Thursday, May 22, 2014

IL DIVO!!!!!!

Aah.....Il Divo....seems like I've waited forever to see this group. My husband purchased our tickets in November. All I can say is that it was totally worth it! Granted, most of the audience members surrounding us were at least 65 years old, but, it was fantastic. They sounded fabulous; rich tone, great volume. And Lea Solenga was amazing as well! The only down side was the old woman behind us. I typed a message for Chris that said, "Feel like you're stuck in a bad episode of the nanny?" only because that Jersey accent really sounded like Fran and her mother.

Then at another moment, I leaned into him and said, "You know that part of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? The part where Willy Wonka looks at him and says, 'You're Charlie Bucket; you're just lucky to be here'?" That is honestly how I felt amongst all those people. It was completely obvious that this wasn't their first big show, whether it was Il Divo or another group. It was then that Chris said to me, "Well, it probably means more to us than it does these other people." True enough.

 *sigh* aren't they lovely?

Backstory... the trip to Jersey started off great! Then went downhill, then great...a definite roller coaster. I had studied the GPS directions and all of the cities, towns and landmarks that would fall along our trip. When we came to our first toll, I was surprised that it came so quickly into our adventure. I looked at the step-by-step list of directions. No, we were on the right track...but the spoken directions were taking us down the Pennsylvania Turnpike; what we had strove to avoid. So, we paid even more money a few miles up to get off and figure out just what was going on. By this point, we were out of our way a good 25 minutes. It was then that I apologized to Chris because I was obviously hard to travel with. He said, with a grin, "That's okay, it was just your Autism coming out." I almost slugged him.

We came upon an exit for a scenic overlook. Unfortunately it was raining pretty steady so I couldn't get a picture. So, you'll have to settle for one I found online. It was breathtaking, even through the raindrops. Such a vast area to look out over!

See just how beautiful God's creation is?

By this time we had stretched our legs enough so back in the truck we went. We had passed over this ginormous 7 lane bridge, I believe in Perth Amboy. It was huge! Definitely more than I've ever experienced! 


Weeeee doggy! Talk about blowing my mind! We were on the left most part on the bottom picture on the way down to Atlantic City. Gorgeous views!

It was shortly after that when we came across a toll. Well, our GPS kept telling us to stay to the left but we didn't know that the "Cash Only" lanes were on the right of the toll. Needless to say, we are pretty sure that we will receive a fine in the mail for blowing through that toll. We researched it before arriving at the next toll. The NJ website said that we could pay it at the next toll booth so that is what we decided to do. Well, the guy wouldn't take our money. Instead, he told us that when they send us the fine we can just pay it. That was SO not helpful. We're hoping that it can be appealed as it was our very first time through there!

Traffic in downtown Atlantic City is atrocious! The drivers have no consideration for anyone else on the road. Actually, I could say it as, they know where they want to go and they don't waste any time going there. There are no such things as yields or red lights there. BUT, as Chris and I were discussing coming home, I definitely understand now why Jersey people drive the way they do while they're here. Because they HAVE to down there! Geesh!

We made it to our bed and breakfast, The Carisbrooke Inn, around 2:30. It was still raining pretty steadily so I opted to not look at the ocean yet. The best part about the Inn I chose was the fact that it was a couple hundred feet to the beach! 

 Quaint, yes?

We didn't realize the exact check-in time of 3:30 was strictly enforced so we decided to find some lunch. We agreed on the White House Sub Shop, mainly for its famed notoriety on the Food Network. Well, we headed up Arctic Avenue just in time to get to deal with all the school buses! Argh! EVERY light, EVERY intersection, two lanes of one way traffic. Totally not fun...but we finally made it to the sub shop. To be completely honest, I really don't see what all the hype is about. I found the bread to be ridiculously hard! I was told it was one of its special features. One thing I can say is that they do have generous portions, about which our waitress didn't elude to. I ordered a half, which was a 12" while Chris ordered a full. While the waitress did question the size he wanted, she didn't feel it necessary to explain how big they were. 


 With such famous faces as Bill Cosby, Guy Fiori, Robert Irvine, and the Soup Nazi, one would think this shop would be something to rave about. Frankly, I think not...I'll stick with Subway.

We finally we are able to pull out of traffic and make it back to the Inn. Our room was tiny, but nice. Not sure if it was worth the $167 we paid for it, but after all, breakfast was included. The nice thing about the room was that over the headboard you could see the ocean. Perfect... Room #3 was ours for 2 nights. 


So peaceful we were asleep by 11!
 That little strip of ocean between the buildings was our view from our room!

Thankfully the nice couple we met Friday night in the lounge area reminded us about signing up for breakfast for Saturday morning. They were from South Jersey. Turns out she works for the Bancroft School for special needs kids. We sat with them at breakfast Saturday. Sunday we sat with a nice couple from Philadelphia.

The lounge area above hosts a happy hour from 5-6 daily, encouraging guests to mingle. That was nice. The breakfast area below.

So, my husband, lovely as he is, tells this Jersey couple that it is my first time seeing the ocean. Really? I felt sheepish, really. They encouraged us to go and look. Although we had just started to dry off from being in the rain from earlier, we decided to go. We changed into our heavier, warmer clothes (thank goodness we brought some!) and headed down. Well, we no sooner stepped all four feet on the sand when the sky let go! Our clothes became a second skin. We were drenched.

Yep, that was us...

To say it was refreshing was an understatement. Between the stress and exhaustion of the drive and now the sogginess of ourselves, we were done. In bed and asleep by 11. Slept straight through til 6!

The next morning we were up and out the door, heading to the beach by 7:15. What a great and relaxing time that was! I slipped out of my flip flops and walked on the edge of the waves. How wonderful of a feeling! We walked the beach until 9 because we realized we had to be at breakfast at 9:30. After breakfast we headed out on the town. First stop, the Atlantic City Aquarium. It isn't a huge aquarium, but it had a lot of things we've never seen. Or touched. We picked up a purple leopard spotted sting ray for Kylee along with a pink sting ray water globe.

 The Atlantic City Aquarium

 Chris's New Friend

 The Awesomely Eerie Moray Eels

 The Albino Leopard touch tank. VERY weird texture.

Next stop was the Absecon Lighthouse. 228 steps to the top where we were met by a man easily in his late 60s, if not early 70s. What is awesome is when we crossed that threshold of the last step, he handed us a card that said we completed the climb. "Congratulations, you made it!" he said. He proceeded to educate us about the lighthouse, including the fact the lens is 8 ft tall and 6 ft across. Spectacular. Even more spectacular was the view. Wow. To know that meant that us, being at the top, were only at a quarter of the height of the Revel. Wow.

 The Historic Absecon Lighthouse

When we stepped out onto the caged landing, I grabbed hold of the cage to orient myself. Chris asked if I was afraid of heights. I replied, "I didn't think I was." And I really didn't. Funny thing was, shortly after we got up there, a group of three women joined us. One of them clung to the building. I said, "Let me guess...you're not afraid of heights either?" We shared a laugh and then they asked if I could take their picture. I was honored to do so.

 The view from the Lighthouse  

Going down was almost harder than going up! Thankfully there were 6 landings on the way up. I couldn't get a picture of the stairs going down so instead I took a video of all the stairs as we made our way down them. We picked up 2 lighthouse stickers, 2 postcards-one of the lighthouse, one of the steel pier diving horses, and a t-shirt. We also signed the guest register. It was interesting to see where everyone was from!

Our next piece of the adventure was attempting the infamous Boardwalk. Unfortunately I had a lot of problems with this. I was so uncomfortable...must be because of the skeevy carnies. We had one approach us trying to get us to tour a local casino in exchange for $80. I kept tugging on Chris, letting him know I was uneasy. Fortunately he got us out of there. We headed into Ripley's and to be completely honest, I had a terribly uncomfortable feeling while in there. Almost a smothering kind of feeling. I didn't bother telling Chris because he just wouldn't understand...no one really does.


 Ripley's

After Ripley's, we walked to Itsugar, the candy shop best known for its large sizes of candy. Wasn't all it was cracked up to be but it was a nice experience. We were going to stop at Nathans to get a hot dog but the line was incredibly long so we went to Philly's Pretzel Factory instead.

Self-explanatory at Itsugar

 Amazing pretzel dogs!!!

 Unfortunately I was not a gracious tourist an asked to leave after we ate. The people were making me highly uncomfortable. Besides, we only had a few hours before our show! We made our way back to the Inn via good old Winchester and relaxed a bit. When it was time to go, I was getting a little nervous. Anxious nervous. Excited nervous. When we got to the Borgata we instantly decided on the valet parking. So much easier. Plus, it was only $5.


 Simply beautiful at night. AC's newest casino, built in 2003

Navigating our way through the Borgata was a little confusing. Up and down the escalator to figure out how to get our tickets, back down to the box office...duh. We went to the Cafeteria downstairs and grabbed some pizza from Villa Pizza. Hands down the best meal we ate out while we were there.  

The show. Oh my goodness, the show. Spectacular! I am so glad Chris made it happen! It was almost humbling to see them, within twenty feet of me! Of course, the way they played themselves out was David is the jokester, Sebastian is the soft talker, but also funny, Urs was just as handsome as ever in his fit-to-him tailored suit. And Carlos, ah, Carlos....was, well, your typical Spaniard I guess...the ladies' man. He said, "My Dr, he says to me, Carlos, you have to stop or your blood pressure will rise. And other things." Got a chuckle from most everyone. I couldn't believe it. This awesome, regal group and we were watching them like they were regular Joes.

After the show ended, we decided to get a bite to eat to take back to the Inn. So we went back down to the Cafeteria and got our dinner from Lettucehead, which serves just what the name implies. Talk about huge! They were at least 3lbs easily, $10 each. We ate them when we got back but honestly, our stomachs didn't necessarily like them all that much.

The next morning we got up early to walk the beach again. After two hours we went back to the Inn for breakfast and then decided to check out. We figured we'd use our last two hours to walk on the beach some more, to get in as much as we could while we could. It was the best decision. We came across a dead horseshoe crab and an anenome. Awesome. 

Finally noon arrived and we had to get out of Dodge. We got our directions set and headed home. All was fine until we got to East Stroudsburg where we nearly got rear ended. Not cool. We grabbed a bite to eat at the Burger King in Washington, NJ. Then, around Scranton, a woman crossed the line and almost nailed us. At this point I said, "I never thought I would be so happy to see a sign for Binghamton!" Of course, I wasn't really happy, but it definitely was fun while it lasted. And I will take my sinuses being completely empty over being home any day. I called mom when we were in Scranton and we both arrived at the house at 5:20. Couldn't have planned that any better if we'd tried!

But, overall, it was good to be home. We missed Kylee...next year we're going to shoot for Chincoteague!

 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

you spin me right round baby right round....

long time no post! to say that things have changed would be so misleading. enter in drug use, infidelity, and a whole butt-ton of money and you've got the latest 45 spinning. now, i'm not going to mention any names because that would not be polite. i won't even list specifics so i can protect those involved and my family. 

but, what i will say is this: "really?!"

yes, again...during a recent controversy it was discovered that some infidelity had occurred. while defending the other half of that equation, someone had the nerve, yet again, to bring me up. her question was: "well, how do you know that's not what YOUR wife is doing while YOU'RE at work?" ex-bleepin-cuse me?! i have a special needs child that doesn't sleep through the night. when on earth would i have time for THAT?!

it is unfortunate that this family had to experience this turn of events yet at the same time i am glad certain things came to the surface. it is unfortunate that my husband had to learn what type of person his mother is yet at the same time i am glad he had to learn what type of person his mother is.

it has undoubtedly shaken this family to its epicenter and a lot of relationships that already hung on by a thread were severed completely. there is no respect. there is still love because, lets face it. God says we are to love everyone. that being said, He didn't say that we had to "like" everyone. if you have stepped out in good faith to repair a relationship only to be insulted time and time again, let them go. and it is sad that we have to have things this way. it's all a fallacy; every last bit of it.

on the plus side, a relationship that had suffered a lot before all this happened is being transformed into something special again. it's definitely not where it could be, but it certainly is not where it was. no doubt it took a terrible circumstance to come about, but i'd say things are looking up....and that, that makes me happy =)

until we meet again...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

lather, rinse, repeat

wow, really?

i hate using that phrase over and over again, but it seems to be the only one that really fits anymore...i mean, what is it with people? i have tried praying for them, asking God to help me with them, asking God to just remove them from my life...only after being at my whit's end, really.

i cannot seem to comprehend what the problem continues to be. i have practically removed myself from just about every thing that has anything to do with these people and there is still indifference. can someone tell me why?

why would you ask a question like, "what is going on with that girl?" when you know full well she has autism? yes, she had a meltdown over a balloon. and she will continue to have them. especially over losing hers and if she can't have the same one then bring on the meltdown! it has always been this way. please, try and realize that things are not going to change. autism is a life-long issue that will always be a part of her. not for nothing, if you made an effort every once in a while, you may know a lot more about her. i am not trying to bash anyone here. i am simply airing my frustration with what most neurotypical adults would be able to process as common sense. or, in the least, compassion.

but, my major beef is with the fact that someone has to question my relationship with Jesus. Jesus has been my lifesaver. literally. Jesus has taught me to forgive all that has happened because it is not worth it to dwell on it. He forgave me so i forgive others. and i do forgive those that have wronged me. what i find most challenging though is when i continuously have to keep forgiving the same people over and over because they seem to look for ways to be completely offensive and obnoxious. my family and i have not bothered anyone and yet, we are still targets of the offenses. why?

my attitude has improved tenfold. yes, i still have my bad days. doesn't everyone? i am still allowed to feel angry every now and then. the difference is that i take it to Jesus and He carries it away. He deals with it. now, on the flip side, i can choose to forgive people, and i can love them because they are, after all, also a creation of God, but i am allowed to dislike them.

i love you because God loves you and because you are an integral part of my life but right now i just cannot like you. unfortunately, i have been hurt pretty deeply by things that have been said and done and i am not ready to be put through it all again.  it is painful to keep having to relive scenarios over and over because they just cannot be dropped by others...

so, as much as i would like to see another olive branch extended, this time in love and forgiveness on your part, i cannot bear to reach for it again, only to be beaten with it the next time you get the urge. i guess, until you are prompted by the Holy Spirit to change your heart, it will continue to be this way. i cannot afford to be sidetracked from the ones that really need me.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

bye little guy,,,


i never got to meet that little cutie elias but i felt i knew him well just by the wonderful posts his mama made on the caringbridge.com's website. elias is such a beautiful little boy. i do not quite understand why God would allow elias to be healed and become cancer free only to die months later on the operating table. the poor little guy. i can imagine that his poor parents are so grief stricken they are probably paralyzed. i cannot believe it still....

rip little guy...you have touched the lives of thousands though you only knew a handful...


Monday, February 6, 2012

been a while...

it has been forever since i have been here. and i don't mean here, per se, i mean, mentally here. i am so drained mentally. i am constantly reading and researching and reading...ah the joys...plus i've been trying to stay away from my computer because if i don't i end up staying on it a lot longer than i like, lol....

kylee has been wonderful the past two weeks...things at the school? eh, they've been okay. two yellow cards within two weeks. things at home? okay i guess. pt is taking its toll as he can't work at the barn currently, especially with us having one vehicle *sigh* it never seems to end...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

ho hum.....


i guess after all is said and done, i should really not be all that surprised. i think the harder thing to let go of is the fact that maybe they are not personally avoiding me, but rather circumstances in their own lives have taken them away because they are more important than an acquaintance-ship with me. that is cool. i totally get that. but it still hurts. so the woman from the neighboring county? never bothered to call me back after i had left her two messages. and the other one? well, i understand, people are busy and we definitely do not lead normal lives, lol. but i think the one thing that really bothers me is the fact that, if you really want nothing to do with me, just say so. it will hurt a lot less that way...

especially when it leads me to think that it is me and i have personally offended them by trying to be a friend. i am sorry. oh well. i know that God has other plans in store for me if these friends do not work out. it will all be okay
:o)




Tuesday, October 11, 2011

onto the next step...

tuesday i opened my mailbox and fingered through the usual junk mail. then i came across an envelope with a return address as one Stanley Wanglund at the ddso. i was so nervous. i prayed, "God, please, i do not care what type of diagnosis she is given, i would just like it to be positive." at this point in the game i feel i would have a really hard time accepting more negativity...

i searched frantically throughout the paperwork, trying not to read it too fast in case i missed something...then, on the bottom of the last page it read:

"Diagnostic Impression: Autism"

oh man, what a basket of emotions i was at that point...they didn't diagnose her with Asperger's like we had thought they would, or like we had discussed with John at her appointment. actual, 100% bonafide autism. wow. all at once i was laughing, i was crying, i was shaking. i was trying to text misty and erin to let them know and i could barely type the words out for my excitement.

when i tell my husband, i also tell him that i want to give it to his mother so that she can read that there is concrete proof that i am not crazy after all. well, i am crazy, but at the whole of it, there is proof that i am not lying nor am i causing her to be this way.

long and the short of it is that kylee has been proven eligible for services from the great state of new york due to her developmental disability. i am shocked, really. even though this is what i was hoping for, there is still a grieving process that has to be gone through. with much luck and determination, i am hoping that kylee gets the services she needs to be an accomplished adult...