Last week our family loaded the van and headed north! Most people head south for spring break, but since Grady had business in NYC for three days, and since most of his extended family is in New Jersey, we decided to make it a week of family fun and head north with him. My dear husband agreed to a 10-hour road trip with three kids rather than a quick and quiet flight directly to NYC. What a man, what a man. What a mighty fine man.
The next morning my sis-in-law and nieces came to spend the day and play. Nana enjoyed board games and coloring Easter eggs with all her grandkids, and I enjoyed the chance to see my six-month pregnant sis-in-law who is anxiously awaiting the arrival of Baby Boy. (Eeek!) So excited to have a nephew to love and my boys are hoping that when the baby is born "he will want to wrestle and race cars." Poor kid has a tight agenda and he's not even here yet.
Later in the afternoon, Grady and I packed up and took a bus from NJ to NYC. Goodbyes to the kids were quick and simple - Grady was ready to get settled into his hotel and and prepared for the next few days of work, and I was excited to explore NYC for a day without kids!
After catching a cab from our bus stop we checked into the hotel, dropped our bags, and headed out for an evening on the town. We explored the area around his hotel, taking in the sights and sounds of Times Square, Rockefeller Center, and 5th Avenue.
I can't explain it, but the city energizes me. So much to see and do. So many people to watch. So many things to explore. Grady and I got sappy and reminiscent about our long-lost days of living in downtown Chicago. Ah, those were the days. Things are a tad different now: we drive a minivan and live by a cow pasture. A far cry from the 30th floor apartment we had and the taxi's we depended on.
The next morning we enjoyed a great breakfast together before parting ways. Grady headed to the office and I headed out to explore. I grabbed a Starbucks coffee and took off toward the NBC studios hoping to get in on the Today Show action. Sara Palin was a guest host that day and security was extra tight. Since I wasn't on the plaza bright and early when the show started taping, I wasn't able to get up close and personal so I have no television debut behind Ann Curry like my husband did several weeks back. No problem - 5th Avenue had fun stores to wander until it was time to catch a cab to my bus stop and head back to NJ.
When I arrived back in NJ, my kids hardly noticed I was back because they were too busy having fun with Aunt Becki, Jenna, and Nana. Three doting family members meant one-on-one attention for each kid! It didn't take long for my kids to realize they had a "My wish is your command" type of scenario happening in their favor.
After a full day of soccer and playing at the park, it was time for stories and cuddles with Nana before bed. This was the end of day three in our visit and Nana had a full and fun schedule for the rest of our week. Despite late bed times for everyone and random nap times for Annalyse, my kids held emotions in check and kept up with the swing of things. All melt-downs averted: win!