We've been home for a little over a month now, but it feels like just yesterday we were walking the streets of NYC. Our time there was everything I could have hoped for, plus some. I would go back and live there in an instant, but Charles would have to find a different job there where we could actually see him. I'm not so sure that exists in NYC. It was interesting going there with kids, it almost feels like a completely different place than where I had visited many times (pre-kids). We loved exploring all the many different parks, museums, restaurants, and of course shopping. I developed two addictions while I was there, NY Pizza and Garrett's carmel popcorn. Those are two things a miss desperately and am going through serious withdrawals. I could always order some popcorn online from Garrett's, but I'm not sure I want to spend $40 for popcorn to be shipped to me. But the more I think about it, it does seem worth it. We might just have to add that into our monthly budget. I cant seem to find good NY Pizza here in Orlando either. I also redeveloped my addiction for Jamba Juice. Every time we passed by one, which was almost daily, Isabelle insisted we stopped and got a smoothie. On several occasions Isabelle was asleep in the stroller and the instant I walked into a Jamba Juice she shot straight up. I guess she became accustomed to the smell and didn't want to miss it. Of course we have smoothie shops in Orlando, but for some reason we don't have Jamba Juice, and nothing seems to compare. I also miss the friends I met there and those we reunited with. I'm so grateful for the church and how it allows you to make instant friends no matter where you go.
I wasn't sure how it would be living without a car for a couple of months, but I loved it. I was a little apprehensive at first about getting around with the kids, but it worked out great. We walked everywhere and took the subways. The kids loved being outdoors all the time and so did I. Now that I am home I miss being able to walk everywhere. The other day we walked to the grocery store and packed everything up in the stroller for old times sake. The kids loved it. The hardest part about using the subways was having the stroller. Not all subway stations had elevators and handicap access. So we had to figure out which stations had subways and then figure out the best route. It wasn't always the most direct route, but it worked out fine. A few times when Charles was with me we used stations that didn't have elevators, so we would just carry the stroller up and down the stairs. That worked out fine on most occasions as long as there was a handicap gate to get through, but a couple times they only had turnstiles to get onto the platform so we had to lift our huge double stroller, with the kids in it over the turnstile. Now that was interesting.
We thought it would be fun to go for a ride on the big ferris wheel in Toys R Us at Times Square. That was the longest ride I have ever had on a ferris wheel and I think we only went around like 4 times. It kept stopping to let people on and off and never really got going. While Isabelle enjoyed it at first, she was definitely ready to get off after two loops around.
We loved watching the cruise ships pass by from our window.
Looking out at Lady Liberty.
John's Pizza was our favorite pizza place we found. We went to the one in midtown and then to the original one in Greenwich Village.
A great view of the Statue of Liberty from Liberty Park.
FAO Schwartz and the BIG Piano! They put on an awesome concert while we were there.
Isabelle loved doing the grocery shopping at Morton Williams.
We loved spending time in Central Park, strolling around, climbing on rocks, playing at the playground, and just enjoying the beautiful scenery.
Isabelle loved climbing on the rocks at Central Park.
Charles kept up our Saturday tradition on making Crepes. It definitely helped it feel like home.
A few years back we saw a special on a place called Pommes Frites in New York. They sell all sorts of french fries. Every time we have gone to New York we have planned on going there, but it never happened. So we made sure not to miss it this time. It was definitely worth the trip there.
Of course we had to make a trip to Pinkberry.
Right outside our apartment there was a playground that we went to almost everyday. But for a bigger variety, there was a great park about a 15 minute walk away that we went to quite a bit. We had to walk through the mall to get there, so that was a dangerous perk. We always had to stop at the Disney Store, where Isabelle would try on all the different princess shoes and dresses when I would let her. At the park, Isabelle especially loved playing in the splash park, and going up the rock climbing wall. It was a great playground, with endless things to play on.
Anya loved going on the swing at the park.
We were quite the scene leaving to come back home to Orlando. Fortunately, we had Charles' mom there to help us with the 8 suitcases, carry-ons, huge double stroller, diaper bag, car seat, and 2 kids. Somehow we managed to fit everything into our car coming home from the airport. While it was so hard to leave, it was wonderful to be back in our home. I am so grateful for this wonderful opportunity that we had. I think we made the most of it and really took advantage of the time we had there. Isabelle still talks about New York City all the time. She really got a feel for the city and knew her way around. Our few months in New York will always be great memories.