NYC: Party, Playing, Sightseeing & Fireworks

Yesterday we drove down to New York City to attend a big 40th birthday party for one of our long-time Dresden-to-Saratoga friends.  It is our first big trip to a hotel with both the girls and our first "night out" since LittleL.G.

We arrived after a looong daytime trip.  I tried really hard to stop drinking early enough in the day so we could make it non-stop, but I guess that last coffee was too much because I might have had to stop at a rest area an hour in and it might have woken up both girls... oops!  Once we finally arrived, we met my parents, the baby-sitters, at our hotel: the Flatiron.

Before we even got to the hotel I got a call from my mom.  They don't have rooms next to each other. I had called ahead and asked for adjacent rooms and the lovely man on the phone assured me he had already blocked us in next to each other- not to worry.  But apparently upon our arrival, they had only rooms two floors apart!  I called and gave the manager a piece of my mind, but it seemed they honestly DID NOT have rooms near each other.  I was crushed: our baby-sitting the baby from the next room via monitor was foiled!! Until... Bob reminded me about FaceTime and I remembered why I love apple and all our problems were solved.  We were given two bottles of champagne for our troubles which mostly made up for it.

So we unpacked and set a game plan and then ventured out to see what was nearby.  We found a cute playground at Madison Square Park that MiniM.E. instantly fell in love with.  Surprising because she is not usually one for crowds and this playground had more kids on 3 climbers than I've ever seen at any playground at home.  She played for a while and LittleL.G. even took a turn on a swing (we had to wait in line) before we left MiniM.E. with my parents so we could get ready and get LittleL.G. to bed.

assessing the situation

The party was fantastic.  I have no photos because my phone was being used as a baby monitor, but hopefully some friends will send some along and I can update later.  Tasty food, DJ, roof-top terrace with views of the Empire State Building... it was very fancy.

The kids did great- LittleL.G. slept and MiniM.E. was good despite being up way past her bedtime.  They certainly kept us on schedule by waking us up bright and early at 6:30.  Plenty of time before the scheduled brunch to walk around town and find Dough.  MiniM.E. loves doughnuts and I thought this would be right up her alley, but none of us really thought they were any good.  Long walk for a crappy breakfast.  At least they had good coffee!

We took MiniM.E. with us to brunch while Gram and Grumpy baby-sat a napping baby.  MiniM.E. was exhausted too though, and brunch was probably too much.

After brunch we hit up the Lego Store while it was raining.

Then instead of walking to High Line Park as planned, we walked to Times Square and Bryant Park for the carousel per MiniM.E.'s request.  She almost fell asleep on the way there, but perked up once we saw the carousel.
quick pre-carousel snack

best part of the trip!
When we got back to the hotel it was time for Gram and Grumpy to head out and for us to rest up for the fireworks.  Both the kids were exhausted but we had to try for it!  How could you not see the 4th of July Fireworks in NYC if you are HERE!!???!

LittleL.G. was asleep before we even left.  MiniM.E. was tired, but she was going to alternate between riding on Bob's shoulders and in the Tula so she wouldn't have to walk the mile down to the waterfront where we would watch the fireworks.  We didn't want the stroller so we could more easily navigate the crowds. An excellent plan.  However, nothing ever goes according to plan so here's what really happened.

LittleL.G. woke up as soon as we were outside on the bustling streets.  She was happy to ride in the Ergo on the way there, but as she was tired too, only Mommy would do.  No problem since MiniM.E. was happy riding on Daddy.  BUT when we were a few blocks from the waterfront MiniM.E. decided she was too tired and also only wanted Mommy.  I could see the water and it looked like we were close, so I strapped her on my back in the Tula and we kept on walking.  When we got to the water I was tired and happy we made it but worried about the 2 hour wait.  No need to worry though, we were told we needed to walk up 5 blocks to the access ramp for the elevated road- might as well kill some time.  Once we made it to the elevated road, we were directed to keep walking back the way we came.  So probably another mile later we arrived at a location where we could at least sit down together.  We were all so tired!

Both the girls were FANTASTIC while we were waiting.  MiniM.E. was so tired we actually had to wake her up a few times.  LittleL.G. was apparently not tired at all but was kept entertained by playing with a fruit snack wrapper, a water bottle, and the lady's purse strap next to us.

They both lit up when the fireworks started.

LittleL.G. was mesmerized and could have watched forever, but MiniM.E. was so tired that halfway through when things got really "bangy" she started crying that it was too loud for sleeping and she just wanted to go home.
DURING the fireworks

Reluctantly we headed back towards the access road and back down towards where we met the water and back the mile to the hotel.  At least we beat the crowds and we can say we saw the fireworks in NYC on the 4th of July.

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