Wednesday, December 21, 2016

How do you get to Lincoln Center?

Practice, Practice, Practice.

Sunday was "the" day - we had plans to see The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center! Before the big event we wandered the stores on 5th Avenue, saw the Rockerfeller Christmas tree, and had lunch at Saks. Fancy!

Saks 5th Avenue windows
They were a Nutcracker theme!

Rockefeller Center 

...and then the show!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Freedom and Boys to Men

Does that title make you wonder what this post is about?  After doing this blog for 9 years, it is a challenge to keep coming up with new titles.  This one is about our Saturday in NYC.

Grace learned about 9/11 this fall in school.  Up until now, the focus has been more about the heroes who helped rather than the details of terrorism and the tragic death of so many people.  She was really affected by what she learned and read a few books to supplement the discussion in the classroom.  One of those was a book in the I Survived series - historical fiction that is very popular with 3-5th graders right now.  So on Saturday morning, we decided to get up "earlyish" and take the subway to see the 9/11 memorial and Freedom Tower.

At first Grace was skeptical of the subway.  But the station at 59th street was like an indoor mall.  It is comical how easily her mind was changed!  If we had more time, I might have gone back to sample some of the food (yes, I just said I would eat food from a subway station) and do a little shopping. My current favorite store - LUSH - was there!

At Chambers Street we exited to the street and turned the corner to this view!  Grace took some of these photos with the cloud reflection using her iPod.

She told us that the Freedom Tower was built differently than the Twin Towers so if a place would fly into it now, it wouldn't collapse.

Hang out with a 9-year old - get selfies!

Or, you can ask someone to take a photo for you.

Later in the day, Grace got Surprise #3 - the Brennan boys, who are all now men.

We wandered around the city and made our way to Bryant Park and Rockerfeller Center. It was SO crowded everywhere!

Nothing like a New York hot dog from the man on the street!

Love this photo of all of us in Bryant Park.  Since we couldn't get near "the" tree, this was a good substitute.

The kids were amazed by a street artist who used spray paint to make these creations.  Nana bought one for Ryan and Grace.  Connor saved his spending money.

Hungry and tired, we left the crowds to find a quiet Italian restaurant for dinner.  What a great day!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

We'll take Manhattan

A girls' trip to New York was just what the ladies ordered to take a break from the normal day-to-day routine.  We surprised Grace on the night before with a letter from her elf that said she was going to New York.  I was at a meeting and got text after text of her telling me how excited she was!  We NEVER let her skip school so this WAS A BIG DEAL!

When we arrived at Laguardia Surprise #2 was waiting for Grace - Nana!  It was so cool to see her run through the baggage claim area to give her a huge hug. They have such a special relationship.

What is funny is that we stayed in an apartment in the same building where Nana and Ba lived for years.  It was just like going "home".

After lunch (NYC pizza!) and a nap we were ready to explore the city and the Macy's windows.  I liked the traditional "Yes. Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" windows better than the 2016 windows. Although they were both colorful and fun.

Once inside Macy's we ate dinner, Grace chose the perfect Nutcracker to add to her collection, and we visited Santa - the REAL Santa, of course.

Grace told him she wants baby dolls and Barbie clothes.  Santa even asked me what I want.  I said no one asks me that question so I will have to think about it....maybe I will write him a letter.

Then, it was off to bed...we had a big day planned for Saturday.  Good night, New York.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Nutcracker Night

Thanksgiving week was busy with rehearsals - some days the girls were there for 8 hours! - and two performances of the Nutcracker Suite.  It was tiring but a lot of fun and another great accomplishment for Grace and her friends.
Cast dinner with Annie and Annalise

Between rehearsals we squeezed in a little decorating silliness!

Buddy missed Grace when she was at dance that week.

I didn't get any photos during the show this year.  Annalise's mom took this one of some of the Pollichinelle's.  Grace is on the left.

It is amazing how much energy the dancers had after the show.  It must be like a runner's "high"! They were happy to greet their guests and take photos together.

With Mother Ginger

Isabella, Maggie, Grace, and Annalise

With Clara (Caroline)

Mom's favorite - Marzipans!