Live from New York: Wednesday

(Click on the pictures to enlarge.   Am hoping later today to add pictures to my Monday post, so check back.)

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This morning we were up by 8, eager to see a little more of New York before checking out at noon and heading to the airport for our 2:40 flight.   First came breakfast and some suitcase-cramming, and then we were off, well-bundled, to walk the 12 blocks down 6th Avenue to Central Park.  Our 5 year old was flagging by the time we made it there, but with the promise of a visit to Build-A-Bear after the park, she made it.

PlazaWe showed our daughter Eloise’s house (The Plaza Hotel) which apparently has been turned into condos now and is right across from the park.  She also wanted to see the place where Alex the Lion lived (the Central Park Zoo).  But by then we only had an hour and a half before we had to check out of our hotel, and when asked if she wanted to do the zoo or Build-a-Bear, Build-a-Bear won easily.

At Central Park, still bundled to the teethSo we contented ourselves with a walk through one corner of the park.  A lot of the grass has fencing around it, to keep people on the paths.  But the paths are curving and elegant, with ponds and interesting bridges and benches  always nearby.  Past tall trees, we could always see even taller buildings.  But it was easy to see how the park was a true oasis in the bustling city.  And even on this frigid day, there were others walking. So as not to wear out our daughter, we splurged on a cab for the ride back to Build-a-Bear.  It was $6 well spent.

GroomingConfession time:  for years I have actively resisted Build-a-Bear.  Too expensive, bankruptingly so with the numbers of kids we have.   We’ve literally never set foot inside the place.   I saw it just as a place to part parents with their bucks.  But our girly had been such a trooper on this whole trip, and this was literally THE main thing she’d been wanting to do for days.  So we caved.

Birth CertificateInside the store we were ebulliently greeted by a well-groomed trendily-dressed young man.  We were steered toward bins of un-stuffed animals, each one cuter than the next.  I coaxed her to choose a panda, and John lobbied hard for an owl, but she settled on a black lab.  A lady helped her stuff it, then set her up to groom it.  And after that, it was off to look at clothes.

For some reason I’d assumed that her dog was a boy, but she emphatically declared it was a girl, and settled on a red skirt and a ruffly shirt with sequins.  When our daughter began lobbying for shoes and a kennel, my frugal side kicked back in, and I declared 2 accessories to be plenty.  Then it was on to the computer to name her dog– she chose Kelsey, after a dog we had years ago— and print out a birth certificate.  Forty bucks in all– steep for a stuffed animal.  But our daughter emerged glowing, and has barely let the dog out of her sight all week. And I had to admit even I had thoroughly enjoyed the process.   Not saying we’ll make a habit of it.   But if our 7 year old asks to go there for her birthday, I doubt if we’ll say no.

Times Square-look at all the taxi'sWe had enough time to visit a couple gift shops on the way back to our hotel for a few souvenirs for the home folks.  Then we grabbed our gear to check out of the hotel.Chocolate I stopped in the print center to print out our boarding passes, and that is when I discovered that our plane was leaving 3 hours later than I’d first thought.  We still had time!

We stuck our bags in hotel storage, and went walking around Times Square.  The M&M’s store was a must.  Three stories of brightly colored chocolate and matching paraphernalia.Elmo We got a picture with Elmo, and the Tin Man from Wizard of Oz.

Tin Man

Then we decided to try Dave’s Famous Ribs for lunch.  The BBQ chicken entree was described as being half a chicken, and also included 4 side dishes.  We decided to share that entree among the three of us, which surprised (irritated?) our board-thin waiter.  “Will that be enough?” he said.

PigI suppose it was not a surprising response considering the sign on the restaurant wall encouraging us to “Eat Like a Pig”. We assured him that was all we needed, and when an enormous platter came, we were glad.  We divided the food off onto 3 separate plates and had more than enough for all three of us.  The food was delicious, and we tipped more than average to make up for our stingy (perfect-for-us) order.

M&MBack at our hotel, we waited in the lobby for a bit for our ride to the airport.  Then it was off to the airport.   Time to go home!   But what a wonderful trip it had been!

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  1. I always love reading your blog, but especially the travel ones. I travel vicariously through you. 🙂

    My son is currently at Ft Dix NJ. He is expecting to get four days leave the first week of March before deploying. He’s still deciding if he wants to waste two days of leave travelling back and forth (we’re in Alabama) or if he’d rather I come up there. If I go up there we are discussing our sightseeing plans, and NYC is on our short list of places we might want to go. Is there one area you would recomend over the others for a couple of folks who have no clue what lies in store for them on this trip? We’d probably just spend the day (maybe two) as he wants to go to Atlantic City as well (and frankly, so does his Mom!)

  2. Christine D. says:

    What a trip! So glad you got to go. Just talked up your book today to a local kitchen store owner. We’ll see if it is in her inventory next time I go in. Congratulations on all your success, with authoring as well as parenting.

  3. When a blogger goes to New York City, becomes a sightseer wearing a purple coat, stands next to a very red Elmo…
    then a very lovely picture brightens my dreary gray winter’s day.

    You folks sure know how to have a good time.

    Thanks for taking us along 🙂

    ~~love and Huggs, Diane

  4. I am enjoying New York via you!

  5. Your trip to the Big Apple has me excited about visiting my brother that lives their this summer. Thanks for making me smile on this grey, gloomy day. I am glad that you enjoyed your trip and that your daughter is enjoying her Kelsey.

  6. That corner of Central Park you walked through is my most favorite spot in all of New York. Makes me smile just to think of it…

  7. I love reading your tips of frugality and family living! Build a bear is our girls favorite place. If you sign up for their club program they will send you fun magazines to browse and usually a 10 dollar free bear coupon or 10 dollars good toward your next bear purchase. We have had so much fun making bears and then giving them as gifts to friends for birthdays. The huge hit, the box the bear came in, so fun to color and decorate!