So shortly after the Fourth of July weekend we had family in town and apparently that's all it takes for me to get rather behind. So here is to the rest of July!

We continued our Independence Day celebrations on Sunday where a bunch of us got together and set up little spot at Riverside Park overlooking the Hudson to view the Macy's Fireworks (apparently Macy runs all holiday festivities in this city). We were a little concerned about everything working out with the crowds and late night, but it worked out perfectly and we had tons of fun.
 The family in front of the Hudson at sunset
The boys: Mack, Jackson, Tyler, Ryder & Ty

Since Phil got Monday off of work, I finally decided it was time to do something that actually had to do with our Nation's Independence :) and so we took the Staten Island ferry across to view Lady Liberty, herself. We also enjoyed our second trip to Costco in a week AND Phil and Ryder took another visit to Ryder's favorite place in NYC, The Children's Museum of Manhattan.

 Our view from the ferry


 Ryder at the museum

Later that week, we did make the Today Show outing. No worries, I'm sure we weren't on TV. I decided waking up at the crack of dawn to go wait for a couple of hours isn't really conducive to entertaining two children. BUT, I did see Meredith and my friends Amber and Claire who got there about a half hour earlier than me did get scanned by one of the I can't say the same for them about their big national TV debut. We also went to Magnolia Bakery where I enjoyed a delectable red velvet cupcake and then took another visit to FAO Schwartz. Oh and a little tippy tip. If your at FAO Schwartz when they open, one of the employees dressed as a soldier comes out and dramatically announces they're open and then as you enter the employees are all lined up along the sides of the entry and clap...kinda like your in a parade. We loved it (well, I loved it). I felt so special. ~Sigh~

 Myself, Ryder and Claire and Nora hangin' with the Today Show crowd

 Mack, Ryder and Ty waiting for the store to open

Penny Rae at the Today Show with a fan promoting the movie "Despicable Me". Steve Carell was the guest for that day


I've gotten a little behind on tracking our outings of late. But before I do so...


I feel so grateful to live in you, and even though I feel more like a live in foreign country right now, I'm so grateful for all the liberties that are ours.
Side note: Something tells me there is young man inside that Mickey Mouse costume attempting to show eager tourists that he's got dignity...perhaps just and ounce or a shred, but dude, he's still got it. 

Now, where were we. Ah yes, our outings of late...
Last weekend, we hung out with our friends Aaron and Amy (Aaron is also interning with AmEx this summer.) Phil and Aaron graciously took the kids to the Bronx Zoo so the ladies could go wander around SoHo.
 Here is Ryder and Piper in-front (relatively speaking) of some giraffes. 

 And here is Ryder before the feature Dora and Diego 4D experience! I know. Exciting. Besides how could anything not be totally great while wearing glasses like that?

Phil insisted on taking the camera (kind of like my outing wasn't even close to being as exciting as the kids and the zoo. Probably right.) But if I did have the camera, I would have taken pictures of the following events:
  • Amy and I's expression after she got off the subway and the doors closed, leaving Penny and I still on it. No semblance of wits, no yelling of plans, just expressions of shock and awe. Luckily, the doors opened again. Phew.
  • The trying on and purchasing of Ray Ban knock-offs. I will come home with modge-podge of sunglasses. It's a matter of fact. I am a street vendor's dream.
  • Eating coconut helado (it's Spanish for ice cream) while trekking through Central Park. Most delicious dollar you will ever spend in NYC. And I don't even really like coconut.

This morning we decided to kick off our Independence Day Weekend by visiting...

Can you guess???

I know what you're thinking--The Statue of Liberty?

Here's a clue:

Yup, we decided to visit NYC's real and true symbol of liberty:

The Empire State Building!

I know. So there's no connection, sorry. Come to think of it the Lady Liberty would've been a good idea...owell. 

But we were able to see this:

And take these:

And have this:
Move over Meg and Tom! 

There. Now it's like you've been there except you didn't have to spend $40 and wait in line for an hour and a half :)