7.23.2009

New York City LPA Convention

This year we attended our first Little People of America convention. Since it was held in New York City it was the perfect oportunity for us to go for the first time. We only live about 4 hours from the city.

Since we live so close we were able to drive down. We decided to leave on friday July 3rd after work so we could drive a few hours & then spend the night somewhere so we could get up early & drive into the city. We didnt want to get stuck in a ton of traffic on the 4th with all the people trying to get into the city for the fireworks. Plus we wanted to have as much time there as possible. We were able to get into the city around 10 a.m. & unexpectedly our hotel room was ready for us. We were expecting to have to have the hotel store our bags until check in at 4 p.m., so getting to check in early & get settled in our room was great!

Fred's Uncle Sam lives in Manhattan and he was able to meet us as soon as we arrived at the hotel. He was our tour guide around the city for most of our trip. It was great having him show us around & especially teach us how to us the subway!

Saturday~ after arriving at the hotel & getting settled we decided that we'd set out to find the parking garage. We had a few hours to kill until the Camenga family would be arriving to join us. So I program the GPS w/ the address off of the parking pass we recieved through LPA, and we took off. We arrived at the address on the parking pass & there was no parking garage in site. We drove around the block 2 times, no garage! So I call the phone number listed & tell the man that answers the phone that we are on the street but see no garage. He repeats the address to me & I agree w/ him that yes that is where we are. Then I ask him the zip code, he says "no. . . that is Brooklyn. . .we are in Manhattan!" OMG!!! We just drove to Brooklyn when we were already in Manhattan, a half hour out of our way, through tons of traffic, into the "getto" FOR NO REASON!!! The zip code that the LPA had printed on the parking pass was WRONG!!! UGH!!!! So we then find the correct parking garage & then head out to find some lunch. We found Katz Deli, the deli where the famous movie scene from When Harry met Sally was filmed. It was very cool!

After lunch we decided to head to the Convention & check it out! With in just a few minutes of being there, Ethan needed to go potty. So I take him in to go potty & while washing our hands I turned to find one of my Facebook friends, Erin. What a place to meet for the first time! LOL. Ethan totally hit it off with her super cute daughter Emma. I think there might have been some sparks! He likes the older ladies, & she's 7! After spending a little while at the main hotel we decided to head back to our hotel because the Camengas had arrived. While on the way out of to catch the shuttle, Tonya happened to walk passed me. We got to chat for a few minutes while Ethan & Knoah ran around & played together. When we got back to our hotel & met up w/ the Camengas we all went out & enjoyed a nice dinner together. After dinner we took a nice walk along the water to scope out a nice spot to watch fireworks. We found a spot along the water where we were able to watch both NJ & NYC's fireworks. Unfortunatly I couldnt get a very good picture of the fireworks.

Sunday~ Early in the day we all spent some time at the main hotel & then took a trip through China Town. That was definatly quite the experience! Later that night we all went to the Welcome Reception Dinner. It was Coney Island themed & so much fun. They had a live band, games for the the kids, face painting, a juggler, clowns, a lady on stilts, & tons more. The kids had a blast! After the reception while heading to the shuttle bus, Emily spotted Amy Roloff & totally "pounced" on her! It was so funny! Ethan & Seamus had their pictures taken with her & we all talked with her for a few minutes. She was so nice!

Monday~ We went to Battery Park w/ the Camengas to see about taking the Statue of Libery Boat Tour. By 10 in the morning the line was rediculously long! So we ended up finding another boat tour that took you around the harbor but didnt stop @ the Statue or Ellis Island. This was fine sine the kids arent old enough to appreciate going to see those things now! But they all loved the boat ride! After that we went to the main hotel for a meeting with a bunch of our POLP (parents of little people), Blogging & Facebook friends. It was kind of a wierd feeling being in a room with a bunch of people you've never met but you know so much about. I think Mike described it best when he said it was like looking at a bunch of celebrities! It was really nice getting to meet everyone that was there!

Tuesday~ Well this was a big day! That morning we got exceptionally early and went to go see the Today Show. We met Trisha w/ Caden and Pam w/ her family there. It was really cool to see, in person, what we watch every morning. The only main cast member there that day was Matt Lauer, AKA "TV Matt" (thats what Ethan calls him). Everyone else was on vacation or covering the Michael Jackson funeral. After standing there forever & it seemed like nothing was really going to happen then Matt came out to do a segment near where we were standing. As he was walking past us Fred grabbed Ethan's hand & began waving it, not realizing that was the hand that Ethan was holding a bag of mini muffins (breakfast on the go). So he ended up whipping the bag of muffins on the ground right in front of Matt! He picked them up & handed them to Ethan. Not too long after that Trisha & Pam decided they didnt want to stay any longer, but Fred & I decided to stay a little bit longer. I am so glad we did, because about 5 minutes later the fill in weather lady came over & interviewed us on camera! Holy Crap was I nervous! I had no idea what to say! She asked us why we were there & I said we were there for our first LPA Conferance. I still cant believe they put us on the air! With in seconds our phones began beeping & ringing w/ messages from people that saw us! We decided that since we made it on tv that it was time to leave. We walked over to Times Square & Ethan spotted the M&M store, but unfortunatly they were closed, it was before 9 a.m.! But then we came across the Hershey's store & they were going to be opening in 10 minutes. So we walked around until they opened. Ethan loved it. They had a huge machine that filled buckets with mini chocolate bars! It was then time to head back to the hotel & pack up to head home. We had such a great time! The kids loved all the hustle & bustle of the city. And usually I get home sick by the end of our vacations, but this time I did not want to leave! I did learn that from now on to book the main hotel for the convention as soon as booking opens up! I feel like we missed so much not getting to stay at the main hotel. But still had tons of fun! And met so many wonderful people! Cant wait for next year! I've already started saving! Nashville here we come!

Below is a slide show of some of the pictures from the trip & the video clip from the Today Show. It's not a very good video because I recorded it on my camera while standing in front of our tv, & my hands are a little shakey.









Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: New york city july 09'
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