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Monday, June 27

new york citay!

we jumped on a bus at union station & made the 4ish hour trek to the big apple on tuesday! thanks bryce for both the pick up & drop off through psychotic dc traffic! i strongly suggest just looking at the pics on this one as i get quite wordy. you'll get the gist.

it was a first time manhattan experience for the beans & austin james. exciting stuff! the bolt bus was a trial because we couldn't comprehend that the price ($60 round trip for the 4 of us!!! what?!) was going to be worth the trouble. & while it was no luxury liner, we had bathrooms & express lanes & nap time & wi-fi the entire time. definitely worth not having to pay parking, gas, & endure the 5ish hours it would have taken us. ellery was first off the bus at penn station & leapt into the arms of her gramvi. :) we met my parents in the city for a week long adventure! we got there right after 8pm, walked a few blocks to our hotel (on 45th & 7th!!! thanks gpa! it was phenomenal!). it was the ideal time of day to see times square. awesome.

on wednesday we tried out the boat tours that circle all of manhattan island. it was maybe our favorite part of the whole visit. i know there are a bazillion shots here just it was hard to pare down. i think my favorites are ellery & my mama looking at "the lady" & when i told my dad that it would not be smart to drop the girls off the edge of the boat. i think we laughed for 10 minutes that that indeed is where my line is. haha.
my parents have been to new york dozens of times & were still so enthused with all the stunning vantage points we got on this tour. soo cool! 

the four of us in new york city!

after the boat we went to a greasy new york pizza place that was delish & then my dad left for a day for some business in boston. we then walked uptown & around central park, rockefeller center, a new zodiac statue display, magnolia bakery, saw minnie mouse & elmo (gasp!), & explored some of the cathedrals.

thursday we went on the bus tours around midtown & downtown & got pretty much dumped on. i love the "don't let the bed bugs bite" billboard behind us. haha nasty.

austin bought a rain jacket from niketown the day before & was the only dry one at the end of the day. well he was plopped in an actual puddle on his seat so dry from the waist up. :) we got out at soho & shopped & ate gyros & hot dogs & tried to stay dry.

we met up with my dad for dinner & a stop at toys r us. a blast to walk through! haha gpa & ellery took a ride on the full ferris wheel inside the store on the my little pony car. classic. she of course loved roaring with t-rex, touring barbie's dream house with gramvi, & watching daddy climb the lego empire state building. :)

the beans fell asleep almost immediately after dinner (virgil's. YUM.) & so chief & i had a dessert date night in times square. we stopped by the hershey's store & found 2 half pound peanut butter cups & these new white chocolate peanut butter cups. mmmm. the top pic is a panoramic austin took with an app on his phone while we people watched.

on friday the hills took a bus to the dakota & then took a slow, long walk through central park. it was misty drizzly romantic weather & just lovely. with the ponds & musicians & trees & birds it was really a peaceful piece of new york. we met my parents in the front of the met & first off went to a very unique, cool, & freaky alexander mcqueen exhibit before exploring the ins & outs of as much of this colossal museum as possible. the egyptian portion was particularly exceptional.

okay now don't laugh too hard at me here. we took the bus back down towards the hotel & everyone obliged my 9 year old self & we did a really quick run through of the american girl place. my sister & i were in LOVE with our american girl dolls & all their historical stories. it was a big, wonderful part of my childhood. :) even though my particular doll is apparently retired (???) it was a fast, fun thing for me to see.

when we got back to the hotel jellybean was dead asleep & i asked austin to put her down while i situated cossette & used the restroom. when i came back he had unclicked ellery's seat from the stroller & laid her gently on her bed. hahaha she was still buckled in. weird dude makes me laugh.
we stopped in at bubba gump's (really very good) before the big event of the night... a yankees game!! we were jazzed to go & our seats were, well, impressive. yay!

by far my favorite part of the game was one of the fly balls. at the beginning of the game injured servicemen all with missing limbs came & were honored by the stadium. it was very moving to see them walk onto the field. later in the game i watched in the section next to me a young veteran with one arm catch the ball. he stood up & war cried & the crowd went nuts. super rad :)

coco falling asleep stiffer than a board on the front of austin was number 2. people (mainly my mom about ready to wet her pants) laughed at her the whole subway trip back. haha/

on saturday we went to junior's for breakfast & walked around a lot before hitting madame tussaud's. it was fun & random to run around & play in the max museum. my whole life people have told me my dad looks like harrison ford. hahaha i think he does.

there was a 4D short movie that e really loved & c really hated & austin & my mom even went through the haunted hall. not for me so i was glad to skip it... you know, for the kids sake.

ever since the boat ride ellery was obsessed with spotting "the lady" & you can really find her just about everywhere (in every form) around the city. so we took a picture of the ladies with "the lady".

oh & who could forget the HULK? haha how formidable is that dude?!

& then what to my wandering ... err ... wondering eye should appear??!!
i even got to sit on his LAP! *sigh*

we hurried back to our marriott marquis & had dinner in a revolving restaurant on the 48th floor. food, view, & company were marvelous. the shot with coco as well as the one on the bottom right are from our own hotel room window. it was incredible!!!

after cossette was asleep & ellery was all ready to be tucked in we had a babysitter from the hotel come & watch them while we ducked out literally across the street to the shubert theatre. my dad kept stressing me out about leaving the girls but i fully believed that they would be just fine. & i called at intermission. yup, i'm that one. memphis was outstanding! & that's using austin's word!! it was austin's broadway debut :) & he was shocked at how much he enjoyed it. it was really a great show.

the 'rents were such fun & we felt so lucky that we could enjoy a trip like this. & aren't they just cute?

sunday morning we packed up & stopped by a bagel joint before leaving town.
the girls slept pretty great on the bus ride home - except for the fact that we had one clean blanket left to share between the 2 of them, so we'd put one to bed with it then steal it back to get the next to sleep. haha what a great way for austin & the kids to see new york city for the first time! my first visit to the big apple was with just me & my daddy when i was 16 so for him to be able to show it to my girls was quite special for me. thanks gramvi & gpa for one outstanding trip!

the chief & i have talked about going back around christmas time for a long weekend but i worry that a nyc 100% on our dime may kill any enchantment austin now has for the place. :)

Wednesday, June 22


feeling like there's not enough hours in the day & too many all at the same time.

Sunday, June 19

air & space udvar-hazy museum

stone went to a leadership conference this last week. & while last year was across the country from where we were (& as you may remember, we had a baby hours after he got back from florida), this year he was less than an hour away.

one of his favorite parts was going to the air & space museum in chantilly, va on a private lockheed martin tour of the facilities. & after learning that this saturday was 'become a pilot' day we knew what our weekend plans had to be. here's cossette ready to go, waiting by the door with the keys. haha & i cannot resist the new pigtails! 

there were tons & tons of private planes for us to check out before making our way to the military grade aviation vehicles. ellery was as giddy as we've ever seen her, squealing & cheering & skipping from plane to plane. dozens of times her eyes got huge & she just started shaking trying to tell us something she saw. haha it was seriously hilarious.

my favorite was the prop plane ^in the center there^ from 1939. it was gorgeous! i think i hummed the theme song to tales spin the entire day. haha a's favorite was the black hawk helicopter & all the different fighter jets that he knew so much about. e's favorite was whoever would let her on board. she went around begging for 'a-sit on a airpane please!'.

our little pilot :)

 back inside we got to see everything from the enterprise nasa shuttle & astronaut training gear to amelia earhart memorabilia & pre 1920's airplanes. it was really pretty spectacular their collection of flight artifacts and aircrafts.
the museum is in the perfect spot adjacent to dulles airport, so sitting in the observation deck of the tower you can watch plane after plane take off. ellery adores everything airborne & her excitement today did not disappoint. we had a blast watching her work herself into a tizzy. :) it should be fun to hit it's sister air & space museum on the national mall soon.

Saturday, June 18

when daddy's gone

we really really missed him... but my house was so SO clean... naw, we're still glad he's back.

Tuesday, June 14

national cathedral

this weekend we went to the national cathedral in dowtown dc. 

 the cathedral was impressive & grand. the stained glass was unbelievable. it's rather new but has the classic, gothic feel of all the european cathedrals, centuries old.
austin doesn't know why i took this picture & was trying to be a good sport. el presidenté lincoln's statue  is behind him. so obviously this is the new background on my desktop. (if you were to add dick van dyke i think it'd be too much for me to handle)

we hiked all around the bishop's garden which was extensive & so green & beautiful but once again we felt like we were melting from the inside out, so we stayed in the shade & tried to get caught in the sprinklers path.
the rest of the weekend was spent doing yardwork & swimming. great laid back weekend being eaten alive by bugs. bytheby how do you get your toddler to stop ripping her bug bites to shreds? super nasty & super sad.

Friday, June 10


eggplant spread with a kick. drool.

Thursday, June 9

national zoo

on memorial day we took the metro over to the national zoological park with bryce & jamie.
stone knows i like 'em tall...
 couple of buddies hanging out.
 jamie & ellery.
 elles and 'pooh bear'.
it was scourching hot but watching the elephants drink & throw dust was kind of awesome.
one unique thing about this zoo is that they have viewing bridges over some of the habitats.
the pandas were super fun too! can you tell miss e had a hard time saying dry? looong story. gross, long story. yuck.
 we were just gross & sweaty all day long. we definitely stayed hydrated though. :)
 ellery tried counting the stripes & calling for the 'zebers'.
 & tarzan-ing for the gorillas with daddy.
 i don't think you understand how hot it was. i guess i best get over that one asap.
aust loved the tiger pacing back & forth & swatting at his ball in the water. he wanted to bring him home. i think that's about as close as he could get to being a cat person. haha.
what a good sport this sweet thing is!
it was a very impressive zoo; we kept marveling that it was free! the walk home was crazy intense but really lush & beautiful. my only regret was on the metro home we passed arlington cemetery & felt like real losers for not even thinking of going there. would have been the perfect way to spend memorial day.