{winter fun} visit to santaland

The nonos {my parents} were visiting a couple of weeks ago. My mom stayed for a good month {my dad joined her for the last two weeks}, but as usual it felt time just flew. We were able to spend some good quality time together, though. We had long, nice conversations over breakfast at one of our favorite spots in town a few times, we went on a couple of shopping sprees {before my dad arrived!}, and of course we had fun trips with the kiddos. We also celebrated Thanksgiving together and shared our first week of Christmas activities with them {you can follow our countdown here}.

Our Christmas countdown really began a day before December started, when we went to the city to Macy's Herald Square to see the big guy, Santa.
To be completely honest at the beginning I was getting a little annoyed. Macy's was packed. Really. Packed. Walking through the store to get to the escalators was not very fun. After we managed to get to the 8th floor all together {my dad got lost and M had to go back to find him}, the line was long. I thought being their first weekend it wouldn't be so crowded. But apparently it wasn't that crowded, compared to the insane lines you'd find towards the end of December. Anyhow, the line moved very fast and soon we entered the magical world of Santaland.
{G was not a fan of this creepy guy. Nor his nona} 
{when asked if he had been a good or bad boy, L replied: "mmm...good...I think".
You've been a good boy L!}
{G was very excited with the trains. He didn't want to leave that spot}
{he wanted to pet the reindeer. Cute!} 
What we didn't know was that there were several Santas in Santland {I guess that's why it's called Santaland, right?}. And that's why the line moved quickly. But we didn't realize it until the end, which shows they did a very good set up. Each Santa has its own room, cozy and private, making it feel like he's the one and only Santa in Santaland. I also liked they let you take pictures with your own camera, so if you choose not to buy their pictures {which can be outrageously expensive} you still have a souvenir from your visit with Santa. The elves were so nice they took many good pictures but we ended up buying one picture for the nonos anyway. I was surprised G happily agreed to sit on Santa's lap being his first time {we skipped the past two years because both times, lines were insane at the mall. I guess we didn't time the visits right. Lesson learned.}.

On our way to lunch at a nearby spot we walked by Macy's windows and saw their beautiful holiday displays. And then we just walked around the city. It's been a long time since we, I, did that. Exactly a year. Last time was last Christmas when all my family was visiting and we went to see the Rockefeller Christmas tree. We always make the effort to go to the city when we have guests, but that's it. Walking with my kids on Broadway that day reminded me how lucky we are to live in New York and being so close to this lively city. We made a promise to take day trips like that more often.
Next day we headed to the New York Botanical Garden to see the Holiday Train show to kick off our Christmas countdown. It was an exciting weekend!

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