Friday, 4 February 2011

Dec 26 - Happy Birthday Elliot!

What a wonderful day we had today for Elliot's 8th birthday! The temperature was predicted to hit an almighty high of 0 degrees with heavy snow, but when we left the hotel at 930am it was still a chilly -7 degrees. We hit the subway again and headed for Central Park Zoo. What a little gem it was! Although it was small, the zoo was beautiful and what they had was done well. The animals were displayed in a way that made it easy for the children to see them. The children delighted in spotting the snow leopard and snow monkeys. It was also nice for once to see a polar bear in an enclosure which is not "enclosed". Elliot was so excited when the first snowflakes started to fall for the day. We continued onto the Tisch Children's Zoo which was equally lovely. The children loved feeding the animals.

Lara very excited to see "the zoo from Madagascar"

Home with a million dollar view

Snow monkeys. Malcolm's favourite animal. If you need an epidural, his instructions will be..."Hunch over like a snow monkey"!
Proof that I was there as well
Unusual looking ducks in a patch of unfrozen water
The gorgeous Delacorte Clock

Tisch Children's Zoo
Very happy children!
The offending animal who licked yucky goo all over Elliot's glove
A rare photo of Jonah where you can see his face!

By the time we left the zoo, the landscape had changed into in a blanket of white. We hopped into a horse drawn carriage to escape the snow. The children fed Pickles the horse some carrots and then off we went for a 22 minute ride around Central Park with our legs covered in double blankets. It was so much fun! Central Park in all its snowy glory looked so serene and beautiful, so much so that we didn’t quite notice the snow falling harder and harder...

Feeding Pickles the horse
Climbing into our carriage

All rugged up
White everywhere
Lunch was a simple but delicious fare of fresh sandwiches, pasta, soup and cheesecake at a deli. Every single slice of cheesecake we've had here has been divine and this one was no exception. We then trooped into FAO Schwartz for some retail diversion. To be honest, we were a little disappointed. It didn't have the sense of grandeur that I expected. We still had a blast though exploring inside. By the time we left, the blizzard had well and truly arrived. The snow shovels and snow ploughs were out in force. We, of course, decided to walk a whole 3 blocks across town towards the Time Warner Center. It was neither easy nor pleasant with snow flying horizontally pelting into your face! Elliot's camel-length eyelashes finally served a purpose other than making his aunties jealous. He was the only one not complaining about snow getting into his eyes. We later discovered that this was one of the worst blizzards that New York had ever had and the winds were hurricane grade hence the pain! Little did we know that planes and trains had been cancelled and that transportation in and around the East Coast had become a nightmare.

FAO Schwartz
The Big Piano
Star Wars Lego

Never did get around to getting ourselves one of these!

Barbie Foosball table anyone?
It only costs... how much?!?!?!

Ah...finally. Something for the adults!

We were glad to reach our destination and decided to hang around inside until our dinner reservation at Landmarc at 6pm. We browsed through the shops and bought ourselves some jackets from Esprit and Armani Exchange. Afternoon tea was soon calling our names. Alas, the Bouchon Bakery was closed today and so we had to settle for the Whole Foods Market. It was nevertheless still yummy. We downed our carrot juice, tres leches cake and cuppuccino cheesecake way too quickly!

You could just make out the "Apple"
Oh to have eyelashes that long!
The children glad to be inside where its warm and dry
The whole gang met up for dinner to celebrate Elliot's birthday. The servings were big as usual but it was somewhat disappointing. It wasn't bad but it didn't blow me away either. I had expected more. The children's menu though, was fabulous. The birthday boy had petite filet mignon and Lara ordered herself some lamb chops. Both were cooked well and were tasty. Dessert was a sample of all their signature dishes and was probably the best course out of the three. The children enjoyed their pink fairy floss.

Venue for Elliot's Birthday dinner
Jonah "owning" one of Elliot's present

A most unusual birthday cake!

It was time to call it a day. We caught the subway back to the hotel. The stroller was struggling to make it through the inches of snow even though we only had to travel a few metres outside. Around our hotel, it was often hard to see where the footpath ended and where the road started. The children, of course, lapped it up, taking the opportunity to pick up snowballs and throwing them at their father thank goodness!

Walking home in the snow

We are so glad that we bought our Land's End down jackets. They have been indispensable and worth every single cent. They are so warm that we were able to wear only 1 layer underneath our jackets, even with today's blizzard conditions. This made transitioning between the warm indoors and the cold outdoors very easy. What makes them even better is that they are machine washable and are able to be tumble dried!

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