Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Friends Forever (And Ever, And Ever...)

What a fun and full week with friends.


First, the kids wrapped up their summer camps.  Holden loved his urban tennis-on-the-roof-of-a-tall-building camp.  As you can see, in addition to tennis there were many water gun fights to beat the heat.  He says tennis is now his favorite sport, much to Kevin's delight.


And Ella and Francesca ended their Broadway Bound Kids camp with a blow out cabaret musical.  Francesca's parents and sister made it out for the show.  Ella was Mary Poppins and Francesca was the donkey from Shrek. 


I was even able to sneak away during the week a couple times with friends for lunches and to check out the new Whitney Museum (gorgeous!).

Our good friends from Washington DC also arrived on Thursday so they were treated to the "Broadway Show" as well.  We ate and played way too much with Stephanie and Jonathan and their two adorable mini-me's, Bree and Aidan. 


On Sunday we ended two and a half weeks of non-stop guests and friends with something very rare for us: a day where we never left the apartment.  Pajamas all day.  Lots of quiet reading time.  I even took an afternoon nap.  Not sure that's ever happened unless one of us was sick.  We all really needed the day to recharge.

But come Monday we were back to our old selves: overscheduled and loving it.  We joined our buddies Maeve's Family down at the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum for some fun on an aircraft carrier and then made our way all the way back uptown to their apartment for a late night of pizza and wine. 


We were even treated to an entire subway train car to ourselves on the late ride home. 


We're all really looking forward to leaving the urban jungle this week and landing in sunny California for some poolside fun with one set of grandparents and some lakeside camping with the other grandma.  If you don't hear from us for a couple weeks, just imagine us happy and tan and well fed.  I'll post photographic evidence when we return!

Happy summer, people!

Monday, June 22, 2015


We had a fantastic weekend camping out at the Clearwater Folk Festival (also known as Clearwater's Great Hudson River Revival).  The festival was started back in the 60s by folk legend Pete Seeger who lived on the Hudson River and wanted to raise money to clean up the then terribly polluted river.  He was successful and through his foundation raised a lot of money over the years and the river apparently, is much, much cleaner than it once was.  He also built the Clearwater Sloop, a sailing ship modeled after 18th and 19th century trading boats that takes students and others on two hour rides daily to educate them on the river and ecology and conservation.  We were able to take that sail on Sunday morning.  The festival not only brings together some great musical acts, it also serves as an educational weekend with lots of events and booths for the kids (and big kids) to learn about environmental issues.

We got to hear some legends such as The Blind Boys of Alabama, Bela Fleck, and David Crosby.  Our friends, better known as Maeve's Family, came up for the day on Saturday (which unfortunately had some rain).  The kids got to participate in lots of fun environmental activities which included petting American eels, and learned more than they ever wanted to know about the Hudson River.

Juggling lessons

Believe it or not, Ella's the oldest in this photo
Baby Quinn
Netting fish and then learning about who lives in the river

Clearwater Sloop

Being entertained by some amazing folk performers on the boat ride
Petting Hog Chokers

Holden's unimpressed by The Blind Boys of Alabama

Monday, June 15, 2015

On Top of the World

Had a great weekend with friends Shauna and Francesca.

Wrapped up the baseball/softball season with their final games and trophy ceremonies.  Ella has really become quite a player.  She's one of the best hitters on the team and fielded some great plays in the outfield.  Best of all, she loves it and has a great time every week.  Holden remained the team clown this season, which is good, because what he lacks in hand-eye coordination he makes up for in sense of humor.

But the highlight of the weekend was definitely going to the top of One World Trade Center.  It's pretty incredible up there, on top of the world in the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.

This is the elevator, although those are just video screens, not the real view.
Lady Liberty

Shauna & Francesca

The Hudson River

Looking over to Brooklyn

The 9/11 Memorial

Contemplating life on the 102nd floor

My boys

Later that evening Ella said, "It was like a map come to life. It was so beautiful!"

Afterward we got to spend a little time wandering around the 9/11 Memorial, two inverted fountains on the footprints of the twin towers that fell on September 11th.  It is a very somber place, probably the only quiet space in downtown Manhattan.

We said goodbye to Shauna on Saturday and this morning all three kids were checked into summer camp.  Holden will be taking a two-week tennis camp and the girls are taking a two-week theater camp.  The freedom hasn't hit me yet as I vowed I would spend the first couple days getting lots of things crossed off my to-do list.  I've been pretty productive so far and it feels good. 

Oh, and the apartment is soooooo quiet.