Saturday, September 10, 2016

Head of the Meadow Beach

Thursday, August 11, 2016

blue lobsters?!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Chapin's Beach

It was so cloudy when we showed up at Chapin's and we were still so very impressed with the low tide. I read that it was amazing, so decided to drive up there. No one in our crew thought it would be THIS impressive. It would on forever. It felt so raw, desolate, untouched, lonely. We had to walk and walk and walk to find water.

It slowly started to clear, then BOOM. Look what we got. A stunning sunset... and lots and lots of water! Had to hurry back in for the tide.

*these photos are all unedited and from a 2 hour window!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Seems to be a lot of this lately..

Or maybe I'm just starting to take notice.

Monday, May 23, 2016

29 Free Days in NYC - Citi Field

Game changer. What an awesome stadium/crowd/environment/smell/restaurants. THE WORKS. I was close to saying nowhere compares to Camden, but Citi Field is where it's at! Huge crowd on a random and chilly Wednesday night. If we had to live here, I'd be at Citi Field all of baseball season!

Friday, May 13, 2016

29 Free* Days in NYC - American Museum of Natural History

Of all the museums in NYC, I think I was MOST excited about this museum.... I thought C would love it. Wrong. The first Saturday we were here we took a nice walk through Central Park to the Upper West Side - stopped and had bagels (of course) and also stopped at Levain Bakery (the most amazingly chocolate chip cookies of life - seriously) before heading to the American Museum of Natural History. We got there right at opening (thankfully wasn't busy yet). We paid what we wanted (suggested admission is $22/pp, but you can pay whatever you want... really!) and headed in. C was less than thrilled the entire time. 'These animals don't move! They aren't breathing!' And he's right. For a kid who regularly goes to the aquarium (or the zoo, that's just not us), the American Museum of Natural History will not be very exciting. I hate the word 'bored,' but he was. We lasted an hour and took to Central Park (again) to play outside.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

29 Free* Days in NYC - Yankee Stadium

Yesterday, NYC had the most perfect of perfect weather conditions... AND A got home early.... so we squeezed on over to Yankee Stadium to add another ballpark to our list and to compare it to Camden Yards, which remains our favorite. 

We took the Metro at 5:30p. It was crammed. We were touched on all sides the entire trip and dripping with sweat by the time we arrived, BUT it was only a 20ish minute ride and less than $6, so can't really complain. We do prefer biking though :) The Yankees have changed their ticketing policy to avoid fans paying less than face value for tickets, so after arriving, A had to hike over to a stub hub storefront to pick up our tickets. The neighborhood could've been better. C and I stayed by the stadium and watched little league practice and played football with some random kids hanging outside of the stadium. Worked out ok 

Yankee Stadium was great. It lived up to the expectations. The game wasn't overly crowed, which was perfect for us. The crowd was into the game. My favorite Yankees pitcher was pitching, Pinneda, it was 70F outside, I had a footlong Nathan's hot dog, our seats were fine without being expensive, and Colton even made it on the big screen!

Yes, this is Jeter. However, Colton has a make believe (?) baseball player that he talks about, so he said this was him - Dave Rapalje 

Colton on the big screen! I didn't take the photo - a random guy a row back got it, walked over, and texted it to us. Very nice. Later that night on the ride home, Colton was actually recognized by a couple random fans - 'hey, i know you kid, you were on the big screen!'

Monday, May 9, 2016

29 Free* Days in NYC

7 days of gloom later, the sun has finally arrived.  And I thought we'd be ecstatic. But man. NYC was crowded before.. when there was no sun and lots of rain. Now it's a mob town. Going on day 2 of chock-full streets, parks, sidewalks. No space at home in your tiny apartment? Go outside? No. No room outside either with 8.5 million people.

Cape Cod, you never looked so good. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

29 Free* Days in New York City (Part 3 of 29)

*free lodging for the month on the UES

Day 3 - more rain. Eesh! I thought it was May. BUT by 9am, the day was already considered to be a huge success because I met three other moms all with 2 year olds, all of who live in the building, most of which on our actual floor (never mind that we all were awake by 6am and no one slept well). Colton is the oldest, but he's not at the point where he's 'too cool' to hang out with younger ones, so we're all good. 

We met the first boy in our hall. He was riding his scooter up and down the hall while we were on our way out to breakfast (Colton's third of the day - surprise). We walked out with them and scheduled a play date at this 'hidden' park by our apartment for 11:30. Colton and I went to yet another new bagel spot - Bagel Bob's on York. It was very good - maybe as good at H&H... but we better go back to H&H to double check :) It wasn't nearly as expensive, they had mini bagels (perfect for us instead of sharing), but it was a further walk.. so.. I don't know who wins... yet. After, we walked up to Carl Schurz Park which was quite a gem - not busy, great playground, beautifully kept grounds, alongside the Gracie Mansion - also beautiful. We walked back along 1st and found a few Italian grocers that were a STEAL compared to the others we'd been to. Walked back to the apartment to meet the kiddos for playdate at the hidden park where Colton got practice on an extra scooter (ALLLL the kids here ride scooters all the time, everywhere!) 

After nap, (well his nap is going to be cut short today sadly) Jess and Jackson are picking us up and taking us to Westchester to stay at her Mom's! 

Part 4 of 29 may be delayed!

29 Free* Days in New York City (Part 2 of 29)

*free lodging of the month on the Upper East Side

Day 2 - Colton managed to sleep a little longer in the kitchen (630am). Rain. Rain. More rain. Rain on rain. But we have this teeny tiny heinous apartment, so we had to get out. I mapped my route. Morning 2 consisted of Pick A Bagel, Barnes & Noble (a good rainy place to play no matter the city, although this one didn't have a train table which C found VERY disappointing), and Hu Kitchen.

Nothing much to say about Pick A Bagel or B&N. BUT HU KITCHEN. Now that is a different story. I routed my morning based on Hu Kitchen. I read about it online - a paleo place - the menu looked fabulous - and with C's soy intolerance, I thought, well, let's try it. Plus something healthy. I felt like we both needed vegetables in our life. It did not disappoint. My goodness. I wound up just getting this three side deal that I shared with C and it was so yummy - caramelized pineapple with cashew cream sauce, no stir vegetable stir (which C ate all of), and roasted cauliflower with turmeric and other Indian-esque spices. But I want to go back. And straight vegetables for lunch - a win.

After lunch, we went to Joe's Coffee where I had another Americano (and the best so far) and Colton had a free macaroon. A met us to play at Central Park after work. It was raining and chilly. We wanted to have dinner at Via Quaddrono, but it wasn't for C unfortunately, so we wound up stopping at a Deli across the street, Marche Madison, and got a few things.. and C got a free cookie. It was great!

After two full days here, I learned that cute little Colton gets free food everywhere he goes. A cookie at the deli, some pineapple at Hu Kitchen, and a macaroon at Joe's, all on Tuesday. Monday was no different - he got a mini cone for free at Momofuku. The kid is cute, what can I say?! When in New York, bring your toddler, they'll eat for free :)

29 Free* Days in New York City (Part 1 of a 29 part series)

*free lodging on the Upper East Side

That time we spent 29 days in New York City... otherwise known as, that time Colton ate 29 bagels in 29 days in 29 different bagel shops.

Let me start by saying we had LOW expectations of our housing for the month. It was free. And in a superb location, both for A at work,  and for C and I to play. The Upper East Side - super family friendly, safe, loads to do, even more restaurants, close to Central Park and other parks. But this loft.. this is REALLY low. Lower than low. We were told coming into it that the three of us would be fine in THIS loft because there's a HUGE walk-in closet that Colton can sleep in. And they were partly right. There is a huge walk-in close. But it is stuffed to the brim with junk. Piles on piles on piles. You can't imagine. Beyond that, the loft is about as we expected - small, but full kitchen, loft. Off-white. Everything is off white. Like this dirty off white. And then there are two SINGLE beds, that again, are white. Bedding is hospital bedding. Ew. It's just depressing. Very sanitary feeling. I'll have to show you a picture so you get it. Beyond our loft, the hall, the other apartments, etc. there is tile flooring (so you can hear every neighbor slam their door, the stair door, and the elevator ding), dated everything, and a joke of a door man. It feels like a dorm. (I can say, there aren't any bugs or mice - so far - so it could definitely be worse!)

So, there's no walk-in closet for Colton. Where is he sleeping then, you ask? In the kitchen. On a cot. In the  middle of the floor. Yep. We couldn't set him up in the bathroom because then he'd for sure be woken up in the morning when A went to work. We couldn't set him up in between our SINGLE beds, because then we'd also have to go to bed at 8pm. So, he's in the kitchen. He's a trooper. Doesn't bug him one bit. It is problematic because there is no door to the kitchen ... and the kitchen is directly across the very loud front door. So C is woken up every morning when A leaves for work. Joy.

I digress. On Sunday, after arriving at 230, Colton took a quick nap (in the kitchen) after which we had coffee (at a chain, which at the time we didn't realize was a chain) followed by dinner at a fancy schmancy Tapas place down the block - Boqueria. SO DELICIOUS. It was so nice in there that we almost canceled our reservations since Colton was coming with, but they were more than friendly and Colton was an angel. Squid ink toasted noodle paella, anchovy crostini, fluke ceviche, mushrooms flatbread (for C), just to name a few of the amazing tapas we had.

Night one in the loft - not so good. No one slept well. Colton fell out of his cot onto the tile floor. I slept terribly in my hospital bed... A also slept terrible in his hospital bed... nothing positive to say.

Onto our first full day in the city. Morning 1, Colton woke up with A, 540am. By 7am, he'd had 4 breakfasts in the apartment. 4! I mean, he's a big breakfast eater, but this was record breaking for the time. Maybe sleeping in the kitchen made him hungry. I had big dreams of not cooking a thing while we were here, not making one single cup of coffee in this depressing apartment, but it's 540 in the morning - I couldn't walk around NYC day 1 already!

When we did finally leave the house at 745, we went to H&H Bagels for a cream cheese and lox everything bagel which, on day 3 (today), is still the winner for best bagel. Next stop was Gregory's coffee. Colton had an entire donut, making that breakfast #6 after his bagel at H&H. We also made it to Central Park, 6 of the 21st playgrounds at Central Park, Central Park Zoo, and Tisch Children's Zoo.... all before nap!

After nap, we had coffee at Gotham Cafe (which was terrible), picked up amazingly delicious tacos at Oaxaca Taqueria and took them to St. Catherine's park where we met A and ate outside! After dinner, A needed to go to the Apple Store, so we walked all the way to Midtown (even though there was one on the UES) because I wanted to go to Momofuku's Milk Bar (and why not, it was nice weather out, let's walk!). Well, Momofuku's Milk Bar was terribly disappointing, Boo boo boo. Now I'm on the fence about whether to try his noodle bar or not. We shall see. Either way, don't let the pictures fool you. The ice cream looks good, but it's not. And we like ice cream... and cereal... and cereal milk.