Thursday, November 12, 2015

back in the big apple

we didn't get enough of new york back in may, so we decided to go again last week.  not had a conference, so william and i tagged along.  it was a little different having only one kid with me, but it was fun.  (we made a deal with the other two that when they turned 10 they could go somewhere alone with us!  wes is already planning his hiking trip in the tetons!)

i showed william pretty much all of new york city, and we did all the stuff that 10 year olds would want to do!  it's funny because i learn a little bit more every time that i go.  the subway has never been a problem, and i have always gotten everywhere.  this time, however, i figured out the difference between local and express trains.  now i can really get where i'm going!!!

ready to go!

i like to fly into newark because you can take the NJ transit train into penn station instead of taking a cab.  it's so much cheaper than a cab ($29.50 for all 3 of us to get from the airport to the hotel in times square).    plus, i just don't really like cabs!!  call me crazy!

first time in a subway station!

we were up bright and early the next morning, so times square was pretty much empty!

on the way to the ferry...

the statue of liberty...

since we were sort of close, we went on over to ground zero.  it's pretty amazing to stand there and look up at those tall buildings surrounding you and imagine what all went down that day 14 years ago.

back in may, we went on our very first walking food tour.  it was FABULOUS!!!  it was in greenwich village, and we ate some really, really good stuff.  so we decided to do another one this trip.  we chose the one through hell's kitchen.  i didn't think it was quite as good as the first one, but we like to eat so there were no real complaints!!

we had some mousaka, falafel, baba ganoush, chicken satay, shrimp fritters, curry puffs, empanadas, some sort of feta and sun dried tomato puff thing called a burraka (no idea how to spell that), some other things that i forgot, and all that was followed by dessert!


the tour finished with dessert at holey cream.  you take a donut and put three scoops of ice cream in the middle, top it with hot fudge and pick your toppings.  this was by far william's favorite stop on the tour!  

these were the others on the tour with us.  (we like this tour company because they only take up to 8 people on a tour.)  these two couples were from australia and were in town for the new york marathon.  the guys had already run it a few days before.  they were rewarding themselves with lots of food and partying for the rest of their stay!!  ha! 

central park!

bethesda fountain...


sailing boats at the alice in wonderland conservatory...

walking down the mall...

checking out the ice skating rink...

radio city music hall lit up at night and ready for christmas!

we had breakfast one morning at ellen's stardust diner.  yes, you have to practically sit in the lap of the person at the table next to you, but william thought it was pretty entertaining to watch all the waiters sing.  they would walk right behind his head and sing!

after we had our fill of pancakes and showtunes, we took the subway over to brooklyn and walked back across the brooklyn bridge!

i love this picture with the freedom tower on the left!

we also made it to the top of the empire state building. 

we also had to go load up on chocolate from my favorite chocolate shop in new york!  they have this 72% dark chocolate that is so, so good!!

and while we were down in greenwich village, we walked over to get the best snack in new york city...bantam bagels!!!

william's request this day was to go to the top of the rock and go to the lego store.  when you are 10, going to the top of all the buildings is a, off we went.  there were a billion people in front of us for the trip to the top, and they told us that we couldn't go up until close to 5pm.  but....there is a but....if we did the tour of rockefeller center then we could go up to the top right when the tour was over.  i had no idea what the tour was about, but william said "let's do it."  so, we toured.  come to find out, it was about and through all of the different buildings in rockefeller center.  and, it mostly centered around the art deco buildings and rockefeller's wife and the art that she chose for the different buildings.  william ate it up.  a lot of it was greek gods and stories about how a certain picture was interpreted as man's struggle against this or that.  he loves mythology, and he understood every last part of it!  his favorite was a tie between the statue of atlas facing st. patrick's cathedral (atlas from the front, jesus from the back) and cronus (do y'all even remember cronus? i didn't...he did) on the ceiling who moved depending on which side of the room you were standing on.  (oh my goodness....i am so not an art person.  i just wanted to go to the top of the dadgum building!)  but, it was interesting, and he loved it so i am glad we did it!

on the plaza in rockefeller center.  the christmas tree was put up while we were there!

st. patrick's cathedral...

top of the rock!!!  this was his favorite thing we did on this trip!

rockefeller center at night...

we went over to grand central station one night.  it's pretty neat to just watch the flow of that place.  however, there were armed national guardsmen and nyc policemen standing around everywhere.  i don't know what was going on, but it didn't give me a very comforting feeling.  so we didn't stay for too long!!

but we did make it to the lego store and toys 'r us!

we had awesome weather for new york in november.  it was in the 70s everyday, but it was a little chilly the morning before we went on our double decker tour.  so we found the biggest hot chocolate that we could!

and then we boarded the bus!

(random sidenote: that fountain behind him is the fountain that ross, rachel, phoebe, joey, monica, and chandler dance around in at the beginning of friends.  my kid has no idea who they are.  i am obviously very old.)

he wanted to see a play while we were in town, so the last night that we were there we went to see "finding neverland."  we just bought last minute tickets and ended up on the 4th row.  it was a great show, and william even ended up being a part of it!  they made it out like he was a kid from the orphanage in the play sitting out in the audience.  they shined the spotlight on him and had him wave.  he thought that was pretty cool!  two thumbs up from each of us for "finding neverland" if any of you are heading to new york soon!  (but take a kleenex with you!)

i can only handle about 4 days of new york city.  i need a break from all the people at about the 4 day mark.  as we tried to shove our way through times square on saturday night after dinner to get back to our hotel, i knew i had reached my breaking point!!  i was happy to be heading to the airport the next morning.  we made it home, and we were all happy to be back in our own beds.  it was a fun trip, and i think that william really enjoyed being an "only child" for a few days.  and now that i'm looking at my pictures (and have had some space back here in mississippi), i'll be ready to go back soon!  i'll have to check out those conference schedules the next time one comes in the mail!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


this halloween, we had our very own quidditch team.  a gryffindor quidditch team to be exact!  (if you're not a harry potter fan....well, you should be!)

reed - charlie weasley, wes - oliver wood, james - ron weasley, william - harry potter, mason - george weasley, clay - fred weasley

the forecast called for rain on halloween, so thankfully the neighborhood of the other half of our team did trick or treating on friday night.  

and this quidditch team loaded up on the loot!