Wednesday, March 5, 2014


I'm finally back on the blog! My absence has not been for want of something to write. We've just had ice and snow days and meetings and life--oh my! But...we also had a fabulous trip to visit Aunt Shannon and Uncle Jeff in NYC this weekend!

Friday morning, the kids and I headed to the airport while Daddy took a red-eye from Arizona. The kids got ready in record time with the promise of extra airplane watching time:
I really do have the two best travelers on the planet. They navigate the airport like little pros, and they do so well on the flight itself.

As soon as we landed, we headed straight to meet Aunt Shannon at her place. Evan cracked our cab driver up as he pointed out every piece of construction equipment, helicopter, train, and airplane. Once we arrived, Aunt Shannon revealed the two big surprises of the weekend: lunch at American Girl and a night at the Circus.

Our lunch was the first thing on the agenda. Issa knew we were going to the store, so Saige made the trip, and Issa wore her matching dress:
At first, Evan was none too thrilled about this whole lunch idea, but Darth Vader was allowed to come along, which made things a bit better:
As it turns out, we all really loved lunch. We were pleasantly impressed by the actual food, and the whole experience was fabulous. When we arrived at our table, we were greeted with warm cinnamon rolls and a box of tags with fun questions. Issa loved asking everyone about their favorite memories and would you rathers. The appetizer tray of fresh vegetables, cheese, chicken salad, and pretzel bites was lovely, and we each chose an entree that did not disappoint. Dessert, though, was amazing. Shannon and I swear it was the best chocolate mousse we have ever eaten. We were also very impressed by the staff who never once offered a sales pitch and who only looked a little surprised when we asked for a tea cup for Darth Vader, too.

After Issa shopped her little heart out at American Girl, we headed over to FAO Schwarz, also known as the Lego store:
It was all just too much for Evan:
I cannot tell you how many laps we made through the Lego department. And then the trucks. And then the Legos. And then the sports stuff. And then the Legos. Too many choices:
Evan finally made his decision: a die cast airplane set--complete with helicopter--and a police car/motorcycle Lego set. With our purchases in hand, we headed back to rest a bit at Aunt Shannon's before our big night!

Friday dinner was Korean barbecue, which was quite good. The flavor was great, but Uncle Jeff was not too thrilled about having to work so hard for his dinner. The kids found it hysterical, though, and we finished just in time to sprint to Cinderella. I love, love, love that my kiddos are so enamoured with the theater:

They were this excited about the set! Some pre-show pics:

Uncle Jeff even took them down to peak in the orchestra pit before the show. It was a great show, and Carly Rae Jepsen was an amazingly good Cinderella. Issa was so excited to see her in person. The adults had as much fun watching the kids as we did watching the show, and they were troopers all the way until the final curtain a little before 11. They both passed out on the subway, though:
Daddy and I got a hotel room, but the kiddos got to have a slumber party with Aunt Shannon and Uncle Jeff. The best part of that deal, Dunkin Donuts in your PJs:
Saturday brunch was another fabulous meal! We went to Max Brenner's. Brenner is an amazing chocolatier, and he has the imagination of Wonka. The kids menu was hands down the best I've ever seen. Issa loved her Make-Your-Own Hot Cocoa:
The little pot was over a tea candle, and she could add just the right amount of milk and chocolate with her silver spoon/straw. Evan and Daddy settled on milkshakes:
Whip cream smiles from all:
The food was also incredible! I had the best granola parfait--I mean it was incredible. Brad and Shannon announced I was dangerously close to a When Harry Met Sally moment with it. It was that good. 

The kids loved painting their ketchup on their fries:

After brunch, we headed to the Natural History Museum, where we were greeted by a great museum staffer who taught us all about dino teeth. I expected a one minute pitch when she asked the kids if they wanted to learn more. Instead, she lead us through the whole exhibit. Cool stuff:

After the dinosaurs, Evan was desperate to find the whale. I was not doing so quickly enough, so the kids took over the map:
On the way to the whale, we also explored the African animals, where the elephants were the highlight:

After a very fun adventure there, we headed down to the subway to head back to Shannon's. If you ask the kids, the subway is still one of the highlights of New York. So much so, they consented to a picture:
Daddy and I missed the memo that the shark was trying to eat us.

Saturday night, we parted ways. Jeff and Shannon sent Brad and I out to a fabulous dinner and then an evening and the Metropolitan Opera:
We saw The Enchanted Island, in which Placido Domingo played Neptune. To say it was incredible would be an understatement. It was funny and so well sung and a definite check off the bucket list for me.

Meanwhile, Shannon and Jeff actually left the island to take the kids to the Circus:
The kids loved all of the animals and acrobats. They are still talking about the elephants.

Sunday morning, we had a leisurely start before we headed out to a local burger joint and then the Met:
Evan was desperate to see the armory:
Issa was beyond excited to see the real Monet she was studying in art class. They were exhausted, but I am so glad we made the trek.

We flew home Sunday night, barely beating the storm out. Both kids slept in the taxi to the airport--a sure sign of a fabulous weekend.

It truly was fabulous. It's always good to spend extra time with Shannon and Jeff, and I will be forever grateful that they make it possible for our kiddos to experience so much of the culture that New York has to offer. I announced to Shannon when we were coming, and she made all the magic happen. Their Christmas gift to us is our date night out, but the greater gift is the wonder and magic in my kids' eyes and the memories we make. Thank you will never be enough...

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