Tuesday, January 7, 2014

NYC Day 1 and 2...

Many of you know we seem to have family all over the place and my dad got a job in March that took him to NYC.  Solon got a book for his birthday and has literally read it cover to cover everyday and nearly memorized every NYC building.  To say he was excited to visit Grandpa and NYC was an understatement.  We left EaRlY on the 20th on a direct flight to Newark from DSM.  YAY for direct flights.  The weather was yucky that morning, school was even delayed in DSM.  Luckily a little de-icing and a larger tug to push the plane was all that was needed to get us out of the icy mess and only were delayed about an hour.  We arrived at my parent's midtown apartment at about 11am!  We had lunch at home while we admired the view and the kiddos got acclimated and then we all took a nap (the kids and I in Grandpa's dark and quiet walk in closet).  

When we got up, we got ready to go to stop by a city version of Home Depot for Scott (actually fun to see) and then off to FAO Schwarz.  FAO was a MAD house and there was a line to get in.  Not ideal for little kids with mass amounts of people but oddly enough there was no line for the piano and we got right on...

Solon got to pick a little something out and we had fun looking at all the lego sculptures.  We exited the throngs of people and escaped back to the more low key area near my dad's apartment and had dinner at the local pizza place (I had eaten there in August and fell in love).  After dinner we walked back to the apartment.  My mom had brought a few gifts for the kiddos so they were anxious to open them.  We all headed to bed early after Ellen arrived in anticipation of another fun and busy day!
The next morning we hopped into 2 cabs (the only time we did that, we later used Uber cab which you can request to have a SUV pick you up which was ideal for our large group).  It was Vera's first time in a car sans car seat, she was unsure of it all...
 
Our first stop of the day was the Macy's Santaland.  It is similar to the one we did in Minneapolis last year.  The kiddos were kind of overwhelmed by the 45 minute wait and were a "tad" crabby in the picture below...
...but they perked up once we got inside and saw all the amazing displays including a train tree with HO trains going all around the tree at varying heights...
And then by some Christmas miracle, Vera and Solon sat on Santa's lap without any adult.  Solon even told him that he wanted a hot wheels wall track and Vera wanted a stroller and umbrella.  He also asked if chocolate chip cookies were okay for a snack and Santa said they were his favorite, phew (since they were already baked ;)!
Before leaving Macy's we looked at the windows which were okay....the story was kind of random in our opinion ;).
We then headed through the garment district on foot to see the flatiron building...a wedge of a building...quite interesting to see it from different angles.  As we walked there, there were various people offering you wigs and a whole bunch of wholesale jewelry and fabric stores...I had never been in the garment district before.  It was an interesting section of town.
Mom and Dad our hosts, note our attire - it was in the 50's, beautiful weather to see the city by foot!  However, after the flat Iron building we caught a subway to Grand Central Station.  Solon fell in love with subways when we visited his cousins in Sydney.  He loved riding it every.single.time and was SO curious...he about gave Grandma a heart attack...we had to review the rules of the yellow line!
We had fun exploring the station and seeing the old sign that still flips to show the different trains coming and going and going down to one of the tracks to see a train...

 Can you spot us in the picture below...look for my yellow coat!
By this point, we had gotten Solon and Vera a hot pretzel but the rest of us were getting hungry.  So we stopped by a corner deli that has the buffets of hot food and salad bar to each grab something to our liking and had a picnic at my dad's office!
Thank goodness no one was there, there may have been snitching from the board room snack collection and running the halls and a few snot spots on the glass doors where Vera and Solon both ran into them...we did capture a cute picture of them in Grandpa's office though!
Not a bad view - the Empire State building to the southwest and the freedom tower straight south!

After lunch the men and kids took the subway back to the apartment for rest and football while us ladies headed off to SOHO for some shopping fun!  We hit up some favorites and found a new store called Joe Fresh!  All the stores were having major sales to boost Christmas revenue so we found some good deals :)!

We headed home to put our feet up, I am sure we walked miles....before heading to dinner at a steakhouse just down the street from my dad's.  It was delicious, Scott said best steak ever...

Then we walked to Rockefeller Center (aka madhouse!) and to see the show on the side of Saks Fifth Avenue.  They project it on the side of the building every 5 minutes.  We watched it twice as the kiddos loved it.


And then we collapsed the strollers and attempted to see the tree lit up amongst the thousands of people.  After seeing the tree we actually met up with a fraternity brother of my dad's on a street corner and talked as we walked back to their hotel and our apartment...
This building was festive on Park Ave!

We all headed home and had a night cap and admired the view before falling soundly asleep!  Another fun day was in store...

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