We went to New York City this past weekend to visit Meredith, Lucas and Charlie's NYC fan club (above). We were blessed with good weather, excellent food, witty conversation and even a celebrity sighting (Ethan from Lost). Meredith spazzed out about the celebrity, Kara spazzed out about the cheeseburgers. I'd call it a successful visit!
We stayed near Union Square at the W Hotel. Or as I like to call it, the Eternal Cocktail Party. There is not a single place you can go in that hotel without mood lighting, dark wood, luxe mauve fabrics and groovy techno beats. While this is appreciated when it is actually cocktail hour, it's a bit much at 8am in the elevator before I've had any coffee.
Charlie always likes us to get a jump on the day and so woke up bright and early both mornings. Saturday there was a huge farmer's market at Union Square and the path for Summer Streets went right by our hotel so there were lots of people going by. Basically they shut down a bunch of streets on the weekends to car traffic so people can walk, jog, rollerblade, etc. Brad took Charlie out for a while so I could get ready and he got a little baby t-shirt for water sustainability and his picture taken for the Summer Streets photo contest. I'm still trying to hunt down the photos on the web site. If he wins he gets an orange bike which he wants to give to his Aunt MIMI!
When Meredith and Lucas were ready to go we went to Highline park, which is a new park on top of some buildings. Lots of people up there and beautiful views of the Hudson. It was there that I realized just how much we fit in with the locals by virtue of our stroller. It was like a Maclaren Triumph convention up there at the park. Don't call us tourists! We have THE stroller for city dwelling parents! I think it went to Brad's head a bit because he talked a lot during the weekend about wanting to move there. After all, it is ideal to move to Manhattan when you have 2 50 pound dogs and a newborn.
We snapped a few pics while we were up there. Here's one of Mer and Lucas and while I was trying to get the Empire State Building in the background (ok, yes, I am tourist) really all you can see is that bright red billboard with 'Stimulate' in huge words. No successful Charlie pics at this point since the exciting morning had worn him out.
We took a really nice walk back and had lunch at the Shake Shack in Madison Square park. The line usually runs around the park and people wait for an hour for really yummy burgers, fries and shakes. The burger gods were smiling on us, though and we only waited about 20 or so minutes. Then we grabbed a table in the shade and all quit talking and focused on our food until it was all gone.
I love this pic of Mer and Charlie - it's so cute how he is looking at her and smiling.
After I finished my burger I told Charlie I might eat him next.
We shopped and relaxed the rest of the day. I found Charlie some cute outfits at Baby Gap on 5th Ave. and the massive Babies R Us near our hotel. I got to see how city parents stock up on baby goods - they buy a lot, hail a cab and hope to not return for a while.
Saturday night we walked to dinner and sat out on the patio. There was turkey schnitzel and a pleasant breeze. Just lovely. I was pretty much done after that - once we got Charlie down at the hotel it was snooze city.
Sunday morning we got up early and went to get coffee. Coffee turned into a walk, which turned into a really long walk. Union Square to Times Square to Central Park. We just kept going and going and saw so many things and people. It made for a very nice morning with our Starbucks.
Can you find Brad and Charlie in this picture??
I think we left the hotel around 7:30 and around 10 were waiting outside of FAO Schwarz for it to open. We considered getting Charlie a very large stuffed giraffe for his room until we saw the $776 price tag and thought naaaah.
We got to meet Meredith's posse for brunch on Sunday and it was so much fun. She has the neatest group of friends there and I just love them all. Charlie was either fussy or slept through most of it which was kind of a bummer but I think we'd asked all we could ask of him that weekend.
It was a great visit. We had an awesome time with Meredith and Lucas who were excellent tour guides! I highly recommend hiring them for your next trip - their rates are quite reasonable if you're family! I hope we can make it back up there again soon.