Wednesday, June 29, 2011


She is getting up on all fours, and rocking. Avery is getting mobile!

ignore my obnoxious voice.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Empire State of Mind

Vacation Recap -- Part 2

Day 2 in NYC. The plan for this day was to go uptown. See Rockefeller Center, Top of the Rock, Midtown, Central Park, and maybe hit a museum if there was time. I wanted to wander down Madison Ave, and look at all the fun stores, window shop, and find some fun places for lunch and cocktails.

We started out by going to Penn Station to get our train tickets for the next day bought, and figure out what we were supposed to do. It was only a few blocks from our hotel, so that worked really well. After that, we made our way to Times Sq.

After walking through that madness, which was pretty cool to see, we headed over to Rockefeller Center. Somehow we wound up in the Diamond District. The street we were on was lined with jewelry stores. One after another, and most of them had someone out front to bring in business too. It was kind of odd, but fun to see as well. We made it to Rockefeller Center. It was hard to miss.

We had lunch in the area, and then walked up 5th Ave {no trips this time} to Central Park. As we did this, we passed the 21 Club. I thought it sounded familiar, and I knew I had seen the photo of the exterior before.

Then it hit me that I had read about it in Danielle Steele novels. All the "fancy people" go to dinner here. Fun Stuff. I liked the jockeys on the balcony.

We made our way up 5th, to 59th St. We saw the Plaza Hotel, and the fountain out front.

Carrie Bradshaw said goodbye to Big here...

We entered Central Park at this point. There were a lot of horse drawn carriages that offered rides throughout the park. Central Park was huge. I was not expecting it to be this big. We meandered through, and saw a pond, carnival, open green space, and made our way to the Literary Walk and Mall. I knew I had wanted to see this, and it did not disappoint. Tony really liked the park as well.

While we were at the Terrace and Bethesda Fountain {above pic} we noticed a photo shoot going on. There were also a bride and groom being photographed. I am going to keep a lookout for Vogue or other high fashion magazines to see if I come across the model.

At this point it looked like rain was imminent. We started to think about what our plan was going to be. It was also later in the afternoon, and the museums were not going to be open much later, so we scrapped that part of the plan. We left the park and started walking back towards midtown. We were on the Upper East Side, and there were some pretty jazzy townhomes, and stores. A little out of our league. We strolled along Madison Ave, but it was in the rain, so not much window shopping on this day. Oh well.

We got back to Rockefeller Center to do our Top of the Rock tour. It was definitely a great way to see Manhattan. It was still overcast and rainy, but we made do.

King Kong was here.
We also got some pictures of us with some skyline in the background.

There was one more thing I wanted to do for sure before we went to dinner and wrapped up our NYC adventure. The HIGH LINE PARK. It is an old elevated rail line that has been turned into a walking park. We took the subway from Rockefeller Center downtown to West 20th street and entered the park there. That is where section 2 starts, and that had just opened the week before. Our hotel was on West 29th, so we planned to walk back to as close as our hotel as possible. I got some great pictures, and it was a really cool park to see.

The next morning we took the Amtrack train into Connecticut and stayed a night at Foxwoods. We dug the Amtrack train, it was incredibly comfortable, and it was pretty fun to use as well.

Overall, I loved NYC. If circumstances allowed, I would go once a year. Tony liked some of the things we did and saw, but if it was not for something specific, like a ball game or concert, he doesn't really have a desire to go back.

I will try to get to Foxwoods and Boston this week. It takes time to edit the photos and write up the posts, and well, life has gotten in the way of the blog!

Next Up: Foxwoods {not much to write about, but we had a great time!} and Boston {We had a lot of fun!}

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I {heart} NY

Vacation Recap -- Part 1

New York New York.

Let me start by saying that Tony made this possible, and for that I am forever grateful. Back when we were just married and childless, I had told him in passing that if we still did not have a baby, or one on the way, I would like to go to NYC for my 30th birthday. Well, fast forward, and we have little girl Avery, and we still got to go to NYC for my 30th birthday. Good work husband. Good work.

So after a tearful goodbye to our sweet little girl, we were off to the airport. My mom and dad graciously offered {were told} to take care of Avery and Amigo while we were gone, so flying out of MSP made perfect sense, and saved us some cents {see what I did there? yeah}

We got to the airport just in time to see our flight had been delayed. No biggie, we were on vacation, so when we got there, we got there. After a while longer, the flight was delayed again. Ok, maybe time to hit the airport bar for some apps and a cocktail.

We finally were able to take off and we were on our way. I was SO excited! We landed at JFK, found our luggage and decided to take a cab into Manhattan rather than attempt to navigate the subway for the first time at 11 pm, with all of our luggage. Pretty sweet deal. Once we got to our hotel, and all checked in, we were pretty much cashed. However we were pretty jazzed to see this in our room:
yes, that is the bathtub accessible from both the bathroom and the bedroom part. Awe-to-the Some!

We had tentatively planned to start the day downtown, and check out the World Trade Center, Wall St. and the financial district, take the ferry to Staten Island so we could get a good view of the skyline, Brooklyn  Bridge, and the Statue of Liberty. After that we planned to wander around and make our way back to our hotel at some point.

The ferry to Staten Island was a popular choice. It might be because it was free. Everyone got the same information we did that you hop on, see the sights, and when it docks, hop onto the ferry going back to Manhattan. Pretty slick though.

We got some nice views of the Statue of Liberty as well.

Then we started to wander. The ferry took about 90 min for the time to wait to board, and go to Staten Island and back. We were ready to find somewhere to rest a bit, and have a drink. After wandering the streets back north, we found an awesome authentic Irish bar. The bartender was even from Ireland. For reals. We also found Chinatown and Little Italy. Very authentic and fun little neighborhoods. On the way from the Irish bar to Chinatown, we walked by the Brooklyn Bridge.

I was too chicken to try dinner in Chinatown. I like my Chinese very Americanized, or that is what I told myself. Maybe next time? We did make another pitstop in Little Italy at a bar on Mulberry. It was pretty fun, and they had a lot of Soprano's memorabilia on the walls, along with photos of celebrities that had stopped by. I am not sure if it was used in the filming of the Soprano's but we might find out this summer. {Tony and I are just getting into it. Last summer was West Wing}. EDIT: It was the Mulberry Street Bar, and has been used for filming many movies and TV shows, including The Soprano's. FUN!

photo stolen from the Internet of Mulberry Street Bar

We also wound through SoHo, Tribeca, and into Greenwich Village. We found a fun little tiki bar that had Miller Lite specials, so we bellied up to the bar for a while. It was on Bleeker, and neither one of us could figure out why it sounded so familiar. Upon getting back and seeing a few episodes of Sex and the City, it was mentioned a few times. Not sure why it was familiar to Tony. You know he doesn't watch SATC with me.

After walking past a store in the Village that is called The Little Lebowski, which features all things Big Lebowski, we found our way to Washington Sq. Park. It was packed. There were people in the fountain. On a Monday night. At 9pm.

Next we were on 5th Ave, walking north, with a beautiful view of the Empire State Building in front of us.

And that is when it happened.

The Big Trip.

I was too busy looking up to realize that there was a curb I should step over. I tripped. Big Time. I felt like it was in Slow Motion.

{looking up at beautiful skyline, Empire State Building}
{oh! Ouch! faaaaalllllliiiiinnnnng!}
{landing on my knees, hands}

And then it hits me. IN THE CHIN. I smacked my chin on the sidewalk.

On 5th Ave.

In front of a crowd of businessmen in suits just leaving dinner.


Only me. Only me.

It's not a vacation until someone falls in front of a crowd, and skins their knees. Same thing happened on our honeymoon. No Lie.

I was SUPER embarrassed. Tony tried to save me, but I am too clumsy. I was fine, just embarrassed. The businessmen were very nice, and made sure I was ok.

After that we called it a night. We hoofed it the rest of the way back to the hotel. Found some food {not good} and that was that. We were exhausted. We had seen a lot that day, and there was plenty more to see and do the next day. I knew going into it that there was no way to see all that I wanted to on this trip.  I made a point to enjoy what we could, and not turn into a raving lunatic tourist that was so busy sightseeing, I didn't really see anything, or enjoy it. While it turned into a long day, it was super fun, even if I fell in front of a crowd and skinned my knees. again.

More to come on the rest of NYC, our trip through Connecticut, Boston, Fenway, Bruins Parade, and the Freedom Trail.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

back home

As I was packing us up on our last night in Boston, I looked over the suitcases and had this exchange with Tony.

Me: I think I packed too much for me, I could have done better.

Tony: {just stares at me, like "I told you so"}

Me: Now that I have been to NYC and Boston, I will know what to wear and pack better next time.

Tony: You pack too much to go up to your parents overnight.

Me: Not always, sometimes I can do really well.

Tony: Yep, even the blind squirrel finds a nut.

Me: {laughing hysterically}

I will have a recap and pictures to post later in the week, once I spend more time with our kid, catch my breath, get caught up with work, do laundry, pick up the disaster area that is our house after we dumped all our crap everywhere, and catch my breath.

Here is a quick recap of vacation in pictures. More to come...