Monday, December 31, 2018

Girls' Christmas Trip to New York City - Year Two

For our second annual post-Christmas girls’ trip to New York City, we planned to stay two nights in the city.  We stayed at the same hotel - the Shelburne Hotel by Affinia - and it was even better than our first stay.  They offered us a free upgrade to a suite, but all of the suites were full, so they gave us two adjoining rooms for the price of one.  We actually called Zach and the boys to see if they wanted to join us in all of our extra space, but they weren’t able to so I quite enjoyed having my own room!

Having done all of the first-timer Christmas-in-New-York attractions last year, we were able to get a little more creative and explore some different things in the city.

Our Highlights:

Day 1:
- arrived at the hotel mid afternoon, settled in, and spent some time studying the map with the girls and circling things we wanted to do
- American Girl store
- dinner and frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity - reserve your spot online and then make your way there.  We still had a short wait when we arrived, but totally manageable and #worthit

Day 2:
- breakfast at Bagel Express
- Color Factory!  The most fun thing we did this year, and the only thing we planned and bought tickets for in advance.  We loved it!
- wandered around Soho and the Village - poked around the NYU Bookstore, got hot cocoa at the biggest Starbucks the girls have ever seen, people watched in Washington Square Park
- checked out the Beautycounter shop on Prince Street
- cookies from MILK Bar and giant slices of New York pizza
- Big Apple Circus with Gammy, Riri, and cousin Clem, with dinner afterwards nearby

Day 3:
- Breakfast at Ellen’s Stardust Diner - we got there early and waited about 30 minutes in drizzly rain. The food was mediocre but the girls loved it and got the biggest kick out of the singing and entertainment.
- Rockefeller Center tree
- FAO Schwartz

We took the train back to Rowayton for a quick goodbye to Gammy and Riri before driving home.  Another great girls’ getaway!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Girls' Getaway in Virginia

When Erin got Virginia for the third grade state fair, it was the perfect excuse for a long overdue visit back to Charlottesville!  We had a few days in June between when school ended and when camp started that made for the perfect little girls’ getaway.  We planned a great little itinerary that allowed us to see friends, get in some educational field trips, and visit one of my favorite places in the world.  It was a great reminder that you can take an awesome trip in just a few days, and that Marriott points, Jet Blue miles, and staying with friends can make it very economical too.

Our Itinerary and Highlights:

Day 1: 
- Fly from Boston to Richmond
- We stopped in Jamestown for a (very) short time - it was literally over 100 degrees outside and visiting the 2,000 degree glass blowing shed was not the perfect activity for the day!  But it was cool to see and hit one of the areas that Erin had researched.
- We drove from Richmond to Williamsburg and stayed at XXX.
- The hotel had an amazing water park and pool so we spent most of the afternoon there, before driving into Williamsburg for dinner at the XXX and a trip to the candy store.

Day 2:
- Breakfast at the hotel
- We met up with Kristie and her kiddos to spend the day at Colonial Williamsburg.  Even in the heat, the kids were troopers and really got a kick out of the old village.
- After our day in Colonial Williamsburg, we drove to Richmond and stayed the night at Kristie’s house.

Day 3:
- We had a great day of normal home life with Kristie and her kiddos.  We played at home, went to the pool, and made dinner.  It’s such a nice change of pace, especially when traveling with kids, to spend a day or two in a real home with friends.

Day 4:
- We drove from Richmond to Charlottesville.
- We took a trip to Monticello on our way into town.  The girls were surprisingly interested in the guided tour, and loved running around the beautiful grounds.
- We ate our way through all of my old favorites, walked around Grounds, and overall had a great time introducing the girls to the beauty of UVA.
- We stayed at XXX.

Day 5:
- We finished up our time at UVA with breakfast at Bodo’s, a visit to the Rotunda, and a stop at my first year dorm.
- We drove back to Richmond and flew home!

I am already hoping Nettie gets a state we can visit when she has her 3rd grade state fair!