New Finds for New York with kids...

We had to do an errand in New York City yesterday. It included bringing a signed and notarized document to an office in Manhattan - and just as I was leaving for the city, I realized I had the WRONG document notarized. I figured it was an omen for a bad start to a day of things going wrong, but that wasn't the case.

Let me share with you six fun hours in the city.

We walked from where we parked on 49th St and 10th Ave to the office we needed to be at on 50th St and 3rd Ave. I always park at the same lot. It's very convenient to the tunnel, to mid-town and it's not expensive. For five hours I paid $12! It seems so cheap that I wonder if it was a mistake since I usually pay closer to $20?

The meeting was at a consulate to renew my son's foreign passport. Normally the women who work this office are... um... less than warm and fuzzy - but we hit the jackpot. M was lovely! She accepted the incorrect document and she took N's picture, saving me the time and money to get pictures taken, and she carefully went through everything with a smile.  Her co-worker had the bedside manner that I expected, so I'm grateful I got the luck of the draw. N's friend and his buddy, and TA (his mom) waited VERY PATIENTLY for about an hour.

Then we walked. And walked. TA introduced me the holy grail of candy stores: Dylan's Candy Bar. OMG! I could have stayed there all day!!! They had everything!!!! All I have to say is I'm so sad that their cafe was under renovation or else we would have never left. Thanks TA for the tip! We spent 30 minutes going through the candy options. I proved my own strength in willpower when I didn't try their chocolate fountain - where you could dip rice-crispie treats or make s'mores. I found it painful to resist the 1970s candy in the basement, but I'd already bought myself a treat that I am saving for then end of my 10-week diet/exercise plan. (I'm just ending week 4).

We didn't find the restaurant I had planned on, nor plan B (California Pizza Kitchen, which I thought was in the 60s around 3rd Ave), but we did have some of the best pizza I've ever tasted at East Side Brick Oven Pizza (3rd Avenue between 67th and 68th Sts). Maybe I was simply too hungry but it was GREAT, and two slices with toppings, a soda and a bottle of water were about $10.

Entering the exhibit
A quickie cab ride through the park ("It's so much faster than walking" - which I would have done in the summer) and we were at the American Museum of Natural History. We arrived much later than I had planned, so we focused on The Brain exhibition. It was truly fabulous!!! Equally interesting for both kids (but not too young, the 10 year old boys were a great age) and adults, I enjoyed every minute of it.

What happens when neurons meet?
Last, but definitely not least, my friend shared with me a gem of the city. Wafels and Dinges. OK, so this was so NOT part of my diet.... but it was irresistible. I finished N's Liege wafel with the spekuloos spread... spekuloos is like a sweat gingerbread-nutella sort of taste. YUM YUM YUM. My friend "tricked me" (ha! it was suuuch a hard sell...) into sharing her chocolate covered Brussels wafel. My verdict: get the Brussels wafel with the spekuloos spread... but don't take my word for it. Try it yourself. Just not the day before a weigh-in (I was still down 2 pounds this morning) so you can enjoy your wafel without a side of guilt!

Introducing spekuloos
Back in the car and a small-traffic miracle. Leaving New York City at 4pm on a Friday: NO TRAFFIC!!!! Not in the tunnel, not in Newark. By the time we saw minor traffic, we were already in the Martinsville area and we took a slight detour home.

Worth the wait!
The kids were great sports. We walked over 2.5 miles (I checked on Map My Run). Although they originally were begging for a trip to ToysRUs, it was such a nice day that they forgot to even miss it.

My kids are lucky. We are in New York City many times a year so finding new and fun things to do is always positive. Both my kids have devoured their candy from Dylan's, so I expect that we will have to get back there... in about six weeks' time when my diet is over, or when the restaurant reopens in April.

"It's good to want things!" I tell my kids nearly every day. That goes for adults and candy stores, too!
Its a great day that ends like this!

Update: So of course we brought C & T a bag of goodies each from Dylans. C gobbled her candy corn lickedy split, while T apparently was pacing himself. But when he just asked me "What happened to my candy?" (not as accusatory as it seems here), I answered honestly. "Diego got it!" Guess that will teach him the same lesson we are trying to teach the kids... don't leave your stuff where Diego can reach it, or you might not like the way things end up.


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