Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I Heart NY

Whew!!! What a trip it was...but boy are we exhausted! I don't think anyone is more exhausted than Olivia though. In the past month the child has been coast to coast...from California to visit Aunt Sue Sue, to The Big Apple for our family reunion trip. Not to shabby for only 8 months old! My Mom won this trip through a contest sponsored by Crest Whitestrips. She wrote an essay describing why we should win an all expense paid trip to NYC for our family. Well she won and those of us who were able to go on the trip had a great time in the big city!

We arrived in New York last Thursday. The first few nights we stayed at the Crown Plaza, in the middle of Times Square. As soon as we arrived we dropped off our bags and took to the busy streets. I have been to New York many times as a child, but this was Todd's first time as well as Olivia's...obviously. The sights, sounds and energy of the city are indescribable as you walk down the crowded streets. It is an amazing city...unlike any other in the U.S. We went to lunch at a New York deli and did some shopping. Later in the day Todd and I left the baby with my Mom and walked around to check out some of the sights. We stopped by David Letterman's studios and on the way back to the hotel we couldn't resist stopping for a slice...

Yum...New York Style Pizza!

By Thursday night the rest of our family had arrived. We went out for a nice dinner and went to bed early, as we had a big day ahead of us on Friday. As part of the prize we were set up with an all-day private tour of New York City. Our own private tour guide picked us up early Friday morning and we headed on our way. We saw just about everything....from Central Park to Ground Zero to St. Patrick's Cathedral. We saw numerous famous buildings where many of the top celebrities live as well as some of the most upscale shopping in the country. We even saw the restaurant that was used in Seinfeld. It was an amazing tour that allowed us to see so much of the city in a short period of time. Here are a few highlights...

John Lennon Memorial in Central Park

Ground Zero - Construction Area for the Freedom Tower

Restaurant From the TV Show - Seinfeld

That evening we were treated to a Broadway musical...Wicked. Originally we were not sure how this was going to work with a baby. I was prepared to spend a great deal of the time in the lobby walking around with Olivia as I knew her attention span would not allow for her to sit through a 3 hour production. Well at the last minute my Mom agreed to stay at the hotel with Livie so the rest of us could go and enjoy the evening. It was so nice of her to sacrifice her evening so that Todd and I could enjoy this part of our trip. Wicked was amazing! The costumes, the set design and the singing... it was truly unforgettable!

On Saturday we started the day by walking around Rockefeller Plaza. Visiting the area where the famous Christmas tree is put up every year as well as the ice rink. We then took a tour of Radio City Music Hall. This amazing venue has so much history and is unbelievably gorgeous. We even got to meet an official Radio City Rockette! Olivia was fascinated with her!

That evening we went out for a big family dinner at an Italian restaurant in Little Italy. The restaurant was quite small and very noisy but it was very authentic and a lot of fun! We walked around Little Italy afterwards as it is such a fun area with lots of great shops and quaint restaurants.

Originally our trip was supposed to end at that point but we decided to extend it a few more days. A few of our family members headed home, the others were off to Boston and Maine, and Todd and I decided to stay one more night so that we could go to the Yankee game on Sunday. Todd is a huge Yankees fan and has waited 35 years to see a game at Yankee stadium. All he wanted was for the weather to be nice and to see a great game. Both of his wishes came true! It was a beautiful, sunny day and the Yankees beat Tampa Bay 21-4!

With this being Olivia's first Yankee game, she had to go in style! We found her an adorable little outfit in Yankee blue & gray. Olivia did great during the game and kept busy by entertaining everyone that was sitting around us. But after a few hours she was tuckered out and napped on Mommy's lap until the end. It was such a fun day for all of us...but I think Todd enjoyed himself the most!

#1 Yankee Fan!

Enough Excitement For One Day

Take Me Out to the Ballgame!

During our last night in the big city we decided to squeeze in one more activity and go to the top of the Empire State Building. It was a longer wait than we anticipated and once we got to the top it was so crowded that it was hard to see, but it was worth it as the view was amazing!

The next morning we woke up to very heavy rain. It was a miserable day in New York and we were so grateful that our weather was so perfect up to that point. We headed to the Newark airport and after a short delay we were informed that our flight was cancelled. So we were stuck in New Jersey until the morning. Luckily they put us up in a nice hotel and provided dinner. We ended up having a nice relaxing evening before getting up at 4am to catch our plane home. It was rough getting up that early...especially for Livie. Before getting on our flight we were randomly pulled aside at security and searched. Olivia received her first official pat-down. I wish I had a picture to go along with that, but they shy upon picture taking in the security area!

Overall it was a wonderful, fun-filled trip. We are all exhausted and glad that we aren't traveling again for awhile. Taking vacations as a family are great, but traveling with a baby leaves you longing for another vacation when it is all over! I must say, Olivia handled the trip so well! She was perfect on the airplane and handled the chaos of the trip much better than I expected. With very few naps and sleeping in strange places at night she proved to us that she is one exceptional baby! Thank you to my Mom for winning this trip for all of us! It was a time to remember, and being able to share it with the rest of our family made it even more special.

The City at Night

The Family - Minus Me, Grandma and Uncle John


Aunt Chris said...

WELCOME HOME!!! It looks like it was a fabulous trip...really nice pictures. I'm so glad that you got to stop by to see the ole Dave Letterman that guy!! Olivia is a true trooper. I don't even think my boys could take coast to coast like that. One final note....GO YANKEES!!!!

Kim and John said...

Looks like you had an amazing time! Go Yankees! Glad you are home safe and sound!

heather and jason said...

Wow, it looks like you got to see a lot of cool things. I wish I could have gone!!

Anonymous said...

I must say that Olivia took New York by storm! She is a very flexible little baby and a joy to travel with. She will be a seasoned traveler!

Wormie said...

Sounds like a fabulous time!!!!