Day 7- Mother Nature Intervenes

We have had fabulous holiday and now, with Mother Nature’s nudge, we have decided it is time to shoot for home.

And, I must say, it will feel extraordinarily wonderful to sleep in my own bed tonight, make a fresh juice in the morning and walk a few less than 17,000 steps tomorrow.

And, now that we have made the camping-rain-call, I feel like a horse for the barn and cannot wait to get home! :)

Day 5- Skate Sesh, Brooklyn and Rain

There is absolutely no way I can motivate my family to camp in the Finger Lakes in the rain. So, when we awakened this morning to an unfortunate forecast, we decided to book a hotel in Binghamton, NY. Fingers crossed that we will awaken tomorrow to a camping forecast.

In the meantime, we spent the day in Foley Square watching Max skateboard, exploring a little bit of Brooklyn, and driving for hours through New York traffic to Binghamton.

Best pics from the day are definitely of my skateboarder…

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Day Four: The One Thing

With a family of five visiting a city full of iconic, interesting and novel things to do, it can be very challenging to make sure that everyone comes away feeling fulfilled and happy. The way we have chosen to deal with this on our trip to New York City is to have each of the boys choose one thing they want to do each day.

This is my fourth visit to New York City and, frankly, I have happily taken a back seat to the three boys for their very first one. There are certainly things that I would like to do in the city but I figure that they can all wait until Simon and I are down here on our own in the future.

And, we have been so enjoying watching the boys fall in love with this amazing city!

IMG_1650As we were planning our day this morning, it was decided that Simon and I would each have some time alone today. As much as we are enjoying our family togetherness, we felt that we each needed a little break from the kids. And so, I took the kids up the Empire State Building this morning and Simon is taking them to the Yankees game tonight.

Zachary was so cute this morning asking me what I would do with my time. He wanted to know what my ‘one thing’ would be…

I hadn’t even dared to hope for my ‘one thing’!

IMG_1682Do you remember a few months back when I told you that Raw Food Real World is my favourite raw food cookbook (in a post called Time With My Guy)? Well, tonight I am at Sarma Melngailis and Matthew Kenney’s restaurant called Pure Food and Wine and I feel as if I am in the middle of a celebrity sighting!

As I was walked through the restaurant out into the back garden a few moments ago, Sarma Melngailis was seated in the restaurant meeting with one of her staff. I so wanted to rush up to her and say…”I just LOVE what you do, I LOVE your book and I now LOVE your restaurant!!!!!

Needless to say, I did not make a complete fool of myself but I sure thought about it!

IMG_1683And so, here I sit on the stunningly beautiful patio in the back of the restaurant with my glass of organic red wine and my beautiful plate of Zucchini and Heirloom Tomato Lasagna. I am pretty sure that the Mint Sundae with Chocolate Mint Cookies and a cup of organic peppermint tea will be my dessert.

Oh, I just could not feel more appreciative to be here on this beautiful patio tonight watching people drift in and out while I savour this delicious food that is nourishing not just my body but my spirit as well!

Who knew that I would actually get my ‘one thing’ on this trip…talk about Radically and extraordinarily happy!!!!!!!!!! :)IMG_1681

Day 3- A Little in Love With Bryant Park

As fun and as exciting as it is…New York City is absolutely exhausting!

IMG_1550I think we have walked the equivalent of the width of Manhattan at least four times today. We have navigated tourist attractions (loved The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum), insane traffic, honking vehicles, Times Square, bicycles, and so many people on the sidewalk it seems almost impossible that we can all actually get where we are going.

By about 5:30 this afternoon the five of us hit the wall. We were cranky, tired and sniping at each other as only families on family holidays can do. All we wanted was a quiet Starbucks with wifi, a bathroom and somewhere for the five of us to sit down and regroup for a little while away from the fray.

Well…that was not to be.

What we did find was a Starbucks attached to the Bank of America building at 6th and 42nd. It had a beautiful atrium with plants and tables for the five of us to sit down quietly and watch the after-work-rush, but…no bathroom.

IMG_1557And so, feeling more than slightly desperate, I left my family sitting quietly and went in search of a bathroom. Apparently, there is a serious dearth of public washrooms at 6th and 42nd and I was out if luck. Unfortunately, when ya gotta go, ya gotta go, so I returned to the Bank of America building and threw myself on the mercy of the security guards at the desk.

Fortunately they were incredibly friendly and forthcoming and directed me to the public washroom in Bryant Park a block away. They happily told me that it is the cleanest bathroom in New York City because it is maintained scrupulously and is cleaned every fifteen minutes.

My experience with park bathrooms is that they are a step up from a hole-in-the-ground and rarely come equipped with both toilet appear and hand soap. At this point, I was far to desperate to care so I headed over to brave the elements.

IMG_1579All I can say is that the Bryant Park washroom sure lived up to its reputation!

It is located in a beautiful old building with a huge floral arrangement in the vestibule, flowers between the sinks, absolutely no garbage on the floors, plenty of toilet paper, hand soap, and even a little green button you wave your hand in front of to get a clean plastic wrap on your toilet seat.

Extraordinary!

IMG_1562When I came out of the bathroom I felt a rush of love for this amazing city and all was right with the world again. And that is when I took a look around me.

Bryant Park is an absolutely beautiful and charming park that takes up a city block (along with the New York Public Library). Huge trees, a ping pong table, a cafe, a putting green, a games area with tables set up for every board game imaginable, a child’s carousel, jugglers and people of all descriptions sitting, walking, meeting friends, and enjoying the feeling of getting away from it all right in the city.

Bryant Park Games (with The Bryant Park Hotel in the background)

Bryant Park Games (with The Bryant Park Hotel in the background)

The boys have headed off to the NHL store before our evening foray into Times Square at night so here I sit enjoying the people watching, the trees, and yet another New York City surprise!

I have decided that when 365 Radical Acts is published and I am in New York City meeting with my publisher, my agent and my editor, I will be staying at The Bryant Park Hotel, which faces the park and, I’m sure, feeds off the fabulous energy of this New York City gem!

Okay, maybe I’m more than just a little in love…until next time then my beloved Bryant Park! :)IMG_1580

Day 2- Loving the Big Apple

What a fantastic day!

Started at 9:00am and got back to our hotel at 10:30pm. No wireless access tonight so today’s pics will have to wait.

What a way to spend a Monday!

Extraordinary…!!!

(Now that we have wireless, here are the Day 2 pics…)

Our favourite scene from 'Enchanted'!

Our favourite scene from ‘Enchanted’!

Can you tell Michael and Zach are fighting? I am laughing and Max is SO not amused!

Can you tell Michael and Zach are fighting? I am laughing and Max is SO not amused!

This is what an exhausted teenager does in Central Park while his brothers run around like lunatics! :)

This is what an exhausted teenager does in Central Park while his brothers run around like lunatics! :)

A quiet moment in Central Park

A quiet moment in Central Park

Move over Tom Hanks...!!!

Move over Tom Hanks…!!!

The view from our ferry

The view from our ferry

On the Staten Island ferry with the Statue of Liberty in the background

On the Staten Island ferry with the Statue of Liberty in the background

Lady Liberty...so impressive up close!

Lady Liberty…so impressive up close!

Freedom Tower in the background

My guys…Freedom Tower in the background

Freedom Tower

Freedom Tower

9/11 Memorial...so moving

9/11 Memorial…so moving

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Last stop of the day...Times Square at night- wow!

Last stop of the day…Times Square at night- wow!

Team G in the Big Apple

New YorkAwakened at 3:00am for our 4:00am departure.

Picked up Max in Pennsylvania and headed to our hotel in New Jersey for a swim and some relaxation.

Headed over the George Washington Bridge for dinner in Manhattan. What a view!!!!

Found a fabulous Japanese restaurant just around the corner from Washington Square. A wander through the square after dinner (with Michael re-living favourite moments from ‘I Am Legend‘!)

It is now 11:00pm and Team G is well and truly pooped!

Goodnight New York…you might not sleep but we certainly will! :)