Summer Vacation Part 1: NYC

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

This summer I wanted to be able to share and document some of the fun things we did, but we were so busy, I decided to wait until things settled down to go back and recap some of the big stuff! I am going to go in order and the first thing was our 1st family trip to New York City!!!

Mike and I went to NYC for a weekend a couple of years ago. It was a business trip for Mike that I tagged along on. It was great though because he worked and I relaxed during the day and then we had time to do some sightseeing! We really wanted to get back with the kids to visit with his grandmother and we decided this year it was time. We drove down after Mike finished work on a Wednesday so that we could drive at night and wake up there on Thursday morning. This way we were able to have the whole day on Thursday instead of just half a day because of the six hour drive. This worked out pretty well for the added sightseeing time, but unfortunately, the kids didn't sleep as much as I had hoped on the ride. It just meant that we started the trip with overtired kiddos. Live and learn. Next time we will leave earlier in the evening!

NYC Here we come!



First stop, The Statue of Liberty
We met Mike's sister and her family in NYC and we did a bunch of sightseeing with them!

Olivia and Grace
On the ferry from Ellis Island back to the city.
Then we took a bus tour of the city

We ended the tour in Time's Square where we walked around and we saw this guy...
The Naked Cowboy?
Then we ate a late lunch at Planet Hollywood
There were some sweet selfies on my phone from lunch...

Last big activity for our Thursday, Madam Tussad's Wax Museum.


A couple of Olivia's favorites...
Future Rock Stars??
Most people don't know this, but Mike is a big rap fan. Here he is with some of his faves...
This is one of my favorite pictures! I think Olivia looks hysterical :)
The Statue of Liberty at the Museum
Sorry for the crazy amount of pictures from one place, but we just had so much fun there! There were even a bunch of pictures I didn't post! I couldn't believe how realistic the wax figures are....
I apologized to this person for walking in front of her taking a picture...
Then I realized she was a wax figure!
After the museum we headed back to the hotel, showered, the kids put on jammies and we went down to dinner in the hotel. This was the best part of having a restaurant in the hotel so that the kids could relax and so could the adults. Especially when things like this happened...
 Both nights that we ate right at the hotel, Owen fell asleep at dinner. The first night he fell asleep standing up and leaning on my lap (I didn't get a picture). This picture was from Friday night. When we finished dinner and hanging out with the family, we would just carry him upstairs and put him to bed. He never woke up! Perfect!


We figured out the Subway and got ourselves to the American Museum of Natural History. This day was not as much fun as the first. There were aspects of the museum that were fun, but the day was touch and go. Owen was exhausted and whined most of the day, it wasn't easy to enjoy it.
This was an exhibit where you could pretend to fly like a bird, or maybe it was dinosaur? I can't remember.
We saw lots of dinosaur bones exhibits which Olivia was really into because they were studying dinosaurs at school, Owen, not so much. I found the museum to have a confusing layout and we kept going in circles trying to find things we were looking for. Coupled with the whining, you can imagine how this was going! Then we headed for the butterfly exhibit which we all loved...

Everyone got to have a butterfly on them, Mike put his hat on Owen so he could have a butterfly on him as well because none had landed on him. That made him happy for a second and then
This picture is when things start going downhill...see the look?? It turned into this...
Yes, friends, he is on the floor of the museum crying and it all went downhill from here.
We left the museum pretty quickly after this scene and grabbed a milkshake from a local place near the museum and a bite to eat from a food truck, then we headed back to the Subway. We were trying to decide whether to try to meet up with Mike's family or head back to the hotel and of course figuring out which Subway to take and all that fun stuff for tourists who don't know how to easily get around.
While we try to figure it out the kids start causing such a scene in the subway station that I want to crawl under a rock. I have never had my kids embarrass me in public, and writing this now I don't even remember what they did, but I may or may not have lost my cool. I was hot in an underground subway station with a child that had grated on my nerves all day and then the both of them were behaving horribly, so needless to say, we headed back to the hotel and it was a good thing we did...we all needed a time out!  After showers and jammies we headed to dinner. Owen was out before his meal came around 6:30pm and slept until the next morning at 7am, and woke up refreshed and ready for a full Saturday, that everyone enjoyed!


Guess where our first stop was??

The Empire State Building! Let me tell you, the line was looooongg for this. After waiting in line for a bit, I was ready to bail. People were saying the line would last close to two hours and I wasn't having any of that. Finally we heard about the express tickets. The tickets were a flat $50 each, no matter what age you were, but you got VIP treatment and went right past the lines. TOTALLY worth it! I was so glad we had done it because what a view it is on the top and I would have missed it.
Check out our attempts at a good family picture!

Then we went the "selfie" route and faired a little better...


After the Empire State Building we ate lunch at a local pizza shop and it was delicious!
We then hopped on the Subway to "head back to the hotel," but took the kids off the Subway on 5th Avenue, as a surprise, and went to American Girl and the Lego Store! Olivia got her 5th and last (as far as I am concerned) American Girl doll and Owen stocked up on some new Legos!
Although she doesn't look thrilled, she was! There were just people watching her have her picture taken! She went home with the Isabelle doll and a ballerina outfit!
Owens favorite part of Legos are "the guys" and he got to make his own guys! This was the highlight for him! It was actually pretty cool, I have to admit!

Owen wanted to take some pictures with statues along the way!

After this excitement we went back to the hotel and got ready for dinner. We had an early dinner with Mike's family, including his grandmother and cousins from New York. Then we ended our night and our vacation by heading to a rooftop bar down the street from our hotel. It was a fun and beautiful way to end the long weekend.

Seriously, how gorgeous is that view??

Awwww...and look how much fun we had :)


This was Sunday morning in the hotel. Olivia and Isabelle are still in bed. I can't tell if Olivia was excited?? We headed back to Maine shortly after getting up. We were home by 3pm and Owen got out of the car and ran around the yard and jumped on his bike to ride around the driveway all within 5 minutes of getting out of the car. The poor kid didn't run around for 3 days and it was killing him :)
All in all, we had a great time! I don't think we will head back until Owen is a little older, but I am glad that we went this year!
Next week, Summer Vacation Part 2: Camp week

Have a Great Day!

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