We were pretty excited to get to NYC after living in limbo for about a month (even though that limbo was pretty awesome). However, I had NO idea how much work was ahead of us trying to get settled here and most days I'd give just about anything to go back to limbo mode. ;) But, here we are...and things are definitely starting to calm down a bit after a few weeks of non-stop work.
We flew into LaGuardia and because we had secured a one-week rental in the Park Slope area of Brooklyn, we drove straight there. Almost forgot! On our flight in, the pilot must have at least twice circled downtown Manhattan on our descent when it was all lit up at night, and it was pretty magical. I sat by Lauren and her eyes were as wide as saucers and her mouth had the hugest smile. It was the best "welcome to New York" moment because you could see and recognize all of the iconic buildings and the city literally stretched out as far as our eyes could see.
Our rental was really tiny and totally eclectic and in the cutest area of Brooklyn. Because we had signed (sight unseen!) on a permanent rental on the Upper West Side right before moving to New York, we only ended up staying in Brooklyn for a couple of nights. We hauled a portion of our luggage on the subway and Brian and Tessa took an uber with the rest up to our place on the day we officially moved in. We also rented some furniture so we could live in our apartment before our stuff from London would arrive. However, our shipment got here so fast and we only needed the rental furniture for less than a week. It was crazy fast, especially compared to the 3 months that it took to get from Dallas to London!
When the packers brought our stuff in, there was the initial excitement of sorting, organizing and moving in (I know I'm weird, but I really enjoy unpacking and organizing). That didn't last long because it seemed like the incoming boxes were never going to stop and we were literally running out of room with boxes stacked up to the ceiling in almost every room! We moved into a smaller place than we were in in London and obviously couldn't leave anything there, so we had to bring it all here, despite the fact that we knew it wouldn't fit. Our couches wouldn't even fit through our front door, so we had to hire a separate company to take them apart, bring them inside, and re-assemble them in our living room. To be honest, I was having major anxiety about everything- so much that I literally had a nightmare about the movers bringing in more boxes in the middle of the night and even woke up with a migraine. Moving is no joke. In order to pare down our belongings, we donated boxes and boxes and boxes of everything that we didn't absolutely "need"- which ended up being a good exercise in understanding that there really aren't many things that you really, absolutely "need" when you really think about it. Most of our furniture was too big to work, so we ended up selling some, donating some and then buying some new things that would fit in our space. Ikea to the rescue (and subsequent Task Rabbit)!
After a few days of this moving madness, our good friends, the Davis's came to the rescue! They invited us on a NYC outing that included a visit to the New York Historical Society Museum, lunch at Sugar and Pimm's, and perfectly finished off with the most delicious ice cream at Emack and Bolio's. It was just what the doctor ordered. And, really, is there anything better than seeing a familiar face in a new city? The museum had the coolest movie on the history of New York City- which is something everyone that lives here should definitely see. We also saw a fantastic exhibit on the artwork of children's author, Mo Willems. Then, we ended in a really cool hands-on exhibit in the basement, where the kids could interact with items, videos and pictures from the earliest days of NYC. We then left to grab some lunch down the street and right after we crossed the street, we realized to our horror that Tessa was not with us. I almost had a heart attack...we've all had those moments when we think we've lost a kid and its enough to do a momma's heart in. I ran down the street screaming her name and asked people if they'd seen a little girl. I ran back into the museum to ask if they'd seen Tessa...nothing. Brian had been taking pictures of the day and I asked him if the picture he took as we were leaving the basement exhibit had Tessa in it. It didn't. I ran back into the museum and JT, along with the museum's security guard, were walking towards me with Tessa in hand. I almost burst into tears. I haven't been that scared in a really long time. So happy to have that sweet girl back in my arms.
Outside of our afternoon with the Davis family, our first few weekends were filled with checking things off of our mile-long to-do list. So, when we had finally whittled that list down to a manageable size, we decided to put it aside and finally get out, especially while the weather is still so nice! We went on the Big Bus Tour in the perfect Fall weather and were able to explore most of downtown all the way to South Street Seaport. But first, check out this gorgeous building above. Isn't that detail amazing?! One of the biggest differences between London and New York is the architecture. But, occasionally you get buildings like this here and they remind me of the gorgeous, old places we used to live by. I love it.
We've spent a lot of time in Central Park. Its less than 2 blocks from our apartment and has the best playgrounds plus running paths. Oh, and the most beautiful bridges and scenery! My favorite place to see the famous NYC skyline is from the Central Park Reservoir. Definitely a view unlike any other. Our sweet girls have adjusted to living here so fast and SO well. Its makes my momma heart so proud to see them starting a new school, making new friends, joining new soccer and gymnastics teams and not really missing a beat. They seem to really, really like it here and right now, there's not much more I could ask for than that. I haven't been the most patient person lately and they have just been as easygoing as they could be. I know I'll look back on this time as something really special and I'll definitely have them to thank for that.
Tessa munching on some snacks during our bus tour. Kate was away on a temple trip with all of the youth in our stake. She was able to go to the Hartford, CT temple open house...lucky girl.
The further downtown you get, the older the buildings get. I seriously loooove old buildings, so it made me happy to see so many altogether as we got closer and closer to the bottom of Manhattan. We hopped off the bus near Brian's office so he could give us a quick tour. Brian works in a gorgeous building really close to Trinity Church, where Alexander Hamilton is buried. We then got back on the bus tour and continued on to Battery Park, where the much-anticipated Statue of Liberty is. Lauren has been begging to see her ever since we landed here and definitely we made her wait long enough! :)
After seeing Lady Liberty we walked around for a bit and ended up at the famous and stunning Seaglass Carousel, pictured above. Its kind of hard to describe how magical this carousel is. The fish wind around and up and down during the ride and the most beautiful music is playing- I'm pretty sure we could have watched and been mesmerized by it for a good long time. Pure magic in the middle of a huge, busy, crazy city. The carousel is in a glass-encased building, so you can see the massive skylines as you float around. Like I said, pure magic.
We rode the bus back uptown for a bit and then got out again at Chelsea Market so we could grab some yummy dinner. Afterwards, we walked around and then took the subway back home. It was such a perfect day and great introduction (and re-introduction for Brian and I) to this amazing city. Now we just have to figure out a way to make days like this happen more often!