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New York City: Day 2, Hall of Science, Max Brenner, and Times Square

June 29th, 2013

Once again, I’ll start with the day’s favorites!

Maddie’s Favorites

  • **the chocolate restaurant**

  • riding on the bullet train [the subway]
  • the colorful shadows
  • designing the rollercoaster
  • the bubble prisms
  • the Lego store
  • music in the subway
  • seeing Times Square
  • meeting the policeman

Cullen’s Favorites

  • designing the rollercoaster

  • **music in the subway**
  • making music with lights
  • the giant globe
  • getting the sticker at the museum [the entry sticker/ticket]
  • the chocolate restaurant (“I loved the chocolate restaurant, it’s my favorite thing in the whole world”)
  • meeting the policeman
  • seeing Times Square

Gabe’s Favorites

  • the gravity mirror

  • the butterscotch/chocolate shake
  • Cullen holding up his syringe and saying “there’s no more chocolate!”
  • the globe
  • the Rockefeller Center Lego model
  • **seeing the kids at the chocolate restaurant**
  • Cullen sitting down in the middle of the subway station to enjoy the music
  • the kids getting their photo with the police officer

Kerry’s Favorites

  • seeing the globe

  • building molecules with Maddie
  • doing colored shadows with both kids
  • the gravity mirror and the kids’ reactions to it
  • the kids at the chocolate restaurant (Maddie saying, “I want that” when she say the drawing of the syringe and Cullen upset about no more chocolate and his resulting stomp dance)
  • doing the multiplication cube with Maddie
  • Cullen and his subway music
  • Taking the kids to Times Square
  • seeing the kids with the police officer
  • **spending time with Maddie at the museum**

Melissa’s Favorites

  • dessert at Max Brenner

  • **seeing the SNL rehearsal**
  • when Maddie ran up to her and said, “I love you”
  • having visitors to their hotel room [the kids at different parts of the day spent a little time in Melissa and Jason's room individually]

Jason’s Favorites

  • individual visitors to their room

  • his massive peanut butter chocolate sundae
  • **seeing the SNL studio**
  • Cullen’s master plan when he was in their room in the morning (“I don’t want to leave. I’ll only leave with just Jason and Melissa. I’ll hold Melissa’s hand and Jason holds Melissa’s other hand and Maddie won’t get a hand.”

Summary and Photos from Day 2

The kids slept pretty well, and we all woke up around 7am (not bad for us!). Cullen had joined us in our bed for a little snuggle time just before that. We all got ready and met Melissa for breakfast. We met up with Jason after breakfast and left for the Hall of Science in Flushing around 9am. While we were in NYC, we used the Hop Stop iPhone app quite a bit to help us navigate. We really liked that it would tell us the best route to get from point A to point B (including real time public transportation times). We thought that the kids would really enjoy the Hall of Science, which is an interactive science museum. Of course, it didn’t hurt that the museum was free with our Museum of Life and Science membership!

Overall, we were a little disappointed with the museum. The kids enjoyed it well enough. Highlights for them included the museum host who did tricks with a mirror, hanging out in the giant kaleidoscope with Melissa and Jason, making colored shadows (Maddie especially enjoyed this), probability “plinko,” spiraling balls in a funnel (Cullen), Math cube lights (Maddie, testing out her multiplication skills), building molecules, testing and designing rollercoasters (another one Maddie enjoyed quite a bit), making music with electric strings of light (Cullen), and when Melissa and I played “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” with a trombone like tube (with Maddie).

Maddie spent a lot of time dancing in front of the colored shadow screen.

She also spent quite a bit of time at the multiplication cube which explored math in a way that is not too different from her Montessori experiences.

I enjoyed building molecules. Jason created alcohol, Maddie made water, and I made caffeine.

Meanwhile, Cullen discovered the cure for the common cold.

We had planned on having lunch at the museum, and we were very disappointed in the “cafe” which was basically a cooler with a couple hot options. The kids were not impressed with their choices either. Cullen had a hot dog, and Maddie had dry cereal. Gabe and I basically made a lunch out of snacks like chex mix. Melissa and Jason decided to head back to Manhattan as they had reservations for the NBC tour. I think their “meal” was far superior to ours.

I knew we were close to the giant globe from the 1964 World’s fair. After getting directions from the museum host, we walked through the neighboring park to see it. Cullen did not want to pose for photos.

We posed for photos anyway.

We then let the kids run crazy in the area that we assumed was a working fountain in the summer. They had a blast. It’s the little things.

Because we can’t run crazy like this at home…

It started to drizzle while the kids were running (despite the fact that before we left the forecast was completely free of rain), so we headed back to the train. We headed to Rockefellar Center where we planned to meet Jason and Melissa after their NBC studios tour. I’ve been on the tour a couple of times and loved it! Melissa and Jason were even able to see the SNL studio and rehearsals for that night’s show. We had hoped to walk around the touristy areas near Rockefellar, but it was really raining when we got there. Cullen fell asleep, and Maddie and I went to the Lego store while Cullen snoozed.

We wandered around the shops while Cullen napped. Once he was awake, Maddie and Cullen spent at least 15 minutes looking at sheep made out of chocolate in one of the shop windows. Once we joined back up with Jason and Melissa, we headed back to the hotel for a few minutes before dinner. With the rain, it was a little chilly!

We had reservations at Max Brenner, but we still had to wait at least 30 minutes (maybe longer) to get our table. That was a little frustrating as the restaurant was quite crowded without a very good place to wait our turn (especially with two wiggly, excited kids). We had been talking about “the chocolate restaurant” for weeks.

Cullen wanted the smiley face pizza while Maddie ordered chicken fingers and fries (which she was able to paint with ketchup and a brush).

Everyone saved room for dessert, of course. Gabe and Melissa had milkshakes. I had chocolate, peanut butter, and marshmallow pizza. Jason had a gigantic sundae.

The kids had the chocolate syringe which allowed them to shoot chocolate directly into their veins mouths. Maddie saw the cartoon drawing of the syringe on the menu and said, “I. WANT. THAT!”

She was so excited.

Maddie is the well known chocolate lover, but I think we have been overlooking Cullen’s chocolate addiction. We were mostly watching for Maddie’s reaction and Cullen had sucked down his entire syringe before we knew it. We even checked under the table and on his clothes to see if he had somehow squirted it all over something. He took a look at the syringe after he sucked it down and angrily declared, “There’s no more chocolate!!!” We were all amused. Afterward, Cullen did his now-famous “stomp dance” for the first time that had a crazy head jiggle. He was how I would imagine Beavis and Butthead would be on a sugar high. Hilarious. His facial expressions were priceless.

The kids were interested in seeing Times Square lit up at night, and this was our best evening to do it. We knew it would mean another late night for the kids, but they were excited! By now, we were starting to figure out the best ways to navigate the subway stations with strollers. We were thankful that we had picked up a second City Micro from a friend. That stroller has to be one of the best city travel strollers EVER. It was fabulous.

We noted that most of the elevators in subway stations smell like urine, though some of them smell like someone tried to cover up the stench with a floral spray. Gabe dubbed this floral urine scent, “urinthamum.”

We stopped and watched a band in the subway perform. Cullen was mesmerized. This was one of the highlights of the entire trip for him! I loved how he just decided to sit down in the middle of the subway station to enjoy it. He was excited to drop money in their bucket as well.

We walked around Times Square and took some photos (of course!).

We saw some movie or TV show filming while we were taking in the sights and lights.

The highlight of the Times Square visit was meeting the police officer. He offered to take a photo with the kids. They were very excited.

The sketchy costumed characters were out in full force. We caved and let Iron Man and Spider-Man pose with Cullen for a few dollars. Then we were out of small bills and had to brush off the hordes of knock-off Minnie Mouses, Elmos, super heroes, Mario, Luigi, Statue of Liberties, and more.

When we got back to the hotel room, the kids had a hard time settling down for the night despite it being very much past their bedtimes. I think they had a little too much chocolate and excitement!

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