New York friends & family

As Mike's blog mentions, we made a whirlwind trip up to NY last weekend. We left on thursday morning and didn't stop moving until Sunday evening, it was full but very fun.

Our friends Marc and Shannon are located in Manhattan right in the middle of everything! While it's tough to give up the space that suburbia provides, I definitely see the advantage of living right in the city. They must have at least 40 restaurants (most of them non-chain!) in a quarter-mile radius to them. The Zabar's right near them has fantastic looking pastries. You can walk to everything, which is nice since parking in NY is EXPENSIVE. It took us a little while to find a garage that allowed 24 hours of parking. I could easily visualize living in NYC for a year (without the dogs) but I think any longer than that and all the noise would be tough. It was great to see them, since it was only for one day we spent it at their place just chatting and catching up. In my opinion a great way to spend a day.

Kris and Jen's home is located in a small town called Red Hook, quite a difference from NYC. They have 7 acres of land and lots of privacy. Their fourth child is on the way and I have to say that Jen is definitely made for motherhood! She looks so content and unruffled with three active kids running around and very pregnant with the fourth. Their kids are fantastic, absolutely trusting and outgoing. Within 5 minutes of meeting me, Zoe was walking hand-in-hand while telling me about her day at school. Ellie is full of personality and so much fun to be with. Aaron is still a bit shy around strangers but has a wonderfully sweet grin once he warms up. I can see why they would want a fourth child.

Then off to Long Island to see Mike's brother and sister-in-law. Like us, they love animals but its more focused towards cats. They've neutered/spayed the neighborhood strays and feed them. They also have a number of indoor cats, most are pretty shy so we only saw a couple of them. Thanks to Benadryl I was able to pet Scout and Moe (the two friendliest cats) while they sat right next to or on me.

On Sunday we had a nice brunch with Mike's family before heading back home. Lots of driving that weekend so by the time we came home we were exhausted. It's really nice to visit people we haven't seen for a while but we both gained a few pounds a piece from all the food we were given!