Monday, February 26, 2018

NYC 2018

When Kinley was around 3 and the movie Frozen came out, my mom told Kinley that her first real Broadway show would be Frozen when it finally came out. 
Fast forward 5 or so years later and being put on the watch list for Frozen on Broadway tickets and sure enough, we booked a Howe girls' trip to NYC for opening weekend. 
 It was a dream trip in the making and lived up to EVERY single hope and expectation. 
 It truly was a complete and total blessing from start to finish. 

 DAY 1 - 
We headed out to fly to NYC on a late Friday morning flight and arrived in the city with plenty of time on our hands for a fun totally unplanned evening.
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Kinley had a list of things she wanted to do in NYC. I wish I had a picture of that list because it was SO cute and in her own handwriting but I am pretty sure after she crossed off the last thing it was gone.  I can't thank my mom and my precious SILs enough for this trip because they made it ALL about Kinley. 
 They wanted to do every.single.thing on her list. 
First stop was Times Square and buying a pretzel and umbrellas from street vendors. 
The whole weekend was showing full on rain but we rarely had to use our umbrellas. 
 But, these sure look cute with the backdrop of all the lights.
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 In addition to Frozen, we wanted to try to see another show so we went to the TKTS booth to see if we could get any half-price tickets. 
We weren't interested in most of them and Kinley really wanted to see another Disney show so we headed straight to the Lion King theatre (which was totally sold out for the weekend) BUT, there happened to be, magically FIVE tickets TOGETHER in the 6th row for Aladdin in two hours that we could see if we wanted to. 
We figured it was MEANT TO BE and grabbed them. 
We snagged a few pics and then went to a quick dinner before coming back to see the show. 
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 I truly CANT say enough about how incredible Aladdin was. 
 After we left there, we did not think there was ANY way Frozen could live up to Aladdin.
 The Genie made the whole show. 
 He was outstanding and we could not stop talking about him.
 We even looked him up and realized he was from Ft Worth and did lots of shows at Casa Manana which we had seen him in before! 
Such a small world. 
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DAY 2 -
We started out the morning with Starbucks coffee and headed to one of Kinley's request, a tea party.

We toyed with the ides of tea at the Plaza (like Eloise at the Plaza...but Kinley had never even read that book and had no idea what the Plaza was) and through a little research (by Olivia) stumbled upon Alice's Tea Cup
 It was PERFECT for us and for Kinley. 
 It also might have been the best meal we ate the whole weekend. 
The decor is all themed around Alice in Wonderland and little girls that come in can wear fairy wings and get Fairy Dusted with glitter before they sit down.
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We all had tea and scones and brunch and it was delicious. 
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 From there we walked toward Central Park. 
We stopped first at Dylan's Candy Bar, which was on Kinley's list and we just HAD to get some candy for Dylan! (and Ty too).
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We kept walking toward Central Park and stopped at Serendipity
 Although we were NOT AT ALL hungry, the wait wasn't long, it was on the way, and also on Kinley's Frozen Hot Chocolate won us over!
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Finally we made it to Central Park and walked right into the horse and carriage rides and couldn't resist. 
We got the BEST tour of Central Park by carriage ride and stayed warm under the blanket. 
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Picture at the FRIENDS fountain
 More central park
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The carriage driver dropped us off at the Plaza so we could visit the shops at the Plaza underground. We took pics with the Home Alone scene and visited Eloise's store. 
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After Central Park we headed back to the hotel to rest a little and get ready for Broadway again! Loved our amazing stay at the East Side Marriot with the family discount, thanks to Sandy! 
And how cute is Kinley's WHOLE outfit...brought to you by these two sweet aunts who decked her out for Broadway as her Christmas present.
 Loved every detail right down to the purse and gloves. 
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We had dinner reservations right by the St. James theatre and enjoyed a delicious dinner. 
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It was really incredible. 
 They cast Anna & Elsa perfectly and the costumes for Olaf and Sven were amazing. 
 It lived up to every expectation and we loved every minute. 
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As if we hadn't had enough on Day 2 - Sandy and I were craving some late night pizza so in our pjs and jackets walked down the street to grab some $.99 pizza close to midnight. 
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Day 3 - 
We started with Starbucks on our way to the American Girl Doll store. 
A quick stop in front of St. Patrick's cathedral in the rain.
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Quick stop after to Rockefeller Center and the Lego store.
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Early birthday presents from the AG store for Kinley from Honey and her Aunts.
 Can you tell she was living her best life!??
After dropping off all our goods at the hotel, next on Kinley's bucketlist was Grand Central station, a subway ride, which we took to Chinatown to fulfill one of Sandy's bucketlist items and eat at Joe's Shanghai.
We had NO idea what we were going to stumble on when we arrived in Chinatown. 
Apparently it was Chinese New Year (we are so cultured) and the big New year's parade had JUST ended. Turns out the subway was the only way we were going to be able to get to Joe's that day because every street was shut down. 
There was confetti everywhere and parade duds to boot. 
 After a few confetti poppers, we made our way to Joe's and withstood the wait for lunch. 
 And it was worth it.
 Best soup dumplings EVER.

 From Chinatown, we took an uber to the Financial District to do the 9/11 Memorial Museum
 It was a somber place and a different mood from the rest of our trip.
 Kinley didn't know anything about 9/11 before we went so it definitely made for some tough conversations. 
 The musuem had excellent information and brochures to read about talking to your kids about 9/11. But, it is still so sad to have to talk to your 8 year old about terrorism and murder and innocent people dying because of spiritual warfare and hate. 
The museum is very graphic and incredibly well done. 
 There are tvs lining the walls with news stations all over the world showing their version of the live broadcast of the twin towers. 
 There are rooms with audio from phone calls on flights that were going down and pictures and videos of the smoke and debris that lasted months. 
 It was like experiencing that tragedy all over again. 
I remember that day so well.  Most people can. It was like the only act of terrorism in history that over 2/3 of the world's population saw it happen live.
 It was different seeing it through Kinley's eyes for the first time. 
I am so glad we went and that I had her one on one for her first time experiencing it. 

No cameras allowed in the museum so just a few pictures here.
 We headed to the hotel from the Financial District for an early bedtime and a good session of curling Kinley's American Girl Doll's hair. 
Matching pj's courtesy of the best aunts! 

 Day 4 - 
Olivia had to get up SUPER early to leave for work on Monday so the last day we missed her so much! We started guessed it...Starbucks! 
And Kinley's last two things left on her list were to hail a cab and visit the top of a tall building.
 So we made it happen!
 Taxi ride to Top of the Rock
It was our only day that we would have been able to see anything from the top of a building because of the weather, so it was awesome we got to do it on our last day. 
Grabbing our bags to head to the airport and Kinley made sure to think the cleaning crew for their service during our stay. 
We had the BEST time and the made the most wonderful memories. 
 This will be such a hard girls trip to beat but I can't wait for many more with all the future girls in our family.
 Kinley was at the perfect age for her first NYC trip and I could not me more grateful for the quality time mom, Olivia and Sandy invested in her. 
 I am so thankful!