Sunday, August 26, 2012

New York City - Video

This post has a lot of pictures. I thought about breaking it up in multiple posts, but lost the motivation to sort all the picture (some phone, some "real"). I'll try to keep it as to the point as I can.

We decided to make a very quick trip up to NYC. Brian's fantasy football draft was on Saturday, and he wanted to draft in person with his friend, Josh, who lives in Manhattan. I wanted to go along for the ride!

We hosted a family - old friends - on Thursday night (post & pics to come), and took off Friday morning after they left around 9:15
somebody was tired on the drive up:-) It took us 7hrs to get there, thankfully they live *just* on the other side of the George Washington Bridge, so it's really as close as it could be to us.

driving, and happy for a road trip. They were very well behaved, and only got a little hyper between hrs 6 & 7. Note, never drive further than this until they're older.
We were essentially only in the city for one day (Saturday), so we tried to fit in as much as we could reasonably do, that was still of interest to the kids. There was quite a bit that *I* would have liked to do, but I knew it would be too much walking and not so fun/interesting for them. So first thing Saturday morning we took the train uptown a few stops to Broadway & Dyckman (Josh lives at Broadway & 142nd), and we went to the neighborhood where Brian's parents grew up. We let the kids play in the same park that Brian used to play in when he was a little boy. Sure enough, the park had all the exact same metal play structures as used to be there in the 80's!
Vintage park equipment. Brian used to play at this park when he was little!

Play time!
I bet this slide gets hot! This particular play structure was a newer addition to the park

They loved to get close to the pigeons. They must not be my children.
We walked across the street to take some pics in the courtyard of Grandma Kavanagh's building.
So pretty.

Grandma's entry on the left, and the entrance to the buildings & courtyard...Brian used to play wall ball in there, he says:-)

Another courtyard picture
About to get back on the train. Of course they are very fast and loud, and Grey was not a fan of that. They were on the subway in DC last year for the first time in their lives, but Grey was too young to remember it. Also note, I had to repeatedly say "don't pick up stuff off the ground", "don't rub the wheel of the stroller, they're dirty", and "don't put your mouth on that" ALL DAY LONG. They seemed to have no concept of things being dirty and having been touched by a million other people. Gross. Immune systems? Never been stronger. (I mention this, as Grey had been licking this railing, and I thought the pic caught him in the act, but I missed it)
We decided to take the kids to the Museum of Natural History. Josh's wife and 3 children were out of town visiting her family (bummer on the timing there, big time!), so we borrowed their seasons pass and hit the road! It was of course, amazing, and the kids had a blast.
Yay! Dinosaurs!

He was captivated. It was really neat to see him "get it". Again, we were at the Smithsonian in DC last summer, so the older kids have seen similar before, but Grey did not remember it at all.

Brian (green hat) on the ground, 3 kids up higher in the background. I could not get the entire dinosaur (an Apatosaurus) in a single picture. Massive is an understatement.
Grey love the skeletons, and kept exclaiming "dey bite my head off!! No, dey can't, dey in a cage!"

Grey said this was "a big wock (rock), wiff arms"

Trying to figure out what something is, hanging up on the ceiling

They thought Uncle Brent could hunt this!

Grey requested a picture of this little guy. "He's sooooo cute!"
The window vignettes are simply amazing

Elephants! A whole herd of them
We needed to break for lunch, and given the enormity of the building, I figured it would be faster and easier to eat in the museum, than to leave and find food elsewhere, and return...
This meal cost $23, and fed all four of us. I have never been so grateful for kids that don't eat a lot! lol. I'd have been broke otherwise!

A big huge head

Huge whale in the background there, thanks to another museum patron for volunteering to take our picture...I made it IN one!

It's a mammoth, like in Ice Age:-) We borrowed Ruby Jane's awesome stroller (Josh's daughter) to get around town with ease.
Brian left us at the Museum right before lunch, and went to meet up with Josh for some male bonding time:-) Josh and Brian have been friends since they were about 12 I think, and Josh is a district manager for Starbucks in NYC. He actually opened and managed the brand new flagship store in Times Square, and once he got it running and off the ground, he left that one store to manage many, many stores. He and Brian took a little tour around to visit some of Josh's stores.
Here is Josh & Brian, at the 30 Rock Starbucks (Rockefeller Center). This is one of his stores!
Living in NYC would be quite an adventure, with little kids. Kudos to Heather (Josh's wife), I'm sure she has it all down to a science. I'm new to this idea --last time I was in NYC was in 2004, and I had no children. Easy peasy. Add in multiple children and you need eyes everywhere and very obedient children...and you have to walk a lot...and you have to take the trains...all the subway are obviously underground and accessed by stairwells from the street. There are no elevators. Stroller fun. While Brian was with me, we carried it down. I was left to make my way home from the Museum sans help, as the boys were off doing their thing. This was fine with me entirely. I can read maps, I can follow directions, I don't get lost easily, and I'm not nervous or scared about navigating my way through the city. We had to walk about 3 blocks / 15 minutes to get from the museum to the subway (I needed the Red 1 train, and had arrived from a different way on the C train, since we came from Grandma Kavanagh's but were returning to Josh's) Anyway, it was a few minutes to get there. Grey promptly fell asleep...
So I had Kenna & Brooks go down the stairs and wait against the wall at the bottom. I strapped the bag across my shoulders, held the sleeping child (heavy as lead) in one arm and pulled the bouncing stroller along behind me. I would have asked for help, but no one else was going down. It was fine and he stayed asleep. Getting back off the train, I did the same thing coming up, stroller bouncing along behind me - Kenna and Brooks behind me this time, and I surpassed another 2 ladies trying to wrangle their stroller up the steps. I have some sore muscles today:-) But I do think that if I had to, I could do it. I always wondered how on earth people did it, and now I know. It's lots more work, but doable
Another joy of living in the Josh and Heather have a sweet 4 bedroom apartment. With a verrrrrry long hallway. This was so much temptation for my kids to run. I mean, a hall like that is *meant* for running races, isn't it? Well, maybe, but not if you live on the second floor, and to quote Josh "walk like a toddler who's the weight of a kindergartener" lol. Grey is an elephant! The downstairs neighbour actually came up to complain about him. Ooops! We tried very hard to learn how to walk quietly. We have renters upstairs, so we know how to BE quiet, not how to WALK quiet:-)
Great hallway, with the bedrooms and bathrooms coming off of it all the way down.
There was quite I bit I want to do in the city - Go to Central Park (location of our engagement), and go to the Statue of Liberty, visit the Times Square Starbucks Josh opened (kind of a big deal!)...
But only being there one day I wanted to do something the kids would enjoy, and not walk them to death looking at things they don't care about. Starbucks at home! Times Square another time!
We arrived home late afternoon to discover the "boys" deep in preparation for their fantasy football draft. They spent the afternoon touring the city a little, but had to allow themselves enough time to study.
If you didn't know better, you might think they were really working hard...which actually they were. Lol. This is a serious league for them (12 teams, all friends/guys that we worked in Chicago with). Serious, serious business. I was actually told during the draft that I could help myself to the their food, as long as I did not speak. It was said in jest. But I knew better and kept my mouth shut, lol!! They intended to go out and celebrate the draft after it was done (for dinner), but after-drafting calculations and projections kept them busily involved until midnight!
And Sunday morning, we left around home at 6pm. It was a GREAT trip and we loved it so much! A huge thank you to Josh for hosting us, and a big we missed you to Heather, Joey, Bobby & Ruby Jane. Thanks for letting us use all your toys & stroller. Next time, I am determined to stay for more than one day!
Brian bought these glasses in the city, while he was NOT WITH ME. I hate them. $10 wasted, in my opinion. hah!! He maintains he likes them...blech

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