Highlights of New England: Day 9, October 3, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

We woke up to the sounds of Graham fussing and Campbell playing in her bed.  Before long Anderson was complaining about the lights and Reagan was sighing as she pretended to be asleep.  We packed up and headed to breakfast.  As we finished up, Robby went to load the car as we grabbed a few more bites.  Of course, as soon as we sit down in the car, Reagan or Anderson is asking us for a snack or something to drink. 

This morning adventures took us first to Hoboken, New Jersey.  The traffic wasn’t too horrible-or maybe it was-I just can’t remember.  We stopped at a rest stop so we could potty before we got into the city and it took us forever to get back on the right road.  Once we arrived, we had the hardest time finding a parking spot.  They were having a street festival, right outside the door of our first stop.  I was beginning to think that we wouldn’t be able to find a parking spot after we circled for the longest time.  We finally just decided that we should go ahead and park in a garage so we did that and walked to the festival.

We made it to Carlos’ Bakery (from TLC’s Cake Boss) and I was delighted that it was open (remember last Tuesday when we came and the bakery was closed-and we had even found the best parking spot ever).  They were only letting so many people in the bakery at a time but it was still pretty crazy inside.  I would compare it to a mosh pit.  The kids did fine but they were pretty antsy as we waited for them to call our number.  Unfortunately, the longer that we stayed in there, the more things we found that we wanted to buy.  Here was our order-small cannoli, 3 chocolate chip cookies, 3 m&m cookies, 3 pink heart cookies, 2 Elmo cupcakes, 1 Cookie Monster cupcake, 3 peanut butter cupcakes, and a piece of crumb cake (that serves 4-6).  Hmm, that seems like a lot when you write it down but let’s just say all that is left is 1 cupcake, 4 cookies and a tiny bit of crumb cake and an empty wallet. 

After leaving the bakery, we walked down the street and found an empty spot to sit and enjoy the atmosphere.  Robby and Anderson had hot dogs before their baked goods and Graham and Reagan had a few bites of hot dog.  Anderson has become quite the hot dog eater-I need to start buying them again.  We ate quite a bit of our bakery purchases and then wrapped it up for an afternoon snack. 

We didn’t have far to go as we headed to Staten Island.  On the way there, Anderson asked if we were going to be on this trip forever-to him it probably feels like we have been gone forever.  The kids enjoyed talking to Jason on the phone today and wishing him a Happy Birthday.  I know that they really miss their toys too-Reagan keeps telling me all of the things that she should have brought on the trip. 

We drove right to the ferry and found good street parking.  As we were leaving some ladies came and were trying to parallel park behind us.  They asked Robby to move up a little so they could have more room and he obliged.  Then they had to have him help them try to get in the space-the car wasn’t going to fit.  He tried to tell them and I just couldn’t look.  Finally, he said that he had to go but it wasn’t going to fit at all.  They had even changed drivers in the middle of all of this-obviously they weren’t experienced parallel parkers.  The space was small and only a native New Yorker could get their car in there.  They drove off and Robby jumped in the car and backed up a few inches so he could have plenty of room to get out.  We aren’t native New Yorkers and this parallel parking stuff can be difficult!

We walked to the ferry and made it just in time to catch one.  It was a beautiful day for a boat ride and Graham was so, so very excited about being on the boat.  We tried to stand outside (there was only a small outside space) but it was quite windy since we were in the front of the boat.  The view was amazing-the NYC skyline and going right pass the Statue of Liberty.  The kids really couldn’t see too well this time since we were inside.

When we arrived we decided to walk outside for a bit.  We snapped a few pictures and walked through Battery Park.  Then we turned around and headed back to the ferry.  This time the crowds were much thicker.  The boat could probably hold 500 and it wasn’t near full-I can only imagine it on a weekday morning filled with commuters. 

This time we found a perfect spot-outdoors and at the back of the boat.  The kids were so excited to see Lady Liberty.  Reagan made it her job to probably show it to Campbell and Anderson showed it to Graham.  Reagan said that she wanted to go back and go up the crown (also on Robby’s bucket list) and Anderson said that he couldn’t remember climbing to the top!  And before I knew it, Reagan and Anderson had decided that we would do that next year.  I had to remind them that most children don’t come to NYC two years in a row.

We disembarked, found the bathrooms and then headed to Pennsylvania.  Before too long we were in Philly at Dalessandros-a philly cheese stake place recommended by Les.  We were here last year too and Robby made sure that we had at least one hotel near Philly so we could drop by for supper.  Except it’s a cash-only place and after all the tolls we paid today and this week, Robby wasn’t quite sure he would have enough cash to pay for supper. But this place was a bargain – two huge cheesesteak sandwiches for only $12. We even had leftovers.   The kids ate quite a bit of their cheese stakes but they really loved the pickles and Robby loved the crushed red peppers.  The kids also enjoyed sitting up at the bar stools too.

As we drove to the restaurant, we went through this beautiful old neighborhood.  The houses were were bigger than any I think I had seen and they were all very, very old.  It was really neat.  On the way home, I saw something in the air and couldn’t figure out what it was.  Robby finally figured out that it was a blimp from the Eagles football game.  Then he realized that the game was almost over and we better drive fast so we didn’t end up in the game traffic…and the gps kept taking us closer and closer to the blimp so we must have been getting closer and closer to the game.  We did make it to the hotel without getting into too much traffic.  It is a Marriott Courtyard and we are on the first floor, by the door and near the ice machine and laundry (even though we aren’t doing any tonight)-you couldn’t ask for a better room. 

The kids played and played once we unloaded.  We didn’t bring in any toys but they played campfire (the blanket was rolled as a sleeping bag and their sleeping bags were used as fire wood for the fire), princess (the bed spread was used as a cape and the chairs were used for thrones) and they also played with the new foam trains that they were given at the street festival in Hoboken.  Finally, Graham was too tired to play anymore and we went to bed while Reagan and Anderson watched a movie and opened up a prize.  Campbell sat in the floor and played until she almost fell asleep sitting up. 

One more day: Baltimore and burgers in DC.

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