Sunday, October 19, 2014

FAO Schwarz, the Met, Museum Natural History

Today was such a full day.  We likely pushed it a bit, but the kids made it.  We are walking an incredible number of steps - some days we are hitting 20,000!  We did a tour of FAO Schwarz this morning before the doors open to the public.  Really fun being led around the store by a Toy Soldier.  Playing on the big piano, seeing all the Lego, Muppets workshop, and the candy spree were very memorable!  We then headed over to the Met and had a tour with Museum Hack.  We learned a few behind the scenes facts about some of the art pieces, with the highlight likely the Egyptian wing.  The mummy collection is amazing.  Our guide Lia tried hard to keep the kids' engaged. 

We had a hot dog on the Met's step and took it easy for a little while. Nice and sunny, so no complaints (how can we complain anyways...we are in New York!). We then cut across Central Park, showed the kids Bethesda Fountain where they happened to be filming "Manhatten Love Story" which is apparently a show on network TV.  Sophie loved being close to the action :)  Then we headed over to the Museum of Natural History.  We were all pretty tired, so probably didn't spend as much time there as we would have if we had done it first thing in the morning. 

Back to the hotel for a rest...and then dinner at a pizzeria in Times Square.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

NYC

We travelled back to NYC from Boston on Amtrak and got a glimpse of Rhode Island, Mystic and the the Bronx (as we came into NYC).  Once we arrived we checked into our hotel after a lengthy taxi line up for a cab at Penn Station.  We quickly checked in and then headed down to the Lower East Side where we went to the Tenement Museum. where we went on the Victoria Confino tour.  Really well done with an actress who played Victoria and invited us into her apartment. 

After the tour we walked a couple of blocks over and had lunch at Katz's Deli.  Katz's was crazy busy but we managed to get a table and had table service (versus the counter service that was lined up)..  Vic had a reuben that was delicious and I had latkes.  Fynn of course had a hot dog.  My memory is now fuzzy on what Sophie had.

We then made our way back to the hotel and after a break headed to Times Square and wandered around.  A busy, tiring and fun day.

Monday, October 13, 2014

More from Concord

Concord is an amazing place that had many talented people living in it from a literary perspective.  Today we visited the Old Manse with Vic's cousin and his family.  The Old Manse is a National Historic Landmark and became the center of Concord’s political, literary, and social revolutions over the course of the next century. In the mid-19th-century, leading Transcendentalists such as Bronson Alcott, Henry David Thoreau, and Margaret Fuller discussed the issues of the day here, with the Hawthorne and Ripley families. 

The kids got to play a Steinway piano from the 1800s (wearing white gloves).  It was pretty cool.  The tour guide said that they let people play it because it will just go out of tune if it sits there with no one playing it.

After that we wandered around Minute Man Park, walked over the Old North Bridge and then headed back for dinner at Neville and Lorelee's place.  I was also able to do some laundry which was much appreciated!

Tomorrow we grab the train back to NYC to see the Big Apple.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Concord

The morning after we arrived in NYC,  we had breakfast (included in our hotel) and then we walked over to Penn Station (literally across the street) and took Amtrak to Boston.  It was a very peaceful 4 hour train ride from to the Back Bay station.  We passed through a number of communities we would not have seen, including Mystic and Providence Rhode Island.  Once we got to Boston, we took a short cab ride from the station to get to our car rental spot and drove from there to Boston about 30 minutes away.  We checked into the North Bridge Inn.  At first I think the kids were a little unsure of since it is over a hundred years old, but they settled in pretty quickly.

We wandered down for dinner into the town square and then checked the Concord Public Library. Really a lovely library that is old and beautiful.

Today we had breakfast at the Inn and did a number of cultural trips.  The kids held up pretty well considering all we saw.  We went to the Concord Museum which has one of the most extensive collections of Thoreau pieces anywhere, including his desk and bed.  Fynn kept himself busy for quite a bit of the time in a kids' play area where he did lego and Sophie made leaf sketches and a cute picture of Thoreau.  After that we went to Ralph Waldo Emerson's house and then the Orchard House, which was Louisa May Alcott's house.  We had an excellent tour and we got to see where she wrote Little Women -- her white little desk.  The tour held the kids' interest as the guide included them in some of her stories.

After lunch we took a short drive to Walden Pond.  We checked out the spot where Thoreau had his cabin (it no longer exists) but the site is marked. Pretty lake and even a few swimmers (in wet suits).

Later we drove down to Burlington and hit the mall.  Fynn bought a Lego piece and Sophie bought herself something at the P.S. Aeropostale store.  Tomorrow we are meeting up with Vic's cousin and family who live in the nearby area.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Day 1 - NYC

I thought I was going to take a break from blogging for our vacation, but decided I could use the extra time I have now to document our trip....here goes:

Last night we drove down to Kelowna and stayed at the Sheraton 4 Points hotel in Kelowna.  We thought this would be a good idea considering our flight was leaving for Toronto at 8:50am and it would mean getting up at before 5am.  With the kids, that is just too much to ask for.

So, we stayed just across the highway from the airport - very convenient.  We arrived at the airport without a problem and got onto our flight.  Unfortunately there was some sort of mechanical issue with the cabin door and the crew had to call the aircraft maintenance who were "on call" for an odd reason which means it took a good 20 minutes for someone to get to the airplane.  The maintenance guy came and concluded there was nothing wrong with the door and signed us all clear to go.  We arrived in Toronto later due to the delay.  Luckily the La Guardia flight was also delayed coming from NYC so it gave us some buffer room, otherwise it is quite likely we would have missed our flight.

We arrived at La Guardia with no issues and easily got a cab into New York.  The hotel we are at is very conveniently located close to Penn Station which is where we are heading out tomorrow on Amtrak.  Tonight we took the kids up the Empire State Building.  The crowds were minimal so we got up with no line-ups.  The weather was clear and we got some great views this evening from the observation deck.  After that we headed down the street and close to our hotel went into a deli/diner and had egg salad sandwiches (Sophie and I), Fynn a hot dog (of course) and Vic a chicken quesadia.  All good.  Sleep time....

Monday, September 29, 2014

where is the time going?

It's September 29....I can't believe it is only another two days before we head out on our trip to Boston/NYC with the kids.  We have been planning this trip for months and it's finally here.  I feel really good about the itinerary I planned.  There is enough stuff to keep the kids quite happy I think and enough new things that Vic and I will be engaged.

The usual back to school settling in has begun.  Both kids are full steam ahead in their piano lessons.  Fynn just started about 4 weeks ago but he is picking it up.  Sophie has become a nice piano player, but now she is asking me about voice/singing lessons.  We shall see.  Fynn is settling into hockey but it is a bit of a grind -- mostly for Vic who has to ensure he gets there and is geared up.  We take it day by day around here.  I always say if we can get to Christmas we are doing fine and then we reassess the activities again.

Finally, Sophie gets her braces off tomorrow.  That went by pretty fast.  Her teeth are looking good.

I'm taking a break from blogging...back in a couple of weeks.  The photo above is of a walk we took this weekend near the Adams River.

Monday, September 22, 2014

The first day...

Finally!  The first day of school for kids in British Columbia.  The teachers' strike was settled last week with a negotiated settlement and the kids were back to school today.

Sophie is in Grade 5 and Fynn in Grade 2.  So far, so good.  They each seemed to be happy with their teachers.

Here is a photo that a friend took of Sophie and some of her friends.  They are now the top of the pack at Bastion, as they are the highest grade there.  Leading by example (I hope).