The Last Summer Trip

Our last summer trip started several days earlier than planned. After processing and freezing 4 dozen ears of corn, I remembered to call my mom and ask about the tomato farm near her house. (That was on Saturday afternoon.) Turns out it was the first weekend they were allowing picking and they only were open on the weekends. Hmm. With our schedule, that would mean we weren't free to go go tomatos for 3 weeks. I was afraid we'd miss out because so many people had lost their tomatos to blight and would be buying them - just like us. So the girls and I were off. Sunday we picked 5 bushels of tomatos and 1 of eggplant/green peppers.

All day Monday and Tuesday we peeled, chopped, pureed and bagged lots of tomatos. 2 of the 5 were mine and I brought home SO many tomatos. I was very glad to be done. Wednesday, the girls stayed with my parents and I came home to get Josh. The big trip was almost here! Thursday we drove to Long Island. The weather was beautiful when we got there and the girls were able to play in my aunt's pool all evening.

Friday we went to the Atlantis Marine World Aquarium. The girls got to see sharks up close, feed stingrays and sand sharks, walk through a bay filled with crabs and get little airbrushed tattoos. It was a great place. There will be photos of that day on my Flickr. That evening, my aunt had a barbecue with some family and friends. The girls had a blast, were polite and well-mannered - happy times all around.

Saturday finally arrived. The original plan was to go to the Museum of Natural History then the American Girl store. We realized that there wouldn't be enough time to do the Museum justice when we saw the train schedule. The decision was made to go to FAO Schwartz and Rockefeller Center instead. We arrived in Penn Station, loaded into a minivan cab (pics to come - it was pretty squished!) and headed off for the girls first look at New York City. After a stop at a hot dog cart for a snack, we were off to the toy store.

We had a great time in FAO Schwartz. I couldn't get over all the cool toys. Make your own Muppets?! How fun! But my girls headed straight for the Barbies.

(Outside FAO with a toy soldier)

Now before I go any further, you need to understand that my aunt loves to shop. More than any person I know. And she has sons. Her sons have sons. Last week, her daughter-in-law finally had a girl but shopping for a 2 week old isn't nearly as fun as watching 3 chatty girls run through isles of pink. My girls were highly spoiled but thankful and polite the whole time.

Okay so at FAO the girls were told they could each get one thing. Well. One thing turned out to be a new collection of Barbie dolls and clothes. We then realized why we wanted my dad and Josh to come. Sharing the memory was great but we needed them to carry bags and boxes! After a stroll through the city, we stopped at the Rock Center Cafe for some coffee. We took lots of photos of the gold statues near the ice rink, so the girls will remember at Christmas time that they had ice cream right there.

Then it was time. American Girl. The store was amazing - 4 stories. The cafe was beautiful. They catered to Alyssa and her allergies, making sure she felt special and included. Then they shopped. Oh my. Molly and Felicity are now sleeping on beautiful beds, in pajamas that match Lael and Alyssa. Too cute. Lauren also got a bunny robe and matching slippers for her and her baby doll.

(Daddy and Papa with some of the bags)

After that we went to Times Square and checked out the sights. The girls loved it. Dinner at Ellen's Stardust Diner, followed by a stroll back through Times Square all lit up. It was perfect. We all wanted them to see the city lit up and they did! The ride home on the train was a little hairy with trying to get all the bags on and off, keeping Lauren quiet and trying to settle the girls down.

Sunday morning, we were able to swim a little more and then head back to Nana and Papa's. By Monday when it was time to come home, we were all exhausted. I think everyone is still recovering a bit from all the late nights and excitement.

There will be pictures on my Flickr later today and more coming soon. Now I'm off to prep for a Moms Cadre small group meeting. Later today, Lael starts her guitar lessons. It is September! Off we go.