Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Back in MD

There was more that fun happened with our visitors than just gallivanting about New York City.

We spent a couple mornings at the arboretum to enjoy the splendid azaleas. We went there with mom, and were so excited about how beautiful it was, that we made plans to take the girls there when they came. The leashes were so wonderful, and the kids loved hiking through the brightly colored trails. I’ve loved coming to this azalea event throughout the years.DSC_0208DSC_0150305311DSC_0186DSC_0162DSC_0213DSC_0240DSC_0251

One afternoon, we decided to muster up some energy (after a power nap) and take the kids to a beach only 35 minutes from our house. I’ve been pretty nervous about taking the kids to the beach until now. And with all these adults, I thought it was the perfect time to give it a go. The kids were in heaven in that giant sandbox and unlimited water to splash in. They didn’t even care that it was ice cold. The umbrellas were (and still are) a HUGE hit with the kids, and even made it to the beach with us. We’ll be going back frequently, especially in the warmer weather. It’s so awesome to live in the place where you can be within minutes of beautiful forests, and sandy beaches. DSC_0584DSC_0609DSC_0614DSC_0616DSC_0626DSC_0632DSC_0666DSC_0669DSC_0677DSC_0753DSC_0783DSC_0803DSC_0811Again thank you Lili, for most of these awesome pictures!

We didn’t get pictures of feasting at The Alamo, indulging at Rita's, and going crazy at the Amish market. Everything is just more fun with lots of family around!

We miss all our visitors. We were so lucky to have Nana for a whole week and a half, and then the girls for a few days. We’re already looking forward to the next time we see everybody, whenever that day may be. 112

Friday, April 20, 2012

New York+Sisters+Mom

As I mentioned before, we headed up to New York for a grand girls trip! It was a exciting as we had anticipated. There is never a dull moment when the Graham girls unite!

Mom was already in Maryland, so she, Elise, and I said goodbye to the awesome husbands taking care of the cute kids, and hopped on a bus to make the 4 hour journey. It was  a great ride. We played games, took mug shots galore, and laughed to tears. The time flew by. Amber, Cami, and Melody caught a flight very early that morning out of SLC and were going to meet us in New York shortly after we arrived. All went as planned and we were in the city around 2, took a short walk to our hotel, and their cab dropped them off around 4. Our Hotel room was tight, but lovely, and just a quick block from Times Square, which is where we headed after everyone settled in. DSC_0265016DSC_0286DSC_0306We stopped to get pizza as we walked, among other tasty treats (mmm, those spiced coconuts…). We did some shopping, had fun pointing out famous landmarks, and just enjoyed all being together for the first time in over 2 years ago. Eventually we decided to see a movie, which we had to take like seven escalators to get to theater 19 to see. That’s the big city for you. After that we stopped at the beautiful Bryant Park to enjoy the evening. We moseyed back to the hotel (eating more pizza on the way), had a IPod Farkle tournament, made late night sandwiches with delicious freshly baked bread from a cute delicatessen, talk and talked and talked, and finally went to sleep. DSC_0317aDSC_0327DSC_0352DSC_0343DSC_0362DSC_0358

With a big day ahead of us, we all got ready and packed up, dropped our luggage off at the front desk to be stored for the day, and headed out again. We stopped at a street cart for some pastries, and headed to the infamous New York Subway. Our first stop was the Staten Island Ferry. It was a beautiful day, and being on the water made it even better. The views were fantastic, and we just loved this leisure activity. We then went to ground Zero, and took all of that in. Well, what we could without taking any tours or anything. So sad, and so crazy. DSC_0416DSC_0420DSC_0426DSC_0433DSC_0453

While in Bloomingdales, I spotted Magnolia Bakery! I was thrilled to just stumble upon it. It was on my list after all. This place is a big name in the baking industry, and I was dying to see what all the hype was about. We tried a few things, and they were all delicious. Though, I think the hype is a little high for the product. Once you’ve worked in the business, things like this kind of lose their magic.  But I was so glad we stopped to try out these famous treats. Who doesn’t love a cupcake in the middle of the day while walking the streets of New York?!DSC_0476DSC_0483

Our next stop was Dylan’s Candy Bar. It’s such a fun place where you really feel like you are in a dream candy world. We all couldn’t resist the umbrellas for our kids, as well as a few more treats.  DSC_0488DSC_0495

And then it was off to what we were looking forward to the most, Central Park. With the blossoms out, and the sun shining, it was truly a beautiful place to spend a good part of our afternoon. We ate some street dogs, and found some grass to snooze on. Amber and Cami rented bikes for an hour, and said it was the highlight of their trip! Mom took a turn as well. Melody, Elise and I just had a wonderful rest. Did I mention that Melody is about 8 months pregnant? She had amazing stamina and you wouldn’t even know if she was tired in the least. Though, I’m sure she was with baby Evelyn very close to joining us. I was so glad to see Melody during  a little bit of the pregnancy. It would be weird if she had the baby without me even getting a real peak at that perfect belly of hers. DSC_0506065DSC_0516DSC_0526DSC_0532

We walked through the park and stopped at a beautiful fountain (which I remember so well from one of my all time favorite movies One Fine day), and took way too many random pictures. I think we were pretty punchy at this point.DSC_0541DSC_0554DSC_0544

We had one final destination, Serendipity, but when we got there, found the wait too long for our schedule. Bummer. At least we saw the famous little place. 066

We caught the subway back to our hotel, grabbing some incredible Gyros on the way. Holy moly, those were good. We picked up our luggage, and went to our bus stop. We had enough time to grab some frozen yogurt while we waited, and caught our 6:45 bus to DC without a hitch.069

The ride seemed longer that the one before, but it was still fun to be with everyone. KC picked us up, and we were home  around midnight.

It was a quick, rather low-key trip, and there were a lot of things we had on our list if we’d had more time, but we were very pleased with what we actually accomplished, and all agreed that it was such a great time. DSC_0373

Here are a a lot more pictures from the trip, mostly taken by Lili and her awesome skills. Thanks!

I’ve been to New York every few years since I’ve lived here, and always in the spring. I don’t know what it’s like other times of the year, but it’s always so beautiful when I go. Beside the places that it looks gross and dirty with hoards of tourists, that is. It’s great to have such easy access to this amazing place.