Sunday, April 12, 2015

November: Thanksgiving Blessings

I was very excited to make it to the middle of November when some of those pesky first trimester woes started to abate (even though I was in the second trimester).

Also, I love Thanksgiving!  That glorious time of not being too pregnant and feeling okay (about weeks 18-26) arrived just in the nick of time for our trip to my homeland in PA.  YAY!

Modeling her Turkey Day outfit before we left home.
I bought it at the Cracker Barrel.
I just couldn't resist.

The timing worked out well because Hylan had to do some training in NYC the week before Thanksgiving (NYC you say? Why yes!).  So, my Mom, my Aunt, my cousin, and myself decided we needed to have a weekend in NYC to see a few shows, etc. and to meet up with Hylan.

While he was there and I was in Utah, he sent me pictures like this:

The bull statue on Wall Street!  

Don't worry, he was actually sensible enough to ask a police officer if he and his buddy could quickly take a picture.  What a great picture!

I flew all by myself with my lap baby and pregnant self across the country on Thursday, November 20th to BWI.  I was picked up and then we traveled to my childhood home in Lancaster, PA (about an hour and a half's drive), arriving around 10ish pm, I'd say.  LONG DAY!  And there may have been a headache involved.  It was just enough time to sleep through the night and then wake up the next morning to drive to NYC.  It's about a 3 hour drive to get to the city where we then met up with Hylan shortly after noon.  We checked into the Staybridge Suites not too far from the Times Square area...and then it was party time!

HAHA!  We have a toddler.  And it was SUPER COLD!  Hylan was such a good sport to agree to this since he would be watching Naomi during showtime. And we all crammed in to one hotel room. Wow, he's a super sweet husband and I appreciate his unselfishness a lot!

So that afternoon/early evening we walked around in the frigid NYC temps and visited a few fun spots.  I took some pictures at Toys "R" Us and the Disney Store but that was about it.  It was hard enough to bundle up and down and take a phone out, etc.

 Hylan is the Hulk, so whenever we see a lego hulk, I have to have him take a picture with it!

If you know me, you know I'm a bit obsessed with pretzels (it's a PA thing) and this was just too cute! We did not buy this stuffed guy but this picture is one of my faves. The pretzel says "A Twist of New York."  By the way, NYC street pretzels are not better than my homemade pretzels or PA soft pretzels. And yes, I also love those super butter Auntie Anne's pretzels (that company started in Lancaster, PA--file that away in your gee whiz collection!) 

The giant Sven in the Disney store was super awesome.  I wish I would have taken a better shot of his whole body because he was huge!  There are always fun displays in these stores, but yes, it was super crowded!  It is NYC after all.

That night we saw Aladdin and let me tell you, IT WAS SPECTACULAR!  The costuming, set design (especially the cave scene), and the Tony Award-winning Genie were the highlights.  It was really quite a wonderful show that I would highly recommend.

The next morning we took Naomi to The Children's Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) in the Upper West Side.  Hylan and I were both so tired from not getting much sleep, but Naomi explored and played, so I guess it was worth it. And we stayed warm.

We don't really have any good pictures from there, but here she is driving a city bus.  Ha.

After lunch at a place nearby, we took a cab back in so that I could meet up with my Mom and Aunt to see the 2:00 pm matinee of Matilda.

Can I tell you how great that show is too?  It's less about the theatrics and more about the story and characters/acting than Aladdin, but I enjoyed it just as much. The actress that played Matilda was on stage the entire time and didn't miss a beat.  She was so phenomenal it brought tears to your eyes. Broadway productions can really be amazing and both of these shows lived up to our expectations. I also highly recommend seeing Matilda on Broadway.  It's a great story and so well produced on stage.

Meanwhile, while we were being entertained, Hylan was being fantastic, as per usual, because he got our vehicle (from a faraway parking garage), packed up all our stuff from the hotel (NYC is not convenient to do any of these things), fed Naomi, found a parking spot right outside our theater, and even let Naomi honk the horn at unsuspecting passersby.  He must really love me because I don't think he loved doing those things.  And no one likes to play the waiting game!

After the show, the three amigos (mom, aunt, cousin) decided to do some more shopping in the city because they were catching the train back to Lancaster later that evening, but Hylan, Naomi, and I decided to high tail it home to PA because we were just plain exhausted.  So we did.  And that was NYC in a nutshell.

The rest of our trip was relaxing and filled with yummy foods.  Naomi got to play with some of her cousins. Aren't they cute?

Here they are watching Tangled on Hylan's phone.  That was the day it snowed!  Oddly enough, even though it was super cold in NYC, we also had one weird day where the weather was 60 degrees (I'm pretty sure that was the day we got some good pre-black friday outlet shopping in too).

Apparently, this is what Naomi liked to do (sit in the refrigerator) when Mommy got to be away to play!  Again, wow, I need to show more appreciation for Hylan.  He really did a lot on this trip.  I guess I was just too busy being happy--feeling like a normal functioning human being who didn't need to stay in bed all day and hate food/eating--again.  :)

The big day came and it was really sweet to hear all of the things that everyone was thankful for before we feasted.  These are the kinds of moments/memories that make all of the travel headaches worth it.

I love this picture with my daughter and grandma (Naomi's namesake).  I think we caught Grams off guard a bit in this picture.   

There was resting, watching football, shopping, visiting Grandma, eating, playing games, going to see Mockingjay Part 1, and other normal family stuff that occurred, and the girls even got to sneak in one more show, "White Christmas" at the Fulton (a local theater) before the festivities came to a close and we had to head back home.

Have I mentioned how much I love Thanksgiving?!  I'm so glad whenever I get to spend it at home. It's the one holiday that just doesn't feel right in any other place. Too much tradition.  Too many memories.  Too many reasons to be home!  But alas, all good things must come to an end.

And this is how we felt about it.

Although I felt pretty good on this trip, I was still quite tired from all the running around and being pregnant.  Thankfully, on our return nonstop flight, we were lucky to have an empty seat next to us, so we took advantage of it!

And that concludes the travel portion of 2014.  We were very fortunate to spend time in a lot of fun places!

Next up: December: The Highs, The Lows!

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