Saturday, August 27, 2011


We're totally prepared for this thing. Today we've been on at least four "walks"... which turn into trips to the grocery store for "just a few more things... you know.. JUST IN CASE". Obviously the items pictured below are exactly what you need in a state of emergency.

We watched some news for a little while but quickly got bored and turned to Punky Brewster Season One and Supermarket Sweep clips on YouTube. They have the entire episodes! It's just like 1999... check it out. We're trying to soak in as much Netflix/DVD/Internet time we can until the power inevitably cuts off. Then I guess we'll resort to puzzles... and conversation.

Note the suitcases. Yep... we're still packed and ready to move. Someday... someday it will happen.

Friday, August 26, 2011

What's Next... Locusts??

Well I'm sure as you all know from the obsessive media coverage, NYC has had quite the memorable week thus far. On Tuesday, I was sitting in my office, playing words with friends pretending to document my notes (What? Don't act like you don't do the same thing!) when all of a sudden the building starts shaking. This conversation happens:

Me: (to my coworker Mike) Um, do you feel that? Are you shaking my chair?
Mike: **silence....runs from room**

I then see our supervisor who is deemed "safety coordinator" literally PUSH some co-workers out of the way and run out the front door. I finish playing my 33 point word and follow the crowd out the front.

We then stand outside for at least 45 minutes, checking the news (mainly Facebook) obsessively to see what happened and then finally... the words I had been waiting to hear...

Boss: "Well... because of the earthquake... we aren't going to MAKE you stay--"
Me: "Bye!"

So I left the sturdy, one-story building surrounded by nothing, hopped on the L train, and headed into the city full of skyscrapers to run some errands. Best earthquake ever. I was able to get stuff done and head home and continue packing because on Saturday, Janell and I are movin' on to Brooklyn...

... Or so we thought.

Enter Irene. I thought I had left the crazy hurricane prep back in Texas, but oh how it has followed and intensified. The city started evacuating, bottled water is gone, and ALL subways and buses are being shut down as of 12:00pm on Saturday. We continued to plan for our move though. I mean come on-- what's a little RAIN?? We paid a deposit!

So we made a Target run for some essentials (toilet paper, tuna... double stuffed oreos-- the usual) and as we're heading home ready to pack up the remaining stuff, we get a call from the movers who apparently decided to pansy out and said they can't move us until Monday.

So there we were... waiting for the bus... bags full of gummy worms and Reese's... doomed to stay in Queens through the weekend.

So here I sit... on my bed, surrounded by boxes, with a slight sugar high, waiting for Irene to pass through, sure to disappoint the crazy New Yorkers surrounded by their candles and batteries. All I can say, is that I'm not sure there are any natural disasters left to hit here, so I'm glad to have gotten them all out of the way during the first year.

For the next two days I foresee a lot of Netflix, board games, and steam of consciousness blogging. Get excited. I know I am.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Henderson Family Vacay

Back in the day, a classic Henderson family vacation consisted of a cross-country trek in a minivan full of ice chests of soggy sandwiches and heavy doses of Dramamine as we stopped into relatives homes (slash any random acquaintance's house who has a problem saying no) along the way. Well, it's been a few years since we embarked on one of these journeys and decided this year we would step things up. We were going to leave behind the Waffle Houses and toll-free highways of the South and venture into the Northeast-- land of the lobster roll and maple syrup. Up to this point, we had never travelled through these states. Obviously, if we had known there were so many cheese and cider sampling shops, we would have explored this land LONG ago.

I met up with the fam in Boston (where they had already had a week of fun without me while I made the big bucks in Brooklyn-- no summer break is lame!) and we began our 4th of July weekend o'fun. I took a bus from New York to Boston and was supposed to arrive around 10pm. Of course the bus was over an hour late and we sat in traffic in the Bronx for another hour so I didn't get there until after midnight. I was unable to read or watch anything on the trek because I forgot to take my Dramamine. It was the only appropriate beginning to a Henderson vacay. Apparently I can only go on road trips if my mother is there to administer my meds.

Moving on..

On our first day, we travelled to Cape Cod with the sole task of taking a tour of the Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory.

We made a brief stop off in Plymouth where we made every attempt to stand on the rock...

And took a shockingly natural-looking pilgrim photo. They were going to give Dad a muskett too but at the last minute decided to give him the Good Book. Naturally.
The day was off to a great start, but tragedy soon struck. Apparently the whole of the Northeast decided it would be a great idea to go to the Cape at precisely the same time as us-- causing us to reach the Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory five minutes after the last tour ended. I think the pictures best depict our disappointment.

But we pressed on. Saturday we headed up to Maine where we spent the day tasting taffy, reviewing lighthouses, pretending the Ocean wasn't freezing, and devouring lobster rolls...

This is apparently the only picture I took of Mom and Dad on this entire trip. Sorry parents! It was apparently necessary for Stacy and I to have daily sister photo shoots.

We made up a ranking system for the taffy assortment pack. A simply 1-10 wouldn't do. We developed five different options: the sunburst, for when the flavor burst forth when you chewed it, the lawn mower- for when eating that taffy was like a CHORE, A roller coaster for when the flavor was CRAZY, A cliff... for when you wanted to jump off a cliff after chewing it, and sleepy eyes for when the flavor was just boring. Safe to say we have taken car games and taste testing to new levels.

Stacy and I also spent a good part of the day re-enacting The Little Mermaid "Part of Your World" routine. It took more upper body strength than I was prepared for, but we were both naturals.

We settled in Portland for the night and played a rousing game of Quelf. It's hilarious- go buy it immediately for your next family game night.

We headed out the next morning with the goal of sliding down the Longest Alpine Slide in America. It was raining which meant the slide was closed and we somehow ended up ended up at the LL Bean outlet posing on a large shoe and trying on overly large backpacks...

This outlet mall looked like one of those pretend villages you walk through in Disney World. It was equally magical when we discovered the Maine state dessert- the Whoopie Pie. Naturally they had excessively large ones as well. This was an apparent theme at this outlet mall...

We ended up finding an alternate alpine slide later in the day and survived both the slide and the even more treacherous ski lift up the mountain...

He was terrified.

We're masking our fear with smiles.

That's Josh's victory face.

The next day was the 4th of July and our final day altogether on the road. We packed it full of cheese, maple syrup, apple cider and chocolate tastings-- all appetizers for the grand finale-- the Ben and Jerry's Factory Tour.

It was a day of deliciousness and probably the sole reason I have not noticed any weight loss after all this half marathon training. But I digress...

We dropped Josh off at Julie's parents house and spent the night in Connecticut watching fireworks on the hotel TV. Hey-- those free samples can be exhausting. And keep in mind, hotels are still a luxury the Henderson family is just beginning to explore.

We woke up bright and early and headed to NYC-- just in time for Mom, Dad and Stacy to take naps and me to head to work. Seriously, being a grown up is awesome.

We spent the next week exploring everything free NYC has to offer since we spent most of the trip fund on lobster and whoopie pies. Whoops! I took exactly ZERO pictures while they were here so if you need a visual of our adventures, feel free to reference Stacy's facebook page. What? I'm not gonna download and upload all those pics!

All in all, Henderson Family Vacay 2011 was a resounding success. Sure I'm still mourning the loss of the potato chip factory, but I guess we had to leave something for next time. Who knows what 2012 holds!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

When in Greece...

After over a year of preparation... it was finally time. Whitney and I were ready to head to London to meet up with Erika and Josh and Julie. We found plane tickets for amazingly cheap prices on a new little airline called Iceland Express. Sure neither of us had ever heard of the airline, but Iceland seems fancy, so surely this was going to be a positive experience. And the tickets were so cheap, nothing could be THAT bad, right? I'm gonna let you judge from the below picture as to the quality of this airline...
I don't know if you can see it too clearly, but it says "The Final Frontier World Tour 2011". What you can't see is the terrifying picture of a bloody skull on the wing. Is it just me or is "final tour" something you don't want to see painted on your plane? Apparently some Icelandic band had used this plane for their tour and then passed it along to Iceland Express? Not sure. Crazy Icelanders. I'll spare you the boring details-- but in summary I'm just gonna suggest that you should never fly on Iceland Express if you care at all about having long-term feeling in your knees.
Whitney and I at Newark during one of the four two-hour delays. Hooray for traveling!

Our Icelandic snacks. We thought we'd be adventurous and try and Icelandic candy bar. It had a secret strip of licorice inside. SICK. Tricky, Iceland... Tricky.
We spent the first and last weekends of the trip in London. Apparently we didn't take any pictures the first weekend because it was all rainy and we spent our time eating, drinking, and playing Outburst and the Wii. It was awesome. I'm sure you can make your own mental pictures. The second weekend we went to Hampton Court Palace which was one of King Henry VIII's main palaces. It was pretty awesome, complete with a hedge maze.
Awesome poses run in the family.
Julie made a new friend.
Being regal.
Lovely fountain.
Ominous clouds- threatening to ruin our fun.
So gangster.
Scared in the hedge maze.
Lost in the hedge maze.
Josh gave us directives during one of our photo shoots-- I believe this one was... Egyptian? All I know is Erika created that turban in NO time.
Crashing on a roller coaster? Just on a roller coaster? We should have held up cue cards.
Singing in a choir.
Josh ran out of instructions.

From Monday to Friday on our trip, Erika, Whitney and I ventured to the island of Corfu in Greece. We had our own little villa with a private pool on the beach... it was amazing. And shockingly cheap! Seriously-- everyone should go there. Our trip was filled with going to the beach, eating awesome Greek food, driving/risking our lives on the tiny mountain roads, and applying sunscreen on the hour (okay that was mainly just me). It was awesome. Here are some of the highlights...

We took a really cool boat tour around one of the areas called Paleokastrista (prob spelled that wrong). I took about 15 pictures trying to get that flag perfectly in the wind-- I settled for this shot. What? I'm not a photographer!
On the boat tour.
The water was so BLUE! And Whitney's glasses are so PINK.
The water was like 3 degrees. Erika and I got in up to our waists and then lost all feeling and retreated to the chairs. Whitney bought some goggles and swam out into the deep. She's basically a fish.
Apparently this is our standard pose. I blame T-High.
That's my new summer home on the left. Nothing flashy.
Hanging out in Corfu town. After we spent a good hour searching for the alleged Starbucks that was said to be on the island. There's not one. Don't look for it. And don't ask the natives about it- they'll judge you.
Mountain of Greek snacks.
This is how we spent 75% of our time. No, I still did not get a tan.
Scary animated mannequins.
Cats consistently attacked us during meals.
Beautiful view of the west side of the island.
At the top of a mountain-- I'm not exactly sure this pose. Maybe I want Erika to catch me as I jump off a tiny stump but she's too busy posing for a sunglasses ad? It's really up to your own interpretation.
Me on top of a mountain.
We climbed an intense hill-- because we're so strong.
At the beginning of the hill...
Not sure if we were going to make it up the hill....
Recovering after the hill.

Delicious Greek salad.

Apparently Hellas means Greece in Greek. Who knew?
Our neighborhood beach.
Whitney's personal photo shoot.
So full of love.
We had lots of photo shoots.
Beautiful Sunset.

Overall, this trip was amazing. It flew by and I was beyond depressed to leave but I was so thankful to have been able to go and spend this time with people I love :) Aaaaaand I can't wait to go back again someday! Consider this another opportunity to send donations for the "Sara Likes to Travel" fund.