Monday, July 25, 2016

New York City with Ella, part 2 (The Met and Matilda)

We walked across Central Park and headed to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and it was amazing! It was absolutely enormous and there were so, so many standout pieces to see, including entire ancient Egyptian temples! We didn't spend nearly as much time as we could have inside but we made it to all the big and most famous exhibits before heading to lunch.
Mike and I were so excited to head back to Patsy's Pizzeria and then to Serendipity for frozen hot chocolate. What is crazy is that we totally randomly stopped at Patsy's on our quick trip here in the fall but it turns out almost everyone we know loves it and has been there. It must have been destiny :-).
We walked back to our hotel SUPER stuffed but stopped by Grand Central Station to check it out first. Then we freshened up, got dressed a little nicer and headed to see Matilda at the Shubert Theatre and absolutely LOVED it!!! We had no idea what to expect and were blown away. It was hilarious and the stage sets and special effects were amazing. I teared up at the end when everyone stood to give the little girl playing Matilda a standing ovation because the moment just hit me...standing in a cool old theatre in New York City and seeing an awesome Broadway production. We will never forget it!
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I haven't heard of this guy but I loved this painting
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Sunday, July 24, 2016

New York City with Ella, part 1 (Top of the Rock, the Yankees and Museum of Natural History)

Quite a few years ago I remember hearing about some friends that would do a special trip with their children when they turned 12 and the idea stuck with me. With Ella turning 12 at the end of this summer we decided to start the tradition in our family and were able to squeeze in a trip with Ella to her city of choice, New York City. Mike and I tried to sway her to San Francisco because we have both been itching to go back there, but I can't say we were too disappointed with her pick either :-).
As soon as we knew which champs meet Ella was swimming in we were super excited because it meant we would be done a week earlier and could for sure do this trip! We headed out on Tuesday, the 19th, after arranging for Addie and Preston to be taken care of by Kayley, my grandparents and my good friend Katie...thank goodness for friends and family to help make fun things happen for us :-)!
Upon arriving in NYC we used Uber for the first time EVER and our driver was a cute little lady named Nancy who happened to be Dominican and told us of a good restaurant to get good Dominican food. We had to figure out which day we could work it in, but we made it happen before we left :-).
We checked into our hotel, The Algonquin, which we booked using points. We had debated about whether to use points and stay somewhere nice or not but in the end decided to be in a good location was worth it and I'm so glad we did because being able to walk to so much was definitely convenient. The hotel was really cool and is the oldest continuously running hotel in New York City. (also I spent a lot of time on google maps before we came to plan our days and make the best use of our time)
We dropped off our bags and headed out to explore! (our plane landed at 1:30pm but it was about 3pm by the time we were off) We showed her radio city music hall, which was right down the street from us, got some street food to hold us over to dinner and went up to The Top of the Rock.
Before heading to New York City I had made a list of our must-see attractions and then checked out the City Pass for NYC...it covered EVERY SINGLE ONE! It was such a steal and I definitely recommend checking it out if you go.
From Top of the Rock we walked over to Times Square, got some dinner right by our hotel at The Red Flame, freshened up and then headed out for a Yankees game. We had asked the hotel for directions on what to do to get to Yankees stadium and it seemed easy enough so off we went on the subway. Well, I think we were a little over confident after our Italy public transportation experience and we ended up heading the WRONG direction on the RIGHT train for 30 minutes. Once we figured it out we had to go back the right direction another 30 minutes to get to where we started and THEN take the 20 minute correct portion to the stadium...but we got there! The stadium was beautiful, we ate some ball park food, took in some of the game and then headed back to the hotel to call it a night!
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excited to see a sign for Matilda!
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remembering where we needed to get back to on the Subway :-)
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The next day we were up at a decent time, ate breakfast at our hotel (there were some delays getting into our room the night before so they offered us free breakfast while we were there and it ended up being SOOO yummy!) and then headed out for a long day with LOTS of walking. Ella did complain a few times about the amount of walking but we told her we wanted to walk lots so we could eat lots ;-)! And we had a celebrity sighting!!! Our hotel was right down the road from Good Morning America and as we were walking by Julianne Moore was leaving and stopped to sign autographs. We also saw them filming their workout Wednesday segment outside.
We had 4 big items to check off on Wednesday...The Museum of Natural History, The Met, eating at the Italian restaurant Mike and I randomly stopped at and loved in the fall, and going to see Matilda that night. Our hotel was close enough that we planned a big circular route and just walked the route, which included crossing through Central Park.
I loooove natural history museums and was very excited to see this one. We walked through most of it (it is huge!) and saw the Planetarium show before getting a street food snack and sitting in central park to eat it before heading to the next stop (which I will blog later).
We lucked out with cool temperatures while we were there, but Wednesday was the best of them all!
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so exciting when we saw the theater we would be going to later that night!
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took this one for Addie
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loved the path to the cafeteria at the museum haha...
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hoping to get the rest of the trip blogged tomorrow!