Covering the West Coast & the World
CURRENTLY IN: LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK
Me and my little gang are now here in New York hanging out and doing the visiting thang. Having a wonderful time seeing the beautiful faces of our friends and family.
As shared by Elisa, our girls had figured out how to squeeze the most amount of visit time by finding some free hours that we both had in our schedules yesterday morning.
After our visit the kids and I decided to attempt a mall visit. We headed over to Roosevelt Field and were excited to do some shopping...
Initially it appeared that the mall was bare and empty.
Without any plans I found a pair of jammies from the Disney Store of which will be perfect for our Disney World vacays!
DID YOU KNOW:
Our next Disney World vacay is only 3 months away. Pretty exciting, but I'm sure this'll be a visit unlike any other and actually be a bit weird. Of course I'll share all the weirdness with you once we are there and experiencing it firsthand.
So anyway back to the mall.
After walking around a bit, it was mask wearing madness, seeing lines in order to get into certain popular stores (I just out and out refuse to participate in standing in these ridiculous lines), we bopped in and out of a few 'no wait' stores. But all in all it was kinda stressful and just too unusual to enjoy. Cosette came close to having a panic attack and I wasn't too far behind her in my discomfort of the entire situation - so it was definitely time for us to leave.
We stopped back at out hotel for a recharge and decompression.
And then made our way back out and to my old home town of Rosedale. We went that way to pick up some dinner from a few old favorites and to do a tour of my old neighborhood.
We had even drove down the old street that Elisa use to live on. It was a hoot for the kids to see all of the families old residences. It has been approximately 10 years since we were regulars to the old neighborhood.
It was all kinda weird, where not much has changed at all, yet everything in the world has changed.
Although dinner had to be take out - it was freakin' awesome and throughly enjoyed by all. The food in NY is just far superior to that of anything on the west coast - FACT!
Now, we are off to go do a social distancing visit and then head on over to Elisa's.
Hopefully the weather clears up a bit.
And btw - I'm having some uploading issues, so I'm sorry if you're reading this and it still doesn't have any of the pictures that I intend to upload.
Oki Doki - I'm outta here,
Covering Long Island & NYC Boroughs
CURRENTLY IN: LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK
Today, I'm really excited because me and my gang will be meeting up with Tanya and her's as she visits New York during her east coast trip.
Having visited Virginia and North Carolina this past week, Tanya is now in The Empire State and we cousins will be catching up in person since seeing each other a year ago.
Well, surprise, surprise -- completely unscheduled and very spontaneous...
Tanya and I were thrilled when Gianna, Kelsey and Cosette discovered some free time in our respective schedules yesterday during a text conversation they shared together on Wednesday night. So, as a result, our two gangs managed to get together for breakfast yesterday.
We met up at the diner near my house and had a chance to catch up and manage to have a few good laughs. Thank goodness for Tanya being the eternal prepared photographer and capturing a few impromptu pics from our little get together.
Today, we each have some things to do separately, and then we'll have another mellow meet up on Seventh Street in Garden City, here on Long Island for its weekly piazza-style outdoor dining.
With our options still limited in terms of places to go and explore together, we decided to have a low key evening. It actually worked out quite conveniently since Tanya is staying close by in the outer borough of Nassau rather than her usual stay in Queens at her Grandma's when she visits New York.
Our plans include Tanya, Cosette and Dominic coming over to see our new house and from there we will be heading to Seventh Street.
I'll give you the full scoop tomorrow, with lots of pictures.
Moving right along with some travel talk...
Have you decided to take a vacay this summer or are you full of health and safety concerns about being around crowds in confined spaces ?
Well, you may want to consider a few short days away in the fresh air of the great outdoors.
With all the modern conveniences we enjoy both at home and during travel, the good old fashioned family camping trip is still one of the best and well-enjoyed ways to spend time together. Not to mention, with the current state of things being what they are with the worldwide covid-19 pandemic, being in the fresh outdoors is looking like the best way to get away for the entire family.
An excursion to the great outdoors may seem on the surface like just an ordinary getaway, but in fact, it is actually a great gift that goes beyond family bonding and memories, as it can provide an experience for kids to learn life affirming ideals and valuable lessons.
1. Building a Bond With Nature
Communing with nature is such a powerful thing that gives us humans, especially kids, a chance to get grounded in its surroundings and connect with that which is grander than ourselves. Waking up naturally to the light of day, watching a sunrise, stargazing, and being in the company of tall trees and their furry and feathery inhabitants for a few days allows youngsters the time to let go of the material world and just be.
Whether spending a brief weekend or several weeks, outdoor trips enable kids to be part of the natural world and see with their own eyes, first-hand, the magnificence of the earth, animals, the flora and even the bugs as well an understanding and connection with its wonder that they could never garner from books, television or school.
2. Self Reliance
Spending time in the outdoors is a far cry from the comfort of running to the fridge, popping something in the microwave or being a couch potato in front of the Apple TV. Starting a campfire, collecting pieces of wood to keep it going, trimming a twig to use for roasting marshmallows, pitching a tent and washing in cold water are only a few of the hands on tasks and skills in which kids will take part while camping.
Out in the woods, amidst the enormity of Mother Nature, self reliance and basic survival skills are imperative Learning the many uses of a pocket knife, how to start a fire, which plants to steer clear and how to safely store food as not to attract unwanted wildlife are only a few of the basic skills of self-reliance that will be indelibly etched in your young one’s conscious for years to come to recall in future moments, should the need arise.
All family members, regardless of age or stature become active participants in the camping experience, with each person’s contribution being integral for the good of the group. It is also more common to get your kids involved in basic family activities such as meal prepping, cooking, creating sleeping quarters, carrying items, cleaning up and using tools than during our normal day to day existence.
Additionally, camping has its own set of special tasks such as collecting wood, watching a fire, tending to younger siblings in an unfamiliar setting and so much more. With these kinds of responsibilities that are actually necessary for the family as a whole, kids develop a sense of importance. Knowing that mom and dad and the rest of the clan are relying on their particular duty fills a child with pride and builds their inner strength about their capabilities not just at the campsite, but long after when they are back to reality, where parents and caregivers tend to be overprotective.
4. A break from electronic devices
No one will argue about the prominent role that electronic devices play in the daily lives of all people, across all cultures and geographic areas. Among kids today, their importance and use is even more paramount.
Most outdoor camping destinations are far from wifi and internet access and remain one of the last bastions of non-electronic entertainment. Although you might experience a bit of push back from the kids at first about their need for their devices and their bewilderment at how they will survive without texting, snapping, streaking or watching their favorite YouTuber, the gift you are giving them by forcing them to disengage from electronics will soon play out.
Kids adapt pretty well to new environments and don’t be surprised if your offspring begins to engage in “old school” activities such as running, hiking, bird watching and heaven forbid, reading! They might also discover (as will you) that the lack of constant stimulation provides peace-filled rejuvenation and an opportunity to reconnect to each other and the natural world.
5. Sense of adventure
These days, kids and families have such predictability to their lives. With daily schedules, events and commitments, there isn’t much time for adventure and spontaneous activities.
Getting away from the usual and predictable happenings of day to day life, camping in the fresh outdoors is a flurry of excitement with a whole new set of initiatives, encounters and experiences. Pitching and sleeping in a tent versus the cocooned safety of a bedroom, launching a rubber raft rather than running on the soccer field or roasting marshmallows instead of sipping an overpriced blended beverage are full of chance happenings and unforeseen excitement. No modern conveniences like running water, electricity or even air conditioning are eye-opening and atypical encounters affording kids a taste of adventure, whetting their appetite for more!
Here's to the weekend. See you back here tomorrow with a re-cap of our Cousins Day today.
July 24, 2020 -Elisa and Tanya meet up on Long Island and 5 invaluable Lessons Kids Can Learn From Outdoor Camping Trips - Tanya tours her old neighborhood and visits a shopping mall for the first time since Februrary
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