie and we watched it to finish off the day.

20170721 - 207 Holes!

20170721 - Up in the am and got a couple of things done. G and I headed out for our Dad & Me day with not as much planning as in years past. I asked if there was something else he would prefer to do and he declined Our first stop was the 36 holes at the Westerville putt-putt. G and I have been doing this course first for any years and I have many pick of us in this same spot.

G didn't want to do the batting cages to make sure we had time time to get our goal of 200 holes this year. The next stop was the 36 holes in Olentangy. It is a new brand new last year with no landscaping. This year it was complete and we enjoyed the course and the tricky holes, our favorites. After that we had to run an errand for our friend's the McClains dog from the vet.  We then swung by their house and picked up a cage and took it all back to our house.  We introduced Lilly and got the pup settled and then headed out for lunch at Waffle House where G a huge lunch and he ate almost everything.  

We love going to Waffle House.  We then made a quick stop at an auction house to pick up some goodies before heading to Magic Mountain on Brice Rd for 36 holes.  On to Grove City, getting blazing hot now, for another 18 hole at the course where you spin the wheel and have to do what it says.  It was a blast.  we then headed up around 270 to Galaxy Golf where we played the first 9 on the big animal course and then checked out the mountain course to see if it was too wet; NOT FOR US! So we played another 18 holes there.  On around the loop to Avery Rd putt-putt for 18 holes on their colorful course.  The sun was heading down and we made it to the top of 270 for 36 hole at Magic Mountain Polaris.  it was the hardest of the day but maybe because of the shadows and darkness.  We finished in time to get to the Marcus Theater to see Valerian on its opening day in reclining seats with a beer and pizza.  It was a good move and we headed home after, arriving at 1:30 AM.

We played 207 holes today breaking our several year goal of doing 200 holes in 1 day.  It was exhausting and fun at the same time.  We did and talked about many things throughout the day and it was fun listening to all the things this little guy has to say, and he has a lot to say.  He is a fine young boy and I am very lucky to get to do things like this with him.  I hope he always remembers them.  I will, especially this year because I got 4 hole in ones and G only got 1  :-)

What a great day with my littlest man!

20170720 - See-ya Bob

20170720 - Up in the am and in to work. Today is my best bud DaveL's bday which is shared by & Justin from work and G's friend Brady too. Received some very sad news today that Brady's grandpa, Bob Druckenmiller, our friends Bill and Tiff's dad has passed away. Bob was on a golfing trip in MI and had a massive heart attack. Very upsetting as he was a great guy that was a joy to be around :-(  In the evening I took G to another tryout, where there was only 1 other kid his age.  If you look close at the picture you can see G out there with about 4 other big kids that came out and tried to shew him off short to to the outfield to shag balls. I saw him shake his no to them and stand his ground at short ;-)  G did great and got another off from TNT baseball.  Home and we received a POL (Proof of Life) picture from one of the Scout Leaders that D&J are doing just fine (not J's moccasins he made for himself).

20170719 - Baseball Buds

20170719 - Up in the morning and in to work exhausted even though I got to sleep in good time. Received an email from Bo Jackson Baseball inviting G to play for them; great offer, but very expensive. Had a pretty packed day that ended with an exec review i had to bail out on because it was running long and L&G were waiting in the parking lot for me. L drove us to Groveport where G went through another tryout, he did great. After the tryout the coach pulled me aside and said 'I don't want Grant to leave here tonight without being on my team', WOW! We drove around Groveport for a bit looking at all the nice houses and ended up at a little Mexican place that was awesome. Home and all to bed.

20170718 + High Pressure

20170718 + Up in the am and in to work for a fast start. At the desk all day. Minimal escalations let me get caught up on email a bit. After work I met L&G in Hilliard at the Bo Jackson Dome where G had a tryout. There were not as many kids there as I expected, too expensive I think. G did great and he told L he was pretty nervous, so mission accomplished: feel the pressure, do your best. After the tryout we headed to a local place where we got dinner. G rode home with me and I took a call for work while driving and ended up missing 2 exits; perfect example of how talking while driving can distract you. G&I stopped for gas and then made it home. he set up a pitching dummy he got at the $5 store today and pitched a bit while L&I hung out on the backporch a bit. All in and to bed in good time.

20170717 - Night with G

20170717 - Up in the am and in to work. There are a lot of folks here this week for some training. Had the morning call and busy chasing things. Finished out a busy day and headed home. Got home and G wanted to see the new Spider Man movie so we left L at home and headed to his pick Arby's for dinner. Arby's was under construction so his next choice was Taco Bell. We had a nice quick dinner and then headed to Spider Man. It was a good movie with lots of action and we enjoyed it. After the movie we headed home and off to bed.

20170716 + Hard Right Path 2

20170716 + Up early and we took J over to the school to meet the other Scouts and sent him off to camp. He is so big and some of the scouts are so small, that will be G next year :-o Back home and got packed up for D's baseball game. LDG&I headed to Utica for another day of baseball. I spent some time arranging tryouts for the 2018 season for D&G.  D sat the bench again the entire game, they even put in a player in D's position that has never played 2nd base, has only come to 3 games, 0 practices and had 4 errors...  So we are pretty much done with this team.  After the game a father on the team that is forming a team for next year approached D about playing for him :-) Even during all of this I got a feather...

After the game I got us Subway and we headed to Gma&paB's where we dropped G off and continued our trek through the winding roads of OH to 7Ranges Scout Camp.  D's spirits lightened as we drove him to camp and it seemed he was excited to be there, he's one of the oldest this year and seemed to be looking forward to it, even if it means no phone for a week.  We dropped D off and made a hasty retreat as they were all lining up to go to dinner.  L&I had a nice drive back to Gma&paB's where I ran and picked us up some Chinese.  We ate and chatted a bit and then hit the road.  On the way home we stopped at the Kaufman's for a quick visit and I helped Kurt get some lures posted on ebay.  It was a fun end to the day.  Home and to bed.

20170715 - Hard Right Path

20170715 - All up and to LDG, Brady & I to D's game in Utica.  J stayed behind and rode all over town for the day.  We got to the game early and G & Brady played with the big boys and shared the bat boy duties throughout the game.  D didn't see one second of action on the field a HUGE and frustrating disappointment to him as both sets of grandparents ans all of the Coles came to see him play.  i was so frustrated at one point I walked down the road to get peaches from a local fruit stand just to have something to do and was reminded that sometimes the path is hard, but it is still the right path...  After the game we all went to Velvet Ice Cream plant in Utica and got some ice cream.  Home and relaxed for a couple of minutes before heading to the McClain's for dinner and to hang out, chat and have some relaxing fun.