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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

NYC Day 2: Freezing!

I used to be one of those people who didn't value sleeping in. I especially didn't understand why someone would go on vacation and then just sleep?!?! What a waste of a trip! You can sleep at home! Heck, you can sleep when you're dead!

Then I had children!

And yes, my kids sleep 12 hours solid each night from about the age of two months old...but they wake up every single morning at 7:10. There is never any sleeping in at our house! Now, I would LOVE to just SLEEP IN. 

When I made our itinerary for this trip (and, of course, we had an itinerary. Typed. And printed copies. Duh!) I purposefully left a good bit of down time. We've been to NYC before. We know we'll come back someday. This wasn't a cram-everything-in-now type trip! So on the morning of Day 2 we slept. And it was heavenly :)

Prior to coming on our trip we saw that Saturday (Day 2) would be some harsh weather. Like a high of 26 degrees. Yes, high. And snow! We were excited for snow! Who doesn't LOVE snow? Who doesn't want to see beautiful snow all over a beautiful city? Being from the south we think snow is so, so awesome. Well. This day burst my snow-loving-bubble. I learned that snow is basically rain but worse. Because it's very, very cold. 

This was a trip of regrets when it came to our proper clothing attire. On this day I went for straight up warmth. So I look like fool b/c I was wearing three pairs of pants and three shirts...oh and three pairs of socks and two jackets! :) I also should have brought my umbrella with me. Smart people were carrying umbrella's!

Outside our hotel!

SNOW!

We found a super yummy bagel place right down the street from our hotel. It was SO good! I really, really didn't want to leave. It was warm and toasty and it just looked miserable outside!!! 
Got my fav! Peanut butter, bacon, egg and cheese!
Mrs. Charlotte sent me a text with this PRECIOUS picture! Everyone got together and went to the Lowe's event that morning!!! It made me miss my babies, but I loved knowing they were having so much fun!
Jordan practicing those daddy skills!
We had a 1:30 appointment time for the 911 Memorial so we had a good bit of time to kill. We decided to head to Central Park. I really, really wanted to see it with the snow and knew it'd be beautiful. We figured we could hit up a few things before our ticket time for the Memorial!

Sent kids a pic of the Subway!

I mean, really?!?!
Right when we got off the Subway we were plummeted with snow. The view of Central Park was gorgeous but at that point I think it was like 19 degrees and felt colder with the wet snow on us. We just wanted to get inside somewhere pronto! We snapped a few pics of the snow but decided not to actually enter the park!






Visiting FAO was on my to-do list. We've been both previous times to NYC but I just love it. Especially once you have kids...toy stores are just awesome :) It was a ZOO in there! No only was it one of the last Saturdays before Christmas but it was also so awful outside that everyone wanted to be inside! 

Love me some Peeps!
You knew this pic was coming :) 
Heading upstairs!

Train we knew Kye would want to see!
The BIG Piano
No desire to wait in that line :) 
People often say that New Yorkers are rude. I've never had that experience?!?! I really and truly haven't noticed any "ruder" people than I witness at home in South Ga? Zach and I are both natural talkers and talk to everyone all the time...strangers quickly become friends when we're around :) FAO was no different. We were gearing up to go back out in the weather and started a friendly chat with some people who were so nice that they wouldn't stop talking haha!

Finally at the subway heading to the 911 Memorial!


We all remember where we were on Sept 11th when the World Trade Center came down...Zach and I visited Ground Zero on our honeymoon back in 2007 (someday I need to post those pics!) and def wanted to make sure to visit the new Memorial. When we visited in 2007 there was nothing there so we were eager to see the changes that have been made. 

We bought our passes in advance and they said to be there at 1:30. We got there and have NO CLUE why they gave us a specific time. Yall. I hate to be negative about such an emotional place, but it was a terrible experience for us. Obviously, nothing compared to what people experienced on Sept 11th but we very much wish we'd waited to make this visit until our next trip. The line was ALL outside. For over an HOUR. Again, it was snowing. And beyond freezing. The line barely moved and we had to go through two different security check points. Literally our passes were soaked through by the time we got to the final check point. 

Sent this to the kids! Daddy covered in snow!
Once we got through the check points we realized everything is outdoors. The actual legit museum isn't set to open until mid-2014. All that is completed right now are the fountains. We waited in line for so long and then just basically glanced and left. It was SO emotional for us when we visited in 2007 and I HATE that this weather made the experience less than what it should have been. I'm sure the fountains are amazing...we only looked at one of them because we just had to find somewhere inside. 



I took a picture of this tree because other people were but I had no clue the significance of it until later.

We bolted as fast as we could for the nearest place with heat. The 911 Museum isn't opened yet, but the gift shop is. And if you are going to NYC anytime soon I HIGHLY recommend JUST visiting the gift shop. The videos they have planning on loop are so moving. I cried. Zach even got emotional. We stood in there just watching them all. Hearing survivors stories, seeing artifacts. When they do finish the museum it's going to be something that EVERY American needs to visit. We both agreed it's worth planning a trip back to New York even if it's only to visit that. 

I also really loved the beautiful info packets they gave out for free at the Memorial.  In it it talked about the Survivor Tree I had taken a photo of earlier. It is a Callery pear tree and was planted on the original World Trade Center plaza in the 1970s. After 9/11 workers found the tree which had been reduced to an eight-food-tall stump. It was nursed back to health and grew 30 feet tall and in Dec 2010 it was returned to the World Trade Center site. It embodies the story of survival and resilience that is so important to the history of 9/11. Isn't that so amazing??? I really wanted to buy the kids a book about the tree but they didn't have a children's book selection. 

I really hate that we weren't able to fully take in the 9/11 Memorial on this visit. I was super, mega bummed about it. I hope we are able to go there again once the Museum is completed! 

After we were freezing so badly I was just DONE. I didn't care about doing anything else. I just wanted to go back to the room and rest and get warm!!!

Eery empty subway!

Parks and Rec in a WARM BED!
Snack time! Z got another bagel from the same shop
And I tried out their hot chocolate and brownie
(Don't judge my sexxxxy winter weather look...)
I got this text from Mrs. Charlotte! Kids were having fun with their awesome fort and Big Papa didn't mind!
We stayed in the room for a good few hours until it was time to get ready for dinner. In keeping with our "#1s" theme when it came to food for the trip...I booked our dinner at the #1 rated Steakhouse in NYC. Zach was SUPER excited :) 

We, obviously, took the Subway and walked to get to the restaurant. Other patrons? Arrived in their fancy cars with their fancy drivers. Everyone looked so warm and clean and elegant. When we walked in we were greeted by a large family at the bar who we are about 90% sure were mobsters. We were so, so, so out of place!!! I felt mega self conscious and didn't even want to take off my hat b/c I knew I would only look rougher haha

It was so funny because seated at the tables on either side of us were other couples. Both not married. Both older than us (probably early to mid 30s). Zach pointed out that we are married with two kids and one on the way and def younger than those people! I know "they" say our culture waits to get married and have kids and I guess this night was proof of that. I feel like where we live most people our age are married and in the kid zone now? Obviously not in New York! 

I really wasn't very hungry so Zach ordered a steak and I stuck to salad! 
We also shared some sides! :)

We were so impressed. The food was delicious and the service was wonderful. What impressed us the most though was that the owner personally came by and introduced himself to us. Was VERY genuine in asking us about ourselves and sharing things about himself as well. He had them bring out (free!) desserts for us to sample and offered to buy us drinks at the bar on the house (which, obviously, we declined!). How awesome is that though?!?! It really set the place apart for us and made the experience even more special!
Had to hold a little snow!
Maybe it was the food but I felt a lot more energized after dinner and suggested stopping in to do some shopping! I have never been into Bloomingdales (that I remember anyways) so we hit it up! We decided to go ahead and get our Christmas ornament from there. We also got one for Mrs. Charlotte as a thank you gift...since they had just been there in Oct we thought they'd like an ornament too! We laughed and joked around a lot about the variety of costs. I mean we bought the $15 ornaments...but some were over $100. Really!!! Craziness!
ALL day that day we saw people dressed as Santa all over town. It was so hilarious! When we got back to Grand Central I saw a couple of santas taking a selfie together in front of the clock so I ran over to offer my help. I know how annoying it is to take pictures that way! 
When I took their picture I asked about the whole Santa thing and they said it's "Santa con" where I guess that particular Saturday every year everyone dresses up like Santa. I assume it involves a lot of bar hopping bc many of the people we saw were feeling very tipsy! Still though, I LOVE themed stuff like that and I WISH we'd known to pack some Santa gear for ourselves! Such a fun thing!!!!





Taking a pic of me taking a pic of the santas :)
Of course they returned the favor for us!
(Yes, my hat is LAME! But I'm SO GLAD I grabbed it last min before we left home!)


When we first walked into the main area I noticed the light show type thing was an American flag. It was SO cool and I wanted Zach to see it. I figured the little light show thing was on rotation and that it'd just take a few minutes. Well it took like 10 min of us literally just standing there staring at it and once it did finally turn to the flag it changed within like 1 second haha It was a super cool light show though!!! This was my favorite one...Christmas scene :)

Flag as it's changing!
On the way back I had to grab more snow...yes, it was by a dumpster. So sanitary right?




This was the least fun day of the trip...all because of the SNOW. Which is hilarious since we wanted to see snow so badly! We def left with a better understanding of why people in the north don't like it. Sure, it's beautiful to look at and fun to play in but to actually get around in? Such a pain! And SO COLD. I was thankful for our warm cuddly bed that night and the promise of sleeping in the next morning :)

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