Friday, December 30, 2016

Christmas 2016

Christmas Eve night we got dressed up and headed to church.
Christmas Eve-18 merry christmas

I tried to get some photos of the kids before we left, but Emma had just been woken up from nap and was not the happiest of campers.
Christmas Eve-2

Christmas Eve-4

Church was fun, they had coloring sheets for the kids, Mary would shout out her name everytime "Mary" was spoken.

Emma was really into the music. 

After church we found the ONE place that was open on Christmas Eve. Well maybe not the only one, but pretty much the only pizza place or something we were wanting to eat. This place has GREAT pizza, all organic, local.

So we attempted photos again after church when everyone was in a much better mood
Christmas Eve-7

Christmas Eve-8

Christmas Eve-10

Christmas Eve-13

We set some cookies out for Santa, read the Night Before Christmas and got everyone into bed (rather late). Harpo stayed up to meet Santa.
Christmas Eve-22

Christmas morning came and the kids were excited to dig into their presents. I had cooked an egg bake breakfast in the crock-pot, but Kyle and I were mainly the ones to eat that. We were able to get some into the girls via spoon feeding while they continued to explore their toys.

I decided to do the interval shooting like last year and had that set up the night before. Not the happiest with the location, but maybe I'll mess around with it next year. I didn't take too much time on it this year. There were a total of 379 photos so I had them flip through a little faster this year so it's not too long. Here's the video I made with Window's Movie Maker.

Didn't get too many separate photos of present opening.

Mary and her beloved popcorn, pretty much all they ate for two days. And you can hear Isaac in the background talking to Alexa... (our new Echo)

On Monday we went to the mall to look for a few things. We picked up some batteries for Isaac's new track. It was our lucky day because we got them free from Brookstone. The woman said "Lucky you they are ringing up as $0.00 for some reason, have a nice day" Okay then.
christmas 2016 interval-379

Santa Land Visit 2016

Thursday, December 22nd we headed downtown to see the Santa Land set up on the 8th floor of Macy's. Macy's announced they were shutting down or selling so I think everyone was in a tizzy thinking this was the last year of Santa Land. That was never announced so who knows, maybe the next owners will head it up next year. Anyway, with that being said it was SOOO much more crowded than previous years when we've gone and enjoyed practically the whole place to ourselves. Our other mistake was waiting too long to go, we should have gone before Christmas week. Anyway so we had to wait in a nice LOOOONNNNGGGG line, which is really fun with two 2.5 year olds not contained in a stroller. 

They enjoyed their rare freedom. 

We finally made it to the front of the line and had to hit the bathrooms before going in to see the displays (which is the same as all the other years we've seen it, but the kids are a different age so it's all new to them)

We made it through the 'Day in the Life of an Elf' and there was a spot to write Santa a letter. We did not bother with the line to see Santa since we got to see him a few weeks prior at our realtor's holiday event. 

This photo is from then: lol

So the kids sat down to write Santa a letter. Here's Mary refusing to move from the middle of the walking isle. 

Isaac and Emma getting started.

Eventually did get Mary moved out of the way. 

Time to mail the letter!

Isaac's says: Dinosaur Bones and books. 

It was a fun, festive night. We finished it off with driving to see Christmas lights on the way home. 

Friday, December 23, 2016

New York City Mom Trip - Part 2 of 2

Saturday morning came and despite the previous nights disruptions, it felt so good to just lie in bed. I did capture my view from the 6th floor room window before changing rooms. Exciting, I know. Let me tell you, Staten Island is something magical {total sarcasm in case you needed me to point that out}. I got up and around, well still pretty much in my PJs and went down to have breakfast with my cousin, Patty. After breakfast is when I chatted with the front desk and changed rooms.

Here's the view from my second, fourth floor room. Wow, mind blowing I know :-P

Had a little facetime with my gang back home.

I went for a nice long run in the hotel's fitness room... which compared to the hotel we stayed at in Chicago I was shocked with how sparce it was. But Kyle informed me later the Chicago hotel room was REALLY nice compared to most hotels and had a kickass fitness gym. It'd been so long since I'd stayed at a hotel that I didn't realize how good we had it in Chicago.

Of course I waited to workout until almost the last minute. Rushed upstairs, showered quickly, changed and got ready for the wedding. The shuttle bus was set to leave at 2:15 from the hotel to take us all to the chapel. I think it ended up leaving closer to 2:45.

The wedding was a beautiful ceremony in the church my cousin grew up in.

The bridesmaids looked stunning in their sari's.

And of course the bride and groom were glowing, so happy for them! They met while both working on the Disney cruise ship, so there were parts of Disney thrown here and there. Rumor has it she was wearing glass slippers but I didn't get to witness this.

The shuttle took us back to the hotel where we had a minute to relax. Then we boarded back onto the shuttle about 5:30 to head to the reception hall. Each location was a different area on Staten Island so I was really getting the grand tour of SI.

There was an amazing cocktail hour with a crazy amount of appetizers! I didn't get any photos :-( then we headed upstairs to the glorious ballroom! Celine (the bride)'s mom made ALL the decorations! She said her house was covered in glitter for months, lol.

It was so beautiful, but the heat wasn't on! So we were all pretty cold. Thinking it'd warm up as bodies started to fill in but that wasn't the case either.

It was a fun night celebrating the two!

The next morning I again got to lay in bed uninterrupted. And had a peaceful night sleep unlike the previous night. I watched some of 'It's a Wonderful Life' before heading downstairs to meet my cousin Katie and her boyfriend for breakfast. They were flying back to Italy that night, short states visit :-(

I got checked out just before noon and my Chicago cousin and I took the ferry back to Manhattan together.

We said our goodbye's at the ferry, her and her boyfriend were making their way to the airport. I went for a walk up Broadway, stopping to get coffee of course.

Kyle and I have been watching a lot of Casey Neistat's vlogs lately, thanks to my brother introducing me to him just a few months ago. So I wanted to walk by his office. Funny seeing his cameras hanging out his windows. And his Beme company office is just next door.

Meanwhile back in Minnesota, Kyle took the kids outside to get started on shoveling the downfall of snow they had.

After walking by Casey's place I hopped on the subway up to times square area to attempt to catch the 2:00 showing of Wicked. I wasn't in a hurry to make it but figured I'd head that way and if I did great, otherwise I'd see the 7:00 show. I arrived just at 2:00 and I probably could have gotten in because after standing around for a few minutes I watched them close the ticket window, leaving only the future ticket purchase window open. I bought my ticket for 7:00 and it was a done deal, So excited to finally see a Broadway show. You'd think after living there and multiple visits I would have already seen one, but not the case.

Tickets in hand I had a few hours to kill.

I peeked at Time's Square (not my favorite place to go, after our last visit I had had my fill, and I hate the crowd)

Then headed west toward the Intrepid Sea, Air, & Space Muesum.  It was another freebie included with our MN Science Museum membership!

It was pretty cool, a former aircraft carrier: USS Intrepid, was in service from the early 1940's to early 1970's. During 9/11 it was used as a headquarters, but has been a museum ever since 1974.

I got to go up in this island on the flight deck.

Here's a view from in the island where the captain's bunk was.

Panorama view of the whole intrepid:

I left there and headed to get something to eat. I walked by this place and had to get a photo: Daisy May's BBQ. I wasn't in the mood for barbecue so just got a photo.

I found a little Thai place and treated myself to a Thai Iced Tea and some Pad See Ew.

Still more time to kill so I headed east to hit up the touristy Christmas spots. The crowd was insane! And it had started to snow pretty good. You can see the snow up in the street light of this photo:

All the popular places I'd seen before, but hey I was here so might as well again right. It was actually quiet miserable with how many people there were.

Rockefeller tree.

The light show at Saks Fifth Ave was pretty cool. And I wanted to get there because Kyle had sent me this same picture just two weeks prior when he was there for business... so it was like we were sharing the same view and there together... haha sort of.

You can see it snowing in this one:

Snow was getting a little wet, so I ducked into a Starbucks to warm up.

A guy sitting next to me asked to use my charger and since his phone needed it more than mine I was happy to help out. Watched the snow for a bit until it was time to head to my show.

Time for the show!!!!

It was AMAZING! I loved it! It's actually coming to Minneapolis next spring, so I hope to take Kyle. Now while I don't expect it to be as good as broadway because, well it shouldn't be frankly. It's BROADWAY! I still think the story was amazing and would love to see it again and for Kyle to see it too!.

I headed back to Patty's for the night, I had an early morning and day of travel the next day. It was about 10:00 but I needed something to eat and couldn't complete a trip without New York pizza! Got some Ray's pizza near 7th and 49th.

Hopped on the F train, ready to be back to my cousins.

EEKkkk fun seeing this signing after having just seen it!

A few stops after I got on the F they announced "this is the F training following the E track" seriously WTF!?! The F train is the only train that stops on Roosevelt Island, a rather significant stop, but the E track does not go there. I immediately hopped off and made my way toward another mode of transit. Was going to hop on a train to catch the F up on the right track, but being that it was Sunday evening I think they had that queens bound track completely shut down. So I walked to the tram, which was a little farther than I had thought, not bad, but after a weekend of walking I sure was getting tired! And cold.

Made it on the tram, too tired to stand and get a decent photo, so this is what I ended up with.

Made it back, quick visit with Patty then off to bed. The next morning I left her place about 8:30 to head to JFK. It took about an hour and a half to get there via trains. My flight had switched gates and was a little delayed but this gave me time to get food, get coffee, and even sit down for a minute and facetime the kids. Then it was all aboard, back in the air.

I didn't have a window seat on the way back but managed to get a couple photos. Here we are flying into snowing Minnesota, I think that is the St. Croix river.

All images are copyright of Daisy Simpson. It is unlawful and illegal to copy, scan, alter or edit the images in any way. This depreciates the photos value as well as my reputation, I take great care in capturing and editing each image and they are each important to me. Thank you for respecting my passion and my copyright.