Saturday, December 31, 2011

Pam & Joe in the U.S.A. - Our jam-packed day in New York City (Part 1 of 2).

Our first day together was very light, activity-wise. We were dead tired from traveling and got home pretty late. I was able to introduce Pam to our IHOP restaurant. The one in Harlem was relatively quiet on this Thursday night. Pam got the signature Rooty Tooty Fresh ‘n’ Fruity which is a combo of eggs and meat with a side of buttermilk pancakes topped with sweet a fruit topping and whipped cream...
[Pam talked about that previously, so let me move to the next day:] 
Anyways, it was good that our first night together was light, relatively speaking, because the next day was jam-packed! Pam got The Lion King tickets on Broadway for the night, so I had to find ways to entertain Pam during the day. A good friend of mine recommended The Top of the Rock as a good place to see the city. As I have already seen the Empire State Building (and sent pics and postcards to Pam about it), I thought it would be a great place to visit together!
So, we got ready, took the subway downtown and visited Rockefeller Plaza:

Rockefeller Plaza is a building in New York that houses NBC Studios, as well as other shops and restaurants. The Top of the Rock is an observatory on an upper floor of this building that oversees New York City. It's a nice introduction to the epic vastness of this city and some cool landmarks. Though, we had tons of fun visiting the other places of Rockefeller Plaza, as well! 

Let's see some of the places we saw that day:

[More after the jump]

Monday, December 19, 2011

Staying at Allie's Inn in beautiful Harlem, NYC

Joe collected me from JFK Airport around 5:30pm on Thursday 17 November, after I had travelled for what felt like AN ICE AGE on Qantas Airways. It was my first long-haul flight (indeed, my first international flight!) and I was both prepared and unprepared for the loooooooooong time spent squished into a tiny economy seat by the window next to a man who slept the whole way. I couldn't see Joe at first and had just set down my bags and pulled out my trusty iPhone to call him when I felt his arm snake around my back and he pulled me in for a goooooooood kiss.

 Near the subway in Harlem

Joe then introduced me to New York City life straight away - we ended up spending ages on the subway, navigating our way to Allie's Inn in Harlem. I think we caught the wrong one a couple of times. Ooops! Joe had already checked in, and had taken this photo for me:

 Allie's Room

Overjoyed to be back together

Allie's Inn was really sweet. It was like staying in our own little studio. It was so quiet, and the surrounding streets were just beautiful. After I'd showered and gotten myself ready to face the world, we wandered a couple of streets over and found an IHOP. I was delighted to discover that IHOP stood for International House of Pancakes! Yay! Pancakes! We ate and I was pleasantly surprised by the prices and the sweet folk who worked there.

That was my first taste of tipping in America, too - Joe was very knowledgeable (obviously) and proceeded to work out all tips for me during our stay until he declared that I should be doing the long addition myself. Haha. Aw!

Joe in the Allie's Room (Allie's Inn) kitchenette

I thought Harlem was a really gorgeous area of town. It was about thirty minutes by subway to Manhattan (for all the tourist traps). Allie's Inn, in particular, was located particularly closely to useful shops - a pharmacy and several convenience shops and little restaurants/takeaway shops. The innkeeper at Allie's had left us all of these breakfast foods to enjoy in our fully equipped kitchenette - bliss! I absolutely recommend Allie's Inn. Gorgeous.

Outside Allie's Inn.

Love! :-)

Underground in the Harlem Subway Station at ... something street. 

134th? 152nd? ... So many numbers, so many streets... Hard to remember where you are!

I loved you, Harlem. I'll be back to stay with you again. :-) Especially you, Allie's Inn.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pam & Joe in the U.S.A. - Yes, Pam, P is for *Pancakes*

Looking for a late meal and Pammy never been to an IHOP and didn't know it stood for International House of Pancakes! Her face of joyous realization? Priceless. :-)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

LIVE BLOG: Pam travels to the U.S.

Hey, folks!

This blog entry will highlight Pam's travels to the U.S., as well as my travels to N.Y. to meet her (seeing that Pam will be off the grid for 18 hours travelling across the Pacific!):

11/16/11, EST, USA - 6:07 PM
Pam informs me she has gone through Customs and is now at the gate! Next step: 13-hour flight from Sydney to L.A.
-Joe R.

11/16/2011, EST, USA - 7:23 PM
Went on my half-hour break and discovered Pam has *already* boarded her plane! :-) I'm happy she's on, but wish I got to talk to her before she boarded.

Next step: 5-hour flight from L.A. to N.Y.C.

I'll have some steps to complete to meet her there. Speak soon!

-Joe R.

11/17/2011, EST, USA - 10:13 AM

Last minute, as always! Just finished packing and am now being taken to 30th Street Station. Parents say I'm bringing too many bags... ah, well! :-D

Next step: Train to Trenton, NJ.

-Joe R.

11/17/2011, EST, USA - 10:40 AM

At 30th Street, already waiting for train to Trenton. 8-) Thanks, Mom & Dad! :-)

BREAKING! Just got a call from Pam!!! :-) She has landed in L.A. and is now awaiting the next plane to N.Y.C. She called me despite it probably costing her a "buttload" (my words, not hers). When asked how much, her response was, "....I'll tell you later." :-!

In the meantime, this one's for Pam:

She's landed!

See you soon, hon!

-Joe R.

11/17/2011, EST, USA - 11:18 AM

On train to Trenton. Should be about an hour. Forgot to send myself the itinerary, but I know the steps. ;-)

Next Step (Pam): Flight to N.Y.C.

Next Step (Joe): Train to N.Y. Penn Station.

-Joe R.

11/17/2011, EST, USA - 12:29 PM

Me, chilling on train to New York.

Next step: Subway to Harlem; check in.

-Joe R.

11/17/2011, EST, USA - 3:12 PM

Allie's Inn!!! Pam, you're going to *love* this! :-)

-Joe R.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Skype Bake Date - Pinwheel Biscuits

This happened back in May 17, but I've been poor with keeping up to date with the blog. I hope you accept my heartfelt apologies. :-)

This was our first Skype Date with the kids! Alia, Nik and I shared both the cooking and picture-taking duties. It was a bit crazy trying to follow a recipe with two hyper kids, but I think Pam would agree that this Skype Date was fun.

It is in reverse order, starting with the finished product and working back. That's just how the uploader organized it. Don't ask me why. *rolls eyes* I've included some of the random pics that *one* (?) of my kids took while the others were preparing the dish.


Very aesthetically pleasing, but if you know anything about cookies, probably cut a bit too thick. :-P Still, Pam is impressed! 8-)

Alia and Nik posing in front of the biscuits.

So that's how they do it!

I believe Alia was helping me knead.

Random photo #3: the front of a storage organizer box. Those kids loved that box.

Alia measuring up some flour.

Random photo #2: Some power tools on the floor.

The above two pictures almost line up! :-P

Random photo #1: Nik's artwork on top of the cookie sheet. Nikki...