[sticky post] Welcome to My Journal

Welcome to my journal. I'm putting this at the top so folks can find things easily. There are so many years' worth of stuff on this journal that it's not that easy to find things. I started out just journaling, but then got into writing fiction as well.

First, trip journals. They're all family friendly. You can also just click the travel tag as well to see everything related to it.

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flying snow

Radio City Music Hall, Grand Central Station, Strawberry Fields, and The Phantom -- June 1

Sadly, that night, the fire alarm went off. Three times.

The first time was a good hour long build up of the alarm getting louder and louder and... finally we actually got up and went out into the hallways, and there were firemen in gear, going to find something. There were also people in their pajamas going back to their rooms, as they'd found out, already, that there was no fire. Some of them had been standing outside for most of that time, in the rain.

Then it went off again. This time it was relatively short, and everyone got to find out that it was being caused by a wiring short that was happening because of the rain getting in through one of the fire alarm throw switches on the outside of the building. Nearly everyone had assumed that it was one of the kids, because we were also sharing the entire floor with a summer camp as well as our own. When it went off again at 4am, I just put my pillow over my head, rolled over and went back to sleep. I was so tired, it was easy.

It did make the day a little harder, but I slept like a log for the first week and a half back home, too. I did, however, in the morning, manage to upload the picture of my painting for the challenge, and people highly approved the fact that I was using what I could while traveling.

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Lady Liberty, Wall Street, the Hudson River, 911 Memorial, the Subway, and Dylan's -- May 31

The next morning, the bus didn't leave New Jersey.

Instead, Luke took us through Jersey City to the waterfront, and ended up in the huge, mostly empty parking lot, by the State Cruises pier. It was really early Sunday morning, when most normal people sleep in, but the tourists were out and out early. Including, of course, us.

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Lincoln Center of the Performing Arts, Hell's Kitchen, the Met, and An American in Paris -- May 30

This day was an amazingly long day, but worth every bit of it.

It started in Columbus Circle, which is at the southwest corner of Central Park. It's where all distances from New York City are measured by New Yorkers. Right off the plaza was a beautiful mall, also called Columbus Circle and within it was the first of several performance arenas all connected with the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, including the Fredrick P Rose Hall for Jazz. It's a beautiful little venue.

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Midtown Manhattan and the Empire State Building - May 29

I got up the next morning feeling a little groggy, my body still thought it was a little too early, but my mind was fixed on the idea of walking amid myths today.

Downtown New York City is something that I've only ever seen in TV or movies, read of in books, or heard of in plays or on the news. It's fill of stories, millions of stories that have been told about this place and the people who have lived here for hundreds of years. Everything from Damon Runyon to the new version of Sherlock Holmes in New York in Elementary from the resent Avengers movies to Miracle on 42nd Street and from Seinfeld to seeing the coverage when the Twin Towers fell. For me, the whole city was stacked and layered and nuanced with Story.

Most of the major publishers live in this city, and so much TV and radio history centers here, and there are reasons for that. And here I was, coming to visit and see, for myself, what I'd only ever heard of or seen through lens.

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trees over Jet

Memorial Day and a Mountain Climb - May 25

This was the last day of most people's weekend. None of the other kids were out of school, yet, other than Jet, so most of them had to go back to end of the school year stuff, like finals and parties and graduations. Various people were leaving at various times, so Isabel mostly stayed at the house to have one last chance talking with them, and to say her good-byes and thanks to everyone that came to celebrate her birthday.

There were two major hikes during the day, and we decided on doing just the one to Multnomah Falls. It was fairly nearby, and it's the tallest falls in Oregon, and is a two tiered beauty. In the afternoon another group went to Trillium Lake, a relatively flat hike, but I was too tired to do it, and we just stayed at the house instead.

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Maryhill, Trains, Shopping, and Ice Cream -- May 24

Walt and Cathie made breakfast burritos the next morning, and it was a wonderful breakfast for people just filtering in as they were able. Poor Jet had a really hard time getting up, as he's not at all used to going to sleep that late, and he was in the last group to get in and get fed.

But he made it! And we all piled into cars and headed out to Maryhill to see an oddity that I had glimpsed from the highway across the Columbia many a time when we were headed East on a road trip, but we'd never explored up close.

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A Quick Interlude...

Gonna just interject and say that we're home and safe, and all was really good on the New York trip, but we did so much that all we did, pretty much the moment the bus got into the hotel, was go to our beds and fall asleep.

I walked 120,000 steps in New York City, and every one of them was worth it, and I'll be writing it up as I get the pictures up. I loved it all, and when our guide asked us what our favorite part was, it was so hard to say.

I'll first finish up the reunion trip, and say that in the days between the two trips, I got the first two days up, and mostly just did laundry, sleep in my own bed, and figure out how to pack, for the first time in a long time, so that I could carry-on everything.

Red Oak Leaves from Central Park
And I'll leave you with a painting I did yesterday, it's of red oak leaves that I found on the ground in Central Park, and I picked 'em up, washed them off, and pressed them in my notebook. They're a flat, bedraggled mass now, but using them as a reference, I went ahead and laid this out on the plane.

The turbulence was so bad on the plane I couldn't use brush and ink, so I just used pencil on notebook paper to do the initial sketches, but when I had my watercolors and ink yesterday, I painted again. I've signed up for the OAS (Oriental Art Supplies) 30-day challenge, and will be painting every day in June.

So still going full-blast, and I'll catch this journal up as I can. *laughs* I actually want to reorganize this journal a little, get all the old fiction off the sticky page, and do good indices for all the travel entries.
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