Friday, 31 October 2014

Our Weekend in Sleepy Hollow


We took a day trip last weekend just north of the city to visit Washington Irving's home, Sleepy Hollow, and the Great Jack O'lantern Blaze. It was a fantastic day! Lyndon planned the whole outing. He is kind of obsessed with the Blaze, but we all kind of are. Cosette has been talking about the "tunnel of love" from the Blaze this entire year. She was so excited to go to the "tunnel of love". Although since it was such an action packed day both kids were pretty tired by the time we reached it. I have been saying all month that we are big fans of Halloween in our house (Me and Coco). Cosette has been watching Curious George's Boo Fest just about every day which was perfect for the outing because it helped her understand The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, which was what the day revolved around. The headless horseman (or Hessian) is known as no noggin in our house.
Our first stop was to Washington Irving's home where we took a tour of the house, saw a puppet show of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow done in the traditional silhouette puppets, went on a spooky walk through the woods next to the house. On the spooky walk we were told another one of Irving's stories, The Devil and Tom Walker. Irving is a fantastic story teller! I really like our guide because he really helped engage Cosette in the story and after the walk was over she told us one of her own spooky stories. She was really inspired.
We then went to the actual Sleepy Hollow! It is a town! I think if we ever move out of the city it will be to there. Such a charming town and the high school's mascot is the horseman. To live in a town that is all about Halloween, what a dream come true for me, haha. There we went to the Dutch Church where we listen to a recitation of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The Dutch Church is the actual church that Irving writes about in the story. Ichabod sees it as he is riding away from the horseman and makes a mad dash towards it. Right in front of it is the bridge that the horseman can not cross. It was so cool! We learned throughout the day that many of the places and people were actually real places and people. Katrina Van Tassel was a real person, wow!
We ended the day at the Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze. This was the whole reason we took this trip. We love seeing the thousands of pumpkins carved and made into all these amazing creations. We should have gone earlier because both kids were super tired by the time we got there, but we made it through with no tantrums. Our favorite pumpkin sculptures were the classic horror characters (Dracula, Frankenstein, etc.), The Macbeth Witches (double, double, toil, and trouble), and a new one this year was the headless horseman! The "tunnel of love" was just as lovely as ever. Henry and I gave each other kisses in it. He is my sweetheart. Cosette was happy to see it again. She was also wearing her "tunnel of love" socks (pumpkin faces all over them). It was the best day!
Here is a short film we created from our day's adventure.
Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

The Haunted Pumpkin Garden

We had a Halloween filled weekend. Me and the kids kicked it off by heading to the NYC Botanical Gardens with some friends to explore the Haunted Pumpkin Garden. 
We spent our time in the children's garden,which was splendidly decorated for the season. Oh, I love Halloween! We have been really into Halloween this year because it's my favorite and Cosette understands the holidays now and is all excited. Although, she enjoyed running around with her friends more than she did the pumpkins this time. Friends trump everything in her book.  . 

These pumpkin creations welcomed you into the garden. 

We spent a lot of time at the rocks. We could not get them away, even from the rocks they were not supposed to climb. 
Pumpkin head.
This giant spider reminded me of the one in the Lord of the Rings. 
 
The pumpkin Henry is standing next to weighed 1004 lbs! It was one of many enormous pumpkins that were spread out through the gardens.
Here it is the proof. 1004 lbs. They grow big pumpkins in Pennsylvania.
Singing their ABC's.
Practicing her "boo!". 
This caterpillar creature was so cool! It was built and then the plants grew out of the structure making it look so neat! Then there was the little table and chairs with the pumpkins next to it made it look like an enchanted forest. I think I would have died and gone to heaven playing at something like that.
If I had a yard I would totally hang pumpkins in the trees. I got a lot of ideas for how to carve our jack-o-lantern this year.
When she saw the butterfly on the path she got really excited to show me and excited to take a picture with it. 
The pumpkin house was the place we spent the most time at. Cosette found a plastic bone that she played with the whole time in that area. Henry just walked and walked exploring every nook and cranny he could. 

He makes my heart so full and happy everyday.
 
He exploring, and she selling us all sorts of delicious goodies. Ice cream, cupcakes anyone?

The people who organize and create these sculptures are truly artists. That really creepy pumpkin is amazing!
I was disappointed to find out that this display is not made up of real pumpkins. Makes sense since they could not keep them in the water without rotting. Still an incredible sculpture. I called it the Loch Ness Pumpkin.

These kids have been buddies since birth, well since they could interact with one another. Going with her friends made this outing an even better success. The kids left happy and the mommies left tired and horse, haha. Happy Halloween everyone!

Other New York Botanical Garden post here.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Can You Tell me how to get to Sesame Street?

The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is hosting a fun Sesame Street exhibit that is free! I grew up watching the show and love the characters. It was just as much fun for me to see it as it was the kids. It is a great exhibit that has a ton of information about the history of the show for grown ups to read, but a lot of different activities for the kids to engage and enjoy. You could get through it in about half an hour if you don't sit and read everything which you probably won't be able to if you have kids. It was the perfect activity for that rainy day. 


Cookie Monster was there to greet us at the front desk when we arrived.

Grover pointing the way Sesame Street!
Cool to see the iconic Big Bird. He is a big bird.
A couple of the lesser known characters, but I remember them. My youngest brother is ten years younger than me so there was a lot of Sesame Street watching in the house up till I graduated high school, which means the characters are some what ingrained into my brain. I can do a pretty good Elmo impression because of that.  

I liked this poster because if had all the different "hair" used on the puppets that you could touch. A great sensory activity for the H man.  
Cookie Monster! I remember and episode where he sang a song that went "C is for cookie, and cookie is for me". I sing "C is for Christine, and that is me, and C is for Cosette, and we are a family". 
One of the areas you could listen and watch segments of them dancing and singing. She loved it. I had to drag her away in the end. 
Henry was walking around everywhere as long as he held my hand. He is really starting to get the hang of it. 

Giving a goodbye hug to her friend. 
Cosette was so excited to see Elmo, but when it came time to see him she was not that impressed. Hence both kids trying to make a break for it while I took the picture. 
Drawing cookies in Cookie Monster's mouth. 

Cookie Monster was everyone's favorite. 
Super Grover was flying around making sure we were all safe. He was one of my favorites growing up.
Cosette and her cute friends.

If you are wondering how to get to Sesame Street, just ask us. We can tell you the way.  

Monday, 20 October 2014

Destination Playground and the MET

I mentioned in a previous post (here) that a friend organizes a destination playground outing about every other week so we moms can take the kids to a new place and get out of the neighborhood a little bit. It is always easier to go on longer outings with more people. It is less overwhelming and it is more exciting to do something with friends along. We ventured not to far out of the neighborhood over to the East Side one fine fall day and played at Ancient Playground and since it was right next to the MET we had to do a quick visit there too.

Cosette and her friends found this awesome wall with all different shapes that were made out of stripes on a stripes backgournd (see picture above, because it is kind of hard to describe). We like the "x" the best because we are pirates and "x" marks the spot.
One of the Museum workers pointed the kids over to a case full of "funny" vases in the Ancient Roman and Greek art. He thought the kids would like the vases in the shapes of different animals. Henry and his friend did. Henry really liked the MET. His little eyes were looking at everything so intently. He was soaking all the art in. I was kind of surprised because he is only a year old and you could really tell he was digging this place.
The MET's front plaza is finally finished! They have been working on it for most of the time we have been here. It looks amazing! And we had a hard time of keeping the kids away from the fountains. Kids will be kids and what kid could resist sticking their hand in there. It is one of those infinity pool type fountains where the water just flows off the edge and there is no barrier. So naturally, the kids went for it.
Me and the babes at the MET. It was such a beautiful day! My heart was soaring and so happy that I live in this amazing city. 
We marked off visiting the MET roof top on our list of things to do. The featured art piece this year was kind of funky, but the view made up for it 100%. I love going to different places and seeing the city views. We always try and find where we live.



Next stop was Ancient Playground. The entrance to this playground is really cool. Makes you feel like you are entering someplace majestic. I have seen this playground whenever we took the M4 bus over to the MET and was happy to finally make it over here. I am telling you it is so much easier to get to the places when you have friends along. It makes it worth the trek.


The gate is really cool. It helps give the feeling of going back to ancient days.
She is at an age where she is not thrilled that I make her take pictures. Getting a smile can be challenging at times. She loved this play ground. She and her friends ran this place ragged. 
Enjoying the sunshine with my Hen Hen while he eats grapes. 

Cosette is very into the tire swing at the play ground. She is so hard core about it that it does not phase her one bit that she lost her shoe. She has to spin her friend as fast as she can. 


I could not keep Henry off this wall. He is into everything and wants to do everything the big kids do now. And he does. I keep moving him away from the wall, and I would blink my eyes and there he was climbing up it again. I am kind of proud that he is climbing up it so well. He did not make it to the top, but to make the progress up the wall that he did for someone who was not walking yet is pretty impressive.

The view on our walk home through Central Park. I love living in this city! I can truly say I have never been happier. 
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