Sunday, June 29, 2008

Ocean City Vacation

Yesterday, we returned from our family vacation in Ocean City, NJ. It was a special trip because it was the first time that my parents, my siblings and I all vacationed together with our families. We rented the top two floors of a three story house and had wonderful accomodations for a week together at the Jersey Shore.

We couldn't have asked for any better weather. Except for a couple of late afternoon storms, the weather was sunny all week long. So, we were able to get a lot of beach time - and a little more sunburn than we would have liked as well. TJ had it pretty bad on his upper body the first day and Dad (aka Pop-Pop) was burnt to a crisp on the top of his feet.

In addition to all the time spent on the beach, we took a few trips to the boardwalk to go on some rides, play some mini-golf, and drive the go-karts.

One afternoon, we walked over to a nearby playground with the little kids. They had a great time. And of course, we took lots of pictures for Sheila's new NJ playgrounds website.

Another day the town held a street festival. The kids went on pony rides, saw Bert and Ernie and visited clowns who made balloon creations.

They also had several street performers playing music. Mom and Dad got into that.

Of course, at the end of the day, it was bathtime.

Yesterday, we had to vacate the house. However, before we came home, we first headed south to Cape May to visit the lighthouse.

Our timing was great because just as we got there, they were starting an animal show where the kids got to touch several critters, including frogs, lizards, snakes and a bunny rabbit.

While getting ready to leave, TJ found a brochure for a nearby aviation museum which sounded interesting, so we headed there next.

We all came home exhausted, so we must have all had a great time!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Take me out to the ballgame(s)

Last night, our whole family gathered together in New Jersey at Commerce Bank Park to watch the Somerset Patriots in action. The event was a fundraiser for the Circle of Life Children's Center in NJ. This organization provides hospice care for families of children with life-limiting diseases. A friend of Mom's was organizing the event, so she invited all of the kids and grandkids along.

We all had a great time. The promotion for the game was "Father's Day Observed" so they gave out team picture frames shaped like stadium scoreboards to all of the dads. TJ was lucky enough to be chosen as a between-inning prize winner and received a baseball autographed by Sparky Lyle, a frisbee, a soda can insulator and a VHS tape of Frosty the Snowman. The Circle of Life organization held a 50/50 raffle, which I bought five tickets for. I should have bought six, as I missed out on winning the pot by one number!

The highlight of the night was that the kids got to go out onto the field during the seventh inning stretch to sing Take Me Out To The Ballgame.

Meanwhile, I've finally gathered up enough interest that the fundraiser for the Hudson Valley Chapter of the PKD Foundation is officially on. We will be going to the Hudson Valley Renegades game at Dutchess Stadium on August 17th. Gametime is 1PM. For $20 you get a general admission seat to the game, a meal ticket (hot dog, chips and a soda) and a Renegades baseball cap. $10 of each ticket purchased goes to the chapter and counts as a tax deduction. If you are reading this and are interested in going, let me know.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

we pause for this commercial message

My sister-in-law Sheila has created a new website which I think is a wonderful concept, so I feel compelled to give it a plug. The website is and is a guide to playgrounds throughout New Jersey. She's started with her home county, Union County, but hopes to expand the information on the site to cover the entire state. Check it out!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

busy, busy, busy

Well, my blogging has sure fallen off lately, hasn't it. It's a lot easier to find the time to blog when the weather isn't so nice. And, when I'm not trying to get a bedroom repainted and a basement finished (despite a sore arm). And when things at work aren't quite so busy, etc. etc.

The planning and preparing for the walk continues. On the corporate sponsorship front, I was able to obtain some certificates for a free tour and wine tasting from Millbrook Winery which we can either use for raffle prizes or "team week" prizes.

I'm also attempting to organize a group outing/fundraiser to the Hudson Valley Renegades for August 17th.

And, now it is time to start turning my attention to media and PR for the event. I attended a conference call on the subject the other night which was hosted by the PKD Foundation. It provided a lot of useful information. Between that, and all of the advice that Diane, our Public Relations Chair, has given me, I feel like I have an idea of what I need to do here - maybe....

I'm told the walk website will be up in the next week or two. Soon, after that, Team Teddy Bear 2008 will be open for business. I know TJ is chomping at the bit to start his fundraising.

That's all for now - gotta go grab some breakfast and get dressed. Brian and Jason have soccer in about an hour.