Posts Tagged NYC Watchdog

Happy Birthday, NYC Watchdog!

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Each Other

I’m so glad they have each other…Poppy & Dawg @ TC09

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For the Puppy Monster…

for the Puppy Monster

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NoVACon 2011 Recap

I finally took the time to go through the photos from my trip to D.C. for NoVACon and post them to my Albums site. I had a great trip and was happy to finally meet Cissa and Metalmom, as well as getting to hang out with Rachel, Bellaventa, Bubblewench, BlondeBlogger, Shiny, Poppy and Dawg again. Plus, several non-bloggers who were somehow still able to attend. I kid, it was great to meet them as well!

After my late arrival Friday night, I went into the city and met up with Cissa and her minions (aka kids) to watch the Cherry Blossom parade. We were eventually joined by her friend Courtney in time to watch an engine fire break out on one of the (under-powered) tow vehicles in the parade.

After a 30-minute delay for the fire, we watched the parade for a bit longer until we decided to head to the nearby Japanese Street Festival. We got some lunch there and Shiny met up with us to tour the festival for a while.

Eventually, we all went our separate ways and did our own things until the official meet-up in the evening. I accompanied Cissa and her kids on a quick tour of a couple of the exhibits at the American History Museum. Then, I walked around D.C. for a bit before heading to my (new) hotel to get ready for dinner.

Not Cherry Blossoms

As it happens, several of the other attendees were staying at the same hotel, so we got together before dinner and had a blast.

Eventually, it was time for dinner and we made our way to Otani Japanese Steakhouse where we met up with the rest of the attendees and had fun with fire. The group-agreed highlight of the event was when Wayne almost magically converted from a video image via Skype to an in-person appearance! Surprise! I’d been hiding Wayne’s presence in town until this moment.

Fire Demon - Not Wayne!

Back at the hotel after dinner the fun continued, though occasionally tempered (Think of the children!). A short rest later, much of the group met of for a last hurrah at the local Silver Diner for a late breakfast. Most of the remaining group headed home after breakfast; all good things must end, after all.

I, however, wasn’t headed home just yet. Instead, I accompanied Cissa and her kids to the Cherry Blossom Kite Festival on the National Mall. There, we met up with more of Cissa’s friends along with Shiny and his family. While I was walking around the festival taking pictures, a group of four international college kids asked me to take their picture in front of the Washington Monument. Without “any annoying kites”. With my camera. They were in high spirits and I can only assume it was some sort of prank, but I was happy to play along. I took a few shots including one I particularly liked, so I showed it to them. This resulted in a request to use their camera to take the same shot, which I gladly did. I have no idea what the point of the prank was.

As always, I’m already ready for another trip!

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For the Puppy Monster

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BeerHer2010 & ReNYC2010

My weekend, in pictures:

Saturday – BeerHer2010

While walking to my hotel I encountered this wedding procession.

Poppy & Dawg sitting outside The Ginger Man

Poppy, Rachel, B.E. Earl and Robin at the Ginger Man

Ginger Man chalkboard art

More BeerHer2010 pictures from The Ginger Man, as well as from ayza wine and chocolate bar, are available as a photo album.

Sunday – ReNYC2010

My nod to TequilaCon

The Grand Central Station clock

Strolling through Central Park in a light rain

One of my favorite flower pics ever. Click through twice for full size.

One of many butterfly shots I took (see album for more)

Watching the watcher

Another notch in my Hard Rock belt

Feed the Dawg!

More ReNYC2010 pictures from Grand Central Station, Central Park, the American Museum of Natural History and the Hard Rock Cafe at Yankee Stadium are available as a photo album.

I had so much fun and can’t wait for my next trips — back to NYC as well as anywhere else!

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Avitaween

As I previously alluded to, I traveled to Orlando last weekend to attend Avitaween. And while that was certainly the main event, it was far from the whole story. It was, in fact, one of nine meet-ups for me during the trip.

First up was lunch at the Orlando airport with several others that were arriving at around the same time. These were all people I hadn’t meet before and we coordinated via Twitter. Kim was already there when we got there and later, Sheila, Employee3699 and her fraughter joined us. Chick-Fil-A was the fare of choice, apparently being unavailable in the far-off land of Chicago. Or something like that. Then it was time to wait over an hour in the Budget car rental line. Joy. That was probably the only negative of my whole weekend, at least the only one that directly affected me.

Friday evening was the occasion of a wonderful dinner hosted by Faiqa and Tariq. In attendance were several bloggers I’d already met and was thrilled to see again: Poppy & Dawg, Rachel, Robin and Dave2. I also got to meet many more: Britt & Jared, Heather & Tyler, Finn & Mister, Hilly, Lisa, Karen and Becky. There were some others present, including some kids, but I’m sticking to bloggers (and their spouses) here. Great food and great times!

toojaysSaturday morning’s arrival meant breakfast. I love breakfast. Kim joined several of the dinner attendees (Finn & Mister, Poppy & Dawg, Rachel, Robin and me) at TooJay’s. After breakfast, we discovered that Robin’s rental had some issues and she and Rachel had to go exchange it (after dropping me back at the Hilton, where I wasn’t staying, but had met up beforehand). Bummer that their plans got messed up by having to drive back to the airport, but watching Robin work it on the phone was pretty impressive.

Back at the Hilton, I sat around chatting with various attendees until it was time for a late lunch. Sheila, Employee3699, Fraughter, Nicole and… grumble… I’ve gone and forgotten their names. One other couple. 😦 I even tried looking through photos, to no avail. Anyway, we went to Bahama Breeze. I was still full from breakfast, so I didn’t order any lunch and then had a dessert. It was some sort of banana bread-bananas-caramel-ice cream-whip cream concoction that ended up not being as good as I had hoped. Oh, well.

invaded_boxBack to the hotel to get ready for the main event, Avitaween 2009: INVADED!!!! Words fail me, so have a look at the Flickr stream. Okay, I’ll come up with some words. Or one word. Absomazingtastibulous! [Edit: I forgot to mention that there are also a couple of karaoke videos.]

As the festivities were starting to wind down (though plenty of people looked like they’d be there for a while), a group of us decided to head over to Denny’s for post-party, late night food. My steak & egg burrito really hit the spot. Let’s see how well I can recall who was at Denny’s. Poppy & Dawg, Robin, Rachel, Shiela, Kim, Employee3699, Fraughter, Finn & Mister, Karen and Adam‘s friend Chris. I think that’s everyone, but I could be forgetting someone at the other end of the table.

Sunday morning pretty much went by while I slept, which was fine since I had breakfast the night before. Marci and I were able to have lunch with Mike & Susie at Five Guys, and then sit and chat with them for a couple of hours back at the Hilton. Getting to know other people is one of my favorite parts of these trips, so I really appreciated this opportunity.

At that point, we needed to check into our new hotel. We were switching to the hotel where Marci would be spending the rest of the week as she was staying in town for a conference. We were planning to meet up with Marty & Reba, but the way things ended up working out I had dinner with Adam. Just the two of us at Chili’s, where we had a good opportunity to actually have some interesting conversations — no time for that for Adam at his own party, of course!

hard rock orlandoI still needed to meet up with Marty — I had a package for him, plus, he’s state of inebriation at the party pretty much precluded conversations — but I wanted to stop by the Orlando Hard Rock Cafe first. This was a bit of an adventure as it required parking in the Universal Studios parking garage ($3 from 8pm to 10pm) and a bit of a walk. I walked around the restaurant for a bit looking at the various memorabilia, but I didn’t want to spend too long as I wasn’t sure how late Marty wanted to be out. I bought my requisite Hard Rock shirt and headed back to the car.

I finally met Marty at TGI Friday’s where we caught up and I had a much better dessert, a Chips Ahoy! Ice Cream Sundae. And half-price Long Island Iced Teas for Marty!

As I said earlier, my favorite part of these trips is hanging out with other people, so I was thrilled that I had so many different opportunities to do so. Looking forward to the next one. Did someone say something about Vegas in December?!

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