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Monday, September 29, 2014

Snapshots: Our First Family Vacation to New York City

Here is a small slice of the photos we took of our adventures in New York City. We did so much but our highlights were Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park and FAO Schwartz. Enjoy! For more info on our itinerary (including everything we did and ate), check out this post.

Vacation stats
Number of days in NYC: 7
Number of dangerous cab rides taken without a carseat: 8
Number of bicycles rented: 2
Number of pants Mom packed for herself: 1
Number of cronuts consumed: 4
Number of pizza slices consumed: 10
Number of times someone complimented Parker's hair: lost count
Number of bagels consumed: 0
Number of parks visited: 4
Number of souvenirs bought: 2

Day 1


[Parker was captivated by the brightly lit buildings surrounding Bryant Park.]

Day 2


[Tuan and Parker walking down Lexington Ave outside of Central Station. Parker was such a champ during this trip and napped just about anywhere and everywhere. Thank goodness we weaned him off of warm bottles before this trip!]


[The view of the Empire State Building. Can you spot Times Square and Bryant Park?]

Day 3


[The blue whale at the American Museum of Natural History. So amazing.]


[Parker ran from exhibit to exhibit saying "Wow!" In my mind I was thinking, "We have all these animals at the San Diego Zoo and they are ALIVE" but there was no putting a damper on his excitement. His reaction to this magnificent museum was too precious for words.]


[Tuan's favorite part of the AMNH was the hall of dinosaurs. How awesome is this T Rex? All the halls were very busy on the day we visited because it was raining out and this is a great place for indoor fun. I do have to say that the bathrooms were really hard to find!]

Day 4


[Breakfast at Norma's at the Le Parker Meridien. Something happened during this trip and Parker made this face every time we told him to cheese.]


[My yummy nutella filled pancakes. We didn't eat nearly as much as I thought we would and I didn't feel guilty at all for indulging in delicious foods since we easily walked 4 miles a day.] 


[After our big breakfast, we attempted to bike through Central Park but Parker was NOT having that. He basically screamed his head off until we returned the bikes. After he stopped crying, he really enjoyed running around the park and feeding the pigeons.]



[Bethesda Fountain]



[Getting up close and personal with a bubble artist in Central Park]


[Rowing on the lake. So much fun even though Tuan started feeling motion sick after 10 mins.]


[Row boats on the lake]



[We grabbed some food at Le Pain Quotidien and ran around Sheep Meadow, Amazing views of the skyline on a beautiful sunny day. People were sunbathing in their bikinis in the park which was so funny to see since we have gorgeous beaches for that sort of thing in San Diego.]


[Look, Mom! I picked the grass!]

Day 5 


[Ahh the moment had arrived. I've been wanting to try a real cronut from the Dominique Ansel Bakery since the creation of the cronut. We made sure to pre-order our cronuts online to avoid standing in the crazy line that I can confirm does exist months (cronuts were introduced May 2013) after this thing has been released. My opinion?  The bosc pear and sage cronut was overly sweet. We ordered 4, because we are crazy people, when we should have only ordered 1 and split it. The pastry was flaky and beautiful but I just couldn't handle the sweetness. Also, the thing is impossible to bite through. You have to eat it with a fork and knife. I'm happy we were finally able to try it though!]



[One of my highlights was walking The Highline. How awesome it is to have a beautiful lush garden/park where an old train track used to lay? Construction was booming on either side of The Highline park and it is obvious that part of town is going to be a very desirable place to live. Elevators were available to handicap and stroller access even though one was out of service during our visit.] 





[After we left The Highline, we walked to Chelsea Market to grab some lunch. Chelsea Market was not on our original itinerary but I'm so glad my friend Raina told us about it. There is so much good food there! I wanted to try everything. There are also shops stocked my local artists and craftspeople. Such a cool place to check out. We saw at least 2-3 food tour groups while we were there.]




[This roast beef sandwich from Dickson's Farmstand was one of the best things I ate the whole trip.]



[The meat display at Dickson's Farmstand. All I could think was, "I wish we had access to a grill."]



[Lobster display at the Lobster place. I was already pretty full but managed to make space for a cup of the best Clam Chowder I've ever had.]


[Parker made this face pretty much the entire time when we visited FAO Schwartz. It was toddler heaven. Floor after floor stocked with every toy you can imagine. Little man ran from one display to the next saying "Want this! Want this!" We ended up getting him these Funny Magnet Robots from Janod which were fun to play with on the plane ride home.]




[After staying at FAO Schwartz long after they closed (sorry!), we stopped for pizza at Grimaldi's. The pizza was just as delicious as everyone claimed and I'm glad we didn't have to travel to Brooklyn for it. Parker was really tired so I wore him in my Tula baby carrier while we ate.]

Day 6 


[We had dim sum at the Golden Unicorn for breakfast. Nothing that memorable so I'm not going to bother writing about it.]


[One grumpy baby on the Brooklyn Bridge. He was really sleepy and after a little bit of protesting, fell asleep in his stroller.]


[Hey people! Just because it's a bridge doesn't mean you have to put locks on it.]



[Wafles and Dinges after our walk on the Brooklyn Bridge. A scoop of ice cream on top of the wafel? Sure why not.]




[This is one happy husband!]


[Tuan and Parker sharing a moment after we ate the world's greatest steak for 2 at Peter Luger's. Seriously. I cannot make this stuff up. This was the most perfect steak either of us have ever eaten. Hands down the best meal we had during our trip.]


[After dinner, we cabbed it to the Brooklyn Bridge Park and stopped by the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory for dessert.]


[The views of Manhattan from the Brooklyn Bridge Park  are insane. Well worth the train ride to Brooklyn. Thank you random Japanese tourist for taking this photo of us.]




[Catching the F train back to Rockerfeller Center.]


[View from Rockerfeller Center. It was pretty chilly being up that high at 9:30 PM but we went because we felt compelled to do it. All the employees were cranky and I wanted to call at least 2 of them out for being a**holes.]


[Love this photo of Central Park from the top of Rockerfeller Center. It gives you a really good visual of how massive the park really is.]


Day 7


[This photo looks so gross but this chicken liver toast from The Spotted Pig was the best thing we had off their menu. Everything else we ate was just alright. I think I would have been disappointed if I had to wait in a 2 hour line for this meal.]


[Jazz musicians in Washington Square Park]


[The arch at Washington Square Park. This was the last place we visited before heading back to the apartment to pack up and head out to JFK. Until next time NYC! Thank you for welcoming the Nguyens with open arms (sans deodorant) and blessing us with beautiful weather during our first family vacation. We cannot wait to come back!] 



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