So as Matt and I are anxiously awaiting our first winter storm on the mountain (we have literally been checking outside every half an hour to see if it has begun yet, and sadly not to this point. PLUS the forecast has changed for our area from a foot of snow to 4 - 6 inches with up to a 1/3 an inch of ice. Not as fun. Glad we went grocery shopping yesterday because I don't think we will be going anywhere for a day or so), I think it is time to do a drive-by update of our time in NYC!
We were busy during our time in the Big Apple! Part of the reason why I didn't blog much.
The night before we left we attempted to go the Rockefeller Center for the lighting of the famous Christmas tree having no idea what a big production it was. We got within two blocks of the tree and couldn't even move on the sidewalk. People were tripping over us, pushing our strollers, and Abigail fell asleep so we decided to give it up and walk back to our apartment to watch it on TV like the rest of the sane world!
We did make it to see the Christmas displays in Macy's windows, which were really cool and Tristan loved. He did not want to leave, the look on his face was precious. We then went inside Macy's visited Santa at one of the coolest North Pole's ever. I am usually not into the cheesy Santa setup but this was really well done with a walk through a "train" to get to the north pole and talking trees and all kinds of animals busy working and a great train set up. Santa even looked pretty believable. Abigail, however, didn't want to have anything to do with sitting even near Santa and Tristan wasn't too thrilled by him either. Therefore we have no pictures but it was fun anyway. Abigail decided to write him a letter the next day to say that she was shy but enjoyed her visit.
Went to the cemetery in Queen's where Matt maternal grandparents are buried.
Spent an amazingly refreshing afternoon at Rockaway Beach in Brooklyn, which I later found was a favorite beach of Matt's mom growing up. It was chilly but quiet and calm. And they had a really cool playground on the beach that the kids devoured.
We also visited the Manhattan Children's museum. We never made it to the children's museum in Pittsburgh so I can't compare but this place was so much fun. All hands-on, interactive, child proof and exactly what our kids needed. Experiential play and learning plus climbing and running.
Central Park was our safe haven! I could usually spot that "I need to run and be free!" look in their eyes and off to the park we went. Only 3 stops up on the subway and we were among trees, rocks, grass, birds, and squirrels. We went the playground the most. There I actually got to speak to other adults! We also walked around the Jackie Onassis resivour one evening with Matt and rode the carousel another day. I don't think we could have survived without the park. I can see why it is such an important part of the city life.
For Thanksgiving we, of course, went to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Matt and I were so proud that we actually made it through the whole parade. We were expecting a melt down for sure. We woke up late so we didn't the spot we wanted but we had a great time anyway. After growing up watching the parade, it was quite a delight to see it in person. It is just unbelievable to see how much work (and money!) must go into those couple of hours. I then spent the afternoon cooking a yummy meal. I love the colors on the plate!
The first Saturday Matt and Abigail woke up early and went to the Empire State Building when in opened. Later that day we headed to Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan and walked past ground zero on the way. It was overwhelming to be there and remember the horror of what happened that day. Walking through the streets there, I just kept thinking about what chaos must have ensued. The confusion, the heart-wrenching powerlessness, and fear. I went from watching an event on TV to standing in the past-presence of the event. It was quite powerful and humbling.
Our plan that day was to eat lunch at Battery Park and then take the ferry over to the Statue of Liberty. The wait for the ferry was too long for our kids so we opted for the Staten Island ferry which was free and went by the statue. Perfect! Both kids enjoyed the ride but especially Tristan. He is just absolutely obsessed with anything mechanical that moves; trucks ("gunks"), buses ("bees"), and boats are his life blood. And the walk along the Staten Island boardwalk with so timely. It was the first time since we were there that life was quiet and still except for the sound of water.
We also visited Matt's great aunt and family in Queen's. She is quite the spunky lady and it was a lot of fun to see the kids with here.
We also got a behind-the-scenes tour of the New York Botanical Gardens and train show by an employee.
So that was our November in a nut shell! We had a lot of fun and experienced a significant amount of the city a short time. It was, however, a very challenging 3 weeks. Abigail had a difficult time with the complete lifestyle change which resulted in a lot of behavior problems. I am glad for our time in the city but it never felt so good to come home! We left Thursday night at 10 pm which put us in the Berkshires at 2:30 am. The kids slept the whole way but were so excited to be home when we got that they didn't fall back to sleep uintil4:30! We are settling in here nicely enjoying a slower rural life as well as a slower work season for Matt. I am really looking forward to lots of family time and time to craft and cook and play. The idea of eating in season has been working on me for about a year now. Now I am beginning to love the idea of living seasonally. Being snowed in is a wonderful force of hand for slowing down, reflecting on life, and snuggling with loved ones. I pray for a long winter of snow! (Remind me of that in February when I am freezing and sick of the snow!!)