Thursday, January 23, 2014

White Winter Magic, Again

Mother nature is giving us a wonderful white winter...with another 10 inches of snow just three weeks after the last big snowfall in NYC. Below are photos taken early on that day...

Tasting snowflakes, yum.

Midtown Manhattan Merriment

We have been busy packing but we took a day off to go to Midtown. We haven't been to Manhattan for about 1 1/2 months and it can be overwhelming (for me) with the crowds and noise. Her favorite part of the day was when we entered The Plaza Hotel. She was in awe of the majestic place...but what impressed me most was the staff. They are dignified and professional, as expected, but they treated us so kindly. Though it was likely obvious that we were not wealthy guests...they made us feel welcome and helped direct us to the main attraction (for Lina), The Eloise Shop. There...Lina made herself at home...

She easily made a new friend and offered pretend cake to all.

Her prized Eloise rag doll. The purchase was worth it...the doll is her favorite now. The staff at the store were kind enough to wrap everything carefully, including an Eloise wall decal sticker which we will put up in her new bedroom.

Her first catwalk runway...(we were in a bit of a rush or else she could have tried on a cute outfit or an Eloise costume or a purple frilly dress she had her eyes on).

When we got home, Lina drew a picture of Eloise.

Lina discovered Eloise recently (books and DVDs) and she is a huge fan. She has a few things in common with the character. Eloise is 6 years old and a city child; Lina will become 6 years old in the spring and she is a city child (though she could adapt easily to the country since it "smells better than the city," as she says). Eloise lives in The Plaza hotel; Lina has lived at a B&B but wishes she could live at the Plaza since she loves how fancy it is and, like Eloise, adores room service in general. Female figures are raising Eloise (her nanny, the mostly companion, and her mom, who sometimes enters the picture when she isn't busy abroad); Lina's caretaker and all-the-time companion is her mom. Eloise does not attend school, she never attended 1st grade or Kindergarten or Pre-K...she tried out 2nd grade for a few days and found out she doesn't like the strict rules and boring conventional teaching methods; Eloise has a private tutor, for a few hours a day a few days a week who comes to her suite...and she also learns out-in-the-world with her nanny in the city, as well as on her travels around the world).Lina is proudly educated in a similar fashion and she is thriving and quite joyful about learning year-round, at her own pace, with her mama by her side and she loves trips (never whines ever). In terms of the mischief Eloise gets herself into...that's really not Lina's style (in her own life) but she appreciates the humor in it and loves to hear (and watch) the stories unravel. Like Eloise, Lina's favorite thing to do is to use her imagination and play pretend in her free time.

We also took our first horse drawn carriage ride in Central Park. Lina was happy the lovely horse had a purple plume on his head and she gladly fed him a carrot afterwards.

When we got home, she drew a picture of a horse drawn carriage with a driver (our driver was a supreme gentleman and treated his horse, and us, so us a memorable tour).

We also squeezed in a s'mores session at a bakery, where Lina used snowflake and bow tie cutouts to make cool marshmallow shapes and then a staff member used a blowtorch to heat them up and stack the two s'mores.

We also took in a live show...Still Awake Still (it was originally commissioned by the Sydney Opera House).

The performers were super nice to us when we went to have autographs signed after the show. Lina thought the singing and piano playing was so very beautiful (and she told Miss Ivory Tinklefinger) and the antics were supremely silly and funny performed by Bass Boy and Rhythm Boy.

Lina can't get enough of musicals. She is very well-behaved and sits still and doesn't call out during shows, so the experience is always a pleasure. She sings every single day at home (and outside), she creates her own melodies and lyrics for many years now (almost as soon as she learned how to talk)...but recently she began learning songs from various productions. She prefers live shows to TV any day.

Curtain Call Opinion

As New Victory Theater members for at least a couple of years, as well as getting many tickets with friends other years...we try to see at least three shows every year. The theater is known for having some of the best family live theater in NYC. Unfortunately, we went to the main theater (Lina is now old enough) and it is not the friendliest place. Do you want to know what happened?

Friday, January 3, 2014

First Snowstorm of 2014

Mother Nature gave New York City a glorious New Year's gift. We woke up today to 9 inches of snow in Brooklyn. We took a half hour joy walk to celebrate the magic, before everyone shoveled away the fluffy goodness.

I don't bother with makeup most days, I keep things simple in my life. Not a dab of makeup on my face at all today and I suppose that's brave at the age of 43. I did protect our lips with chapstick (strawberry flavor for me and cotton candy flavor for her); if necessary, Aquaphor healing ointment will keep our faces from becoming too dry.

Lina was so bundled up (thank you L.L.Bean for the long coat, snow boots, snow pants etc.) that she said she was too warm. Good to know that was possible...considering the high today was a brutally cold 17 degrees (the wind chill made it feel like zero, though). Thank goodness we love cold weather. It was about 10 degrees in the morning (like Fairbanks, Alaska) and will drop down to 5 degrees tonight (will feel like minus 15, factoring in the wind gusts of 25 miles per hour).