Monday, July 28, 2008

My little American Girl

Can you see the little doll in the salon chair getting her hair done?

Maisie and I met friends for a little girls trip to the American Girl Place on 5th Ave. I went with the intention of buying Maisie a doll- but just couldn't bring myself to do it. She is just 1 1/2 and the dolls said ages 8+. So it's the stores own fault for discouraging me from buying!:)

That store was amazing. All the doll options- personalizing them to make them look like you, buying a matching outfit for doll and child, the doll hospital (where dolls get repaired and come home with a hospital bracelet and everything), the hair salon for the dolls, the cafe where you can put your doll in her own high chair for a $22 lunch or tea, the theatre where you can watch a live performace, etc. Wow.

Maisie seemed to mostly have fun following her friend around and giggling. What a sweet store for my sweet little girl!:)

FAO Schwartz

After Broadway in the Park last week Maisie and I went with some friends window shopping down 5th Ave. ending at FAO Schwartz, a huge and magical toy store. Maisie had falled asleep on the way over there, but when she woke up I couldn't help but wonder if she thought she'd died and gone to heaven! Surrounded by colorful, musical, fun-filled toys- what a wonderland!

While we were there we got to hear story time by one of the toy soldiers (isn't that what he was? It's like their logo or something?), ride around on a pretty pink car, play with toddler toys, visit the 'hospital' where children can 'adopt' a baby for the small price of their $100 dolls:), saw life sized stuffed animals, dress up clothes, a model train she just adored, and best of all the GIANT piano featured in "Big" with Tom Hanks. She and I ran across it and she danced and giggled the whole time. It was such a fun trip!

Free is a very good price

This is Maisie playing with a good friend at Broadway in the park. I think she ate about 6 handfuls of dirt and gravel that afternoon!

This is the Phantom from Phantom of the Opera- such beautiful music. A true classic, Ryan got to see it again here on Broadway and loved it.
One of maybe 3 or 4 pieces of art we recognized at the Metropolitan museum of art. Was it just me or did they just hate my toddler running around that place? Not as much as the sales-people at SAKS 5th Ave hating her swinging on the $3k dress. All I said was "Where is that child's mother!" Washington square park. Do you recognize the 'Arch de Triumph' (something like that) from "I am Legend" or "August Rush"? We enjoyed a free concert there while Maisie made friends playing at the playground.
Our little family at Governer's Island. It was so quiet and peaceful there- I nearly forgot we were just a 5 min ferry ride from the city. We loved the free live music and activites there.

In more detail-

This summer has been filled with so many unforgettable adventures for us. Those who know me well know I love finding a bargain- and I want to share a few I've found here in the city so far, that are FREE:

On Thursdays several Broadway musicals are showcased at Bryant park where the stars sing a few songs from their shows (Maisie and I met friends and had a great time doing this last week), the Bronx Zoo on Wednesdays (we went twice before the heat of the summer kicked in!), NY Philharmonic plays in different NYC parks all summer- we saw and heard them in Central Park, free children's crafts in some NYC parks (Maisie made a bracelet at one), Live! with Regis and Kelly was free and so fun for me to see since I am such a fan, Ryan has a pass from American Express so all the museums in NYC have been free to see (if you haven't seen the Museum of Natural History, get to NY and see it!!! Unreal.); we just saw the Metropolitan museum of art, Governer's Island gives a free ferry over to the island and free concerts which we enjoyed this weekend, along with free kayaking, canoeing and row boating, and much much more.

On top of all the leisure activities I have also run into people giving away free stuff in the streets- oh come on now, I'm playing it safe. For example, Maisie and I went to go pick Ryan up from work and a truck was passing out free bottles of a new flavored vitamin water- so we got 3. Last weekend a booth at Governor's Island was giving out free water bottles (perfect timing since I've lost TWO this summer) and free bottled water as well. Another day we passed by an M&M's truck, so I wandered over to find them giving away as a promotion free M&M ice cream bars (I stripped Maisie down to diaper only and let her have at it. On a sunny NY day out on the street she made quite the mess!). Another morning we found weight watchers single serve ice cream being handed out- of course we helped ourselves. And my favorite, is outside the ABC studios a truck sits giving free coffee and bagels out, as a promotion of their brand "Chock full o nuts" so I got a free sausage egg breakfast sandwich. I know, I know, this place really is a paradise for me!!!

These are just some pictures of recent free adventures!:)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Best show on earth

Ryan and I have seen some great Broadway shows here in NYC, but the greatest show I've seen so far was a group of dancers out at the Statue of Liberty. Can't you just hear "this land is your land, this land is my land" as the kids stretch their arms out. They just danced their little red-white-and blue hearts out for us. Maisie LOVED it, as she tapped her foot and spun around in circles.

Runner in Training

Since the high heel a thon Maisie only wants to wear high heels around the house. I like to think she's practicing:) She also loves practicing racing "Ready, set, go!" as she waddle-runs as fast as she can. She will even lean over as if to start down in the blocks like a real sprinter... Pictured with Maisie above is "cow" her dearest NY friend she's made. And she is running on the water front of the Hudson River outside Ryan's work.

Mother-In-Law Visit

It has been fun to have visitors come out during our time here in NYC. It's definately a destination city- and we were happy to have Ryan's Mom come out and enjoy the city with us. There really is so much to see, that we had a great time showing her some of our favorite places and some new. We saw: the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Top of the Rock (Rockefellar Center NBC's bldg), she saw Wicked, ate famous cheesecake, Central Park, Ate at America's first Pizzeria, Little Italy, China Town, Times Square, Manhattan Temple, Live! with Regis and Kelly, etc! Here are a few pics! Seeing the sunset on top of the Rock was unforgettable!


Let me preface this blog: when I was a kid I remember that every day at noon my mom had a date. That's right. Every day. Never fail, with Perry Mason. The old black and white show about a lawyer. I remember her folding laundry while watching the show and we never interupted her, probably because we found the show so boring. I now have my own show I watch every day (nearly) never fail, and something I look forward to. Live! With Regis and Kelly. It's my little escape into a little bit of what's happening in the world.So, while being here in NY I've had the opportunity to go see their show being taped- which was really a lot of fun. AND- heard one morning about a high heel race they were putting on for charity. I signed myself up! Anika Busby did too, and we had a great time! It took place in Central Park. My biggest goal was to qualify in the preliminary heat to run with Kelly Ripa in the front row, and I did! I'm wearing a yellow shirt and gray pants. What a blast to be on t.v. and enjoy the festivities of the morning- including: free pedicures, manicures, massages, free drinks, snacks, etc. A definate highlight of my New York Summer. And, I finished about 8th!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

4th of July - New York style

What do you do on the 4th of July in New York? I don't think New York has ever been known for its Independence Day celebration, but there are definitely some unique things that happen in this city, and we were able to find a couple. First, how could we miss the hot dog eating contest at Coney Island?

As you can see by her smile, Maisie loved the experience. Also, if you look really closely you will see policeman on top of the Nathan's building in the background. I have never seen hotdogs taken so seriously :)

We had a great time wandering around Coney Island (for about an hour), we decided we had seen enough and will probably never return, especially to go to the beach. This is what the beach looked like.

As you can see, there aren't really a lot of places to lay out, and the water isn't all that blue either. The most exciting part of the trip was the "sudden death overtime" in the hotdog eating contest. Never had I been so concerned that the overtime might actually result in sudden death. After tying at 59 hotdogs in regulation Joey Chestnut and Takeru Kobayashi (or something like that) had a 5 hotdog eatoff to determine a winner.

As you can see, even Maisie could help but get caught up in the excitement.

After going home for naps, we ventured out to see the "biggest firework show in the nation". We arrived at around 6 and things were already starting to get pretty full. We had some friends who had gone down to stake out a place at about 3 and were sitting in an area that had been cordoned off by the police by the time we got there. After a little begging, the police allowed us to cross the line to sit with them. The seats were incredible, we were right on the water's edge with the fireworks direction in front of us. Here are some pics:

This is the view of the NY skyline looking back toward the city. The tall building is the Empire State Building, sporting its festive Red, White and Blue lights.

When the fireworks started, Maisie was on Ryan's lap, she got nervous and moved onto my lap, then got nervous again and moved onto the lap of our friend, Selena. She finally felt comfortable, so she settled in and watched the rest of the show with her.

Getting home from fireworks was a nightmare, but it was by far worth the trip. We loved experiencing the 4th in the big city, but I don't think we'll do it again any time soon.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Third wheel

I never would have guessed how much I would walk here in the city this summer. I have gotten used to it but in the beginning my feet were killing me. I have learned that if I am out, there is no sense in wearing cute shoes. I wear running shoes everywhere and with everything. Lucky for me- we haven't run into any fashion police.
One of my favorite things we do here in the city is on Fridays Maisie and I walk down Riverside park. It is long and narrow and begins near where we live. It is covered with playgrounds and has a great view of the river we enjoy for several miles. We stop at playgrounds and then meet Ryan for dinner somewhere in Midtown Manhattan. We call it date night, and we call Maisie the third wheel. Cutest wheel we've ever seen though, so we're ok with it:)