Summer Vacation 2012

We decided to go to New Jersey and visit Danny’s Sister Nancy and her little family. We haven’t seen them since Alyssa was 4 or 5 months old and Loei was 1. He is now a 6 year old happy, friendly little boy and we loved getting to know him better. Alyssa and Loei hit it off, there is a special bond between cousins that make them instant friends. We were also able to meet up with our good friends Shana and Devree in Chinatown, and caught a quick breakfast with my sister and her kiddos on our way back home.
Most of our trips in our Nevada days consisted of driving I-80 for 8 hours through Nevada to Salt Lake City. This trip also consisted of driving I-80 for 8 hours headed East also, instead of sage brush, salt flats and sand, everything is green, lush, and full of life. The highest elevation of the drive was 2250 feet above sea level. It was an easy drive and I can see us taking this trip again sometime soon.
After an evening eating and swimming and a good nights rest we took off for the Statue of Liberty. We left from the Jersey side. The boat ride provided great views of the Statue of Liberty. We stopped on Ellis Island.

Thursday July 12 was spent in New York City. We went to Chinatown first. That was an adventure. We stopped at Columbus Park on Mulberry street and let the kids play for a few minutes. Devree and Shana made it to Chinatown soon afterward so we set off to find them. So much fun seeing them. It was like no time had passed at all, we sat and ate a delicious lunch at a local Chinese restaurant. The Sweet and Sour Chicken was loaded with fresh mango chunks.
From Chinatown we set off for the WTC. We had tickets for the Memorial there. We saw the one and only tree that survived and looked at the massive pools where the old building stood. It was a humbling moment and a great time to teach the children as well.
Off we went to Central Park, but not before riding the subway up there. It was a bitter sweet moment, the subway is an interesting place and not necessarily a place of rest, but we were so thankful for the seats and the A/C that we didn’t mind the dirty germ infested place. The doors opened at one stop and quickly closed as their was a fire down there, you could smell the smoke. On another stop, Hallie made a mad dash for the door, good think we caught her before she got too far, I can’t imagine having her on the outside of the doors as it closed.
We found a shady place to sit for a moment at the park. The kids played on rocks and Hallie left some skin of her knees there, we moved over to the Museum of Natural History. It is free for the last hour. Tanner was going nuts trying to see it all and spouting random odd facts. Shana, Devree and myself… ok all of the girls, had had it. Our feet were tired. We sat at the front and let Tanner and Danny run a muck through the museum. We said our goodbyes to the Hamblin’s and found a fun little restaurant in a posh area of NYC. We were thankful to sit for a few minutes before we hauled the kids back through the subway system, caught a train back to New Jersey, found our car and drove back to our hotel. We went stroller free, but Hallie fell asleep on the subway so poor Danny had to carry her the entire trip back. She stayed asleep through all of the transfers, and in the car and slept the entire night once we got her back to the hotel. We were all wishing we could join her.

Not five minutes off of the train we were walking close to the WTC and a homeless man was headed straight for us. He stopped at my little Aubrey and grabbed her arm, he patted her on the head and made kissing actions toward her face, he told her that she was the most beautiful thing in the city. I could tell he meant no harm, he was honestly in awe of little Aubrey. She took it well. It was a great day, but absolutely exhausting.


Escalators coming out of the PATH train

First view of the WTC coming out of the train station

 I encouraged the kids to take pictures of interesting things in the city, this… however is not what I had in mind–smile.




Aubrey buying sunglasses in Chinatown, Hallie eating a Chinese pastry

 Emma and her pastry


Spotting Devree and Shana in Chinatown


 Hallie warming up with her chopsticks, she later broke one of soup spoons–they were nice about it.

Aw, now there is a cute Tanner smile


 WTC Memorial

WTC Pool Memorial


 Headed for Central Park


Central Park


 The girls and their fans, best $2 ever spent

 Museum of Natural History, Alyssa still had some energy


 Frustrated Tanner, “faster people, too much to see not enough time”.

Tanner wanted to see the worlds largest collection of shrunken heads, we didn’t make it, but we did find this (next time bud!)

And… we are DONE

Catching the Subway back


I’ll finish the trip in a separate post, this one is getting a little long.