Sunday, July 11, 2010
4th of July in NYC
This post is a bit long. It emcompasses 2 weeks, since we left for our NYC trip on a Thursday and returned the following Wednesday, and I didn't get a draft started before we left on our time up until the trip. I will try to be brief with the time that was not spent vacationing to focus on our trip, but we did do a few things worth mentioning on either side.
The Monday before NYC was spent doing errands and going to the dr's office. Keira had the ultimate meltdown when I picked her up from the gym's childcare, and I didn't want too long before getting her in with our upcoming trip. She had an ear infection that was causing her some pain, so we were glad we got her started on an antibiotic today so that she wouldn't get anyone sick on our trip.
Tuesday was a fun day. Keira was feeling a lot better after her treatment had started for her ears, so we went to "Puppets in the Park" at Fuerst Park by her school. It was pretty cute, and Soren was pretty stressed in the beginning. He was trying to hide in my lap at the start.
He did warm up and enjoy the show.
Keira posing for a shot in her pettiskirt.
I never tire of seeing Soren with these silly glasses on.
Our lilies were in full bloom, and we were glad we caught them and got to enjoy them before our trip.
We also went to Maybury that evening to get in some exercise. We ran into Ryan's friend Rob who was with his two children. Keira and Soren enjoyed playing with them on the playground.
Wednesday was spent getting ready for the trip. The kids had fun playing at home, and I got in a brick at Island lake with Valerie, Cristina, and Julie. I am also getting to know some of the other ladies a bit better.
Thursday morning, I got in an 8 mile run with Valerie and the kids. This was my long run of the week, and as it turned out, my last run for a while. We had a rather uneventful drive to Clearfield, PA.
We took our pack n play out of the car at the last minute because we wouldn't need it at Tyler and Minde's, so we didn't have the bedding for it when we got to the hotel. Soren and Keira ended up sleeping in the full bed together. I actually slept with them for quite a bit of the night too.
On Friday, we finished up the drive to NYC. It was Tyler's birthday, and Minde had cupcakes ready when we arrived. Soren and Riley enjoyed theirs.
We hit the Shake Shack for some take out, and ate it while the kids played on a playground. We hit lots of playgrounds for the kids during this trip. We also got some cookies from the Levain Bakery, which are excellent, and seen on the Throwdown with Bobby Flay for chocolate chip cookies. The chocolate peanut butter cookies are the best.
We also did the Highline, which is an old rail line turned into a garden. It was pretty, and it gave the kids a chance to run around a bit. Probably one of the highlights was when Keira and Chase shared an ice cream cone.
We then hit another playground which was new to Tyler and Minde. It had this cool slide that was built into a rock feature. It was very fast, and Soren bonked his face on it a bit.
Next, we went out to dinner for some really great Mexican to celebrate Tyler's birthday. They had this guacamole cart where they made it fresh right in front of you. I am typically not a fan of guacamole, but this was AMAZING! We did have to resort to iPods to keep the kids entertained through the meal.
We also got a nice view of the Empire State Building illuminated for the 4th.
On Sat, we started off at the Morningside playground that is close to Tyler and Minde's place.
Then, we stopped at the Donut Plant for some excellent donuts. They had such unique and rich flavors.
Thankfully, we headed to the Brooklyn Bridge to walk off some of those donuts.
Once on the other side, we had planned to get some pizza, but the line was insane, so we had some ice cream instead. Keira got her own cone this time, and Soren slept through the most of it, and was ok with only a few tastes.
We tried to go to the Transit Museum, but it ended up being closed due to the holiday weekend. The kids didn't really care since they didn't know what they were missing. Soren LOVES the trains, and was constantly asking to go on them.
We went to Grand Central Station to let them watch the trains as a consolation to the museum. Nana bought wooden subway trains for Keira, Soren, and Chase, and it has been Soren's favorite thing to play with.
We also went to Bryant Park, where the kids could run around some more. Soren was very concerned with the fact that the lawn was closed and he wasn't allowed in the grass, but enjoyed the carosel.
We entered the Wicked Lottery, and Linda's name was drawn! We were only able to purchase 1 ticket since hers was the final name drawn, but we took it and I was able to go see the show that evening. Ryan and I had some German food together as a date, while Kris, Linda, Tyler, and Minde took Keira and Soren back to their place. I really enjoyed the show. My seat was in the front row, center section, on the right side of the stage. The story is really cute, and the costumes and performance was excellent.
On Sunday, we attended church with Tyler and Minde. I stayed with Soren the entire time for nursery, and he did well since I was there. The nursery leaders played a train game that Soren loved. They took pictures and sent out a little newsletter so I have a picture of Soren having fun playing train.
We had a barbeque style lunch with ribs, brats, and corn on the cob for lunch after church at Tyler and Minde's with homemade raspberry ice cream for dessert. We kept things low key for the kids in the afternoon since we knew it would be a late night, being the 4th. Since the fireworks were on the Hudson River this year, and Tyler's office overlooks the river, it was a great set up. Tyler was able to get us all into his office to use the 10th floor balcony for viewing the fireworks. They had 6 barges worth of fireworks, and we could see all 6 barges clearly. We got there fairly early, and Soren amused himself by checking out the trains nearby and playing with the rocks. It was breezy on the patio, which kept us cool since it was so hot. All the kids enjoyed the fireworks and it was really an amazing time.
On Monday morning, Tyler still was off from work. Keira and Chase had so much fun playing with each other. They loved playing games and playing with the trains.
Once everyone was all ready, we rented bikes for a ride through Central Park. Ryan and I were surprised that it was not entirely flat. Soren slept on the back of the bike, and Keira and Chase enjoyed it. It was really hot, so when we finished one lap of the park and were close to having the bikes just an hour, we decided to return them and do the rest of our site seeing on foot.
We continued through Central Park and took a ride on the carosel there. It was much bigger, so Soren was a bit more hesitant, but had a good time. It went faster, so the pictures on our camera weren't that great. The next stop was a large playground with lots of water to play in. Most of the parks have some amount of water sprayers in them, which was a blessing and a curse because we didn't want Soren to get his clothes all wet. This time, we put on everyone's suits so they could splash away.
Our next stop we hit Columbus Circle to check it out. Keira and Chase enjoyed the turntable and the lego Times Square in the Samsung store. The chocolate bouchon store was closed for the holiday.
Then we headed over to try to win lottery tickets for "In the Heights". Minde's name and Kris's name were both called, but we just took one pair and Ryan and I were able to see the show together this time. It was a fun story with great dancing. In fact, one of the numbers was actually performed on So You Think You Can Dance's results show once we got home. It was very appropriate that we saw it as this time, because it takes place during the 4th of July and it is super hot, which it was for us as well. We had great seats, front row, center section again, only on the left side.
On our final full day in the city, we went to South Seaport. It was very very hot again today. We checked out the ships and ate lunch inside the mall in Pier 17. We enjoyed walking around and getting some good views of the Brooklyn Bridge. We also had more ice cream, and walked through the financial district. We went to see Ground Zero, which looks mostly like a construction zone now. We stopped inside Trinity Church, and sat for a few minutes. Soren really enjoyed listening to the music. He said, "bye bye song" as we left, and he was really mellow. He eventually fell asleep. We also went to the Rockafeller Center and had fun inside the Lego Store. I took Keira to the American Girl store where she was able to pick out a dress for her bitty baby. I am glad we did this the last day because she kept asking when she could have her doll (which as at home) to dress her up.
It was a really fun trip, but we were ready to come home. We got on the road fairly early on Wednesday to drive home. The drive was thankfully very uneventful, and took up the entire day. We are thankful for the wonderful hospitality that we received from Tyler and Minde, and that we were able to have so much help from them and Kris and Linda with the kids to be able to enjoy ourselves as well. It was so wonderful to see the interactions between the cousins too. Everyone had such a great time.
On Thursday, we had a lazy day. Keira and Soren were able to open up Soren's lego set and had a blast with it.
Soren was missing eating all the ice cream from the trip, and carried around the fake cone a lot.
I was able to get in a lap at Maybury before it rained. It had rained in the night, so it was pretty soggy. Ryan decided against riding Maybury in hopes of riding a road bike ride that evening, but it was rained out.
Friday was another lazy day. I brought the kids to the gym while Ryan went on a short road bike ride. We also were able to go to a storytime at the library. Keira and Soren both had fun. We also checked out some Rolie Polie Olie books that Keira enjoyed reading with Chase.
I made some cupcakes last night, and Soren made such the mess with the icing on his face.
Our daisies looked fabulous when we got back! Our neighbor took great care of our plants.
Keira was pretty exhausted from the trip, and when I announced that we were going to go with Ryan to the Novi Town Center while he got his haircut, she had a total meltdown and said she wanted to go to sleep. Needless to say, she was out for the night at 5pm. As a result, the rest of the evening was spent at home. Ryan picked up some take out from Pei Wei for dinner, and Soren had a late night. I was a bit worried about how the next day would go, knowing that Ryan would be gone most of the day for his century ride.
On Saturday, Ryan went to Chelsea, MI fo the One Helluva Ride 100 mile bike ride. They started off with the fast group of Wolverines and hung with them for the first 70 miles, averaging 22.4mph, and then finished up at a more reasonable pace. He still finished with an average of 21.3mph. Great Job Ryan! Keira had wanted to get all dressed up today. I oblidged.
While Ryan was riding, I stopped over to Botsford to check out the indoor tri that Cristina was in charge of. She was using it as s sampling opportunity for Marathon Bar. It was funny, when I walked in, we matched! After checking it out, I headed over to Island Lake to get in my long run for the week, which also happened to be my first run in over a week.
It was warm, and I had planned to run from the parking lot at Island lake to Kensington, around the loop there, as well as teh penisula to Turtlehead. My garmin didn't charge, so I didn't have all my details on speed and distance, but I am estimating I went around 12 miles based on how long it took. Keira did great in the stroller, and Soren slept for the second hour. We stopped a few times, whenever I needed gels, to refill my bottle, and Keira needed a bathroom break. We also took a few pictures of things we saw along the way.
As a carrot at the end of our stick for running this long route, I had packed all of our swimming gear and we planned to swim in Kent lake at the end of my run. It was a bit hard for Keira to see all the water and the other beaches part of Kent Lake and have them not be the one we planned to swim in. She did really well, though. Keira and Soren had a great time playing in the water. I saw several people I knew out there, including Valerie and Barb.
We were gone almost the entire time Ryan was gone. I was just finishing getting cleaned up when he got home, so once he was ready, we had a nice family dinner at Macaroni Grill and just relaxed at home. It was a great day.
On Sunday, we had another much needed lazy day. We attended church and I attended Ward Council afterwards. Ryan enjoyed watching the World Cup and the Tour de France today as well. I had been working on organizing the kids room since we got back from our trip, and they had more fun playing in their room.
Up for next week, we will have more of the usual. No big plans yet, but we always seem to find things to do.