Archive for the ‘vacation’ Category

NYC & Carnegie Hall

I am sitting here in my living room trying to catch up on my DVR that is 94% full.  I am tired and have already blogged the trip for the parents.  I did not include all of the things I did and my personal impressions.  That is for here.  I am not going to do it all in one post.  Too much to read, too much to ride.

Thursday, April 9

The students started arriving to school early.  I think some even took the school bus with their luggage.  We rehearsed for about 1-1/2 hours.  Then the real “fun” began.  The 56-passenger Heartland bus arrived and needed to be loaded.  We were playing pieces that used a lot of percussion, so there was a lot of little stuff to load.  We loaded all of the cymbal & auxillary percussion stands into our quad case for “easy” transport.  Yeah.  It’s real easy to carry a 250-lb case of rattling metal.

1-1/2 hours later…

The bus was loaded with instruments, luggage, and kids.  It was time to go, and go we did.  The only problem on the bus ride was the movie selection.  These kids have really crappy movie taste.  Norbit?  Really?  I had to put a stop to that.

Then there was sleep.

Friday, April 10

We arrived at the hotel at about 11:30 a.m. Eastern.  The kids’ activities that morning were cut short of necessity.  Most just chose to explore Times Square.  I went and had lunch at an Italian restaurant about 3 blocks south of our hotel.  It was excellent.  We then went and viewed the lobby of the Chrysler Building.

The bus met us back at the Grand Hyatt.  I have to say, it is a lot easier to unload a bus than it is to load it.  We got the rooms assigned and everyone was off to their activities.

My activity?  Birdland.  That’s right.  A world famous jazz club watching and hearing guys I grew up listening to:  Joe Lovano, Hank Jones (NEA Jazz Master), George Mraz, & Paul Motian.  After taking care of everyone else’s issues (my job), I arrived there too late to see the Birdland Big Band.  I and my companians got a pop around the corner and then arrived early for the first set.  We had dinner.  A very good dinner, but dessert was the best.  Peach cobbler.  The best I have ever had.

Afterward, I tried taking a large group of kids to the Empire State Building for a midnight viewing of the city, but the top was obscured by clouds.  We had to postpone it to another evening.

Bedtime.

Saturday, April 11

A very full day.

First up was the American Museum of Natural History.  That’s right.  The museum from that Ben Stiller movie.  It was amazing.  We were to also stroll through Central Park, but it was raining heavily.  It gave us more time in the museum, so all was good.I was able to hit the Asian section, the dinosaur bones up on the top floor, and the crustacean exhibit with the the huge whale.

It was time to head back to the hotel and get ready for rehearsal.  That rehearsal started off really bad.  Nearly two days without rehearsal or even for the kids to practice.  By the end of the two hours they started to sound better.  Only started, though.

Once back at the hotel, we got ready for the evening.  For me, it consisted of a prix fixe restaurant and a Broadway show.  I have to show you the appetizer:

That’s right.  A sausage tree.  Then filet mignon and a mediocre dessert.  Avenue Q was the show for the evening  I would describe it as Seseme Street meets South Park meets Rent without all of the AIDs.  It was a laugh riot.

Finally by the second act, the headache I had been fighting all day.  At the beginning of the day, it felt like I had drank a bottle of tequila the night before.  I hadn’t.  That was a fun, but very rough day.

It was then time for bed, as it is now.

More tomorrow depending on Parker’s soccer tournament.

Day 2 in NYC

Where is day one?  Gone on another blog.  What I didn’t mention was what I have done today.

I went to a great restaurant where the appetizer was a sausage tree (you heard me correctly).  I had filet mignon for dinner and a creme caramel for dessert.  I then saw Avenue Q on Broadway.  Holy crap it was great!  I got my picture with a cast member, Lucy the Slut and her handler Cary Anderson:

[pics coming soon]

It’s time to sleep now.  Night-night.

Getting Excited for NYC

We leave in 36 days.  While the first day gone will be a full day on a charter bus with 52 other people, I am hoping (and we know what I think of that) that if I bring enough stuff to do I won’t totally go out of my mind.

I have noticed that the Travel Channel has been influencing my travels.  More specifically, the television show  Man vs. Food.  If you have not seen this show, watch it.

Anyway, I have finished what I believe is my itinerary for our trip to New York, New York.  Students will be joining me for parts of it as well as other adult-types.  Anyway, I present it for your perusal.  If you see soemthing amiss, let me know.  This may include logistical improbabilities (you never know, I could develop teleportation abilities) or other activities/sites that I should do instead of the ones listed.

Bata’s Carnegie Hall Trip
LCPA Wind Ensemble
April 9-15, 2009

Thursday, April 9

7:10am         Rehearsal
10:30am       Depart LCPA

Friday, April 10

11:30am       Arrive at the Grand Hyatt in NYC

12:00pm       Lunch at various street vendors as I tour Times Square yearning for the days before it was
cleaned up

12:00pm       Times Square
M&M Store (avoid Martz to keep from getting mugged)
Hershey store (to make own children happy upon return)
Various other stores and attractions
4:00pm         Check-in at hotel

5:15pm         @ Birdland for dinner & Big Band

8:30pm         @ Birdland for Lovano/Jones Quartet

11:00pm       Empire State Building

Saturday, April 11

5:00am         Students allowed out

5:30am         Breakfast where available

6:30am         Central Park

9:45am         Ready for Am. Museum of Natural History to open

12:45pm       Lunch at Grand Central or street vendors as time allows

1:15pm         Return to hotel

1:30pm         Set-up & Warm-up

2:00-4:00pm Rehearsal

5:00pm         Dinner at Les Sans Culottes

6:15pm         Travel to theater via foot/subway (cab if dinner is late)

8:00pm         Avenue Q

11:00pm       Curfew

Sunday, April 12

5:00am          Students allowed out

6:00am          Breakfast where available

7:45am          Empire State Bldg in daylight (possible)
Chinatown/Canal Street

11:30am        Lunch at Katz’s Deli

1:15pm          Return to hotel

1:30pm          Set-up & Warm-up

2:00-4:00pm Rehearsal

5:00pm          Dinner at Brick Lane Curry House (Should I do the Phall Challenge?)

6:00pm          Travel to Times Square and peruse until show

8:00pm          Iridium Jazz Club

11:00pm        Curfew

Monday, April 13

5:00am         Students allowed out

5:30am         Breakfast

6:00am         Finish perusing Times Square & Central Park

11:00am       Lunch at Junior’s in Grand Central

1:15pm         Dressed in concert attire and ready to move to Carnegie

2:00-5:00pm Dress Rehearsal

8:00pm         Concert in Carnegie Hall

10:00pm       Dinner Cruise

Tuesday, April 14

1:30am         Return to hotel

8:00am         Wake-up

9:00am         Check out of hotel and load bus

10:00am       Depart

11:00am       Lunch

12:00pm       Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

3:00pm         Depart for what will now seem the barren wasteland that is Kansas City

3:01pm         Sit down, shut up, and leave us alone

Wednesday, April 15

3:00pm         Arrive at LCPA

3:01pm         EVERYONE helps unload bus to band room

3:30pm         Go away. Please, just go away.
Really, just leave.
Now.

Thursday, April 16

Unhappily arrive back at school for class. Shut up and just do it.

The End of Break

After decimating the health of our family in Iowa with a four-year-old girl, it is time to go back to school.

What got accomplished?

  • Living room, dining room, and kitchen were painted by Lani and her mother
  • My laptop was beginning to crash, so it was reformatted to Ubuntu, thus requring me to take the plunge I have been trying to merely wade into.
  • Kids have recovered from a bout with something flu-like (probably the flu, I guess)
  • Most stuff has been put back into the painted rooms
  • Christmas tree and lights have been put up.  Decorations will need to be done over the next copule of days

I will still need to change all of the outlets and switches to white instead of what looks to be beige.

Just saw the weather!  Woo-hoo!  55-degrees means I may be able to get the front yard mowed and the leaves mulched since I am not supposed to rake because of the new grass.

Well, the kids are better, Lani & I have not gotten sick, and it is time to go back.  Time for bed.

Orlando 2008 – Day 1

We arrived in Orlando at about 10:30 a.m. EST after catching an early flight from KCI. Linda was nice enough to give us a ride to the airport.

We got our bags fairly quickly after picking up hats for Carmen and myself. I couldn’t find a hat I wanted in Kansas city that wasn’t Chiefs, Royals, Nascar, or other franchises I don’t care for. I just picked up a Universal Studios hat here.

From there, we hopped a shuttle to Hertz and got our car. I had paid for an “Economy” class and they tried to get me to up it one for $6 more a day. I refused. The nice lady gave it to me anyway. It must be my cheery disposition everyone raves about. It also has a GPS in it. Lani will post a video of Parker singing a song about how he likes riding around with two GPS devices talking. We do have a third GPS: Lani with the maps. She was actually more correct than my Garmin once.

We then went to our hotel. We couldn’t get in right away, so we ate next door at a steakhouse. Very good. No wonder they were saying they are usually backed up from 3 pm until close.

We went back to the hotel and our room was ready. We actually have a very good spot on the outside with decent parking. Everybody took a nap. Before that, I made sure that GoogleMaps and my Garmin were correct about how to get to the Cinderella Dinner at 1900 Park Fare (a restaurant, not an address) in the Grand Floridian Resort. Very swanky place to stay.

After getting up from our nap, we proceeded to our dinner. I got valet parking to be lazy. We went inside and bought the kids some autograph books and went to dinner. It was good food. The characters (in order of appearance: Prince Charming, Cinderella, Evil Stepmother, Evil Stepsisters) came out and were presented right next to our table. They walked around and then came to our table first to sign autographs. Each one did the same thing. Sweet. Carmen did not care for Prince Charming. In fact, she said my sister Kara’s boyfriend, Carl, was more handsome than he was. Watch out Kara.

I mentioned that is was still fairly early (6:50 pm) and that we could go walk around Downtown Disney for a little bit. As we left the restaurant, Parker grabbed a pamphlet for there. He began perusing it as we were waiting for our car and discovered the Lego store. That was the end. We had to go. He spent half an hour playing with Legos. You know…because he doesn’t have any at home (/sarcasm). We then window shopped in that store and also at the biggest damn Disney store I have ever seen.

We then departed for the hotel, took showers and went to bed.

The adventures continue at Magic Kingdom tomorrow…

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