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Sunday 3 November 2013

New York City: Part 1

Back to the vacation posts...

After we collected our new visas in Ottawa we hopped on a plane (well, two planes) and headed to New York City for a quick visit with friends and to show the girls my most favourite city in the whole world.

We're very lucky to have good friends living in New York. And even luckier that they were happy to have us come stay a night or two - or three! Big thanks to Mylee & Richard and Daniela & Sam for putting us up and for showing us around the city they're all lucky enough to call home.

We arrived in New York late in the day and headed straight to Mylee and Richard's place for a catch up and a home cooked dinner. There's nothing better than a home cooked dinner when you're traveling. Don't get me wrong, I love going out for dinner but after a week of kid friendly restaurant food a home cooked dinner hits the spot.

We woke the next day to a beautiful morning; sunny with clear skies and just a hint of the approaching Winter weather in the air. I can't get enough of the views in New York. I would be happy to spend hours just looking out the window at the city. At home we have a good view over Berkeley, San Francisco and the Bay, but there's just something about the views in New York that takes my breath away. The colour changes over the buildings through the morning as the sun rose were stunning. My favourite thing about the view from Mylee and Richard's apartment was the fact that I could see the Time Warner Building which I like to pretend is my old home - I stayed there for three weeks back in 2006 setting up a condo for my then boss.

Golden glow as the sun rises

Just an hour later and everything's bright and sparkly

Our first full day in New York got off to a bit of a slow start. We'd all been a bit sick with colds in Canada but by the time we reached New York Kim had come down with a full blown case of man flu! He decided that his best bet for recovering was to keep warm and stay in bed for the first day while the girls and I headed out to explore with friends. Colds be damned - we wanted to see New York!

After a quick stop for coffee and checking out a doggy day care (this IS New York) we headed to our first destination for the day: Dylan's Candy Bar. The kids were so excited to visit this deliciously colourful store and behaved just like, well... kids in a candy store! After looking through almost every product in the store the girls decided to treat themselves to a giant lollipop (which you'll see Lola holding in almost every photo from now on!) and Juicy Drop Pops. I have no idea what that Juicy Drop Pop thing is, but it had a Minion on the label so Ava just had to have it.

Doggy day care

That's one big chocolate bunny

Excited about all that candy

A rainbow of candy

Now, what could be better than a candy store? A toy store! From Dylan's Candy Bar we made our way to iconic New York toy store FAO Schwarz. The girls were amazed by the sheer number of toys on offer and especially loved the huge range of plush creatures at the store's entrance. After perusing the plush toys we headed upstairs to play on the big piano featured in the 80's movie Big. The girls had so much fun running backwards and forwards across the piano keys with their friend Tate. We then spent quite some time checking out the rest of the store before the girls decided on a special toy each to take home. After convincing her that she didn't need (nor do we have room for) a life sized plush beagle, Ava decided to go for a much-smaller-than-lifesized plush labrador and Lola chose a plush carry barn with horses, fences and hay bales.

Can we take them home?

Lola shares her (still wrapped) lollipop with a "small" Patrick the Pup

Look Mum... More candy!

Playing the big piano 

Jumping and marching on the keys

Lighting up the keyboard

So much fun

Now we've seen the Statue of Liberty!

Looking back downstairs

A rainbow of crayons. I love that you can purchase just the colours that you need.

I so desperately wanted to make my own Muppet!

I think I need a bigger teddy bear, Mum!

After our retail therapy (it's a cure for colds, right?) we headed down Fifth Ave towards Rockefeller Center. The girls loved looking up at the towering 30 Rock as we approached and were amazed by the outdoor ice skating rink. I would've loved to have taken Ava skating (she's quite the little skater) but we'll have to leave that for our next trip when Lola is a little older.

Ava and Atlas

Watching the skaters

Another rainbow. This time of flowers.

Lollipops and flowers call for a little dancing

Back on the street we took in the sights of everyday life in New York: the bustling sidewalks, hotdog carts, masses of yellow taxis and, much to the girls' intrigue, the pipes of steam coming from below the street. Lola insisted they pose for a photo with the steam! One of my favourite things about walking around New York is seeing the towering skyscrapers pop up in your view down side streets. The Chrysler Building is my favourite piece of architecture and I'm in awe every time it appears out of nowhere from behind the closer buildings.  

Intrigued by the steam

My favourite

New York Public Library

Running down Fifth Avenue

My highlight for the day was our visit to the observation deck of the Empire State Building. The girls didn't think that anything could top their visit to Dylan's Candy Bar and FAO Schwarz but they were pretty blown away by the views at the top of the Empire State Building - and I mean that both figuratively and literally! It was so incredibly windy when we stepped out onto the viewing deck that the girls, especially Lola, had trouble keeping upright! Luckily it wasn't quite so windy on all sides of the building and we were able to enjoy the view over the Financial District and the East River without feeling too windswept. The other two sides however...

Mum, it's too windy...

So many windows

Just a little windy!

Central Park is just back there

I could look at this all day

The girls and I on top of the world

Chrysler Building you are so pretty

Posing sensibly

Uh oh... not so sensible now

Is there a new monkey climbing on the Empire State Building?

Not the best idea Lola.
Needless to say by this point the security guard had spotted Lola's antics and we were told off. Oops!

That's better!

East River

The girls liked the gold peak

What a view!

Freedom Tower and Statue of Liberty

There's our girl!

Hello Flatiron Building

It was starting to get pretty cold while we were up on the observation deck and it was approaching dinner time so we headed all the way back down to the ground and to the nearest subway station to head back to Mylee and Richard's apartment.

Looking back up

We headed out to a Japanese restaurant for dinner then back to the apartment to get those tired kids into bed. They'd be needing their sleep for the adventures the next day had in store for them.

Stay tuned for part 2 of our New York adventure...


  1. Aaaaaahhhh, what a fantastic day in a fantastic city! My favouritest building in NY: the little flatiron bld! Just love it!

    1. I love the Flatiron building too! This is the first time I've seen it without scaffolding so it was nice to see it properly. Just imagine what NY must've looked like back when it was the tallest building!


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