Monday, September 9, 2013

NYC and Philly!

The little girls incredible internships came to a close at the end of July 
so I booked a trip to NYC to help them move out of their little 12 X 12 apartment.
Of course, we packed in a lot of fun things which included playing with baby Cheri and Kimber, 
eating at some of favorite restaurants and trying a few new ones,
and shopping at nonother than Cwonder (the store that Brooke interned for.)
It worked out perfectly with Justin and Allie's schedule, 
who were moving into their apartment in Philly the next week.
So after a fun and fabulous few days of packing, cleaning, moving the little girls out, 
eating, shopping and baby Cheri cuddling, we then put Ashley on a plane to Utah,
and Brooke and I took the train down to Philly to help Allie and Justin move into their new apartment.
I use the term "help" very loosely since by the time that we had arrived they pretty much had all the hard work done.
But we put a few items up on the shelves and into the closets, 
which left us time to see the city of Philly and explore the campus of UPenn.
Kimber and baby Cheri came down for a couple of days, which was really fun for all of us.
I feel like helping my kids in some small way when they are 
making moves or changes in their life is one of the greatest rewards of being a mother.
Seeing them grow and change and adapt to new situations and environments
with enthusiasm and excitement, embracing all that life has to offer, really warms my heart!
It was restaurant week so one morning we went over to
Jean Georges The Mercer Kitchen in SoHo for brunch.
Baby Cheri was pretty excited to be at brunch with the big girls.
Although all she ate was plastic keys and a few puffs.
So happy to see my Cwonderful girl, who was still finishing up her internship
so she ran over inbetween all of her many projects that she was completing before the end of the week.
Such a happy baby!
This little one is going to miss Aunt Ash!
And Aunt Ash is going to miss her!
Especially since Aunt Ash gets her out of her stroller and carries her around the streets of NYC.
The view is always better in the arms of Aunt Ash!
Waving to all the strangers that pass by. 
After cleaning up Ashley and Brooke's apartment, we stopped at Shake Shack
 for a well deserved chocolate milkshake, fries and diet coke.
As you can see, Cheri is pretty excited about Shake Shack.
We only let her try the fries but she thought that they were pretty great!
We played in the park with baby Cheri.
This baby girl smiles on cue as soon as you get the camera out.
She is just as photogenic as her mama, but sometimes you can catch her with this little grimace on her face, which I love.
She is spunky and sassy and her little busy personality is adorable!
Definitely her mama's daughter!
As I said, it was Restaurant week so we took full advantage of it and went to dinner one night.
Dinner was fabulous but dessert was probably our favorite part!
Such a fun time with these girls of mine!
After dinner, we headed over to the apartment to clean the place and move the suitcases out for good.
I had to get a photo of these two with their arms spread so that you could see how tiny their little place really was.
Waiting in front of their apartment for the last time with all their suitcases,
boxes and Cwonder bags full of their clothes and other misc. items.
What a summer of fun these two have had together!
I was kind of nervous that they might get on each others nerves a little living in such tight quarters 
and being together 24/7 but they proved me wrong.
They joke that they are kind of obsessed with each other but really they are and it is cute!
The next morning Ashley got on a plane to fly back to Utah to attend a wedding.
We were sad to have her go because she is so fun to have around!
While waiting for Brooke to finish at work one night, we stopped to get a treat a Hill Country BBQ.
I noticed that the special dessert of the day was Double Cherry pie 
and I just had to order a mini pie for baby Cheri to try.
Look at her licking her lips!  Too cute!
She seemed to love it... I'm sure it was a little tart for her, 
but we loved watching her make a funny face but go right back for more.
We took a few pictures outside the building that Brooke worked at on her last day.
And of course, we had to wear some of our favorite Cwonder outfits!
Baby girl is so happy to see Aunt Brooke!
Baby Cheri loves Cwonder's favorite intern! 
We got a picnic lunch and headed to Central Park one afternoon.
Can you tell this girl loves her auntie?!
And she loves to be outside.  
We were so lucky to have beautiful weather the entire week so we took advantage of it and spent as much time outside as possible.

After lunch, we walked over to the Cwonder store located at Columbus Circle.
And look what we found, a lifesize zebra, so we had to take a photo for Cheri's zebra loving Aunt Allie!
And here is Brooke in front of the window at Cwonder at Columbus Circle.
This is what Brooke did this summer, helped design the window displays at Cwonder!
Pretty wonderful, wouldn't you agree!!?
Brooke and I took the train down to Philly on Saturday afternoon to help Allie and Justin with their move in.
Sunday afternoon, we took a walk around UPenn campus 
to see where Justin will be attending medical school.
 It is such a beautiful campus so we stopped... a lot along the way to take... a lot of photos!
 Some photos were serious...
 and some were silly!
 I couldn't be more proud of these two and excited about the adventures that lie ahead for them!
In front of The Wharton School of Business, where Justin will get his MBA.
That is right!  He will get his MD and his MBA at UPenn!
Sure do LOVE these two kids.
And this little bear too!
So many beautiful buildings on the campus of UPenn so we couldn't help ourselves and take more photos.
And a jumping photo in front of Benjamin Franklin seemed only appropriate.
It went so well that we did two!
Walking back across the bridge over the river.
SO proud of these two and so excited for them
 to start this next journey in their lives!
Once Kimber and baby Cheri arrived on Monday morning, we headed to Reading Terminal for lunch.
Cheri was content with just eating her puffs...
and lounging in her stroller.
Brooke had to try the Philly cheesesteak, which she loved.
She only wished that Dad was there to enjoy it with her.
Everything seems to taste better when you get to share a bite with your dad.
Such a yummy lunch and such a fun place, that Reading Terminal!
And we had to top of lunch with some delicious donuts from Beiler's Bakery, an Amish bakery in Reading Terminal.
Walking the streets of Philly together.
Back at Allie and Justin's apartment, we took kind of helped move things in and organize but mostly we just played with baby Cheri.
It's hard not to get totally distracted when she is around!
Love those monogrammed bloomers!  Too cute!
Thanks Mary Martha, they are adorable!
Cheri just made herself at home and started crawling everywhere,
pulling herself up to the furniture and clearing out the shelves.
She's a clever little thing...
and we couldn't get enough of her and could watch her for hours.
She is busy...
but oh, so happy!
And learning how to clap! So cute!
This baby is incredible, the way she still loves to be swaddled just cracks me up.
You just swaddle her up and pop that binky in her mouth 
and she becomes still and calm, ready to go to bed without one peep.
It really is something to see how it relaxes her and she patiently waits to fall asleep.
The only time that she takes a binky is when she is swaddled and falling asleep.
Kimber has that baby well trained!
When baby girl woke up, we headed out to Rittenhouse Square park to picnic.
Nothing cute than a monogrammed baby bum.
These two are so excited to be living closer to baby Cheri!
That smile and those teeth just get me!
She found a blade of grass to play with.  That kept her busy for a while!
Finally baby Cheri and her mama!  Kimber is always taking all the cute photos
so I'm glad that we finally got one with her and that sweet Cheri!
Baby Cheri loves her Uncle Justin!
This girl and her wide mouth smile is just too much!
Back at Allie and Justin's apartment, Brooke entertained Cheri 
while the rest of us hang things up or put things away.
This baby girl loves books!
The next morning, baby girl is wearing her red, white, and blue, ready to eat some donuts.
So we made our way over to Federal Donuts to try them out.
They were incredible, our favorite being brown sugar cinnamon!
That afternoon we said "goodbye" to Allie and Justin and grabbed the train back to New York City.
Back in the city, we stopped to grab Crumbs cupcakes to take with me on the plane.
As you can see, baby Cheri loves Crumbs cupcakes!
Two sweet treats in my arms!  Oh Boy! I am a lucky girl!!
It was a wonderful trip and I'm so glad that I am able to spend time with my kids during these transitions in their lives.
I couldn't ask for a better husband, who held down the fort at home and at work 
while I was away and allows me to spend time with the kids.
I know that it just about kills him because he hates to miss out on all the fun 
and I'd like to think that he misses me a lot when I'm gone.
We generally don't vacation separately because we don't like to be apart 
but now that I'm an emptynester, and don't have kids to come home to,
I have on occasion, gone out a few days early to see the kids or stayed a few days later.
I'm still adjusting to this emptynesting thing and one of the hardest thing is coming home to an empty house.
As much as hate being away from Mark, (even for a day or two, something just doesn't seem right, 
like I'm missing something when he's not there) I really hate leaving the kids.
It's a tough thing to balance and I know that every person, couple and family is different 
but I just want to give Mark a shout out and thank him for being understanding
 and allowing me to sneak in a few extra days with the kids.
It's always hard to tell the kids goodbye and the first part of the plane ride I'm always a little meloncholy 
but then I start thinking about what is waiting for me back in California
 and all the fun things that Mark and I have planned to do together 
and then the rest of the plane ride home I'm anxious and excited, I can't wait to see him.
And I guess that is the way it is supposed to be!


Ashley said...

These pictures are SO cute!!! I'm absolutely dying over them.

Brad and Karen said...

Loved this post...the beautiful baby, the blankets, the kids, the treats - it is all DELICIOUS!