You must know by now that I'm the very proud aunt to three little loves - Cody, Cara and Camilla. Cody has already visited me in New York City a number of times, but Cara only came once when she was only one year old. Camilla hasn't been yet, but plans are formulating that will bring her in a few years.
Cara has been dying to come again, exclaiming, "New York looks so cute!" 6 and 1/2 year old Cara finally got the chance this week. She arrived a little later than planned on Monday night, due to storms in Houston, but via First Class on Continental! Being upgraded was indeed a good omen for the three day trip.
On Monday night, we immediately headed down on the subway to Time Square to acclimate to the excitement of New York City. We started with dinner at Ellen's Stardust Diner - like her aunt, she appreciates any live vocal performance.
On Tuesday, we started the day with brunch at Sarabeth's (this trip was for her mom and me too, you know, but these children are not the type who will only eat at McD's). We then headed to the coveted American Girl Store. I must admit that I was dreading this just a bit, but acquiesced for my Little Love. I enjoyed the experience though - the American Girl franchise impressively pays attention to the most minute of detail and embraces history and ethnic differences. After we visited Rockefeller Plaza, the Top of the Rock, Pronto Pizza, the Lego Store (a nod to her brother), St. Patrick's Cathedral and a walk up 5th Avenue with window shopping - we picked out all of the best bling bling - she knows what RahRah likes. We spent the rest of the afternoon in Central Park, where fearless Cara climbed dozens of rocks.
On Tuesday night, Cara finally got to see her first Broadway show. She's no stranger to the theatre - she has seen shows at the Majestic Theatre in San Antonio and is a patron at Midland Community Theatre. We saw "Mary Poppins." She was thoroughly enchanted and it was hard for her to decide which part was her favorite, although I think it was Bert climbing the ceiling and Mary flying over the audience.
On Wednesday afternoon, we had tea at the Plaza. Cara and I are both fans of "Eloise." Tea in the Palm Court was absolutely lovely and I recommend it for any special occasion. Afterward, we walked to Dylan's Candy Bar and then spent the rest of the evening shopping at Macy's - we both scored some new outfits!
On Thursday, sadly our last day together, we headed downtown on the 1 train to South Ferry. We took the Staten Island Ferry for a close up look at the Statue of Liberty, which was just as "cute" as Cara thought she would be. Of course, I had to show her Lincoln Center, a place to described to her as "the place where RahRah spends lots of money". She loved it and is excited about seeing something there in the future.
We watched some of the St. Patrick's Day parade on 5th Avenue. There's just nothing like seeing the NYPD pipes and drums up close, although I think her mom and I may have been a little more excited than Cara. We then made our way back to Time Square to get more shopping done - the Disney Store, ToysRUs, Hello Kitty - and thankfully a rest at Angus McIndoe's where we wet our whistle with Shirley Temples.
Every day was wonderful and intersperced with entirely unique New York City experiences and food. I threw in a little of my every day with a lot of magic. I think Cara will be back by herself as soon as she can and I'm already counting the days until that can happen.