"Start of Something Neu"...comes to an end.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Ten years ago (yesterday), I started something new....this blog! I had just moved into a new apartment in NYC and was in the process of interviewing for a job at RGA, which I ended up working for over six years. This blog was to serve as a means to share my NYC adventures and love of travel, Broadway, and food with my family and friends all over the USA. I really enjoyed all my adventures and documenting them here, but it's time it comes to an end....on blogger at least.

One of the benefits of blogging is that it's easy to share information with others and it's so easily accessible to so many people, including myself! When talking with friends, Jeff or I could just pull up the blog and share pictures of our latest escapades.

Second, I love photography and I personally feel that it's important to document our lives through pictures. It helps us remember our past and help us measure how much life has changed. I've truly enjoyed showing Cohen pictures of himself from when he was a baby and sharing with him all the fun times we've had. The blog helps remind me!

So, why no more blogger. Well, two things....

1. You many have noticed that I don't post a lot of pictures with Jeff in them. He allowed me to do this when we first got married, but about a year in he asked me to stop. He doesn't like his pictures shared on social media or on my blog. I totally respect his wishes and only posted pictures when I got his permission. I've also not posted a lot of pictures that include Cohen's friends. This is done for the same reason. I've been wanting to respect their privacy and would only post if I had their parents permission. 

While reviewing old posts with Cohen, I appreciated that my blog served as a journal of our family, but I noticed the large gap of not having pictures of Jeff (and me for that matter, but that's because I'm usually the one behind the camera). I mentioned it to Jeff and he said he would be ok if I posted on a website with a password, but it couldn't be blogger, because he doesn't trust google.

2. I also realized that I didn't like the idea of being tied to one platform. I don't think that blogger will go anywhere, but what if someday I wanted to have a hard copy of all our adventures. I started looking into printing my blog, which there are companies that do that, but due to formatting issues it wasn't going to look very pretty. I take a lot of pictures and printing them off without reformatting every post was going to take forever, and if I was going to take the time to do that, I would rather to it in a way that allows me to use many different platforms.

So, what was the solution? 

After mauling over this for the past summer, I think I have come up with a solution that will satisfy all my concerns and obtain my goal. I've created a website called Neu Family Yearbook (erikaneu.com) that is password protected. It is there that I will post photo book page layous that people can see and flip through. I will then have copies on my computer, so that if I ever want to get them printed it will be easy to do so. So, really, I have the best of both worlds. I have a digital copy online that I can share with family and friends and then have a version I could easily print off if I wanted too (Jeff and I are kind of apposed to printing them off at this point because I'm assuming it's going to be hundreds of pages and a lot of books....I take lots of pictures).

Im going to continue posting pictures on Facebook, but if would like to see the Neu Family Yearbook, please reach out to me.

Neu Family Reunion: Day 6...Como Zoo and Mall of America

Friday, September 8, 2017

On our last day in Minnesota we went to the Como Zoo. Surprise, surprise, right? Cohen and I totally collect zoos. The Como Zoo is free and they offer giraffe feeding, so it seemed like a good choice. I've been to a couple free zoos and I will say this is one of the nicer ones. The giraffe feeding is a little ridiculous because they charge $5 for a leaf of lettuce (YES...ONE LEAF). You have like 10 seconds and then you walk off. You don't really get to enjoy it. The giraffe feeding at Animal Adventure park was 100 times better.

We then headed over to the Sparky Sea Lion Show. It was nothing like the show at the NYC Aquarium, but it was still entertaining. To tell you the truth the little tank was kind of sad looking. Also, the sun was beating down on us so we were like baking!

Clara, one of my nieces, really wanted to go see the butterfly exhibit. I'm not a fan of the one at the Bronx Zoo, so I wasn't all that excited about going, but I'm so glad we did! It was AMAZING. SO much better than the Bronx Zoo! Several of our family members had butterflies land on them, which was so much fun and entertaining to see how excited they got. Cohen wasn't so thrilled with the butterflies. He was afraid of them and really didn't want to stay long.

On our way out, we went to check out the sloth. He was a cool looking guy just chilling in the tree. Cohen was lucky to have some amazing cousins around that were willing to lift him up so he could get a better view.

We then headed over to the Mall of America. This was Cohen's first time there and he was so excited when he saw all the rides. He really really wanted to go on a roller coaster, but he was too short. It's so hard trying to explain to a 3-year-old that they can't go on a ride because they are too short.

We went and grabbed some lunch at Shake Shack with the fam and walked around the mall a little. After a quick Old Navy stop, Cohen, Jeff, and I went to try some rides.

Cohen got to go on three rides, which meant that Jeff and I took turns going on three rides because Cohen was too little to go on his own. I can't wait for Cohen to grow 2 inches (he's only 40 inches). I'm not sure which was his favorite. He loves all train rides, but they did have a little roller coaster that Cohen really enjoyed. We finished with the carousel since it's a classic and another favorite of Cohen's.

Cohen's First Day of School!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Now I would like to interrupt my summer vacation posting to announce that Cohen started Pre-K today! We took him out for a special first day breakfast at Georgio's Country Grill. Cohen wanted waffles and sausage to start his day. He ended up pouring the whole cup of syrup on his waffles. 

We then headed over to the school to meet his teachers. They have a great playground in the court yard that Cohen has been asking about visiting for months. When I told him he was going to school today he immediately asked, "to play on my playground?!" 

There were some kids that clearly didn’t want their parents to leave and parents that definitely felt the same. I however told Cohen bye and he responded with what I think was supposed to be a wave goodbye, but it felt more like a “mom get out of here” gesture. I then proceeded to skip the whole way home!

When I picked Cohen up he didn't want to leave. He asked me for the rest of the day if he could go back to school. He's such an independent little soul. I'm so happy for him to take this next adventure.

I love you Cohen! I’m so proud of you and I know you’re going to have a fantastic time learning new things and making friends.
Ms. Green and Ms. D...Thanks, and Good Luck! You’ll be in my prayers.

Neu Family Reunion: Day 3....Madeline Island

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

On day 2 we spent most of the time indoors since it was raining, but on day 3 Jeff, Cohen and I busted out the paddle boat for Cohen to take a quick spin. Cohen and I arrived late on the day that everyone else played with the paddle boats and Cohen saw them sitting there and frequently told me that he wanted to ride one. I kept telling him, "another day." Well, the last day came and it was now or never. I'm really trying to not be a parent that tells my kid something to blow him off and then... blow him off. Since I didn't want to ride in the boat with him, I just put on my swim suit bottoms and pushed him around for a little while. He loved it so it was a win for everyone.

After checking out of the cabin, Jeff, Cohen and I headed over to Madeline Island for a quick look around. Two of the families went over a couple days before and weren't too impressed (Even tried to discourage us from going). They had warned me, but I felt that I had come all that way I might as well experience it for myself since I probably would never be return to the Apostle Islands. It was a learning experience for sure. I figured out that if I DID ever return to the Apostle Islands I would do it completely differently than this time. I would load up a car with camping gear and go camp on Madeline Island! We unfortunately didn't bring our car on the ferry, so we didn't get to drive around to the other side and see the park and go on a hike (Cohen also didn't have the right shoes on for a hike).  So, I don't want to rag on Madeline Island because we really weren't prepared to take advantage of all she had to offer. It's all good, Cohen loves riding on boats so the ferry ride was a total win with him.

The little town that the ferry docks in on Madeline Island is really small but it was fun to walk around. There were a few souvenir shops and a couple places to eat (ice cream and a bakery). If we didn't have Cohen with us I totally would have rented a Vespa and rode around the island.

We walked through a few of the stores for souvenirs and then checked out the local bakery. It was amazingly small, but they had a nice variety of sweet treats. The women working said they make all the baked goods on site, which is totally impressive since the kitchen in the back looked tiny. Cohen really enjoyed his donut with sprinkles.  I had the berry coffeecake (I was told it was the best seller) and really enjoyed it. Jeff had the carrot cake and wasn't too impressed (surprise, surprise).

We really only spent 30 minutes on the island and then returned to Bayfield, WI to grab lunch at the Fat Radish (AGAIN!) and of-course finished of our Apostle Islands trip with a chocolate ice cream cone for Cohen!

We then headed to Anne's (in Minnesota) for dinner and quality family time. I really do enjoy spending time with Jeff's family. They are such loving people. My sister-in-law Emilie told me that one of the things she likes about Minnesota are the amazing clouds. She was right! I couldn't believe how beautiful all the clouds were.

Newport: Day TWO...Newport Pier, Oregon Coast Aquarium, Sea Hag

Monday, September 4, 2017

On day two in Newport we went for a quick walk on the Newport Pier. There were a lot of people fishing and crabbing, which was really entertaining for Cohen. He loved going up to everyone and asking them a million questions. He's such a social little guy.

After the pier, we met a friend of ours (Amy) at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Cohen loves aquariums. This one had an amazing underwater tunnel that allowed us to see some great sharks. Cohen really got into it, which is always fun.

We then headed to the Sea Hag (Depoe Bay) for lunch. I had a crab louie that looked like a crab. It was fun :) Really I just got it for the amazing shrimp and crab on it! It was a great lunch catching up with Amy.

We took a few pictures after lunch. I LOVE Depoe Bay! It's just so beautiful.


Neu Family Reunion: Day 1 for me....Day 4 for everyone else

Saturday, August 26, 2017

After an amazing week with my family in Washington/Oregon, Cohen and I joined Jeff and his family in Bayfield, WI for the Neu Family reunion in the Apostle Islands. Everyone else arrived a few days earlier, but Cohen and I arrived late so we could be in Oregon for my grandma's 85th birthday.

We all stayed in a bunch of cottages on Lake Superior. It was lovely hanging out with family and enjoying the absolutely beautiful scenery.

For Lunch, Jeff, Cohen, and I went to check out the small charming town of Bayfield, WI with Sharon, Ben and Atticus. We had lunch at a little place called the Fat Radish. It was totally delicious! If you ever find yourself in Bayfield, WI :) you should totally check this place out. 

After our amazing lunch, we grabbed some taffy and ice cream at a little place called Sweet Sailing. Cohen has becoming a taffy fan, so he was all over helping Aunt Sharon pick some out to share with the fam. It was a lot of fun watching Cohen and Atticus walk down the street holding hands. Even cuter was watching them eat Jeff and Sharon ice cream. 

Later in the day a few of us went on a 3-hour boat tour of the Apostle Islands. I really enjoyed both the company and the view! It was a very relaxing trip and it was nice catching up with some family. Cohen seemed to really enjoy the tour too. Mostly because he loved hanging with some truly amazing cousins. He also really enjoyed eating his body weight in Cheetos!

A quick trip to Newport...Candy, Dinner at Mo's, Ice Cream, and the Beach

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

After the Enchanted Forest, we headed to Newport to spend the night and get in a little more beach time before heading to Minnesota. Before dinner we stopped at a little candy shop to restock on gummy sharks. Cohen sure does love those gummy sharks and Grandma A is all too willing to support his addition.

We then headed to Mo's for dinner. This was my first time at the original Mo's. The food was great and Cohen loved the little plastic shark they gave him with his lemonade. I'm not sure where he got the idea to order lemonade, but it's now his thing. Every time we sit down in a restaurant Cohen turns to the waiter/waitress and orders lemonade. Harmizzle ordered a Marion berry cobbler, which was amazing!

We then stopped at an ice-cream shop so Cohen could get a chocolate ice-cream cone. The Neu's loves ice cream, and Grandpa A loves chocolate ice-cream....Cohen had no chance....he was bound to love chocolate ice-cream. 

After our sweet treat, we headed to the beach. It was kind of hike down, but Cohen insisted on going down and running in the sand. He ended up with a little sand in his eye because of the wind was crazy strong, but for the most part he enjoyed himself. :) I LOVE the Oregon coast and miss it!