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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Birthday Week Bash


Riley and I have birthday's that are only a week apart. That means the week between the two seems to be one big celebration. We have had a really great birthday week for 2014 (it is coming to an end tomorrow on my birthday).

On Thursday, nothing super exciting happened but I did get my car window replaced. I noticed a little over a week ago that the quarter rear window on the drivers side of my new car was smashed when I went to put something in the back of the car. I have to say that Geico was amazing for the whole experience. I was able to make my claim on my iPhone and schedule an appointment with Safelite on the phone as well. They showed up at my work on time and had the window replaced within an hour. The best part was it cost me nothing out of pocket since I carry a $0 deductible on my comprehensive.

Friday we got up early to head to RI for the start of our weekend getaway. We stopped in Salem, MA to break up the drive. I can't tell you how much I miss living there. Riley and I spent the whole time pointing out all the things we really missed. We parked the car and wandered around Salem for a couple of hours.

Gabrian and I started off by heading to the Salem Witch Museum.




I am not sure if I would have really considered it a museum but it did give some interesting history of the Salem Witch Trials. We then spent some time wandering around the downtown section before heading back to the car.









After Salem, we continued on our way to RI. It wasn't long before we were heading to Providence to find out where our bus would pick us up the next day. Once we located that spot and where we would park we headed to our lunch destination. I had purchased a $50 Groupon for only $25 to the Gourmet House in Providence, RI (located on Hope Street). Our plan was to get enough food to have for lunch and dinner. We did even better than that because we have been eating this food for days. I finally finished off the last of it last night!




After lunch, we headed to our home base for the next couple of nights. We had bid on a room on priceline and were able to get a room at Extended Stay in Warwick, RI for $38 night. While nothing fancy we were more than happy with what our $38 got us. We had tons of space...which can be hard to do sometimes with a 4 and 16 year old.




We were up early on Saturday and headed back into Providence to catch our Megabus. What a deal they have! You can sometimes get fares as low as $1/person. Our return tickets only cost us $2/person and it was less than $95 that we spent for all 4 of us. We were so excited to finally be on our way to NYC. The bus was a double decker and a real pleasant ride. We were very happy to be dropped off an hour earlier than scheduled. It was such an exciting moment to be in the City again.

We of course had to find a bathroom first thing and than stopped at none other, a McDonalds to get our bearings.


We were headed to Union Square as our first stop. We had lunch reservations at Max Brenner that we were really looking forward to. I also quickly determined that Gabrian was going to need an Umbrella Stroller. I was kicking myself for not bringing our stroller that I keep in the back of my car. When we reached Union Square, I was fortunate to find a Burlington Factory Outlet. It was pretty awesome store that had six levels. I was able to get some nice shots of the square from the top.




Once we had the new stroller, we headed to our lunch destination. Max Brenner was something we were really looking forward to trying. My Mom and I went with dessert for our lunch which was awesome!!






 





You will notice that there is a distinct lack of pictures of Riley from this meal. This is because we were having a teenage pout fest at the time. After lunch we had a chance to separate and enjoy a street fair and Riley really did a great job regrouping and was quite pleasant from that point forward.


We had a great time at the street fair and then enjoyed finding a table in the square and do some people watching. My favorite was the lady with the Poland Spring Bottle Hat that was shaving her face with a lady Bic razor. Inside the square they also had a farmers market going on. I can't tell you how jealous I was of all the people shopping there. I want to live in NYC and go shopping at the Farmers Market.

We then headed to Times Square with a pit stop at the Mood Store (my Mom and I are huge fans of Project Runway). We even got to meet Swatch who obviously has let the fame go to his head. He barely acknowledged us when we tried to pet him.

We finally made it to Times Square but we were exhausted and just not feeling the large amounts of tourists (lets not point out that we were also a tourist adding to the large numbers). We found an overpriced cafĂ© and staked out and took over a table for about 45 minutes. Most notable was the Batman on lunch break that was not very friendly. I will definitely not be giving him my $1 to get a picture taken with him. You would have thought he would have been so excited to see Superman in the same restaurant.



We attempted to go to Toys R Us to ride the Ferris Wheel but it was wall to wall people and they were sold out of tickets for about 2 hours. We decided at that point that we were ready to head to our bus stop. We thought we would try out a taxi and were able to catch one dropping some people off right outside the Toy Store. Apparently you are not allowed to get a taxi in Time Square (at least the spot that we were in) and could have cost our Cabby a $150 fine. He was not too happy with us but after awhile he warmed up to us and was quite chatty. He got us to the bus stop and the fare was only $10 but since we felt bad about our screw up, we tipped him another $5 (he liked us much better after that).

Once we were positive that we knew where the bus was picking up, we went to find dinner (I know that it seems that every stop involved food but there were really gaps between these times). We found a diner and had another delicious meal.

Our bus ride home was great and we were back in RI 40 minutes early. We all slept for the majority of the ride. One thing I came away from this trip is that I want to live in a big city. After Riley graduates from High School, I am ready to actually live in a city (not just work near one). I have put together a loose plan and I am going to work on losing weight, becoming fluent in Spanish, and work on gaining more experience in my field. I hope to be able to make the move that summer or shortly after. I am pretty open to where we could live but my preference would be NYC or Santiago, Chile (if I got to pick it would definitely be Santiago). Someone else mentioned Miami to me and I will be checking that option out as well. I know that I want to stop longing for a different life and actually do something about it....sorry for me digressing. I get caught up in my passion for moving!

Sunday was a pretty easy day. We dropped Riley off at his Dad's house to spend some time with them and we went to visit my Grandmother at her Nursing Home. Than we headed back home with a stop at the 99 Restaurant for our Easter dinner (probably not one of our better Easter dinners).

Today Gabrian and I headed to downtown Portland for our dinner. While walking to the restaurant we noticed a Cruise Ship docked (at least we think it was a cruise ship). Gabrian even took a picture of me and I was pretty impressed on how it came out.







We went to Benkay for dinner with one of my Groupons (seriously, do I ever go to a restaurant without some type of coupon?). It was another great meal at Benkay!






Overall, I would say it has been a pretty successful Birthday week! I am enjoying my last night of being 33 and it look forward to find out what the 34th year will bring!