Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Family Field Trip to Governor's Island

We have been doing a lot of weekday field trips this summer with friends which have been awesome, but it was nice to plan a weekend trip when Jon could join us. So, we got together with a few other family friends and field-tripped it down to Governor's Island.

We've been wanting to go to Governor's Island ever since it re-opened and we finally made it down there! G.I. is a small island (172 acres to be exact!) off the southern tip of Manhattan. It is a former military base and U.S. Coast Guard housing but was recently sold to the state of NY and has been kept up by the Parks Dept. It's only open on the weekends in the summer and there's a free ferry that transports people to and from Manhattan to the island. It's a great little day trip and a great way to "escape" the city without going too far and without having to rent a car!

The boys loved the ferry ride and the views from the island were amazing! The city skyline and the Statue of Liberty were favorites. It just seemed like we were having a normal Saturday afternoon family picnic, but then we would look up and see the city skyline and remember that we were on a tiny island in NYC!

Governor's Island is a cool place to visit because it usually offers lots of free activities and there are so many wide, open spaces that the kids can explore. There are no cars on the island and it didn't seem crowded at all which is such a nice change of pace from the city. We hit up the free mini golf, had a nice picnic, played some soccer, and then did a free craft at the Children's Art Museum that's located there. It's also a great place to bike because there are no cars or streetlights! Maybe we'll try that next summer!!

It was a really lovely day. I highly recommend visiting next summer!

waiting for the ferry

meeting up with Gabey's BFF, Violet

checking out the view...

ferry ride!

We were pretty much the first ones to arrive at mini golf, and it was awesome because the kids could take their time and wander around to whatever hole they wanted. Best mini golf experience for the under 5 set!

Gabey exploring

some help from dad!

Gabey and Audrie

Noah and Eli

the gang

my crafty little boy

awesome view!

a little paddle ball


the ferry ride back to Manhattan
front and center!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Friday field trip #3: NY Science Center + queens playground

So glad we finally made it out to the NY Science Center in Queens this summer. It's been on my list for awhile and I really felt like the boys are at a great age for this museum right now. One of the funnest parts of the day was watching the kids be super excited about riding the 7 train. We've really covered lots of ground on the subway map this summer, but the 7 train seemed to be the real winner. They loved watching it go above ground and seeing the skyline of the city in the distance.

The museum didn't disappoint either. Despite having to share it with about 10 day camps (ugh! day camps can seriously spoil some summer adventures!), the kids seemed to make the best of it and enjoyed themselves anyway. So many fun hands-on exhibits and a really great "under age 5" room. We were super excited about the rooftop "science playground" until we found out it cost more and was only open at certain times. So, we decided to head back and hit the "free" playground we passed on the way there! So much fun.

meet the newest addition to our family...

No, I didn't have another baby... come on, it hasn't been THAT long since I've posted something!


"Miles Eli Horey"

Yes, that would be my old Cabbage Patch doll that Noah dug out of the stuffed animal pile. He's become completely obsessed with this thing for the past few weeks. He named it after 2 of his good friends and it actually feels like it's another member of the family -- like I really have 3 kids! I mean, this doll goes everywhere with us and has it's own baby routine! It has a nap schedule, a feeding schedule, and bedtime routine. He gets a nighttime diaper, has special allergies (like his friend Eli), and we even threw him a 1st birthday party! I'm kind of exhausted from keeping up with it all.

Just in case you're interested, Gabey is NOT a fan! Every night, without fail, after we've put Miles' PJ's on, swaddled him and laid out his blankets just right, Gabriel will run over pick him up and throw him across the room. Awesome.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hippo Playground + dinner out!

After our return from Puerto Rico, we spent a nice evening to re-connecting with the kids. We headed down to one of our favorite playgrounds on the UWS, the Hippo Playground. I love this playground... it was especially lovely on a hot weekend evening because no one was there! There's tons of shade and tons for both boys to do. Definitely the top of my list. And now there's an elevator at the 96th street subway platform which makes it much more accessible!

After spending some time at the playground, we started for home but quickly realized we wouldn't make it back without 2 little boys having hunger-meltdowns. So, we took a chance on a diner that we saw right on Broadway and 92nd... and it was awesome! It was obviously new and since when did NYC start catering to kids?!? There were huge flatscreen TVs all over the place blasting Nick Jr., the wait staff was friendly, they brought our food out quickly, and there were nice roomy booths for families to sit at. Yes, we paid about $15 for a burger, but it was totally worth it seeing as this was the first restaurant where my children have ever sat still, didn't throw a huge tantrum, and ate all of their food. They actually both started crying when we had to leave! We'll totally go back there.

G + his stroller = LOVE

spraying ants

sandcastle attempt #1: disaster

sandcastle attempt #2: success!


riding the hippo

dad and the boys

even daddy was hooked on Blues Clues

happy little G (at a meal!)

Friday, August 19, 2011

10 year anniversary: Puerto Rico!

We celebrated our 10 year anniversary last month! I seriously can't believe it's been 10 years. And what's more, I can't believe we've lived the last 9 of them in NYC.

Jon did not disappoint this year and planned an amazing adventure to Puerto Rico to celebrate. The kids spent the weekend with grandma (thank you!) and we had our little island getaway! We've been to Puerto Rico before so we decided to spend our whole time on one of the smaller islands -- hoping for more of a sit-by-the-beach-and-sip-lemonade kind of a trip. So we headed to Vieques for a few days. It was perfect.

I'll just list the highlights, lest bore you with the details!

-scary puddle jumper plane ride from San Juan to Vieques (Jon purposely did not give me ample warning about this leg of the trip -- yikes!)
-rented mountain bikes and rode out through the jungle to a small private beach! Saw lots of wild horses along the way...
-sat by the pool, overlooking the ocean pretty much every afternoon
-2-hour horseback ride through the small town, to the beach, and up through the mountains (kind of sketchy since our guide didn't speak any English at all, but luckily Jon did!)
-rented a jeep and hiked through the rainforest to see the Sugar Mill ruins (which were not as exciting as the pictures portrayed) but then we ran into these super cool local sea turtle preservation volunteers who gave us our own private tour of the area and shared their coconut splitting skills! (Jon's Spanish skills were once again very helpful!)
-kayaked out to the bioluminescent bay and swam with the dinoflagellates. Apparently the one in Vieques is the largest and brightest in the world. It was amazing!

All in all had a wonderful time re-connecting with the hubby and relaxing!

phew! I survived!

our hotel was super modern/funky and you could just hang out in the "living room" area and order food! A nice relaxing evening...

300 year old tree

random horse we spotted on our hike

our sea turtle watching friends!

the Sugar Mill ruins