Gotta finish our trip! We flew in and out of Philly, so our hosts were gracious enough to allow almost a week between our stays :). We stayed with Katie and Aaron and had so much fun. Katie is one of my best friends from middle school to beyond; we were roommates in college and I really miss living close to her!

That first night we dragged them along to Good Stuff, a favorite burger place from our DC days. It seriously was like walking into the location at DC; the interior was almost exactly the same. And the burgers were just a good as we remembered. Then we had some gelato that was some of the best--grapefruit gelato is hard to beat, I think. It was the most perfect flavor!

When we came back at the end of the week, Katie and Aaron made a fantastic dinner, including making the pasta! Dave and I decided that was the best pasta we've ever had and it was fun to learn how to make it. 

Philly is a city that randomly enough, I/we have been to a number of times, more than any other major US city. So we needed to see none of the typical Philly sites. We walked to brunch, which was one of the best meals of my entire life, NO exaggeration. I had creme brulee french toast, Katie had red velvet pancakes and Dave and Aaron got the same thing--a "kitchen sink" breakfast with biscuits, gravy, veggies, eggs...yum. Seriously it was so good. We then walked down to the Mutter museum, which was one of the few choices for our day. Since it was rainy (but then actually turned out to be a nice day), we did the one activity that was indoors. It's a medical oddities museum, which was pretty fun/interesting/weird. 

Sam was sufficiently bored to death (by the end he was just laying on my shoulder, resigned to his fate) by the end, and we spent an hour or so at a park and let him run around. The sun came out and we headed back. 

We played some games and Sam fell asleep on the living room floor while we waited for our dinner reservation. We went to a Mediterranean place that had excellent pizza and pasta and another one of the BEST things--a salted caramel budino (custard-type dish) with a chocolate crust. Basically I won't be satisfied until I have somehow recreated it. I think we walked around 6 miles that day--which was good for all the food we ate!

The next morning included a walk downtown for some donuts for breakfast and bagels for the road (all delicious. Grapefruit again was a star flavor with a grapefruit brulee donut). We then finished packing up and waited to leave for the airport. 

Sam had a lot of fun with Katie, since she had dice, cards, a bear that played music and a molecule building kit. Those are some of his favorite things. We had fun playing bang and watching kimmy schmidt.

We had a mostly uneventful flight home (got to see Chicago from the air for the first time, which was cool. Also, lake michigan = huge).

We had so much fun back East and were so glad to see good friends and family. Thanks to all our hosts!

new york city!

Our next stop was manhattan! We were visiting our dear friends whom we met in DC and lived by at BYU for the year following. We haven't seen since they left for law school 4 years ago. Now they are living post-school life in NYC and it was so fun to see them again. Plus we got to meet their cute boys. Sam loved them; I think he enjoyed being in the middle. Henry was big enough to follow around, Walter was small enough that Sam still felt big :)

Our first evening we rode down to the upper west side, took a quick stroll through central park, grabbed a levain cookie (so good!) and some snacks and then headed back to their apartment. We had takeout (we felt very new york-ish) for dinner and the boys had fun playing. 

Saturday we left early to catch the ferry to Liberty Island. We spent a few hours there exploring and trying to get snatches of the audio tour (turns out 3 little boys make things go very slowly) and took a quick trip to the platform level. The views were amazing and the statue was really awe-inspiring. 

I wish we would have had the time/stamina to tour Ellis island, but we figure we'll just have to come back. We then took the subway up to the Village to eat pizza and gelato...and grab cupcakes and sandwiches for later. We took a long ride with 3 very tired boys back uptown. There is never enough time to do everything in NYC--especially when you have one day! We've been before so there wasn't much we were dying to do (Liberty Island was our big thing), but mostly I am sad we couldn't try all the food we wanted and see some other friends that live there. It's too big!

 "sam, smile!" "no."
 I don't know how any one gets a good family picture with a toddler. He seriously hates taking pictures.
 Completely the opposite from our picture attempts in CT, he sat SO sweetly on the couch with a tiny little smile for like 5 minutes. AGES, I'm telling you. It was adorable. Look at these boys. So cute!
 Their reward!
 bye wally!
thanks for having us! this is our throwback to all the group pictures in DC: Dave taking a 4 person selfie.