August 31, 2012

Summer Streets: An Epic Adventure

This was the 5th year of Summer Streets and, yes, it is still one of my all time favorite family events in the city.  But, truth be told, I was feeling a bit bored with it.  (I've probably gone 12 out of 15 times.)  This year there wasn't anything new and exciting--I wish they'd bring back the dumpster swimming pools; that was awesome (and refreshing!).

But to get me out of my slump of boredom we had lots and lots of family come into town the last Saturday of Summer Streets.

Here is the day in numbers...and then the photos.

The night before Summer Streets:
6 extra people slept in our apartment Friday night, making
11 people in 500 sq ft, with only
1 bathroom

The morning of Summer Streets:
2 hour delayed start because of the pouring rain
9 adults rode bikes
9 children joined, all were pulled behind adult bikes except
2 "pushed" their own weight
1 on a bike
1 on a scooter
18 people in our group

We rode about:
10 hours (with lots of breaks)
16 miles, over
1 bridge, took
2 ferrys, and had only
1 flat tire

Our route:  We rode from our apartment across Central Park to the Park Avenue where Summer Streets is located.  We enjoyed the car free roads and activities along the way until Summer Streets was ending at 1pm.  Then we rode across the Brooklyn Bridge, down to Pier 6 (ran into some friends), caught the ferry to Governors Island, stopped by the Jazz Age Lawn Party (ran into some other friends), took the ferry to Manhattan, rode up the greenway along the Hudson River until we got to the UWS, and then just cut through (on streets) to our apartment.

our apartment + bicycle storage
getting ready to hit the road
riding in Central Park
down Park Avenue
under the Manhattan Bridge
ferry to Governors Island
Simon + "Daddeee"
Jazz Age Lawn Party
Isabella testing the tag-along bike with Uncle Jon
Oliver all tuckered out

August 30, 2012

Right Now: Coming Home

We've been in and out of the city this summer but today we packed up and, officially, headed home (even though we still have a weekend trip planned).

There's nothing quite as welcoming as this sign posted on our gate. (insert sarcasm here)

Welcome home kiddos!

August 17, 2012

Right Now: Lemonade Stand

Isabella has been begging to have her own lemonade stand for the last two summers. I've been promising to help her do one for the last year and a half. But I realized I've been saying, "later," "next week," "maybe tomorrow" for way too long.

So today is her lucky day...finally!

August 12, 2012


There's something about this girl and loosing her teeth while on vacation. We are currently in Boston. She just lost her 3rd tooth!!! It's her first top tooth and she looks SO different! I'm kind of excited and a little nervous about those new big teeth that will be making their way in. No doubt she will still be beautiful, but it sure changes the look of a kid.

We should start mapping where she looses her teeth:

1st--San Luis Obispo, CA (in a hotel, late at night)
2nd--Newport, RI (in the Creamery, the tooth was completely lost and never found)
3rd--Boston, MA (in a hotel pool)

This girl gets around. I wonder where the 4th one will be lost.

Oh! That reminds me...the tooth fairy forgot to come last night (shoot!)...but Isabella's still sleeping...

August 10, 2012

Right Now: Tornado

A freak tornado just hit us in central Connecticut. The power box was ripped from the Carini's home. A few large branches fell on our car. But, fortunately, we are doing just fine. A bit awestruck to say the least.

And Simon just enjoys all the puddles.

Real a snapshot

I general I try to post the things I want to remember. Mostly the good stuff, with a dash of reality. Like my little unplanned series: Why I don't... Which are fun snapshots of the messes my kids make while I'm attempting to be productive. (Besides, I'm not about to pull out the camera while my kids are screaming or fighting in an effort to capture the "real" moments.)

BUT, while we were at Gillette Castle the other day Isabella wanted to take a photo of the boys and me. And this is what she captured: me, stopping Simon from biting Oliver, while Oliver picks his nose. When I saw it I couldn't stop laughing. A perfect snapshot of "real life". It's not pretty or glamourous, but it is, in this phase of life. And even with the bad and the ugly, us + now, is amazing and awesome.

Scenes from Summer Streets

Last Saturday was the first of three Saturdays when Summer Streets will run. During Summer Streets the city blocks off traffic (7am-1pm) on Park Ave from E 72nd St all the way down to the Brooklyn Bridge (7 miles) for pedestrians, bikers, skaters, etc to enjoy. There are lots of fun activities along the way.

Gillette Castle

Earlier this week we were having one of those mornings where nothing seemed to be going right. Everyone was cranky, no one was willing to sit in their chairs and eat breakfast, I spilled a big bowl of cereal all over get the picture.

I was trying to decide what I could do with the kids. Sometimes it's a fine balance between getting the kids out, running around and knowing how much I can handle without completely exhausting/stressing myself. For some reason I thought Gillette Castle (a state owned park that was once the home of William Gillette, a famous theater actor) was a good idea.

On the half hour drive there I second guessed myself a few times as the kids screamed, threw toys, had timeouts on the side of the get the picture. What was I thinking?!?!

But, amazingly, as soon as we arrived everything changed. We toured the home, and Oliver held my hand the whole time (crazy!), Simon was willing to ride in the ergo on my back the whole time (double crazy!), and Isabella was interested and intrigued by the unique home and behaved the whole time (triple crazy?!). Granted we did a somewhat speedy self tour of the home, but I was really impressed with the kids.

After touring the home we went on a hike (around Gillette Castle) and found ourselves at a little beach on the Connecticut River. At one point sweet Oliver tripped and fell and skinned his knees a little. I decide it would be best to turn back and head to the car. But Oliver, my little boy who doesn't like to walk, especially once he's hurt, insisted that we keep going. I was certain I would regret my decision to continue. I was certain I would be carrying Oliver in my arms (with Simon on my back) within minutes. I was wrong. My little Oliver walked the whole way, and never even asked to be carried, with skinned knees, down a long steep hill and back up again. It was, in my motherly mind, a miracle.

We had a great time and I'm so glad we went on that adventure!

August 3, 2012

A Perfect Day in Massachusetts

Our most wonderful, amazing friends from New York invited us to visit them at their beach house in Massachusetts last week.  They have invited us for the last few summers, but it was always too tricky to figure out how to get all the way to Massachusetts from NYC without a car.  This year the stars were aligned.

It was the most glorious, magical day.   The air was thick and warm.  The clouds were low and threatened rain all day.  The breeze refreshing.  The company and conversation of good friends was perfect.  All day I felt like I was in a movie*.

Thank you so much Lauren, Violet and Lena**!  We love you all and miss you terribly.

*specifically, it felt like a scene from Dan in Real Life
**someday I'll post the story on how Lauren and I's kinda crazy-awesome.

August 1, 2012

You know your kid is a New Yorker when...

He pretends to be a street performer.

As soon as he finished singing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star", while strumming the guitar, he told me to put money "in the case". I tossed in a quarter. He promptly said, "More please." I rewarded good manners with another quarter.

I have since collected two forgotten quarters off the floor.

As they say:

You can take a kid out of the city. But you can never take the city out of a kid.

Dinosaur State Park

None of my kids are really into dinosaurs (like I've seen some kids), but a morning adventure to Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill, CT sounded fun and easy. And that's exactly what it was. We got there soon after they opened and we had the place to ourselves for about an hour before camp groups started piling in. We got to see real dinosaur tracks that we're uncovered in the 1960's right there in Rocky Hill. The kids touched a snake, learned about foot prints, rocks, and bones. It was small enough that we had finished everything by the time the kids were finished being well behaved  

So we headed out and rode the Connecticut River Ferry back to Grandma & Grandpa's house. It was a perfect morning adventure.


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