Family time is just as good as it gets. Working away from home definitely helps you recognize the sweetness of togetherness. Family time in the big apple is so exciting and something so different from our traditional vacation.

We arrived in NYC way too early on Thursday morning (5:30am) after a torturous red eye flight…we came to the hotel, kicked my mom out to go exercise and the Martin clan slept for a good 3 hours to gear up for the day’s events.

One of the things I love about city vacations is all the walking you do. Feels great to be moving and makes those street vendors all the more enticing knowing you’ll burn more calories through the day than usual. But…walking in 45 degree with a wind chill and four kids in your group poses some challenges. Immediately I bought a hat and gloves for me and gloves for my kids. We came from Arizona and so this change in weather was harsher than we anticipated.

How do you decide what to do in a city with so many options?  Luckily we are here with my brother Lee and his wife Ginger who have vacationed in the city a number of times with their kids and knew the things to do. I have been here quite a few times but it’s mostly for Zumba media and I don’t do the touristy things while I am here, just come and work and usually catch the soonest flight home to be back home to the family, so seeing the city this way has been so much fun. I did come when I was 18 while I was on the Church and US history tour with my Grandparents who were the guest tour guides. I did see the sights but truth be told I didn’t appreciate the sites, history, buzz of the city like I do today.

Some of the fun things we have done:
Walking to Time Square
FAO Shwartz…kids eyes were bugging out of their heads, not to mention the whole FAO Shweetz store which has humongous candy, every kind of sugary treat you can imagine in GIANT size.
Museum of Natural History
Hot dogs from street vendors
ANNIE the Musical
Central Park-enjoying a sunny day in the park. Yes, sunny…it warmed up some. Horay!  Watching the kids play in what they called “Dog Heaven”. They were playing with ALL the dogs in the park. It was adorable. Bridget especially has been an animal lover from day 1. I would catch her running into the streets as a toddler to catch a bird (which scared me to death).I think it’s inevitable…I have to get my kids a dog. It’s something that’s been on their mind for a couple years and we have been putting it off. Who would take care of the dog while we go on trips?
Riding the Subway
Staying up talking with Lee and Ginger til 3am every night
Sleeping in til 10

Last night we put the kids in my mom’s room with a movie and went out on a double date. It was AWESOME! We took the Subway to Little China. I know locals don’t find the Subway all that exhilarating, but for us… it’s all part of the fun. I am a sucker for a good deal so I wanted to buy every scarf, phone case, bag, shirt…but before leaving I asked “What do I need to bring?” and Brian said “Nothing” so that’s what I brought. Nothing…if only I had money in my pocket to get the souvenirs I wanted…but having to “ask” him for money ruined the fun b/c I had to really think about if I needed it, which the answer is no, I don’t need it.

We went to this incredible Thai restaurant and basically licked our plates clean! Then we roamed over to little Italy and had an assortment of devilishly good desserts. It was such a perfect night. Not having to worry if my kids are racing into the street or getting lost lifted about a ton off my shoulders.
My wild card child Bridget did get lost in the Subway for a moment which nearly killed me. While walking back at 1am Lee sees this club that has an 80s cover band and Taylor Dayne (“tell it to my heart, tell me I’m the only one…” remember that song???)  and insists this is the icing on the cake for the vacation. I halfway thought he was kidding but nope, he was going to go whether we joined or now. I had an event the next day and was totally pooped so Ginger and I headed back and Brian and Lee stayed and partied it up. They said it was awesome! Nothing like singing your favorite songs from your childhood til 2:00am.

Gotta run…more details to come.

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