Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Very Davis Christmas

We spent a portion of Christmas vacation in New York City on the way to visit Tom's brother's (Steve) family. Here is a diary of our trip:

Saturday December 22: Santa made an early surprise visit to our house overnight. The girls woke up to find he had delivered their American Girl Dolls early. They also were happy to see tons of presents under the tree from my side of the family. We had a great time opening our gifts then headed out for our car trip to NYC. . .

By 6:00 Saturday night we had found our hotel in Jersey City. We had an excellent view of the city from our hotel room and a view of the Statue of Liberty during the clear daylight.

As soon as we settled in, we hopped the PATH (New Jersey Subway system) and found ourselves coming above ground right in the middle of the hole that used to be the World Trade Center. What a humbling and sobering sight. After switching trains, we headed into Times Square. WOW! We have never seen so many people in one place before. We quickly forgot our plans to grab a bite to eat in a restaurant and ate on the street corner outside Toys R Us and MTV studios (hot dog for me, pretzels for the girls and Tom).

After a visit to M&M World and the Hershey Store and a NY pizza place, we took a walk toward Rockefeller Center where we saw the beautiful tree all lit up and checked out Radio City Music Hall where we would be in the morning.

Sunday, December 23: Up Early!!! We hopped the subway (we're pros already) and headed to Radio City Music Hall for the 9:00 performance of the Rockettes for the Radio City Christmas Spectatular. A 3-D ride from the North Pole to NYC, then a tour around the city, followed by tons of dancing and singing by the Rockettes left us all in the Christmas spirit.

Then we walked to the American Girl Place (the girls couldn't wait) for a couple hours of shopping fun. Lunch at TGI Fridays was good (wow- $20 for a sandwich????) and reenergized us for our next adventure.

We hopped the subway again and headed to the Natural History Museum. We were met with a LONG line to get in followed by crowds galore inside the museum. There was soooo much to see!!!! The girls really wanted to see the African mammals and the T Rex, so we made those a priority and then called it a day.

Back to the hotel to rest and try to catch some of the Patriots game while the girls tried their new clothes on Julie and Molly (their American Girl Dolls). Tom was able to meet up with an old friend from Kansas. . .Goofball, also known as GB or better known in NYC as Michael (Is he really a title insurance salesman now????).

Monday December 24: Up early again. . .we packed our bags and headed out of the hotel for a few shots of the skyline and Statue of Liberty. We jumped the PATH again to go back to the American Girl Place for brunch. This time the girls (dressed in their Christmas dresses) brought Julie and Molly with us. One small, minor mishap on the subway (just when we were feeling like pros) left us a bit shaken, but all was well when we got to the destination. The girls loved the brunch experience, then we headed back to the hotel, packed the car and headed out of the city: Destination: Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

3:00 Christmas Eve - We arrive at Steve's house earlier than expected. Tom heads out for a run while Melanie and Kylie get reaquainted with their cousins, Liam and Lucas and their step-cousins, Mariah and Cerena. A Christmas Eve dinner of delicious Ravoli cassorole was followed by stories around the Christmas tree then spreading reindeer food on the front lawn and singing Christmas carols. Off to bed for the six kids. . .Santa is on his way!

Christmas Morning: Presents for 12 people takes up a lot of room!!!! The kids were so excited to start tearing into everything. Opening gifts was a bit chaotic, but the kids sure did have fun. Steve and Dawn's gift to their kids was the Wii system. So, guess how the rest of the day was spent??? The kids (and dads) really had a great time with Wii, especially the golf and bowling. But I think the most hilarious and fun time was watching Tom and Steve boxing. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. Dinner of ham AND turkey was extravagent and delicious!

Wednesday December 26: Another day for the kids explore the Wii and play games, play Barbies, play house. . .you name it, they did it. Tom and I took a trip into town with Dawn to see some of the sights and run a couple of errands. Then we took Steve and Dawn out for a Mexican thank you dinner while Beach Grammy and Grampy took care of the six kids. Thanks guys!!!

Thursday, December 27: We packed up our car one last time and took a bunch of family photos before heading back to New England. A LONG drive through Connecticut with tons of traffic was frustrating, but we finally pulled into Tom's dad's house in Rhode Island for a Christmas celebration with him and Donna around 7:00. More gifts, conversation and food! Then wearily we headed home to Cape Cod where Jayhawk was eagerly waiting our return (not really. . .I think he barely lifted his head when we came in!).

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