We came, we saw, we sold!

Archive for the ‘NYC 2016’ Category

We Came, We Saw, We Got The T-Shirt(s)

First, let me share the girl’s favorite activities.  At the final “meeting” of the trip, Karen and Krista presented the ladies with a bag of patches to commemorate their adventures in NYC and to start the fun on their soon-to-be Senior vests.  During this gathering, they asked the girls to name one activity that really took the cake for them. Here’s what they said!

The Statue of Liberty–Kendall

Throwing stuff at each other that night–Kyndal (I’m so proud;)


Coney Island–Marillah


Empire State Building–Sydney

Coney Island–Regan

Rockettes or Broadway–Caitlin

No doubt they will think back over the coming weeks and enjoy many other amazing memories of the Big Apple.

The House

Where to begin…

We stayed in a two story, walk-up in Long Island City.   Right near a train stop, it was very convenient.  The garden out back was beautiful, even with it’s very Beatrix Potter inhabitants (rats mainly) and I picked basil one night to use in a recipe.  My review goes down from here.

Oh, one more humorous thing, the “second” bathroom in the room where Marillah and I stayed was, in Krista’s words, “Smaller than an RV bathroom.”  The sink was the most entertaining and cute attraction. Lol!

If I were to list the other more “exciting” aspects they would be: lack of a banister on the second story, brand new AC units of which only a few actually worked, a dishwasher that was not secured–this brought huge laughter from the girls one night as they tried to load it and we used the couch pillows to prop it up while we worked, and the infamous hole in the first floor.

Need to go to the bathroom at night?  Better watch your step!

On the bottom level there was an inside door to the basement where the washer and dryer resided, but you could not use it to get there.  Yes, what was holding that lovely door in place was Duck tape.  You heard me, Duck tape. That was thrilling enough without the storm cellar style doors on the outside where you accessed the basement.  They stayed open all the time.  You’re catching my drift right?  Here we are in a strange city, with an always open basement door and the interior one secured with Duck tape.

But I digress, the hole, back to the hole. The first floor residents discovered that it went all the way through the floor and that one could play ghost to those in the basement.  On more than one occasion the use of said hole was employeed to great fright and hilarity. “Ooooooh, ooooooh, oooooh!”  Amazing what a little suggestion will do.

Then there was the one night those metal, cellar doors were closed and they fell on me, but I’d already had a recent tetanus shot so all was good.

Well, and there was the protocol for the washer and dryer that involved a step ladder, but I’ll stop now for fear that you might never let your daughter attend another Girl Scout trip.

I mean, we were in a place called Dutch “Kills,” after all.

Truly, madly, deeply this was an impactful trip for Troop #131. An amazing cookie reward and a lifetime learning experience about people, places and history.  They will take this with them into 8th grade and high school next year and hold onto the memories forever.

They ❤️ NY.




One Last Bite of the Big Apple

For our final full day in NYC Tuesday, we chose up sides and did as we pleased.  It was Girl Scout’s choice.  Smaller groups left in the morning and some joined and switched later in the afternoon.  One group didn’t get home until 1:30 a.m.  Party animals!

Check out the photos below to see who did what and how much fun everyone packed into their last day.

Pretty sure most returned to Eataly, lol.

Kyndal and Sydney visited Juilliard.

Brenda and Caitlin on the terrace at the Met.

Kendall at the Met.

Gossip Girl tour.

Times Square at night with Kendall and Regan.

Regan and the mounted police.

Denise and Regan at Le Mis.

An after show treat at Ellen’s.

Chloe and Natalie with Karen and Suzette.  Ready to eat some cheese at Reclette.

Eataly Crepe with Strawberies and Nutella.

Macy’s anyone?Amie, Marillah, Caitlin and Brenda at the Met.

William selfie!

Cheese, glorious cheese!

Downtown, downtown.

9/11 Museum

Out for some authentic Chinese food!

All you need is love.

Patricia went there too.

With “Olivia’s” painting. 😉

More Eataly!
And more…And more…And still more!

Most of Troop #131 is back in Pflugerville tonight.  A few of the girls went other places.  Regan is in Boston on her way to Wales for a GS Destination trip, Marillah is still in NYC for a couple of days and Sydney is also in NYC for a softball tournament.  We’re so proud of these young ladies.  They worked very hard to earn this trip and they have no doubt learned a lot while visiting NYC.  Go Troop #131, way to sell those cookies!

Check back tomorrow for a final trip summation complete with list of girl’s favorites, and all the down and dirty details of the house where we stayed.  Believe me, you won’t want to miss it!

Give Me Some Gum-Gum, Dum-Dum

Girl Scout National headquarters is on 5th Avenue.  Yesterday morning around ten we arrived on the nice tree lined walk outside the mother ship.  We checked into the building and rode the elevator to the 11th floor where the receptionist greeted us and chatted while we got settled for our tour.

Back on the elevator to the 17th floor we were met by our guide who showed us the new exhibit, Epic Reflections of  which included Girl Scout fashions from years past.  It turns out that Halston designed the 1960s leader uniforms–how fun would those have been?

Next was the room of Girl Scout hopes, dreams and realities through the years.  Another guide shared a very personal story about her life as a young woman.  She had a huge dance opportunity in NYC but her family and husband at the time didn’t feel it was right for her. Later realizing what a major loss this was, she now encourages girls to reach for their dreams and work hard, no matter what. Our tour was topped off with a Girl Scout cookie from the jars in their office.

Then we had a party in the Girl Scout store.  Seriously.  Like such a major blast that some people had to ship their merchandise home.  It was fun for all.

Of course we posed the girls on the sign and took lots of pictures and then it was back toward the subway.  Everyone was hungry and dragging a little bit when we arrived outside Macy’s.  Karen suggested we take a quick look, see the highlights and then go eat.  As it turned out, Macy’s contained four restaurants and we all enjoyed a tasty meal on the lower level at their chef inspired food court.  A touch of shopping later and we were headed to the American Museum of Natural Histoy.

We let everyone loose in the museum until closing time.  I found the “Night at the Museum” self-guided tour and we all had a good time taking photos near the Easter Island replica.

The day was winding down, such beautiful weather, and we were ready for our bike ride in Central Park.  A quick subway hop and about ten admonishions to the girls later, that indeed they would be wearing helmets–this was NYC–and we found ourselves on a busy New York street.  What? I thought this bike rental was in the Park.  Never imagined it was two blocks away and we’d actually get to use the bike lane right beside the crazy taxis!  No one was quite prepared for this but all was well in the end, all fifteen alive and accounted for, in one piece and with only very minor injuries.

Bikes returned and licenses retrieved, we set off for home. Karen’s chicken spaghetti was on the menu and everyone helped get it ready.  The really tired girls morphed into energizer bunnies after eating the delicious meal. Good thing tomorrow is a day when everyone can get a little extra sleep.

All is quiet in the house.  There is a party going on next door.  “It’s Monday people,” I almost shouted out my window at 1:00 a.m., but it’s summer so any day is game, I guess.

Watch for updates of everyone’s adventures on “Girl Scout’s Choice” day coming soon!

Sunday Fun-Day

The bells of St. Patrick’s cathedral called us to worship on Sunday morning.  Well, we really weren’t near enough to hear them when they rang but our leader who is Catholic made sure we got there!  What an astounding feat of architecture and stained glass.  A beautiful place to refresh on a Sunday.  As an added bonus, Mayor de Blasio was there for mass in solidarity with the church and social justice.  At the end of the service he gave a moving speech and a call to action, mentioning Texas and the preceding events.

After church we walked to a cafe near Rockefeller Center for lunch and a break before our Rockettes matinee.

Such a fun show and the girls especially enjoyed having their picture made with a Rockette.  Some had individuals made as well.  The theme of the show was New York Spectacular.  The amazing precision of the dancers is so impressive.

Then it was time for another round on the Hop On, Hop Off bus.  The Uptown loop.  We rode and enjoyed the sights. Finally stopping back near Times Square, where one group left for Hillsong Church and another took to the streets for some shopping of the I ❤️ NY variety.

We all met up at the house and ended the night gorging on Rice Krispie treats. (Following a load of laundry in the dungeon, an attack by the door of the dungeon and the freaking out of the launderer by people upstairs–yeah, there’s a hole in the floor perfect for making ghost noises. More on that later.)

Transom Trouble

I could tell you all about how we spent yesterday afternoon on the Hop On, Hop Off bus and saw lots of the city from our perch atop the vehicle, but you’ll probably enjoy what happened after we got home a lot more.


Suzette arrived this afternoon and had dinner going when we got home around 7:00. After some tasty tacos, because we’re from Texas after all and can’t go too long without our life’s blood, the moms settled downstairs and the girls up, to hang and chat. The calm couldn’t last forever, even with everyone full of tacos! One group of girls was locked the other’s our of their room and the struggle began.

Six girls inside.

Two girls and three moms out.

You see where this is going…

The house has “transoms” or really just holes cut in the wall above two of the bedroom doors so there was a perfect window for attack. When it was clear the girls were not coming out without a fight, in went the first pillow through the hole—possibly thrown by me a mother who was balanced on the arm of the couch. That inspired shrieks from within and cackles on our side.

It was on!

When the pillow proved to be too much of a weapon and we feared broken furniture, a water bottle was employed to sprinkle the girls through the opening. Still not budging and claiming victory when the sprinkles ended,  I we let the other girls bomb them with big marshmallows. The first one came back almost immediately, through the window and all the way across the room into the trashcan. I figure our resident softball star threw that perfect pitch.  Five minutes of full on marshmallow war and we were all bent over with laughter, trying to catch out breaths when suddenly the other three mothers came storming up the stairs.

Uh-oh, caught.

The look on their faces shouted, “WTH is going on?”

“They don’t think we know anything about this, but we sure do,” a mom was laughing and strutting as the mothers who had just appeared on the scene looked on in horror, preparing to bring down the law.  We breathlessly explained we’d actually started the craziness but that it was time for the door to be opened.  After a few words through the keyhole, the residents emerged and we spent the next few minutes picking up various projectiles.  Then the girls cleaned the dinner dishes–the whole reason they’d locked themselves in the room in the first place, lol.

Moms : 1   Girls: 0  😉  You know how it is.



E, E, What Starts With E? Empire State and Eataly!

Had a leisurely start to the morning and caught the subway around 9:45 for the Empire State Building.  Everyone was still recovering from their Coney Island fun so it was a quiet crew.

They took in the sights at the Empire State Building and dutifully posed for pictures.  After about an hour they were ready to go and eat.  Hmm… sounds familiar doesn’t it?

A quick jump on the Hop On, Hop Off bus and we arrived at Eataly.  Everyone was overcome with the size and variety available.  A few of us snuck away to eat other things–I found the vegetarian place. 😉

Now they are finishing up and getting ready to roam around.  I see chocolate, coffee and a visit to the Nutella bar in the near future.  Yum!

Coney Island

One crew had been up since the crack of dawn, so we spent some time resting this afternoon.  Brownies were baked, hair was braided, naps were taken…

We rallied the troops and left the house around 5:45 for the subway station.  After a crosstown ride, we arrived at Coney Island around seven.  When we got there, the girls were super excited and hungry. To our very pleasant surprise it was a little chilly with the cloud cover and sprinkles, so just about everyone now owns a Coney Island jacket, lol.

After putting our name on the list at Walburger, we walked down to Nathan’s. Some of us even had an appetizer.

I snuck down to the beach while we waited on our food to get a picture.  The water looked a lot like Texas, brownish, and the beach was trashed from a busy Friday but the solid path all the way to the water was really nice.

Walburger was a hit.  Burgers, fries and onion rings were downed and the girls couldn’t wait to hit the rides.  And hit them they did, hard for the next three hours.

A few of the highlights included:

The Cyclone–wooden coaster, Steeplechase, Soarin’ Eagle, Thunderbolt and this…

The Friday fireworks at the park were fun to watch from the rides as well.

Around midnight, standing on the subway platform, I hounded the girls and moms for quotes about their experiences at Coney Island. Here’s what I got:

Steeplechase was a very exciting thrill ride! –Kyndal

As I was riding the Cyclone, I realized I had a deep need to go to the bathroom.–Marillah

It was just amazing, Thunderbolt was mind blowing and a little frightening.–Brenda

I loved all the fast and upside down rides!–Regan

There were a lot of different rides I haven’t seen before.–Sydney

It was very fun and all the rides were great.–Chloe

My feet hurt!–Natalie

Thunderbolt was awesome!–Caitlin

The rides are thrilling, I can’t believe I rode them.–Karen

I had the time of my life and I’d do it all again, lol!–Denise

I soared on the Soarin’ Eagle and flashed all of Coney Island!–Krista

Such a fun day, I’m about to fall asleep.–Kendall

The weather was so beautiful and I was the official bag holder, I don’t do rides. –Patricia

One man I rode beside on Steeplechase asked me who we were there with.  I told him that our GS troop had saved their cookie money for three years and come to New York. “Well, you made a good choice for a Friday night.  Coney Island. There are so many options in this city but coming here is a great experience.”

He was right. –Amie

You Said 4:00 a.m.?

A very intrepid group got up this morning at 4:00 to attend the GMA Concert in the Park. They had a blast and were all a glow when they arrived home around noon.

Video by Kendall

It was worth it and those who chose to sleep were happy with their decision as well.

We’ve been hanging out at the house this afternoon and resting, baking brownies and doing hair. Sydney is a braiding pro!

Not just any brownies–the new Girl Scout cookie, Thin Mint and Caramel DeLite Blondies! 

Next stop this evening, Coney Island. More soon!

Big City, Even Bigger Day

The morning began with a tour of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  Our tour guide, “Uncle” Jeff was quite entertaining and kept all laughing on the four-hour tour.  We learned all kinds of things about the history of the statue and it’s sculptor, Bartholdi–especially that he loved his mother lots and used her likeness for Lady Liberty’s face.

Amazing how ginormous the statue really is in person–Caitlin

Ellis Island showed everyone the reality of being an immigrant to the US from 1892-1922. What it required to enter the country and how long it took many families to save the money for passage to the states, some only to be separated again due to illness or other issues.  Many were eventually reunited.
Ellis Island has special meaning because my great-great grandfather came here from Bulgaria–Marillah

Then it was off to the World Trade Center Memorial.  We even caught a city bus because everyone was so tired at that point.  Our navigators Denise and Krista got us right on, across from Battery park.  When we got there, we advised the girls to be reverent and respectful.  Here is what a few of them thought about the experience.

The quietest I’ve ever seen New Yorkers–Kyndal

Very nice and very pretty–Natalie

Really majestic how the water flowed, the infinity of the water--Sydney

Then it was back on the subway to our house for a little relaxation and getting ready for an evening of Broadway.

Matilda was amazing.  Hilarious, very representative of the story and met all Matilda fan’s “expectations.”  Chocolate cake anyone?

Ms. Trunchbull was so funny!–Regan

Now we are standing in line waiting for our box of treats from Carlo’s bakery–Cake Boss, people, in case you wondered.

Tomorrow is an extra early one with a GMA concert in the park on tap.  Wonder if we’ll be able to get the girls up at that hour of dark-thirty?

It was a full day of NYC fun and education.  The girls are soaking up the sights, sounds and culture at every turn and thankfully we haven’t misplaced anyone yet!

Tomorrow is another day.  Lol.

Big Apple or Bust

A few different planes, trains and automobiles later, Troop #131 arrived in Dutch Kills, NY–aka a neighborhood of Long Island City. The girls had a great time hanging out at the house, although due to an “overbooking” issue, six people are down the street for the night.  
After everyone was settled in, we moved on to the Dutch Kills Centraal for a delicious dinner of burgers and fries, house cured olives and gourmet mac and cheese. Then we hopped the subway to Serendipity for dessert, with a quick stop by Dylan’s Candy Bar. Because who can resist candy and sweet political satire?

Now everyone is full of frozen hot chocolate, blackout cake and frozen coconut lime.  Time for bed. Not!

One more subway ride for the evening and we’ll be back in our little corner of the Dutch Kills neighborhood and tucked in for our first night in #NYC.

Good night #ATX, we’ll have more in the morning.

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