Sunday, October 28, 2012

NYC-Girls' Trip. What a blast!

About a year ago, the girls and I decided we needed to take a girls only trip to NYC.  After lots of planning and arranging, we were off!  I love New York; I love the crowds, the noise, the shopping, walking, just everything.  I was so excited to spend a few days with these cute girls and we had lots of fun things planned.  We decided to take a red-eye flight so that we would have an extra day in the city. Unfortunately, our flight was delayed and instead of leaving at 11:45 p.m., we left at 1:20 a.m..  We had all been up all day and so we were a tired group when we finally arrived.  

The girls all smiles at the SL airport

We arrived in the city around 7 or so and had to wait about an hour for a cab to take up to the hotel.  The cab ride was long and bumpy, and we were very excited to check in to our hotel.  Well, we couldn't get an early check in, so we grabbed a quick breakfast and headed off to explore the city. We headed to the subway and went to SoHo and looked around.  I don't know why I didn't take any pictures of SoHo, but it was a fun place to just walk around and look at cute little shops.  
Our first of many subway rides.  I think we look pretty good for being up about 26 hours.

Our next stop was the 9-11 Memorial.    This was a must do our our list.  Brian and I were there in 2010 and it was still under construction, but in two years a lot of progress had been made.  It was a very sobering experience to stand where so many people lost their lives.

The Freedom Tower still under construction.  It won't replace the Twin Towers, but it is very beautiful.

Lindsi and Kristi before we went to the Memorial.

  Each memorial is placed exactly where a tower was and all the names of the people in that building or on the plane that hit are written around it. There is a 30 foot waterfall cascading into a large void at the center of the memorial.   These pictures do not do it justice.  It was incredibly beautiful and sad at the same time.

I loved this picture of my girls; it just seems to fit the reflective nature of the memorial.

The girls are in front of the tree that survived the devastation of 9-11. 

The three of us in front of one of the memorials.

After we toured the memorial, we were beat and headed back to the hotel for a little rest before our dinner.  Kristi loves the movie Serendipity, and so for our first night in the city, we had a fabulous dinner.  It was actually quite a tiny restaurant; it looks bigger in the movie!  We sat a a cute little table by the window and enjoyed everything!
Thanks cutie for hooking us up at Serendipity!
Here we are after a yummy dinner!
We decided we were going to enjoy ourselves and have dessert every night!  Our first night splurge was frozen hot chocolate, chocolate ice cream and peanut butter pie.  FABULOUS!!!
Looking like a real city girl hailing us a taxi!

The next day was Saturday and we headed downtown to catch a boat for a harbor cruise.  It was a nice day, but a little windy on the boat.  We had some great views of the city, Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge and Ellis Island.
Just a small part of Manhattan
Ellis Island where over 2 million immigrants landed on their way to living the American Dream.
My cuties on the harbor cruise with Lady Liberty behind them.  
Love this picture of us!

I am still in awe every time I see the Statue of Liberty.
The Brooklyn Bridge; we had hoped to walk across it and grab some pizza, but we didn't have time.  Maybe next trip. But we did get a great view and pic as we sailed under it!
You have to have a hot dog in NYC; Kristi and I splitting a yummy dog!

After our downtown adventures, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for some dinner and shopping.  At random stops, guys get on, sing a song, get a few bucks from the riders, get off at next stop and ride another subway train.  They actually sounded pretty good. 

We decided to go to a fun Mexican place for dinner and we met up with Josh's cute girlfriend Brinley who is a nanny on Long Island.  We had a yummy dinner with her and her nanny friend Violet.  
Brinley and the girls after dinner!  It was fun to hear all about her adventures.  After dinner, we shopped a bit and walked around Rockefeller Center.  We went to Saks Fifth Avenue, but didn't stay long as they were not too friendly to us.  Kristi did buy an I phone cover and the sales guy in that department was nice, but overall we were not impressed.  

In keeping with our desire for nightly dessert, we headed to Union Square for a visit to the famous Max Brenners.  It had to be good as it was almost a two hour wait.  It was delicious and worth the wait.

Yummy fondue!  
Fun night at Max Brenners!

On Sunday, we decided to see a play.  We didn't have tickets and so we decided to just get whatever was available at the same day ticket booth.  I got up early and stood in line for about an hour, Lindsi relaxed a bit and Kuri hit the Upper West Side for a little shopping.  I was able to get some great seats to.....
It was the best musical; we had a great time listening to the ABBA tunes!  Loved, loved it!

It was a pretty chilly day and so after the play, we headed back to the hotel.  
I think the dancing in the play inspired Kristi to rock out a bit to Jay z's "New York"!  Which inspired me to join her....
Not sure if I am dancing or signaling a touch down!  
And cute little momma watching us!

We then were ready for our final dinner in the city.  My sweet  girls surprised me with a fun dinner at Ruth Chris' Steakhouse.  I had never been, but heard it was the best.  It was a fun way to spend our last night.  Thank you sweet girls for the yummy and thoughtful dinner! 

After dinner we headed over to a nail salon for a pedicure!  
The finished pedis!

It was a cold night, be we bundled up and headed out in Times Square for some shopping and walking around.
Enjoying the night in Times Square.

We ended up having dessert at a place called the Stardust that has singing waiters.  Okay, the singing was great, but the desserts were horrible!  Never go to  the Stardust for dessert in Times Square, instead head to.......
for the best cheesecake ever!!!

On our last day, Monday, we got up early and took the subway to the temple.  We had a wonderful time doing some temple work and running into a friend of mine who is on a mission at the temple with her husband.  
The temple is beautiful and quiet and the ladies were so sweet to us.  

After the temple we headed to Central Park to walk around.
Yes, there is my city!
My girls in the park.

After the temple, park and lunch at a lovely Italian place in the Upper West side, we headed over to Levain's-home of the Best Chocolate Chip Cookie in the USA.  It was great!  We did a little shopping on 5th Avenue and I bought the girls their birthday gifts- a cute bracelet for Kristi and a new watch for Lindsi.
And even though we were sad to leave fun NYC, it was time to head home to the babies and our boys.  

I can't even tell you how much fun I had just spending four days with my girls; I love them so much and we had a blast.  We decided that we are doing girls' trips every other year and NYC every four  if not sooner....

Here are 10 things I learned about NYC:

1.  Hailing a cab is  NOT as easy as it is in the movies!
2.  New Yorkers are actually friendly people who are willing to give direction or advice.
3.  New Yorkers who work at Saks are NOT nice however.
4.  There are tons of restaurants in the city; try something new and eat dessert every day!
5.  Stay at the Hampton Inn on 51st and 8th-the best staff and location. Close to everything! Thanks Amy for the suggestion and for all the great places to eat.
6.  It's okay to get on the wrong subway; just get off at the next stop and change trains.
7.  Kristi is the best map reader and she directed us all over the city.
8.  Lindsi , even though she is 6 months pregnant, never stopped and kept going and going
9.  Don't take a cab from the airport; spend a few extra bucks and take a car.  A much more pleasant ride!
And #10 and the best thing I learned in NYC is....

10.  I have the best girls and I loved traveling with them and can't wait until 2014!!!

And that ends the NYC Girls' Trip 2012.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Birthday Celebrations!

Today we celebrated Kristi's 24th Birthday and my mom's 77th!  It's so fun to have their birthdays together!  We had a fun family dinner at Spaghetti Factory and then headed over to Leatherbys for a sweet treat.  Here are some pictures of the festivities!

 The fam at dinner.  Rick and Debbie were in town so it was fun for my mom to spend her b day with both kids!
 The birthday girls!
 Kristi enjoying her sweet treat at Leatherbys
And my baby girl with a few of her gifts!

I can't believe my baby girl is 24 and a momma herself to the cutest boy!   It just doesn't seem possible; I don't know where the time has gone.  She is such a fun part of our family, and we love her so much.  She has the most fun personality and definitely adds some spice to our family! She is the best sister to Lindsi and Ben and the best mom and wife.  Happy 24th my girl!  Hope  you had the best day!  

Thursday, October 4, 2012

New York...Here we come!

The girls and I are off on a much needed girls trip to one of our favorite cities...New York!  We went in 2003 and have wanted to visit again.  So, we are going shop, eat  yummy foods, shop, sightsee, shop, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, shop and have fun being together. Cannot wait!