so, most of you know ...

Monday, January 4, 2010

that we took a trip to NYC for Christmas and since november it's been a whirlwind planning for the trip and going.  it was quite an adventure, so to avoid repeating myself to everyone here's the story of

The Gautreaux's take New York
by storm (literally)!

friday morning seemed like any other typical morning, we ate breakfast, went off to school, i volunteered at seth's school reading for a winter activity, came home finished cleaning the house and packing for the trip, flipped on the news and voila biggest blizzard to hit the northeast in years headed to new york.  now really what are the chances.  we never go on trips like this, was i supposed to take this as a sign.  so i called continental, sure enough flight cancelled from new orleans, la to newark, nj.  continental rescheduled us to a different flight that worked out arriving at pretty much the same time saturday, but on a bigger plane going to houston, tx then on to newark, nj.  no problem right.  we went to bed with visions of new york and rockettes dancing in our heads.  got up real early, headed to the airport, checked in, bags - no charge - awesome!  got to the gate to find out our houston flight was still okay, but they closed all flights to the northeast.  what did that mean we would be stuck in houston.  now i have nothing against houston, but i've seen it enough times and don't really want to spend my holiday there.  so matt @ the gate tried really hard to reroute us.  he did a great job, he was of course a little taken by our sweetie, Claire, who kept insisting that she was having "a new york birtday partay"  and we were scheduled to see the christmas spectacular @ 9AM on sunday. 

the only flight he could get us on was from houston to dallas and then dallas to newark the next day arriving at 11PM.  we took it and later found out thank God we did, b/c some who didn't get on that flight were stranded for days.  so we got on the plane to houston with the kids being very excited about their first plane ride.  each picked a flight to be on by the window.

Hunter's eyes lit up at take off and Claire was in awe about how high we going up.
So we landed in Houston that afternoon, stayed overnight at the hilton with nice little overnight packs from continental and then woke up to get back to the airport again, off to dallas, then on to newark.
not so bad right ... well didn't expect that radio city would tell us we couldn't exchange our tickets or get a refund, but our hotel was more than gracious to assist us anyway they could.
so that night we arrived in newark, nj in 2-3 feet of snow.  the kids while waiting on the shuttle went out and play in the snow.  well the shuttle never showed and we had to get a refund and take the bus, not realizing they would just drop us off at the bus terminal and we would have to get a taxi to the hotel @ 1AM.  needless to say when we arrived all i was thinking of was getting rid of all our luggage, it was a pain in the neck to lug that around (10 bags, jackets, 1 stroller, 1 booster seat, and 5 bodies).  the taxi driver and bus driver before almost wrecked.  so, it was a nice surprise to arrive and get a discount of $45 off our bill a night.  this hotel rocked, hotel beacon is great, very friendly, helpful staff, wonderful location in upper west manhattan.  our room was great, the bed divine, though we were really tired that night, so it might have been some delerium setting in.

there was the beacon theater next door, deli's all around, starbucks on the corner, 24 hour pharmacy around the corner, central park 3 blocks down, and so much more.
we had a kitchen as well in the room and it worked out great with the market across the street.

though, i need to mention this market is like no market or store we are used to.  you know how you always get one of those recipes that you can't find the ingredients for, well i'm telling you this market had all of that.  The Fairway Market took some getting used to and though i couldn't walk out with more than a few items b/c of walking (as i was informed by one man who looked at my basket 1/4 full and said "wow you have a lot there, not walking I suppose.", i preceded to put things back when i realized.)  we did great and saved a lot.  prices were not as bad as i thought, maybe $1-$2 more than we pay.  i thought everything was quite reasonable for nyc, but i seriously had to improvise when no one could tell me where the velveeta cheese was. (their cheese section pictured above)
our first day of course had to be spent in the snow, so we walked to central park.  the kids were amazed by the buildings and how some people lived "underground".  the buildings were beautiful and i could have just stared at them for hours.

we got to central park and of course had to start throwing snowballs and making snow angels and claire really got into it, but could only manage to throw snow.

I don't think you can go wrong with any shot you take in central park or
anything involving snow for that matter.

caught these along our walk, so then as we exited the park, we looked right and saw the american museum of natural history, so we walked on in to soak up some of the warmth (it was 17 degrees our first day, but still doesn't compare to our cold here).

we probably should have spent a whole day and night here, but the kids were worn out as you can see from the pics.  this was the coolest display, the whale was gigantic.  it was really difficult getting a good picture b/c the lighting was so different in each room and i'm definitely no pro.  the museum had 4 floors to it, but the boys favorite part of course was the dinosaurs.

of course last but not least we hunted this one down and he was quite popular, b/c everyone was taking pictures in front of him.

after we breaked from here and learned to never eat inside of a museum again (too expensive and stale).
we walked back to the hotel.  seth and i ventured out for awhile and found a few stores and this along the way.  how beautiful, trees on the street?

after we came back we made our first trek of many to the famous 72nd sub station and rode the subway.  though it was a bit scary b/c of the busy bustle and fast trains, it was thrilling to the kids and when we got on the street and showed them the grating and told them that the trains were right underneath us, that just heightened the experience.  it was actually pretty easy getting around and we didn't once feel unsafe.

took the subway downtown to the rockefeller center and the sights were absolutely gorgeous.  we didn't get to ice skate, b/c the lines were crazy long by the time we got down from the top of the rock and it was getting pretty cold.

now i have to say the best thing about the top of the rock was the line, strange as that may be, the lines in new york usually go by quick and they entertain you along the way.  it began with the swarovski crystal chandelier, up the stairs and into the line around the center exploring all the history.

i can't imagine being this high and not being scared.  they are just chillin like 800 feet in the air.  while we walked around we took a picture on one of these and below us was a computer simulation of people working on the skyscraper the kids loved that.
we then got into the elevator to go 70 floors up to the top of the rock and boy was that more interesting than we anticipated.

it was definitely cold way up there and when we went to the top, top i had to hold onto my hat.  i'm not big on heights but this was actually done where i felt safe.  the glass surrounded the entire perimeter.  we then explored more inside and hunter loved this part.

try as i might i couldn't get a photo of this, so i stole one, but when you walked in, it picked up where you were and labeled you with a color.  the entire room responded to sound & movement with lights and sound.  definitely, one of the coolest things the boys saw.
hunter also said he loved the crystals.

the entire center would probably take days to tour, it's a like 50 of our malls in one.
we then headed home to the beacon to rest once again.
so that ends day one

to be continued ...


  1. That was certainly an adventure and that was just getting there. You took a picture of a big rock in Central Park. My cousin Verena and I sat on that rock when we were kids visiting our aunt in NY. You visited so many places that I remembered from our jaunts into the "city." That's what the kids on Long Island called it. It made it seem so mysterious. Most were too scared to go. I loved it.

    Can't wait to read more.

  2. Ok I have never had a yearning to visit New York besides for the artsy shopping areas but you totally just made me want to visit at Christmas time some year! LOVE your pics and story to go with :)So glad you were able to get there!!


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