August Highlights

A week in NYC & Atlantic City with the Javiers

American Idiot on Broadway – it’s what inspired this road trip. Francine had been dying to see it since it debuted on Broadway in April so this was first on our agenda. The 90-min rock musical, based on Green Day’s 2004 Grammy-winning album, was worth the 10-hour drive from Toronto. I’m not sure, though, if non-Green Day fans would love it.

We did the the usual touristy stuff during our 3-day stay in NYC… 5th Ave., Times Square, subway and ferry rides, Battery Park, Ground Zero, shopping at SoHo, MoMA, The American Museum of Natural History, etc. Another trip highlight for Francine, a Renthead, was lunch at Life Cafe (where Jonathan Larson wrote RENT) in the East Village. To complete the experience, she had Huevos Rancheros which was mentioned in one of the RENT songs. We also spent an entire morning at B&H Photo. I felt like a kid in a candy store. Just being there was a test in self-control! And since I don’t really NEED any more photo gear (according to Francis), I walked out the store without any purchases. Our friend, Jon, bought a Canon 50mm f1.4 lens. Nice!

No complaints about our stay at Sheraton Lincoln Harbor (Weehawken, NJ). Our rooms were spacious and tastefully decorated, bathrooms were clean and stylish and most important of all, there weren’t any bedbugs! (The thought of bedbugs hitching a ride on our luggages and other belongings scare me!) It was a 10-min walk to the ferry dock and 5 minutes to the bus stop. Oh, I do have a complaint. The Wi-fi wasn’t working on the first night and was patchy when it was finally restored the next day.

After a few days in the city, we were ready to hit the beach. On the suggestion of Karen’s friend, we headed to Jones Beach on Tuesday afternoon. Being a weekday, it wasn’t busy at all. We loved the fine, clean sand and enjoyed the pounding waves. We were very disappointed when we checked in at Days Inn that evening. I won’t go into details… all I’ll say is I seriously thought about sleeping in the car :| We didn’t see any 4-star hotels in the area so we decided to stay the night at Days Inn. None of us slept well. We promised the kids we will stay in a nicer hotel at our next destination – Atlantic City.

On the way to Atlantic City on Wednesday morning, we made a sidetrip to Jollibee (a popular hamburger chain in the Phil.) in Queens for brunch. Daing na bangus, palabok, Chickenjoy…

In Atlantic City, we checked out Caesars and decided to stay there. A friendly kababayan at the front desk booked us at Centurion Tower. The rooms were beautiful! We felt that we deserved the rooms after our experience the previous night :) We spent the afternoon at the beach. Justin, especially, had a great time! It was pretty memorable for me…I was attacked by a flock of seagulls! I was holding a tray of fries on one hand when this flock of seagulls, about a hundred of them…hovered over us. Out of fear, I flung the tray of fries to avoid being attacked by these birds. I didn’t realize I was still holding a piece of french fries with my other hand. I felt it being swiftly snatched from my hand with a beak! These birds can get really aggressive!

We spent our last day in Atlantic City shopping and enjoyed a buffet dinner at one of the hotels. The grown-ups capped off the evening with coffee, tea and dessert at a cafe at Caesars. On the way home on Friday, we stopped a few hours at PA for more shopping. Got home at 3:45 am on Saturday… tired but very happy!

NYC photos here.
Jones Beach photos here.
Atlantic City photos here.

Green Day Concert at Molson Amphitheatre

For my birthday last spring, Francine got us tickets to Green Day’s concert last night. It was the best concert I’ve been to! The energy was amazing… they played 35 songs non-stop! The crowd was on their feet the entire time. It was like one big Green Day party. Had an absolutely wonderful time! I want them back next year!!!