An Accidentally Perfect Day

What I'm learning most in my time in New York City is to embrace the mix-ups and mistakes, because apart from a few sketchy places, wherever you end up... You'll find something worth the trip! I've also learned that if you happen to end up in a sketchy place just act like you know what you're doing and get out of there quick! 
We left the house with a plan, but somehow lost our way and ended up on the wrong side of the East River, in Brooklyn. I had read about the Brooklyn Bridge Park and how it's worth seeing and I'm going to have to agree!! The views of the river and skyline are the absolute best I've seen! And the cherry on top was a distant view of the Statue of Liberty! It was my first view of her and I was beyond excited! (I can't wait to get a closer view sometime!!) on the pier they have a few little cafes and an ice cream place! There are a zillion benches and there were a ton of families with little ones watching the boats go by! I can see Gunner loving that next spring! 
After taking just about a million pictures (and offering to take a picture for a couple who made out for 5 min while I struggled to work their foreign camera...) we wandered through the tree shaded path! I can't get enough of the mixture of urban and natural! We walked down this little path and you'd never have known we were in the middle of New York City! It was beautiful and there were a few hints of leaves changing which just heightened my excitement for our first real fall in a few years! 
Once done exploring we had to figure out how to get back to Manhattan and we had a few choices, East River Ferry, the subway, or walk the Brooklyn Bridge! I mean how could we turn that down? It's about a mile and they have this amazing raised path with even more amazing views of the city! There is also a bike path which I think sounds amazing and I'm dying to do that next time we go! 
Once back in Manhattan we made our way to the new One World Trade Center, which was our original plan! This was our first time in Lower Manhattan and I'd say the pace and energy is even wilder than midtown! After accidently crashing a wedding, admiring some bizarre statues, and being stopped by the NYPD... because my baby is too cute, we entered the financial district.

As we approached the new tower I got a little sentimental. It made the attacks on September 11th feel more personal all of the sudden. However, for me, being down there I felt the power and patriotism more than saddness or fear. Looking up at this new beautiful tower was empowering! It is saying to the world, "You can't hold us back, you can't break us. We will always come back stronger!" We didn't go to the memorial because apparently you reserve the free tickets online and/or wait in a zillion hour line. So we decided to do that when we have visitors or on a day that doesn't start off with an accidental three hour detour! :) But if just wandering around the new tower can bring out such emotion I'm a little scared I won't be able to hold it together at the memorial. 

As we wandered we found ourselves at the edge of the Hudson River! (For those of you who don't know NYC geography, manhattan is bordered by two rivers, the East River and the Hudson River) which meant we had wandered all the way across lower manhattan! I'm seriously wishing I had a pedometer right now because I'm sure we set a new record for miles walked! After admiring the view of the Hudson and New Jersey, we decided to make our way to Little Italy for some grub! 
We walked another mile or so through SoHo and TriBeCa and wound up on the famously delicious Mulberry Street! It was amazing! Almost everything I'd imagined! I'd like to go back when we have more time to explore! As you walk down the street the hosts of the restaurants try to lure you into their place. They tell you , "For your beautiful family we have the most perfect table! Best table in town!" (But in an Italian, fake or not, accent) Gunner was incredibly amused by one man who was rather persistent! Gunner is usually a happy baby but he was full on giggling listening to this man talk! I was dying! 
Once we picked a place we ordered our classic favorites to see if it was really that much better. SPOILER ALERT: it was. Omg. It was beyond delicious. We had Mozzerlla en Corozza(fried Mozzerella), Spaghetti Carbonara, and Gnochi with Tomato Sauce and mozzerella. It was seriously to die for, but we were determined to not get too full because we had walked past a gelato place with a banner that said "Best Canoli's on Planet Earth". Okay... Sounds like my kind of place. So we quickly ordered and downed a dessert at the restaurant, Torta di Ricotta, and headed for the gelato shop. 
I know what you're thinking, TWO DESSERTS? Who are you? But I have a confession. We had three. I couldn't, in my right mind, go to a gelato shop in LITTLE ITALY and not get gelato... But I also couldn't NOT get the best cannoli on Planet Earth. So we got both! That makes for three desserts (or as I like to call them "zertz") but like I said we walked 100 miles so I still felt good about it! 
By the time we finished eating it was time to find our way home and as usual our limited experience with  MTA threw us off! The bus we were going to take wasn't running anymore and we had to get to the subway, which would have been fine except the subway stop is a mile from home, whereas the bus would have dropped us steps from our door.  But when you've walk a thousand miles, what's one more.............. 

Anyways we finally made it home with big hopes of climbing directly to bed, do not pass go, do not collect a hundred dollars, but after a full day strapped in his stroller, Gunner was ready to play! So we put on a movie and Zack and I laid on the ground while Gunner climbed on us and chewed on us and giggled at us. It was maybe my favorite part of an amazing day! If you don't follow Zack on Instagram (@zachariasdpx) you need to because he posted the cutest video of Gunner last night! 

Someone asked me yesterday if I thought Gunner would remember all of this and I said probably not, but I like to think it is somehow shaping him into an adventurous, confident, resilient person! He probably won't remember riding on his dad's shoulders as we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, but I hope that somehow this city becomes part of who he is! 
It was another blessed and beautiful day! I'm so excited for fall and can't wait for our next adventure!!

Love and Miss you guys! 

P.S. As always, this is an open invitation!! Come visit us! When will you have another chance for free accommodations in NYC? 


The Temple, Cupcakes, & Fashion Week

OMG! I LOVE THIS CITY!!! I love my neighborhood, I love my apartment, I love exploring, I love the subway, I love the food.. I love our rooftop, I can only think of like 5 things I don't LOVE and like a million things that I do!

We woke up early early early this morning to make it ward temple day. Turns out they are working on the subway tracks by our house so there were no trains. Oops. So anyways, we ended up hopping on a bus (which was the best because we've been to scared to do it voluntarily, but it basically was our only choice!) The bus was so comfortable and it was an express bus that only stopped a few times before dropping us off steps from the temple! On our way home it literally dropped us at the door of our building. You just can't beat that! Plus, the street noise lulled my baby right to sleep. Seriously, I'm converted to busses!!!

The temple is amazing and beautiful and absolutely one of the most unique temples I've ever been in. Since having Gunner I haven't gotten the courage to leave him long enough to go through a session. Or really I haven't gotten the courage to leave him with anyone but family yet. So, Zack and I have just been taking turns going in and staying out with the boy. It doubles the amount of time we spend going, but it's absolutely worth every second! What an oasis and sanctuary!

Before we left for the day I was hoping I could convince Zack to head down to Fashion Week! I thought it was probably a long shot because he has like zero interest in such things. But, oh my gosh did I luck out because the temple is less than a block from Lincoln Center! WHAT? I know. I was THRILLED. So after some time in the temple we went over and watched as people came in and out of shows. I was like staring down every single person watching for celebs. Didn't see any.. (but of course Zack saw an NBA player I'd never heard of. His name is David Lee and plays for the Golden State Warriors, he was an All-Star last year. At least that's what Zack said. So does that count?)

There were people there dressed SO kooky! It was awesome! Photographers were everywhere watching for celebs and taking pictures of street fashion (AKA people who dress up really fancy or bizarre and hang around waiting for people to take pictures of them hoping to get in a magazine or on a fashion blog.) As Zack and I were leaving we were like omg... how could they not want OUR pictures? I mean really... Then a photographer stopped us.. my heart skipped a beat... and he asked to take a picture of Gunner. I mean at least theres one stylish person in our little family. Hahaha

There were also people handing out samples GALORE!! I was seriously so excited! I wanted to go back like 5 times and get a bunch of bags, but Zack said that would be dishonest and uncool... (ugh.) So, I limited myself to two of each! :) I got like full tubes of tooth paste, face wash, moisturizer, a bag of Lindor truffles, a million hair products, and ZOYA nail polish, People Magazine, 4 lipsticks, and like a million amazing things! It was maybe the coolest thing thats happened to me since moving here. I was so excited! I can't wait for my mom to get here next week so we can go back and see what they're handing out then!

We did a little shopping around, ate lunch, and as we wandered towards the bus stop made a detour for Magnolia's Bakery. It was delish. I was so excited to give Gunner his first taste of cupcakes. I figured, if I'm going to corrupt my baby, it should probably be with a world famous cupcake. As I stood in line I was weighing all my options, not wanting to get him anything to exotic. I settled on vanilla with chocolate frosting and a brownie ice cream sandwich for Zack. I was seriously like giddy at the thought of his face lighting up as he tastes the yummiest thing of his life. When I got out to find him and Zack...HE WAS ASLEEP! I was so disappointed I almost woke him up. Anyways, I ate the whole cupcake myself and my disappointment vanished. I feel like this is why I'm meant to live in New York City! Basically, just to eat the yummiest food on Earth. Good thing we walk like 100 miles a week in this place. I need better shoes! 

We are so lucky to have a baby that loves his stroller, loves people, and loves a good adventure. If we had a cranky or temperamental baby, these long, full days wouldn't be nearly as fun (or possible)!

This is my favorite photo I've ever taken of him!!!!

I seriously am in LOVE with this city. I cannot wait for my mom to get here on Tuesday and hopefully my sister next month! The thought of sharing it with my family and friends is driving me crazy! HURRY UP AND GET HERE EVERYONE!!!! I'm definitely not an expert on anything here, but I am obsessed with each new adventure and discovery (like busses! whats so scary about busses!?) I feel like a student of the city. I'm just soaking it up! So, when I say COME VISIT ME! I absolutely mean it! Anyone, everyone! Please come and be an excuse for us to explore something new!


P.S. I loved the comments last time!! We want more... we want more!