Sunday, August 2, 2015

NYC/DC Part 1

As promised... back today with a fun summer update. 

Daniel had to spend 10 days in Germany for work so the kids and I loaded up in the swagger wagon and headed north. Our 1st stop was a quick layover in Washington DC to see Beth and break up the drive. Beth is a good friend from college who just moved into the CUTEST apartment in Alexandria, VA. The kids thought it was fabulous. Beth was a saint to sleep on the couch while the 3 of us took over her bed... and bathroom thanks to a stomach bug Avery couldn't seem to shake. Let's just say Avery reverted to pull ups for this trip since public NYC bathrooms are few and far between. 

Strollin' Alexandra, VA in the stroller I purchased specifically for this trip! PSA- Don't sell your stroller until you're really really sure you'll never use it again! That said, this Baby Jogger City Mini Double was awesome and super easy to use in NYC! I couldn't have done this trip without it!.
We loved walking around Alexandria but my favorite part (other than Beth's company) was dinner at Austin Grill where I consumed a burrito the size of a small child along with beefy cheese dip and one of the world's best margaritas.  Obviously, I was very diet conscious this trip. 

The next morning, we continued our journey to NYC. We got a bit of a later start than I intended so that put us in the middle of Manhattan at 4pm on a Friday. Driving a minivan through Manhattan at 4pm on a Friday could be a blog post in and of itself but let's just say it took an hour to drive what my GPS said would take 12 minutes and ended with wine when I arrived. I have to say, I was really proud of myself (and the kids!) for making the trip. I'd do it again but I think next time I'm going to try the DC to NYC train! 
After Kelly (my sister) got home and my hands regained feeling and blood flow, we walked to dinner at an authentic NYC pizza shop. It was a hit!

That night, we needed to run some wiggles out so we met Kelly's "special friend" Zack for ice cream and a stroll to a park in Brooklyn. The kids loved seeing the city from Kelly's rooftop at sunset. Parker was on the look out for superheroes and bad guys the entire 4 days we were in NYC.

The next morning, we were up and out by 9am. The kids insisted that I pack their costumes so they could fight bad guys. Their basis of knowledge of NYC comes from Spiderman and Avenger books so understandably so, they expected to need to fight some crime. Much to their dismay, everyone we met was wonderfully nice except for the 40+ ladies in the line for the bathroom in Central Park. I could have really used a superhero then! 
One of the things they were MOST excited to do was ride the subway. It was a hit! The kids loved the whole subway experience, homeless people, jazz musicians, turnstiles and all.  I did NOT share their enthusiasm for the stinky crowds and lack of windows/natural light but I definitely enjoyed watching them have fun!
The best part about this picture is that no one cared that my kids were in costume. Most people didn't look twice. Gotta love New Yorkers. Not much phases them.
 We went to FAO Schwartz before it closed in July. This was so cool for me because it's always fun making memories with your own kids that your parents made with you. Once the temp hit in the 90's, I took the kids superhero costumes off and promised them if I saw a super villain, I'd put them back on.
This lady photo bombed EVERY ONE of my FAO Schwartz pictures with the iconic Toy Soldiers.
Avery loved the "BIG" piano!
Parker's dreams came true when he got to meet Iron Man. $28 later, we are the proud owners of these photos. At this point, I was unaware you can take pictures with every character under the sun at Times Square for a $3 donation.

We left FAO Schwartz with a $28 photo, $5 kitty in a purse and Kelly on the verge of an anxiety attack. Central Park was our next stop. We enjoyed the Central Park Zoo, lunch on Shepard's Field, hours at the play grounds, consuming street hot dogs and riding the carousel. 

The kids loved these tall, steep, metal slides. Screw safety.... these were a blast once you got past the initial rump roast.
Playground Fun
Petting Zoo in Central Park
Avery took petting a little far and began hugging the animals.
They both loved this "spider web" in the Central Park Zoo
 After spending hours of fun in Central Park, we made a Starbucks stop then headed to Times Square. Parker immediately knew where he was based on Spiderman books! Avery napped on the stroller ride from Central Park to Times Square and woke up just in time for a photo op with Olaf!
Parker was SO SO excited to see all the superheroes in one place. He kept running to me asking for $3 to give (insert superhero). He's already requested I frame these photos for his room. They've become a prized possession.
Iron Man Mark 42
Iron Man and Iron Patriot
Times Square!

After Times Square, we grabbed a street pretzel before walking the streets and soaking in the city. Eventually, we hopped on the subway and headed back to Brooklyn for a quick rest before heading back out to walk the East River area. Brooklyn also has some beautiful parks and riverfront views! If you visit NYC, make sure to pop over the river!
I obviously struggle to select only a few photos so I'm going to stop here and do a part 2 tomorrow (hopefully! No promises!). 

This trip was so successful because we did mostly kid friendly activities which was still a blast for my sister and I. Traveling to NYC was a wonderful experience and I absolutely recommend taking your kids! In my next post, I'll add a few tips for doing NYC with little ones.
I've decided to end {most} post with a "what I'm listening to" video since 2 of you messaged me that you loved the last song I posted. That's about 50% of my readers, so I figured I'd keep it up.

Today I've got "Holy Spirit" performed by Kim Walker (Jesus Culture) at the Passion Conference on repeat. I love this song of invitation to the Lord.

Enjoy your Sunday evening, friends!


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