Thursday, September 30, 2010

The State Fair

September began with a whirlwind trip to New York and ended with a trip to the State Fair of Texas.

Our family drove to Farmersville, Texas, where we met up with some friends.  After loading all eight of us into our expedition we headed off to the fair.  We spent several hours enjoying time with friends, eating unhealthy fried food, seeing & petting animals, riding all sorts of fair rides, and doing LOTS of WALKING.  It was GREAT!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

NYC Birthday Adventures

 Wes and I have wanted to visit New York City for a long time, and this year for my birthday we finally did! We made it a mini family trip.  I say mini, because we flew out of DFW International Airport early Thursday morning, September 2nd, and flew back on Saturday, September 4th.  We only had Thursday and Friday to do all our sightseeing, which kept us rather busy.  Here is a summery of what we did.

We took a limo ride from LaGuardia Airport in Queens, NY, through the city to the Times Square area to our hotel.  After checking into our hotel we immediately hopped in a taxi to make it to Battery Park by 2pm to catch the ferry over to Liberty Island, where we visited The Statue of Liberty.  Along the way we drove past the World Trade Center Site, also known as Ground Zero, and saw the construction of the Freedom Tower and the future 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

After our visit to Liberty Island we returned to Battery Park, and we began walking towards Wall Street where we saw The New York Stock Exchange and the site where George Washington was sworn in as the First President of the United States of America.  Along the walk we also saw Trinity Church located in the Wall Street District.  By this time we were hot, sweaty, and tired so we decided to take the subway back to our hotel.

Back at the hotel I received birthday cards and beautiful pink roses from Wes, Katherine, & Sebastian.  It was a little early since my birthday wasn't till the next day, but I didn't mind! :-)

We soon headed out again and this time we took a taxi to Columbus Circle and began walking through Central Park.  As we stopped atop a bridge for me to admire the view, Wes and the kids decided this was the perfect spot for me to open my birthday gift...a new wedding ring set! (A picture will come later, but at the time we didn't take a photo & I can't take one now as the rings are being sized at the jewelers in Grapevine, TX!)

As our walk through Central Park continued Sebastian spotted Heckscher Playground, which is the oldest & largest playground in Central Park.  We had an interesting time entering through the rock & maze-like water feature, but we finally made it! (And there was an easier entrance to the park that we found later as we were leaving!)  The kids slid down the old metal slide, and we enjoyed swinging on the swings together as a family while enjoying the beautiful trees & city skyline around us.

It wasn't long before we decided to explore more of Central Park.  I marveled at each bridge we saw and would have loved to seen all the park's 36 bridges & arches. It wasn't possible to see every bridge & arch, so as we walked under Driprock Arch I stopped for a picture.  My family wasn't as impressed as I, and we continued our walk onto Wollman RinkVictorian Gardens Amusement Park is the summer operation of Wollman Rink, and Wes was thankful the amusement park was closed.  We did enjoy another beautiful NYC view and great photo opportunities!

By this point on Thursday it's getting dark, and we're getting hungry.  We flagged down another taxi and headed to the corner of 5th AVE & 59th ST.  We saw Pulitzer Fountain & The Plaza Hotel before going into the Apple Store on Fifth Ave.  As we came out of the Apple Store we walked past F A O Schwarz on our way to dinner at Pop Burgers.  Then it was back to our hotel for a few minutes before walking over to Times Square where our first stop was to the largest Toys 'R' Us store.  While Sebastian and I walked around in the store Wes & Katherine rode the Ferris wheel inside the store.  After the store closed we ventured around in Times Square before walking back to our hotel.  We were exhausted and it was time for sleep.

On Friday, after Wes brought us breakfast from McDonald's and a caramel latte from Starbucks for me, we headed off for the Empire State Building. We walked past Herald Square on our way to the Empire State Building, and later we decided we need to walk back over there to do a little shopping at Macy's where we found some great deals.  Everyone but me ended up with at least one new outfit from there!  I figured it was their turn to be on the receiving end since I'd been the recipient of several gifts already on this little trip! :-)

There was still some more shopping to be done as Katherine and I entered American Girl Place while the boys took a walk up Fifth Ave.  Once we were reunited we decided it was time for lunch.  Wes and I watched a show on The History Channel about the the making of pastrami and the show featured Carnegie Deli of New York and their Pastrami Sandwich.  Wes really wanted to eat there, and so we did.  Our meal was delicious, and we left full.  Thank you History Channel!

When we left Carnegie Deli we decided to walk over and see The Ed Sullivan Theater before flagging down a taxi to take us back over to Fifth Ave to finish off some shopping at F A O Schwarz.  We began winding down our afternoon with a walk down Fifth Ave. We walked about ten blocks south before turning west to see Rockefeller Plaza. It was near Rockefeller we decided to flag another taxi and go back to our hotel.

We rested for about an hour in our hotel room before I realized we needed to eat dinner, so the kids and I walked around the corner to McDonald's for dinner.  After our Mickey D's meal we went back to our hotel to get ready for our night at the theater.

We finished Friday by attending a theater production of Mary Poppins at the New Amsterdam Theater.  The production was incredible!  We had a terrific time, and it left us longing to see more theater productions!

On Saturday morning it was time for us to say goodbye.  New York has left us with a desire for more, so until next time  New York...we'll miss ya!

*Enjoy the nearly eight minute slide show!