New York

Casey lifting Sofia up to see inside of a coffin at the Egyptian exhibit at the Metropolitan.Sofia was obsessed with holding Marcelo. He is one seriously cute little baby.Sofia outside while the today show is being shot inside.Our mommy/daughter dayInside the American girl store. Sofia was beyond excited!Time square.Me and Laurie in the West Village. On our way to listen to listen to some Jazz.Outside of the Metropolitan at the Egyptian playground.Minutes away from trying the best cookies I have ever eaten in my life.

Sofia and I went to New York City on New Years Day to visit the Gonzalez family and to have special time together. It was such a wonderful trip. A trip that I will never forget. Here is what we did broken down in days:

Wednesday: We arrived to JFK at 6:30 in the morning after a red eye flight. We took a bumpy taxi ride to the Gonzalez apartment in upper Manhattan. We relaxed for awhile and then headed out in the city to walk around. We finished the night with food from the Dominican Republic.

Thursday: Thursday was our special mommy/ daughter day. Sofia and I took the subway to Rockefeller Center. We walked around while the Today show was being shot in the background and then headed to the American Girl Store. This store was a 7 year olds’ dream come true. Sofia saved her money to buy a doll. We spend time exploring the store, and she finally decided that she wanted the Addy doll. We took Addy and headed over to the cafe for lunch. The cafe has special seats for the dolls and pretend food is brought out for them. There is a game to play at the table, and this part of our trip I think was a dream come true for Sofia. She had so much fun. We then walked over to see St. Patrick’s cathedral and then over to time square. Next was Mary Poppins. Mary Poppins was so amazing. Let’s just say that even though Mary Poppins isn’t known for being a tear jerker, it had me in tears. I just felt so happy and grateful to be sharing that time with Sofia. There were squeals of delight coming from children and adults in the theater, and I will never forget the look on Sofia’s face when Mary Poppins flew through the audience at the end or when Bert tap danced on the ceiling. It was so great. We headed back to the Gonzalez apartment. Laurie and I walked around her neighborhood after the kids went to bed.

Friday: Friday we went to the Natural History Museum with Laurie and kids in tow. Sofia said that her favorite part was the Native American section. We then headed out for some NY pizza, followed by the best cookie I have ever eaten in my life at Leavain bakery. It was the gooiest and most delicious cookie ever. We went home with the kids, rested a little and then Laurie, Casey, and I headed out to eat and to listen to Jazz. We roamed around after and stayed up late talking.

Saturday:We all went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. If I had been on my own, I could have spent a couple of days there, but we weren’t able to stay too long with 5 kids. Sofia was a good sport, but she did tell me after awhile that she was really tired of seeing naked statues :). We headed home and then Laurie and I decided at the last minute to go out again when the kids were getting ready for bed. We were able to get last minute tickets to see “Once”. The music was awesome, and we had a really good time.

Sunday: By Sunday, Sofia was exhausted. We mainly rested up since we flew out that evening. While I was there, Casey had been playing the guitar while I sang, and he convinced me that my New York experience wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t go down and sing in the subway. We went on a walk with the kids and then we ended our walk with music in the subway :). Yes, that was definitely out of my comfort zone, but it was fun :). We headed to the airport after lots of hugs, and we were on our way home. We arrived to PDX at midnight, and after a long drive in  a rain storm (I was praying the whole way home to stay awake and be safe), we were home. I was so excited to see the rest of the family and so was Sofia

Laurie and Casey, you were so generous and hospitable. You treated us like queens. Thank you so much. Laurie, I love you so much and value our friendship very much. My heart is so full of gratitude for having such wonderful friends and such precious time with Sofia. Thank you so much Chris for being a rock star and taking such good care of Miriam and Gabe. I feel blessed to have a husband who  is so amazing with our children. I knew that they were well taken care of the whole time. That about sums it up folks. I’m sure I am forgetting a lot, but it really was wonderful.

Camille - January 15, 2013 - 9:31 pm

I’ve been wanting to visit NYC SO badly lately. I went for a week with a friend to visit my brother who was living there at the time when I was pregnant with Levi, and I had the best vacation of my life. I was worried that I’d be too much of a country bumpkin to appreciate the city, but I was so wrong.

I can’t imagine being in NYC with kids. It seems like that would be a lot more complicated, especially since I thought the best part was all the walking around. I’ve been trying to recruit a travel buddy because my husband definitely doesn’t want to go, but it seems like everyone I know either has a baby or a real serious job. There’s a part of me that’s considering going by myself, but I can’t decide if that would be liberating and inspiring or lonely and uncomfortable. We’ll see if I can make it happen, but hearing people talk about their trips to the city is making me even more agitated.

Kara - January 16, 2013 - 8:54 pm

You need a girlfriend or your mom maybe?? Yes, even country bumpkins can appreciate the city :). NYC with little kids would be crazy. The whole time I was there I kept thinking, “Could I ever live here with small children??” In some ways life seems more complicated, but in some ways it seems more simple. Our friends don’t have a car, so they take the subway or walk places. So nice not to have to strap kids in and spend so much time in the car. I so so hope to be able to go back in the near future.

Laurie - January 22, 2013 - 6:09 am

Dearest Kara,
I cant believe I just happened upon this. I linked from your more recent “happy” post – (sooooo good to read, thank you!) and scrolled down a bit. :):):) It put me into a happy place this morning again. June is on my lap, Marcelo making squeaking noises from the living room and the boys already off to school. Fun pictures! We had so much fun that week. It was a great time for all in our house. The boys were telling some friends about Sofia last week, and your names are so comfortable in our house and come up all the time. I so hope we get to see you again soon. We love you and all the Becerras. Please let your family (Olson/Becerra) know they are welcome to stay here anytime if they are in town.
Huge hugs to all,
Love Laurie

Laurie - January 22, 2013 - 6:13 am

Oh, and by the way. I have a must do for your next trip. I went to a Korean spa for the day really close by in New Jersey (we walked home across the bridge). Ummm…..oh my goodness…wow. Its not luxurious pampering, necessarily, but an intense cultural experience that promotes self-care and positive and healthy body images.

just thinking ahead! xolaurie

kara - January 22, 2013 - 9:50 pm

Oh Laurie,
I love your little kidlets. They are pretty special. Oh, and I’m sure that some Olsen/Becerras would totally take you up on that!!
As for the Korean spa, I could totally use an “intense cultural experience that promotes self-care and positive and healthy body image” :). I am going to have to hear more about that!