The highlight of this summer was a trip to New York City without the kids! The last time I was in NYC was in 2002 for one day on a road trip stop with some college friends. It was definitely time to visit again.
The idea for this trip began last year around this time when I discovered that the American Classical League, a professional organization of Latin and Greek teachers, was holding their 100th anniversary summer institute in New York City. I also knew that they offered a lot of scholarships to first time attendees, so I started the ball rolling on applying and hoping I might receive one of them. We had also been saving credit card points to pay for some sort of trip and began planning how we might use them for this trip. Thanks to the help of some generous recommendations from colleagues, I won a scholarship and the dream became a reality.
I love museums, so naturally I could not miss the world class museums in New York City. The two big ones on my list were the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Natural History. I went to the Met on the first day of the trip with a group of other teachers and spent several hours exploring as much of the museum as I could. I focused on a lot of the ancient art, obviously, but there were a lot of other great galleries also. I could definitely spend a week exploring everything there and still not see everything.
The Museum of Natural History was a great stop as well, with the most impressive galleries being the various types of animal life. I also had to visit the Easter Island head to have a little Night at the Museum moment.
Finally, I cannot talk about a trip to New York City without discussing the amazing architecture. Everywhere you turn there is a unique building to explore, both old and new. Much of our time in NYC was just spent walking around and exploring the various neighborhoods. It is overwhelming how big the city is and how diverse the experiences are around the city. From wandering the streets and open markets of Chinatown to the hipster scene in Brooklyn to the modern architecture and living space along the High Line walking path between Chelsea and Hudson Yards to the lights, tourists, and excess of Times Square, there were so many different and amazing places to explore. The best way to show everything is through some pictures.
Our trip was a lot of fun with many great experiences and memories, but mostly it was worthwhile for some time spent with my favorite person and no kids! This was the first time we had done any extended travel together in the five years since we have had kids, and it was incredible. I will be talking about this trip for a long time!
Another school year came and went with great stories, great students, and tearful goodbyes. No summer would start off right without some typical end of the year celebrations. This year was no different, as we enjoyed our usual dinner at the local Italian restaurant, Acero, with great food and even better company. It was tough to say goodbye to my seniors, as it is every year, but they are a great group of people who will do great things in life.
With school out of the way, summer turns into full-on dad mode. While mom continues to work throughout the summer, I have the pleasure of keeping both of the kids entertained and out of each other's hair. Unfortunately, this summer started off with a two-week period of one or more people in the family sick. Not a fantastic way to begin the summer. Once we all recovered, it was time to get out of the house. I like to at least try to get the kids out of the house every morning during the week to keep me and them from going stir crazy. If it is not too hot, we like to do things outside around the St. Louis area, but there are plenty of good indoor locations to hang out for free when the weather does not cooperate. Play areas in malls make a perfect last minute destination! The slideshow below highlights a few of the fun things the kids and I have done so far this summer.
Melissa and I also got some time together (and a whole trip, but that's for another post), when we experienced the special Thursday night dinner and paddle boat date offered by the Boathouse at Forest Park. We had a fantastic and relaxing time and the weather was absolutely perfect. I would totally recommend this experience if you live in the St. Louis area. The total cost is $80, which includes two hours of paddle boat rental, as well as dinner and drinks. You can find more information about the date night here.
Shockingly, I even have had a little bit of time to work on some of my own hobbies and interests, most of which you can see in upcoming posts on my other blog page, Mini Scale, but while the kids were doing gymnastics camp for three days I worked on building and painting this game crate for my Fireball Island board game. The original box is pretty terrible and does not hold all the components well, so I got the crate pictured below from The Broken Token. The project did not take a lot of work and it was a great way to spend some very rare moments of pure alone time.
Here's to an equally great second half of summer!
I love my family and this is the place to find all of the adventures we experience.