Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Take me out to the ballgame

Last week my dad and I went to the season opener for Trenton Thunder. As the stadium is halfway between our homes we each drove to Waterfront Park. Trenton Thunder is now in it's 18th season. Over the years I have become friendly with the staff and some season ticket holders. As I passed familiar ticket takers and fans, people asked me if my family (meaning Don and Ashley) were joining me that night. I said no, but my dad is. The universal response was how nice it was I was spending time with my dad and that I should treasure the time I have with my parents.

As the oldest of three daughters, I really treasure the times I spend alone with my parents. My memories do not go back to the three years when I was an only child, though the photo album goes back that far and it looks like we had a lot of fun together. It is great the Koetting side lives close enough that my sisters and their husbands and their kids and our aunts and uncles and cousins can all gather together several times a year. It is also a treasure when the visits are smaller and more intimate. When we can just sit back and talk, and perhaps also watch a baseball game.

Now that dad is retired, hopefully we can have more father / daughter outings at Waterfront Park.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Statue of Liberty

After months of planning, Don, Ashley and I went to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island this past weekend. While looking out on our snow covered lawn on January 9th I made reservations to climb to the crown of the Statue of Liberty on April 16th, a day that we thought would be the perfect Spring Day. As the day drew closer and the forecast called for cold rain, we hesitated about making the trip. As you can see in the above picture, we had Liberty Island almost to ourselves and the rain held until the ride home.

Don and I had both been to the Statue of Liberty a couple of times. Each time it was extremely crowded, and hot (well, it was summer) and our view at the top was rushed because the people immediately behind us also wanted to see. If this was your experience, it is time to go back.

Tickets now must be purchased months in advance:

Every 20 minutes the Park Rangers send up a group of 10 people. We climbed all 200+ steps at our own pace. At the top were two Park Rangers telling us what we are seeing, and that swaying is normal. They also took our picture and let us take as much time as we wanted. About 20 minutes later we began the descent on the other side of the double-helix staircase.

We wandered around the museum in the pedestal and then boarded the boat to Ellis Island. Ashely and I had read lots of books about people coming through Ellis Island. We also watched their movie. Nothing compares, though, to seeing the place. It was quiet there, too.

The best part of the day was seeing Ashley's eyes sparkle with amazement at the entire experience. Each time she saw Lady Liberty that day she couldn't believe she actually climbed to the top of her.

She couldn't wait to see her classmates and tell them about her weekend.

If you do plan to go, order tickets soon because the Statue of Liberty will be closed starting in November for scheduled maintenance. Climbing to the crown was definitely the highlight of our trip.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


As many of you know, the three of us in addition to performing, we enjoy sitting in the audience. The experience is even more fun when we know someone in the cast.

Recent shows include seeing Chris Kubat as Motel in "Fiddler on the Roof"

Hayden Clark in "South Pacific."

Kate Mochnacz in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."

Tell us about the shows you are involved with and hopefully we can see you on stage, too.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lawrenceville Patch

As many of you know, with Ashley in school full-time, I have been looking for a part time job that would grant me a lot of flexibilty. Ideally, I wanted a position that would allow me to do something I enjoy and can use my brain to do.

Last December my sister, Rebecca, was offered a position as the editor for the Franklin Lakes Patch -- an online newsource dedicated to events happening in one town. As luck would have it, Lawrenceville was about to launch a similar product. She put me in touch with the editor, and I was hired in December to take pictures of all the schools and parks in Lawrenceville -- about 20 different locations. went live on December 28. It took a few weeks to figure out how I could fit into the Patch. In the middle of February the editor offered me the opportunity to write two columns a week -- one called Whiz Kids and the other In the Schools. Whiz Kids features a student living in Lawrenceville who is doing something a bit inspirational. Through this column I have met some amazing students.

In the Schools has sort of taken on a life of its own. I cover the smaller good will events that happen in schools, but are never covered by the local media. I have covered school plays, guest speakers, student-led programs -- basically anything and everything happening in our schools.

Following are links to some of my articles. In most cases, I have also taken the pictures thar are linked to the articles. Enjoy!

LMS Play:

Dr. Seuss Day:

St. Baldrick's fundraiser:

Whiz Kids:

LIS Student Leadership Program:


Saturday night was opening night for Ashley's school production of "Annie." Ashley plays Orphan Kate, one of Annie's friends. She had a great time making new friends while singing and dancing to "It's a Hard Knock Life" and other famous tunes. It is a big commitment, but Ashley really thrives on stage.

After Saturday's show we went to local ice cream shop, The Purple Cow, for a celebration. All of Ashley's grandparents came to the show, along with theater friends: the Kubat and Levine families (plus Emily). It was great being able to visit with fellow actors and eat ice cream together.

The show continues again Friday night.