Humpday Update – 5/7/14 – NYC Edition!

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Empire State of Mind (feat. Alicia Keys)

It’s officially been a month without a food post. If you’re still sticking it out I feel like I should send you a fruit basket or something. But again, it’s not my fault! Unfortunately, I’ve been valuing sleep over blogging. I know, what kind of a blogger am I?! I’m an ashamed one.

It’s been crazy around here lately. We’ve been driving up and down the east coast over the past 2 weeks as if we’re regular travelers. As you may have guessed or recalled from my mentioning it, the latest trip was to New York! And boy was it a fun filled adventure. There were ups and downs, memories, regrets, pretty much everything you could imagine. No, the Big Apple does not disappoint. Here are the highlights!

  • Even though most of our plans were in the city, we found a hotel in Staten Island. It was cheaper, still a semi-tolerable commute, and not too far from my sister Ari who lives there with her family. The hotel is fairly new so it didn’t feel as dirty as the last one we stayed in. But there was… whatever this is. I had to move the chair to fit the pack n play and found this anomaly. My best guess was an old banana peel. Whatever it was, it stayed there for 3 nights and 2 days because housekeeping refused to acknowledge its presence despite me leaving it in plain site. Which makes me question what house keeping actually does there… oh! And Seb touched it! He’s the one that discovered it when he told me he touched something and an ant came out of it. Oh, the scrubbing his hands got.

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  • A good thing about the hotel though is the free breakfast that we took advantage of every morning. Why? Because I kid you not, they have a machine that shits out pancakes at the push of a button. Did you hear me?? This is the future, folks. I hope you’re enjoying it.

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  • Because we stayed in Staten Island, it meant we got to take the Ferry to get into the city. You know, since my wife refuses to let the Iron Van drive in city limits. And I don’t blame her since she almost had several panic attacks from just Staten Island commutes. So because we took the Ferry so much, I managed to get another hundred pics or so of the Statue of Liberty to add to my already ridiculous amount of pics I have of her. “Why do you always take so many pictures of the damn Statue” .. “It’s a symbol of freedom in this country, how can you not?!” (I think I win that argument)

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  • Sadly, I didn’t get to take many pictures with my snazzy new camera. Surprisingly, it’s not that simple to whip out a DSLR when you’re trying to drag a 4 year old through subways and a busy city and have an infant strapped to your chest at the same time. But! The wife and I did manage to go out on our own and I was able to get these shots while on the Ferry. I don’t think they’re too bad for being on a moving ship and not really knowing how to completely use my camera yet.

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  • So back to my wife and I going out on our own. It was our 5th anniversary last Friday so my cousin, her husband and 3 daughters were all cool with watching Seb and Lucas while we went out. It was our first date night in 3 years! We just don’t like going out without the padawans, we wind up missing their craziness before too long. I was kinda hoping the restaurant was busy enough to do something crazy like steal someone’s reservations, but it wasn’t. We went to Texas de Brazil and it was amazing as always. The place always seems to get our celebratory dinners and for good reason. If you’ve never been, check and see if you have any near you because it’s one heck of a way to have dinner. Everyone needs some Brazilian Churrascaria in their life. Unfortunately, I was too concerned with stuffing my face rather than taking pictures. And of course I mean unfortunately for you. When we got back and picked up the kids, they were pooped out so I’m glad they had fun while we were out. Maybe we should do it more often.
  • I recently discovered the awesomeness that is EOS lip balm. Sure, it’s just another thing for my wife to make fun of me for, but dammit, they’re amazing. I’d rate them at least 10 times better than regular chapstick. This one right here is my replacement one because Seb thinks it’s cool to hold it. So he wound up dropping my Summer Fruit one in the parking lot of the hotel on Staten Island. I found it the next day just under the car. There’s a really good chance no one messed with it so I thought it was alright. But as I used it for the first time since picking it up, my wife pointed and screamed “Ew! Some bum probably found it, rubbed it all over his junk, put it back, and now you have herpes on your lips!” I wanted to make out with a bottle of sanitizer.

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  • The day after date night was the Yankee game – my amazingly awesome anniversary gift! The trip marked a lot of firsts for the boys, one of which being Lucas’ first subway ride which he seemed to enjoy! It wasn’t Seb’s first subway ride but it was still fun to see and ride the train.

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  • Remember, it’s everyone’s first time at the new stadium. And as soon as you get off the train its presence hits you pretty hard.

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  • I’m so happy I got to experience the new stadium for the first time with my family. If you don’t have a favorite baseball/sports team you probably wouldn’t understand that. But if you do, then you get me. And boy, it’s a nice stadium. And I didn’t even get to see it all!

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  • It was a great time with great seats despite being so high up. See, we were just under the frieze, or the facade as it has been referred to. So whenever the wife apologized for getting “bad seats all the way in the grandstands”, I just looked up and saw the iconic frieze that is one of the most distinguishing characteristics of Yankee Stadium, and reminded her the seats were great.

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With the telephoto zoom lens – not too bad!
  • There was so much excitement going on, that the kids couldn’t handle it and they both fell asleep around the 7th inning.

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  • The Yankees wound up winning 9-3, which was great on so many levels: It marks the first Yankee game out of the like 4 the wife and I have been to that they actually won. On top of that, the game the night before they lost in a 14 inning game that went to 1 in the morning, and they lost the day after. So for the weekend we were there, Saturday was the best day to go! One of the best things too – the stadium does these crazy sweet certificates for first time visitors! So freaking cool for these two, I want to get them framed.

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  • After the game we decided to take a trip a little deeper into the Bronx to visit my old neighborhood. It’s amazing how much things haven’t changed around there. We met up with an old childhood friend of mine and he was telling me how a lot of the same people are still around. We even ran into another old friend of mine on our way back to the train. It’s so crazy seeing how we’ve all grown up. I’ve been disconnected from that part of my life so when I see it, it kinda hits me like a bag of bricks.

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  • But we didn’t leave there without getting some food. We went to what is usually our very first stop whenever we go to NYC. The best pizzeria in the world – John & Joe’s! Right on the corner of my old block, it was a quick 2 – 4 minute walk from where I used to live (depending on how hungry I was). Discovering Lucas peed all over me while on the subway didn’t even put a damper on the moment. Everything about this place is spectacular and has stayed the same for the past 25 years. Being able to share a slice there with my kid is absolutely mind blowing knowing that I was sitting in most likely the same booth when I was his age. Now, excuse me, damn allergies are making my eyes all watery.

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  • My friend we met up with bought us lunch while we sat and talked about old times in between him teasing me for moving to the country. We had pepperoni rolls, real sicilian pizza – not any of that fake, flat stuff that you find everywhere else, cheese dogs – Sabrett hot dogs (the best hot dogs made right there in the Bronx), wrapped in pizza dough and cheese, and of course regular slices. There are only 2 or 3 things I regret from the trip, and one of them is not taking more pictures of the food before we ate it all. I even forgot about Instagramming it, that’s how damn good it was.

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  • The high we were on after getting stuffed with NY pizza was short lived when we quickly discovered Lucas was not in the mood to get back on a train. Especially one that lasted more than an hour back to the Ferry where we had to travel another half hour before getting back to the Iron Van. Needless to say, it made me kiiiiiinda regret going to John & Joe’s considering the late hour we had the kids out. But looking back at it, while that was a nightmare of a train ride for everyone in the train car thanks to Lucas, it was still all worth it. I’d question taking public transportation for so long with kids like that again, but next time we’ll just plan it better.

And that was pretty much the trip! For some reason it’s impossible for us to drive from NY to NC and have it take less than 12 hours. Both times we did it were insanely over in estimated times of arrival and by the time we get home the trip makes me want to not see the inside of a car for months. But as you can tell it was a weekend full of memories and good times so there is nothing we could be mad about. It’s like it’s hard for my wife to not be amazing and awesome. She did good. Too good. Better than what I could probably ever do. And that sucks in a way. Maybe I should try to outdo her one day? We’ll see.

As for now, that’s it for this update. We have a few weeks before we head on our Disney vacation which is going to be more than a weekend getaway. I’m looking forward to getting some food posts up before then. I have some stuff waiting in the wings that I’m pretty excited for, so look forward to that.

Until then, adios!

Click here to buy Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z

 

5 Comments

  1. What a fun trip! I loved living vicariously through all the pictures (especially that pizza picture–daaaaang!) I’ve only been to NY a few times but every time I go I fall in love with the city. How fun for you to experience it with your boys! And I will take that fruit basket whenever you get around to sending it out. 🙂

    1. That pizza…. my God.

      I agree, the city is amazingly easy to fall in love with despite its craziness. I feel like I missed out on so much while I lived there because I never did anything.

      Haha, I’ll sign you up for a fruit basket.

  2. Pingback: Family Travels: “Chicago” (Road to the Sweet-Up) – The Man, The Chef, The Dad

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