take me out to the ball game

outside yankee stadium

outside yankee stadium

Just last Saturday, 12 April 2014, a bunch of my buds and myself went to Yankees Stadium to watch them Yankees play against the Red Sox. I was the only one in the group that was a Red Sox fan.

I have no idea why I liked the Red Sox or any team from New England over teams from New York. I cannot explain why. I have no ties from New England and I have been living near Philadelphia since we came here to the United States.

We have planned this for months, strike that, Wayne was the one who planned this and who found us good seats. Two were coming from Pennsylvania, Wayne picked me up from home and the other buddy’s coming from a camping trip at Fort Mifflin. We planned to meet up at Hamilton Station around 10 AM to catch the 10:25 AM train to New York.

Overall it was a nice ride to the stadium. I just did not expect that the crowd was so much. Look at the picture above. The picture was taken using a telefoto lens and I did not take any wide angle lens with me to take a better representation of how huge the crowd were at the stadium. Click here to see other pictures.

The experience at the game was pleasant, we were seated a few rows away from the right fielder position close to the first base. Click here for the other pictures taken from the game. I guess in any game there will be a few nut jobs that’s hardly representing the fans of the team, i believe there were just a few of them seated a few rows in front of us. I was surprised that Yankee and Red Sox fans were nice with each other. My theory was because them Yankees were winning. One of my buddy, Ryan, was striking up a conversation with a Red Sox fan in front of us and even bought him a beer, imagine that.

The game would have been a good one if only the Red Sox won. Final score was 7 to 4 Yankees. We left the stadium but did not go home yet because we knew that it will be a mad house in the subway. We hang out a bit at Stan’s Sports Bar and boy it was packed like sardines. We had a couple of beers and then left for the subway where we were entertained by teenage pole dancers and afterwards a sax player. And we were able to catch the train back to Hamilton just in a nick of time, otherwise it would have been an hour or so wait.

The train was also packed and we were standing at the steps near the exit of one of the carts. Kirt struck up a conversation with an older couple seating near where we stood. Wayne and Ryan found seats while Kirt and myself were still standing and having a good conversation with the older couple.

Everything was OK when we finally arrived at Hamilton station.

day 2 of our 2013 orlando vacation

universal island adventure

universal island adventure

Today was a cloudy day and somewhat cooler. I prefer this weather than hot and humid. And I was just hoping that it will not rain. Well it did not until closing.

I would think that the most popular attraction in the Island of Adventure was the Wizarding World. When we got to that attraction, the place was so packed that you could not even move. The first line we went to was a let down, I thought there would be some show of some sorts but when we got in after almost two hours of waiting, it was just a wizard trying to help some kid get a wand by recreating a scene from the movie when Harry got his wand. After the five minute show or demonstration or whatever it was, we exited out the store, just perfect to setup people to buy souvenirs. We could not even get out since it was that crowded, reminded me of a train ride in Tokyo during busy hour. When we got out of the store, my wife and I looked for a place to sit down and wait for our kids. I sampled the butter beer and tried both and they were too sweet. I guess it did help me go through the entire day. Cannot leave the Harry Potter world without buying stuff, my son bought a wand. Which was too much for a piece of plastic.

Later that night, it rained on our way out of the Island of Adventure. You can click the picture above or you can click here to see more pictures.

day 1 of our 2013 orlando vacation

orlandoFlorida_universalStudios_070

universal studios krustyland

Technically, last year’s Christmas was our second time to have our holiday on the road. The first time was years ago when we visited my wife’s friend up in Maine and we drove back New Year’s eve and celebrated new year on the road.

Last year we agreed to drive down to Florida with our dog, Cooper. We decided to take a much needed vacation and the only time we have in common was the holiday. The kids were on vacation and I did not have trouble taking time off from work. There were three drivers alternating for the trip and it was just fine driving the speed limit or should I say following the traffic. We dropped Cooper at a kennel before we head to our time share condo which was situated minutes away from Disney and half an hour away from Universal Studios.

We rested awhile in the condo and took an anticipated mass that day because our first day to do the attractions was on a Sunday.

Our first stop was Universal Studios because we had a dinner reservation at Lombard’s Landing. We did the dinner reservation because of the closing show and I was told that they may limit the number of guests in the attraction, having a dinner reservation guaranteed us entrance to the park (they lied, the park was crowded and they were not counting how many went in the park). Only to find out that you could have seen the show anyway outside the restaurant. The only difference was ours had the hot drinks and deserts and a comfortable chair.

The picture above was taken across Krustyland, it’s the new Simpson’s attraction that opened up last year. Click here to see other pictures.

 

deptford high school winter concert

deptford high wind ensemble

deptford high wind ensemble

This was taken during the school’s winter concert last year. The school featured two vocal groups and several bands. My daughter played flute in the wind ensemble. Aside from playing concerts in school, they also joined several competitions. Kudos to their music teachers, they were so supportive of their students and the program. Despite the fact that the district cut down the funds for music, they have been putting in their own money to purchase things for the program. It has paid a lot for the program because the bands were doing well in state wide and national competitions, the Jazz Ensemble has been a three consecutive year champion at Berkley.

My daughter plays second chair in flute. She’s been playing this instrument since grade school. She’s so diligent practicing at home every chance she has, specially when performance, either for competition or concert, is getting closer.

I did not take a lot of pictures because I was enjoying myself in the concert. The above photo was taken from a distance in a really low light condition. I had to crank up the ISO and just deal with the noise in the post process. I could not use flash because it’s useless when you are far from the subject. Please click here to see other pictures.

life of the spirit seminar

life of the spirit seminar

life of the spirit seminar

The Alliance of the Two Hearts – Infant Jesus Parish was invited to attend to a Life of the Spirit Seminar at Our Lady of Hope church in Philadelphia, PA. It was a two-day seminar about renewing the Catholic faith as well as receiving the the gifts from the Holy Spirit.

There were a lot of speakers who shared their life changing experiences and what made them stronger in their faith. Some of their stories seemed unbelievable but I guess when you have such faith anything is possible. The speakers shared stories that were so emotional and funny at times. It is really difficult to write about the seminar because one has to experience it for themselves.

The highlight of the seminar was getting a confession and pray over, reconnecting with our Lord. Then topping if off with the celebration of the Mass. Click here to see other pictures.

living rosary concert

living rosary

living rosary

October of last year at Saint Charles Borromeo Church in Sicklerville, NJ, there was a living Rosary concert. People who attended prayed the Rosary while others were selected to sit at the altar with a candle. It started with all the lights turned off and they lighted one candle for each Hail Mary prayed.

After the Rosary, they featured two musicians, Donna Lee and Gretchen Harris, who sang and gave their testimonies on how their lives were changed for the better despite of their struggles and troubles.

Click the picture above to see other pictures I took during the event or you can click here.

 

st catherine drexel

st catherine drexel shrine

st catherine drexel shrine

After our visit to Our Lady of Czestochowa, some of us decided to visit the Shrine of St. Catherine Drexel since it was still early. I believe that was my second time visiting the place. I only took a few pictures and you can click here to see the rest.

 

lady of czestochowa

our lady of czestochowa church

our lady of czestochowa church

This posting is long over due because I have taken this picture October of last year. Our prayer group suggested to visit the church of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Doylestown, PA. Some were able to make it and attended the mass and afterwards ate at their cafeteria to sample the Polish dishes.

It was a huge place. They have a living Rosary, station of the cross in front of the church, a museum and cemetery. After lunch, I did take the obligatory shots with family and friends, then I went on my own to survey most of the church grounds. Click here to see other pictures.

 

jim thorpe

jim thorpe

jim thorpe

This is my second time to visit Jim Thorpe, actually the original name of this place is Mauch Chunk. The first time I visited this, my wife and I stopped by from Eagle Rock before driving home, we went to a small museum in the town and watched a video about the town’s history and how the name came to be. We just strolled the town for a little while and my wife did a little shopping.

The picture above was taken during a train ride which we were not able to do the last time we were there because it was closed for the season. It was not a perfect weather for the ride since it was cloudy and rainy but we we have to make due with what we had. I will probably go back there because there was so much picture opportunity, specially when you are on foot.

The picture was a composite of a single shot processed two ways. One was converted to black and white and the other was colored enhanced. Then used onOne software to process in Perfect Layers, I just did a simple mask to show the colored layer underneath. Click here or the picture to see the rest of the pictures I took.

 

halloween at layos’

layos' halloween

layos’ halloween

I am posting this long awaited pictures, I hope, taken during a Halloween party at Layos’ residence. It was so nice for them to host it at their residence again. There was so much food courtesy of all those who attended and the host, pot luck is always best to get the party started. Also, almost everybody were in costumes.

There was also another party that our family usually attend every year, another friend’s birthday (from another group). It’s always a struggle when you are faced with such situation. I chose to go to the Layos’ since I was not able to go there last year.

I really don’t grasp the whole idea of Halloween, celebrating the ghouls and hideous. However, kids and adults alike loved it. Was it because of the treats the children get and the adults get o wear costumes and throw parties?

Above was taken in the basement where the kids hung out, In this shot I had the flash off camera and put it on the floor to get the ghoulish feel. Click here for other pictures.