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Ya know what’s crazy about vacation? When I initially get home, I’m so relieved to not be out and about, but after a week, I’m ready for my next getaway.
Earlier this month, I packed my family into the Jeep and headed east. We started our adventure with an afternoon in Philly. I intended for us to stop by Independence Hall and visit the Liberty Bell, but I failed so hard, you guys! We hit Philadelphia on July 5th. If you’re in the States or familiar with our history, you see my error staring you in the face.
Independence Hall is where the Declaration of Independence was debated and adopted. The holiday celebrating this adoption is July 4th; when we arrived on July 5th, the lines for entry were in-sane! We drove by, and I made the executive decision not to get out of the Jeep. It was 85 degrees, humid and we’d been driving for about six hours at that point.
Instead, we visited the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Rocky Statue. My family is unabashedly in love with media so this was right up our alley.
In case you’re wondering, no I did not run up the steps. I’d left my inhaler in the car, and I wasn’t trying to die that day.
Real quick, let’s talk about my outfit. Before we left, I met with Julia Gramenz, Cleveland’s first Roe on the Go. I was in search of the perfect swimsuit cover up, initially, and Julia was happy to hook me up with some amazing LuLaRoe. I grabbed the beautiful Monroe kimono you see me in above and also an Americana Statue of Liberty Azure skirt.
FUNNY STORY, THOUGH
So I picked out these amazing pieces specifically for our set itinerary. If you remember from earlier, that initial itinerary included a trip to Independence Hall + Liberty Bell, so when Julia showed me the bandana print Monroe kimono, I figured it would not only be amazing as a cover up (this is my red, white and blue bathing suit) but also it had a very patriotic vibe that would be perfect for visiting the Liberty Bell.
Then a crazy thing happened! Chris Christie closed the beaches and state parks. This wouldn’t ordinarily be a big deal, but in addition to the beach day we had planned, I bought four tickets to Ellis Island leaving from New Jersey State Park. On July 3rd, my tickets were canceled by the issuer and refunded. Whomp whomp.
I freaked out a little bit and called Julia. She was super accommodating and told me to bring my Statue of Liberty skirt up to her Roe on the Go and pick out something else. That was huge because honestly, I wasn’t going to wear that pattern much after visiting the island, and once the tour was canceled, I didn’t see any time in the foreseeable future where I would wear it!
After Philadelphia, we headed over to Seaside Heights, ya know, where the hit MTV reality show The Jersey Shore was set. I told you, unabashedly in love with media. Even if Chris Christie hadn’t reopened the beaches, this part of the trip would’ve worked out because Seaside Heights is actually a privately owned beach.
A big part of Seaside Heights appeal is the boardwalk. We don’t have anything quite like it locally. Casino Pier is also on the boardwalk, but we skipped all of the rides. We live very close to Cedar Point, and were season pass holders for two years, so the appeal just wasn’t there for us.
NEW YORK CITY – DAY 1
The next day, we headed over to Edgewater, NJ to check into our hotel. We stayed across the Hudson for a couple reasons, but the main one was that the idea of driving in NYC gives me heart palpitations. Also, the area is super cute and has all the stores you could need within a 10-minute drive.
There aren’t a ton of photos of our first day in the city, largely because we spent many hours on the NBC Studio Tour and they do not allow photography.
By the way, here I’m wearing the skirt Julia let me pick out as an exchange. This is a Lola, and it is amazing! I own two of this style and it’s perfect for my body type. Here, I paired it with a t-shirt from Target and a necklace from The Beach Girl’s Grotto.
Let’s talk about this necklace, though. Lauren from The Beach Girl’s Grotto makes her pieces with beach glass and pottery from the beaches around Ohio! I have two necklaces (don’t worry, I wore the other one the next day and took pictures!) and I am obsessed.
Funny thing about the NBC Studio Tour – my kids do not watch network programming and didn’t know any of the sets. Here we are in the NBC Experience Store at The Today Show desk, and you may be able to tell the kids have no idea why I wanted them to pose with me. They also didn’t recognize The Tonight Show’s set or Saturday Night Live’s set. Kids!
After our tour, we headed next door to the Nintendo Store. All three of my boys (I’m including my husband!) love video games, and even though we own a Nintendo Switch, they took this opportunity to play a bit of Street Fighter.
NEW YORK CITY DAY 2
Day 2 started with a torrential downpour. Luckily, as I mentioned, we were staying in Edgewater, NJ so when my clothes and shoes got soaked, we ran over to Target to pick up some new shoes and rain ponchos.
Part of our hotel stay included free parking and a free shuttle to the ferry. Here I am waiting for the shuttle to arrive, wearing my other necklace from The Beach Girl’s Grotto. I’d initially intended to wear a cute lemon print dress that day, but when the downpour hit, we were outside after breakfast. Luckily, I over pack and had another outfit at the ready.
On our agenda for the day was a tour of all of the Ghostbusters locations. We started with Central Park West, where Dana lived in the first Ghostbusters. Right next door is the church the Stay Puft Mashmallow Man steps on, so that was two birds with one stone.
We also headed to the New York Public Library and the firehouse used for the exterior shots of Ghostbusters headquarters. Now, the firehouse is super far away from the other sites. Being that there were four of us, it was actually cheaper to grab an Uber instead of the subway. Once we arrived at the firehouse, we were in for a shock! It was closed for restoration!
Luckily, our Uber driver was awesome and drove us on to our next location. He dropped us at Bleecker Street Pizza (ya know, where Peter Parker works in the Tobey Maguire version of Spider-Man) and the boys enjoyed some New York style pizza. I saved my appetite for Big Gay Ice Cream, which was just across the street.
I love West Village; if I were to move to New York, I’d definitely consider living there. It’s so vibrant and alive.
Leaving Edgewater on our last day wasn’t as difficult as I had expected. I was anxious to get home and see my puppers. But it was a great four-day trip, even if the Universe was throwing curveballs along the way!
Where do you like to go for quick getaways? Tell me in the comments below!