Friday, August 29, 2014

Our Home Away from Home in NYC

In traveling, the one thing I can definitively say we have learned is it's all about location…location, location, location!  We not only loved the location of the apartment we were able to stay in while living in New York City, but we loved the apartment itself.  The family who rented us the apartment had a girl and a boy a couple of years older than Amelie and Liam.  This meant that the room was set up perfectly with tons of toys to make us feel at home and comfortable for our stay.  Not only were the kids comfortable, but Bobby and I slept the best we have slept in years on the most comfortable king size bed.  Keep in mind that most of the places we have traveled come equipped with futons or very old mattresses.  We truly felt completely at home in this apartment.

The bunk beds could not have been a more perfect fit!
Liam spent hours playing with the trains.  He LOVED the trains!!  I would have fun building high bridges for him too!

Amelie enjoyed the Barbie house and the bin full of Barbies and Barbie clothes.
We also enjoyed living in a building with a doorman who we spoke to going and coming everyday, and a laundry in the basement.  At first I was disappointed that the laundry was not housed in the apartment, but I learned that no one has this commodity living in the city.  Being able to come and go to the basement to do laundry was a luxury, and I was glad I didn't have to use a local laundry mat!

View from our bedroom window.
Amelie at the entrance of the building.
The kids LOVED the revolving door.  I was always so nervous someone was going to get hurt, but no one did.  They were both very careful.  Many times arriving home, the kids would sprint down the walkway, through the revolving door, past the doorman, and end at the elevator way ahead of us.
Since we had our car, Bobby had to learn the parking game.  Every Monday and Thursday between 9 and 10 a.m., he would have to sit in the car to move it for the street sweeper while not losing his spot near our building.  Saved us a lot of money to park on the street for free though!
The location was also fabulous as it was in the Upper East Side, which is a very family friendly neighborhood.  We were walking distance away from Carl Schurz Park, Central Park, The MET, and of course a Subway stop that took us all over the city!
The red dot is our location. 
Our walk along the river to Carl Schurz Park.  I really enjoyed the walk.
We spent a number of times playing at Carl Schurz Park.  It was the perfect place for me to take them while Bobby was playing the parking game or working.  The playground was large and had a sprinkler in the center.  At times, a Parks & Rec employee would be present with various crafts for the kids to do.  Amelie made an awesome glitter cat one day.  Liam and Amelie enjoyed playing with water balloons provided by various kids too.

Bagel Bob's was close to our apartment and made the best bagels!  We treated ourselves a couple of times to this delicious breakfast of bacon, egg, and cheese on an everything bagel.
Our hosts have offered to let us come for a month every summer, which is a very tempting offer!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Outer Banks Family Fun

This is the third summer my family has met in Outer Banks, North Carolina for a week to enjoy time together and time at the beach.  The weather was wonderful the whole week.  We enjoyed the beach, playing putt-putt, running through the sand dunes at Jockey's Ridge State Park, swimming in the pool, playing golf, walking Jeannette's Pier, and more.
Amelie and Liam were both so happy to be back at the beach.  The first time our feet hit the sand, Liam squealed and ran like he had just returned home.  Amelie learned how to ride the waves even though the first couple of days the waves were fierce.  She got the hang of it really quickly and didn't mind having salt water in her eyes, nose, and mouth.  She was smiling ear to ear!  Liam desperately wanted to join her, and by the end of the week did (when the waves were not quite so large).  I know exactly what to expect when we get back to the Gulf! :)

Amelie gave Joanna and Alaina mermaid tails made for her 5th birthday.
The girls happened to have the same bathing suit and they really had fun matching!

Mermaid's purses by the dozens washed on shore one morning.  These are egg cases of skates.
Helping Uncle Michael and Aunt Katie building a sand castle. 

Liam riding the waves with Uncle Michael