Thursday, November 6, 2014

Week in Review (October 28 - November 3)

This will be incredibly long because most of this time was spent in NYC on vacation. Too lazy to do separate blog posts. Sorry!

Tuesday - 4.5 miles during lunch, and 2.5 speedy miles after work. Then, I really had to get serious about the packing, which was STILL not done. Man. Packing is really Terrible.

Wednesday - NEW YORK!!!

We were up about the time I normally would be to go to work. We drove to Jessa's house, where I would be parking my car. We drove to the airport in her ginormous SUV that could hold the four of us and all of our stuff. Parking was a bit of a hassle as the airport seemed way more crowded than it should be for the middle of the week. We got to the airport in plenty of time to check our bags and get on the plane. The flight was shorter than we expected (just over 3 hours) to La Guardia.

We landed a bit early, collected our bags and had to figure out how to get to our hotel, which was only about a mile from the airport. We took the free airport shuttle and checked in to the La Guardia Plaza Hotel. Pretty swanky! First order of business was dinner and beer. Both were delicious.

I vaguely remember watching TV when we got back to the room and heading to bed at a semi-reasonable hour.

Thursday - We planned to get up semi-early so that we could have breakfast at the hotel and then take a taxi into the city. We had briefly considered the subway, but figured we had 2 kids and too much luggage to bother with. The hotel had a very nice buffet, but for some reason it was only free for two of us to eat. Either way, I had eggs, bacon, pastries and COFFEE. The hotel hired us a car for the drive in. OH.MY.GOSH.THE.TRAFFIC. I almost had a melt down on the drive in and I wasn't even the one driving. Ugh!!!

We weren't able to check into our hotel because it was too early, but we had a LOT on our agenda for the day so we left our bags with the hotel.

First order of business. EXPO. I wasn't sure if I even wanted to buy anything, but I had heard rumors that the selection dwindled rapidly with each passing hour, so we went only about an hour after it opened (about 15 blocks south of our hotel at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center). It was a ZOO. There were multiple events happening and it was CROWDED. I was the only one excited about being there so the goal was to get in and out quickly.

This is an unbelievably awkward picture
I finally decided to buy a jacket, and "smartly" tried and bought from the Foot Locker right next to the official merchandise station that had a line 200 people deep. It was a bit pricey, but since I'll never run Boston, this will be my "Boston" jacket. Then on the way out I peeked in at Newton and bought some NYC marathon compression socks.

From there, we grabbed sandwiches to go at a shop and then it was time to really try the subway system. We had a bit of a fiasco as we were confused on how to read a map. We got on at a station that only went south when we wanted to go north, then went the wrong way... we finally got to our destination of the American History Museum with about 3.5 hours to get in everything we wanted to see. First up was seeing the Great White Shark show in IMAX 3D. By the time we sat down it was after 2 and we were STARVING. We couldn't eat during the show, so as soon as that was over we inhaled our sandwiches before walking around and looking at the exhibits.

We were done about a half hour before the museum closed and headed back to our hotel so we could change for Wicked and get a quick dinner. We chose Uncle Mario's brick oven pizza and BOY WAS IT TASTY!!!

Wicked was going to be our most expensive entertainment of the trip, and I was a bit concerned about the kids. I had read the book a few years ago and thought that it might be too adult themed, but it was listed as a family friendly show, so we risked it.

If only we had a selfie stick! 

Turns out, the show was FANTASTIC. It didn't start until 8, so I was also concerned the kids would be squirrely, tired, bored, but they were great. The signing was phenomenal, the show was witty, funny and entertaining. So glad we went. (Also - fun fact, Justin Guarini of American Idol Season 1 was the male lead, so that was fun). We stopped to pick up dessert and beer on the way back to the hotel - not getting there until after 11 pm. A long, full day.

Friday - Another full day planned, we were up and out the door for our first stop of the day - a 9:30 ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. We stopped at 7-11 for coffee before braving the subway, which I will say was not as difficult as the day before. We got to the ferry with what we THOUGHT was plenty of time. Ariel immediately wanted to be put on her Halloween costume, which she planned on wearing ALL DAY. However, you had to walk about a mile from the stop just to get to the entrance of the ferry. Security is high there, you have to pretty much go through airport security (which we didn't know, and which took extra time). By the time we got through we actually missed our ferry time, but turns out they don't really look at the time on your ticket as long as you are there on the right day. It was a bit windy out, but fairly sunny, so it was light jacket weather.

The ferry ride over was uneventful. We arrived at the Statute of Liberty and walked around the base to take pictures before heading up. We were not able to get tickets to the crown (because of height restrictions on the kids and the fact we waited too long to book).

We took the 180ish stairs to the pedestal, stopping at the museum on the way up, which I don't think we would have known existed had we taken the elevator.

From there, we took another ferry to Ellis Island. I hadn't been there before. The outer buildings were gorgeous, but a lot of them were in a run-down state. Not sure if part of that was from Hurricane Sandy. A lot of the artwork has still not been put back on site after they were removed for fear of damage during the storms in 2012.

At the museum, Jackson decided it was also costume time
By this time we were all STARVING. We were on the right side of town for us to jump on the subway and head into Brooklyn for pizza.

A friend recommended that we check out Grimaldi's, a cash only pizza joint that did not disappoint. We suffered through consuming an entire pizza since they don't sell by the slice, then we walked over the Brooklyn Bridge.

It was getting chilly and cold, but we still wanted to head into Little Italy and China Town before heading to the Halloween parade in the Village.

Is this the Courthouse from Law & Order?

The kids were cold and tired so we stopped at Caffe Napoli for dessert and coffee. This place was phenomenal.

Italian Cheesecake
At this point, the kids were "over" going to the Halloween parade and decided it would be fun to just Trick-or-Treat in Chinatown. This neighborhood was a lot of fun!

The kids ALSO decided that it would be fun to try to Trick-or-Treat in Times Square, we hopped on the subway (seeing a lot of people heading to the Halloween parade in the Village) and headed up to 42nd Street and Time Square. It was hustling and bustling at 10 pm on Halloween (and on a Friday!) - it's shocking to me that everything is still open and busy at that late hour!

The kids were dying to see M&M World, so we went into the three story monstrosity for more candy and a souvenir. They also got to meet the yellow M. Doesn't he look thrilled?

Full costume without the jacket and hat
Oh, and more beer.

Realizing we had eaten nothing with junk since we had been in the city, we grabbed (delicious) salads from the deli across the street. It was after midnight before I got to bed.

Saturday - The only day where we knew the weather was going to be terrible, so we didn't have much planned. We had also done so much every other day that we knew it was going to be an easy day. It was rainy and windy, and first order of business was getting coffee and another umbrella for Jessa and Jackson, as one of theirs had broken.

We took the kids to Build-A-Bear (mainly so Ariel could get a special NY bear) and then we got lunch at the Playwright Tavern - a delicious Irish Pub.

The kids with their new friends

Shepherd's Pie
We walked over to NBC Studios, thinking we might be able to do a tour, but they have apparently stopped doing those. The kids were already tired of the weather and moving around, but we didn't want to waste the day. We took the subway to the 9/11 Memorial, where I finally saw the North and South pools, new since the last time visited. We opted to skip the museum since the kids were pretty much DONE.

Picked up donuts and coffee and headed back to the hotel in the doom and gloom.

We spent a bit of time in the hotel. The kids were playing, the adults were napping. The last few days had really taken a toll on me. Woke up around dinner time and decided to get a burger. We found decent reviews for the "Shake Shack." It WAS really good although the seating is very limited, so be prepared to stand like an animal and eat.

More beer. And dessert.

Sunday - NYC MARATHON!! This legitimately took THE ENTIRE DAY. I mean, other than getting to the race, running and eating, I did nothing. I think we had more beer, and then we watched The Help. In bed relatively early because I was EXHAUSTED.

Monday - We had a half day in the morning to get done the only thing we missed - riding bikes in Central Park. We got up early, finished packing and dropped our bags off in the lobby. We got coffee and took the subway to Columbus Plaza, where we found a guy on the corner advertising bike rides. Me and A got our own bikes and Jessa and Jackson rented a tandem since he can't ride without trainers yet. Central Park is 7 miles around and we figured two hours would be plenty of time. We were a bit afraid to ride with the kids on the street so we walked the bikes until we got inside the park, where we realized we could only ride on the actual road, not on any of the trails. We stopped quite a bit to take pictures (it IS the most scenic part of NYC), and also had to walk a decent amount of uphills. Which was fine by me because I was STILL SO SORE.

We got back to about the part of the park where the marathon had ended and we were told no bikes were allowed to pass through (because of the Marathon Monday tent sale). We tired to walk our bikes over to Central Park West, but the sidewalk was closed. We ended up having to walk a decent section of the trails because there was no where we were allowed to ride.

We finally got the bikes back, only a few minutes late and picked up a quick lunch at Mickey Spillane's in Hell's Kitchen. Here, I'm having a Buffalo Chicken wrap (and I shared A's meatball sandwich), before walking back to the hotel to get our stuff and go to the airport.

My favorite stick person sign in the city? "Don't tie your shoes by the pigeons."

We arrived at the hotel, got our bags and took a hired car back to La Guardia. The drive took about 45 minutes and we checked our bags curbside - so much easier. La Guardia is a terrible, windowless, foodless airport. I spent an obscene amount of money on a burrito for dinner on the plane. We left on time, but the flight was closer to four hours. Landed early, and got home just after 9 pm. EXHAUSTED.

Weekly Miles Run - 33.52
Minutes of Cross Training - None, except lots of walking and riding bikes in Central Park
Minutes of Strength/Stretching - None

Weekly Weigh In - ????

  • You saw all my food pictures. No good can come of stepping on the scale!


  1. Gr8 Photos!!! Thanx 4 Posting So Many!! I have only had wonderful experiences in Manhattan and your photos have refilled my head w/some of those memories. Thank You

  2. you really got the most out of your trip. I love that they offered tandem bikes... i could have fun with those. I've decided my scale (despite only have it for 1 month) is clearly broken because every time i step on it, the number fluctuates drastically (up or down... mostly up)

  3. Finally! Been waiting for this recap!!!! So happy for you & the awesome time you had in NY!! That's great that you stuck to the NY basics and didn't overload the kids. I can't wait to be able to say, "I'm spending the weekend in New York with my daughter"... next year, hopefully! I'm an over-planner and know I'm going to plan to do way too much and then I'll be upset when we don't hit it all. Good for you for being so easy going, skipping the parade and doing something else the kids wanted to do instead (I'd have been so grumpy about having to do the M&M museum, I think. lol) We rode bikes in Central Park once (pre-Kid), and somehow ended up on the Harlem side when we meant to go the other way. That was the BEST way to see the park, IMO.

    As I was reading about everything you did in NY here I was thinking the whole time, She hasn't even run the marathon yet...YIKES!!! that made me super exhausted. Girlie, you really know how to burn the candle at both ends! Hope you have a restful week coming up!

    1. I was relieved to miss the Halloween parade! The cooler weather had started and I didn't especially want to be out in the elements. We had a few adult things we wanted to do (marathon included), but also wanted to give the kids an opinion on what to do. We haven't had a big family trip in a long time, so this was a lot of fun for all of us :)

  4. Wow you did a lot. I was wondering how you liked Wicked. I saw it in Chicago and the group I was with (and myself) didn't care for it. That was several years ago, but we all thought it was long-winded and kind of boring. I appreciated what I saw - and the talent it took to put it on - but it wasn't for me.

    I liked your pictures though and it sounds like you really took advantage of all that New York had to offer. Glad you had a good trip. Hopefully all your adventures before the race didn't wear you down too much. Also what a treat for Ariel as well.

  5. I have ALSO gotten cheesecake at Caffe Napoli. Delicious.

  6. I’ve been to NY many times and have yet to do the statue of liberty-so i’m a bit jealous. I’ve also heard about grimaldi’s and never been and still haven’t walked the brooklyn bridge. We just got a shake shack here and i haven’t been but have heard about how good it is, too! I can’t believe we were both in times sq friday night and both at the park monday and i never saw you. i will continue to be sad about this :( you did a TON on your trip and i’m impressed! i don’t think i could’ve run the marathon after yalls agenda. glad yall had a good trip.


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