Here's how the NYC trip went. See if you can keep up. I'm EXHAUSTED!
Friday morning we left VA to begin our drive to NY. The drive was rather uneventful for us but the sky was overcast and drizzly. By the time we got to New Jersey, we were hitting lots of traffic. I think we arrived in NY around 6:30 that night. Alex had dinner waiting for us...then Alison came home and everyone made caramel apples. Kids had a great time and went to bed late (like 10 or 10:30!).
Saturday, we were up relatively early. Al and Alison made cinnamon raisin french toast for breakfast then took the kids over to the park in their complex so they could run off some steam while Steve and I packed up our stuff. 10 or 10:30 we were headed into the city. It was a big deal for the girls because they were allowed to ride in Grandpa's car.
We parked at 52nd Street and took a subway to Battery Park. From there we caught the Staten Island Ferry (free if you walk on! Thanks for that tip off, Sue!) so we could get a view of the Statue of Liberty. The kids had a great time on the boat. William and Tinna looked out the windows the entire time and William "saw" all kinds of things like dolphins and mermaids. We got off the ferry only to get right back in line for the NYC-bound boat. It all worked out perfectly.
The ferry ride made everyone hungry so next we stopped for what Steven and his dad call a "dirty water hot dog". A hot dog from a street vendor. You cannot come to NYC without doing this! After the dogs, we took the subway up to 34th Street and Broadway and walked to 5th Avenue. From there, Steve and Alex took the kids up the Empire State Building. Me, being terrified of heights, hit a few stores with Alison. Sephora was first...then LUSH...then Payless for crocs for the kids...a store that I think was called "Strawberry"...then Starbucks because we were starting to slow down by that point!
At the Empire State Building, we met up with Debbie, Anthony and Katie (Steve's sister and her family). Alex and Alison had some afternoon plans and needed to leave the city. More walking for us. Katie stopped and bought a knock-off purse from a vendor. We all needed a restroom break so we stopped by New York Public Library for that. WOW...what a place! It's huge and gorgeous inside. I'd seen the outside numerous times before but had never been in so that was a huge treat for me, and an unexpected stop. Yay! Outside of the NYPL, we watched some guys dance. One looked like Michael Jackson in the 80's. It's was quite unsettling. I was never one of his fans. The kids loved it, though!
Phew! From here, we kept walking north and finally arrived to FAO Schwarz. We spent at least an hour in there...it was packed...the kids got to dance on the big piano upstairs. Everyone picked out one small toy to take home. By this time it was dark and we were starting to get tired. We walked back to our car at 52nd and drove Debbie/Anthony/Katie to their car...we all drove up to Zabar's (deli) and parked...only to find the doors locked! 8:10. ARRGH!!! One of our main reasons for coming to the city and we missed out by 10 minutes! The only thing left to do was eat pizza so we drove over to Ray's Original Pizza on the East Side. I was disappointed in mine (one slice veggie, one slice ricotta/spinach)...it just didn't' scream "NY Pizza" to me. I should have had the plain slice, darn it!!! After pizza, we left the city and followed Debbie/Anthony/Katie to their house on Long Island. We arrived there after 11:30...everyone was happy and exhausted.
Sunday we slept in a bit and had a lazy morning. We had brunch around 11 and left the house around 12 to go to a big farm in Melville. At the farm there were bouncy houses, pony rides, wagon rides, train rides, climbing structures...all of this in addition to the normal pick-your-pumpkin area. We left the farm around 5 and drove in to Port Jefferson Station to have dinner by the water. We saw the ferry come in from Connecticut and did a quick walk to check out the restaurants. The one I wanted to eat at (formerly The Dockside) has changed ownership so there is no longer "Pasta Seafood Diablo" waiting for me in NY any longer. We ended up at the Steam Room where we were then met up with Joyce (Steve's aunt) and her fiance Michael. After dinner everyone went for ice cream, more walking/visiting. The kids had a blast. Back home to bed.
AS IF that was not enough...our drive home was jam packed with activities, too. We left Debbie's house around 10 and stopped at Scappy's Farm around the corner from her house. I love this place. They have great produce and seasonal items...in addition to general garden items. It has pretty much become accepted that if we are in NY, I will buy a new flag for the front of my house. Yesterday I found a great large Halloween flag...it has a big black cauldron on it and says "Sit for a Spell". Love it! I bought a few pounds of apples so I can make some homemade apple butter and applesauce and can it up for the winter. A few other goodies were purchased there but are really unimportant at this moment.
From Port Jeff, we hit IKEA in Hicksville. I bought 3 Benno CD towers and some other storage items. After IKEA, we went to Woodbridge, NJ and stopped in the Playmobil Fun Park as a surprise for Delaney. We went to one of these Playmobil stores in Orlando two years ago and she STILL carries around the catalog and talks about going back. She can name almost every Playmobil Fun Park location in the world. She was very excited when we walked up to the place but in all honesty, they only had two toy displays and a soccer table for the kids to play with, so we were all a bit disappointed. Good thing there was a carousel in the mall to make up for it. We FINALLY got back on the road around 4:50. Lucky for us there wasn't heavy traffic...as it was, we didn't get home last night until about 12:30.
I'm beat today. Our only plans are to unpack and pick up Henry at the kennel. Delaney will go to school but the twins are staying home. I was up at 7 (went to bed at 2)...Tinna is up with me now but Delaney, William and Steven are all still asleep.
If you've managed to read this far, I have some sad news to share with you. On Thursday afternoon, I received a phone call from my mother. She's been tired and achy and had some blood tests done. The results came back that she has Acute Myelogenous Leukemia. She is currently in Hershey Medical Center for treatment. I was able to speak to her husband yesterday and the doctors were supposed to perform a bone marrow biopsy yesterday afternoon. They want to determine exactly what kind of leukemia this is and how best to treat it. If you are a praying person, please send your prayers out for my mother. Thank you.
SO...I *think* that wraps up our NYC adventure. I'm tired from writing this! It's definitely coffee time, at any rate. I'll upload photos later today if I find the time!