Saturday, September 29, 2012

One Man's Trash is Another Man's Treasure

If you know us, you know that we are not the early birds that get the worm.  Years of working evening shifts in television have lead to light night habits, which do not include getting up early.  We thank God everyday for giving us a baby who likes to sleep as late as we do!

Yard sellers in the South like to start before the crack of dawn.  At one of Heather's notorious Sandino Drive yard sales, people actually were on the doorstep at 4:30 a.m.!  They start early primarily because it's hotter then H-E-L-L by 8:00 a.m. there.  Up North, things don't usually kick off until about 9:00, which is a little closer to our speed.  When Brett heard about the World's Largest Garage Sale just up the road from us, we had to check it out.  Plus, we were hoping if they were really that big, they might still have something left by the time we rolled in around 2:00 p.m.

They had stuff.  Oh, boy, did they have stuff!



Warrensburg, NY is about an hour North of Clifton Park, just outside of Lake George.  It's a little town of less than 5,000 nestled in the Adirondack Mountains.  Their claim to fame: the World's Largest Garage Sale.  Folks set up shop in their front yards, along the main strip of street and along side the road selling everything from baked goods to antiques to the stuff they just cleaned out of their closets.



We actually started north of town and worked our way towards the epicenter.  We stopped at several "Barn Sales" to check things out.  On the outskirts we found some great deals...including two pairs of shoes and eight pairs of jeans and pants for Colt for only $9!


The sale officially starts on Saturday, but many folks get a jump ahead and open shop on Friday.  Unfortunately, it rained on the day we went!  We saw lots of folks carrying backpacks and pushing carts full of "treasures" down the crowded streets.  Colt thought it was really fun to kick his stroller rain cover!
 



Traffic in small towns usually isn't an issue...until you add a couple of thousand more people.  We saw police ticketing cars that made up their own parking spots and are pretty sure the tow truck company in town was pretty busy.


 It's true...one man's trash is another man's treasure!  We were presently surprised by our visit to Warrensburg and to the World's Largest Garage Sale and can't wait to hit it again!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Bronx Zoo Baby

For a while now, we've been saying we wanted to check out the Bronx Zoo.  On our most recent trip to NYC, we finally got to cross it off our bucket list, plus we thought it would be fun to take Colt!

With more than 600 species from around the world and sitting on 265 acres of prime real estate, the Bronx Zoo is one of the world's largest metropolitan zoos.  The land that became the Bronx Zoo was sold to the city of New York for $1,000 from Fordham University under the condition that it was to be used for a garden and a zoo in order to create a natural buffer between the campus grounds and the expanding urban sprawl.
Bronx River

The 24 mile long Bronx River is the only  fresh water river in New York City and, you guessed it, flows right through the Bronx Zoo.

The best way to see the river is by taking the monorail.  The monorail is also the only way to see some of the animal habitats, including the tiger den.  As in the tiger den that housed the 11-year-old Amur tiger that mauled a 24-year-old nut job who jumped off the monorail in order to "be one" with the animal.  And yes, we were there-on the same monorail-just two days before that happened!

On the monorail...
Bachuta had no idea he was going to get a visitor soon!
The zoo has been open to the public since November 1899.  Back then it only featured 843 animals in 22 exhibits.  Today, you'll find more than 4,000 animals, many of which are endangered or threatened.  We didn't see all 650 species, but we sure saw a lot!








General admission tickets are normally $16.95 for adults and children under two are free...unless you go on a Wednesday like we did.  The zoo doesn't charge an admission for Wednesday visitors, but does offer a $12.95 'Total Experience' package deal.  This allows you unlimited access to rides and attractions that you would have had to pay separately for otherwise.  We saved a ton of money by purchasing this option!

Now which way?
But here's the real problem:  the zoo only operates from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  We got there at noon thinking we would have plenty of time to check things out.  Wrong.  We felt like we barely scratched the surface even after staying until just before closing, and we weren't exactly dragging our feet.  Heather was super sad that she missed seeing the notorious Bronx Zoo Cobra (and Twitter buddy) that escaped last March.

The zoo is simply huge!  And the real bummer is that the folks that run the joint know it...the Bronx Zoo website's FAQ page readily admits that you really can't do it all in one day.  Which is fine for locals, but sucks for the tourists who come out of their way to visit.  If you have a week to spend in NYC, you're probably not going to be making two trips to the Bronx Zoo no matter how much you love animals.


We think Colt really enjoyed the zoo (as in, he didn't cry-so that's good, right?).  He certainly got to see and do a few things for the first time.



We think his favorite part was riding the Bug Carousel.  He saddled right up on a nice praying mantis and just went to town!  We were laughing too hard to get a good picture of the humongous grin he had on his face, but it was priceless!

 


He made for the best souvenir!





Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Just How Brave Are You?

Do you consider yourself brave?  Do you like to try something new?  Are you adventitious?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, congratulations...we're gonna be friends!

Heather & Brett never pass up an opportunity to try something new and on their most recent trip to New York City, they braved the Bronx to snack on a little Dominican cuisine...take out style.


We ordered from the Dominican Restaurant, located at 469 E. 156th Street in the Bronx, which clearly has an "A" rating from the local health department listed on the front of it's to go menu.  It didn't take long before dinner was served!



Our carpet picnic meal was quiet a spread!  It consisted of roasted chicken wide sides of rice & red and black beans.  The chicken had amazing flavor and the beans were really delicious too!



We also ordered a dish of mofongo, which is made of fried green plantains mashed together into a bowl shape and filled with pork and rice and topped with pork cracklings.  The dish's origins are traced back to Puerto Rico.  It took Brett a few bites before he was convinced, but Heather thought it was pretty tasty from the start!


We're always up for any type of culinary adventure and will definitely try Dominican food again...you should give it a bite and let us know what you think!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Milestones: Six Months Old


Six-months-old?!?  That's like, half a year!  Can you believe we've had him for this long?  He just gets happier by the day!





Saturday, September 1, 2012

Just One in a Million at the New York State Fair

We like to show our visitors a good time!  So when Mimi & Grandpa Mr. Ed came to see us Baby Colt, we knew they would love checking out the New York State Fair.  Mimi helps put on the Butler County Fair in Poplar Bluff, Missouri and has always helped out with other local fairs.  Heather can remember as a child going to Memphis to visit the Mid-South Fair.  We always got to see some great musical acts there!

When Heather received free tickets to attend the New York State Fair in Syracuse for holding a Keith Urban ticket giveaway on her Albany.com blog, she jumped at the chance to take her parents.  We loaded up and made the drive to Syracuse.

The Fair runs from August 23-September 3 this year and we were just a few of the one million people expected to attend!  The Fair boasts an impressive 375 acres of food, entertainment, animals, exhibits and a whole lotta' fun!

It's a really great showing of just how diverse the state is.  Sometimes people forget that New York is more than just a concrete jungle of sky scrapers and smog...it's a lot of mountains, beautiful lakes and stunning countryside.

At the Fair we got to see an amazing sand sculpture that celebrated the Olympics...you know that took a little time to throw together!



The exhibits were fun to check out.  There were some AMAZING quilts!



And some really beautiful flowers on display...


We couldn't wait to show Colt the animal barns, although we could have passed on the smells.  He was fascinated with all the critters he got to see.





Including the seals!  (Brett was so sad he missed them!)


One thing we did pass on this visit were the rides....they looked like a bit more than we were ready to tackle!




And of course, you know the Flanigan's can't pass up a photo opp...



But it was this picture that made the adventure worth while.  Our Colt may be just one in a million at the New York State Fair, but he's pretty dang cute, don't ya think??


*Special thanks to the New York State Fair for our complimentary tickets.  Thanks y'all-we had a blast!