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Plans to celebrate the triplets 13th birthday in New York City had been something we were all looking forward to during this trip around the US. Now, how do we go about doing this without spending a fortune? Five days in NYC can be very costly if you’re not careful! Here are 13 ways we chose to celebrate becoming a teenager in the Big Apple….
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1. Stay in a Fun Hotel in Times Square. This was the first and only time we planned to stay in a hotel and not our RV. Obviously, there is no way to stay in a motorhome in the city, so we decided it was easiest to park at the Newburgh KOA and train it in. It was perfect! We chose to stay at the popular Marriott Marquis with our Marriott points for all five nights! Times Square is a teens dream come true. Lights, action and shopping galore. Marriott was also running a promotion where you stay 4 nights, get the 5th free this week, so it was meant to be!  The Marquis also has large enough rooms for a family of six with two beds plus a pull out couch. Funny how after living in an RV this hotel room seemed spacious to us.

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Our view from our room at the Marriott Marquis

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2.  Get up early and get yourself on National television on The Today Show - This means be at Rockefeller Center by 6 am and have a personal handmade sign with you! Morgan and her cousin, Madison, made this fun poster in honor of the boys birthday. It got them noticed and a segment on the Show! Way to go girls!

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3. Shop until you drop! You cannot come to NYC without shopping unfortunately. The boys used their birthday money from their grandparents to customize some shoes at the Nike Store. We know you can customize Nike shoes online or at other Nike retail stores, but you need an appointment with a designer at Nike NYC for their special ordering area, making it a bit more special. The customized shoes cost about $40 extra to design them over buying a rack shoe. You can even put any number or nickname on the back heels. Pretty cool and definitely right up a 13 year old’s alley.  They’ll be shipped home to the boys mid-October when they are complete. Patience is a virtue.

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4. Get sugared up at Dylan’s Candy Bar- Shop for sweet treats on three levels at Dylan’s candy shop. Shopping along 5th Avenue is lots of fun and Dylan’s is a must for kids (oops..teens). Kade surprised his little Sis by buying her this fun doughnut pillow there! Remember it is always better to give than to receive, even on your own birthday I guess!

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5. Central Park is in walking distance of Dylan’s so it’s a good time to walk off that sugar, or better yet rent bikes to cover even more ground! It is a beautiful, relaxing spot amongst all the hustle and bustle of the city!

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6. Get tickets to a show that needs you in the audience – America’s Got Talent. We had originally planned to go to a Broadway show this past week but the shows we wanted to see, Rocky and Newsies, just ended. We decided not to spend all that money for tickets to a different show, when we could go catch the semifinals of AGT while we were here for FREE. The kids loved going to Radio City Music Hall to see one of their favorite shows and it was lots of fun to see how it all happens live and in person!

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7. Make an appearance at another TV Show spot and sugar up again! The kids are fans of TLC’s Cake Boss show, so we had to stop at the Cake Boss Cafe in Times Square. They really wanted to go to Hoboken, NJ to see the original Carlo’s Bake Shop but this had to suffice this trip. We were even able to sneak in two trips for treats here!

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8. THE RIDE was a highlight of our time in NYC! THE RIDE is a fun, interactive, totally unique way to enjoy touring a bit of the city. THE RIDE features equal parts theatrical show and immersive tour from the comfort of a moving theater coach. We had lots of laughs and really enjoyed this. We also were able to score buy one-get one free tickets this week with a promotion they were having! Oh yeah!

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9. Learn to navigate the Subway system- We like for our kids to learn the ins and outs of taking public transportation whenever we are traveling in a big city. We didn’t take one single cab and rode New York’s subway system or walked everywhere we went. The kids were reading the maps, buying the tickets and telling us where to go. Learning how to travel independentally is a gift in itself!

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 10. Take the ferry from Battery Park to the Statue of Liberty- New York is full of culture and educational opportunities as well. We took a day and went to visit the beautiful Lady Liberty!

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11. Paying our respects at the Sept. 11 Museum and Memorial- It is tough to include this as part of a celebration, but it is a very important part of our time in NYC. You can read more about our visit to this area  here.

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12. Escape the Room- My parents bought us tickets for this adventure for the boys birthday. We had never heard of Escape the Room, but it seemed perfect for our family. We booked “The Home” at the midtown location and we had a ball looking for clues and trying to solve the puzzles in order to find the key that would get us out of that room! We were one step away from finding the key, but we ended up not making it out in the allotted hour! Never had so much fun being losers!

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13. Meeting up with old friends for dinner at a local hotspot- We haven’t seen these guys since our kids were babies, so it was fun to meet up with the Dazzo family for dinner at Don Antonio Pizzeria at their recommendation. It’s always great to get restaurant advice from the locals!

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 Happy 13th birthday Kade, Aidan and Cole! I’m sure you’ll never forget your milestone celebration in the Big Apple!

 

 

Packing to tour around NYC in the middle of an RV trip around the US is not an easy thing for a fashion girl like myself. I love to travel and I love to plan my outfits according to where I’m going- factoring in weather, what I plan to do and how long I’m going to be there. I would normally be excited to pack for a trip to the Big Apple, but this time is very different. Not only do I have a limited closet, of not the most fashionable things I own, but I’m also heading to the city with my kids. Not on a romantic getaway with my husband or on a girlfriend getaway like in the past. So, what do I bring? Patterned leggings…. and here’s why these are always a good choice in the big city or at the campground.

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H&M basic top $15; Hurley $1 garage sale leggings from the OC and Ivanka Trump Nordstrom Rack wedges $45 – Total outfit- $61.

As boring as leggings are and can feel so yesterday, they are the perfect piece to travel with. They don’t take up much room (so you can bring a few pair) and they are comfortable. They will work in any weather by just adjusting your top accordingly. On this trip I only brought black basic tops that would work with the different pant and shoe choices that I have.

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In front of Cake Boss Cafe in Times Square…..Top and shoes both from My Sisters Closet resale shop in Scottsdale and floral leggings from Garment District in LA = cheap!

I would recommend bringing a few different shoe changes when coming to NY because you will walk a lot. I brought along two different flats and the one wedge heel for nighttime. I always bring a pair of flip flops as well to let my blisters breathe if my poor feet need to have a break!  I’m not a fan of walking around a city in open shoes though, as you get really dirty and get your toes stepped on in the process! You will want a couple different shoes as your feet will hurt in this city, if you are wearing anything other than your workout shoes, which I hope that you are! Although I’m dreaming of my Asics right now because even the most comfortable flat shoe will end up hurting your feet here!

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On the subway here, I’m wearing Karen Millen jeggings (jean type leggings) that I bought in NYC when I stole 10 minutes to actually shop for myself. They can go from day to night as well, depending on your shoe choice! Faded plaid is in for this fall and I think these pants are a piece that will last for years to come. I always travel with different headbands too to throw on if I’m not feeling like doing my hair that day. Forever 21 is a good place to find fun, inexpensive headbands. The top is just another lightweight one from the Garment District in LA. If you haven’t been there, you need to go!

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Even daughter dear has been sporting NY made Zara Terez patterned leggings around the city. The same above reasons why leggings are a good choice applies to all ages! She is comfortable, cute and ready for any weather. Kids can get by with wearing the same sneaker around every day too! I wish I could get by with wearing Converse sneakers with all of my outfits!

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It is extremely easy for me to remember exactly how many years ago the tragedies of 9-11 happened. I laid in the hospital after just giving birth to our triplet sons a few days prior. The devastation has always honestly been too much for me to fathom, so I don’t think I have ever let myself feel it’s affects fully…… until yesterday.

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We have spent the past few days in New York City celebrating our boys 13th birthday and soaking in the energy of this bustling city. We planned to be here for their special day and to stay through Sept. 11 so that we could pay our respects as a family on this 13th anniversary . The Museum is not open today, so we chose to go yesterday. It is a tough, tough place to visit. I found myself suppressing my feelings most of the time as I just wanted to fall to my knees and bawl. I went between feelings of deep anger and hatred, to pride and love for our country, as I walked through the Museum and Memorials.

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I’ll be honest. It was difficult having the kids there. It was tough having to answer all of their questions while wanting to be alone with my own thoughts and feelings. I hate that this stuff even has to be explained to them. It’s so not right. I hate that they stood and watched videos of the terrorists going through security lines at our US airports and watched people jumping out of the burning buildings to their death. I hate the word hate, but I have to tell you it’s exactly what I was feeling when I was in the exhibit about al-Qaeda and the Terrorists. Sickening.

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I also felt sad that I hadn’t been here until now. It almost felt like I was cheating and just coming when everything was nice and pretty again. I actually had gone up in the Twin Towers during a high school trip to NYC. It was very surreal seeing this area without them. You definitely need to get here, if you haven’t yet. It is powerful beyond words. This day will never feel the same to me after experiencing this in person. May we never forget the victims and the heroes of 9-11. You will forever be a part of all of us and we lift you up in honor today.

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