Family Summer Trip to NYC!

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I can’t go too many months before I get the itch to get back to New York. Stevie is up there almost weekly for work so we talk a lot about NYC as a family - we have a bunch of great books (this one and this one are our faves), and it helps the boys understand where he spends time when he’s working. It also has helped us create a fun bucket list of places to visit and explore! Which is just what we did as a family a few weeks ago. We loved taking the boys up there for a few fun days in the city and I just I love sharing with them all the things I appreciate so darn much about that wondrous place. In case some of you are planning a trip or curious about what to explore with your kiddos, I wanted to share!

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A quick note: If you think traveling with kids in NYC is absolutely terrifying and insane - I promise you it’s neither. Like anything else with kids, it just requires some planning before the trip and some grace & flexibility during the trip. Believe me, our travel times aren’t without challenges and moments of frustration. But I truly love traveling with these boys - we have so much fun together and make such sweet memories as a family! It’s definitely worth the work and the sometimes frustrating moments that are inevitable. Definitely let me know if you have questions. Okay, on to the pictures and recs!

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Central Park and Washington Square Park were our jam this time around. We were in Central Park every single day - I don’t know how people live in the city without getting into some green space every day #suburbanthoughts. It’s so grounding and green and SO BEAUTIFUL. The trees are magnificently old and feel like they have endless stories to tell. I just love it. We also love Bryant and Riverside Parks but didn’t spend any time in those on this particular trip.

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Things to do in Central Park with kids:

  • bring a frisbee and run/play freely on Sheep’s Meadow

  • explore the 10+ playgrounds (some with splashpads - if you’re visiting in summer, bring a towel!) Our faves are the Diana Ross Playground (westside), the James Michael Levin Playground (eastside) and the Heckscher Playground (just north of Central Park South).

  • see a show at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Puppet Theater (seriously, these shows are SO incredible!) Puppetry feels like a lost art (kind of like tap dance?) and I love that this form of puppetry is still celebrated here.

  • grab lunch at Shake Shack at 77th & Columbus Ave. and walk your lunch into the park. We like to eat on the big rocks that overlook the lake :) Yum I want another Shackburger right now…

  • walk from the Bethesda Fountain down through the mall (a gorgeous tree-lined pathway)

  • play on the Alice and Wonderland statue on the eastside of the park at 75th street. It’s really fun for the kids to climb and it overlooks a pretty little pond and it’s just such a peaceful reprieve.

    We didn’t get to sail boats or do a horse carriage ride yet (two requests that we couldn’t make happen this time!), but those are still on our list!

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A tower of blondes.

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I wear my Blanqi supportwear every day - if you’re pregnant, you have to check them out! Made walking around the city so much more bearable, especially since I tend to carry big, heavy babies. My favorites are the maternity tanks - an absolute must for any pregnancy! I wear one everyday, either by itself or with layers.

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Juice Generation!! It’s become a family fave.

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^ The BOB Double Stroller that has endured a lot of abuse over the years traveling with us - it’s still rocking!!

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We took the boys to get cronuts at Dominique Ansel Bakery in SOHO! It was so much fun sharing a sweet treat there. I honestly have no idea how we were able to snag some because when we used to live here, the line was LONG and they would sell out first thing in the morning. But they were SO GOOD. I can’t remember what the flavor was - they change it monthly but whatever it was, it was GOOD. We also really like the DKA and Everett chose some kind of Nutella bread and he chose well. Haha I’m so proud.

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New buildings going up all the time!

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We explored two museums on this trip - first, the American Museum of Natural History (Daxton is REALLY into dinosaurs right now), which we have spent a lot of time in on multiple trips. They really loved it this time and the dinosaurs wowed them more than ever. Haha I love this age. And we also visited The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, which was awesome! It literally has a space shuttle on the ship. Like, in every direction, this is a dream museum for boys.

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I forgot to mention that we found an EXCELLENT pizza place that is completely kid/family-friendly called Patsys Pizzeria - if you are looking for something on the upper west side, you will not be disappointed! I can still taste the goodness.

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“Cleaning fossils” at the American Museum of Natural History. They were cracking us up. We found the Discovery Room this time around and it is honestly such a perfect place for kids to get hands-on! So often, museums can be a bit boring because they can’t actually touch anything, but this is a dedicated space that is for kids to use their hands and discover! They dusted away at fossils (pretend ones), used those fossils to build the structure of a dinosaur, pet little live critters (I’ll admit I was grossed out), used a telescope and microscope, you name it! It was really fun to see their minds at work in a new way. I HIGHLY recommend visiting this room if you come to the museum.

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We got mildly addicted to Juice Generation a few years ago and now we basically go as much as possible whenever we’re in the city. “Get Ur Green On” is my favorite juice!

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The Alice in Wonderland Statue in Central Park! We had never been there before but they LOVED climbing it! It looks out over a beautiful pond - would be a great spot to bring a book and read for a bit. That wasn’t really the case for me, but if you were alone it would be splendid.

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Everett really wanted to visit “Town Square” (Times Square), and we didn’t have the heart to correct him because it was SO CUTE. So off to Town Square we went. Haha for like 10 minutes. Then we left again because oh, it’s so bright. It’s one of those places that you HAVE to go to see a show, but otherwise you don’t really want to be in that mess of lights and sounds.

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^ My dream is to one day see the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular here!

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To make things easy, we usually stay at a hotel close to Central Park. Our favorites are The Warwick (where we stayed this time around) but if that one is sold out or if the prices are crazy, we like The Hilton NYC Midtown, which is located just across the street. Honestly, it’s just nice being able to walk the kids into the park everyday, so this location works well for us. Also there’s a Starbucks on the way from our hotel into the park #priorities. But there are SO many trendy, cool hotels everywhere - I’m always filling my bucket list with new ideas!

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There you have it! We had such an amazing trip. I loved watching the boys light up at so many new experiences this time around. They have been so much littler in the past when we’ve taken them to NYC that I have just made all the decisions about where we eat and what we do, but this time around they had opinions! They wanted to walk more, which I’ll be honest, terrified me at times, especially when we were close to lots of street traffic. But just like anything else, it took a little practice and learning and we were all finding our rhythm as a family exploring the city. And all their suggestions and ideas were so much fun to make happen. Except when Everett insisted we ride the subway and I watched Daxton basically lick one of the subway poles while we were riding. I felt like I was in slow motion yelling, “NOOOOOO”, but thankfully, somehow, he didn’t get sick after that. Ahhhh I don’t even want to think about it.

We had so much fun! I also put together a little IGTV episode about our trip, you can see it here. Do you have questions? Have you ever taken your kiddos on a city trip? Did you/they like it? Would love to hear from you!

Discovering New York City at Christmastime with our Boys!

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I wanted to post this before it became absolutely irrelevant (you could argue that it's irrelevant now), but I wanted to share my NYC pictures from our family Christmas trip! So many of the things that we did are still on display until mid-January, so if you get the chance to visit NYC between now and then, DO IT! Our 8-day trip was 3 weeks ago, and since then a LOT has happened. I don't know how, but the holidays seem to absolutely devour the time. I am always astounded at how fast these few precious weeks pass by in December, but goodness gracious, they do. However, this trip was honestly magical. Maybe I just have rose-colored glasses when it comes to my favorite city (Stevie says I do), but being able to share my favorite place with my favorite people at the best time of year was just the most ecstatic thing for me.

Stevie's been working incessantly the past few months, and he's been in NYC almost every week. When he mentioned that he was going to work in NYC right before Christmas, my heart almost burst. Forget that, I decided to load up my billions of pounds of baby gear and take the boys up there with him! I made an insanely long list of Christmas-y things to do with the boys everyday, and I'm happy to say that we did most of those things! I wanted to share them in case you want to save this post for when you either visit with your kids, visit during the winter, or visit at Christmastime!

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1. Grand Central Station Holiday Train Show!
My pictures of this one are terrible because it was crazy crowded and there was bad lighting. But the Holiday Train Show at Grand Central Station was AMAZING, especially for little boys who adore trains. Basically they built a train track that goes through a miniature NYC and the train choo choos through the set up and it's just really really cool. Go to there.

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Okay, this isn't Christmas-specific, but I've got to talk a little bit about the pizza at Juliana's. I've  talked about this famous pizza joint many times before ( here  and  here  and a little bit  here ), but I can't get over how amazing it is. Even Daxton knew that what he was eating was extra special. And Juliana's  shared this photo on Instagram , which just made the proudest parent.

Okay, this isn't Christmas-specific, but I've got to talk a little bit about the pizza at Juliana's. I've  talked about this famous pizza joint many times before (here and here and a little bit here), but I can't get over how amazing it is. Even Daxton knew that what he was eating was extra special. And Juliana's shared this photo on Instagram, which just made the proudest parent.

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2. Christmas Tree Crawl.
Every big building, store and apartment complex goes all out and decorates an enormous Christmas tree in the lobby. It's so fun to walk through the different buildings and get inspiration for your own Christmas tree. Or just gawk. They're beautiful. My absolute favorite this season was at The American Museum of Natural History - it was a tree entirely made of origami animals!

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3. The Tree at Rockefeller Center.
The tree at the Rockefeller Center is an American icon, which is why it gets its own bullet point here. It's insanely busy and crowded and I'll admit that I was kind of on a vigilant mom watch for terrorists while we visited this tree, but it is so beautiful. I'm so impressed with how many lights they manage to get all the way to the top. (Is it just me, or do the lights on your own Christmas tree seem to taper off up at the top?) Also, if you have older kids, you can take them down to the plaza below and go ice skating! I've never done it because this area makes me kind of claustrophobic, but if crowds this dense don't make your neck hot, you should totally give it a try!

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4. See the Christmas Displays on 5th Avenue.
The window displays in the big department stores along 5th Avenue are always spectacular. This year, Saks 5th Avenue did a series display showcasing elaborate scenes from the movie Snow White! It was completely gorgeous and so creative. But all the big stores do extra special displays - Bergdorf Goodman and Tiffany & Co. were also some of my favorites this year :)

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5. Visit Santa everywhere!
I made free appointment to meet Santa downtown at Macy's in their Santaland! It was a great experience and the boys' pictures are hilarious. Although, they were supposed to email me some digital copies and I have yet to receive them soooo.... I need to follow up! But Santa is ubiquitous across the city and there is an opportunity in every major section of the city. We also met the Santa at the Plaza (informally - we were just there to grab pizza in the basement) and he was super charming. However I've heard the best Santa is at ABC Carpet downtown. So I still have something for next year's bucket list!

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I have a similar picture like this with Everett when he was a baby. And he was in my bathrobe with his little head peeking out just like this one!

I have a similar picture like this with Everett when he was a baby. And he was in my bathrobe with his little head peeking out just like this one!

The origami Christmas tree I was talking about! It's so impressive.

The origami Christmas tree I was talking about! It's so impressive.

The boys stayed so warm in their  JJ Cole Bundleme stroller blankets . I seriously wanted to climb in with them, they were so sunggly even when the weather was scary.

The boys stayed so warm in their JJ Cole Bundleme stroller blankets. I seriously wanted to climb in with them, they were so sunggly even when the weather was scary.

6. Central Park in the SNOW!
This parkkkkkkk. You guys it's perfect in every season of the year - it's absolutely magic. MAGIC! Even in the freezing temperatures, this park is glorious, and when it's snow-covered, it makes me cry. It's so beautiful and dreamy to waltz, I mean walk through.

I had to throw this photo in the mix because we did a lot of  Seamless  meal delivery to our hotel room and this little guy ate in this  foldable travel high chair  like a champ! I was so proud of how easily my little men adapted on this trip ;)

I had to throw this photo in the mix because we did a lot of Seamless meal delivery to our hotel room and this little guy ate in this foldable travel high chair like a champ! I was so proud of how easily my little men adapted on this trip ;)

We spent a lot of time at the park. He's a man after my own park heart.

We spent a lot of time at the park. He's a man after my own park heart.

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These two. Couldn't love them any more. Anthony and Jess, I miss living on the same block as you guys!!! And sitting on the floor of your living room week in and week out, eating your snacks and talking about Jesus. And getting escorted around the city by you, receiving an education in NYC foodie culture. You're just the very best.

These two. Couldn't love them any more. Anthony and Jess, I miss living on the same block as you guys!!! And sitting on the floor of your living room week in and week out, eating your snacks and talking about Jesus. And getting escorted around the city by you, receiving an education in NYC foodie culture. You're just the very best.

We ate at Old Rose, located in the Jane Hotel downtown. Made us feel like trendy folk, for the bit of time we were there and child-free.

We ate at Old Rose, located in the Jane Hotel downtown. Made us feel like trendy folk, for the bit of time we were there and child-free.

Note  The Plaza Hotel  in the background (the white building with the green roof) - it's such a beauty!

Note The Plaza Hotel in the background (the white building with the green roof) - it's such a beauty!

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7. Visit the Holiday Markets!
There are these splendid holiday markets that set up all over the city around Christmastime. The big ones are at Columbus Circle and Bryant Park and they have hundreds of vendors selling everything you've ever heard of (plus a lot of things you've never heard of). It's the perfect place to shop for gifts that no one else will have!

We stopped by the Columbus Circle market a lot because it's at the corner of the park. Plus there was a spot where I could charge my phone and eat lots of snacks. This was the day when we discovered the Nutella churros - EPIC.

We stopped by the Columbus Circle market a lot because it's at the corner of the park. Plus there was a spot where I could charge my phone and eat lots of snacks. This was the day when we discovered the Nutella churros - EPIC.

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Can't tell you how many people asked if they were twins.

Can't tell you how many people asked if they were twins.

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Our old block!! I miss the Upper West Side. So much.

Our old block!! I miss the Upper West Side. So much.

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9. See a Christmas show at The Swedish Marionette Theater!
I walked the boys up through the park one day and we saw the Christmas puppet show at the Marionette Theater. It was the sweetest, most fun thing and I will always treasure that memory with my two sweethearts. Truly. If you have littles, make sure to check the schedule and catch a show! It's so special!

Things that are still on my NYC Christmas Bucket List:
- See the Rockettes Radio City Spectacular! I saw so many people in line for the show while we were in town because Radio City was right around the corner from our hotel, so I was having major jealousy. But I don't think my two wiggle worms would have been able to sit through that show. Next time!
- Ice Skate! There are so many outdoor rinks that look magical! Bryant Park, Rockefeller Center, and Central Park have ice skating and I would love to do this sometime in the future!
- Seeing The Nutcracker performed by The American Ballet Company at The Lincoln Center. It's my dream dream dream to see this show - I wish Stevie would just get on board! He's not a fan of ballet.
- Seeing Peter and the Wolf at the Guggenheim Museum - it's supposed to be an awesome show for kids but still a bit too mature for my boys' ages. But just gives me another reason to bring them back!


There you have it! Let me know if you have bucket list must-haves that I should add to this list! Christmas in NYC is so remarkable and MUST be experienced., if you like city sparkle. I hope this is helpful! xx

"I want to go to the Enchanted Garden"

"I want to go to the enchanted garden!" he said to me, as we snuggled on the couch and watched Daniel Tiger.

It was the episode where Daniel and his parents went to pick strawberries and all the flowers came to life, thus, were enchanted. Everett was absolutely enamored. And he has a bit of a penchant for gardening (I won't pretend to have nothing to do with that, it makes me kinda proud), because of our back yard vegetable patch and our weekly visits to Pike's Nursery where I browse and let him play in the water fountains. (We are lucky that he's so cute, otherwise they might hate me over there.) But the moment he expressed his wishes to go to an "enchanted garden", I was struck with the realization, I can bring him to the enchanted garden. I have the place!

I mean, it's not really enchanted, but it's really enchanting! This was all a few weeks ago, when we were up in New York, and the most beautiful botanical garden is just north of the city, The New York Botantical Garden in the Bronx. It's one of the oldest gardens in the United States, with one of the foremost rose gardens in the world. The last time we visited, I was also pregnant, so I've figured out the best way to meander around this garden is on the trolley - you can ride it around the entire garden and enjoy all the unique sections of the garden. Needless to say, this outing was a hit with my little gardener :)

Hydrangea goals.

Hydrangea goals.

Oh, he got verrrrry serious here. Because we showed him a frog in the pond and he had no idea about how frogs can live in water and land. He was so intrigued. It was awesome.

Oh, he got verrrrry serious here. Because we showed him a frog in the pond and he had no idea about how frogs can live in water and land. He was so intrigued. It was awesome.

They have a special section called "Everett's Children's Garden" - no lie! And it's the sweetest area, with musical instruments hidden in the woods and beautiful kids-sized outdoor furniture.

They have a special section called "Everett's Children's Garden" - no lie! And it's the sweetest area, with musical instruments hidden in the woods and beautiful kids-sized outdoor furniture.

This is my dream, you guys. Back yard dreams.

This is my dream, you guys. Back yard dreams.

I'm growing some cabbage this year, can you imagine if it ended up looking like this? Seriously, doesn't this look enchanted?!

I'm growing some cabbage this year, can you imagine if it ended up looking like this? Seriously, doesn't this look enchanted?!

I love this picture of him so much. He was just taking in all the wonder of the vegetable patch.

I love this picture of him so much. He was just taking in all the wonder of the vegetable patch.

They do this everywhere. Which I'm sure you're aware of because I have way too many tossing-in-the-air photos.

They do this everywhere. Which I'm sure you're aware of because I have way too many tossing-in-the-air photos.

Oh, and there was tap dancing! Such a lost art, you guys. I really wish this wasn't such a shrinking form of dance, it is absolutely energizing just to watch!

Oh, and there was tap dancing! Such a lost art, you guys. I really wish this wasn't such a shrinking form of dance, it is absolutely energizing just to watch!

And then the rose garden. Geez it was perfect.

And then the rose garden. Geez it was perfect.

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If you're ever in New York and have the chance to drive/subway/cab north to the Bronx, you absolutely have to check out this garden. It's a magical, no - enchanted - place.

P.S. - The last time we visited the NY Botanical Garden, the time we biked through Callaway Garden (and I didn't know I was pregnant yet, but I kept falling off my bike because I was dizzy), more pregnant waddling at the Boston Public Garden (see, why am I always pregnant?!), and our recent jaunt at the Central Park Conservatory Garden.

Rooftop at the Met + Shake Shack Lunch in Central Park.

Ah, the Met. It's wondrous. Famous. Timeless. The Metropolitan Museum is one of the grandest in the world. It's so unbelievably huge, it would take weeks to get through all the wings and exhibits. My favorite spot in the museum is The Sackler Wing, where you can walk through the Egyptian Temple of Dendur. It's not even the exhibit itself that is alluring to me - it's actually just the room. I love the quiet waters that run the length of the hall, echoing up into the high ceilings. I love the slanted glass windows that usher in the willowy sunlight. I love this quiet space, centered within a city of maddening sound. And I also happen to be a sucker for Egyptian history. So on all fronts, this is the spot for me. But I also really love the impressionists located in the Lehman Collection - VanGogh or Monet, anyone?

For all those who were devout "Gossip Girl" watchers - these are the Met steps where Blair reigns as Queen B. For all those who weren't devout watchers - DON'T JUDGE.

For all those who were devout "Gossip Girl" watchers - these are the Met steps where Blair reigns as Queen B. For all those who weren't devout watchers - DON'T JUDGE.

His arm is fine. He just really, really likes bandaids.

His arm is fine. He just really, really likes bandaids.

I could have stared at this one all day.

I could have stared at this one all day.

Okay, so this is really fun. Every summer, the Met opens up an exhibit on the rooftop. It's cool because there are obviously gorgeous views of Central Park and Manhattan all around - and because there's a bar, so you can enjoy your wine and watch the sun go down over the city. This has been on my NYC bucket list for a long time, and I'm so glad we finally found our way up there on this particular visit. We enjoyed some mocktail/cocktails and marveled at the strange exhibit this year - a full-scale sculpture installation based on the Bates barn from the classic horror film, Psycho. Art is such a funny, subjective kind of thing. To us, the views of the city far outweighed the impact of this particular exhibit. We were all like, can we go back and see some more of Monet's waterlilies? Cheers.

And this little guy is getting way too theatrical these days when Stevie tosses him in the air. I'm pretty sure he was striking a pose in this one :)

And then it was time for lunch! We walked clear across the park, from the east to the westside, and grabbed lunch at Shake Shack on 77th, then took it into the park for a delicious, shady picnic. We might have overindulged in Shake Shack during this stint in the city. We ate it every Saturday for a month. But you guys - it's just so good. I know they have it in Atlanta now, but still. I rarely venture into my own city these days. When we are at home, we kind of hibernate. But when we're goofing off in New York, I love a regular old shack burger, fries, and of course a milkshake. And the concretes! Oh, and actually the lemonade is really, really good too :)

How cute are these two? I'm so grateful that these sweethearts came to visit and play in the city with me :) Friends forever.

How cute are these two? I'm so grateful that these sweethearts came to visit and play in the city with me :) Friends forever.

If a few of these photos look familiar to you, it's because I shared some from this particular day here. OXO Tot was kind enough to send me some travel toddler products to try out while we were on the road so much in New York, and having the right tools really makes a difference when you're on the go with a kiddo! I'm really grateful for this blog, because it allows me to collaborate with brands that we love and actually use in real life, and share them! I love the OXO brand not just for baby gear, but also for kitchen utensils. But Everett loves them for the snack cups.

Here's the Shake Shack lemonade I was telling you about! He downed it. I have to watch his lemonade intake because he lovvvvves it.

And there you have it, friends. A breezy, fun day exploring the museum and eating our body weight in french fries and milk shakes. The Upper West and Upper East sides of the city are so fun to explore, although I'm extremely biased and think the Upper West is the Upper Best, always.

A few other delicious spots to try in the Upper West Side, if you're visiting and looking for something: Juice Generation (for a seriously delicious and pricey nutritious juice), Alice's Tea Cup (totally girly teatime lunch spot!), Cafe Lalo (the cafe from You Got Mail, and yes, it's magical), Jacob's Pickles (omg the southern BLT will make you lose your mind, and the bloody mary, too), Pio Pio Salon (Peruvian food that is insane, come in a group and get the Matador combo and a pitcher of sangria to share), Levain (Jewish bakery with killer coffee and I-want-to-cry-they're-so-good cookies), Machiavelli (its a little fancy, but if you can sit outside and order any of the pizzas, you will be living your New York moment), and also, if you're here on the weekend, almost every restaurant does an amazing brunch with bottomless mimosas that lasts until like 2pm. There is a brunch culture in this city that I really, really love. So just walk south on Amsterdam or Columbus in the 70s and you will find limitless amazing options for omelets, french toast, the works. Whew. On that note, friends, I am hungry again!

Leave me a comment if you decide to visit any of these places and let me know what you think! Have an awesome day. XOX

Dim Sum in West Village + Dominique Ansel's Ice Cream + Sunset at Highline Park.

This post is a continuation of the longest NYC walking tour known to man. You can read the first part here, where we covered visiting our old apartment on the Upper Best Side :), gazing at the boats on the East River, inhaling pizza at Juliana's, walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, and resting/drinking/snacking over at Hudson Eats at Brookfield Plaza. Whew. That was only the first part of the day, and it was already epic-status.

We continued our journey being guided by the best and brightest part of ourselves - the appetite. We cabbed from Brookfield Place up to the West Village, where we ate Nui Noodles - New York's second best dim sum (literally - this award was advertised on the window), and I don't know who won first because this stuff was AMAZING. We ordered seconds. Everett had a stroller nap and then a meltdown while we were here, which was pretty understandable since he had been curiously perfect for the first part of the day. I held him outside for the longest time while he clawed my face and screamed bloody murder after waking up from his nap and not knowing where he was. All the trendy 20-somethings in the Village walked by me like, "Ugh, what a drag, I am never having children" and I couldn't really blame them. It wasn't a fun twenty minutes of parenthood. I have the claw marks to prove it. #motherhood #theneedforwineisreal

But then I offered him fruit snacks and the sun-shiniest smile poured out of his face an we were back in business.

We visited the cutest of all book stores in the Village called Three Lives & Company, and then wandered up toward Dominique Ansel's newest spot, his Kitchen where he concocts insane ice cream (amongst many other addictive pastries). It's soft serve ice cream decorated with basil, balsamic and marinated strawberry and it is killer. KILLER. Even the cone is thick and wafery and buttery and I kind of want to cry now that I'm really leaning into the memory. This guy is a legend, for real.

Quick Note: Other spots in the area that I love are Rosemary's (farm-to-table dining with a veggie garden on the roof!), Olio e Piu (authentic Italian, great wine list, and it's fun to sit outside), The Spotted Pig (a West Village must, where you're sure to spot a celebrity), Grom (gelato! But I actually really love the lemon ice here), Diptique (why do I love these stupidly expensive candles? I can't help it), and of course, the original Magnolia Bakery (I prefer the simple vanilla cupcake. And the banana pudding. And the red velvet cake. Ah!) This part of the city is perfect for wandering the little side streets and discovering bars and cafes tucked into the quiet alleys. Make sure to get a little bit lost around here, because there's always something magical to be found.

We let the sugar rush guide us up to the Highline Park in Chelsea, where the sun was beginning to set over the Hudson River. It was so fun, letting Everett loose to get out some wiggles. The sun was bouncing it's reflection off the water and the skyscrapers and the most delicious shade of pink was cast on everything and everyone. Our feet were tired, our eyes were heavy, but our souls were thrilled to be part of the hum of the city.

Once the sun plunged into the river, we made way for the subway and high tailed it back to our car on the Upper Best Side :) It was a weary ride back to White Plains, but we had seriously full hearts (and bellies!) to remind us of a day gone right.

I am so grateful for friends and family who have made the effort over the years to come visit us when we live in crazy places. This particular stint was a new one for me and Stevie - we don't usually just take off for a month, but I am so thankful for the opportunities we've had to dive deep and explore such mesmerizing places. It's even more special when you get to share it with family and friends - and these girls made it the best trip ever. There is nothing like ladies who know your heart so intimately and believe in you fully - it's such an empowering feeling, being surrounded by healthy, confident women. They truly bolstered my spirit, and boy, I didn't know how badly I would need to cling to their words and encouragement in the weeks that followed their visit. When life sends challenges, you really have to hold fast to the truths you know and encouragement of those around you.

So yeah, this NYC day trip pretty much rocked. Tomorrow I'm sharing more, about exploring The Met (including the rooftop exhibit + bar!) and enjoying the NYC standby of Shake Shack lunch in Central Park. Thanks for reading along, friends!

P.S. - Other NYC travel spots to hit here and ideas for touring NYC with a baby here.