A Day for the Veterans

It's been a big year for my family.

In just five months, my stepdad built a monument. He was on the cover of The Washington Times, and in The New York Times. What? Real life? Very exciting.

For a whirlwind weekend - our family and friends traveled up to New York to see the sculpture featured in the Veterans Day Parade, and attend a reception later that same evening.

What seemed most exciting for me was being in New York with people I love. There's really nothing like witnessing the Big Apple through the eyes of someone that's never seen it before. 

Like walking down 42nd Street and standing in the middle of Times Square for the first time. 

Or hailing a cab without looking like a crazed tourist.

Little Nurse to be is always taking a moment to study.

As you can see here, Bryan is passing the time by researching mutual funds. Or...playing Angry Birds :)

Flying standby with three people is no easy feat. After watching flight after flight fill up, we had to fly into Newark. As in, Jersey. You know how I feel about Jersey. Oh well, we were just happy to be on the plane.

Once we made it to New York, our group came together and we continued on our planes, trains and automobiles adventure to get into Manhattan. 

Bryan's sorority pose...hahahaha I love him

We took the train into Penn Station, and then walked (A LOT OF BLOCKS) to our hotel. Walking a lot of blocks never bothers me. However, trying to keep a group of about ten people together while navigating through Times Square at about 6pm on a Thursday with a lot of luggage was more challenging than I anticipated. But now it's just funny. Plus, Bryan is really nice and pulled my bags a long time for me before I wigged out.

I have never seen so many pizzas consumed in such a short amount of time. On our last visit, Bryan and I ate at John's but I don't remember it being so delicious because my tongue was numb for a few days (what does that even mean?)

Friday morning, my sister and I woke up to a text from my mom, with this picture:

Just, you know. My parents hanging out with a bald eagle at Fox News. (Also, I look like that bald eagle when I wake up in the morning).

We all planned to meet in front of the library (the one I want to live in) right before the parade. 

But first - BREAKFAST.

Directly across the street from where we would sit for the parade was a restaurant called The Shop, at the Andaz hotel.

Have you ever eaten at a place that feels well above and beyond your socio-economic status, so you feel the need to take photos to document it (thus negating any attempt to try and blend in)? Well, we did. And I might talk about that breakfast forever. 

Among us we had basil and parmesan scrambled eggs, virginia ham, and griddle bread. A lemon poppyseed pancake with fresh oranges and orange syrup, and brioche french toast with cinnamon and apple raisin compote. With the freshest coffee in a mug without a handle (even though it was kind of burning me I still loved it).


Our little bleachers in the wind. I was sockless in ballet flats. Which I now recognize as being brainless. In situations like these, you learn the art of body blocking the wind. It was still really fun to remember we were all in New York together, though.

There it is! (With some parents driving the truck down 5th Avenue).
De Oppresso Liber
After the parade we all split up to rest, or study, or re-gain circulation in our limbs. 

Then everyone got dolled up for the reception - with an appearance by Vice President Joe Biden. What?

Things I didn't think through: 

-Wearing tall heels when walking and functioning as a normal human is required (by the end of the evening, I was walking like a praying mantis)

-Trying to hail a cab for five people (and secretly praying the one we do successfully capture is not the Cash Cab)

-Trying to make it downtown in a cab right after a parade on a Friday afternoon...

It was a first time cab ride for almost everyone in the car, so that was fun.

We made it downtown on time, and took an excessive amount of photos that I will try to limit at this time (if you are still even reading at this point).


The ground zero flag. It was carried earlier in the day in the parade, and then hung for the reception. Seeing it in person takes your breath away.

The most important thing about this photo is the fact that my eye is shaped IDENTICALLY to one of the Wii Mii eyes. DOES ANYONE ELSE SEE IT?

 My beautiful Marmee. And my hand, shaped like a raptor's claw.

Marm and (some of) her girls. Camille and I do not look related.

Can you spot the secret service agents?

 Biden, chatting with the parents. He's a cloooooose talker. But very nice. And consequentially, pretty funny because he cusses in his speeches.

 The whole lot of us.

I had to leave verrrrry early in the morning the next day to fly out for a trip. My family had a fun day in the city, and Camille captured some great photos.

 Wall Street. Occupied.

 Ground Zero Memorial. Stunning.

Central Park. And that tiny boy's face! I die.

Autumn in New York, guys. There's nothing like it. 

I don't think I really understood how thankful I am for our veterans before that weekend. Seeing a parade with men and women that suffered extensive injuries and were so willing to sacrifice their lives and bodies and time and well-being for the freedom of our country is sobering. Even more so when you witness their passion and willingness to do it all over again. So much we take for granted.

My deepest thanks to our soldiers.


  1. You are lovely. All of you. What a wonderful celebration of Veterans' Day.

  2. I love you, Cailyn. You are my most thankful commenter and I am always so grateful for the things you say. Tis true.

  3. this is so cool! what an experience. and you and that boy are pretty stinkin' cute!!! =)


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