Saturday, December 22, 2012


A couple of weeks ago Brad asked me if I wanted to know what surprise he had been working on for me for Christmas.  What a silly question...of COURSE I did!  And then he told me the details of our upcoming weekend trip to NEW YORK!! I have always wanted to see the big Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, and he knew that...what a perfect idea!  He had booked flights (with Southwest credits),  booked a hotel (with Hilton Honors points), bought tickets to see Wicked, and arranged for grandparents to be with the kiddos.  He was going to wait to tell me a day or two before we left, but he opted to tell me a week ahead so I could prepare things for the kids and arrange for the whole breastfeeding/frozen milk situation vs formula.  I had wanted to wait until 6 months to feed formula, but I tried him on it before we left to make sure there would be no issues.  I couldn't wait!  We left last Saturday and were supposed to come home Monday night late ... which turned into Tuesday morning early.  I had such a blast - of course leaving the kids was slightly difficult and I was super excited to see them, but a few days away was magical!

Here we are getting a drink at the airport before we headed out.  You can do that when you don't have kids.  I guess you can do that when you do have kids, but it is easier and much more enjoyable without kids :)
We changed planes in Baltimore and then got to NYC.  We checked in to our hotel and then headed out to see the sights and get a late dinner.  I thought Katie would enjoy with Mickey and Cookie Monster!
And then...we saw it.  I just stood in awe for a couple is gorgeous on TV, but it is absolutely amazing in person.  
And I love this picture of us with the tree!
From there we ventured a few blocks over to Times Square.  I had forgotten how bright it is with all of the lights!
After walking around for a bit, and a few stops at trying to find a place to eat, we ended up at this BBQ joint.  The food was so good!
And then we walked around Times Square some more...amazing that I didn't need a flash at night!
We were pretty tired and called it a night fairly early.  The next morning we got up for breakfast before heading out to see more sights.  Here we are in the lobby!
Our first stop was Central Park.  We walked around and then made it to the ice skating rink!  So neat.  And no we didn't get out there and bust a move...that would have been dangerous...and we would've most likely busted an ankle or something.
And then we climbed a hill and got this view.  Right after this picture, we saw a man propose - so neat!
Afterwards, we ventured to the Plaza Hotel and walked around a little bit.  I couldn't help but think of Home Alone!
And then we channeled our inner child and headed to FAO Schwarz...SO neat!  It really is every child's dream!
We ended up with these two guys for the kids...the doggy for Jack and the piggy for Katie (which she named "Firetruck the Birdy"...what on earth?!).
We did some more walking (in the cold and rain) and walked into St. Patrick's Cathedral - it is so beautiful!
And then we went to H&M!!! I got a couple shirts and Brad actually got a couple sweaters and shirts.  I sure wish we had one of these stores here!
On our way back to the hotel, we stopped back by the tree to see it in the daylight (and we saw another proposal)!  It is just as magical during the day!
This is what I looked like when we got a wet, cold dog!
After getting cleaned up, we headed to a nice dinner at Bobby Vann's - the food was delicious!!
And we walked to the theater to see Wicked!
Here I am enjoying my drink at the show - they had adult sippy cups...novel concept!
Here was what the stage looked like, a close up of the fun sippy cup (and yummy drink inside) and the program!
And we got a picture all dressed up at the hotel...I love this picture!  After the show and this picture, we headed to a bar across the street and watched some football and had a few drinks.  It was such a fun night out!
Monday morning we woke up and packed our things, ate breakfast, and jumped in a cab up to the 9/11 Memorial.  The line was forever long - it felt like a super long line at the security checkpoint at an airport!  But I'm glad we went...they have done a good job with what is there and I know it will look great once the Freedom Tower and other associated buildings are finished.
And I think this was the only picture of just Brad the entire trip!
This is called the Survivor Tree - it survived 9/11 and a hurricane and it is still there and taking root (after developing new growth and getting nursed back to health at a different park)!
We got a text saying our flight was delayed, so we got back to the hotel, checked out of our room, and headed out to find a place for lunch.  We ended up at a pizza place right next to where Letterman's show is taped!  And once we got seated, we realized they were filming a short for his show right near us!
 When it was time, we headed to the airport...only to learn that our flight had been delayed yet again.  We figured out that we should make our connection in Chicago with about 20 minutes to spare.  Well...we arrived in Chicago at 10:02 (with our connection scheduled to leave at 9:55...that would be 7 minutes late) and they did NOT hold the plane.  And there were probably 12 of us needing to make that connection.  I was furious.  It also meant that we got to sleep on a cot at Midway Airport with about 80 other people for all of about 4 hours before our 6am flight home.  We did make it home on that flight and hit the ground running!
All in all, it was a fabulous trip!  It may have not ended on the best note, but it was time away with the hubs doing some really fun things and seeing something I've always wanted to see!  What a great gift.  And the hugs and smiles and snuggles we were greeted with didn't hurt either :)


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