West 52nd Street


James Amber and Annie In New York City!!

Do you ever have get that feeling that you are in exactly the right place at exactly the right time…. even if it is not where you planned to be?  This past Thursday, Joe and I took the children (as a surprise) to the Owl City concert in NY at the Roseland Ballroom.  Before you start to judge – just know that Owl City is my 11 year old son’s favorite band… so it was for his benefit and not our own.  =)  The first opening act, is not something memorable enough to mention, but the second act was a fantastic surprise for us – Mat Kearney.  I didn’t know that at first because it was so loud I couldn’t understand the announcer, but after a few bars of his first song, I knew I recognized the music.  I Googled a few of the lyrics and “wallah!”…. Mat Kearney was at the top of the search results with his own Wikipedia article.  The photo on Wikipedia matched the cute crooner belting it out below, so I ran downstairs and bought a t-shirt … and for the first time in almost a decade – I even purchased a CD.  I had to think about it at first because who uses a real CD anymore?  I have used itunes since well… since it began.  I remembered that I could load the CD into itunes and move on with life, so I grabbed the clunky square plastic disc containing object and showed some support for the musician.  So here’s my idea since I have not seen any of the concert promoters start doing this yet…. instead of selling me an actual disc, why don’t you sell me a coupon with a download code for the artist’s music online instead?  I think people would be more apt to do this these days rather than buy an actual  CD.  Music people, did you hear me?  This is a good idea.  Maybe I’ll be a promoter in my next life??

Back to the point.  Before the concert, we walked the kids down Broadway to Times Square.  My mother grew up in NY and I couldn’t help but wonder if she had walked any of those steps.  I’m sure she had, she was quite a worldly person, adventurous and free spirited.  I hope she knows that I was thinking about her the whole time.  Even during the concert I watched my children act like giddy fans jumping up and down, dancing, clapping and I realized that I had “broken the chain”.  My parents would never have even considered bringing my brother and I to a rock concert… let alone all the way to NY for a surprise concert for our favorite band.  I’m not like my parents, I am actually involved in my children’s life.  At least for this week, my kids even think that Joe and I are cool.

Other great moments on this vacation included a trip to Atlantic City, NJ to the Boardwalk/More’s Piers.  Aside from the fact that Joe and I love the show, Boardwalk Empire, I had never considered bringing the kids to this part of the world, but Joe’s family insisted that Wildwood would be a good adventure and they were right.  This would be a very colorful blog if I posted photos or described some of the attire worn by the New Jersey “natives”, but I’ll keep this PG.  The kids had a blast running from ride to ride with their cousins and Joe finally found the perfect Philly Cheesesteak.  (This was his third try, there would be a fourth too but it was a failure as well).  Funnel cakes, salt water taffy, nachos, fudge… ugh… we will need to invest in a treadmill (that collects dust) as soon as we can pay off the American Express card that is worn out from this vacation.

Today was the Philadelphia aquarium.  Smaller than some other aquariums that I have seen in different cities, but probably one of the best experiences.  It was just the right size for a four hour excursion with four children under 12, the food wasn’t too overpriced and it was generally clean.  The best exhibit was the Hippos… massive animals that snuggled and played with a very large tire.

Favorite memory from the visit – dancing at the Roseland Ballroom with the kids to “Fireflies” by Owl City.   I doubt either of them will forget it, and I know it will be something I look back on for years to come.

Biggest lesson learned:  I have really been spoiled by Vacation Rentals.  Spending an entire week in a hotel room with a family is just awful compared to a spacious condo or home that has a common area, a kitchen and multiple bathrooms.  This one hotel room even cost more than anything I have ever paid for a mid-high luxury vacation rental!  The bed was awful… poor Joe will need a week to recover!  Next time, we’ll find a professionally managed vacation rental in our destination of choice and not think twice.   Note to management companies and vacation rental homeowners though – having great mattresses and bedding would make us loyal customers over almost any other amenity!  (Almost meaning, it needs to be very very clean and a good location… ha!)

Tomorrow we travel home and I go back to the office and Joe goes back to being the Destin Photographer.  Not a bad life… we know we are lucky!

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