Monday, April 8, 2013

Spring Break in NYC part 1

It has become a tradition over the last couple of years to get together with Mandi, Christian, and their girls for Spring Break.  We went to Philly one year.  Met in DC another.  This year, they are living back in NY and we HAD to take the chance to drive up there to see them.  Andrew had his work trip to NYC back in 2010, but the kids and I had never been.  We have been planning and anticipating this for months.  It was a great week!

We took the kids out of school a little early on Thursday and headed up to DC to spend the night with Amy, Rick, and their kids.  It was a short, but fun visit.  (I think our visits with them are always short and fun.)

On Friday morning, after cooking pancakes and bacon for TWELVE of us, we left for NY. The kids are such great roadtrippers.  I love vacationing with them.  Our favorite car game this trip was Family Feud.  I found it on clearance for 29 cents right before we left.  We had a lot of fun guessing the top five answers to random questions like "Things you were afraid of as a kid that you're still afraid of."  (Dentists was #1.  Boo.)

We drove through states I'd never been through.  Like Delaware!!  I was so excited to take a picture of in front of a big "Welcome to Delaware" sign.  But they have no state pride.  I couldn't find a good sign like that. Here's the proof that we've been there:

Hi. We're in Delaware.

After paying lots and lots of tolls and getting stuck in traffic for no apparent reason on the New Jersey Turnpike, we made it to Christian and Mandi's in the early afternoon.  The adults were excited because Friday night was date night! We left all seven kids home with a cute babysitter (who was shorter than Brandon) and took off for the city.  We had such a fabulous double date. First, we stopped at La Esquina, a little taco shop with tacos that were so delicious that Andrew and I are still craving more.  And they had spicy corn on the cob that had really good flavor, but the kernels were too small.

Andrew and I kept quoting Nacho Libre, 
"Get that corn outta my face!"

We walked around the city a bit.
We could see the Empire State Building lit up in pastel colors.

Then we headed to Chinatown for Chinese massages.
Wow. We decided to go for 1/2 hour massages, but the 30 minutes went by too fast!
Loved it. After driving in the stressful traffic for the past couple of days, 
Andrew especially enjoyed his rub down.
I was glad Christian and Mandi could vouch for this place,
because I never would have gone down there on my own!

Our final stop on the amazing NYC date night:
Chocolate! (by the bald man)
You can't go wrong with chocolate.

Soooooo decadent.

This was a little further than our other stops, so we took a cab there and then back to the car.  My first experience with NY cab drivers.  Our first driver was so nice and talkative and (relatively) safe.  Our second driver was frightening.  Andrew had to close his eyes and was trying to wedge his body into the safest position if (when?) we were in an accident. I felt like I was on a roller coaster. It was crazy.  But we survived. Major props to Mandi for planning such an awesome date night.

On Saturday, we packed all the kids up into the minivans for more adventures in the city.  First, we walked right around the corner from our parking garage and found...

The Manhattan Temple!
Can you see the teeny tiny angel Moroni at the top?
Loved to see this little haven of peace in such a busy, bustling city.
Then we told the kids to channel their inner pioneer because we walked.
And walked.
And walked.
They were awesome.

First stop:  Central Park
 This ended up being the nicest weather day of our whole trip. Perfect.
The kids had such a great time.

Climbing on the rocks

Going down the slides

Spinning in the tire swing

Playing in the sand

Eating a yummy picnic lunch.
Afterward, we walked down to the Museum of Natural History.
It was just OK for us.
It was really crowded.
And the kids were exhausted from all of their playing.
We didn't stay long.

Just long enough to see a couple dino skeletons.

We wanted to make a quick stop at the Shake Shack before heading home.
But then we saw that the line went out the door and around the corner.
We sent the boys to get minivans, while we waited in line.
The four-year-olds had really had it by this time.
Poor little legs.

After resting up in the van on the drive home, everyone was ready...
to jump in the trampoline???
Crazy kids.

We also decided to do some our Easter festivities.
We read the story of the resurrection from the New Testament
and the kids made "resurrection rolls."  They were delicious.

We also sent the kids on a scavenger hunt for their Easter baskets.

And had our egg hunt in the backyard.

On Easter Sunday, we took it easy.
We went to church in the morning.
We even made it out the door in time to get some Easter pics.

More fun to come...


  1. What a fun trip! I've only been there once, but I absolutely loved NYC and would love to go back sometime.
    You guys are road trippers extraordinaire!!

  2. First, it looks like an awesome trip and makes me yearn for the east coast! I never would've tried out that Chinese massage place on my own either... And second, I am WAY JEALOUS you guys visited Adventure Playground!!! That playground was a huge inspiration for my thesis and it is my dream to take my kids there while they're still young.

  3. That date night looks awesome! I would love to get a massage. Glad it wasn't sketchy!

  4. We were seriously just talking last night about whether the Manhattan temple had an Angel Moroni on it... I was wrong! So jealous of your fun trips!

  5. Best date night ever! I love the pic of the kids in the Shake Shack. I REALLY wanted that burger and oh, those fries. It was worth it in the end. They were troopers that day!