Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fall Fun

We packed in a lot of fall fun this weekend.
Friday we went to Storybook Forest with some friends. Isabella didn't know the stories and can't say trick or treat, but it was still fun.

At the entrance

In the forest.

Checking out the dish running away with the spoon.

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair!

How awesome is that Waldo?!

(Watch out for those scary eyes!) They had campfires outside the forest to roast hot dogs and s'mores. Has anyone ever been to Storybook forest when there wasn't a line? I wonder when the least busy time to go is. They also had games and a hayride, but we passed on those this time.

Sunday afternoon we went to the Parkhurst Pumpkin Patch. It was a beautiful fall day!

Isabella flying with her Cappy.

Waiting to ride a pony.

This is the picture before the wailing and nashing of teeth. Riding the pony was apparently quite scary and she wanted to get off.

So we went on a hayride instead, which she liked much better!

She's a climber these days!

YAY for pumpkins!

Parkhurst is conveniently located close to POPS! So after the pumpkin patch we stopped in there for some desert and pop. It was a great afternoon! Thanks Mitchells!

Friday, October 28, 2011

13 Months

Isabella had her 13month birthday this past week.

Some of the new things she is doing are: giving high fives, blowing kisses, climbing on top of everything, saying thank-you and OK. Of course she does these things whenever she wants, not when asked to show someone! ;) Her favorite books right now are Dear Zoo and Llama Llama Red Pajama.

Reading in her chair with her wild bedhead.

New foods she is enjoying are sweet peas and pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. And two days ago she took several steps on her own. She still isn't very steady and will be crawling for a while longer, but she is starting to try.

We were out Thursday while it was raining, and she seemed to notice the rain more than any time before. She kept holding her hand out and letting the water fall on it and looking at me with such wonder. I love seeing the world through her eyes!

Happy Friday, Happy Weekend, Happy Halloween, Happy time with friends and family!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fall is here and winter is coming

I've been watching the forecast this week and seeing the 30 degree temperature drop that was coming. I enjoy changing of the seasons, but love being able to be outside too. So we went downtown Tuesday night to check out the renovated Myriad Gardens, as it looked like it was going to be the last warm evening for a while. We gave Isabella her bath before we went and got her ready for bed, so she would be all ready when we got home.

I always come home from big cities wanting to get out and about more in our city. The renovation is really well done! There are a lot less trees, but it feels more open, there are a lot more places for seating for concerts and picnics, and the new splash area looked like lots of fun.

From the gardens we walked over to Pinkitzel.

We shared a coconut cream cupcake.

It was dark on our walk back, so we got to see the crystal bridge all lit up.

In December there are some nights that the crystal bridge is open for free with music and hot drinks. We usually go with my dad and it is a fun, free thing to do.

It is a cold, rainy, fall day today, and I'm loving it!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

NYC Favorites: Isabella's favs

Isabella was too little to really care that we were in New York. She would have been just as happy at home playing with her toys. She did a lot of this:

Napping at central park.

Napping on the plane.

Sleeping on plane 2.

And snuggling with Dad in the carrier.

In all seriousness, I think her favorite parts were the piano at FAO schwartz, the lights of Times Square, riding the ferry and feeling the wind, and seeing the bubble performance in central park. She also now makes a siren noise, after hearing so many she imitates it when she hears one.

But the best part for her was probably all of the birthday cupcake celebrations. The girl loves a cupcake! What's not to love?!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

NYC Favorites: Where to eat

1. The burger joint. The burger joint is a little burger place tucked behind a curtain in the lobby of the Le Parker Meridien hotel. Great burgers, great fries, with an insider feel to it. It was packed both times we've been there.

2. The tuck shop.

What is this a picture of? An authentic Australian meat pie- just like I remember from childhood, made by real Australians. (Don't knock it until you try it). There are three locations in NYC, this time we went to one in the Chelsea Markets. (I loved the Chelsea Markets, its totally worth checking out). The Tuck Shop also has a variety of pies, sausage rolls, AND lamingtons!

3. Jacques Torres. This is a chocolate shop that sells chocolates (obviously), hot drinks, and cookies. Their chocolate chip cookie was featured in the NY Times a few years ago and is acclaimed on blogs to be "the best in NYC". While I did not get to try every chocolate chip cookie in NYC, it was pretty amazing. There is a store in Rockefeller Center and also at the Chelsea Market.

I will be trying the recipe!

4. John's Pizzeria. Awesome NY style pizza in Times Square. So good!

5. 5 Napkin Burger. We went to 5 Napkin Burger in Hell's Kitchen. It was loud and busy with a fun atmosphere. Michael got a lamb burger, that surprisingly to me, was really good.

I was going to have a burger, but saw someone else's mac and cheese, and decided to go for it. It was delicious with macaroni, cheddar, gruyere, parmesan cream, and crispy croutons. So good, but I couldn't finish it.

6. Serendipity 3. Depending on who helps you here, you may get the feel that they are doing you a favor by letting you be there. But, it is worth the visit for the frozen hot chocolate and their carrot cake is also amazing. We ate dinner there this time. I wasn't sure if their food would be good or if they were just well known for their desserts. But our dinner was good and everyone else at our table really liked theirs also.

We got the frozen mint hot chocolate.
Isabella loved it. :)

7. The lobster place. Also in the Chelsea Markets, Michael had a lobster roll from here and I had their lobster bisque. Both were excellent.

8. Bouchon Bakery. This place has taken over the Dean and Deluca store in Rockefeller Center. We didn't try any of their baked goods, which looked amazing, but their Mocha was one of the best we have ever had.

That's it for the places I would want to return to. Obviously we need to track down where the best salads are in NYC and track those down for some veggies to add to the mix. If you know of a good place let me know!

Monday, October 24, 2011

NYC favorites: things we did

1. Riding the Staten Island Ferry.
We all enjoyed riding the Staten Island Ferry from Manhattan over to Staten Island and back. It was great because: 1. you can see great views of Manhattan, 2. great views of the Statue of Liberty, 3. it is free! Last time we went to New York we took the ferry that actually lets you off at the Statue of Liberty to walk around and get closer, but we got close enough to see it really well from the ferry.

Manhattan behind us.

Lady Liberty

From Battery Park looking out to the statue of liberty.

2. Exploring the city.
Last time I had a list of things I definitely wanted to do and see. I had a list this time, but wasn't going to be heart broken if we didn't get to them all. It was fun just being in the city, going out for coffee every morning, and seeing a completely different lifestyle than our own.

Greenwich Village was fun to explore and be in a quieter place.

3. Rockefeller center.

I'd rather hang out around here than Times Square. Times Square is a must see, but so busy and touristy. It is also very touristy here, but a little less. We sat out by the skating rink one night and had cupcakes from Magnolia. We didn't go up to Top of the Rock this time, but I highly recommend it if you go to NYC.

4. Cold Play at the Today Show.

The today show is pretty much the only thing I watch on TV, so I loved seeing it in person. I had seen that Cold Play was going to be in concert so we went on that day. Last time, we got up at 4:30 to go to Tim McGraw's concert, and there were tons of people there already. We opted to not do that this time, which meant not getting as close, but you could hear the band from several blocks away, and we could still see really well.

Here's a short clip:

5. FAO Schwartz
This toy store is amazing! Luckily Isabella is not old enough to ask us to buy her things! :) You could spend hours in there. She loved playing on the Big Piano.

She cried as Michael carried her away. :(

6. Dylan's Candy store.
Fun music, fun candy, and close to Serendipity if you have a wait there.

7. And, of course, Central Park.
The park is massive and is a haven away from the bustle of the city. You could probably spend a couple of days exploring and not see it all.

Isabella was fascinated by this man's bubble performance. I, luckily, did not see the man my sister saw performing in the park with a rat on each shoulder and one on his head *shudders*.

Love the boat house area. I would love to take a boat ride here someday- but not with a one year old.

This day we went to a grocery store by our hotel and got food for a picnic in the park. Michael was a trooper walking a long ways, as I scouted out the perfect spot for our picnic. As I told him, making dreams come true can be hard work. ;)

Loved all the changing leaves.

We did some other things too, but those were my favorites. It was a fun way to celebrate our 30th birthdays!