Monday, March 30, 2009

Talking about chocolate..

Yesterday, at the Palisades Mall, they had the Second Annual Chocolate Expo, a benefit for camp Venture here in Rockland County, NY. My sister Jaymie and I went and we are now sorry we missed the First Annual Chocolate Festival Last year!

Chocolate everywhere and in whatever form you wanted! After about ten minutes we stumbled upon the most delicious chocolate covered strawberries for one dollar from Edible Arrangements; by far one of the best items I had the pleasure of tasting. Almost every booth had generous samples handled in the most hygienic of ways, and people were actually polite! There were two other rooms of vendors selling wine ( I bought some Blackberry Merlot for Passover), sauces, dips, soups.....midway through the expo Jaymie and I started having a hard time being able to continue to look at the chocolate, much less taste any samples. While there, Jaymie signed up to be a " Viva Diva", earning herself a reusable purple tote and fifty entries into their current sweepstakes. Nice score, Jaymie! ( I myself, of course, already was a " Viva Diva").

The only thing I could not figure out was how Jaymie ended this chocolate round the world tour with a kosher pickle on a stick. I know....I still don't get it either.

Anybody out there who has some chocolate they are not currently using, feel free to send it my way:)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

So, I promised I would talk about Buckcherry...

On St. Patrick's day Maggie, Sarah ( my 15 year old daughter) and I headed down to Sayreville, NJ to finally see Buckcherry, the band I had flown to the other end of the country to see the week before.

So, down we go, via the Garden State Parkway, until we get to the concert venue, about an hour too late for the meet and greet with the band. Right away, I knew we were in trouble. Parking in a dirt lot, walking up to the entrance, loud music and people everywhere. Okay, no one told me that this was actually a bar, yes a bar, and it was standing room only; I knew it was general admission, but I thought that meant sit where you can. Boy, was I wrong!

We find a place to stand by the sound board, with my biggest mission making sure no one gets within touching distance of Sarah. Not an easy task. First though, comes the band "Papa Roach". Sarah tells me that this is lame and boring, until the lead singer starts to work the crowd, and next thing I know she is pumping her fist in the air and eyeing with interest the kids in the mosh pit. Oh boy, what have I started!

Papa Roach, who actually were very good, finishes and we wait patiently for Buckcherry. After a twenty minute break, finally they come on. I have flown 6000 miles round trip, then driven over and hour and half, stood on my feet for two hours and now...

Maggie turns to me after the first song and says, " Okay, you heard them, Papa Roach was better, lets go."


Sarah says " Yeah, Mom, they suck I am tired and you know I have to wake up early for school tomorrow", so I beg for two more songs, they begrudgingly let me listen for five more minutes, and as we leave the spot I fought two hours protecting I look longingly behind me as the sound of Buckcherry fades and is replaced by " Wake me up when we get home."

Sigh....guess I'll have to listen to them on the CD that I bought on the way out instead.

Monday, March 23, 2009

I was sooo excited about the circus I just could not wait!

We attended a special pre-event at the Nassau Coliseum in Long Island on Wednesday; we meaning Daryl, Sarah ( my daughter) and I. I don't need to tell anyone who knows me well what a circus freak I am. My Grandma Rose used to take me every year to Madison Square Garden to see the Ringling Brothers Circus during the spring break from school. I remember how magical it all felt to me and how I used to wish that I was one of the children brought out of the audience to ride the floats, something that they used to do but don't seem to do anymore.

Well, on Wednesday, some of my circus dreams came true. Thanks to Lauren at I had the chance to be a "field activator" or someone who is handpicked to spread the word about the wonder of the Ringling Brothers Circus and Feld Entertainment. We were invited to meet the circus animals close up and personal before the actual show, which was an amazing experience. Nothing comes close to the majesty of an elephant happily eating hay and playing with tires and tree trunks! I know PETA has made it their mission to spread the word about the circus mistreatment of its animals, but from what I could see, they were clean, happy, and well taken care of.

The theme of the circus this year is " Zing, Zang, Zoom" and centers on magic and gravity. It has everything you love about Ringling like the flashy costumes, the songs, the elephants, the high wire, and the tigers plus magic tricks and great clowning around!

If you live in the NY area and decide to go see the show at Madison Square Garden, use the code " MOM" in the MC promotion box at You will get four tickets for $44! It doesn't get any better than that! The show runs from Thursday, March 26 to Monday April 13. Make sure you use the code as that is the only way to get the special pricing.
As they say at the circus " May all your days be circus days!"

Just a quick update about my weekend, with a promise to tell you about the Buckcherry Concert and the Ringling Brothers Circus of last week tommorow....

Went to the Home Show at Ramapo College in Mahwah, New Jersey you need to know that my sister, my daughter, and I are Home Show maniacs...and my daughter is the "Queen" of conning unsuspecting window salesman out of free swag, such as pens, bag clips, and candy. Normally, we can spend at least and hour or two pretending that we are interested in refitting our tub or installing new leaf gutters in order to get a tootsie roll pop for free; today, however, the show was so tiny we were in and out in fifteen minutes, with almost nothing, save a bag full of items from one particular tree service professional. To add insult to injury, we also had to pay seven dollars each for this privelege. They should have paid us, judging by the desperate look of men in polo shirts with the name of thier company emblazoned across their chests.

Lesson learned: Stay away from shows sponsored by JMK shows (

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Big Bear Lake Zoo

This place called " Jaspers" in Big Bear Lake had the most amazing

Daryl makes friends with some locals:)

The downtown area

Our "hotel"..Its a BYOTP kinda place ( as in Bring your own Toliet

I pose with the local mascot; everything here has " Bear" in its name!

I promised to continue the story, so here goes:

When we first got to out hotel, Big Bear Lakefront Lodge, it looked fine from the outside. We got our key from a box by the front office, and opened up our room. Stepping inside, however, I thought I was in a bad horror movie; the carpet was dirty, the bed made with only a flat sheet and blanket, no phone, and towels you could see through if you held them up to the light. All Daryl and I could do was laugh! We later came to find out that there was no housekeeping service ( although there was an envelope where we could leave a tip for the wonderful service), so we made sure to go to the office the next day to pick up extra towels and toliet paper in case ran out at nightime.

Big Bear itself was very pretty; only problem was we could not get a cab, could not rent a car ( the one and only car rental place was closed on weekends) and civilization in the form of food and stores was a long walk away, on dark roads with no sidewalks. We found some great places to eat, some cool little stores to spend money in, and rode he public bus system from one end of the mountain to the other. We went to a cute zoo, where Daryl had the time of his life making new friends up close and personal with a badger who was figuring out what condiments he wanted to use with his lunchtime meal of "dead rat" in his mouth. We checked out the ski area ( although we dont ski) and generally had a great time.

Oh, and I forgot to add: while we were on the plane going there I received a voicemail that Buckcherry had canceled!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I am back from California and Big Bear Lake and I can tell you that it is a beautiful place, but having been there I don't see the need to go back ever again.

It was a crazy begin with out car service driver, when meeting us at the airport at 10:00pm on Thursday night stated that he had no idea where we were going, since his GPS units ( yep...he had all three) didnt show the address. After Daryl and I suggested using Mapquest, he drove to his house ( yes, his house) and asked me to go in and use the computer and find it for him. A bit strange, but we were tired and wanted to just get there already and get to sleep.

I found it for him and we spent the next hour on a harrowing journey with Mario Andretti California style whipping around hairpin turns, all while we climbed to a height of 7000+ feet! Not that we could see anything; it was pitch black and we were in a car with tinted windows. On second thought, maybe that was a blessing in disguise.

I will continue this story with another post, later on tonight...

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

All set to leave on Thursday for Big Bear, California. Since the contest only offered us ine day, we decided to pay ourselves for an extra two days. We have a three hour layover each way in Dallas, which in and of itself is not terrible; what is terrible is that I HATE FLYING and this means I have to go up and down twice, which means that whoever sits next to me ( Not Daryl for 2/4 legs) might walk away with some serious nail marks in their legs and upper arms:)

We are staying at the Big Bear Lakefront Lodge and are flying into/out of Ontario Airport.

If anyone is reading this and has any input on either Buckcherry or Big Bear Lake area in general, I would be happy to get some comments.