jude's birthday weekend in nyc...

one day i'll give in to the pleadings of my children and we'll go to chuck e. cheese. i feel like i'm just not ready to deal with the germs and the noise and the all-around grossness that is chuck e. cheese... so we went to nyc instead for jude's birthday. 
which says a lot about chuck e. cheese, right? ;)  (also, is it cheese or cheese's? i'm not sure.)

either way, jude turned 3 on saturday! we have friends who are moving out of the country so we decided to go up to the city and visit them in brooklyn for the weekend. the drive seems like cake these days- we decided to head straight to the upper west side for hot dogs at gray's papaya, then over to get banana pudding and birthday cupcakes at magnolia bakery. we played in central park and soaked in the warm-ish air and moderate sunshine as our little souls were filled. we sang "happy birthday" to jude 100 times (which he hated 100 times over), and we babbled about how that city feels more like home than anywhere else we've been lately.
 oh! we also went to the smith to take pictures in the photo booth (and marvel at that unisex bathroom. it never gets old), at which point mike saw bill nye the science guy and went all fangirl on us. he was sure he needed to talk to bill nye, but poor bill nye (who sounded just like tv bill nye!!!) was eating lunch, and on the inside of the booth, so as mike slowed down and walked by i think i shoved him the rest of the way by. keep walking, mike. keeeeep walking.
 cousin "happy birthday" songs faired much better than the ones we sang to him. he totally likes his cousins way more than us.
we drove across the queensboro bridge and all around brooklyn.  
it's is a fascinating place, brooklyn is. take williamsburg for example- i feel far too old and super un-cool in williamsburg. the median age is, like, 19. young cool-looking people everywhere! they're not trying to look cool- they just are cool. i have no clue where they were going or what they were doing because in a sense, i'm not sure what there is to do at 2pm on a saturday in brooklyn? also, brooklyn is so... so... short. so short compared to tall manhattan just across the river. it feels like a different planet! so close, yet so... short and brown. our relationship with brooklyn is new, but i feel like we have the potential to be good friends. i mean, i still don't feel cool enough, and it's crazy expensive (just as bad as manhattan). but the street art and neighborhood feel and the brownstones! oh the brownstones! it's got something really good going on, let me tell you.
we had a brooklyn mission: scooter rides in prospect park, grab some pizza, and hunt down a birthday cake for jude. the scooter we got for jude's birthday present was a huge hit (huge being a massive understatement). there were more matching scooters around the city that day than most humans could imagine. we had the boso idea of getting one scooter (it was jude's birthday present, mind you), which worked for about 2 hours. then we got sick of the "MY TURN!"'s, so we walked around until we found a toy store (of course they sold said scooters because they're e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e. and for good reason! man! so efficient to hang with a kid on a scooter! [other than the fear of being hit by a car]). at said toy store, mike bought elle her own scooter,  and the kids shared a princess helmet until we happened upon a bike store with a nice man and a cat, and the man sang "hey jude" to jude while he tried helmets on jude's 99th percentile head. that's what i admire about nyc- you can find anything, anytime, anywhere. plus stores have cats. and then the sun went down, and we still needed pizza and a cake. which we also found on the same block. thank you, park slope!
that night we put our yummy cake to good use, and read lots of new bedtime stories...

i don't know why i kept thinking about the book a tree grows in brooklyn while we were in brooklyn. i can't even remember what it was about... did i even read it? man, i have no idea. alas, every time i saw a big tree, i thought, 'hey, that tree is growing in brooklyn!' then i laughed at myself.

also, this view from our window.... dreamy.
 the next morning we went on an early-morning walk/scooter ride before walking the 1.5 miles to church. we also checked out the backyard, which was basically kid dreamland.
and a parting shot of the gowanus canal, apparently one of the most polluted bodies of water in all the country (this is a delightful read)! pretty, eh? we did enjoy that walk to/from church quite a bit. smelly canal and all. 

we ate lunch with friends before heading back to dc late that afternoon. we made it the whole way home without stopping, and crawled into bed, exhausted, and ready for another monday...

here's to a great new year, jude! happy third!

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