Monday, June 30, 2014

East Coast 2014: Week Two - New York City

We spent 3 hours in Philadelphia on our way to NYC. We hit a lot of historical spots & some yummy eateries in our short time there!
The First National Bank. Gorgeous building that's not in use right now.

Some friendly construction guy offered to take our family picture!
...and then let our girls wear his hat for a picture for Boppy!

This is the building where the people who formed our type of government met before we even were a country. Lots of open-minded and truly revolutionary thinking went on here!

Happened to see a short street re-enactment!

"On this spot in 1894 nothing happened." 

The coolest (and oldest?) ice cream parlour in the USA! 
Mila's messy knees during an ice cream event!

The girls being good & watching a show while their parents got packed for a full day in NYC.

Our first stop getting off of the subway. We had no idea what the neighborhood would be like that we popped up into, but this neighborhood - West Village - was super cute & clean.  We stopped at a cafe on Christopher/Gay Streets & Maren got the best croissant of her life while Michael looked at activities to do for the day and the girls looked at puppies playing in a pet shop window!

Michael let Maren go shopping at an eclectic multi shop emporium. 

The Washington Arch - the thing I wanted to see the most - it just always looks so cool in movies… It was honestly a little disappointing.  But the playground nearby wasn't!

Found a great lunch spot that had great Jamician food & fresh squeezed juice. We even met Melvin & it was his birthday. Everyone there was so nice - they gave the girls free apple slices.

A cool play structure where we picnicked. 

It started to rain so we looked for an indoor activity nearby.

Luckily the Children's Art Museum was close. It was SO much fun for everyone in the family! We all made art!

Avi used the paper as her palette. Mila used her face! Luckily they were washable markers!

See how Mila put the dot stickers on her face?!

Avi built a NYC skyscraper from milk cartons!

Everyone making art! We spent hours here!

Dinner in Union Square Park. Mila couldn't stay awake! It was a long day!

We met a man who was letting his bunny "Blob" run free in the parks shrubs. He taught us all about bunny care and let Avi hold his bunny - it was a great experience!

About 11 hours of exploring the city and Avi is running to the subway! She's had a trooper attitude the whole time we were there! What a girl!

The view of NYC from Jersey City after we got off the subway.
The end of our first day… what a day!


Our second day we rented bikes and cruised all along the Hudson River. Here's the new One World Trade Center tower.
The very sombering 9/11 memorial. 

A park we stopped at along the bike trail.

Clinton Tower Park.

Buttercream & Mila!

Avi was so steady and happy riding up front. At first she thought she couldn't do it, but then she gave it a try and loved it!
Mila is bigger than most of Manhattan's skyline!

A traveler from South America who fell in love with our girls. She barely spoke English, but my girls and her got along just fine!

No matter where they are, my girls will find flowers to pick and give to people!

A huge ship along the Hudson!

Mila on Madison. We shopped at H & M for a good part of the morning while Mila napped in the ergo.

Eataly! A huge, busy indoor Italian store with a pizzeria, meat shop, gelato, cafe, sweet shop, and more! I could spend a few weeks in here!

A decorative post on the Flatiron building.

We took our pizza to Union Square Park and ate our pizza. We happened to see my old college professor from Fresno who now lives in NYC. We got to talk to Martin Paul for about an hour!  Then some photography students came by and gave these flowers to our girls. 

We walked on the Highline. It was a really cool use of a strip of old railroad track above the city. 
It had a little waterpark where you could splash and get your feet wet.

Very green & cool for the middle of the city!

 Mila has learned to use the toilet so when she says "me pee" we have to stop wherever we are and pull out her porta potty! What an adventure! When we were on the subway, she just had to go in her pull up diaper. Most New Yorkers didn't even give us a sideways glance!

The subways were safe, but not clean!! The insides weren't bad, but the tubes were last revitalized in 1914 it seemed!

Breakfast at our campsite! Ha! This was the free night we got because we had to dry camp amongst the boats in the overflow lot.

Getting ready for another day of lots of walking and exploring!


Sunday morning service in this beautiful church, Cathedral of St John the Divine.
Me and Mila looking at the beautiful stained glass.

We went to Brooklyn for a baby carrier & a picnic lunch. We walked along a park & then walked back to Manhattan along the Brooklyn Bridge
Mila fell asleep - I guess she likes her new carrier!
Obligatory Brooklyn Bridge picture.

Central Park-"the mall"

A horse carriage ride through Central Park. 
I love this girl! (My belly is hanging out - I guess our third girl wanted to say "hi"!)

Avi trying to feed Dream, our horse, a carrot, but he wasn't too interested!

Subway time! We probably spent about 1.5 - 3 hours a day getting to and from our campsite to sites. It wasn't too easy, but our girls did great considering! Actually Avi loved it: all the faces, the way the train moved, hopping from on train to the next, swinging on bars when the train was empty. Mila just got a little stir crazy, but we could show her a video and that would usually calm her.

Mommy is about to go crazy. It's already bedtime, but we are still far from home. Avi starts doing her silly drunk walking up and down the aisle. While Mila whines to be let go and has fits of fussiness for no reason (other than being completely exhausted)! Maren is about to pull out her hair, but then an endearing moment happens, like when Mila walked across the aisle and held hands with an older woman. Or like when Avi was the only one to stop and say "hi" to a lonely Wall Street suited man. 
Thankfully, Michael is laughing at all the craziness with me!

Exhausted! Avi slept in 1.5 hours longer than Mila. Thankfully, Michael took Mila exploring and Avi and I got to sleep in!

Showing a show to keep them occupied on a long subway ride.

Michael at 30 Rock. 

Toilets! My 3 complaints about NYC: the weather (but we have high standards), the subways dirtiness, and the difficulty finding a toilet! Being pregnant and having to drink a lot of water to stay hydrated and just having to pee a lot I had a couple of "nightmare" situations! Luckily, I was able to hold it all in (if you know what I mean)! This was the toilet at Saks Fifth Avenue. One if the nicest toilets I visited in the city!

Grand Central Station with The Empire State Building in the background. 

Mila was in awe of the ceiling at Grand Central!

We had a nice lunch in the station! It was fun and tasty! 

Avi and Maren and the pretty ceiling!

Mila napping while Michael and I explored the Museum of Photography. Avi sat in the stroller and watched a show. 

We went to find the closest Red Box to return our movie, and just happened to be at the Walgreens in Times Square!

Mila asleep on Michael again!

A subway entertainer amused our kids & Michael! 

The view of the NYC skyline from our Jersey City campsite. We could also see the Statue of Liberty. 

Waking up slowly in the RV, letting the girls watch Nemo.

These two kissing cracks me up!

Avi drinks creamer whenever she gets a chance!

Avi's new H&M outfit!

Goodbye NYC! See you soon, hopefully!