Kai had a continuing ed course on Friday, so we packed up and headed into the big city. Secretly I've been looking forward to this trip ever since I found out about it. I've never been to NYC before. Kai's been a few times, but it was a first for me. I LOVED it!! From the very first day, I fell in love. Kai was sitting through his course, so I took K to Central Park to play. The cool-ish start to the fall weather was refreshing. Joggers and walkers were everywhere running the expansive exclusive area of Central Park. I knew if I lived there, I would join them every morning. There is something to be said for having workout partners or even just an exercise mentality in an area like Central Park. It made me miss my 3 longtime workout partners from LL! We may have to make a trip back just so we can see all the good friends we miss and rejoin my workout classes for a week--haha :-)
Okay, back to NYC. Horns were honking, birds were singing, and I could smell fresh coffee brewing every few blocks. The city was alive! After 20 minutes of hunting for free parking, I found a spot, noticed I only had 3 hours until I had to move from that spot, and so I quickly unloaded the stroller. I left the diapers in the car thinking I could make it 3 hours without them. Wrong! Playgrounds dot the perimeter of the Park every few blocks. After getting a little exercise while K devoured his breakfast of Mini-Wheats, we found a great spot on the other side of the park. No sooner than I took K out of the stroller to play with the other kids, he promptly pooped his pants. Not the slight odor that can be ignored type, but rather the "I'M HERE AND PLAN TO MAKE MYSELF KNOWN" type. I debated long and hard and decided to give him some time to play before heading back across the park to change him. Besides, since I wasn't local, I figured no one could really hold it against me. I could be labeled the-mom-with-the-stinky-kid, but I wouldn't be around to deal with it. So K played and I talked. If anyone noticed the stink coming from my son, they didn't mention it thankfully. There were moms/nannies and kids galore! We had such a fun time playing and chatting. It was so nice to have mom conversations again. Soon enough I loaded him up, headed back and changed him, and took him to another park closer to our car. It was 3 hours well spent to start the weekend.
A typical self portrait taken on the subway.
This is taken at an amazing vegan restaurant that 4 separate friends (who don't even know each other) recommended, so we had to try it. Everything is organic and made from scratch. We started with an appetizer of ravioli and single servings of potato salad (pictured here) followed up by 2 entrees that were to die for. It was probably the best vegan food we've ever had! I have to come clean though. After an entire vegan dinner we topped it off with a big serving of "Birthday Cake Remix" ice cream from Cold Stone's.
These guys were playing in Grand Central Station and were awesome! We rocked it with them for several minutes en route to our next stop. They had a huge crowd which always makes it more fun.
Hans Christian Anderson (a long time family favorite) in Central Park
"Whoa! It's crowded in here!" Taking the subway around town. K flirted with all the girls and they all thought he was the most adorable thing. Of course it helps when they say, "Well, aren't you a handsome little guy!" to which he responds by signing "Thank you" which looks like he's blowing them a kiss. He makes lots of friends very quickly that way!
At ground zero on Sept. 11th. It was a very sobering experience. We watched part of the memorial on the hotel tv before we left since it was closed to anyone except family/etc. of the victims. I held it together pretty well until a roughly 10 year old boy stood up to read his portion of the names and at the end of his list paid tribute to his father killed in the attacks. Maybe it's my pregnancy hormones or maybe it's just being a parent, but I completely fell apart and turned into a blubbering mess. I can't imagine losing Kai and raising K to not know his amazing father. But I'm sure there were several families that found themselves in that tragic circumstance. My heart goes out to them.
I pulled it together and we went to see Ground Zero and the memorial under construction. It looks like it will be absolutely beautiful when it's completed. We saw protesters protesting that 9/11 was an inside job and other protesters protesting the mosque that's scheduled to be built 2 blocks from Ground Zero. I am in favor of religious freedom, but I also think there's something to be said for respect for the event that happened there. I personally think 2 blocks is a little too close to the tragic event that happened as a result of the extremists in the religion proposing the mosque. Religious freedom is everyone's constitutional right, but I think the issue at hand deals more with tact and respect than religious freedom.
A news van close to Ground Zero. All that comes to mind when I see this is that I'm sure a man designed this. I laugh every time. Enough said.
Brooklyn Bridge (I took this picture so I'm bragging just a little because I love how it turned out)
Walking the Brooklyn Bridge with Manhattan in the background. Quick embarrassing story: Apparently the baby hasn't moved up yet because I still have to pee all the time. I had to go before we started walking the bridge, but I couldn't find a bathroom anywhere. I figured I could make it to the other side and take care of it then. By the end of the bridge I was doing the potty walk and searching desperately for a bathroom. (Apparently all the Starbucks are on the Manhattan side, not the Brooklyn side.) The only place we found was a restaurant which had big signs declaring boldly that only customers could use the bathroom. We begged, I even played the pregnant card. No luck. We asked if we could just buy one of the packs of gum they had for sale at the register. "$2 minimum purchase." the hostess replied. 7 packs of gum later, the situation was resolved.
At the Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Center). You can see the Empire State Building and the World Trade Center memorial lights shining into the night sky.
Reaching through the glass to the nothingness 70 stories below.
At the Rockefeller Center Ice Arena (at least in the winter months). In the summer months it's a restaurant hot spot.
THE BIG PIANO!! At F.A.O. Schwarz Toystore. These players were amazing!
They asked us to come up and perform--Just Kidding! But we were first in line after the presentation :-)
"Almost, almost, almost..."
Near Times Square. Our hotel was right on Times Square which was perfect because it seemed to be the heart of the action, but it was a little tough to maneuver a stroller through the big crowds. We saw live concerts, comedy clubs, and more taking place outside for all to enjoy every time we strolled through.
It's hard to notice, but it was actually pouring rain. We gave up our umbrella for this picture and luckily you can't really tell that we're getting soaked, but we are. It's funny what we're willing to sacrifice for a picture. I never thought that would be good weather to see Lady Liberty in, but we had so much fun!
Here we are soaked and grabbing a burger on Liberty Island. I have 3 pictures like this and in all 3 at least 1 person is looking in a different direction, so I used this fantastic one of me looking like a ghost thanks to the flash ;-)
This was a much longer than usual post. I left out a fun little experience that I will make into another blog later this week. This was seriously as short as I could make this one. Thanks for making it through :-)