Here's Part I, Part II and Part III if you've missed them.
~*Day 10 (2nd January 2010)*~
It snowed in the morning and we could not do anything else but indoor activities. While Cynthia and Charlene prepared lunch, I entertained the kids. Besides playing, we did some pen and paper activities (as being an educator, I could not stand seeing them play the whole damn day). I taught the kids how to draw since Jase was bubbling with enthusiasm to learn how to draw after seeing me draw animals that he requested for. Charmaine would always follow what kor kor wanted to do so in no time, both kids and one godma were seated quietly on the carpet conjuring various animals from our "wands".
Simple homecooked lunch was what I looked forward to throughout my stay there.
In the evening, we watched the Gazillion Bubble Show. Thanks to Iris, we got the tickets at a discounted price through the internet. Iris is always adept at sniffing out good deals since she's been staying in NYC for quite a while. A pity she wasn't able to join us with her cute son Everett that day.
A cannot-be-missed photo moment with the banner! By this time, you would start noticing us wearing one another's coats, scarves, shoes etc. It's always fun to exchange apparels and appear as if you've got a huge closet.
We weren't lucky enough to get Fan Yang for the bubble show. Instead, his wife Ana Yang was performing that day.
As I'm typing this, the bubble show is gonna hit Singapore's shores soon or has it already?
There were a few instances when Ana asked for volunteers. Charmaine wanted to go up on stage badly. Jase did not like going up on stage but knowing that his sister wanted so much to do so, he also raised his hand as quick and as high as possible to double her chance of being selected. It was really vey sweet but unfortunately, Ana did not look in our direction the three times she asked for volunteers.
Me in a bubble photo moment
The pretty ladies... Jase did not want to join in.
Charmaine wants one with the mummies.
~*Day 11 (3rd January 2010)*~
It was a day spent indoors as our reader-turned-personal friend Stephanie (who has since become the kids' favourite "aunty" and a great friend of cyn's) was dropping in for a visit after a few hour's drive.
She brought pizzas, cheesecakes and sweet treats!
Stephanie is such a great lady with a really big heart and it is our good fortune to be acquainted with her. She would definitely make a great mother one day!
Besides pen and paper activities, getting the kids creative is also a good way of making sure that Charmaine's mind is constantly stimulated and that she does not fall behind in terms of academic ability since she has not been going to school for more than a year after her diagnosis. She has forgotten the alphabet and has difficulty recognising the letters, often getting them confused. However, her oratorical skills are superb for her age. She uses big words like panic, exhausted, confused, concentrate, extremely, hilarious etc.
Look at their smiles! They really love doing craft!
Little char and I made candilicious bracelets for all the girls.
~*Day 12 (4th January 2010)*~
It was a fun evening out with Charlene at Times Square.
She had to constantly remind me that Times Square isn't a square at all and it's grossly overhyped. NYC isn't her cup of tea as she used to fly there quite often for work. However, being a first time tourist to New York, I enjoyed myself very much. I loved the colours and light and how vibrant that whole area was.
Our first pit stop -- Hershey's
Next, we crossed over to M&Ms World.
While waiting for the green man, we snapped quick shots of ourselves.
Some silly shots. I love the Mployees!
That's the first time I saw baby/pastel colours for the M&Ms chocolates. They look really adorable and delicious. I love the pink, purple and blue best!
When I see this shot of Char, I keep laughing about how silly she was while I was taking this seemingly normal picture. Turn your head gurl, not the jackpot slots.
M&Ms inside, Hershey's outside, Char and Jo in mid-air.
I snapped more pictures before it got too cold.
TGIF for dinner was an impromptu decision as we were too cold and wanted to sit down to eat, drink and warm ourselves at the nearest available eatery.
Once again, the food wasn't too bad but the proportions were American. I'm one who usually finishes my main course but I could not finish many stuff there. My face actually grew noticeably rounder after I came back and everyone deemed I was having a good life when I was struggling to finish my food!
Char's ribs (not her ribs actually, the pig's) was sooooo long it would have been a large in Singapore. And no price for guessing that she ordered small. As for mine, I seriously wonder if my steak was a side dish.
We ate and chatted till the sun set.
We went to Toys R Us to see if we could get any toys for our boys. That was the largest Toys R Us I've been to. And I still thought the 2-storey Toys R Us back in Northpoint Singapore when I was a kid was huge.
I die die wanna take a photo in front of the NYPD and we had to stand on a manhole. I was shocked that that's the actual New York Police Department. Looking at the neon lights, I actually checked with char just to make sure that it's not some pub with a similar name.
The pigeons there were so fat during winter, they could not really fly at all. They merely wobbled away when I got close to them. I swear I could have caught them with my bare hands... gloved hands.
~*Day 13 (5th January 2010)*~
While editing the pictures, I realised that our lunch was more or less the same but we were all happy eating home-cooked Chinese food. The kids are very Asian and could not take to eating too much Western food. Fishballs are one of their favourites.
The reason why most of the updates for the day start with lunch is coz breakfast was provided by RMH and it was also almost the same every day. I got lazy taking photos of food that looked the same. However, I did not get sick of the food as I simply love bacon, omelette, jam, orange juice, milk cereal and so on.
After lunch, we headed to Macy's for a mega shopping spree!
Huge Macy's paper bag brimming with Coach bags and pouches for myself and family. I was so happy spending money I tell you! They're not all mine though. Char had some share in the bag contents too.
I arranged with Julie, an old friend from JC times, to meet for dinner together with cyn, char and the kids. She was located at NYC for a few weeks at that time. How very coincidental! She is currently based in Hong Kong. We would not have known that we would be in NYC during the same period if not for the wedding of one of our old friend when we were seated next to each other. We caught up with each other a lot during our friend's wedding dinner and casually suggested we should meet up. I never quite expected it to materialise since she's such a busy and successful lady and was really glad to have met her up.
Those coloured "panels" in the background are electric guitars by the way.
Skip this part if you only want to read happy stuff:
Julie and I used to be really close in JC since we were both night owls and would often page alphanumeric to each other or leave voicemails. After the advent of affordable handphones, more and more people discarded their pagers for the more convenient handphones and still we continued to text each other. I even kept one of her 2004 sms till now in my very old nokia handphone!
[Aside: YES! I love the pager era. Beats the handphone era hands down! Now you know how old I really am.]
We were close all the way till she left for UK for her university studies. I don't exactly know what happened and why we drifted apart. I've got many close friends who studied overseas and we would always meet up whenever they were back for holidays. Unfortunately, whenever Julie was back, I would not be in town. It happened twice and from then onwards, I didn't know of all the times she came back till I happen to look at news feed and found out from photos on my friends' facebook. I felt really down and I just didn't want to find out what had happened to the friendship. We also used to hang out with a clique of JC classmates up till Uni days and I've really enjoyed those moments with them. However, we've also drifted apart. Till now, I wonder if it was because of something I've said or done or have I fallen out of their league or whether I am just not so likeable anymore.
I'm one who would try all means and ways to salvage a friendship with a close friend whenever I sense that we are drifting apart. After I've done my part by putting in the effort, should the party not make the effort, I would not bother and simply let go. Afterall, I've already done my part, haven't I? However in this case, I did not put in my utmost efforts coz I thought it was too late.
I really treasure the short 3 hours I spent with Julie that evening and the friendship seemed to have gone back to JC days. It felt as if the two of us were transported back during the period of 1999 till 2005 even if everything and everyone around us were from 2010. We clicked, we chatted and she bonded with Jase (Charmaine was seated too far from her). There wasn't an awkward moment or at least that's how I felt on my side. I was really happy that our friendship was rekindled for that short period and I really hope that it isn't just a transient thing.
I'm sorry I blabbered so much. I've been wanting to get this out for a long time and seeing these photos made me quite emotional. It always happens to close friends I treasure but lost.
Let's get back to happy stuff shall we?
It was a long long wait at Hard Rock and it got rather exciting watching our names crawl up the waiting list. Like watching the stocks you buy rise!
Sumptuous spread! It was so much we had to pack some back.
After we bade Julie farewell, we decided to let the kids have a little bit of arcade fun since they had not been to one for a long time.
Time to go home with our loots!
Oopsy similar pictures overload. I can't decide which is the best.
There is still one more part to conclude my NYC trip posts. I've edited the photos but I'm wondering if I should post up pictures of my shopping buys too. I know many of my local readers love to click on my shopping tags so I'm not too sure if I should go ahead with the overload of shopping spree photos.