Monday, May 9, 2016

Boston & New York

Back in early April Rob had a conference to attend in Boston.  Lucky for me, he travels enough that we were able to turn it into a fun, long, almost free weekend for both of us!

We arrived Wednesday night and just did a little bit of walking around.  We stopped at the Parish Cafe for lunch.  Mine was awesome, and Rob's was only so-so.  We did some more exploring.  We had both been to Boston before (another of Rob's work trips) 10 years ago and not much has changed so we didn't re-walk the whole freedom trail but just stopped along some of our favorite parts and then found a nice place for dinner.

Thursday Rob had his conference all day so I was on my own.  I decided to go on a food tour.  There is a lady that has lived in the North End for over 15 years and each day she runs a tour that starts at 11am right outside Paul Revere's house and then she walks you around the North End stopping at 5 or 6 different restaurants where you sample some of their more popular dishes and while you eat she gives you the history of the area.  It was really interesting and delicious!  And, of course, pretty.  Boston's rich history is really fascinating but also beautiful.

This is right outside the Revere house facing North Square Park.  It's the original cobblestone from the 1600s.  I really didn't take much in the way of pictures.  I have never been big of taking pictures of everything so you'll just have to take my word for it.  It's pretty.

After he finish up the conference Rob and I headed back out to the North End (we were staying in the Seaport District).  It's all very walkable, which I love.  I tried to retrace the steps of my tour and tell him all I learned but I was not very successful.  But our tour guide did give us a recommendation for dinner that was a little hole in the wall Italian place that sat about 20.  Service, not surprisingly, was slow, but the food was delicious.  

Friday morning we caught the Amtrak to New York City!

I had never been to New York so I was very excited about this last stage of our trip.  I also had never been on a train.  The jury is still out on whether or not I enjoyed it.  It was a bit too rattling for my liking but it was far less hassle than flying and I liked that a lot.

Friday was supposed to be a rainy day in New York but in turned out to be a gorgeous day.  About 80 degrees with a light breeze!  We had already planned to check out Central Park so it was a bonus that the weather cooperated.

We walked around until about 5pm and then we made our way back to the hotel to get ready for our night.  We stayed that the Hilton Times Square so our location was perfect.  Walking distance to everything.  Friday night we had tickets to go see Wicked.  We debated quite a bit about whether we buy tickets for something we've already seen or risk seeing something new (and maybe not liking it).  In the end we decided to see Wicked.  We have seen it before, but just once (unlike Les Miserable, which we have seen half a dozen times).  Honestly, I thought it was only so-so.  I thought the cast we had when we saw it the first time was much better.  Of course it was still great, just not the "wow" I was expecting from  New York/Broadway show.  Afterwards we headed to a piano bar called "Don't Tell Mama".  That was incredibly fun.  Probably my favorite part of New York City.  The piano man sing, the waitresses sing (as they take orders), and patrons sing too.  Only, the "patrons" are all professional broadway singers so every song was amazing.  Definitely not your standard karaoke singing!  

Saturday we slept in and then headed out to "Best Bagel and Coffee" on 35th street....true to their word, those were awesome bagels!  It was rainy but there were no shortage of umbrellas for sale.  Once I had my umbrella (Rob brought his own...seasoned travel that he is) we jumped on the subway and headed down to Battery Park.  I caught a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty.

If you look close it's in the really have to squint!

We walked all the way from Battery Park, through Midtown, Lower Manhatten, Greenich Village, SoHo, NoHo, Hell's Kitchen......all the way back to Times Square.  Where we promptly fell into bed and took a long nap.  We woke up around 7pm and headed out for some sushi for dinner.  Apparently while we were eating (a couple blocks west of Times Square) the police squad team evacuated all of Times Square due to a suspicious truck that was left running and unattended.  We didn't even notice.  That's how many people there are at all times.  Even a mass exodus of Times Square didn't seem like more people than normal.

For that reason, New York is the first big city I've been to that did not leave me with a desire to live in a big city for awhile.  There's just too much of everything there.

Sunday we got up and headed right to Rockefeller Center.  We paid to go to the "Top of the Rock".  It's the observation deck on the top of the world!  That was awesome!  The views were amazing.  It was crazy windy though.  We stuck around long enough to get some snapshots of it all and then it was time to go back to the hotel, pack up, and head home.

Central Park:

Empire State Building:


It was so great to go on a trip with just Rob!  We had equal parts adventure and relaxation!  He'll have to keep traveling for work so we can do it all again!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day!

Well, I'm behind again on the happenings around our house but before I go backwards, I'll post our present day adventures!  Happy Mother's Day to me!  And to you (if you're a mom).

I got donuts and coffee in bed, with the paper and all the time I wanted to just sit and enjoy it!  Once I finally emerged I decided we'd all head out to Minnehaha Falls to do some exploring and have a picnic.  We also decided to bring Loki.

Loki turned out to be the star of the show.  I don't want to brag or anything, but he's pretty cute!  I was just telling Rob that not a day goes by when someone doesn't stop me and ask what kind of dog he is, or just to tell me he's cute.  I'm sure when I told Rob this he did a mental eye roll because of course I am biased.  But, today Rob got to see it with his own eyes.  We lost track of the number of people who stopped us to comment on Loki. At least two people asked for the breeder's information and one guy even stopped me and asked if he could take a picture of my dog.  Loki was quite a hit!

But, back to our adventure. It was a gorgeous day to be outside!  After we ate up our Boston Market picnic we headed to the falls, only we parked not anywhere near it, so it was a bit of a hike.  The kids loved it!

 And, of course, what's a trip to Minnehaha without going in the "restricted" area.  We're teaching the kids to live on the edge!

The kids had so much fun climbing around.  I knew they would think it was cool, but I underestimated how much they would want to climb around and explore.  They did a little bit of wading in the river a little further downstream but it was getting late, Loki was hot, and we only paid for 2 hours of parking (which had already come and gone) so we had to head out.  But it is definitely on our list of places to go again this summer!  We'll leave Loki behind so the paw-parazzi doesn't follow us around (see what I did there!)

I'm one lucky mom!