Tuesday, May 28, 2013

New York Minute

I will be playing a major blog catch up now.  
We just finished a 25 hour road trip between LA and Seattle.  We did it over 4 days which made it manageable for T.  We were so happy to spend 2 nights in Napa Valley with my mom's mom BestaGirl.  Upon arrival in Sammamish, my sister Heather + family decided to drive in to see us (yay!) and my sister Noelle who is close came with her fam too (yay)!  So we had a wonderful memorial day weekend together.  Now, Tuesday, things are settling down (just a bit) and I am sitting down to look at my computer for almost the first time in weeks. So, I am realizing that I have TOTALLY and completely dropped the ball on blogging, which, I am really not okay with since this has been the most varied and thrilling year in quite some time.  We have lived out of a suitcase for almost 5 months now and have about 2 more to go! 

I would love to do a post for each day of our layover in New York.
But, I am not going to.  

I am not claiming to know the first thing about this huge city, but hopefully after a few months of living there I'll be able to give people tips about where to go for brunch and which subway app is best.
Until then, here is our visit tourist style!
Our host, Brenda was so kind to pick us up at the airport, trailer and all!  It was lucky she had that because we had a few suitcases coming home from Costa Rica with us!
We did a food tour of Chelsea Market.  We weren't too impressed by the tour/guide, but chelsea market was really amazing.  We have about 20 more things to try there, and about 6 items to eat again.  Very impressive.  We met Sarabeth (famous baker) there and found a really fresh meat shop and some delightful chocolate milk.  Scott's oysters and our lobster bisque at The Lobster Place are two items we recommend for visitors.  Also, there is a bread shop with SUPER cheap, delicious sourdough.  And, a produce store that sells brocollini and other rare veggies you never see at your local maceys... (Did I mention we are really glad to get more and better produce outside of Utah?!?)
The second floor of the market is home to Food Network Corportate Offices.  
(If I could spend one hour with any current celebrity, it would be Carla Hall.)
The traditional Times Square. (we've been keeping up the tradition kim and jesse!)
Our heads are sort of lost in the sky, but we loved the highline- a chill place to relax and people watch.  Lots of good food to try up there.  I hear they do summer movie nights with popular shows projected onto brick buildings..?  Anyone have more info on that?!  (P.s.  It looks like we'll be in NYC starting in August, so hopefully we can do some NY activities before the cold winter comes.)

While we were at Chelsea Market/Highline, our host/friend Brenda watched T.  When our guide asked where our daughter was, I told him "Oh, she's at brunch with her nanny."  
That was possibly the most posh moment of my life.
Like I said, we didn't really jive with our tour guide, which is perhaps why I felt so comfortable being smart with him :)
But really, she wen't to brunch with Brenda and a few friends!
(Back at Highline a second time, a few days later)

I took one photo at Ground Zero with a serious face, and one smiling, just for good measure.
And, the serious face ended up looking really awkward.

My biggest regret of the trip was not taking the ferry out to the Statue of Liberty. Looks like I'll have more opportunities to make that happen.
Did I mention that the purpose of this trip was for Scott to stop in at Columbia University to meet the admissions committee? We had a layover through JFK on our way back from Costa Rica, and it worked out quite nicely for him to make some contacts and take a campus tour.  I really believe that Scott's almost immediate acceptance to Columbia was in part due to this visit, which would never have happened had we not gone to Costa Rica in the first place.  Heavenly Father totally has a plan for our lives!  

Our little lady is such a love.  
We brought some volcano mud mask (like, they scoop up mud at the volcano, but it in a bag, and sell it to tourists.  All natural.) and did them with Brenda and her sister Cara.  Those girls kept us up WAY past our bedtime!

They live in Astoria- a great place still on subway line, but a bit farther out near a city park and with street parking!
Times Square was smaller than I imagined it.  Still large and impressive, but I think it looks bigger on TV.

I think this was one of T's first and only times in a large, quiet public library.  She tends to scream.

Getting their M&M personalities read. 
I thought the Shake Shack was a lot of hype... I didn't really make eating here a priority, but was glad when it worked out to go there for lunch.  Turns out I absolutely should have planned this into every single day of our trip.  It was really, really delicious.  Flavorful meat, perfect, soft bun, great toppings, it is just a really good burger.  Here is Scott shaking:
And Central Park!  One travel tip:  If you have something you really want to do while in a certain destination, DO IT FIRST.  Places close, parades happen, weather changes, other plans come up, your trip ends early... lots of things happen that could get in the way.  We had central park planned for our last day, but when the first day was sunny, we changed up our plans and played at the park and went for our boat ride that day instead.  And the rest of the weekend turned out to be rainy, so we were really glad we changed plans!
Poor baby was so tired.  NO NAPS for 4 days directly after being hauled around hot Costa Rica and loooong plane flights.  T is an all star and has learned to sleep when she can!
Are we really moving here?  Totally not real yet.
This was our fanciest meal.  Everything ordered a la carte in a teeny tiny narrow place.  I had all T's snacks and food on a portable plate, while she ate sitting on my lap.  When the waiter came to refill waters he accidentally poured the entire pitcher of ICE water all over me, the last of our food for T, T herself, and her blanket and extra set of clothes, and even inside my diaper bag.  Big disaster.  T was crying and tired.  We were out of food.  I was cold and wet.  The waiter felt terrible and was apologetic, but didn't even give me a free drink!  Obv he didnt do it on purpose, so I tried to be polite and make everything seem fine, but I was a cold, wet mama with no food or clothing for my baby.  Not the best.  
Our day at Columbia!  We took a campus tour and Scott met with 2 teachers/program directors.  It was a completely different feel from BYU.  
People were pretty good about giving me a seat on the subway.  One time when nobody offered, another lady standing shouted "Um, did you not see this mother and baby come on?  Who will give her their seat right now?!?"  She stood up for me.  I was fine standing, but I took the offered seat since she made such a big deal about it!
Look at all that cheese.  I'm already excited for our new NYC friends who will inevitably be invited over to share a cheese plate with us.  
Josh and Katrina met up with us for a wander around town and dinner at Grand Central!  We love them and reminiscing about our Utah days together.  Thanks for making the trip into the city to see us!  We look forward to many more fun days together!
It was between Cinderella and Newsies (which will be our next show...) and we were glad we went with Cinderella!  The costumes (and costume changes, especially) were fantastic!  It was fun and funny and nice to see a familiar story on stage.  

Snapped this pic before the crazy-strict usher got to us.  I wish I could have dressed up for the show, but we'd been out since 6am and had no time to go home to change.
Here is how T slept.  

Union Square market!  The variety of fresh produce was unbelievable.  I can't wait to go back and buy succulents and hopefully herbs.  You won't believe how many varieties of basil they have- at least 50+! 
We got some hot cider and pastries!

And for lunch, traditional NY pizza!  It was really good, very traditional, but I do love Papa Johns... (Scott is going to kill me when he reads this! Ha!)

And the famous lobster roll.  Warm bun, cold lobster. The pickle was the perfect side.  These are expensive- like $15.  We shared one roll between the 4 of us!
Brenda works at Sephora and took us on a tour of her Soho store!  She is good at what she does.  Brenda did my make up for my wedding!  
The Waffle & Dinge truck is soooo good.  
 We went to the New Years ball, its right in Times Square.  Thanks to my friend Heidi for the tip!
 We even left a confetti "Hope or Dream" to be dropped next year!
 T LOVE LOVED the carousal ride!  It doesn't look so much like it in this pic, but it was the highlight of our day.  Some kids were crying while T smiled and waved!

 We had an incredible time and we're coming back to stay!
It will be quite different long-term than as a tourist, but I'm feeling more and more up the challenge every day!


Kimberly Moore said...

Looks like you crammed A TON in! Way to go! Ok what is this highline place? I hear everybody talking about it? I love love love the Shake Shack. The Madison Square Park location has a great outdoor atmosphere! LOVE the pic of T sleeping on the paddle boat! You'll definitely have to blog about adjusting to city life with a baby! I'm just so curious how that all works!!

Tara said...

You guys are awesome. It looks like you had a great trip. I had a similar experience with the metro in DC--people were so kind and almost always offered a seat! Do you follow Naomi Davis's blog? She was in our capitol hill ward but they live in NYC now, and their little family is lds. you might get some fun ideas reading what she does with her little kids. lovetaza.com

Tara said...

Also! if you get a chance--which you probably will--you should see Mary Poppins! we loved it on broadway.