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So as every one knows I won a trip to New York City and I chose to go in early April. When I was talking to my husband about it and what he thought I should see The Staten Island Ferry was a top on his list. My husband visited the big apple as a child and remembers riding across on the ferry. How ever as it was many years ago things had changed quite dramatically I was sure but I did know that they were still running the Staten Island Ferry and that it did provide some great views of the city. As our visit to the Ferry was very impromptu and more on a spur of the moment we just sort of discovered it after walking through Battery Park and seeing the ferry leave the dock as we walked through the park brought us to the front door of the Ferry. I was excited and was very nervous as I am not a big boat type person or a boat person at all for that matter. Every time I have been on a boat I end up hanging my head over the edge with a green tint to my skin wishing I had never had the thought to get on the blasted thing. As I was not planning on getting on the boat I was not able to take any thing to help with my boat problem not that it would have mattered any way. So I had been told by my husband that when he was there they charged a small fee to ride the ferry and that you could drive your car onto the boats and pay to have them taken across to Staten Island. I had expectations of how it would look cars pulling up on one level as people that walked were on a different level. How ever it seems that they no longer allow cars on the ferry's and the best part is that several years earlier the New York City Department of Transportation took over the operations of the ferry and have since provided it free of charge. For me the expectations of having to pay and then it being free made it a great opportunity that I was thrilled to take advantage of. We walked in to the main entry way of the boarding terminal and had to wait a few minutes for a ferry to arrive and for the people that were riding it from Staten Island to get off. As we stood around and waited the closer the boat got the more people that were milling around waiting. As I looked around I did notice a place that you could buy food and drinks as you waited but not being hungry and having drinks already with us we opted to just wait but it sure did smell good. The ferry arrived and we were able to get onto it. As I knew that I needed to be close to the edge just incase we opted to sit on the outside. It was a windy day and the wind really did blow hard. I was sure that it was going to be the undoing of me. As the boat started to disembark I felt my stomach do a flip flop then even right back out. I was too interested in the sights that I was seeing and trying to skype my daughter so that I could show her every thing that I was seeing. That even the biggest wave could not have phased me. The whole ride across to Staten Island took all of 20 to 30 minutes and it was one of the coolest things I did while in New York City. From the ferry you have a great view of the Manhattan sky line as well as the Statue of Liberty. There are it seems never ending photo ops from the side of the Ferry with the skyline in the back ground. I had directions from my husband that I needed to be outside and to take a picture of me with the Manhattan skyline in the background as my husband wanted to do a then and now picture as when he went the Twin Towers were still standing. It was sad to see the void of where they used to be but was pretty cool to see the Freedom Tower rising tall in the skyline. Once we arrived at Staten Island we were disappointed to learn that every one must get off the boat at this time. If you wanted to go back to Manhattan you had to go back around and reenter. It was not a pain to do but it was rather shocking that you could not just ride the boat back. So we got off and opted to check out the boarding terminal on the Staten Island side. This side was a little more updated as they had stores and shops as you got off the boat and in the waiting area to get on the boat. I would have been happy to check out some of the shops but it seemed that they had already closed shop for the day. So we got back on the boat as we did not want to miss the last boat going back to Manhattan and have to find our way back. We figured that we would ride the boat back the same way we went out. While we were in the Staten Island Terminal the wind had picked up. As we tried to open the doors to the outside sitting area it was rather hard and really took both my cousin and I to push the doors to get them opened so we could go out side. We stood out side for a few minutes but I was not able to hear anything that my daughter was saying on skype so I tried to go in. As I tried to open the door I realized that I was not going to be able to do it alone I asked a very nice guy that was by the door if he could help me. He opened the door and in I went with the door slamming shut behind me the wind really blowing now. I was able to show my daughter on skype via a video call the entire ride on the Staten Island Ferry she was able to see the Statue of Liberty and every thing I saw while riding the Ferry. It was one of the coolest things ever and I was thrilled to have service on my phone the whole way across. As we got back to the Manhattan side and got off I noticed all the guards and police that were just standing around watching every thing that was going on. It made me feel very safe to know that they were there doing their jobs. This is one of those must see things while in New York City and the price makes it right. You can not go wrong with this freebie. Would I recommend this to my friends and family? Yes and I would raise cane if they missed it. This is one of many must see's in New York City.
Having the luck to win a trip to New York City that included air and lodging I knew that I would be responsible to find my own transportation around the city. I was worried that if I spent all my money on a card for the subway would it work for the buses as well or would I have to pay another charge just to get to the places that the subway did not go. I was thrilled when I read that my metro card could also be used to ride the bus. For me that was a great added bonus to the city's Metro Card. The Metro Card is a yellow card with blue writing across the front that says Metro Card on the back of the card is a magnetic stripe that holds all the info about the card. This is a great thing as long as your card's magnetic strip continues to work. Thankfully ours never failed while we were there. As it would turn out we were very centrally located to every thing that we wanted to visit and everything we wanted to see was easily accessible from the subway. The only thing that we would need the bus for was to save ourselves the money that a cab would cost for a ride to the airport. The cost of the cab from the airport with tip and all other expenses included was at $60.00 dollars so needless to say I was not willing to part with that kind of cash when I had a perfectly acceptable alternate way to get to the airport. The morning that we were leaving we left the hotel and walked a short distance to the subway station and caught the train to the stop that was as close as we could get to where our bus route was to pick up. All in all that took about an hour but during that ride we were serenaded by a group of nice gentlemen doing barber shop type songs with no music to back them up they all had great voices and it made the ride go by that much faster. As we walked up the stairs to the street level we were happy to see that there were signs showing us what way to go and my cousin had it programmed into his phone telling us what way to go so between the signs and a smart phone telling us where to go we were able to find our way. Don't get me wrong we would have done it just fine with out the phone but my cousin is a little bit addicted to his technology and uses it at every chance he has. I would have to say that we waited for about 10 minutes before our bus came around as we waited for every one to exit I pulled my Metro card out to have it ready so as not to hold up the line as I got on the bus I was not sure how to insert my card and the driver a very nice man had to show me how to do it. He was not angry or aggravated I could just tell that he wanted to save me the embarrassment that was showing all over my face as I held up the line. I finally had my card figured out and was sure to grab a seat right next to the driver so that I could ask him if I had any questions. I was so happy to hear the driver announce every stop if there was no one there to get on and no one pulled the string to stop he would just keep on going. It seemed that we picked the route up at the very beginning and were lucky enough to be able to ride the bus through some very historic neighborhoods and to see some very famous places. As we rode the bus down this road that seemed to go on forever I realized that we were going right through the middle of Harlem. I was thrilled to have this chance as I was sure that would I never at any other time find my self going through the middle of Harlem. As we got more into it I was blown away to see the Apollo Theater as every one knows what the Apollo is and how famous it is. I wanted to stop and get off the bus and run and see what it really looked like but was pretty sure that being the time it was that it would not be open so I went with my better judgment and stayed on the bus. It was at this time that I just really sunk into the seat and really did not look around as the only thing I wanted was to get home to my family as I had left them behind to go on this trip. I had my phone and was texting both my daughter and my husband telling them that I was on my way to the airport. I really only wanted to hear my daughters voice so rather than site see at this point I called her and we spoke for the rest of my bus ride. I can say that it was a comfortable ride and at no time was I ever worried about my safety how ever it was broad daylight and I was only going to the airport. We arrived at the airport and this is where it got tricky the bus stopped at every terminal and you had to make sure that you were paying attention to what he said so that you did not miss your terminal we were flying out United Airlines and as luck would have it our terminal was all the way at the end it was the last stop before the bus exited the airport. We got off with our luggage in tow and made our way into the airport. After visiting several large city's and using their public transportation I have seen some pretty gross stuff but I can say that the buses in New York City are probably the cleanest and nicest buses I have ever been on. Something any city could be proud of especially one as big as New York. I have to say that only using the bus this one time it was a great experience and I really did get to see things that I may not have gotten to see other wise. Being a real people watcher this was an ideal experience for me to just sit back and people watch. I think for me the best part was that not only was I on this bus with other tourists but I was riding this bus with locals as well. It was truly an experience that I will never forget and can't wait to get back and do it all over again.
I work in a restaurant so I can pretty much have coffee any time I want and that would be great if the coffee there actually tasted decent but I can only compare it to sewer water and the fact that we actually serve the stuff like its going out of style made me realize that either people have no sense of taste or they just have no idea what a good cup of Joe should taste like. I figure it's the later as we actually serve decent food and its taste is quite a different experience from the coffee. As the coffee at my job is horrible I have been trying different types of coffee and trying to find some thing that works with my job so that I can avoid their coffee as if it were plague ridden. I recently thought to give the Starbucks Via a go. I have tried other brands of instant coffee and was rather put off by them they either tasted funny or just did not taste good at all. So with a rather closed mind I set out to explore the different types of Starbucks Via. The first one that I got was the Columbian flavored one and to be honest I was waiting for it to be horrible as most instant coffees are. They either have you feeling like you have drinking water filtered through garbage or sick to your stomach from the mass amounts of caffeine you get. Thank goodness for me this was neither of those. As am one to not read the directions I mixed my first pouch with cold water as I was making an iced coffee. It did not dissolve right away and I was left with little blobs of coffee floating on the top of the water. I grabbed a spoon and gave it a quick swift stir and was pleased to see the blobs sink and dissolve. Disaster was averted I thought as I added my sugar and cream and then poured the mix over ice. As I have become an avid Starbucks connoisseur I know how a good iced coffee taste from them. I held the cup up to my nose and took a big long sniff as most of the other instant brands I had tried had a faintly fake smell. I was very pleased to say the least that this did not have that fake smell. It actually had the smell of a freshly brewed strong coffee. It was a very delicious aroma and it really made my mouth water. Now was to come the true test how would it taste. I learned a long time ago just because something smells good does not mean that it will taste well so expected the worse and was shocked to actually get the best. The flavor of the instant coffee was strong and bold it had a fresh brewed taste about it and the flavor was really spot on with a cup of fresh brewed coffee from Starbucks. I could not believe it tasted so good I went around for the next hour telling every one that would listen how good it really tasted. It tasted so good that before long I realized I had completely drained my cup and was in need of another one. Having made the mistakes in the previous cup I figured I should read the directions and actually follow them and see how the second cup tasted and would it taste any better because I had followed the directions? So I got my hot water ready and poured it over the coffee granules and watched as they instantly dissolved no floating on the top in blobs this time around it seemed that the hot water was the sure fire way to go. I next added my sugar and my cream and then poured that mix over ice again. This time I took a quick sip and was even more surprised it seems that the hot water really had the coffee bloom it brought out all the flavors that you get when you drink a cup of fresh brewed I was really impressed with these little pouches as they really do taste just like the fresh brewed had I not known they were instant I never would have been able to tell. I have also tried several other flavors of the Via and I have to say that they all taste great. They all have the bold flavors that Starbucks is known for with out the horrible taste of an instant coffee. Would I recommend this to my friends and family you better believe it. They all love a good cup of Joe as much as me so when I find something this good I cant help but share.
As I have said in other reviews I was so lucky to be able to tour New York City in April. One of the places that we chose to go was to Central Park. We choose to exit the Subway at Times square and walk down to Central Park. As we wanted to get lunch along the way we really enjoyed our leisurely walk to Central Park. Stopping to eat a great slice of Pizza where 2 slices of pizza and a can of soda was only $2.98 and for us that was lunch for 2. As we continued on our way I noticed that the closer we got to the park the more it changed to people just strolling along rather than people in a hurry to get some where like they were in Times Square. As we got to one of the Entrances to the park we waited for the light to change to allow us to cross the street safely. As I stood there waiting I noticed that there was a long line of horse drawn carriages and there was an almost overpowering smell of horses. It was not an unpleasant smell but yet it was not very good to smell either. We crossed the street and made our way into the park. Not really having any place in mind that we wanted to visit we were happy to just stroll along talking and taking pictures along the way. Now I know that to some this may sound silly but where I am from the squirrels are brown just your normal run of the mill nothing special so when I came across one in Central Park and it was grey I just had to get a picture to show my daughter. We had only ever seen a grey squirrel in a book. As people looked at me like I had lost my mind I waited to get that picture I wanted it to be just perfect and needless to say even though I looked crazy I got my picture and my daughter loved it. Having sort of chased the squirrel around the park a bit we found our self by a bridge of sorts with a walk way under it. Its been in many movies as well as American crime shows, they always find a body under them in the movies and shows once I realized where we were of course I had to walk through it and over it taking many pictures I had to show my daughter once again. It was a thrill to finally see the place that I was always seeing in shows I watch. Kind of like putting a name with a face type situation. We continued to follow the path that we were on when we came to a large rock it was kind of buried in the ground with parts of it that had been uncovered. People were sitting on it just relaxing and enjoying the warm day. I was so inclined to do the same so we sat down and I took this time to people watch as every one came and went, children played tag as the parents sat and watched. People met up and hurried off to have fun, people biked and roller bladed by as we sat there. This was a park that was being used and enjoyed by an entire city but yet was not over crowded. Turning around the corner we came across Strawberry Fields, the John Lennon Memorial. In the ground is a very nice memorial that says one single word Imagine. People have placed flowers letters poems and all kinds of mementos to honor John as I walk past I am truly at a loss of words as I realize that people have left those items and not one person has messed with them. No one walks over the Memorial they all seem to walk around it and I was not going to be the one to do any differently. There were people sitting around the outside of the memorial playing music and just really seeming to pay homage to a great man. Before I started to cry I needed to move on it was such a touching place. We walked by a like that had canoes on it an there were little turtles along the edge of the lake. It was nicely framed by trees and while we were sitting there once again just observing we noticed a wedding party getting photo's taken. We just sat and watched as it was truly a beautiful sight. Then as they moved on our attentions were drawn back to the lake and the little turtles. I am not sure what kind they were I just knew they were cute little buggers. I must have spent about an hour there trying to get one to come up close enough for me to get a decent picture too bad they never did. I am sure that one second after we walked away they came up and were posing for the other people that were there taking pictures. One of the things that I noticed the most about the small part of Central park I was able to explore was how clean it was. There were tons of people, horses, dogs, and what ever else people bring to the park with them but yet it was very clean as we made our way around I was soon to realize why. Behind the carriages there walked a man with a trash can that would pick up the horse dung not letting any stay behind also there were people picking up trash and there were trash cans all along the way. Having plans for the evening we realized that we needed to make our way back to the hotel. We had spent the entire day in the park and really only saw I would say if we were lucky ¼ of the park there was so much left that we never even got the chance to see or do. I guess now I still have a reason to go back if I ever get the luck to visit again. Would I recommend a day at the park you better believe it. A day at Central park is so worth it. The fact that it's free and there is so much to do and see for free before you ever have to spend a dime makes it a number one on any ones visitor list. I cant wait to get back and explore even more.
In April of this year I had the great luck to be able to visit New York City as I had never before been my Husband was more than willing to let me know what I needed to see and do while I was there. As he was not going he had a huge list of things for me to do. One of them was to visit China Town and eat at any one of the hundreds of restaurants that are spread over the few blocks that make china town. So we chose our second day to go to China town and shop and eat. We rode the Subway to get there and when we got off the train and walked up the stairs back above ground it was almost as if we had walked into a totally different time and place. All I could do for a few minutes was stand around and just watch the throngs of people as they went to and fro on their way. Then I noticed how loud it was it seemed that every one was yelling. I was rather quite overwhelmed and at first wanted to turn right back around and go back to my hotel room but my cousin would have none of that. So off we walked looking for a place that was busy I had been told to look for a place that had people eating already because that meant it was good. If no one was there then don't go as it meant that not even the locals would eat there. So that's what we did. We must have walked past about 20 different places before we settled on this one. We had stopped to read the menu when this lady stuck her head out the door yelled something to us that we could not understand then told us to come in come in as she ducked back in to take care of the customers that were already there I turned to look at the menu one last time when the cook banged on the window and waved us in with his spatula and a big ear to ear grin. So we went in and were shown a table we sat down and I looked at the lunch specials and picked what I wanted I had a Curry type chicken that was so good. My cousin had sweet and sour chicken with fried rice and mine came with lo-mien so we shared all of it and had a feast. It was the best Chinese food that I have ever had it was well cooked and very hot. So hot that it burnt my mouth the first bite I took. As I sat waiting for my lunch to cool I was happy to see families with young children come in and get seated right away. I was shocked to see the little lady that was screaming at every one to come in sat a complete stranger at a large table with a group that she was not with but they did have room at the table and the place was packed. I can not remember how much we paid but I think it was 14.00 dollars with drinks and tip. I just remember being amazed that it was not way more. I went back later for dinner but was sick at the price change. The best time to hit China town and eat is for lunch. They have great prices on lunch specials and you can find them all over the place in china town. It seems that every little place has their own list of specials that they run each week. I only had 4 days in New York City had I been blessed with more time I may have ventured back to china town to explore more of their wonderful little restaurants that seem to line the streets. I really enjoyed my time in China town but there was one thing that I just could not get over. How dirty it was. It seemed like every thing was run down the paint all had layers and layers of paint over it and there were news papers blowing in the streets. Out of all the parts of New York I did get to see I would have to say that it was really the dirtiest part of the city. I think I just expected it to be as clean and well maintained as the rest of the city due to the fact that it is a tourist attraction. A visit to China town is a must for any visitor to New York City. It was a great day and I did have a lot of fun. I would love to be able to explore more and perhaps eat more of the wonderful dishes that I could smell when I got off the train and walked up the stairs. I may have been dirty there but it sure did smell like heaven.
Being a mother I am always trying to find ways to keep my kids out of trouble and still have fun. It seems that the older that they get the harder it is. When they were younger we would all spend some time on the Crayola web site each one of us picking out a crafting idea from the web page, printing it and then doing it. We have built farms under water scenes that were amazing, cars and trucks and the list goes on. What we do now that my daughter is a bit older and loves to make shrinky dinks we print up some of the things from the web page and use them as patterns. What I love about the web page is that you really are limited by what you can create in your own mind. So for my daughter there really is no limit. I expect her to come home one day and show me the rocket she created with the help from the Crayola web site. As my kids are starting to grow up I am sure that my time on the crayola web site will become less and less but at least I will always have the memories of the treasures we created from the web page. This is a web page that I will always recommend to all of my friends. Its more than the products they sell its the arts and crafts that create a great moment for quality family time in todays busy lifes.
I was lucky and won a trip to The Big Apple Air fare and lodging was provided. As I had only to worry about spending money and transportation we opted to use the Subway as our means of transportation. I had no idea what to expect as where I am at we are lucky if the buses run on time let alone run at all. When we arrived in New York City and checked into our hotel the first thing we wanted to do was explore so off we went to look for a subway entrance. As our hotel was in Lower Manhattan they were pretty much on every street corner we crossed. Lucky for us we were only a block away from the Lower Manhattan hub and we went down to find a way to get our Metro Cards. As the side that we went down was not a manned entrance all that they had was a vending machine to purchase our cards from. I can not remember the price of the card in the vending machine but we did not have change or small bills and the machine would not give us all the change we had coming back so we would have lost a few dollars. We opted to leave that side and wait till the next morning to find a manned counter to buy our metro cards at. The next morning we got up early and asked a random stranger that was going down into the sub way where a manned counter was he directed us and we were on our way after buying our Metro cards. The first time you use your card its kind of weird as you have to swipe your card through a reader then walk through the turnstile not leaving your card behind when you go. After the first time through and realizing that the reader did not read my card and having to reswipe it we were off on our adventure to Central Park and Times Square. We thought that we would stop at Times Square and walk down to enter Central park once on the train we asked people where we needed to get off to get the best view of Times Square. There were probably 10 people that wanted to help and they all had different opinions, soon they were all talking loudly among themselves about what was the right way to go. Needless to say we just kind of hung out and listened to what they were saying then this nice lady said to us "don't worry you will learn that in New York we all have our own idea about what is the best way to go and we are very vocal about it. I laughed it off and seen that she was right we opted for the main Times Square Stop. When we got off the train I thought it was so cool to see all the art along the walls as well as all the people coming and going it truly is an amazing place. There were performers set up performing and the whole thing was really just amazing. As we walked up the stairs I noticed that there were businesses along the stairs up tucked into little holes in the walls really. Not even what we would call a store where I am from. Then it dawned on me that the sub way system in New York City is a city all to its self below the surface. I always expected the subways to be dirty and filled with bums begging for money or criminals robbing me. Every time I got on the sub way that was the first thing that came to mind but after spending several days on the sub way nothing like that ever happened to me. As a matter of fact I have met some life long friends while riding the subway. The people were super nice and went out of their way to help. The best part of the whole trip was the fact that I was able to use my metro card the whole time I was in New York City even to ride the bus to the airport. I can't wait to get back to the city and share all that I learned with my daughter.
Being a parent to a girl that loves any thing arts and craft related crayons are a must in our house. They can be used for so many different projects that when we buy a box of crayons we see the art that they will create not the box they come in. We have the basic box of crayons with 24 different colors in the box they come all wrapped in paper listing their color on the side. My daughter loves this as she can see what she wants with out trying to compare the different shades of reds and greens and yellows. The box is the classic style that has become the norm for crayola Green and yellow. It seems that crayons have been coming in this type of box since I was a kid. I love how on the outside of the box they have listed out all the ways that they are trying to help the planet with their products. They use solar power to make the crayons and markers they plant a tree for every one that is used to make their colored pencils and they use recycled plastics in their markers keeping hundreds of tons of plastic out of the land fills. With a company that helps the earth as much as they do their products cant be bad. The crayons that are in my box are non toxic as the box states. Not that we have ever eaten them or wanted to but we have left one out and it was eaten by the dog, besides multicolored pooh he was fine. What we love about our box of crayons is that they can take a licking and keep on working. My daughter is not easy on crayons and she uses them and abuses them. I have to say that we have had this box of crayons for several months they have been used and sharpened several times to color just the way she wants but not one of them has broken. I think that crayons will last forever as we have never actually used an entire crayon no matter how much we color we are always left with a little stub, once that happens we end up buying more so we have never actually used up the entire crayon. We never throw away the little nubs as we have our own crayon maker now and use our old crayon pieces to make new crayons with it. Crayons are a great item for any little one to have in their art collection they can be used for more than just coloring in a color book but can be used to create masterpieces. Crayons are not just for kids either they can be used by any one that is in the mood to color or create. When I give gifts I give out boxes of crayons every one loves a box of crayons.
A few months ago I was given a box of games from my parents that they no longer needed as all the kids had grown up and moved out. It seems that they recently bought this game as it was still in its original box and sealed. I can't tell you where they got this game or how much they paid for it as it was in all actuality a gift. The box claims it's a game for 2 players aged 7 and up. I have to wonder if 7 is a good age for this game as the pieces are small and finicky and as an adult I have a little trouble placing my pieces to start the game let alone all the white and red pieces when I get hit. My 11 year old daughter on the other hand seems to have no problems playing this game. How ever we did wait till we thought it would be better played with. The down side of this game is that it does require some adult assembly but once it's together it's a simple placing your pieces with out your enemy seeing where your ships are. The pieces that are included are a hard plastic game board with a card type paper to place between the playing boards in the slot provided in the game board. A sturdy grey plastic game board stand, which also doubles as a holder for all the little pieces, as well as ships for each player and the white and red pegs that mark the hits and misses. There are also guides that tell you how many hits each ship needs to be sunk. Game play is fast and furious. You are calling letters and numbers and as soon as you find out where your enemy ships are located it just a matter of time till you have sunk them. The object is to sink all your enemies' ship before they sink yours. There are different ways to play but when we play we just go all out and it's the last man standing for us. As it's a short game that really only lasts about 15 to 20 minutes a round you can really get in a few good games before every one gets tired and wants to do something else. This is a great game for family game night. The only problem is that it's a 2 player game and in our house that means one person is left out. However the person that does not get to play is the person that makes sure there is no cheating and moving of the pieces to avoid sinking of a ship. I would have to say that this is one of my daughter's favorite games. The fact that I used to play this game when I was a child is the best part. The game has really come a very long way but I am very happy to say that Battle ship is still a great game of child hood either from my child hood or my daughters. This is a game that can span the generation gap. Great game that really brings a family together for good old fashioned fun.
For Christmas this year we invested in a Wii for the family. As the Wii only came with one remote we found out that we would need another one. With only one remote you can not play with other players making it a boring game playing with the computer. Not being very good at games I thought that the only way I would ever be able to win was if I played against my husband so off to the store we went to get another Wii remote. The remote comes in many colors, black, white, blue and pink we choose the blue one as that's my daughters favorite color. So its official she is now the one that uses the blue remote and we get to use the black one that came with the console. Included with the remote is a protective case as well as the wrist strap. When we opened the box up we were initially thinking that we would have to purchase the protective case lucky for us Wii thought ahead as far as that goes and includes a protective case with each remote you purchase. The case for this remote is a clear rubber type material the same as the one that came with the game but just in a different color. I was also happy to see that they put on the wrist strap for us. When we got the game console opened Christmas morning we had to do all that before we could play the game. Needless to say I suck and putting the case on and it was quite hard to force it around the remote. So I was thrilled that I would not have to fight with this one. As for the wrist strap it was hard to feed the part of the strap through the tiny hole that they want you to put it through thank goodness I have my trusty sewing kit and was able to use my threaded to get the wrist strap on, thank goodness that was not an issue with this one as it was already put on the remote. The wrist strap is white in color on this model and is the same as the one that came with the console. Now I am fully aware that you can get cheaper remotes that are not official Wii products but in the fine print of your Wii it states that if you use any other products that are not official Wii products it will void your warranty as I have the worst luck with that I opted to keep it simple with official Wii products just incase anything goes wrong I am covered, and so is my new Wii. For game play with this new remote I was worried so many times we have had consoles and when you buy a new piece of equipment it's some times a fiasco to get it hooked up and playing. With this remote it is virtually plug and play with out the plug. When you put the batteries in that are included by the way and turn it on the console immediately recognizes it and it's ready to go and be played with. I was really impressed as I have said before buying new controllers that will not work or require something else just to get them working. So when we got this remote home I was prepared to run back out and find out what we would need to make it work. I was super shocked to hear my daughter and husband playing and laughing right out of the box. So now we have 2 remotes one blue and one black. I thought that this would make it easier for us to play games as a family. However now all we do is fight over who is going to use the blue remote to play with. Seems that the black remote has now become the red headed step child of Wii remotes. I must have a heart as that's the one I choose to play with when I play. For me they are both the same and do a great job, but for my daughter and husband they want to play with the new one they think its better. Would I recommend this remote you better believe it not only is it used to play the games on the Wii but it has brought my family closer together. Who would have ever thought that a bunch of wires and buttons would bring a family back together? This is a product that really does what it says and more.
For Christmas this year my daughter was lucky to get the game Operation as one of her gifts. As this was a gift I have no idea how much it cost or where it was purchased from but I am sure that you can get it for super cheap and on special. Never having this game as a child due to my parents having a problem with noisy toys I was thrilled to see it unwrapped by my daughter. I was more excited to play with it than she was. As a child my best friend had this game and I loved to play it always on the edge of my seat waiting for the buzzer to go off. Since I played this game as a child a lot has changed in the way it's played. They have updated the game and made it easier to play and got rid of the cards that were used to tell you what piece you were to operate on. I think that it's much easier to play now and to store as well with fewer pieces to misplace. The box says it's a good game for players aged 6 and up however I know that there was no way my daughter would have been able to play this game at age six. Her motor skills were just not that good yet by that age. I wonder if maybe the age would be better appropriate for older kids perhaps age 8 and up. The game requires 4 AAA batteries that are not included. Thank goodness for us we have a stash of such batteries for when we get gifts that do not include batteries. We set up the game to play for the first time. The ease of set up is amazing you open the little drawer and pull out all the plastic pieces and place them in their proper areas and the game is ready to be played. Set up requires no time at all and is very simple even my daughter can do this by her self. The game board is made of hard red plastic with a cardboard type picture glued to the board with Sam's picture on it. There are cut outs for each body part that we are to operate on. There is a set of tweezers attached to the board with a cord that is used to remove the body parts. At the top of the board is the on off and game selection switch, giving you the options of what type of game you want to play. Game play is rather complicated as now you don't draw cards you have to listen to the sounds that tell you what body part you're to operate on. I think that the cards would be a much better option at this point as listening to the buzzer and trying to determine what each sound means can be daunting lucky for us on the instructions that are included with the game it tells you what each sound stands for. After you learn the sounds game play is super easy and fun. The first time we played this game I warned my daughter to not touch the tweezers metal when she was trying to operate as when we were kids that would give us a little zap. Fortunately when they updated the game they also thought of that. No more little zaps as you were trying to remove the body parts. The game itself is rather quick played and takes no time at all. I was worried that this game would end up taking up the whole day needless to say game play is quick and to the point no delays. The more I play this game with my daughter the more I love it. I am always looking for things that we can do to spend more time together as a family and this game has become one of our favorite family past times. Would I recommend this game you better believe it. This is a classic game that is good for the whole family.
For Christmas this year we bought my daughter a WII one of the games that we got her was WII Sports. I have to say that this is a great game it has brought the family many hours of fun and it's like we got 5 games in one. For us the best part of buying this game was that we did not need to get any other controllers or accessories for it to work. As you know with the WII you will buy the console and then have to purchase all the different accessories that are required to play. Thank goodness this game was not one of those. The games included on this disc are, Tennis, Baseball, Boxing, Golf, and Bowling. They can be played with one player or with multiple players, making this a great family game. Tennis: When we first played this game it took a bit to get used to as we would swing the remote to hit the ball and would miss we were off just a bit. After we figured out how to play the game we have all become pros. The best part of this game is that there are multiple options for play you can either play a single game against the computer or you can play against other players. I have to say that I really like the warm up option or practice option with this game. I had to use that first to figure out how to hit the ball. Baseball: We tried to play this with my daughter but she is not one that is really into baseball and was more interested in throwing her fast ball rather than playing the actual game. When you are the pitcher in this game it tells you how fast your ball is giving you the feel that you're really throwing a ball and that the game is more real than it is. Really putting you in the game. The fact that this is not a game that can be played sitting down is great for us as we are a couch potato type of family and really needed something fun to do as a family and this game has really done that for us. No more sitting on the couch to play our games now we are up jumping and moving around like crazy. I am sure if people were to see us through our shades they would wonder what the heck was going on. Boxing: For me this is the worst game on the disc as it's rather violent. You have to punch the other player or the computer what ever you happen to be playing against. At first when we played this we did not realize that it was really like real boxing and you have to keep your guard up or you will go down. After we figured out how to protect ourselves from certain destruction we became champions over night. Next stop Vegas baby. Golf: Not being a huge golf fan I opted to sit this round out. My husband and daughter played it but it really was not the best game for us. Neither one of them is really into golf unless it entails hitting a ball up into the water fall at the mini golf center down the road. This game is nothing like mini golf it's rather like the real game. You have sand traps that you must avoid as well as wind shear to contend with. Not my style of game as it's rather hard to make your shot. Not to mention golf is boring. So that's the only down side as of yet with the game. Bowling: Bowling is a great game it really brings people together and the fact that up to 4 people are able to play at one time is great as there are 3 in my family and we have played games before that always seemed to leave one person out. Not with this game. You are able to play a full game with 10 rounds making it the most real like game out there at least that's how I feel about it. This is not the best part of the Wii sports but it's a good one. I am sure that with more time we will learn more of the ins and outs of the game but for just getting it we love it. It's really brought the family together. There is only one thing that I have noticed about this game is the potential for injuries. We have come to the conclusion that a warm up is the best thing before playing any Wii game as you are not sitting on the couch using your thumbs you are actually using your whole body to play these and many other games on the Wii console. In conclusion I would recommend this game for every one. It's a great party game as well as a great game to spend some quality family time playing. The best part of it all is that we have started on our fitness trail with this game it gets you off the couch and moving great game.
The Good: I bought this phone for my self several months ago after searching for the best deal I finally found one or so I thought. So for the agreement of a 2 year contract I purchased this phone. I would go into the pros and cons of a contract but that's for another review. As luck would have it the phone arrived a few days after my purchase and I was able to activate the phone and start using it right away. I love that with this phone it is super easy to update and to back up. Simply plug it into your computer with the provided cable and you're off to update and back up your phone. After having the phone now for several months and learning so much about it I have to say I love this phone. The ease of use is just amazing the thing I love the most is the search option in the phone I am not a very organized person and needless to say things have a tendency of getting lost so with this phone I just need to type in what I am looking for and poof there it is. Apps now who does not love apps? I love the apps I have been called an app junkie by my family as I will spend hours looking for apps to try out and then delete them when I realize they are not what I am looking for. The access to apps for me is amazing. Coming from the Blackberry line of products I have to say that the app selection is so much better than the ones that you're able to get for the Blackberry. There are so many different functions on the phone that come preloaded that just those few items can keep you busy for hours, and when you run out of things to do with those you can always add more. For me a person that bores easily that is a must. I would have to say that the options on my iPhone far out number those offered on any other smart phone. Would I recommend this phone to my family and friends you better believe it. The Bad Now as I said before I used to have a Blackberry and I loved that phone so when I switched to the iPhone 3gs I was sure it was going to be much better and for the most part it really has but there are just a few differences that really drive me nuts. With the Blackberry my camera had a built in flash and with the iPhone 3GS it does not include that. That in its self is not that big of a deal but with that function I had a nice little flash light app that was on my Blackberry that I am not able to get on my iPhone. Yes I know a little loss for all the other benefits, but dang it I miss my flash light it worked so well. When I traded my Blackberry for the iPhone 3gs I mainly did it because of the apps that were offered for the iPhone that were not available for the Blackberry. However there are several apps that are not available for the iphone that I loved to use and have not been able to use since I switched. I can only hope that with my constant pestering they will eventually create an app that is compatible with the iPhone. Other wise I still love my iPhone and always will. The Ugly Now after using this phone for several months I have come to realize that the only thing about this phone that I really can't stand is the battery life. I am not sure if it is due to me having a refurbished phone or not but the battery drains so fast that I am constantly charging it. With my Blackberry I would go several days between charging. There was one other problem when I first got the phone that made me rather mad the charger that was sent with my phone was defective it would not charge when plugged into the wall but would work when I plugged it into my computer. After getting a replacement charger I am thrilled to say that I have not had another problem. Conclusion I love this phone it's the best phone I have ever owned even with the few problems I have had with it they do not compare to how happy it has made me. Its every thing I have ever wanted in a phone and so much more. I am sure that I could list out every little thing that I love about this phone and keep you reading for hours but I wont I will just end with a simple phrase of I Love This Phone.
A few years ago my husband and I had the luck of traveling all over Colorado. It's a very beautiful state to say the least it seems to have every thing you would need with the exception of the ocean. On our trip we were lucky enough to visit Red Rocks Amphitheater. We went on a nice summer day with the temps in the high 80's. Needless to say it was rather warm. As we left Denver heading toward Morrison I was taken with the picturesque small town that is Morrison. I realized that it was a place that I would want to get back to with its small town ambience but so close to a large city. As we drove our way through the small roads to Red Rocks we were amazed with the formation of the rocks that are around the area. I am sure that they would make great rocks to climb on but there were signs posted every where to not climb and that climbing in the park was illegal. Not wanting to ruin our vacation we opted to for go the rock climbing in Red Rocks Park. We made our way to the parking area's there are several as this place also host some of the greatest bands during the summer and needs large area's to accommodate the masses that arrive to see them perform. Not wanting to walk all the distance from the bottom we opted to park in the top parking area. As we drove up the winding mountain road we noticed the huge red rock formations on either side of the road they were just amazing and beautiful. Being a parent that tries to make my kids have as much fun as I do I was very happy to see a small tunnel that had been dug out of the rocks that were in the area. As we drove through the tunnel my husband was sure to honk. I was scared that it may cause the rocks above it to fall down on us but that was not the case. We parked and walked up to the top entrance to the amphitheater as we stopped at the top I was blown away it's so big and huge. Reading up about it we learned that it was one of the best natural theaters in the world and to listen to any band perform here is a good show. So we walked down to the stage not realizing that once your down you have to walk all the way back up the stairs you walked down. So here we are at the bottom looking up and realizing how huge it truly is. Then my husband says to me imagine you're an artist performing here and as you look up you see all the fans there to see you. Talk about an amazing time. I think that to be an artist that has the chance to perform at Red Rocks is the chance of a life time. So we are still standing at the bottom by the stage and my daughter has this idea that she wants to see if she can hear us from the top. So her being super filled with energy we let her run back up to the top as she got up to the top my husband and I started to yell and holler being silly to say the least. Needless to say my daughter at the top was able to hear every silly comment we made. It was amazing as we were not on any mics and it was just us being loud and silly but she was able to hear us just fine. Being at the bottom and looking up we realized that no one was going to come down for us and we better start the walk back up to the top. We took our time thinking it was a lot worse than it really was. It was a good work out but nothing major. We were able to get to the top and were only slightly winded. As we made our way back to our car we noticed that we were not the only ones that were visiting and that the family that had just arrived told us about the trading post down the road always. So we loaded up into the car and made our way to the trading post. Never having been in a trading post I was kind of expecting it to be more than what it was. It was just a gift shop with over priced items if you ask me. There were a few items that were reasonably priced but they were far and few between. We left the trading post a bit disappointed but were happy with our day all in all. Visiting Red Rocks is a must however you can forgo the trading post. There are a million other stores that sell the same things for cheaper.
A few months ago I wanted to surprise my husband. As I remember smelling this when I was a lot younger and really enjoying it I thought to get it for my husband. I was not sure how he would react as it did cost a pretty penny but I felt it was so worth it as I really enjoyed the smell of it. I figured that since I was the one that was going to have to smell it I should enjoy how it smells. I am by no means a scent expert so the most that I can attest to is that is sure does smell good. It is a very mellow scent not to overwhelming or just plain bad as some scents seem to be now a days. The moment my husband saw it his eyes lit up. He had a small bottle of it when he was younger and had never thought to replace it. Men I tell you. As he sprayed it on himself just 2 or 3 pumps a little goes a long way with this stuff. I was instantly transformed to a woman that could not keep her hands to her self. Not to mention the urge to just walk up to him and start sniffing. It smells that good. After having him wear this just once I was not able to stand the smell of any other scents he has. The bottle my husband has is 125ml size and is looks just like the one pictured. The only problem I have found with this bottle is that we lost the lid during our travels and now it has gotten rather gummed up around the spray nozzle with dried cologne. Other wise the design is faultless and perfect, like the scent that is inside. So do I like it? You better believe I like it not only do I like it I love it. It has to be my favorite scent and the more my husband wears it the happier I am all the way around. I guess that how I feel about it really does not mean anything as I am not the one to wear it. However I can attest to the fact that my husband wears it daily. Of course he just may like the fact that I can't keep my hands off of him when he wears it, but either way he wears it everyday. Would I recommend this? No doubt about it in my mind. This is one of Calvin Klein's better scents. No matter whom it's for a young man or an elderly gentleman this is a scent that is suitable for all ages. No matter who you are this is a scent that will bring a smile to your face. Have to say that I love this stuff. So happy to have my husband wear it. Please understand that chances are you will not be mobbed by beautiful woman while wearing this, but if I happen to meet you some where along the way don't be shocked if you find me sniffing at you with a smile on my face. This stuff is just that good. As I sit and write this review I am noticing my husbands supply is getting low. Guess its time to search for a great deal.