Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Isn't she a cute little witch?  Margo had a change of heart about what she wanted to be for Halloween this year.  Last week she was Bat Girl(one of Lydia's old costumes) for our church's Fall Festival.  By the time the weekend rolled around and it was time to go to another Fall Festival for preschool, she wanted to wear this dress that she found in our dress-up box.  So, a witch it is.

This hat cracks me up.  It has gray stringy hair attached. This was Lydia's witch hat, but Lydia wasn't too fond of it and Margo loves it!  Win-Win! 

We haven't had to buy any costumes this year.  Everything is recycled or out of the closet or dress-up box.  The only thing we've bought is just a few accessories.

Here's Lydia at piano lessons this week.  We practiced with the face make-up.  Tonight she wants it on her neck and hands too! 

Lydi-bug last week before the Fall Festival.  She had her face painted at the festival by a professional and she looked really witchy!

Who needs a broom to ride when your sister has a Green Machine?
Madeline as an 80's girl!

Side ponytail, dangly earrings, off-the-shoulder shirt, fish net gloves, ripped leggings, bracelets, and neon.  Yep, I think she's an 80's girl.

Bat Girl Margo

Ready to go to the Fall Festival

How cute are these cousins?  I hope to get more Halloween pictures tonight.
Happy Halloween!
Enjoy the videos.  The first is Lydia's Halloween performance for parents at piano lessons this week. The second is Margo singing Taylor Swift's new song, We Are Never Ever Ever Getting Back Together.  Margo says she wants to go to a Taylor Swift Concert :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012


David and I spent a few days last week in New York City.  While there, we celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary.  We had planned this trip several months ago.  Luckily we were able to coordinate this trip while the girls were out of school on fall break.  Grandma was up to the challenge to keep the girls for us so we could have a nice getaway.  And for that we are extremely grateful!  {The thought of dragging three little girls through NYC is not appealing to me.  I would love for them to experience it, but when they are much older!}

Our flight landed around noon.  We took a shuttle from the airport to our hotel in Times Square.  That was quite the experience!  We didn't know we were gonna get a free tour of East Harlem! We checked into our hotel around 3pm and then we started experiencing the city.

We bought tickets for a show later that evening and then walked around Times Square, Rockefeller Center, ate some NY pizza, and did a little shopping!

It's probably a good thing the girls weren't with us because we probably would have never gotten them out of the American Girl store.  The girls had picked out some items that they wanted and I was able to honor their requests.  This store has it all!  I was amazed at all the displays, cute doll clothes, accessories, etc. I think even David was impressed by this store (but not the prices).  It's a good thing we had given the girls a price limit for their goodies.  I can see how people could get carried away in this store. 

We were trying to have our picture taken when these knock-off Sesame Street characters hijacked our picture.  We should have known they wanted money! See those bags they're carrying that blend into their costumes?  Yep, they were running up to all the tourists posing with them and then asking for money!

That evening we went to see Chicago!  It was so good.  There were hardly any props used and the orchestra was on stage!  A very different twist, but excellent!

After the show, Times Square had really come to life.  Everything was all lit up and there were people everywhere.  We sat on these red steps that are sort of like bleachers for people to admire the heart of Times Square.  It was neat to see the ball that drops every New Year's Eve.
The next morning we got up bright and early and headed over to Lincoln Square (via subway) to get in line for the Live with Kelly & Michael show.  We had received a phone call a few days prior to our trip saying we had gotten tickets.  We had to wait in line about an hour and a half before being seated in the studio.  It was really neat to see how a live show is done.  Kelly and Michael were very down-to-earth and friendly.  They took time to chat with the audience, take pictures and sign autographs as much as they could during the commercial breaks.  We saw the actor Kevin James, actress Kristin Kreuk and the band The Script. 
After Kelly & Michael we did the NBC Studios tour.  We then had lunch and made a quick pit-stop at our hotel before heading over to Broadway to get our tickets to the Late Show with David Letterman.
Again, this meant a lot of waiting in line and getting pep talks from the pages about how to act, when to laugh, etc, etc, etc.  David and I did somehow manage to get VIP tickets.  We were sitting on the second row of the middle section.  We were directly in front of where Dave comes out and does his monologue.  And we got to see KISS perform.  It was like having front row seats at a KISS concert.  Other guests that we saw on his show were Salma Hayek and Nick Offerman.

After a great show!  We had to snap a pic in front of the Ed Sullivan Theater.  It was neat to be in the same place where so many legends have performed (Elvis, The Beatles, etc.).  Of course, we DVR'd Kelly and Michael and David Letterman and we were able to see ourselves in the audience.  They even got a close-up of David!

That night we went to  Yankee Stadium.  We had not even planned to go to a game, but during lunch that day, David just casually asked if I'd be interested in going to a baseball game.  I think he was surprised when I said yes.  David found some tickets on stubhub in the upper level.  This new stadium is HUGE and really state of the art!  The Yankees were playing the Orioles. We decided to leave a little early to beat the subway crowd.  We were also trying to get to Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Center) before the last elevator went up at 11pm.  We made it and also found out that the Yankees had come from behind to win the game.  Hate we missed that, but we were glad we beat the crowd!

David (Red Sox fan) outside Yankee Stadium.  Glad we got to experience this.

We just did make the 11pm elevator up to the observation deck at Top of the Rock.  WOW!  What an awesome view!  Gorgeous views all the way around.
The next morning we headed over to the Empire State Building.  Here is the view from the 86th floor and observation deck.  We did pay extra to go up to the 102nd floor.  That area was completely enclosed (thank goodness!).

At the Empire State Building.  It was CHILLY up there!

You can tell in this picture that David is cold!

A view of the Chrysler Building from the Empire State Building.

Next up: We headed down to the 9/11 Memorial.

So many emotions.  WOW!

A glimpse of some of the names of those whose lives were lost :( 

One of the Freedom Towers that is currently under construction. The 9/11 museum is still under construction.  I would love to go back one day when that is completed.  We did visit the visitor's center and see some memorabilia.  I had watched several documentaries around 9/11 this year about the memorial and the museum and it was just fascinating.  Each time David and I were on observation decks (Top of the Rock, ESB) I couldn't help but think of those people in the WTC that day who jumped to their deaths.  I can't even imagine!

We took a Water Taxi to Seaport and saw the BODIES exhibition.  It was interesting and creepy at the same time.  We got back on the water taxi and went by the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  They are currently doing renovations to Lady Liberty, so we chose just to view her from the boat. 

That worked out just fine.  We were able to get some great pictures.
That evening we headed over to Brooklyn to have our anniversary dinner at the River Cafe.  I snapped this picture of the Brooklyn Bridge as we were walking to our restaurant.

The view at the restaurant was incredible. The restaurant is located right under the Brooklyn Bridge and overlooks all of lower Manhattan.  The sun was setting just as we were seated.
Another view from the deck of the restaurant.

15 years later!  Our anniversary: 10-11-12!
Here's to many, many more!!!!
My dessert:  The Brooklyn Bridge....a chocolate lover's dream :)

After dinner we went back to the hotel to change and headed over to Central Park for a carriage ride.  We had a wonderful time and packed as much in as we could in just a few short days.  It was nice to come home where things are just a tad bit slower than life in the big city.  The girls were glad to see us.  Even Annie :)
Lydia had this sign taped to the back door when we got home.  The girls had put "welcome home" signs in the windows, too.
I know this post was lengthy, but if you would like to see even more pictures from our trip, click here and here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Camping 2012

Two weeks ago we headed to the Virginia mountains for our annual fall camping trip.

We stayed at Grayson Highlands State Park.

In true Grimes fashion, we arrived after nightfall.  We have become pretty good at setting up the camper in the dark.  Actually, David did that by himself.  My job was to keep the girls quiet since some of our neighbors had already gone to sleep (it was around 9pm).  The girls were very excited, so I just kept them in the van so their squeals wouldn't wake everyone!

The leaves had already started to change colors, so everything was beautiful.

We arrived Thursday night.  We got up Friday morning and took Annie to a nearby kennel so we could ride our bikes on the Virginia Creeper trail.
Here we are just before starting our 17 mile journey!  Margo had the best ride in a little pull behind cart!  Friday was a gorgeous day and we are so glad we went then becuase Saturday was very overcast and gray.  Sunday was rainy (we had to take down the camper in the rain).  So we definitely picked the best day to ride our bikes on Friday.

It was an easy, gradual downhill ride.  Madeline and Lydia did great!

There were several stops along the way.  We even stopped and had lunch at a really good cafe.

We stopped about four times for breaks, leg stretches, snacks, lunch, etc.  Here are the girls in front of the Creeper Trail sign at one of the stops.  I'm so proud of Madeline and Lydia for doing this trail.  They hardly complained (which is HUGE)!  We all had sore bums towards the end of the ride.  This was one of the best family outings we have ever done and I would highly recommend it to other families.

Heading back to our campsite Friday evening....the sky was so pretty.
Annie loves to camp.  Annie just loves being with her family :)  She did great at the kennel while we did the bike ride.  But was she ever glad to see us!
As you can see, she is just a little bit spoiled!  HaHa!!!
Sitting at the table in the camper with Madeline having breakfast.

Back at camp on Saturday evening starting a fire and just hanging out.

The fire master!  Lydia got her dadddy's firebug gene.  That child was all about the campfire!

Madeline took this picture of us. 
Another great Grimes family camping trip in the books!