Scarlet Takes Manhattan, IV

You see, now I have “You Belong to the City” in my head. In fact, feel free to listen while you read!

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have had a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. They started when she was in kindergarten and Des was two-years-old. They left while it was still dark and she wore her red, mini-me peacoat. The cuteness was overwhelming, and I waited up with bated breath to hear about their adventures. During the second year, I watched it all unfold with the Internet, and we all died of cuteness together.

Last year was Part III. That time they didn’t leave before dawn to arrive after dark. (well, dark is rather early, isn’t it?) Last year they stayed in a hotel in Times Square on the 16th floor or something like that. New tradition! #1 on her wish list? Jumping on the hotel bed. Big dreams, kid. Our adventures begin with Part 4 – and an evolution of cute coats Scarlet wore.

And at least the twenty-somethingth floor!

This year was an odd duck. I built a NJ trip based around photographing my friend’s newborn. Then, I could see Lindsay’s new squish again, play with Parker, see my little sister’s amazing son, Myles, go to Cliff’s ice cream (!!!), and go to my parent’s holiday party. Cassidy knew we were running out of time for his NYC trip, and the weather was supposed to be perfect on Monday, so he got an idea. He’d stay home. The three of us would go to NJ. Then we’d meet in upstate NY – and switch cars. He’d grab Scarlet and head to NYC, and I’d grab Des and head home. It all went according to plan!

And then the fun began.

In these cases, I like to let the pictures tell the stories. Des and I had a fairly quiet ride home, although he had to pee badly. We got Friendly’s drive-thru (a new one for us) and then he went to bed on time and I watched a Hallmark movie, or seven. I took him to school the next morning and went to work. (at home) I think I understood what it might be like to be a single parent with one kid. You’re sort of.. more in sync than otherwise? Or maybe less! I honestly don’t have a clue but it was fun.

Not as much fun as THIS:

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

VIDEO!

These are fun!!

Christmas is so magical in NYC!

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

Museum of Natural History!

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

Wait for it..

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

And yes, her Madeline/Yes, Virginia/Sgt. Pepper coat kills me. And I bought it!

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

Frozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity..3?

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

WINDOWS!

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

**All photos taken by Cassidy, or by random, friendly strangers in NYC.

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “When it comes to belonging…” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin on any of the matters: HERE.

Which city has your heart? I’m partial to San Francisco, Toronto, Anchorage, and many more.

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

5 More Reasons to Stay at Extended Stay America

This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Extended Stay America, and I also received a three night stay in the Extended Stay America of my choice. This post also contains affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions are proudly 100% my own!

There 1 billion reasons to stay at Extended Stay America, and here I give you five more after an amazing family trip we took! #ad #getaway #vacation #rental #myESA

As you may know, I took the kids on an awesome getaway vacation to Maine last week.

We had such a blast. It fostered our sense of adventure, while also providing a unique scenario we had never encountered! I have stayed in hotels with Cassidy. I have stayed in hotels with just Scarlet. The four of us have taken trips together, but, I had never been on a solo parent vacation with just the kids. It’s such fun to explore together, and to get to know each other’s unique personalities away from the home. I knew that Des was more set in his ways than Scarlet, but it provided a chance for all three of us to discover what it was like to travel together as an explorative trio. Cassidy, you were missed!

Extended Stay America

We chose an Extended Stay America in Scarborough, Maine. This location is south Portland and I had only been there once during New Year’s Eve well over 10 years ago! I wanted to explore the city and explore the amazing foliage. We were NOT disappointed. It was absolutely gorgeous. We left on a Friday after Scarlet had her track practice. We felt so welcomed there from the start. It was late at night and we were greeted warmly by the front desk. The check-in process was easy.

(Thank you so much for all your help on Friday night!)

I consider myself a savvy traveler and I love added value when going for a weekend getaway with the kids. In fact, that’s $1 billion worth. All of Extended Stay America’s 625 hotels nationwide are now renovated and improved. They have over 20 years of experience so they know what travelers want – things like free Wi-Fi, free grab-and-go breakfast, fully equipped kitchens with full-size fridges, premium cable TV channels, and spacious, yet affordable suites. All that and MORE too!

With $1 billion invested towards your stay, why stay anywhere else for your trip? Here are 5 MORE reasons to choose Extended Stay America for your holiday, vacation, getaway, work, rental, or whenever you need a home away from home:

1 – It fosters our spirit of adventure. Having the kids stay with me at Extended Stay America was so exciting. We felt free to do anything we wanted – and explore a place that was new to all of us. The hotel gave great advice about local events and activities for the kids. We felt more willing to try new things; having such a great home base back at the hotel.

2 – Staying at Extended Stay America allowed us to bond as a family. (3/4 of a family)

3 – Extended Stay America was a home away from home. I loved the comfort of having our own kitchen that we could customize to have everything we needed for meals and cleaning up. Then when Des was tired early and couldn’t stay awake at a restaurant, I could grab dinner nearby and we could go back to eat in our room. We loved that! (See them in the photo?)

4 – Extended Stay America has pet-friendly rooms! Even though Cassidy stayed home with Athena, it’s awesome to know we can take her with us in the future. She loves going adventuring with us and is the ultimate road trip dog to have around!

5 – Extended Stay America partners with the American Cancer Society. I already feel GREAT about them for all of the reasons I mentioned, but this makes me feel even better. I love that they have invested $1 billion into renovating and improving their hotels, and I love the great feeling you get during your stay. Thank you so much for your generosity and helpful tips – because of your folder of local things to do, my little one got to see two MOOSE! He had seen them before (6 of them, actually) but he was only two and doesn’t remember. We won’t forget our time with you, and we can’t wait to go back!

Click HERE to book your stay!

Look on Extended Stay America’s website. Where would you go for your stay?