Vacation Week #2: Back in NYC, More Museums

Read about our summer 2010 vacation week #1, here.

For our second week we were back in NYC, doing a few boring things (lawyer visit, trip to Target, etc.) but mostly relaxing and enjoying all the fun New York stuff that we actual New Yorkers never have time to do because we, you know, work here and stuff.

I’ll skip the boring stuff and just report on the three highlights:

The Cloisters. This is an outpost of the Met up at the very tip of Manhattan. It has all medieval and Renaissance art and architecture. Very cool. Maddie pointed out the animals in the tapestries. When she saw this painting she declared “They look grumpy.” And she was fascinated by all the different pictures and sculptures of the Madonna and Child. “There’s another mommy and baby! And another mommy and baby!”

MoMA: So fun! Maddie was primed for a museum visit because of the Cloisters. When we walked into the Picasso room she said “Oh, look at all the paintings!” A Matisse with three women and a bunch of flowers inspired this: “They are playing ball like how I play ball. I like ball.” Unfortunately we didn’t get to spend as much time in the Matisse as we’d have liked because someone declared “I want lunch!” (Sam, for his part, loved the nudes. Everytime he saw breasts he cried out with delight. He too was thinking about lunch.)

Check out Maddie playing with blocks in the children’s area:

And here’s Sam, being Sam:

Lots more great photos from MoMA here.

Beacon: After MoMA we decided to try a real restaurant with the kids. We figured a Wednesday in August at 5 p.m. was a good time for such an experiment. It was hilarious. First, Beacon was more kid-friendly than I would have guessed. They gave Maddie a coloring book and crayons. The kid’s menu included a steak dinner with a tiny filet mignon, mashed potatoes and string beans. Maddie and Sam were both on their very best behavior and the staff was amazing — so lovely and gracious. It was a whole new twist on family dining!

Great week.  Now to get a good night’s sleep … I’ve got more than a thousand email messages to wade through tomorrow …

Vacation Week #1: The Beach (Plus a museum)

This year Preston and I took a two-week long vacation.  It’s the first time we’ve taken that long off since our wedding in 1995!

For the first week we rented a house in Scituate, Massachusetts.  It was on Humarock Beach which is beautiful.  We had great weather and lots of fun.

There are lots of pictures here, here, here, and here, but here’s a real cute one of my three favorite people:

Meanwhile, here’s how the week went down:

Saturday: We arrive! Long trip, lots of stops. Auntie Tracy greets us with pizza. Hooray! Tracy and I run to the grocery store for party supplies and provisions.

Sunday: Party! Friends and family converge and Grandpa Monahan mans the grill and serves up yummy hot dogs and burgers.

Monday: First day on the beach.  That night we headed to Nana and Grandpa’s house to celebrate their wedding anniversary with lobsters. So fun.

Tuesday: Another nice beach day.

Wednesday: Beach day. Sound boring? It wasn’t.

Thursday: The Boston Children’s Museum. Super-fun. Check out the photos here. I haven’t been since I was a kid. It was awesome watching Maddie run around and have a blast. After we had dinner with Zeyde and Uncle Craig.

Friday: Last day at the beach! It was beautiful. Perfect weather. Nana and Grandpa came and spent the day. That night we headed back to the house for steak tips and potato packets on the grill.

Saturday: Pack ’em up, move ’em out. The trip back to NYC wasn’t too bad and we looked forward to another week of R & R a little closer to home …

Fun Weekend

Auntie Tracy was in town which always means hijinx and shenanigans.

This weekend did not disappoint.  Saturday was epic. We met up with friends in Union Square Park to check out the new playground.  So. Much. Fun. Maddie spent most of her time in the sprinklers. She is such a water baby.

Sam, for his part, spent his time being held by various ladies. He tried to cop a feel multiple times. He’s lucky he’s cute.

After we were done with playground we wandered around the Greenmarket and bought tomatoes, basil, a delicious apple pie and sunflowers. Maddie and I were walking and she saw a flower vendor and said “Pretty flowers.” I asked her if she wanted to buy flowers for the house and she said yes. So we got money from Dad and went into the stall.  I asked her what kind of flowers she wanted and she said “Yellow ones.”  So we picked sunflowers.  They are really gorgeous and Maddie seems quite pleased that she picked them out.

We then came home.  Mommy and Sam got a nap but Auntie Tracy got paired with Maddie and didn’t get any rest.  Sorry!

Dad made pasta sauce with the tomatoes and some basil (the rest got made into pesto for later this week).

Nice weekend, but I’m more than ready for vacation.  Just one week left …

NYC Is A Great Place to Spot Celebrities

Sunday we went to Barnes & Noble to get Maddie some books about going to school (more on that later, but for now suffice to say she starts pre-school in September).

Daddy and Sam were left downstairs to look at whatever boys like, while Mommy and Maddie headed up to the kid’s section. I basically left Maddie to her own devices while I scoped out the “I like school!” titles.

All of the sudden I heard Maddie’s unmistakable squeal of delight. “Tasha! Tasha! Uniqua! Tasha! Austin!” She had found a shelf full of Backyardigan Beanie Babies. She immediately recognized them and was beside herself.  She quickly gathered up about three of the Tashas and headed for the story circle area where she arranged them into a circle and proceeded to tell them stories. Hilarious!

I’m sure you can see this coming a mile down the road. We went home with a Tasha. She has not put that thing down since we got it.

The day will quickly come when bringing that much happiness into her world will cost more than $6.99. For now, I’m going to enjoy the delight.