A few weeks ago I took a ride up to Scranton, PA to check out one of my office's most recent completed projects, PNC Field. PNC was home to the Scranton Willkes-Barre Yankees, the AAA affiliate of the big boys in New York. After about $40m in renovations and a re-branding effort the stadium is now home to the Rail Riders. The previous edition of the ballpark was just too big at 20,000 seats. It was never filled and felt cavernous. I can't take much of the credit as I only worked on the project early on, but we came in and removed all of the upper seats and replaced them with some club spaces, making the ballpark feel much more intimate. We also added a great wrap around outfield walk, similar to what the firm did for the Phillies at CBP, and the fans already love it. It's a great spot to take in the game with a family!
This is what the place looked like before:
Below are a series of photos from the game I checked out. The Rail Riders lost, but they still had fireworks afterwards. Oh, I may have been one of last people to ever see A-Rod swing a bat...hopefully!
Even though they're only the farm team, that's still enough Yankee talk for one day! Thankfully I was up at Fenway entertaining a client a few days later so I was able to get my Red Sox fill. Green Monster seats too, first row!
People...I think we may have finally found it. A replacement for our beloved Jose's in Cambridge. We had searched high and we had searched low...but all with dissapointing results. Until this past Saturday night when we discovered La Esperanza. We had seen a review of the place about 20 minutes away and figured "what the hell". Listen people, we are desperate here.
So we loaded up and made the drive. Not a second after we set foot in the joint I knew it was going to be good. We went super early, like 5:30p, and the place was JAMMED to the gills. That has to be a good sign, right? We even had to wait about 15 minutes to get a table. No worries...they had some Modelo Especial on tap. No complaints here!
I'm a standard steak/shrimp/chicken fajita type guy and these were spot on...sooo tasty! Kelly got some sampler dish of burritos, enchiladas, and a few other things...she too was amazed at how good it was.
From Boston, over the 4th of July holiday, we made the 3hr drive out to Troy, NY to visit with our friends Kristin and Ryan, and their son. They live up in VT, but we've been avoiding that 8hr drive since Miss J despises the car so much. We decided to meet at Kristin's folks place for the night, catch up with everyone, and it would actually break up the drive back to NJ for us. Win, win all around.
We took the kiddo's to a small little amousement park that's a landmark in the area and will be closing after this summer. Kristin went as a kid so she said we had to go. Of course J loved the rides, the little daredevil!
Look at the smile on her face in this one...hand up in the air too!
On Sunday Ryan and I got a nasty little hill-ride in on the bikes and the girls hit up the baby store. The kids pretty much did whatever they wanted!
Damn near impossible to get everyone to look in the same direction for a team photo!
So great to see these guys and hopefully we can make it up to Vermont soon!
Last week, for the 4th of July holiday, we drove up to Beantown to spend some time with my folks, and to meet Erin and Matt's new bundle of joy, Baby MJ. It was our first long drive with J in a while and she did really good considering how much she hates being in the car.
We drove up on Tuesday evening after work and on Wednesday went over to visit with Erin and Matt...and the new addition.
Was BabyJ this small? I guess she was, but it feels like forever ago...
Love that last photo...look who's in the background!
On Thursday, the 4th of July, my folk s had a little bbq at the house...which was a great way to relax and celebrate. After our week down in Cape May we needed a day to just sit around and relax..and eat a few hot dogs and hamburgers! We got to see my Aunt, one of my cousins, and it didn't hurt to see BabyM one more time!
Great shot of the very proud grandparents!
On Friday we didn't do a whole lot, which was fine by me. J did take a quick dip in Grammy and Grandpa's pool out back!
And of course she wanted to walk....everywhere! Thankfully Grandpa didn't mind too much. She is so close to doing it all by herself now.
There you have it...a great 3 days up in the Bean. On Saturday we drove out to visit with some friends in Troy, NY...more on that in the next post.
I snapped this photo on vacation of Miss J flipping through a book that I'm currently reading about the history of the Pan Mass Challenge. I posted it online and noted that she was catching up on her PMC history.
It got me thinking though. Hopefully by the time she knows how to get out on a road bike and could tackle a 100 mile ride there won't even be a need for the PMC. Cancer as we know it would be licked. How awesome would that be? The more folks donate and the more research that gets done the closer we'll get to that goal. Heck...that's the PMC's motto right, Closer by the Mile!
I wanted to give everyone a quick update on where I stand money wise. We've just topped out over the $7,000 mark, so we're getting closer and closer to hitting $10,000! I know we can do it.
If you'd like to contribute, any amount helps. Please click here.
If you've been following along with Kelly and I on Instagram you know we've been down in Cape May on vacation for the past week. Our first real family vacation! I guess I can use the term vacation loosely as it was much different from vacations we used to. Heading down to the beach every day with an 11 month old is one hell of an undertaking...and work-out! At the same time it was a great week with awesome weather and some first experiences for J that we'll never forget!
As with any travel post I do...you can expect a ton of photos. Be sure to click on any if you want to enlarge!
Miss J was ready to hit up Cape May! Even picked out the right t-shirt for our trip...
"Dad, let's roll! I'm ready for vacation!!!"
After getting into our condo [more about that later] on Saturday afternoon and hitting the grocery store we grabbed dinner at a great little spot, Martini Beach. This place is the same joint that was able to host our rehearsal dinner when we got married on 2 weeks notice since the function room at the Lobster House burnt down! We had a great tapas dinner, a few of the plates are pictured below. It was a great first meal to kick off the vacation!
Later we meet up with Nick and Jules [in town for the weekend to celebrate 8 years!] and Patrick, Kristin, Louie and his new lady friend Nikki, for a few drinks. We put J down to bed and hit up the courtyard for a bit.
Don't even bother asking about the cane, crutches, or the wheel chair. Just don't. You can ask about Nick's Armenian flag though...
On Sunday Captain and Terry stopped by so we hung out by the pool with them for a while. It was J's first time in the water and she really seemed to enjoy it!