Sunday, May 19, 2013

Our Whilrwind Three Days in New York

Three weeks ago, we left for a two and a half week vacation to the US, our jump off point for the Alaska Cruise, which was our main destination. Since the US is not really near and flights are quite expensive, we planned our trip in such a way that we maximized both our plane fare and our time, by trying to do as much as we could in the given time we could spare away from work.

It's funny because when I was organizing all the photos I took from the trip, I really couldn't imagine how we managed to do everything in the 17 days that we were away. That's probably why I feel like I need a vacation from my vacation. just saying.

We really had so much fun because each and every moment of our trip was well spent. Here's a brief account of how we spent our three days in New York with a lot more detailed posts to follow.

We landed at JFK around 4pm on a Friday and the first thing we did was ask Auntie Celita to bring us to the mall so we don't waste any precious time. Hahaha. However, Sofia had a different agenda, so as soon as we dropped of our luggage in Auntie Celit's house, Sofia immediately asked Auntie Celit to take her to the playground across the street. We were only able to get her leave because we told her there was another playground at the mall.

We went to Stamford Mall nearby which had a Looney Tunes Play Area.
Auntie Celit watched Sofia while Ady and I tried
to get a head start on our shopping.
Tweety has a Sofia Biscuit Sandwich
With Daffy Duck in the Watermelon
Lying down on Bugs Bunny's Carrot
Inside the corn of Taz.
Anne Geddes peg.

After playing, Sofia did a quick visit to the shoe store where she absolutely had to buy two pairs of sneakers that light up.
Her top picks.
She even picked out bracelets Auntie Celit also
bought for her. Super spoilage!

The next day, our first full day on vacation, we went to Manhattan to watch Cinderella and eat at places on our Must-Eat-List.
Sofia loves Auntie Celita's house because it's right across the playground.
We go every morning while the others get ready to leave.
Sofia loved the neighbor's Cherry Blossom tree.
When we arrived, Spring just started.
It only was starting to bloom.
The playground across the street is small,
but enough to entertain Fi for a few minutes.

Lunch on our first day was a Katz's Delicatessen.
Best Pastrami on Rye Ever.

We had some time before the play so we were able to walk around a bit in that neighborhood.
I couldn't resist taking a picture with
this Badass in a Hoodie.

Our next stop was Cinderella on Broadway.
We had to stop in Starbucks so take sure we didn't
channel Sleeping Beauty while watching Cinderella.
The remake of Cinderella just opened this year and
it was very well-made. They modernized the story,
and the dialogue was very witty even for adults.
Sofia at the theater before the show started.
Sofia fell asleep around three-fourths into the show so this was how
she looked afterwards.

After the show, we walked towards Times Square. Sofia was such a trooper. She woke up with no complaint and did not ask to be carried because we told her we were walking to Toys R' Us. 
It helped that there were 'pirated-looking' mascots
along the way. BTW, even if they call you over,
they will ask for tips.
Since we didn't want to pay, I just took the picture of
the group with the painted naked lady behind them.
Times Square in the afternoon
Can you find us in the billboard?
Since we didn't have time to see the Statue of Liberty,
 I took pictures of her doppelganger everywhere.
Another strategic photo with SpongeBob and Friends.
At Toys R Us, Sofia was welcome by Geoffrey the
I always love the Lego section. New York skyline in Lego.
With Lady Liberty of Lego.
Ady and Fi with Hulk.
The only thing Sofia wanted to buy was a Skateboard!
We ended up getting two because it was buy 1 get 1
at 40% off after Sofia assured me she could carry it.

After shopping, we just walked around the area towards Shake Shack, the place that was on top of Ady's Must-Eat list.
We passed the London Bus with Zombies.
Funny, the photo-bomber looks like he fits right in. just saying.
We saw the huge Hershey's store.
But Sofia wanted to enter the M&M store instead.
They had a huge wall of pick and mix M&Ms.
Spring colors.
The M&M Lady Liberty.
You can personalize your M&M's.
It's just a bit pricey.
Or buy them as jewelry charms.
We had Shake Shack for an early dinner.
It was really good, deserving of its own post.

The next day, we were able to relax a bit. My aunts based in the US organized a lunch reunion for us so we had a lot of yummy food and great company, with some relatives we only met that day. Hahaha.
Sofia helped Auntie Celit prepare our breakfast.
Fancy Stuff. Egg in a heart-shaped frame.
As usual, we started our day at the park.
Excited to try out the skateboard.
Sofia realized it's not as easy as it seems,
so I played the role of training wheels.
This little girl is all for show.
If you can teach her to skateboard, please message me.
The yummy lunch was prepared by Tita Dingky in Tita Bu's home.
Sofia met cousin's Amelia and Maribel for the first time.
They became fast friends in no time.
Cousin Cupcake Time

After lunch, we went to P.S.1, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) extension nearby because we wanted to try M. Wells Cafe, a restaurant with deadly decadent food featured by Anthony Bourdain on his layover episode on New York. You can read about my post on that here.
According to Fi, PS 1 stands for Princess Sofia 1.

For our third day in New York, we planned to walk around Manhattan and meet up with Tots' and her daughter Jamie for a play date.
We started the day with the most sinful breakfast at Grand Central
Terminal. It's so sinfully good, it deserves it's own post.
Then Auntie Celit showed Sofia how you can communicate across the room
by whispering at the corners in front of Oyster Bar and Restaurant.
Ady and Sofia trying it out.
We walked through Grand Central.
Which is celebrating it's centennial this year.
I guess you could say we never grew up because the stops we made while walking along 5th Avenue were at Build a Bear and Lego.
Sofia wanted to enter her favorite store,
it was just supposed to be for a quick look.
Then we found the Husky... and it was the last piece!
 So of course, we had to have it.
The only issue is customer service was really bad.
I had to remind the guy that kids get to put in the heart,
and say a prayer for their pet.
Then I had to remind him that kids get to give their
pets a pretend bath.
And prepare their birth certificate. Hello Hutch!
Sofia loved Build A Bear so much I was able to distract
her into not entering American Girl.
Hooray for a $100 savings for mom!
Auntie Celit brought us to Rockefeller Center.
But we were more interested in the Lego Store. 
The view from the store was really good anyway.
And they had the highlights of New York in Lego.
Including The Scream of Edward Munch
They have the usual Build Your Own Mini-Figures.
Sofia was entertained because they had interactive
Ady and I were tempted to buy the Palace Cinema,
the newest building in the modular collection.
We just couldn't imagine dragging it around Manhattan.
We ended up buying Lego calendars for our desks at
work instead.
This cool Lego sign is made of Lego Mini-Figures.

We were in a bit of a rush because we had lunch reservations at Cafe 2 in the MoMa.
It was still raining so instead of having the playdate
at Central Park Zoo, we moved it to the MoMA instead.
Thanks to Tita Bu.
It's a good thing too because we barely had enough time to enjoy it
before closing.  More on the MoMA in another post.
We wrapped up our third day in New York with an early dinner,
Tea Party at Alice's Tea Cup. More on this soon.

We still had two days which we spent shopping around Greenwich and nearby areas.
We were able to squeeze in a picnic at the park
with Sofia and Hutchy boy.
Sofia loved picking flowers (and weeds!)
And she's blow on them till the entire fur-ball
By the time we left the Cherry Blossoms were already
in full bloom.

Thank you very much Auntie Celita, Tita Ignie, Tita Bu, Tita Dingky and Tita Cheritte for taking care of us in New York. We enjoyed our short visit so much, you'll probably see us again next year. hahahaha. just saying. 

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