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Sunday, April 5, 2015

goes to the big apple!

Sally gets the credit for this spring break trip. Peter was the motivator for Senegal and it was Sally that has wanted a NYC trip since her 8th birthday.  So instead of her special trip- yes we still owe her one-we made it part of Spring Break '15!  And what a great trip it was….thank you Sally!

So here is the basic outline of what was accomplished, visited in the big city and why…because this blog is all about the why, just a bit…future blog entries will give further details and/or insights.

-We went by train from BMI into Penn Station.  Anyone who knows my Dad knows why we went by train.  Pap loves trains and so having him with us on the kids first train experience was pretty special.

-Our family walked across the Brooklyn Bridge.  Joe had done this, Joe and Pap read McCullough's book and it was something I always wanted to do so it was my one thing we had to do.

We asked the kids to give us the one thing they really wanted to do in NYC and we would do our best as we made our plans….

-We rode the subway.

-We went to Time Square- this was Sally's 1 thing to do.

-We checked into our hotel- we walked there from Penn Station- we went with Doubletree and the cookies were a nice treat to welcome us from our fist adventures.

-We regrouped and went to Grand Central Terminal by cab.  Kids roamed for food- Clare got her Magnolia Bakery Cupcake- her 1 thing to do- we talked her into Magnolia vs Sprinkles. They found great NY style pizza. Joe enjoyed catching up with DU friend in the bar overlooking the main concourse while Mom, Dad and I sat at the counter at the Oyster Bar…ahhhhhh and ate oysters!!

-Peter's 1 thing- Madison Square Garden….when we heard this at the dinner table Joe and I looked at one another and sort of shrugged, made frowns…to give Joe credit- he looked into the schedule and tickets but it wasn't to be…until the week prior to departure the NIT popped into our radar and yes, Peter, my Dad, Clare and Joe were able to take in the semi finals- so not one but two games and one of the teams playing- a team Peter loves- Miami Hurricanes.  They had a magical night- really special. This is evidence the universe is a good place and you must name your desires.

-Meanwhile Mom, Sally and I headed to Ellen's Stardust Diner to hear the singing wait staff. We waited in line in the rain for an hour- nice tourist shared an umbrella and once seated on the rail we enjoyed an Irish coffee!! Sally had hot chocolate!  The singing really was worth it and put us in a NY state of mind.

This was just our first day- pretty good, all 3 of the kids NY to dos- check!

Day 2- Bagels- NY bagel's didn't disappoint!  A few blocks south landed us in a yummy shop- the cream cheese is something not talked enough about…wow! We then headed north on the subway to the American Natural History Museum.  We checked out the Night at the Museum features and other highlights. It is a big space and we covered a lot of ground.  Keeping with that theme we left the museum and headed to Central park.  Belvedeer Castle was open so we climbed to the top for lovely views.  A casual walk south was fun with the sun shining. We landed at FAO Schwartz and The Plaza. The afternoon wrapped up with a long walk down 6th and back to Time Square, pizza for lunch and the opportunity to dress for dinner.

Another highlight of the trip was connecting with one of our Denison sitter's. Callie babysat all four of her years with us.  She met us for a drink at 5 and it was really fun catching up and learning about her life in the city.  Spending Peter and Pap/Dad's birthday in the city was great!  We had bought our musical theater tickets when we were all together at Tgiving.  Happily the King and I was opening in March and we took opportunity to make it the birthday celebration.  A good friend's daughters (also born on April 1) gave the recommendation for China Grill! Low and behold it is where I celebrated a dear friend's 50th birthday during my last NYC visit.  The restaurant worked well and all were pleased. Drunken chicken and the caramel souffle were highly regarded and we'd all recommend.

Some of us cabbed and some of us walked to the Lincoln Center for the classic show- the weather was lovely for a brisk walk- getting warmer and warmer.  Broadway is Broadway for a reason and it didn't disappoint. This beautiful production captured every one's attention and heart. Kelli O Hara was something to experience- what a voice.  The sets are really gorgeous and the story so beautiful.  Life lessons all around.  I'll never forget looking over at the expressions on every one's face. Even Joe who thought he and Peter should be at MSG considered the show a highlight of the trip.  more details-

We slept well again and prepared for day 3 in the citee….

-Ellis Island- waved and got great photos of the Statue of Liberty.
-Audio tour of EI- kids enjoyed and liked it more than they thought they would.  The architecture alone is worth the effort- getting an early start is so important!!
-Wall Street and the Finacial District Bull! We found pizza as I had yet to enjoy!!
-Freedom Tour-World Trade Center Memorials- beautiful, sacred spaces- really a must see. We didn't make it to the museum this trip but will return.
-A walk through Chelsea Market and then a walk north on the high line-  I think everyone should do this  My parents did it a few hours ahead of us and would agree!  Next trip- lunch at Chelsea Market as part of High Line experience.
-back to hotel- catch-up time with Nana and Pap outside of the hotel.  Lovely lovely spring day!
-walked up Broadway- trip through big Macy's bonus- flower show - and lots of people watching. Kids don't get what I consider real department store visits and Macy's does it best!
-Dinner reservations with friends we haven't seen in years, before we settled in to the restaurant we took in Time Square and more landmark visits. Not to mention giggles and people watching.
-Family style Italian yumminess with good people was the ideal way to end this great trip!  Carmine's delighted us all.
-But wait-the night wasn't over in the city that doesn't sleep….the NIT final game at Madison Square Garden was on our walk home….9 pm game-we secured tickets easily!  Miami vs Stanford in the infamous sporting arena- yay Peter, yay Joe.  Clare and Peter ended up with seats few rows up from the bench and us across the way in the lower bowl- so fun to watch them enjoy the really good, really close into OT battle! Stanford won and we headed home for another good night's sleep.

The train was full on the way home but we paired up well- Daddy and I sat together- I helped a bit with his cross word puzzle. Nana, Sally and Clare found seats all nearby and Peter and Joe were united.  We saw the scenery again- Philadelphia zoo when traveling north is worth paying attention to after the station.  We recapped, read and rested and called the travels a wrap.

Our time in Maryland was lovely on both ends- Sarah and family were part of our start-up- giggles, and cousin bonding time that only happens in person.  Quality time with Mom and Dad caring for us and vice versa- I cherish each moment.  Life on Newark-Granville Road had a full fabulous week on the east coast and in the city, NYC!

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