Tag Archives: nyc


It’s time for another little update of what’s been going on in my life! There is mostly holiday shenanigans to report, but since it’s the first Currently of the month, I’m linking up with Anne in Residence and her guest host, Kellie from the B Hive. So, here’s what I am currently…

Doing || a lot of scheduling. December is busy for everyone, but often for musicians especially. Hubby has extra gigs, I have extra rehearsals and services, and those are in addition to parties, shopping, visiting, and actually trying to stay rested, we are doing quite a lot. We’re also hopping away to NYC next week for two days of a getaway for some fancy food, a concert, and a show! We’ve never been at Christmastime so we’re excited to see a holiday-decorated NYC.

Enjoying || the weather! I love right when the weather gets cold… it’s not freezing yet, but it’s cold enough to layer up, don my boots, and add a colorful scarf. Fall truly is my favorite season.

Cooking || a little of this and that. I’m still on soups (yeah, French Onion!) but Hubby has been hitting up some major Asian flair recently (in his genes, apparently) and he’s amazing at it. Here’s a snippet of the okonomiyaki he made for lunch today.

Wrapping || lots of presents, of course! My mom was here the past couple of days, so she helped me wrap, and I helped her wrap. My shopping and wrapping is almost complete. There are only one or two things left on my list, and I have finished J’s birthday stuff, as well! (His birthday is December 28th.) I’ve had a few wrapping papers that I haven’t opened up the last couple of Christmases simply because I hate having too many rolls to try to keep together. But I finished two this year, so I opened up two more! It’s funny how new, fun wrapping paper can add some excitement to the wrapping process for me.

Playing || with Magformers with the kiddos. They’ve always loved them, but I’m so glad they are back in a phase of playing with them all the time. They’re colorful, easy to manipulate, and great for all three of the kids’ current ages. We literally sat in the hallway outside their rooms last night and played with them for almost an hour. The only problem is that since there are typically three kids playing with them at the same time, we don’t have quite enough for them all to feel like they can make a structure as big as they want to. So I got them an expansion pack “from Santa”. Typically Santa’s gifts are for all three of them, so that his gifts aren’t as cool as Mom and Dad’s!

So there you have it! What are you currently up to?

Thank you, New York!

Here’s the last bit of our Hsus Do New York experience. It’s long. Enjoy!

I had heard some great, kid-friendly things about the Battery Park area (which is funny, since it’s mostly financial district) so we headed there on Wednesday. It was actually great, because EK had been talking about getting on a boat all week, so we figured getting down there next to the water was the way to make it happen. We took the subway (most of the way down) to Battery Park,  and without really planning it, happened to be right next to the 9/11 Memorial. It is incredible to think that the event was almost 13 years ago. And it’s even crazier to think that yes, we have created a memorial for it, and survivors are all back to work and trying to go about their lives, but it’s still not all the way back to normal in that area. There were roses left on names, people gathered in corners of the park, and the new Freedom Tower isn’t even finished yet. We rose up, of course, but there is still work to be done.

Freedom Tower
Freedom Tower
Memorial Fountain
Memorial Fountain
Handsome Babywearing Hubby
Handsome Babywearing Hubby

After we left there, we walked a few blocks to the water, where the actual park is. It was full of families, runners, artists, and community groups of kids from summer camps and day cares. It was truly a gorgeous day, the park was beautiful, and seeing the sights across the water was awesome.

EK gazing out on the water
EK gazing out on the water
Chilling in the park
Chilling in the park

The pier was closed, so we walked a few more blocks to Castle Clinton, where the boats all dock to go to the Statue of Liberty and Governor’s Island. When we saw the line for the Statue of Liberty cruise, we knew our babies would never stand for it, no matter how badly EK wanted to get on a boat. So we opted for the NY Water Taxi, and we loved it! The ticket lasts the whole day (you can get on and off till they stop running), there were several stops, there was a bar/snack bar, and the tour guides were great! They don’t have a script, so they literally tell you lots of facts, but also their favorite places to eat or shop or hang out. It was an appreciated, air-conditioned, sightseeing break in the middle of our day.

J and my mom hanging out on the boat!
J and my mom hanging out on the boat!
Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge
(Obvious) Statue of Liberty!
(Obvious) Statue of Liberty!

We took the boat from Battery Park up to Times Square, rode the Ferris wheel at Toys R Us, visited the Disney Store (where there was a lack of Elsa-related merchandise that EK was asking for, but we still got her some “princess shoes” and a Buzz Lightyear for J), and let EK stare at the hundreds of screens, lights, and posters. We had a blast.

J crushing Buzz Lightyear with love.
J crushing Buzz Lightyear with love.
I just had to post this picture - I've always loved Barbie even though she's gotten some flack. This makes up for it, just a little bit.
I just had to post this picture – I’ve always loved Barbie even though she’s gotten some flack. This makes up for it, just a little bit.
So excited that she couldn't even wake up.
So excited that she couldn’t even wake up.

For our last dinner in NYC, we ate at a really expensive delicious steak house called Smith and Wollensky. It was, in a word, incredible. Our concierge told it would be fine to take the kids with us, and truly it was (EVERYONE was really great about them) but they were the only kids in there, and if I had stuck my head in the door first, I never would’ve brought them in. But they were troopers; it was late in the evening, but J took a little nap and EK played with a lot of stickers. Hubby and I drank a lot of wine, haha. It was an all-around great experience, and I wish we’d been around to eat the copious amounts of leftover steak we couldn’t manage to finish before we left.

Good-looking crew, right?
Good-looking crew, right?

Thursday morning, we had a few hours of precious time before we needed to go to the airport, so Mom and I took EK to a little tea house we had been walking by all week. I knew from experience they’re probably have great breakfast, and EK loves tea parties. We all put on cute dresses and headed two blocks down to Alice’s Tea Cup for a pot of tea and breakfast. Let me tell you – it was a total win. A whimsical interior combined with delicious food, a huge tea selection and several little cute things for EK (like sprinkling her with glitter “fairy dust” and telling her to make a wish) made for a delightful morning. The scones, in particular, were perfect – chocolate orange and white chocolate blackberry. ARE YOU SERIOUS!?

Mom (Necie, to EK) snuggling Princess EK
Mom (Necie, to EK) snuggling Princess EK

So there’s the last bit of it. Our first family trip to NYC. I hope there are many more to come, and hopefully not too long from now! It definitely boosted my confidence for what we might be able to handle in the future! What are some things we missed that my kids might enjoy next time we go?

Hsus “ZOO” Sush-York, and Eat(a lot)aly!

Forgive the cheesy title; at least it isn’t misleading! Too much? Okay, you’re right. I’ll think about it…

Last Tuesday, we headed on a long subway ride to the Bronx, because we had heard that the Bronx Zoo was way better than the Central Park one. It was indeed a long trip, but the zoo was great! J was a trooper (he didn’t care much about the animals) and EK loved it. 20140801-220814-79694223.jpgBy the way, babywearing at the zoo was the way to go. We rented a double stroller, but that thing was NOT user-friendly. EK couldn’t see from that low, and J wasn’t comfortable in there. A waste of $15 when both kids either wanted to be carried or worn, or in EK’s case, run around a bit. We just lugged it around the whole time, full of the diaper bag and our water bottles. But other than that, the zoo was great. We saw peacocks, monkeys, red pandas, camels, water birds of all sorts, and lions and tigers and bears, oh my! The kids expired rather quickly, though, so after we had seen about half the zoo, we headed back for a snack and a nap.

That evening, we met our dear friend Hope for some sushi (at Mizu, a restaurant of the same name as our favorite sushi place in Winston) and then traveled to Eataly for some gelato. Unfortunately, because it was getting late, we didn’t have much time in Eataly… that’s possibly my biggest sad note from the whole trip. That place was amazing. It took up about a city block, contained gelato, coffee, pasta, and wine (four of my greatest loves) and other wonderful and delicious Italian goodies. It should have been a whole day affair, and we crammed it into an hour or so. Ah well, there’s always next trip…

Hope snapped this one of EK enjoying her gelato.
Hope snapped this one of EK enjoying her gelato.
Hope getting some J snuggles, and Hubby photobombing like a champ. I honestly didn't notice him till after I took the picture!
Hope getting some J snuggles, and Hubby photobombing like a champ. I honestly didn’t notice him till after I took the picture!
Hubby and me, one of our only good shots from the trip!
Hubby and me, one of our only good shots from the trip!

Be on the lookout for the last installment of Hsus Do New York! I’ll really be sad to wrap this series up, but maybe that means we will have another cool trip soon!

Family and Food – Hsus Do New York

More New York City fun… Here’s what we did Sunday and Monday!

On Sunday (our second day), my mom and I woke up with the kids, packed them up, left Hubby in bed, and went to search for bagels. Thankfully, we found a DELICIOUS bagel place  less than a block away. It was inexpensive and had more than just bagels (fresh fruit, good coffee, juice, pasta salad, etc).   I think it was called “Bagel Express II” but I’m not sure. When we had eaten and collected Hubby, we visited FAO Schwartz and hung out on the east side of Central Park. It was great weather to just peruse the area, eat some street food, and think of some things to do during the week.

Enjoying some street meat - lamb gyro to be exact.
Enjoying some street meat – lamb gyro to be exact.
EK in her princess crown with her beloved cockatoo (cah-ah-too)
J deciding if he wants a new tiger.
J deciding if he wants a new tiger.

For dinner, we decided on the Italian restaurant on the corner near our hotel, Tony’s di Napoli. It was delicious, however very crowded and slow. We didn’t anticipate having a two hour dinner that began at almost 7:30. We ended up giving J a bottle to put him to sleep and sending EK back to the room with my mom for a bath while we waited for the check and boxes for our food. It was a little hectic, but their food was truly delicious.

On Monday, lots more things were open again, and we could really get in to some fun things! First, we visited the Natural History Museum with Hubby’s cousin Becca. She’s an awesome lady – a jazz singer in NYC who always makes time to hang out with our littles. (Her website, by the way, is here. Check her out because her music is ridiculously amazing.) We looked at tons of animals, and watched the show in their planetarium (totally amazing) and both the babes even loved it!

Cousin love.
Cousin love.

We followed that up with an delicious Vegan lunch at Peacefood Cafe, coffee at Irving Farm, and then Mom, the kids and I went back to the hotel for naps. (I won’t lie… an afternoon nap schedule suited me JUST FINE because I was pooped by then also.) Hubby went with Becca to a famous guitar store and played zillion-dollar guitars all afternoon (he came back a very happy camper). Miranda (another of Hubby’s cousins, who had lunch with us) came over to the hotel for dinner (take out) and brought us some teeny-tiny cupcakes, which we ate on all week!

Miranda snuggling big J, the hippie.

That night, Mom kept the kids so Hubby and I could go out on the town. We went to the East Village to a favorite spot of yet another of Hubby’s cousins (Katie – sister of Becca) who used to live in the city. Drop Off Service used to be a laundromat, and kept the name when the space converted to a bar. Small, intimate and homey, lots of good beers on draft, and in a trendy neighborhood for the piece de la resistance.

This is the pic stitch we sent to Katie to guess where we were!

We walked from Drop Off Service to a little Irish pub, O’Hanlon’s Bar, where we played some darts. I won both games, of course. It’s worth bragging about because it’s the only thing I’ve ever beaten Hubby at. Just give it to me, okay?

Stay tuned for one more NYC post in the series… I’m having a blast writing about it! Check out some of those links, and leave some comments about places we should try next time!



Hsus Do New York!

This past week, we Hsus took NYC by storm. Hubby had a college friend who got married on Saturday night, so we packed up our fam (and my super flexible mama) and flew up to make a week of it. This week will be a series of posts about the trip – traveling, things we did, places we ate, etc. for your enjoyment and future trip planning!

We arrived in NYC Saturday morning, so we had most of the day to bum around and settle in before the wedding. Our first stop was our amazing hotel, Affinia Gardens. On East 64th between 2nd and 3rd avenues, it’s situated in the upper east side (of midtown – right on the cusp), convenient to the subway and several delicious restaurants and cute shops, and filled with the nicest folks you’ll meet. Every single employee of the hotel, concierge to maid, were incredibly helpful and nice. Our suite was huge, clean, and well-kept all week. It also had a mini kitchen with some dishes, a full-size fridge, a microwave and a DISHWASHER! Crazy talk for a NYC hotel. I forgot to take a photo of the room, but check out their website here.

We spent that afternoon before naps in Chinatown for some dim sum. Hubby’s brother Hartley said the best dim sum in NYC was at Golden Unicorn. I’m convinced he was right. Dim sum is definitely an experience, and however fast-paced and crazy it may feel, it was delicious and actually not too expensive (at least at this location). Servers with carts stop by your table with the little bamboo containers full of steaming food on them, and you just say what you want or don’t want. It’s right there on the cart, so you just eat and get more and eat more. It’s the best fast food ever! Visit Golden Unicorn’s website here.

The wedding itself was incredible- at the Yale Club in Manhattan. Easily the most glamorous and delicious wedding I’ll attend… for a long time anyway. A beautiful bride and handsome groom who love each other and their friends/family very well made for a gorgeous ceremony and fun evening.

Hubby (right) and his oldest brother, Hartley, classing it up big time.
Sunset from the Yale Club’s rooftop (22 floors up) during cocktail hour.
A little hard to see us, but the only (non-wedding-photographer) picture of Hubby and me from that night.
Yes, I took a picture of the ceiling. Isn’t it gorgeous?!
Can someone tell me what this building is? Because it was gorgeous from a block away.

I wish I had some pictures of the band that played the reception. They were a party band for sure, about ten of them, amazing singers and fabulous instrumentalists. They played R&B and pop and blew it out of the water. Hubby and I danced all night. ALL NIGHT.

Whelp, that’s our first day in NYC in a nutshell. Stay tuned for the next installment of “Hsus Do New York” tomorrow!

Quick New York City Update!

To stray from the norm… I’m going to share a quick list of things I’ve loved about this trip so far…

1. Weddings at the Yale Club are stupid amazing. It’s gorgeous, the food was fantastic, and the weather just so happened to be perfect.

2. Museums, museums, museums. That is all.

3. So many restaurants, so little time.

4. Public transportation is the best people watching.

5. “Street Meat” is what Hubby calls anything from a street vendor. Our favorite so far have been the most amazing gyros we’ve ever had. We might never get all tzatziki sauce off our shoes, but it was worth it.

6. I don’t know who said New Yorkers weren’t friendly, but they were lying. I love this place! Everyone is kind, thinks my kid are cute, and doesn’t mind when I chat them up. I call that a win.

More to come later!