Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Trip to New Jersey/New York, Days 1 to 5, June 8 to 12, 2012

Day 1, June 8, 2012, Friday
We flew from Winnipeg to Toronto early on June 8, Friday. We then got on a connecting flight to La Guardia Airport (LGA).
In this picture, we are waiting for Bro John (RC) Catipon, who graciously volunteered to pick us up at LGA and bring us to my wife's cousin's house in Clifton, NJ.

There was a bad accident on the George Washington Bridge, so Bro RC, who was accompanied by Bro Dennis Paulo, was delayed. Traffic did not move for one hour while on the bridge. Welcome to New York City!
We passed through Chinatown to buy some Chinese-style meat buns (siopao).
While waiting for Bro Dennis Paulo, who was getting the siopao, Anna bought some ice cream from The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. The flavors were Asian and the ice cream was very tasty.
We then had dinner at Max's in Jersey City.

Day 2, June 9, 2012, Saturday:
On June 9, Saturday, in the morning, Anna, Mikey and I went to a mall in a nearby town. Mikey needed a pair of dress pants and leather shoes for Anna's convocation on June 15. I also needed a shirt and blazer as I left the garment bag in Winnipeg. In the afternoon, Bro RC Catipon and Bro Dennis Paulo picked me up to bring me to the EA Degree Conferral of Plaridel Lodge No 302.The Conferral was done excellently. The WM of the Lodge is Gio Nazareno (L).

The EA Degree was conferred excellently. I am sure that they gave the three (3) new EA's a great impression of the Lodge and of the Fraternity.
Plaridel Lodge No 302, which is only three (3) years old, is a very vibrant Lodge.
Thanks to WB Gio Nazareno and to the Lodge Officers and Brethren for all the courtesies extended to me that Saturday.
It was wonderful to finally meet in person RWB Ross Rosales, the Lodge Secretary, who I have been communicating with electronically for the past 15 years. I also finally met in person RWB Val Basiga, Jr, who has been my internet buddy for about five (5) years now.
After the Meeting, we had a feast. There were two (2) lechons (roast pig) and lots of other dishes.
Then we watched the Pacquiao-Bradley boxing match, which had a disappointing ending.

Day 3, June 10, Sunday:
On June 10, Sunday, we woke up a bit late so we missed the Annual Philippine Independence Day Parade in Passaic Park, Passaic, NJ. However, we stayed in the Park with the Brethren and Ladies of Plaridel Lodge No 302, which had a Masonic CHIP booth. There were lots of food and warm fellowship.

There was an entertainer from the Philippines who sang and danced, aside from the local performers.
There were stalls with food for sale. Lots of pork BBQ, inihaw na mais (grilled corn), pancit, lumpia and other Filipino dishes and desserts. 

In the evening, we had dinner at Red Lobster in Secaucus, NJ, hosted by RWB Val Basiga, Jr and his lovely wife, DD (Designated Drive) and, most importantly, his Grand Master, Sis Ellen. We had a wonderful time at the dinner.

After dinner, they drove to Hoboken, NJ, so we can see the famous NYC skyline. On the way, we saw the famous Carlo's Bake Shop. We stopped stopped across the famous Carlo's Bake Shop, in front of which Anna had her picture taken.
We got home late but it was a wonderful evening to end an excellent day.

Day 4, June 11, Monday:
We woke up early on June 11, Monday, to take the express bus from Clifton, NJ, to the Port Authority Terminal in Manhattan. This picture was taken from the bus stop at Allwood and Brookwood.

We walked a few blocks to Times Square.
We went to the Disney Store to look for a Mickey Mouse mobile for the car and to start on our Christmas gift shopping.

Anna and Mikey having some fun with a display.

What is this bear's name?
Back to Times Square.

This is the 1 Million Dollar ball which is brought down on New Year's Eve at Times Square.

This BMW's plate number is "MIKEY69".
Lunch for Anna, Mikey and me was goat and chicken with rice from The Halal Boys stall. Mae had Korean food from a stall across the street.
Eating our lunch on the sidewalk.
In the Rockefeller Center Plaza.

In the Lego store near the Rockefeller Center.

The Cathedral of St Patrick on East 51st Street.

It was beautiful inside the Cathedral.

In the NBA Store looking for some souvenir shirts.

In front of the NBA Store
In front of the Philippine Consulate on 5th Avenue
On the 2nd Floor of the Philippine Consulate waiting for my cousin, John.
Inside the Grand Central Station

We also visited the NY Public Library.

Then we relaxed for a bit at Bryant Park
Back to Time Square, where there was a food festival.

Here is the Naked Cowboy
Lots of people at the various food stalls

Bought some chocolate candies at the M&M Store.

We also went to the Hershey's Store across the M&M Store. After that we walked to the Port Authority Terminal and rode a bus back to Clifton, NJ.
Lots of walking on our first day of touring NYC.

Day 5, June 12, Tuesday:
On June 12, Tuesday, we again rode a bus from Clifton, NJ, to the Port Authority Terminal, NY.
Here is a picture of a store with an interesting name.
We bought tour packages and rode the hop-on-hop-off bus to the American Museum of Natural History.

Along the way, we passed by the Trump International Hotel and Tower on 1 Central Park West, New York.

This picture of the dinosaur was taken at the Lobby of the American Museum of Natural History.

There was a section with beautiful dioramas.

This was cut from a massive and old sequoia tree.

This is a massive piece of Stibnite crystals.

Our evolutionary relatives

This is Annichito, a 34-ton piece of a massive 200-ton meteorite which broke apart in the atmosphere before it landed in Greenland eons ago.

The spectacular Star of India (on top)

Here is a big piece of topaz from Brazil.

We tried to get back to Clinton early but our bus back to the Port Authority Terminal was delayed by traffic due to the rain.
In the evening, we had dinner hosted by my wife's cousin, Bebi Valderaman, his wife, Riza, and son, Alan. The wonderful dinner was in The Cheesecake Factory in Hackensack, NJ. This restaurant chain is another of my wife's favorites. It was an excellent end to an excellent day, despite the rainy weather.

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