Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Cousins Club Visits New York

This past weekend, my cousin Molly and sister Heather came to visit! I just love hanging out with them, so I was so excited. We decided after their DC visit that in addition to our regular full family reunions, we would make our own Cousins Club reunions an annual thing as well. However, we thought that might be put on hold this year, since we already have seen each other so much (in Hungary and Illinois), so when Molly and Heather decided they wanted to come to New York for Labor Day weekend, I was thrilled. I think this year may set a record for how many times we have all been able to get together!

Molly arrived first on Saturday afternoon - her flight actually landed a half hour early. Has that ever happened before? Like, ever? I doubt it. Anyway, she took the bus to Port Authority and I met her there, then we returned to my apartment to chat (mostly about her wedding next year, yay!) while we waited for Heather. Heather arrived shortly after 6:00 p.m., and we all did a little more chatting. Molly even asked Heather and me to be bridesmaids in her wedding! Hooray! I'm so excited for her wedding already, I can hardly stand it.

After a while we went to meet Eric and a few other friends at McCoy's Irish Pub to watch the first Gator game of the season. So glad to have college football back! The good news is the first game was against Charleston Southern, so the Gators were able to easily pull off the win even without my undivided attention. We enjoyed some beers, food from nearby establishments, and conversation. Fun times.

Molly, Heather, Amanda and me at McCoy's

Chowing down on Lucky burgers, yum!

The next day, we woke up around 10:00. Eric was so sweet and ran out to get us some H&H Bagels for breakfast, then we headed out to start some sightseeing. First stop: Times Square, including the usual shops (M&M store, Hershey's store, and Toys 'R Us).

Molly and Heather in the M&M store

In Times Square

After Times Square, the plan was to just wander over towards Rockefeller Center and the American Girl store. However, as we headed east towards Little Brazil, we hit a huge crazy Brazilian festival, which means huge crowds, loud music, and general craziness.

You never know what you may run into in New York! On this day, it was this crowd.

We pushed our way through the crowds, and eventually the Brazilian fest turned into just your standard street festival along Sixth Avenue. We spent some time shopping through there before finally making our way to Rockefeller Center.

Checking out a jewelry booth at the street festival

At Rockefeller Center

After Rockefeller Center it was time for something I have been waiting a long time for - American Girl Place! When we were kids, we LOVED American Girl dolls. I had the Felicity and Kirsten dolls, Heather had Samantha (now discontinued!), and Molly had Molly (obviously). We played with those dolls for hours on end for years. We had such a great time in the American Girl store, checking out what all is available for young girls these days (and wishing we could be them again!).

My by the Kirsten display. She was my first American Girl doll.

Molly by the Molly display

Heather is sad because her doll is discontinued, so she has no display to stand by. Boo.

After the American Girl Place, we went to a bookstore to pick up some wedding magazines. See, we had wanted to stop by a bridal salon with Molly to try on some dresses, but since the only two full days the girls were in town were Sunday and Labor Day, nothing was open. So instead, we picked up some bridal magazines and some wine. We stopped for pizza at Fat Sal's on our way home, then opened up the wine and poured over the bridal magazines. This wedding is going to be so fun!

Enjoying our pizza at Fat Sal's

Looking at magazines and sipping wine

We have sort of a hodge-podge of wine glasses, but it was very fitting for Molly to use the engagement ring glass!

While we were looking at our magazines, Heather's boyfriend Rick arrived in town from Connecticut. We all went out to dinner together at El Centro, then came back to our apartment for some Rock Band fun!

The five of us at El Centro

Let the Rock Band fun begin!

Rick showing off

Eric is an excellent Rock Band drummer.

Molly and me rockin' out

Heather and Rick singing together

VIDEO: Heather's awesome rapping skills on "Chop Suey"

The next day we got up, packed a picnic lunch, and headed over to Fifth Avenue where we met Heather (after Rick dropped her off) for our second day o' fun. We did our standard Central Park tour, but stopped for a picnic lunch on the benches by the Naumburg Bandshell. It was such a gorgeous day!

On the bridge

Strolling along the Literary Walk

Picnicking on the benches

During our picnic

After leaving the Park we hopped right on the subway to go to Brooklyn for some ice cream from the Ice Cream Factory, which was as delicious as ever. Then we walked a ways across the bridge before turning back to get back on the subway.

The Ice Cream Factory below the Brooklyn Bridge

Mmm, ice cream! I tried the strawberry for the first time, and it was amazing.

Heather, me and Eric on the Brooklyn Bridge

On the Bridge

We took the subway to Penn Station, where we bought tickets for the NJ Transit - we were headed out to see Rick's baseball team, the Bridgeport Bluefish, play the Somerset Patriots! Unfortunately, the Bluefish lost and Rick did not get to pitch, but we still had a great time at the game. There were even fireworks after the game, which were very nice.

Play ball!

At the game

Rick's cheering section!

Heather and Rick

Ummm, okay?

Fireworks after the game

After the game, Molly, Eric and I said our good-byes to Heather and Rick, who were staying in New Jersey for the night while the rest of us took the train back to the city. On our way home form Penn Station, we stopped for some pictures in Times Square at night, which is always such a sight!

On 34th Street, with a very patriotic Empire State Building behind us

In Times Square

When we got back to the apartment, we basically went right to bed. The next morning Molly caught a cab to Port Authority at 5:15 a.m., so she could make her 7:20 a.m. flight. The poor girl had to go straight to work after arriving back in Illinois, then to class that evening! I don't know how she does it.

Thanks so much for coming, ladies! I had a great time. Can't wait to do it again next year - next time, the visit will most likely be in Molly's honor! Hooray!

And now, this weekend I will be hosting the older - er, wiser - version of Heather and Molly: their mothers! My mom and Aunt Debbie are arriving tomorrow afternoon and staying until early Monday morning. I'm looking forward to that as well!


AD said...

You'd better say wiser, toots! :-)

Molly said...

Thanks again, Meghan and Eric, it was so much fun!! I'm so glad we could get the Cousins Club together again this year!