Our 36 hour trip to NYC to be on HARRY...with 3 youngsters
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Yesterday I shared with you all how Harry Connick Jr and his production crew surprised my family and I by visiting our house last spring. Today, I’m going to tell you the end of the story and the craziness that was our 36+ hour trip to the Big Apple to be on Mr. Connick’s TV show. It was a whirlwind of a trip and I still can’t believe we all made it and are in one piece. More than that I’m amazed by how well the kids did. Seriously, don’t wait for your kids to grow up to live your life. Don’t wait for them to get older to travel. They are more resilient than you realize and if you just wait to show them the world life will only get busier, there will be extracurricular activities and other commitments that will prevent you from showing them the world. I’m a firm believer, and it’s probably because I’m a military brat, that part of the evil in this world can be cured by teaching our children just how big the world is and how many different and beautiful people are living in it. Taking them outside of their comfort zones, showing them that life is not as small as their own hometown. That’s just what we were able to do while we were in New York City and for that, as well as many other reasons, I’m eternally grateful to the show, the production crew, Katya, the Stangel brothers, and of course Harry. (Am I really on a first name basis with him now? Eh, I don’t know, we’ll pretend, though.)

Up and at ’em!

We wanted to make the most out of our quick trip to NYC. Like I said, I’m a military brat, so traveling all over the world isn’t as cost effective in my adult civilian life as it was in my military brat childhood. We took the earliest flight we could to New York, American Airlines at 6:15 in the morning. Yes, that meant we needed to technically be at the airport at 4:00 in the morning which meant we were getting the kids up at 3:20 in the morning. We had the kids wear their clothes to bed so we could literally get them out of bed and directly into the car.

Now, my kids are not experienced travelers. The oldest and youngest have both been on airplanes when they were infants. The middle child has never been on an airplane. They were extremely excited, to say the least.

We’re off to #nyc! Up and at ’em at 3:30am. ✈️ #newyorkstateofmind #FTMtakesNYC #blogger

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I had to capture them during takeoff too. This is my middle kiddo.

 

And of course, the youngest, never did fall back asleep. Don’t worry, she made up for her lack of sleep when it counted most: Times Square.

 

Once we safely landed we were the last ones off of the plane. Hubby and I didn’t want to feel rushed as we were lugging the car seats and kids with us. The pilot graciously gave our kids a little lesson on what a cockpit looks like and even encouraged them to sit in the pilot and co-pilot chairs. The kids were elated! I don’t know when the last time was that I saw an airline willing to do that. It makes something like an airplane which feels huge and in a way out of control (because they don’t understand how it flies or why it works) a little more comprehendible. Thanks American Airlines for the quality service!

Once we landed we were picked up that the show provided. Thank goodness for that! I wasn’t quite ready to tackle getting to the airport just yet. I had only had two hours of sleep and not nearly enough coffee. First things first we checked into our hotel, took advantage of their concierge service and booked a New York Water Taxi tour. The UN Summit happened to be happening at the same time and our driver actually advised us against taking an open top double decker bus. We took the subway and then walked down to Navy Pier. From there we rode the Water Taxi to Battery Park where our first stop was One World Trade Center and The National September 11 Memorial. Visiting the memorial with our children was a really sobering experience. Both Ben and I had gone to Ground Zero during spring break of our freshman year because my dad was still stationed at McGuire Air Force Base in South Jersey.

And so we teach them. The coming generations. We tell them about a time when you could meet a loved one at the airline gate, a time when you didn’t have to take off your shoes or even go through a security check-in. Why do tell our children these stories when we all felt safe and such terroristic threats weren’t even a glimmer in our eyes? We tell our babies everything that happened that horrific day so they remember that even amongst all the evil in this world there are still heroes among us. People who run in to the trouble when everyone else is running away. We tell them so they never forget the lives selflessly lost, the lives that were stolen from innocent people and how a nation can come together, united, forgetting our differences to stand up against evil. #neverforget #911memorial #newyorkcity #FTMtakesNYC

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The twin reflection pools are an acre in size and feature the largest manmade waterfalls in North America and they are located in the footprints where the two original Twin Towers once stood. The names of every person who died in both the 2001 and 1993 attacks on the World Trade Centers are inscribed into bronzed panels that make up the edging of the pools.

Hungry, hot and simply tired of walking we made our way back to the Water Taxi and then we took in the beautiful sight of the Statue of Liberty. Kendall decided that a boat ride, in the cool air conditioning was the perfect spot for a little nap.

Brennan and Keira were both wide awake and ready to pose by Lady Liberty.

Then it was back on the subway and off to Times Square. We had to visit Times Square after all!

We had to make a stop at Carlos’s Bakery because it was so close to the subway and I really wanted a cannoli. I’m sure there are other amazing bakeries in NYC but you can’t beat what’s close to you and when in Rome…or New York…

Cakes at Carlos's Bakery
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Brennan was really impressed with the Minecraft cake.

 

Chocolate covered Cannoli
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Go ahead and ask me if the chocolate covered cannoli that I just had to have was worth it. It was worth every single bite and no I did not share!

After our bakery stop we took in the sights and sounds of Times Square and that’s when Keira decided it would be a great time to take a nap.

 

Fell asleep in Times Square
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Fell asleep in Times Square

The morning of the show

This was it. The day I had been waiting for since May! Finally. It was here and in an instant it was over. I’ll have more details for you all after the show airs but here are a few photos.

A dressing room with my name!!
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A dressing room with my name!!

 

Outside the studio after taping.
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Outside the studio after taping.

You’ll have to watch the show and find out the rest of the story on Tuesday! Click here to see where HARRY airs in your local area. Follow HARRY on social media for all of the fun:

Hashtag – #HarryTV

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Bert Anderson is a blogger and social media manager mom of three living outside of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. She’s the author behind the blog First Time Mom, where she honestly chronicles the peaks and valleys of parenting. Even though she has more than one child, Bert maintains that whether you have one child or 19, there’s a first time for everything. She’s a lover of coffee, conversations, pop culture, healthy living and fitness.

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