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

Behemoth 2: I Thought You Couldn’t Be Beat

Don’t sequels sometimes have funny names? If this sequel were a movie, it would be called Behemoth 2: The Behemothing.”

For Finish the Sentence Friday (#FTSF), we discover all of the ways in which we went and got the biggest Christmas tree of our lives! No turning back now!!
(This is NOT Behemoth 2, but it’s a nice teaser..)

We once had a Christmas tree so large, we named it Behemoth.

The thing is, it happened four years ago. You remember, right? If not, read here. It’s true. We thought our lives were in danger. They probably were. And that’s not as near-death as I’ve gotten (or even close) but we did swear we’d never do it again. That’s why we had “sensible” 10-15 foot Christmas trees for the last three years. How did we come to this again?

For Finish the Sentence Friday (#FTSF), we discover all of the ways in which we went and got the biggest Christmas tree of our lives! No turning back now!!

And how are we still standing? Better yet, how is the tree still standing? The tradition, for several years now, is to go up the street to the amazing restaurant, market, ice cream stand, butcher, deli, farm, orchard and get our Christmas tree the day BEFORE Thanksgiving. Yes, it leads to some stares, but we never decorate until Black Friday anyway. And we have so many ornaments that it takes all day, and they don’t all fit on the tree anyway! Or at least, that used to be the case.

For Finish the Sentence Friday (#FTSF), we discover all of the ways in which we went and got the biggest Christmas tree of our lives! No turning back now!!

Things were weird this year. We went to the farm, the day before Thanksgiving, (and in the rain) and they didn’t have anything big and gorgeous! So we went to yet another farm on the way home (we seriously just live on a road of tree farms) and they didn’t have any trees yet but texted their supplier for an answer. He said he had nothing big but directed us to Chestnut Mountain Tree Farm in Hatfield. Noted. Called. With that in mind for Friday, we enjoyed our Thanksgiving.

Then we went early Black Friday morning dressed to the nines.

For Finish the Sentence Friday (#FTSF), we discover all of the ways in which we went and got the biggest Christmas tree of our lives! No turning back now!!

We Christmased the heck out of that morning. We had called ahead to say we wanted a large tree and they were expecting us. They took us into the forest, with a chainsaw no less, and had us pick a LARGE tree that was already slated to come down (forestry reasons..) that we would then cut the top off of to our exact specifications. We hemmed. We hawed. Athena went off gallivanting into the wilderness. We looked at so many trees that I started to get dizzy from angling my neck high.

We all have.. funny things about us. Like me. Back in my dating days I remember talking with a group of male and female friends over ice cream about our “shallow dealbreakers” in finding a partner. I didn’t really have any specific physical ones, but I said I might go one date with, but not marry, someone who voted for a different political party than me. (oh, how innocent I was back then) And I also said I would consider dating but would never marry a man who didn’t dress up for Halloween for his whole life. Well, funny about that because I married a man who dresses up to the nines on Halloween and also has no qualms about 18 foot Christmas trees! In fact, he took a video of our tree falling! Behemoth 2.

Then we had the absolute fun of getting it home! And it really was fun. I’m not kidding. The woman who rang us up is our neighbor’s sister. And people were high-fiving us about our tree. They had twine for us and then our minivan took the brunt.

I loved seeing the faces of other drivers and passengers who saw us on the highway.

Then we got home and the real fun started. We didn’t have a ladder high enough for the lights. We usually did them from the balcony but this tree was too high and needed to be tied to the wall! Cassidy said he couldn’t have done it without me, but to be honest, we couldn’t have done it without some sort of strange magic. Miraculously, we all survived unharmed.

It was also miraculous that we had our contractor’s giant ladder to borrow.

For Finish the Sentence Friday (#FTSF), we discover all of the ways in which we went and got the biggest Christmas tree of our lives! No turning back now!!

For Finish the Sentence Friday (#FTSF), we discover all of the ways in which we went and got the biggest Christmas tree of our lives! No turning back now!!

For Finish the Sentence Friday (#FTSF), we discover all of the ways in which we went and got the biggest Christmas tree of our lives! No turning back now!!

For Finish the Sentence Friday (#FTSF), we discover all of the ways in which we went and got the biggest Christmas tree of our lives! No turning back now!!

It’s hard to tell but it’s a Death Star tree topper that turns colors and plays Star Wars music.

Then came hours and hours of decorating. All is worth it, though. That feeling I get when I watch a so-bad-it’s-good holiday movie on the couch under twinkling lights? That’s the stuff! Although I wish the cat would stop drinking tree water!

For Finish the Sentence Friday (#FTSF), we discover all of the ways in which we went and got the biggest Christmas tree of our lives! No turning back now!!

For Finish the Sentence Friday (#FTSF), we discover all of the ways in which we went and got the biggest Christmas tree of our lives! No turning back now!!

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

We know the answer but which one do you think looks bigger? Behemoth 1 or 2.