I just recently wrote about our arrival in New York and our opportunity to babysit our sweet niece Mikayla: you should probably go read that post first before you continue any further. Click here. 🙂

Let’s be honest, David and I went to New York and stayed 5 weeks with every intention to “catch up” on blog posts, get some planning done, and be uber productive. Yet here I am writing this blog post THREE MONTHS LATER. Yeah, we weren’t very productive. BUT we have a really good “excuse” as to why not.

We were HAPPY!

You know that feeling you get when you’re so comfortable that you don’t really want to do anything? That’s how most of our time was in New York. I can’t really find the words to describe how at-home I felt with the Trottas. Fayth and I bonded SO quickly over fart jokes and poop games. (Literally, the game called “Poop.” You can find it here.) We also had those intimate friend and female conversations that I have been missing lately. I am so happy to call Fayth my sister, and I’m extremely thankful for our time together.

Now even though David and I didn’t get as much work done, we still did quite a bit of activities. I’d rather not just spew them out in chronological order. So – no rhyme or reason – here’s what we did in New York!

We watched Mikayla in her gymnastics class.
She’s really bouncy 🙂 She is really good at the horizontal bar (for her age group). It’s her favorite activity, and you can tell. The
gym she goes to is very large and has many young athletes working at the same time. It’s impressive to watch, and I really enjoyed seeing Mikayla work on her skills. She even practiced with me at home!

We all went Indoor Skydiving!
Have you been to iFly? If you haven’t yet, you should definitely go. (Check out Groupon for any awesome deals.) This was one of the coolest experiences. It was tremendously fun to do and to watch. It’s much more difficult than it looks, and I only wish we had more time (and money) to keep going back! Check out our photos and videos below!

We got quite a bit of snow.
Actually, they called it a bomb cyclone. We were hit with below-freezing temperatures and several inches of snow that lasted many days. The part that I found to be the most interesting was the way that the snow plows would pile the snow up into 8-10ft snow mountains in the parking lot. Even though there was a lot of snow and freezing temps, the roads were still very clear and easy to drive on (for those of you reading from Oregon, New York knows how it’s done). 

Shop Rite, Bay Shore

Snowmageddon is still real.

I went shopping the day before another *small storm* was supposed to hit. I had a short shopping list, and went to a market with some good prices. I found everything I needed – except mozzarella. It was seriously the only kind of cheese in the cheese section that was completely gone. What?! So I paid for my groceries and went to the next market – just for mozzarella. All I needed was mozzarella. Here’s what the store looked like inside. And guess what? THE MOZZARELLA WAS GONE. (Also the bread and milk.)


Workout Buddies!

I got a gym membership at Planet Fitness!
Fayth has a membership there, and I got the black card membership so that David and I can both go to any PF location while we travel. So Fayth and I worked out together several times. It was really fun to have a workout partner! I’m also looking forward to seeing how different the other PF gyms are around the country. (So far I’ve only been to 5.)



We drove into NYC for an evening of Christmas Lights, hot Starbucks, and photos in Rockefeller Square.

The Christmas tree was surrounded by mobs of people taking photos and selfies – obviously. The ice skating rink was packed, and there was a long line of people waiting to skate also! We were pretty cold, so I treated the group to some hot Starbucks (I think I got Mikayla hooked on Starbucks hot chocolate? Sorry…) and we walked a bit more around the area. Saks on 5th had a massive Disney-themed Christmas light display on the building. We watched that, and checked out their Snow White 80th Anniversary Window Display. Afterward, we walked down to Times Square, as David and I were planning on doing NYE in the square.

Rockefeller Center!

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day consisted of great family gatherings and SO MUCH FOOD.
We were quickly adopted into the extended Trotta family, and we got to see them several times throughout our stay. I am so grateful for them all, and how they let us into their lives like that. The first time I met most of the family was for a birthday gathering at Fayth & Anthony’s. They forewarned us that the family is loud, a bit obnoxious, and that it would be crazy. The experience was definitely all those things, but in the most fun and positive way you can imagine. At the end of the evening, the adults played Cards Against Humanity, and we had such a great time. I was definitely looking forward to the next reunion. We all got together for Christmas Eve at Fayth & Anthony’s for delicious food and gifts, and then again at Michael & Melissa’s (Anthony’s brother & sister-in-law) on Christmas Day for more amazing food and company. LOVE this family!

We went to Mass on Christmas Eve.
It was at midnight, so really, it was on Christmas Day. David and I had never been to mass of any kind, and it was a whole new experience for us. In addition, there was only standing room. (No room at the Inn?)

We went to Times Square for New Year’s Eve. We stayed in for New Year’s Eve.
The whole time we were in NY, our plan was to watch the Ball Drop in Times Square. However, in the few days before NYE, we learned that the temperature was supposed to be in the single digits, and neither of us really have any cold protective gear. While we probably could have done it, we decided against it and instead went with the FAM (Fayth, Anthony, & Mikayla, GET IT?!?!) to an indoor NYE party with
more amazing food and company. We watched the ball drop from the comfort of a heated room!

We played Pinochle for hours.
Fayth and Anthony like Pinochle a lot, so we played many nights, changing partners and making our spouses angry. 🙂 We taught them Euchre, but it’s so similar to Pinochle, yet so different, that it was hard to go from one game to the other without getting confused.

It was such a full 5 weeks that we spent with FAM. I’m probably accidentally leaving out many great experiences, but not on purpose, I assure you. For example, some family came over for a White Castle “burger eating challenge” and a game of Risk.

One of our goals on our travels is to experience things as though we are locals – as if we live in each location. While typing this up, I realize that’s exactly what we did in New York. We experienced Bay Shore as if we lived in Bay Shore (which we definitely feel is true).

It was pretty difficult to leave our close family after we had spent so much valued time with them, but we knew we couldn’t stay forever; the highway was calling.

Until next time, Trottas. We love you!