Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Okay... so I am back from my amazing trip to New York! I'm going to try and blog about each day to the best of my ability. First, I wanted to say that my visit with Ann Marie and Megan was great! They were both very sweet and my kids enjoyed having them in our room! The staff was so excited to get Mama Mia's for lunch and it was delicious!!

So, Steve took me to the airport Thursday morning. My flight was slated to leave at 12:25 and arrive at 3:00. A girl named Lisa from Panama City Beach, FL and I had been emailing and she was coming into LaGuardia at 2:00 and said she'd be willing to wait for me and we could take a cab to the hotel together. Well, that didn't happen.

I got to the airport at 11:15 and got through security without any issues. I decided to grab lunch (a blt roll-up, chips, and a drink) right by my gate. I checked out the arrivals/departures board and noticed that EVERY flight after mine was cancelled going into LaGuardia. So I sat and waited for my boarding time (12:00) and the flight that was supposed to leave before mine was still sitting there. So my flight got backed up. I didn't end up leaving RDU until 2:30.

So once we were about to land at LGA our flight attendant tells us that we're going to have to circle until we're allowed to land. This happens for an hour. It's like 4:30 when the captain comes on and says that we're not going to land at LGA because the airport has just closed indefinitely. I paniced. He said we'd be landing in either JFK or Harrisburg. Now... I'm not sure where JFK is located, but I do know that Harrisburg is in PA and PA is not NY!!

So about 20 minutes pass and he comes back on and says that we're about to land in JFK. At least that's in NY. We land without any issues and I find out that JFK is only 8 miles from LGA. I contact Lisa via text and tell her that I won't be coming into LGA and tell her to leave without me.

I get my bags and then head out for a cab. The line was HUGE. I get in line and I'm like the 10th person in line and this guy comes up to where I'm standing and tells everyone in line from me back, that there are no cabs available and that we should find other forms of transportation to get to our destination. Again... more freaking out. I called Lisa and she didn't know what to say/do for me, but I needed someone to know what was happening. Then I called Carol and she said she could possibly get me a car, but she wasn't sure.

Right at that time, the same guy that made the cab announcement comes up to me and asks where I'm going. I said SoHo and he asked if I'd be willing to share a cab with someone. It's a lady and she looks safe. So she and I get into the cab and head to her hotel. After small talk in the cab, I discover that she's from Holly Springs! Small world.

I arrive at the hotel at 7:00... and the group was supposed to meet for dinner at 6:30. They ended up waiting for me (which was very nice). I texted Lisa and told her that I was going to drop off my bags and head down to meet them.

We ended up going to dinner at this place called Jekyl and Hyde. You should for sure check the link and see what the place is all about-- it was awesome. I can only say it was like a Rainforest Cafe with a haunted house theme instead of a rainforest.

Dinner was enjoyable and there were seven of us that made it out. I had french onion soup and a quesadilla that was okay. It was very expensive ($35) but I didn't mind too much because Scholastic was paying for it.  ;)

Friday morning I got up and ready and had to meet Carol downstairs by 8am. I got to meet everyone else (there were 14 of us) and then we walked to the Scholastic offices. It was about a mile away. It wouldn't have been so bad if it weren't for the snow that we had to trek through.

Walking into the building was incredible. There were signs everywhere welcoming the 2010-2011 Scholastic Teacher Advisors. I felt like a rock-star. When we made it upstairs, we hung up our coats and then headed into this big conference room with one wall that was all windows. I found my seat and headed out to get breakfast. We were all given red fleece jackets that say "2010-2011 Scholastic Teacher Advisor" on it. I also had a really nice bag that was filled with a TON of swag (a clock, a blanket, books, and a $50 gift card to the Scholastic Book Store).

There was a slide show with each person's pictures and it was awesome to see where everyone came from. They started the meeting and the CEO and President were in there as well as all the VPs and other editors. It was very intimidating for me. I didn't say anything for about an hour... and then once they asked me what I though, I opened up and kept on talking.

We spent all morning talking and then we had lunch, and then spent the rest of the afternoon talking. We took a group picture with the CEO and it's a cute picture. Then we walked to a place called Hundred Acres for dinner. It was sooooo good. I sat at a table with Ann Marie and then more Scholastic VIPs sat there and so did Lisa, Kristin and this other girl.

Our table had a blast. We were laughing and having so much fun. I think we had the most fun! I had steak for dinner and it was absolutely delicious. We walked back to the hotel and decided to just go to bed because we had to be up early for our appearance on the CBS Early Show!

I got up early on Saturday and we headed for the CBS studios. We waited outside for a bit and then came into the lobby. I made a sign for my kids and then when it was time to go out, there were several others who had made signs as well. I wasn't right in the middle, but I was on tv!! Steve recorded it for me!!

We got to the Scholastic offices around 9:00 and then we had breakfast and had some discussions on the actual website for parents and teachers. We were escorted upstairs to the lab and we were able to play on the new site and give all kinds of feedback. Then we went back downstairs and shared our thoughts with everyone.

We talked a little more about the future of the company and then that was it. We went upstairs for lunch and then we were free to explore NYC! We had to be at the hotel by 5:15 for dinner, but other than that, we were on our own for fun.

Lisa, Kristin, Jon and I decided to pair up and do a "Food Network Tour" of NY. We ended up going to Gray's Papaya and enjoyed a hotdog. We took the subway and then we took the bus to Dylan's Candy Bar and met a CRAZY lady on the bus there. She said she'd show us where it was, and when it was time to get off the bus, she was nice. But... while we were walking she kept saying how we were too young and too pretty to be eating crap like candy bars. Then she said that we needed to be better models for our students and went on lecturing us... she was extremely rude in my opinion. She looked like Vincent Schiavelli and as soon as I realized this, I started laughing hysterically. I told Jon and he started laughing too... well she assumed we were laughing at her comments about not eating candy and she said, "We'll see who's laughing in a few years." Whatever that was supposed to mean.

Anyway, after Dylan's, we took the subway to Prince street thinking that we'd be close to Donut Plant, but we were really far off. So we took a cab to the last stop on the tour. It was really good!! I had wanted Gray's Papaya, Lisa wanted Dylan's Candy Bar, and Jon wanted Donut Plant so we were all really happy.

We were running late so we called Carol and just met her at the restaurant. We had dinner at Carmine's and it was pretty good. There was a LOT of food!! After dinner we walked to the theater and enjoyed the view of Times Square and then arrived at Circle in the Square to see The Miracle Worker. It was awesome... I was sitting in the very front row and loved it!

After the theater, we went back to the hotel, said our goodbyes to everyone and then Jon, Kristin, Lisa, and I went to the bar and stayed out until 3am laughing and having fun. I had to be up early... but it was worth it.

Lisa and I met at 7:30 on Sunday morning and shared a cab to LaGuardia. I got home at 12:00 and was so glad to see Steve! We went to Five Guys for lunch and then I took a nap. 

I went to school Monday and found out that I have made it to the semi-finals for Wake County Teacher of the Year! The team that will be observing me is coming to watch me teach a lesson on Thursday at 1:00. I am nervous, but have no expectations. I figure I have a 50-50 shot at being chosen for the top 12. I'd love to make the top 12, but don't think I'll be picked for the teacher of the year because my neighbor (literally... she lives next door) is the current teacher of the year and she teaches 4th grade too. I don't think it'll happen, but we'll see.

Thanks for reading!!
Until later...

PS- We finsihed the home study, Walt sent us the finished report and now we're just waiting to be called to go see Doris!!