While traveling… for me… offers a chance to explore, to discover, and to reignite my creative juices, so to speak… it is also such a unique time to bond with family, friends and acquaintances in a unique setting without the typical day to day “noise” that tends to get in the way.

… and this is what Part 2 is about…

… Family.

Like these two sweet cousins, three months apart, who really only see each other every few years (we live on opposite coasts)… but instantly reconnect the moment they get past their first awkward “hello”…

I mean… Cuteness OVERLOAD.

It means Pop Pop gets to take his grandkids to Yankee Games…

… while mom and dad take a “sleepover” date to the Ludlow Hotel (one of our favorite spots on the Lower East Side). Oh hell yes we did. Thanks Mimi & Pop Pop!

Speaking of Mimi & Pop Pop (my parents)… they are the most important reason we took this trip… to celebrate their 70th birthdays!

And while I should have had the most amazing photos of my family at the most PERFECT venue ever… I only have a few grainy pictures (sorry Bro) from some iPhone cameras because I somehow lost my “real”camera on the way home from the restaurant!!!

I am seriously heartbroken you guys… and I have learned my lesson. I was planning on hiring someone to photograph the event for me and decided that I would just do it myself. Too many glasses of wine and distracted by a toddler with a big poopy diaper… I must have set my camera down somewhere and didn’t realize it until the next day when countless calls to the restaurant and Uber turned out to be useless.

Have a big event? HIRE SOMEONE!

Here we are with my parents, and my brother and his family. We also had my mom’s sister and her family from Kentucky, and relatives from NY in attendance. There were speeches and tears all around. It was a magical evening. Too bad I don’t have more pics… WAH WAH.

This venue… THIS VENUE… WAS INCREDIBLE. It’s called Palma, and it has the most fairy-tale beautiful courtyard that leads to an old carriage house that used to be a speak-easy. Events and large parties are held either on the first floor, or up on the second floor where it really feels like you are in an amazing old library, surrounded by books and art (did I say I lost my camera? Ok… I’ll stop now).

The food was outstanding and the service was spectacular too (six young kids in attendance, a broken glass, and countless requests for bread… and they didn’t even bat an eye).

A shout out to my client Lindsay (remember this swoon worthy apartment?) for always hooking me up with the most BOMB dining suggestions!

I couldn’t recommend this place more!

New York… we LOVE you! Thanks again for another memorable stay (and for cooperating with us on the weather! How we managed to sandwich our comfortably warm trip in between two of the most sweltering weeks of the summer I’ll never know!).

At the end of our stay, we dropped Parker off with his cousins at Grand Central Station, where he took a train to Connecticut and hung out in the countryside for almost a full two weeks!

He actually just returned (after having the time of his life)… and I have a major “oh shit” mom moment to share with you soon!

If you didn’t check out my previous post… my Brooklyn travel guide… make sure to take a peek for some kid friendly activities, places to eat, etc.!

And I’d like to wish my parents an official HAPPY BIRTHDAY (August 18th and 25th). We love you so very much!

Hmmmm… now where to next 😉 ?