I hope you all enjoyed your Easter weekend and had a wonderful holiday. As for us, we had a fabulous weekend!
Our Easter celebration got underway on Friday night, when we attended Good Friday church at St. Matthew Trinity Lutheran Church here in Hoboken. It was our first time trying this new church, and we really liked it. I didn't love the way they did their Tenebrae service - they read the Scripture and dimmed the lights throughout, but they did it in the first half of the service, so right away they turned the lights back on for the rest of the service. It was a little anti-climatic, I guess? But, the service ended with "Were You There," which gets me every time, so I was okay. The church itself is very old and much smaller than our last church, but it has a beautiful mural painted over the altar, with the phrase "This is none other than the House of God, and this is the Gate of Heaven" written above it in German. The people we met were very friendly and the sermon was good. All in all, we liked this church just fine and will probably go back.
Saturday day was a gross, rainy, muggy thing, and we spent our entire afternoon running around town in search of Achilles' favorite dog food, which apparently they don't sell in Hoboken except for in tiny bags at one nearby vet. Online ordering, here we come! Needless to say, after our hours-long trek around Hoboken in the rain, we were ready for a night in filled with relaxation and Easter fun.
We decided to forgo our usual traditional Easter meal of ham and potato casserole this year in favor of Eric's lasagna, so he spent Saturday evening making his homemade sauce. Honestly, this may be his best batch yet. It is GOOD STUFF. We also boiled up a dozen eggs, put The Ten Commandments on TV (classic!), poured some wine and got to coloring. As always, we had a lot of fun coloring our eggs, and came up with some nice color combos this year. Naturally there was a fair selection of orange and blue eggs happening, plus a Christmas-colored one by Eric, a patriotic one by me (although it really just ended up looking like a Pepsi logo), and a few other fun combinations. Good times!
Our work station
Eric at work on the eggs
I am much more excited about egg-dying than Achilles, apparently.
Silly Eric! You're not supposed to drink the egg dye, even if it is in one of our mugs!
A close-up of some of our eggs (including my Pepsi logo egg front and center)
For Easter church, we decided to attend St. Matthew Trinity's sunrise service, which was to be held at Castle Point on the campus of the Stevens Institute of Technology. Castle Point is the highest point in Hoboken, and has great views of the Hudson River. It is a landmark we had been planning to visit anyway, so this seemed like a good plan. Church was to start at 7:30 a.m.
As it turns out, 7:30 is a little late to actually be a sunrise service, and the sun was already up above the Manhattan skyline by the time we left at 7:10. However, it was so beautiful. It was so quiet outside, and very peaceful. Eric and I paused for a few minutes just outside our apartment to take in the view.
Easter morning view across the Hudson
Unfortunately, although we both had a vague idea of where Castle Point was located, neither of us knew exactly how to get there. We walked waaaaaaaay out of our way and all around the place before we finally found it (and later came to find that it honestly could not have been easier for us to get there if we had taken a direct route - it is only about a five-minute walk from our apartment). So, we ended up being about 15 minutes late. We enjoyed the service, though, and you just can't beat the scenery. It was such a change of pace, unlike anything I have ever done. Usually I'm all about the loud fanfare and celebration of Easter Sunday church, but this was very soft and peaceful. It was really nice.
Congregation assembled at Castle Point for Easter Sunday service, with lower Manhattan off in the distance
Cross at Castle Point
View of Midtown from Castle Point
After church (you may be able to tell by my rather sad hair that there was still a bit of moisture in the air after our rainy Saturday)
We walked back home through the Stevens campus, which was also quite lovely. Flowers are blooming, and the spacious campus with red brick buildings made me think back to my own college days at Florida.
Cool statue entitled "The Torch Bearers" on the Stevens campus
When we got back to our apartment we took time for a family photo and then dug into our Easter baskets. Mine was filled with candy (helloooo, Reese's Peanut Butter eggs!) and the Royal Wedding edition of Us Magazine (who else has Royal Wedding fever?), and Eric's had more candy and a ticket to this weekend's Golf Fest at Chelsea Piers. Thanks, Easter Bunny!
Official 2011 W. Family Easter Photo
A quick look at our Easter celebration: Easter baskets, colored eggs, and cupcakes, including a rather festive one (on the right) for Eric
We hung out at home for a bit, then changed clothes and set off into the city for what is quickly becoming an Easter tradition for us: the Easter Bonnet Parade on Fifth Avenue. You may recall our fun time at the parade last year, when we took Achilles with us (in his bunny ears, naturally) and he was an absolute sensation:
Achilles posing for the paparazzi
Despite the fun of last year, this year we decided to leave the pup at home rather than force him to ride the train (he hates it) then walk three miles (quite a lot for his tiny little legs). So, we went sans dog and had a wonderful time, as usual. It's such a sight to behold, and so nice because you can do it at your own pace. It's not so much an actual parade, but rather just dressed up people roaming the streets. Not to mention, the weather was FABULOUS. It got much warmer than expected (up to 80 degrees!) and the sun was shining all day, a great change after our super rainy week. I even broke a sweat! Outside! Without a coat on! I forgot what it felt like to be hot outside. It was glorious.
Crowds of people in front of St. Patrick's Cathedral during the Easter Bonnet Parade
Enjoying the beautiful day and the Easter festivity!
And there were just so many great things to see. Some people really went all out with extravagant costumes and bonnets, in sort of a "Halloween on Easter Sunday" spirit...
Her neck must be so sore at the end of the day!
That is quite a fetching hat
This was my favorite bonnet of the day! It's the house from the movie Up!
Cool TV Bunny...? I guess?
You're so distracted by the flowery bonnet, you may not even notice this guy is wearing two neck ties.
Love the shoes.
More fabulous bonnets
Another one of my favorites: a top hat made of jelly beans!
...while others seemed to embrace the original intent of the Easter Bonnet Parade (which was to show off your Easter finery along Fifth Avenue after church), and dressed in vintage styles with fabulous hats.
Babies and children got in on the fun...
Work those ears, baby.
Cute little flower child
...and of course, dogs...
This dog is wearing jeans, a hat, sunglasses AND shoes. And Achilles thinks he has it bad!
Great dog face.
A couple of parading dogs being introduced to each other
...and even a bunny named Leopold!
I am quite clearly very excited to be taking a picture with a bunny.
We recognized a couple of people from past years...
Achilles met this guy's bunny puppet last year. We saw this guy twice this year, and his puppet had changed outfits. Uh huh. Make of that what you will.
This lady makes balloon hats and such for the kids
...and even that crazy guy we see everywhere was there, the one I just recently mentioned in my latest "random NYC photos" post! He had three dogs (with colored fur) in tow, and his trusty live bird atop his head.
His outfit is always different. This time he donned a lovely white gown with angel wings, and had his dogs in a stroller/cart thing.
Close-up of the bird on his head. The bird kept eating the flowers on his hat.
And then there were some people who didn't even have a hat, costume or animal to show off, but were just walking around being handsome.
My favorite person in the parade!
And of course, we had to stop to enjoy the Easter decor at Rockefeller Center.
Love those big ol' bunnies
In Rockefeller Center
On our way back home we stopped for a quick rest amongst the pretty spring flowers in Herald Square. It's just so nice to see everything in bloom after a long winter!
Relaxing after a long walk along Fifth Avenue
It was such a beautiful day!
When we got back home we made calls to family, and Eric prepared the lasagna. Can I just say how amazing this lasagna was? Honestly, people. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I highly recommend marrying into an Italian family, if for no other reason than for the food. It is some good eatin'.
Dinner was followed by our delicious cupcakes, and we spent the rest of the night relaxing on the couch. All in all, it was a fabulous Easter!
A quick note: I have many more photos from our Easter Sunday on the photo share site, including many, many more outlandish Easter Bonnet Parade costumes! Check it out!