Exploring would require some good energy, so we started with a very hearty breakfast at the restaurant adjacent to our hotel - the Viand Cafe. We felt a real sense of neighbourhood in this cafe: young couples with their trendy strollers for their designer-dressed toddlers, lattes and eggwhite omelettes- and the food - well, there was an awful lot of it. Which I was pleased (or depending how you look at it, appalled) at how easily I was able to scarf down the outrageously proportioned vegetarian frittata. Better to focus on the fact that the girlie who is a notoriously picky eater, was able to finish her French toast.
Our proximity to Central Park was fantastic. We were able to enjoy the walk to this oasis of green in the city. I know that Central Park is massive, but you really have to experience first hand to appreciate the enormity of it.
Strawberry Fields and the quiet tribute to John Lennon:
Picture of me blocking the famous Central Park Angels of the Waters fountain featured so prominently in movies and TV:
It was meant to be a leisurely day, but we decided to have an ultimate destination. So the loose plan was to visit the Central Park Zoo. It took us a good couple of hours, where we squeezed in a bit of rock climbing ...
but we finally found it ...
What a great little zoo. Even my Xbox addicted boy could find charm in the animals, proving that there's still a little boy to be found after all.
The zoo was at the base of Central Park, where it merged with Mid-town NYC. Whereupon we hit another institution...
So I'll let you in on a little secret... the best strategy for taking kids to FAO Schwartz' famous store and avoiding bankcruptcy? Take them at the end of a long day of walking. They were almost too tired to go in! Mean mummy - but I had to be, because, gulp, American Girl was still on the itinerary at some point during our stay. However, there was still enough energy to appreciate the array of Ugly Dolls:
By this point of the day, most were tired. We hailed a yellow cab and headed to the hotel. Back in the room, I got the kids settled in for Cartoon network so the hubs could have a snooze and more importantly, so I could attack the Loehmann's across the street for a bit. A very sweet, convenient discovery indeed. For there's always enough energy for this mom to shop for fashion - especially at some 40% -50% off already reduced Loehmann's prices.
Shopping for mommy? Why of course! I scored on a silk Cynthia Steffe dress, a Parasuco tartan shirt, a cute Harajuku Lovers Tshirt, Max Studio top, & Pure DKNY Tee for the summer ...all for about the equivalent of an American Girl Doll. I do miss my Fashion Fridays.
For dinner that evening, we headed around the corner to Josie's, where the food was wonderful, and the bartender poured a little too mean a drink. I think I had the boy a bit concerned, and the hubs had to put his hands up to tell me to "timeout" and stop my chatter for just 60 seconds. I can be rather loquacious when happy - the boy counted the word "Zabar's" about a dozen times while I quaffed a wicked martini. (We never did get to that famous market this trip, despite me going on and on and, apparently on again about it!)
I wasn't actually drunk. After a refreshing walk back to the hotel, I took a quick 10 minutes snooze once in our room, and woke up refreshed to get the kids to bed, knowing full well that we had a very busy and early start ahead for Tuesday.
The American Museum of Natural History awaited.