Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Golden Ticket

It was such a jam-packed weekend (especially since it was the only weekend in December that we weren't going to be in California) that I'm going to do this post mostly as photos because if I tried to write about everything that we squeezed in you would all see how long this post was and probably decide that you'd rather go back to checking Facebook than actually read the whole thing.  So I'll try to summarize with pictures so as not to lose you.

First, a quick blurb on cooking.  I made these sweet yums for a dinner party at Maeve's family's house on Friday night.  Thank you Pinterest!

As I was trying to cut these and they were falling apart, I was reminded of the funniest blog post I saw once about failed Pinterest attempts...hilarious.

The kids also worked on a gingerbread house (but ended up eating most of the decorations).


Anyway, we woke up Saturday to the biggest snow storm we've had so far and our backyard was entirely covered (and getting more filled by the minute) with snow.  The kids got to play out there and build their very own snowman while I sat in my cozy pajamas, reading and drinking tea on the couch.  Heaven.

Pretty sad attempt at their first snowman.

While trapped inside all day we decided to take part in a nationwide campaign embraced by President Obama and featuring free tutorials by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft titan Bill Gates that are designed to get U.S. students interested in computer science.  It is called Hour of Code and it was a really fun hour for the kids of learning to "code", or write in a computer language.  All we had to do was go to the website and let the kids have at it.  They didn't need our help at all and learned the basics of coding using Angry Bird mazes and zombies.  The original creators of the campaign had hoped to reach 1 million kids last week and as of this writing they are nearing 17 million.  Amazing.

Saturday night was magical for the kids.  The local Jewish Community Center had a Kids Night Out called Wonkavision...the entire night was Willy Wonka themed, complete with chocolate fountains and a scavenger hunt that spanned the entire 7 floor building for 3 Golden Tickets.  The kids had an amazing 3 hours while Kevin and I enjoyed 3 quiet hours catching up over wine, eating at our local Italian hole-in-the-wall.

Trying to get home in an insanely windy snowstorm.

The storm had stopped on Sunday so we used our only weekend day left in New York City during the holiday season to try to pack in as many iconic New York City Christmas things as possible...

First stop, Santaland at Macys on 34th Street:

Writing letters to Santa at the Official Santa Mailbox

Then we walked the length of 5th Avenue to see all the high-end stores' windows all made up for the holidays.

 Lines of people along Saks Fifth Avenues windows.

We ducked out of the cold and into the St. Regis hotel to taste a Bloody Mary in the bar where it was invented, King Cole Bar.  Also of note is the giant Maxfield Parrish mural behind the bar.


The kids only asked for one thing each from Santa - a basketball for Holden and a Build-A-Bear for Ella.  After the kids left the room, Santa held me back and gave me a gift card to get the kids Build-A-Bears at the nearby workshop.  He thought it would be more fun for them to build them themselves than to get them already assembled on Christmas morning.


In case you're new to Build-A-Bear, it's a workshop where you choose the exterior of your "bear", fill it with stuffing (and a heart, a music box, scent...all at additional costs...) and then choose their clothes and accessories.  It can get expensive.  The kids were pretty shocked that their Christmas wish got fulfilled so quickly.  Thanks, Santa!

Even the library lions, Patience and Fortitude were in the holiday spirit.

The holidays in New York City wouldn't be complete without a walk through Rockefeller Center,


or a trip to the American Girl Doll store...

Luckily, Ella was so thrilled with her Build-A-Bear that she didn't ask for a thing on her first trip to the Mecca of 8-year-old girls.  Although she did add to her Christmas list wish.

And because Team Skaggs never leaves well enough alone, we had to make a last stop by the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see their Christmas tree.

Ella got to show Kevin and Holden the art that her class studied a couple weeks ago on their field trip to the Met.

And Holden and Ella recognized a bridge from home.

Our whirlwind holiday season in New York City was a success but we're sure looking forward to a warmer Christmas in California.

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