Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick and Treat.

What a difference a year makes!

Happy Birthday to two of the loves of my life.  You brighten every day with your smiles and snuggles. I love you.

Oh, Sandy.

I had the most amazing weekend last weekend, even if it was cut short.

Chad and I ventured out to the east coast in celebration of our 11th anniversary -- mostly making up for not being able to celebrate our 10th anniversary since I was in the hospital on bed rest last year.  I thought Hawaii was in my cards, but maybe that will have to wait for our 15th.

So, New York City it was. 

Good bye Chicago...

...Hello east coast.

We flew in to White Plains since we planned to spend some time with my uncle and his family (my aunt and cousins) in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Chad and I have always had adventurous spirits and are not ones to sit around for long.  We hit the ground running and didn't slow down until we arrived back home in Chicago.

We wanted to fit as much in this weekend as possible since it isn't every day that we have this opportunity anymore.

You can't really see it, but Manhattan is over my right shoulder.  Very far in the distance.  You could see it better in person.  Plus, most of these are just iPhone pics.

This is looking south across the Long Island Sound over to Long Island.  It looks really cold and dreary, but it was quite pleasant the entire time we were there.  60's and no rain.  I'll take it.

Downtown Greenwich is absolutely adorable...and in the words of my uncle Ed, "It is like Geneva on steroids."  Well put, my friend.

I "loved" and "lusted" after this couch.

We had a fantastic dinner with my aunt & uncle in Armonk, New York.

And when we got home I tried to wake up my cousins ;)

Then we were off to the Big Apple.

Grand Central Station.

Can you spot Chad?

We had a VERY touristy day planned...

The "Flat Iron Building" is one of the most photographed buildings in the world.

Washington Square...Sesame Street is filmed here.

A little disclaimer...I had a strange fascination with buildings and fire exits...they were seriously really cool looking.  Everywhere I looked.

Soho was one of my favorite neighborhoods.  The shopping was To. Die. For.

Our tour guide said we had to check it out...

They weren't there, but their $10 bottles of water were.

Frye Boot store.  Yes, please.

These buildings were just amazing.

Neeeewwww Yoooooooork......Jay-Z & Beyonce's crib.  (on the top of the building)

Statue of Liberty.

We never got a chance to use our tickets for Sunday morning.  Dammit Sandy.

It is so sad to see what this area looks like now on the news, just a few days after we were there.  All time record storm surge has devastated Battery Park and flooded lower Manhattan.

Who you gonna call? 

Filming the Sex & The City prequel. The Carrie Diaries.

So no one told you life was gonna be this way... 

More fire exits.

I was pleasantly surprised by how clean and safe the streets felt.  We definitely felt the similarities to Chicago.

I think this goes without saying...Time Square.

The High Line.  Check it out.  A definite must see if you are in NYC.

The guy in the window was not real...but he had an uncanny resemblance to our friend, Tony.

We stumbled across a bridal party getting some photos know I couldn't resist a few creeper shots...

Meat packing district.

This is how we felt...but we forged ahead.

On the High Line there are seats above the street.  Perfect for people watching or monitoring traffic.

I highly recommend checking out the rooftop at The Standard Hotel for drinks.  We stopped here before dinner and enjoyed the views.  That is the new Freedom Tower to Chad's right.

Super comfy chairs.

This is looking south with the Hudson River on the right.

Grand Central & Empire State Building.

Pizza for snacks...

Pizza for breakfast.  I couldn't get enough.

Freedom Tower again.


It was surreal to be in this area and recall the vivid memories I have of that horrible day.  You can sense the camaraderie through NYC and it made my heart swell with pride to be an American.  People stop in their tracks when a fire truck passes by.  Women line up to get their photos taken with cops.  We will never forget.

This whole area is hidden underwater now.

I will take you down.  I will take you down to Chinatown.

The Plaza Hotel.  We had lunch here in the amazing Todd English Food Hall in the basement.  Now under ten feet of water :(

Nicole, this pic is for you...

Nicole thinks that a horse drawn carriage is the most romantic thing in the world.  haha.  They look like fun, but they sure are stinky.

Biking in Central Park.

I didn't realize how hilly and rocky Central Park was.  No, seriously, I was in no shape to be riding a bike up those hills.  Needless to say, I came home and joined a gym.


Rockefeller Plaza.

Have you seen Sweet Home Alabama with Reese Witherspoon?  You know the part when Patrick Dempsey's character takes her to Tiffany's and tells her to pick out any ring she wants?  Well, Chad did that for me...except not on the first floor, we were on the 3rd floor -- all the sterling silver jewelry you can shake a stick at.  lol.  That's how we roll.

With all this go-go-going, we needed a little pick me up.  I got a coffee WITH caffeine and Chad had his first coffee too!  It sure helped get us through dinner and our show....and also kept us awake when we had to make an emergency evacuation and drive home for 14 hours.  But I'll get to that.

Bike taxi.  Total rip-off.

Anniversary dinner at Armani's.  We're fancy like that.  Thanks Ed for the corner table ;)

Best. Show. Ever.  Matthew Broderick was hilarious.  The singing and dancing were superb.  The sets and costumes were perfect.  So. Much. Fun!

The we saw Ricky Martin.

Then reality set in.

A state of emergency was declared.  The said the bridges and tunnels would be closing the next day and to change your travel arrangements.

With the fear of getting stranded on Manhattan for a week, we did what any responsible parents of four would do.  We rented a car at 2am and drove home 14 hours.


 Chalk it up to experience and life lessons.  Always be safe than sorry.  Our flight did take off the next day, on time, but oh well.  What can you do?

We missed our kiddos.

So, happy 11th anniversary to us.  It was a trip that will never be forgotten...for many reasons.  I love my kiddos, but it was so nice to get away just the two of us to remind us of a simpler time.

Many prayers to those affected by this "Frankenstorm."  It is so unfair and I hope everyone stays safe in the aftermath.