Wednesday, December 28, 2011


I thought about writing a wonderful post about Christmas, but then I didn't feel like writing.

So I'm drawing it instead.


And that's how the rest of my day went.

But I'm better today, so that's good.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Stupid friendship.

The other day, one of my co-workers asked me if I wanted to make some Amish Friendship Bread.  Since one of my new favorite hobbies is cooking/baking, I was like HECK YES!  Because I love the Amish (they make amazing furniture)!  I LOVE friendship (that's why I have so many Facebook friends)!!  And I LOVE bread (I never understood people who don't like bread)!!!  What's better than having friends that give you a bag full of bread batter?  NOTHING, that's what!!!

I was all excited about this bread. 
Until I read the directions.  This bread is too high maintenance for me.

Day 1: Do nothing.  Hey.  I can handle that.
Day 2: Mush the bag.  Is there a proper technique to this?
Day 6: Add xxx ingredients.  Good thing that I have milk in my fridge since we had company over for dinner and I had Peter buy milk because it's rude to not have milk.  Is it supposed to smell like this??

On Day 10 when it's baking day, before you bake it you're supposed to put a cup or something of batter into x number of gallon sized Ziploc bags to pass out to your friends.  Who the heck am I going to give this bread to?  Can't pass it out at work, because I don't want it back in MY kitchen.  I'll tell you what.  I'm going to be a good friend and NOT pass those out.  I don't want to burden people with the pressure of finding more friends to bake bread with!  Why did I ever agree to a friendship that has "baking bread" in the contract?? 

Jenna called me on Sunday.  Turns out that she was making her first batch of Friendship bread too.  

Jenna: Have you ever made this?

Sara: No.  I'm only on Day 4 of mushing.  I don't want to make it anymore.

Jenna: I'm on the baking day.  I don't want to do it anymore either.  I already divided the batter into other bags and started thinking about it.  Am I going to give people rancid bread batter?   I put milk in it like I was supposed to, but milk goes bad.  And then I started thinking about it, and if everyone takes a cup of batter out to give to people, how old is the milk in MY bag?  Seriously, I don't want to eat this.  What if people get sick?

Sara: ... I didn't think of that.  I don't want mine either.

Jenna: Stupid friendship.


Jenna told me later that after some googling and widipedia-ing, the milk keeps the yeast alive or something.  Whatever.  

Guess what.  My baking day is on December 17.  Super convenient because it's a Saturday.  Well.  Not for me.  Do you know what I'm doing on December 17?  I'll just tell you.  Peter and I are driving to River Falls because my brother is graduating college (high five!!).  So now, I have to wake up at like 6 or something to bake this bread that I don't even WANT anymore.


So.  Does anyone want a starter bag of Amish Friendship bread?  

I'm serious.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A very Peter and Sara proposal

Bottom line: I said yes.  And now we are engaged. 


There are two background stories that you need to know so that you can fully appreciate how wonderful my fiancé is.  And yes I love using the word fiancé.  LOVE.  And then after I say it, I get all giddy and smiley.  :)

Background story 1: The first move

In January 2008, Peter asked me on a date.  But he didn't just call me and ask me out.  He sent me a letter in the mail.  And the first page of that letter was a word search.  That he made.  All by himself.

I waited for TEN DAYS before I called Peter and told him... No (gasp, what?! I know.  I'm really cruel).  I was sorry, but I was not interested in going on a date with him.  It's truly a miracle that we are engaged today.  Especially because a few months after I told him no, I told him I was ready to go on a date, and he told ME no.  And then I went to Mexico.  And then nine months after the first move, we started dating.

Background story 2: The time I thought Peter was proposing but he wasn't

I kind of mentioned this in another blog post, but I didn't actually write the story because I was really embarrassed, but now that we're actually engaged, I can tell the story.  But it's still embarrassing.

Peter bought a car in August, and when he took me for a spin, he told me to open the center console because "there's a box in there".  So, I opened the center console, and I saw a little white light shining on THIS little box.

I know it's a little beat up - it's been through a lot.
And you can't tell in the pic, but it's glossy.  GLOSSY.  OBVIOUSLY
that means that there is a RING inside.
So, naturally, I started having a heart attack and blah blah blah I thought he was proposing to me, but it turned out being a box of candy.  After THAT little incident, I drilled it into my head that Peter was not going to propose to me for at least 3 years.  I truly believed that.  If you haven't heard it from my own mouth, then ask someone.  Because they know.

The main event

A few weeks ago, Peter told me that he wanted to go shopping on Black Friday.  Excuse me? I gently explained to him that shopping on Black Friday was worse than shopping on a Saturday, which he refuses to do.  But he was insistent.  And I really wanted to buy Christmas decorations for 50% off at Michaels.  So, on Black Friday, we went to Janesville, about 45 minutes from my parents' house.  And we shopped.

Actually, I shopped.  Peter didn't buy anything.  We ate lunch.  Then, we went to a movie at 2:10.  Mr. Cool, Calm, and Collected was being so cool, calm, and collected that I did not suspect a single thing all day.

After the movie, we were sitting in Peter's car in the parking lot.  I was on my phone, reading some texts that I had received while getting a little teared up at The Muppet Movie, many of which were from my sister because she was supposed to be getting Peter's Christmas present.  Anyways, the point is that I was paying no attention to Peter.

Peter: I'm hungry.
Sara: Seriously?  We JUST ate lunch like, 2 hours ago.
Peter:  Yeah, I'm hungry.
Sara: *shrug* texty texty texty

Peter started rummaging around in the car.

Sara: *glances up* What are you looking for?
Peter: Candy
Sara: *shrug* texty texty texty

Peter did not know that I had eaten all of the peppermints that were in the car.  I love candy.

Peter: Hey, is that little box of candy (reference background story 2) still in the car?
Sara: I don't know. texty texty texty

Peter opened the glove box.
Sara glanced up.

Sara: Pete, if it's still in here, it's in there.

Sara gestures to center console.  I did not know at the time that I was supposed to be all nicey nice and Oh, that box of candy that I thought you were proposing with on August 8th, love of my life?  My darling, that box is still in the center console!  Here, sweetheart, the box of candy if right here.

Sara was still texting away.  Peter opened the center console.  And then placed an envelope on my lap.

Sara: (Still oblivious) OH!  What's THIS surprise??

Then, I opened the envelope.  And unfolded the piece of paper that was inside the envelope.  And I saw this:

And I started crying.


And then I looked at Peter, and I saw this:

Obviously this picture was taken in my living room.
When Peter was proposing, he had it in his hands.
And he was smiling.  And getting teared up.
Because he loves me so much.
Not because I didn't say YES right away...
And then I started crying harder.

Peter: Will you marry me?
Peter:  ... Well?

More crying.  A lot of laughing.  A TON of staring at the sparkly ring that was on my finger.

Sara: You asked my dad, right?
Peter: Yeah, I talked to your mom and dad.  And Laura was there too, and she nodded her head.  So that's good.


So then, I called the house.  No one answered.  I tried 4 times.  No one answered.  And then I tried calling my mom.  STILL no answer.  Peter told me that they didn't know he was proposing today.  So naturally, they wouldn't be waiting by the phone for my call.  I came up with a BRILLIANT plan, since no one was answering their phones.  We were supposed to have dinner with my family when we got back from Janesville.  Instead of calling them, we would go home and SURPRISE EVERYONE THAT WE ARE ENGAGED!!!!! PERFECT PLAN!!!!  And I LOVE surprises!!

I called Jenna to tell her our exciting news because I didn't want her to feel left out, since I wasn't going to see her until Saturday.  It's shocking that she understood what I was saying, because I was screaming and crying into the phone.  After I got off the phone with Jenna, Peter said that we should stop at his parents' house first.

Peter: My parents know that I was proposing today.  Let's stop there first, and I'll drop off the wreaths anyway.
Sara: Are your parents even home right now?
Peter: I think my mom is.  I'm not sure about my dad though.  We can just stop by quickly, and then head to your parents house to surprise them.
Sara: OK!!!!!!  

The 45 minute car ride went by REALLY fast.  I couldn't stop staring at my ring, and I couldn't stop smiling.  And I kept getting teared up.  And then I would want to hug Peter, but I couldn't since he was driving, so I would latch on to his arm and just lay on his arm and tell him how happy and surprised I was.  And he would tell me to stop doing that because he was driving and he didn't want us to crash.

When we got to his parents' house, I was talking away (surprise!) about how excited I was to surprise MY family, and he was nodding and listening and thinking about how much he loves me.  As we pulled up the driveway, I saw his grandparents' car.  Then I saw my mom's car.  Then I saw Jenna and Mark's car...

Sara: *Crying.  Again.* Whaaaaaat?  I can't believe this!!!  THIS IS PERFECT!!!
Peter: ... surprise... 

I got out of the car and started jumping up and down.  And crying.  And hugging my fiancé.

We went up to the house and I just couldn't believe it.  Both of our families were waiting for us at his parents' house for a surprise engagement party.  There was more crying, more laughing, and a lot of hugging.  And I was sweating a lot.  We posed for pictures, we ate food, and we talked about how Peter planned the PERFECT proposal.

Throughout the night I was finding out more and more that a lot of people are a lot better at keeping secrets than I am.  Jenna went with for moral support when he picked out the ring... I was on speaker phone when I called her to tell her that I was engaged... Peter drove down to Lake Geneva and asked my parents' permission when I was in Colombia for a work conference... He kept the ring in a lock box at the bank... So many secrets...  And I never would have guessed.  At all.

So yes - Peter and I are engaged, and we are SO happy and excited to get married.  It's been a little over a week since he proposed, and I still can't believe it.  

Sigh.  Best. Thanksgiving. Ever.

FYI: WAY more sparkly in person!!!!!!!
(And although you can't tell in the picture - my nails are manicured)
(Yes I got a manicure less than 24 hours after I had a ring on my finger)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cheeers to the freakin' weekend

Ever wake up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy and lay in your bed for a loooooong time and try to WILL yourself to go back to sleep because it is only 7:03 and WHY CAN I NOT SLEEP PAST 8 O'CLOCK??  

So you lay in bed and think about a whole bunch of random things like how you failed at seeing 11:11 on 11/11/11 TWICE yesterday, because in the morning you were at work and got a phone call so you were distracted, but then your high school English teacher reminded you via your Facebook status that you still had one more chance to see it at 11:11 PM.  But then you went to dinner with the love of your life and his co-workers, and when you got home you had to lay down on the couch because your stomach hurt really badly because you thought it would be a good idea to eat ice cream for dessert without taking a Lactaid pill, even though you know you are lactose intolerant and that you would be in pain and want to die later.  So while you were on the couch cursing yourself for eating ice cream, and cursing the love of your life for LETTING you eat ice cream, you were watching Seinfeld, and then you fell asleep sometime between 10:30 and 10:45 and woke up at 11:08, but since you are confused and disoriented when you wake up anywhere except your bed, you forgot that you should sit in front of your computer for three minutes so that you could see 11:11 PM and 11/11/11 underneath it.  Instead, you got up from the couch and went to bed in your clothes because you couldn't muster the energy to change into pajamas.

At 7:43 you accept that you are awake and then you roll out of bed and remember that you slept in your clothes last night for no apparent reason other than laziness, so you put on sweatpants and a tshirt.  You then open your bedroom door and are blinded by the morning light shining into the hallway, so your eyes start to water.

Then you see the shirt that you wanted to wear TONIGHT is sitting in the basket right in front of the washing machine so that before you went to bed last night you would remember to put it in the washing machine, because you were SUPPOSED to put it in the washing machine before you went to dinner but you forgot.  That shirt had to go in the washing machine asap, because said shirt can't go in the dryer and needs to line dry.  So you put a load of clothes in the washing machine.

And then your mom calls and is all chipper and says, "GOOD MORNING!!" and you croak, "hiiiiiiiiii mooooooooooooom" and she remembers that you are under the age of 80 and you don't have children on a Saturday morning, so you should really still be sleeping.  So then she asks if she woke you up and you say that you've been awake for 45 minutes but you feel like you have a scratchy throat.  She says that she hopes you're not coming down with something, and then says, "Well, I already talked to Peter about this-" and you cut her off and say, "You talked to Peter about something before me?!?!" and she continued about Christmas presents and ideas and then you laid down on the couch and cover up with a blanket and close your eyes while your mom keeps talking to you.  And then she says that she has to go, so you hang up the phone and continue laying on the couch.

After 20 seconds of listening to the washing machine run, you decide to turn on the tv, and when you start flipping through the channels, you think for the millionth time how you wish you had cable TV because NOTHING is on regular TV on the weekends until Sunday night at 7 PM.

While you're flipping through channels, you start to get hungry, but since you're not much of a breakfast eater, you don't have any breakfast food.  You get up off the couch and shuffle over to the kitchen wishing you had a pair of slippers, make a mental note to add it to your Christmas list, and then decide to detour to your bedroom to get a pair of socks and a hoodie, all the while trying to get your knotted hair out of your face and into a knotted ponytail.  

Upon entering the kitchen, you rummage through your cupboards and find a box of Betty Crocker quick-bread mix for Lemon Poppyseed bread.  You have the necessary ingredients, so you pre-heat the oven and throw all the ingredients into a bowl and use a wooden spoon to mix it all up.  You think about how hungry you are, and then when you put it in the oven you remember that it takes 35 minutes to bake, so you eat a couple pistachios to hold you over.

While the bread is baking, you move your clothes from the washer to the dryer and watch Gumby on TV.  

After you get bored with Gumby, you decide to open up your computer and go online.  While you're Facebook stalking, you see a Youtube video of the Ellen DeGeneres show that you watch, and then you start to remember how on Thursday night you were watching Youtube videos while Peter was working on his computer, and then you started watching videos of soldiers coming home and surprising their families.  Then you remember that while you were watching the videos on Thursday, you started to get teared up and Peter looked at you, but decided not to ask what's wrong.  You THEN clicked on a Youtube video that was a 10 minute long montage of clips of soldiers coming home and surprising their families, and a lot of the videos are of little kids, and you started getting a little more teared up and your nose started running.  You tried to hide your emotions from Peter because you didn't want him to roll his eyes at you, but then by minute 4, tears were streaming down your face, and Peter asked if you were ok and you said yes, but then by minute 6 you couldn't hold the emotions in and you were sobbing and Peter kept looking at you like you were a lunatic saying, "What the eff are you watching??  Are you going to be ok????" and you kept saying that you were FINE even though there were tears and snot dripping all over your face.  You really were a mess on Thursday night.

Then the kitchen timer beeps and you take the bread out of the oven, and wait for it to cool even though your stomach is eating itself and you really want to break a hunk of the loaf off with your hand and shove it in your mouth, but you decide against it because you got burned a lot in cooking class, and hot things on your hands hurt.  You sit back down on the couch and take clothes that you should have folded yesterday out of the dryer to fold today.  But then you decide that they are too wrinkled, so you throw them back in the dryer to heat up and you decide that THIS TIME when they come out of the dryer you will fold them RIGHT AWAY so that they are not wrinkled and you don't look like a schmuck.

You sit back down with your computer sitting on your lap, and then you  look at the clock and realize it's only 10:53 AM and that you've wasted your whole morning when all week you were thinking about what a productive weekend you were going to have.  

But then you decide that relaxing is productive.  So you put in Mary Poppins and lay back down on the couch.  Folding clothes can wait until later.


Monday, November 7, 2011

An apology to my mother.

Dear Mom,

I know that I should have said this a long time ago, but I think a part of me just didn't want to admit it.  Now, I've been pushed over the edge, and I just NEED to say something.

Yesterday, I had Peter bring 2 baskets of laundry over to my apartment so that I could make him look presentable and be confident that he is wearing clean clothes on a daily basis.  When I started sorting the laundry, towards the bottom of one basket, I began getting suspicious.  Then, I realized it.  He had put dirty laundry into a basket ON TOP OF already folded shirts and shorts and socks.  I. was. pissed.  Why the eff was he giving me CLEAN CLOTHES that were STILL FOLDED to wash?!?!

I don't mind doing his laundry.  Especially because he buys the detergent.  And he brings me out to dinner.  I don't mind putting his shirts in the dryer again because I neglected to fold the laundry right away and they got wrinkled.  I don't mind folding all of his clothes, or ironing his shirts and dress pants.  

What I do mind, is when I see clean clothes in the dirty pile.  And I mind when I see him take a shirt from the bottom of the pile, leaving the rest disheveled.  I also mind when he leaves his clothes in the basket instead of putting them in his closet or dresser.

Mom.  I realized yesterday that I am becoming... you.  I remember, all those years ago, you screaming at us after we cleaned our rooms because we would put anything on the floor in the dirty laundry.  I remember you following us upstairs and showing us our drawers in disarray, making us straighten them.  Threatening that we will have to do our OWN laundry if you EVER saw our drawers like that AGAIN.  And I also remember rolling my eyes at you.

For this, I apologize.  Because now that I have someone putting clean, FOLDED clothes in the dirty laundry basket, I send them texts like this "Peter Romenesko.  The bottom half of the basket of laundry you gave me is still CLEAN.  And halfway FOLDED."  And when he responds "Whoops!", I respond "THIS IS WHY YOU SHOULD EMPTY THE LAUNDRY BASKETS I GIVE YOU OF CLEAN CLOTHES.  You're lucky I still love you and don't ABANDON you and make you FEND FOR YOURSELF."  

Why don't I abandon him, you ask?  Two reasons.  The first one, is because I fully realize that if he had a disheveled appearance in public, it would reflect poorly on me.  The last thing I want someone thinking is, "Who is the girl that is dating that poor schmuck?"  And the second reason is because I don't want to let his parents down.  They trust me to take care of their poor, helpless child when he is away from home.  I don't want them to think poorly of me.

So, Mom, I apologize to you now for taking advantage of your mad laundry skillz.  For every clean shirt I didn't want to put back in my drawer.  For every pair of underwear that I took from the bottom of the pile, leaving the rest in disarray.  I only have one person's laundry to do beside my own, and I am almost going crazy.  How you managed with 7 children and a farmer husband, I will never know.  

I also thank you for passing these skillz on to me.  Although, I'm not sure if it is a blessing or a curse, because I find myself cursing a whole lot when I'm doing laundry.

Your favorite daughter.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

October is already over.

I've been spending kind of a lot of time on airplanes lately, and that results in two things: (1) All of these great ideas of things that I want to share with the world.  (2) A lot of things to catch up on when I get back into the office, and then I forget all of my great ideas, and then I am tired at the end of the day and don't want to stare at a computer and try to remember my great ideas.  I think I'm going to start bringing a notebook or something on planes, because then I can write things down, but it's kind of pointless now, because I'm going to stay on the ground for a couple months.  

A lot of exciting things have happened in the month of October.  Since I haven't shared anything about my life with you for a while, I've decided to take a poll.  Here are the options. Think long and hard:

Option 1. Sara writes one long, LONG blog post about all of the exciting things that have happened in October.  The good thing about this is that there is only one post.  The bad thingS about this is that it'll be one effing long post, and you'll only get, like, a sentence or something about the exciting things that happened to me like: 

-Standing behind Ryan Braun our way to LA 
-Going to LA to sit in the audience of the Ellen DeGeneres Show for Adrianna's birthday
-Going on my first business trip
-Returning to Latin America for the first time since flying home from Ecuador for my first business trip in Colombia
-I took a cooking class, and signed up for another! ... and a lot of embarrassing things happened
-All of the things that I thought about when I was spending a total of 21 hours on an airplane and about 12 hours sitting in an airport in a span of 10 days.

Option 2.  I'm anticipating that November is considerable less exciting than October, so I'll write about all of those exciting things in no particular order in separate blog posts.

Vote now.

You know, since I'm actually in charge here, I'm going to go with Option 2, because I like to talk, and when I write, I talk in my head while I'm typing, and sometimes I talk out loud.

SO.  I have grand intentions of typing until my fingers bleed when I am back in the homeland!  

To hold you over (and prove to all of you doubters...):

That's Ryan Braun.  If you were wondering.  He smells really good.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

>8) <-- evil.

Whoever came up with the wonderful world of emoticons is my hero.  


What a genius it was that figured out that HEY!  Putting a : before a ) and tilting your head to the left... Well I'll be damned!  That looks like a little guy with beady eyes grinning, yes GRINNING at me!! 


I'm not kidding.  



( 8D

Text message convo last night around 9 - 

Pete: Hot dog. I got hit by the tired monster!

Sara: Then go to bed.  You had a long week.  And a long weekend.  Don't fight it!!

Pete: Forgot to tell you that I have enough Mountain Dew to last the winter.  So that's helping me stay awake :)

Sara: Do you know what?  I'm going to dump it all down the drain if you tell me ONCE tomorrow that you're tired!!

Pete: 8(

Sara: 8|

Pete: 8D

Sara: >8|

Pete: haaahahahahaha (8D


Pete: 8( Ok! Sleep tight 

Sara: Seriously, stop texting me.

*Note: When I first opened the hot dog text on my phone, it just said, "Hot dog. I got hit..." because my phone previews the text before I fully open it to read it, but I read "Hot dog. I just got bit..." And when I first saw that little snippet, I thought OMG he got BIT by a DOG.  Reminder to self: read the whole message instead of skimming.

When I texted the emoticon of me sleeping like a peaceful angel -_- to Peter, I was going to send a text that said, "You should go to sleep too!" and then include an emoticon of HIM sleeping, but I couldn't do this one    -_- because Peter does NOT look like a peaceful angel when he sleeps.

I couldn't figure out how to make the emoticon of how he sleeps when I was falling asleep last night, so I just didn't do it. 

But I figured it out.  Even though it's not an emoticon.

Peter sleeps like this:
- -

This thing \~/ is a representation of the furrowed brow he has when he's sleeping.  He like, looks like he's confused about something, or thinking really hard.  As I'm typing this, I'm furrowing my brow.  I look like this:
o o

__ instead of U because it's hard to smile when you're furrowing your brow.  o o instead of - - because I'm awake.

And now, as I'm looking at the little pictures I've typed, I'm realizing that that's not what Peter REALLY looks like when he sleeps.

It's more like this:

I sleep like this:


Actually (I thought I would bring this up before my MOM), I don't sleep like that.  

I sleep with my eyes half open.  Scary, I know.

But I'm not going to draw a picture of that because GEEZE this post isn't about ME, it's about PETER.

And YES - I watch Peter sleep ALL THE TIME.


Friday, September 30, 2011

Bright lights, big city

Everything that I know about New York I learned on Seinfeld.  For example: when Travis and I were trying to decide which airport to fly into - JFK or La Guardia - I knew that they weren't THAT far from each other because in a Seinfeld episode, Jerry and Elaine's airplane keeps getting re-routed back and forth between JFK and La Guardia, and George and Kramer have to drive back and forth and George gets all in a huffy because it was going to be the perfect airport pick-up, but not it won't be because they have to drive back and forth so much.

Anyways, you can imagine how thrilled I was to see the Seinfeld Restaurant.  The REAL Seinfeld Restaurant.

When I called my dad and told him that I saw it, he asked if Jerry and George were sitting in their usual booth.  OBVIOUSLY.

So, my friend Travis and I spent 5 days in New York a couple weeks ago.  I was prompted to take the trip after receiving an email from one of my dear friends that I met in Ecuador when I was in the jungle, Bibi.  Bibi was taking a vacation to Canada and NYC and thought HEY!  Instead of buying a ticket to Amsterdam, Sara can just buy a ticket to NYC!!  

I initially invited Peter to go along with me, but "big city vacation stress [him] out... Except for Vegas", so I invited my other boyfriend Travis to come along.  And we had a grand time!!  While I was in Ecuador, I made a lot of friends, and this makes travelling in the USA especially awesome.  Travis, Bibi and I were able to stay with our friends Peter and Carin.  They have a wonderful house built in the 1700's with more than enough room for us to sleep.  They live in a town that is a 45 minute train ride outside of the city - which was really nice.  It was refreshing and relaxing to be able to leave the hustle and bustle of the city at night and fall asleep to the sounds of crickets instead of car horns.

Here are some pictures and maybe a story or two from the trip.  If you saw the album on Facebook - the pictures and most of the captions are PROBABLY the same.  Fair warning.

We sat and stared at this building for a while.

Sharpest angle in the city.
As we were walking around the city on the first day, we saw a lot of strange things.  I didn't take pictures of a lot of them, because I didn't want to get shot, but then Bibi talked me into taking this picture.  At first we thought this guy was a street actor, but it turned out that he was a homeless man standing with his head down so he looked like he didn't have a head.  
It really DOES look like he's headless.
 Since we were staying with Peter and Carin, we went grocery shopping.  

Cart for the groceries.  Cart for luggage.
Bibi started out pushing a cart, but then he would just leave the luggage cart while he wandered off.  I'm not just saying that he went to the other end of the aisle.  He went to the other end of the STORE.  That's when Travis volunteered to just stand in the foreign foods aisle with both carts while Bibi and I went looking for food that we wanted.

I really enjoyed looking at all of the buildings.  Lots of old buildings.  Lots of new buildings.  My neck hurt by the time I went back home.

One of these things is not like the other...

And then.  I saw my heaven.



And then one day, we decided to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  Turned out, it was our lucky day.  Our VERY lucky day.

Thanks to my friend Ashley, we bought tickets online so that we could skip the line.  We bought the "Flex Tickets", advertising SKIP THE LINE!!!!!!!!!!!.  Because we had these great skip the line tickets, we took our time getting to the city.  Took our time moseying to the tent where we present our skip the line tickets and get to immediately get on a boat.  

Plenty of time to get a pic taken
in front of the Financial District

MORE than enough time for a photo-op in front of the
Statue of Liberty, even though we'll be able to touch it
in a few short minutes since we have SKIP THE LINE tickets.

As we mosey our way closer to the tent where we were going to skip the line, we decided to ask a nice police officer where exactly we're supposed to go.  He was inside the gate on the side of the white tent where we wanted to be.  I showed him our tickets.

Police Officer Paul: Oh.  You've got to go to the back of the line.
Sara: Whaaaaaaaaaat? :( :(
Paul: Yeah.  These are to skip the line to BUY the tickets.  You've still got to wait a few hours.
Sara: Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo. :( :( :(
Paul: (looks at Bibi) Does Elvis know you stole his glasses? 
Bibi: Maybe you could let us in right here? :D :D
Paul: (opens jacket slightly to reveal a taser) If you get in line here, you get a free dose of electricity.
Sara: 8|
Paul: >:)
Sara: Is there ANYTHING that you can do?  
Paul: :|
Sara, Bibi, and Travis: :D 
Paul: :]  I'll tell you what.  Go on the other side of the tent, and find Big Rob.  He's big.  You can't miss him.  He might be able to help you.
Sara: ... (:D And who sent us?
Paul: ... Paul.  Tell him Paul sent you.

So we went over and found Big Rob.

Sara: Hiiiiii, are you Rob?
Bibi: Big Rob?
Big Rob: Ye-uh. (He was a big dude)
Sara: *shoves tickets in his hand* Well, Paul sent us, and he said you might be able to help us?
Big Rob: Paul who?  I know a lotta Pauls.
Bibi: Paul with the electricity!
Big Rob: Uh-huh, cop Paul.  *stares at papers*
Sara, Bibi, and Travis: *stare at Big Rob*
Big Rob: Follow me.
Sara, Bibi, and Travis: *shocked faces* OK!

And then Big Rob ushered us to the front of the 3 hour line, and opened the gate.  And that was that!  We were in!  Amazing what a nice smile and some small-talk can do.

After going through the equivalent of airport security we finally made it on to the boat.


And then we were on Liberty Island.

Being tourists.


REALLY being tourists.

Just staring at people picking their noses.  Yes, I really did put in 50 cents.
Then we went to Ellis Island.  I really liked it there.  But am not including any pictures, because they're boring.

When we were back on the main land, we were close to the 9/11 Memorial, so we decided to take a bus there to see if we could see anything.  Travis and I were hoping to be able to get tickets to go in, but when we looked online before we left, the whole thing was booked through the end of October, so we thought it'd be pretty hopeless.  

When we got there, we couldn't see ANYTHING because the gates were so high and covered.  Once again, we talked to the right person at the right time, because she told us that if we were at a certain address at 8 on Saturday morning, we could get a ticket to go in.  So we got up early and went.

Just to let you know, to see the memorial is free, but I understand why you have to have a ticket to get in.  It would be SWAMPED all the time if they didn't regulate it, and that would really take away from the atmosphere.  

Inside it was really somber and sad.  But they did a beautiful job with the memorial.  I'm really happy that I was able to see it.

This a church right near the site.  It became a memorial on its own.  The ribbons all have something written on them, like a person's name and the floor they were on when the towers went down.  It was so sad, looking at all of those ribbons.

This is one of the pools.  They looked like they would go down forever.  There are two identical pools, the North Pool and the South Pool.  They are the footprints of the World Trade Centers.

The names of those lost are all around the edges.  I was expecting them to be close together, and hard to read.  But it was perfect.  The names of people are engraved in, but then they had letters raised up that said what they were a part of - Flight 175, Ladder 5, etc.

My heart broke when I saw people doing rubbings of names.  The only thing that I could think about was whose name they were rubbing - their dad?  Their sister?  Their child? 

Deanna Lynn Galante and her unborn child.  That was the most heartbreaking of all.

They're building a museum that houses some of the devastation from September 11, 2001.  It isn't completed yet, but this is the building for it.

We were only in the memorial for about a half an hour, and that was enough.

Later that night, Travis and I got all dressed up to see The Lion King.

When we were in college, we went to a formal together, and we got voted Best Dressed Couple.  And Least Likely to Get Married, but that's beside the point.

And THEN on Sunday, our last day, we walked all over the place and saw Central Park.

Strawberry Fields

 And then we went home and I was happy to sleep in my own bed.

I've seriously been working on this blog since last week, but Blogger is dumb and not cooperating, and it isn't turning out the way I want it to, and it doesn't look the way the I set it up when I push "preview" so whatever you see, like the large spaces and not lined up pictures, is NOT my fault.

I'm happy I'm done with this post, because I've been SO frustrated with it that I just exit out and one time I did that without saving, so THEN I was REALLY mad.

But now you know about my trip to NYC, and you can tell that I was sick of writing at the end, but that's ok because now you don't have to read anymore.  And if you made it this far, thanks.  I like you.