New Jersey Adventure Part 2 - A Birthday Treat - NYC
After an eventful evening on the night before my birthday, (you can see why here) we spent the day shooting daggers across the swimming pool to each other. My sister in law really spoilt me with a beautiful breakfast and we spent the day drinking cocktails, sunbathing and playing in the pool.
Fortunately, the angry fog started to clear, albeit slowly, and after a delayed present opening, for when my brother arrived home from work, we ended the day on a better note, with a our first taste of barbequed Jersey corn and ice cream cake! I had some wonderfully thoughtful gifts which I will share later this week. Ever wanted to make your own Bokeh? Well then make sure you check back in.
The next day we headed off to New York for our first real family city adventure.
The boys were giddy at the station platform and chatted to anyone and everyone who would listen! The train takes just over an hour, and that whizzed by.
We arrived at Penn Station and walked through the flower district. Tiny shops that were like narrow tunnels, bursting with every kind of beautiful flower you can imagine. Potted palm trees lined the streets and as it was 11.30am, the real hustle and bustle of the early morning buyers had died down and we could enjoy a leisurely stroll, peeking into a few of the shops and wishing I could take them all home! I got a little obsessed with the purple varieties and the succulents, oh the succulents I want some!
We wandered up to the Flat Iron building and gave the boys the history of the Empire State building. The history they wanted to hear about it featuring in a Ghostbusters movie!
We were so impressed with the new pedestrianised areas. In fact this article shows you exactly what I mean. We have only ever visited the city in the Winter, but in Summer it has a glorious, relaxed atmosphere. Still buzzing, but in a happier way! Less pushing at street crossings and generally everyone seemed more friendly.
Then we found the shop of my dreams. The shop we didn't make it so when we came in February, you can see what fun we had without the boys here, that is featured in one of our favourite guides City Notes.
May I present to you the wonder that is Fishs Eddy. A family owned, single store in the heart of Manhattan.
I know - can you imagine how I reacted when we walked in!
A mix of vintage (and I mean proper, scream because its so lovely, vintage) pieces and modern ceramics. Coloured mason jars, vintage crockery and airline cutlery. There is a dedicated area for trade enquiries (that's actually where I first saw one of their preserve glasses in the flesh, in a restaurant uptown) and gift registry.
The attention to detail in the shop displays is incredible and one of my favourite details was this bench outside the front door!
We decided that the day in New York City needed to be about the boys and not about racing around as many sights as possible. Because Patrick lives in New Jersey, we knew this wouldn't be the only time we bring the boys to visit, so we made the most of the lovely weather and the free parks.
At their ages I also think they enjoyed it more!
We took them on the subway up to Central Park, which felt like another mini adventure in itself. We then spent a couple of hours watching the world go by, eating ice lollies and laying in the sun. Ollie had a snooze, Rich rested his shoulder and Sammy made friends with a little New Yorker, 6 year old Dexter. I watched as they chatted away to each other without any fear or shyness and it was a pleasure to see my confident little boy, telling him about living by the sea side in Weston super Mare.
We walked past the famous rocks where everyone was talking their magic, souvenir photos and headed to the famous toy store FAO Schwartz for a turn on the "Big" piano. Amazingly, I think the boys were so overwhelmed by the scale of it all, they didn't realise it was a shop where you could buy things. They happily walked around admiring all the toys and we left with absolutely nothing.
We truly had one of the best days we have ever had as a family and I remember thinking as we pulled into Hamilton Station, way past the boy's bedtimes, just how lucky we are. To experience these times, visit cities some of their class mates may never get to see.
The reason I take so many photographs is because I want them to grow up realising they live a very privileged life. That even though they are so young and may not remember this trip to New York, that there will be an album of photos to remind them.
That these are not ordinary times but extraordinary! Magical moments to treasure.