Parents in town

My parents came to visit us in early November- it was a gift from my dad to my Mom for her birthday- how awesome is that?!?  We had a lot of fun and spent most of our time outside because the weather and the Fall foliage was amazing here.  They flew in Wednesday night and we stayed up chatting for a while about the recent election results.  Then, we put them up in our very fancy bunk beds (Kate and Taylor kindly vacated their bedroom for grandma and grandpa)- I'll bet they haven't slept in bunk beds since they were little kids! Mom and Dad went for walks in Central Park every day that they were here and we tried to join them as much as possible.  Its proving to be harder than I want to juggle our own family schedules on top of hosting guests and wanting to spend every single moment with them.  

Its currently freezing (snow on the ground included!) in NYC, so I'm looking at these pictures from November with a little bit of jacketless envy. :)  

We had to show my parents the view from our rooftop, which we love...we even enjoyed some banana pudding up here on my mom's birthday, which is becoming a tradition in our family!

We didn't get a picture (mostly because our resident photographer, Brian, had to work and couldn't come) of most of what we did. But, we did a lot!  I love how active and ambitious travelers my parents are!  We wanted to get cronuts at Dominique Ansel, but we thought it best to eat a proper meal first, so we found a highly-rated deli nearby and devoured our HUGE sandwiches outside on a bench in a little charming park in West Village.  Then we walked to the bakery and ate some of the yummiest things of my life.  The cronut was amazing and the chocolate cookie was probably one of the best I've ever had.  After grabbing my kids at school, we all headed downtown to Times Square to try and get discount tickets to a show. We decided on Matilda because I knew they'd love it and it was on offer that night. We bought tickets and then walked to a restaurant for dinner, where we ran into the Sedgwicks!  It was a surprise for my Mom's birthday- we were all in on it, but she was floored when she saw them nonchalantly walking around right by where we were planning on eating. It was so fun!

We ate a yummy Italian dinner and then I raced home to get their baby Jane and my kids settled and then raced back to meet my parents, Dave and Jess and Hannah for our show.  We all loved the show, even though there was a last-act replacement of Matilda herself due to the main character falling ill.  Afterwards, we crossed the street and got some famous cheesecake at Junior's.  The Sedgwicks went back to their hotel and we all went back to our apartment.

I'm so glad the Sedgwicks were in town because we had some important doctor appointments and other things going on that we couldn't miss, so they took over hosting duties and showed my mom around the city on her birthday and made her feel extra special, I'm sure.  We met up later and took the Staten Island Ferry so we could get a great view of the Statue of Liberty- and it was amazing!  We passed Lady Liberty right at sunset and then looked behind us to the lit skyline of Lower Manhattan.  Gorgeous.  Afterwards, I had to race back for church but they all went to the Sea Glass Carousel and then dinner at Chelsea Market.  The Sedgwicks headed home to Maryland that night.

The next day we went to Bryant Park to walk through the Christmas markets there.  We grabbed some lunch and then walked through the gorgeous New York Public Library, where there was a great exhibition on Alexander Hamilton that we all enjoyed.  Later that evening, we even made it to the temple down the street for a beautiful session altogether.  The Manhattan temple is really gorgeous and its even better when you're there with family.

I just think the inside of the library is so stunning.  I love the white marble and the grand architecture.

We rode the subway a lot too- I really feel like the best way to get to know a city is to use their public transportation and its so true here in NYC.

On Sunday we had our ward's primary program, which was so fantastic.  All of the kids were included and had something to speak or sing about.  I loved the message and watching my own sweet kiddos sing their beautiful music. And, I love that my parents got to see it! It was also Kate's first program that she got to watch from the pews, as she turned 12 in June.  

That night, we hosted a dinner group from our ward here in our apartment.  We had 17 people over and it was definitely a tight fit- but nothing that the native New Yorkers present weren't used to!  I'm sure we were more flustered about everyone having a seat than they were.  We had such a good time getting to know the two families better and eating a yummy dinner together.  My dad had to leave mid-meal to rush off to the airport to catch his flight.  My mom stayed for one more day and we squeezed in a really touching visit to the 9/11 Memorial Museum.  I really, really loved it and could have spent many more hours there than what we had.  We met Brian for a quick lunch (he works close to the museum) and then we headed home and got my mom ready to go for her flight later that day.  

I loved having my parents here and celebrating my mom's birthday with her!