New York City 2018

I recently took a trip to NYC with my 15 year old son, my friend Katie and her son who will turn 16 soon. He wanted to check out the city for his birthday, and so we planned lots of things two teenage boys might like to see and do in they city.
We took the train out of Harrisburg which is really my favorite way to do New York. No worry about a car or where you’ll park once you arrive.
Below I’ll provide links to all the things we did while we were there. You can also check out my previous posts from trips to NYC for ideas too, I’ll put links to these at the very bottom of this post. Some of them no longer have photos (the really old ones) but do still have active links that may be helpful when finding things to do.
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In May my husband, youngest son and I took a trip to London England for a week. I had been dreading the overnight flight with an hour layover in Iceland, but in all honesty it really wasn’t that bad at all. We slept very little on the plane but still managed to make it through the first day with a short nap right before dinner.
We had really amazing weather the whole trip. Every day was sunny and in the 60’s. It was wonderful sweatshirt weather. I’m going to try and list some of the things we did below incase you ever want to take a trip to London, and find it helpful.
We stayed at Kip Hotel in Hackney Downs. It was super conveniently located right next to the London Overground Hackney Downs station. I know a few reviews online said they could hear the train, or that they booked a room that didn’t have windows. However we never heard the trains at all and booked a suite with windows, a small kitchen, and a couch. The hotel offers free espresso drinks any time of day or night, which I took full advantage of. We got a great deal for the room, and I’d stay there again.
When we arrived we added £30 onto an oyster card for each of this. This card allows you to use London Underground, Overground, buses, and some trains. They have a wonderful app that lets you put in your location and where you are heading, and it makes it so easy to get around using the London transit. Again highly recommend.
Before we went on the trip I was worried about getting around without data on my phone. I checked with Sprint and they offer low speed data and texting included with our plan, and for $25 for a week I could add overseas high speed data to any of our phones. I thought this was a great deal and we added it to my phone to make using the underground app easy, and help with anything we might need to look up even if we didn’t have wi-fi. And it worked perfectly.
Anyhow we had an amazing time, and were all so glad we finally made the trip. Below is a list of all the things we saw and did….
Paddington Bear Statue
Tesco This grocery store was in walking distance from our hotel and there is nothing as fun as visiting a grocery shop while traveling for inexpensive souvenirs like candy, a £4 Orla Keily reusable shopping bag, and food to try.
Kip Hotel
-Moomin shops (there are two) Camden Market and Covent Garden
Warner Bros Harry Potter Tour
MinaLima for Harry Potter fans!
Hardy’s Sweets
V&A Museum Of Childhood
Jack The Ripper Museum
Highgate Cemetery Tour we did the East & West admission
Walrus And Carpenter Pub
and of course all the normal touristy things like Buckingham Palace, The Eye, Westminster Abbey, Tower Of London, and Tower Bridge.

Florida in October

For a week in October the family and I headed down to Florida to spend some time at Disney & Universal. We ate way too much junk food (Krispy Kreme, Dole Whip, Chocolate Extinction dessert, Butterbeer) The Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party was lots of fun. The trick or treating during the event was insane! Everyone (no matter your age) gets a bag and you go around to spots in the park marked with big inflatable “treat signs” and cast members proceed to dump handfuls of candy into your bag. Add that to our list of junk food actually ;) The weather was amazing and we even had to wear sweatshirts a few nights, but still were able to swim in the pool during the day. The only thing that really surprised me was I expected things to be a bit more decorated. I thought the whole park would be, but its really more the front “town” area of The Magic Kingdom, and the Disney resorts didn’t have decorations at all. What decorations they did have were beautifully done and I did get some photos on my phone, but I deleted them after transferring them to google drive but they seem to have gone missing. I did hear that Christmas at Disney is a whole different story, so I think we’ll have to take another trip some time in December. I’ve been to Disneyland in December when I went out to LA for a few crafty shows and I remember that being really beautiful.
Universal didn’t have decorations at all, though my husband did win me a big Sam from Trick R’ Treat my favorite Halloween movie. Being in the Harry Potter area felt magical enough without any need for extra Halloween decorations.