ian led a trip for his students to new york city in april, and since our kids have two uncles/aunts and eleven cousins in the big apple (… and since i loooove new york), we decided to turn the trip into a family trip! it was a wild adventure.
i adore this “concrete jungle where dreams are made of” and it’s true that “these streets make you feel brand new” … but also, navigating them with four small children on my own for several days made me feel like i was about one hundred years old … and like “there’s nothing i can’t do”! ian was very very busy with the students and all their meetings, and between work/school/sick kids i didn’t get to spend very much time with family members (and helpful adult hands) – so the trip was a lot of me + four little kids vs. manhattan. i told ian when all his meetings were done and the students had headed home that i felt like a total bada**. it was exhausting but we made a lot of memories and i loved showing my kids the city and watching them take in its electricity and experience a place just teeming with humanity.
and it was so great to be with my brothers and their families, to see their lives in the big city and spend time together when we could.
here’s a photo run down of our nyc adventure:
we survived our flights and then the taxi ride into manhattan …
… and then had a happy reunion on the upper west side and went to the pizza joint on the corner with fourteen kids.
the next morning, before the events with ian’s students officially began, the six of us went to the top of the rock. i’ve always wanted to go up there and it did not disappoint. it was definitely crazy with all our little kids but also so exhilarating and awesome to look out over the city and take in the incredible views.
we came down and walked along fifth avenue and went to the lego store and ate lunch on the steps of st. patrick’s.
then headed to central park to find cousins at the playground.
on sunday after church, ian took the babies to our hotel for a nap and got some last minute things ready for the student trip and the rest of us had a picnic at sheep’s meadow in the park. it was such a gorgeous day and so much fun for the kids to run and play and climb.
that sunday happened to be both mila and dean’s birthdays! mila turned eight and dean turned seven!
love these “cousin twins,” born five days apart four aprils before this one!
we spent some time at the playground after our picnic.
ian and the babies met us back at the church …
for mila’s baptism! it was such a joy that we got to be with mila and her family on this special day. she was baptized by her big brother mckay and she asked ian to give a talk at the service!
love seeing zara and auggie, who have the same issue with their eyes that means they get to wear glasses, together. // after the baptism we had a root beer float birthday party at noah & kristi’s apartment!
which was tons of chaotic fun, but ian was so tired after all the work of getting ready for the events of the coming week – somehow he fell asleep with all these kids making ruckus around him!
monday came and ian took off for his meetings and cousins went to school and i hit central park with my four little ones. (oh, that was after i took all four of them to packed trader joe’s to get snacks for the week and that was wild.) by the end of the trip we had been to eleven of the park’s twenty one playgrounds. it was pretty chilly still but the blossoms were out all over and it was really fun (and occasionally miserable with grumpy kids or urgent bathroom needs etc etc …).
we got to hear awesome music in the park’s tunnels, and then meet up with the cousins after school and walk home with them past pretty upper west side brownstones…
… and then we were back at it with playground / park exploring the next morning!
i had to try to take a selfie of the five of us as we left the park that afternoon … we were quite the sight that turned a lot of heads, even in a city with lots of head-turning sights!
that afternoon i got to leave the babies napping at noah’s apartment since eli and noah were working from there, and i took my big boys on an adventure to times square, the carousel at bryant park, and a fun art installation on park avenue.
and we figured out a babysitting situation with the older kids that let the six of us adults go out for a super yummy thai dinner with the best conversation / company.
the next day i took the kids to central park zoo. that turned out to be a total highlight of the trip – we all had a blast and it’s just so cool to have a little zoo right smack dab in the middle of the metropolis! we walked there and back which I figured was easiest when compared to a taxi or the subway … but also the long walk with these little ones was quite the undertaking ha!
that afternoon i got to leave sleeping babies with working-from-home uncles again and took moses and gabriel to the natural history museum. we met julie and etta there and the boys loved it, especially the gem area.
all the family members met at the cherry blossoms by the reservoir in central park that evening.
then eli, zara and mila took the six of us wrights (ian was done with his meetings / events!) to walk the brooklyn bridge. it was such a beautiful night and despite the inevitable chaos and exhaustion, it was awesome.
the next morning i told ian it was his turn to be with the kids in the city and i was going to go for a run and wander around for a while by myself 🙂 i went back to the cherry blossoms and relllllished the solitude and took some nice big deep breaths to process the intensity of the previous few days!
and then kristi was the nicest to offer to watch our babies during and after their nap so ian and i could take just our big boys to the statue of liberty. it was sooo great to have that little adventure with just two crazy kiddos instead of four 🙂 i’ve been to new york more times than i can count, but i’ve never been to liberty or ellis islands! it was great!
we played for a while at battery park after returning to manhattan …
and then rode the sea glass carousel which was so so fun!
we stayed our last night at noah & kristi’s apartment (after being at a hotel that the university put ian up in, just down the street, the other nights). so that’s fourteen people in their tiny space up five flights of stairs … but i know that’s not the most people they’ve fit in there! it’s so cool how they’ve made that space work with six kids and room for guests. (we also got to spend some time at eli & julie’s tiny and lovely apartment during our trip.) the last picture is noah and kristi after having helped us downstairs in the early morning to get in our taxi to the airport – goodbyes after some good times in the big apple!
phew, that was an adventure! so great to explore together and get the incredible energy of new york under our skin. it was a wild week in the big city!!