Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Family Get Together--Grandma's 80th Birthday

This weekend was a great time for our family. We all descended or ascended depending on geographic location to Leola, PA to celebrate Grandma's 80th birthday. It was a great time to get together with loved ones, and have a good time celebrating Grandma's 80th year of life.

We left Norwich on Friday morning and had a pretty smooth trip to Lancaster County. In light of today's gasoline prices, we all squeezed into Dad's minivan for the 290 mile trip. With DVD player's, Ipod's, the trip was fairly easy for the 6 and 8 year old in our midst.

We arrived, got checked in and enjoyed a nice meal with Grandma, Grandpa, and the Kentucky clan of our family. Jay was particularly happy to see Campbell. This was the first time since our wedding that Elaine was able to truly get to know many members of my family, so I was happy for that.

On Saturday morning, the DC area contigent of our family arrived and soon we left for the "Birthday" dinner Miller's Smorgasbord. It was perhaps the largest buffet I have seen in quite some time and the food quality was great. What was better was enjoying the time together with family and having some nice chats with my cousins, Aunts and Uncles. After filling up on top sirloin, ham, and of course, PA dutch chicken pot pie, among other things, we returned to the house for some wiffle ball and fellowship. Jay and Sam really fine tuned their wiffleball skills and enjoyed their time with Grandpa (my dad), and Uncle Steve, although Sam threw a bat accidentally and it hit Uncle Steve right on the lip..OUch! Jay was guilty as well as he line drived his grandpa who was pitching. His great grandmother watching from the porch was laughing at the action that she witnessed.

We shared some cake, and then Grandma opened her gift. The family bought her a digital photo frame. It was very enjoyable to see the pictures from the past and have the memories of past vacations and times with family come flooding back. It was a great time to share memories.

On Sunday we all went to the Lancaster Citadel for worship then to a great italian place for lunch. It was great to once again to sit and talk with the family. I really enjoyed this perhaps more than anything else over the weekend. The Chicken Parmigiana wasn't bad either! It was great that Grandpa was able to join us for lunch on Sunday as he has been having difficulties getting around. The family was truly complete and a great time was shared over Italian food. Perhaps it is no accident that our family last name is Sicillian and that is why we all love italian food!

We returned for pictures and said our goodbyes. It has been a long time since we have all been together. I hope we can do it again soon.

Happy Birthday Grandma!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Random Thoughts...

It is one of those days where there is a whole lot of nothing on my mind. I spent the last 15 or so minutes catching up on the various blogs on my favorites, and after reading about vacations at the beach, politics, drum corps among other things, I thought it was time for me to update as well. It is one of those days where I will summarize some Random Thoughts.

Hillary please drop out! It is obvious you lost! Is your ego really that big that you honestly think you have a chance at the nomination??? The Clintons are really something else and believe that they are truly in a different league. The numbers and math add up to an Obama victory as the presumptive nominee. This was further enforced by his almost rock star reception given to him on Capital Hill the other day. Drop out now Hillary and save what sliver of dignity you may have left in you.

Awesome Music...
I got an iPod for Christmas and for that I need to thank my awesome mom for getting it for me. Prior to using itunes as my music provider on my pc, I used Napster. On one of my old computers, I had some great songs that I purchased from Napster. This computer has not been used since the summer, and as a result, those great songs never made it to itunes and my new computer. Last evening I pulled the old computer out, went through several tries to remember my Napster password, and was able to burn 4 cd's of great songs. I did have to add them manually to itunes, but it was soooo worth it in the end. Last evening I watched tv with the closed captioning on, so I could listen to the newest additions to my iPod. Now all I need is a FM modulater for road trips!

This summer our vacation time is scattered all throughout the summer months. It's great, because there is rarely more than a few weeks between the various excursions. This will start with a weekend trip to Lancaster County, PA to celebrate Grandma's 80th birthday. This will be over Memorial Day Weekend and will be immediately preceeded by a Yankee Game against Baltimore for Dad and I. This will be a great time for our family to get together again. Last time Elaine was not able to join but she will this time. I am looking forward to Elaine getting to know members of my family that don't really know her.

Our next vacation will take place the 2nd week of July where we will go to upstate New York to visit Elaines family and journey up along the souther and eastern shore of Lake Ontario and spend a day at 1000 Islands. I have never been to this part of the country and am looking forward to it. We will be home from that for a few days before travelling to Maine and spending a few days on Sebago Lake with Mom, Dad, and Tracy. That will be a good time and Sebago is an awesome lake, a little chilly, but absolutely beautiful.

After returning from Maine, we will be home a few weeks before heading out to Rehoboth Beach for our annual vacation there. My kids, like Tracy and I have fallen in love with this seaside resort. In fact, when we were planning a possible trip or cruise next summer, Jay got upset because Rehoboth wasn't in the plans. He would rather go to Rehoboth than DisneyWorld! He has been saving all of his change for his favorite "Pirate Game" on the boardwalk.

So there you have it, my random thoughts for the day. Now the Yankees are on, so I will focus my attention to the game taking place in Detroit. Go Yanks!


Thursday, May 01, 2008

Bleacher Creatures Roll Call Opening Day 2008

I tried to upload this another way, but it only works as a separate post.

First Night in 39

After a great time in Pittsburgh at our Territorial Development Conference, I made a stop on the way home at the Stadium in the Bronx for my first of 8 Yankee Games.

Some of you may recall previous posts indicating my Christmas Gift of a E Ticket License at Yankee Stadium. Each ticket is only a few dollars more than a movie, so it is a great deal.

Upon arriving in the Bronx, and taking a quick peek at the new stadium across the street, I went into the stadium to see the Yanks wrap up batting practice. I was just getting ready to go up the tunnel to the seats, when a ball rolled down the tunnel. I was able to scoop it up and claim it for my own! I have been going to ball games for nearly 30 years, and have never got a ball. I later found out that the ball was hit by Johnny Damon, left fielder for the Yankees. While standing there and talking to other fans, I noticed that Joba Chamberlain was horsing around in front of us. Everyone was asking for a ball, so I thought, let me say something that may get a response. Joba's father, Harlan was just released from the hospital, so I yelled to Joba, "how's your dad Joba?" Joba looked at me and said, "he's doing good," and gave me a thumbs up. I returned the thumb's up and said, "thats great." It was great to have the player interaction. Yankee's closer, Mariano Rivera, my favorite Yankee was play CF during BP and having a ball. He is quite the fielder I might add. Mo even would yell, "heads up" to the fans in the seats when a home run ball was coming their way. He is truly a class act.

After grabbing a hot dog and a coke, I settled in my seat and got acquainted with the fans around me that will be sitting around me for the season. We had some great discussions about how we feel about the current state of the Yankees. Soon it was time for the game to get going.

Shortly after the Yankees took the field, and the National Anthem, a fellow Bleacher Creature named "Bald Vinny" started a clapping motion which signfiied the start of the roll call. I was on my feet and joined the chorus of applause. Vinny then motioned the group to be quiet, and yelled, "Yooooooooooooo Melllllllllkkyyyy (Melky Cabrera). At which time we all chanted, "Melky, Melky" until he turned, waved and acknowledged us. This was repeated to all defensive positions except for pitcher and catcher. Below is a video of this year's Opening Day Roll Call.

Things were pretty settled until the 8th inning or so, when people started to leave. Then the regular creatures had a little fun and got a little rowdy. It was a lot of fun to see and hear the interactions.

Despite the Yankee loss, the cold game time temperature and wind, it was a fun night at the ballpark. My next game will be May 22nd and my dad will be joining me in 39. It should be a lot of fun!