Friday, June 25, 2010

Start Spreading the News -- We're Back (from NYC...) ;)

We took a few days off to travel first to Long Island for my niece's 8th grade graduation (from the Catholic school that she has attended since Kindergarten!), and then it was on to New York City for the weekend, to attend a family wedding. We had a wonderful trip (although, the parking garage did a number on the side of our minivan -- not thrilled about that at all...)! We made it into a mini vacation and Grandpa and Gramby were wonderful enough to fly in for the weekend to watch the girls while we attended the wedding! They took the girls to see the Museum of Natural History (aka the "Night at the Museum" museum...) and they also took them to dinner at Ellen's Stardust Diner on Broadway -- a fun, fifties diner that is very family friendly! All of the waiters and waitresses have wonderful voices and they take requests and sing while they are working -- the girls loved it! We were able to get connecting rooms in the hotel, so while we were at the wedding Grandpa and Gramby put the girls to bed in our room, and were able to relax and watch tv or read in their room while the girls slept (or pretended to sleep, as the case was...).

On Father's Day, after having a lovely "day after the wedding" brunch with the family, we walked around the city and took the girls to FAO Schwartz. This is so much more than just a toy store -- there were exciting things to see, bigger than life toys, hands-on activities -- we all had a great time! We stopped to watch two men dancing along, playing the huge piano from the movie "Big" with Tom Hanks. I remember when my mom and I went to NYC for my first time when I was 17 or 18 -- we were so disappointed, because the "Big" piano was a SMALL version -- nothing like in the movie. This time it did not disappoint, and after the two men were done with their performance, they opened it up for children and adults to try it out. We took pictures of each of our girls on the piano -- too cute!

In addition to that fun experience, the girls enjoyed making crafts at one the many interactive tables around the store. There were lots of opportunities for the kids to try out different toys -- surprisingly, we did not go crazy on souvenirs! I think each girl walked away with 3 souvenirs, and that included a dress up outfit for my little one to wear to her princess-themed birthday party, and my older daughter picked out a Gryffindor scarf, a stuffed dragon, and some Bertie Botts' Every Flavor Beans from the Harry Potter section of the store.

After FAO Schwartz, it was back to the hotel for a (brief!) nap and then off for a nice dinner before heading to Broadway to see "Mamma Mia!" This was our girls' first Broadway show and while many people would think "Mary Poppins" or "The Lion King" for our girls, we knew that "Mamma Mia!" would hold both of their attentions! We have the movie and it is a favorite of both of the girls -- even our little one knows ALL of the songs! They were both very good at the show, and afterward, when we were heading back to the hotel (after dessert back at Ellen's Stardust Diner!!) the girls saw the poster again and my little girlie ran up, hugged it, and started singing the title song, "Mamma Mia!" Too cute -- had to take a picture (but was longing for my video camera!!)!

It was a whirlwind, but it was a wonderful trip! My husband grew up in Long Island and he worked in Manhattan for quite a while before coming back upstate and meeting me! He loves the city and it has been such a long time since we have spent any real time there. This trip made us realize that the girls are old enough to enjoy visiting NYC, and we only scratched the surface of what it has to offer this past weekend. We are definitely looking forward to our next visit!

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