Friday, November 16, 2012

Hurricane Sandy and Brandi's visit



Fall here has been great. The weather has been quite nice of course until Sandy decided to show up. I called my sister Brandi and told her she should come in October or November because the weather is pretty predictable and you often don't need a winter jacket before December. A week before her trip Sandy came to the East coast and was almost as bad as Katrina for quite a lot of folks. We were lucky that the storm didn't effect our way of living too much. We watched on the news saw many homes that were destroyed and lots of people were out of power. Everything shut down and it left us with no subways, buses and gas was rationed out. The worst for us was that school was cancelled for a week and Ben's jobs all got cancelled for further notice. Ben's job depends on the small business here in the Tri State area so either their power was out or their employees were unable to get into the city. Everyday we waited to see if school was going to be back in session. We were lucky that we had plenty of gas in the tank and we didn't need to fill up. We watched people line up for gas with cans and in their cars for a couple weeks. We did more walking than normal but other than those things we were quite lucky to not have been too affected. Today was the first time I didn't see a line of people trying to get gas and everything thing around us seem to be almost back to normal. The kids are back in school and Ben is back to work. I know that so many other people are having a very hard time and I am sorry that they will not have a home for the holidays. I never thought a storm would hurt our area this bad but this proves to me nobody is ever completely safe from disaster.

Brandi was lucky to have missed the storm but she did get to see the lines of people waiting for gas. She just missed the hurricane and the Nor'easter. The day she arrived the weather was a little cold but by Saturday the weather was amazing and we had a great time running around the city. She brought her two kids Logan and Morgan and we experienced her second trip to NYC completely different than when she came here at the age of 20. On our first day we checked out the Met Museum and the kids were in awe of the mummies and Knights and armor. However, I think their favorite thing was the cool playground across the street.

On Sunday Ben joined us and we went to Times Square. The kids loved seeing all the Disney and nickelodeon characters on the street as we walked around. We of course had to see and ride the Ferris wheel in Toys R Us. How many cities actually have a Ferris wheel in a toy store? I thought for sure Morgan was going to be terrified of the T Rex but instead she was obsessed with it and would scream if you took her away from it. The only thing that got her to give it up was that we were going to FAO Schwartz next.

I should have googled the location before attempting to walk four kids all under the age 9 to find it but I trusted Ben knew what he was doing and we all were quite exhausted by the end. However, Brandi got to see the Rockefeller ice skating rink and NBC studios so it was very cool. We ran into a Veterans day parade which complicated the walk even more but we made it and both Bran and I were amazed at how small the FAO was in real life. all in all the kids had a lot of fun and Brandi saw a different part of the city she had never seen before. She also has a new appreciation for how I manage living in such a large city with two young kids.

On Monday the kids had no school so we took them all to the Natural History Museum. The cool thing about doing all these fun things with Bran (Army wife) we got in free with her military ID. All the kids loved the this museum. It is very kid friendly and the animals are very easy to see and enjoy. Logan was enjoying the movie in the Ocean life so much that he didn't want to leave. The only way I got him to agree was that we were headed to see the bears and then get a slice of pizza. He yelled pizza and was ready to go.

Brody and Coolidge loved sharing a slice and soda with their cousins from Washington. To me it wasn't the best pizza but the kids ate every little bite and that is all that mattered. Every night the kids were exhausted and sometimes could barely keep their eyes open until 9. They played together very well and all of them including Bran shared one bedroom. Coolidge was very sad to see them go and felt they should have stayed at least 2 more days.

I go home every year to visit my family but only a couple of them come to see me so it was very nice to have Brandi come out and stay with us. I know how hard it is to travel with two young kids so I really appreciate her taking on that challenge. I hope that she had as much fun as us and will come back again soon.