Summer’s sweet end… holiday weekends in NYC… and beyond.

Despite it being well over 90 degrees (as I write this the sweat is pooling under me), I’m told summer is unofficially over. Aria begins pre-k tomorrow, and I’m trying to wrap my head around that, and the fact that the lazy days of summer are virtually behind us (not to mention that I’ll be a mother of 2 next month!).

We spent a good part of the Labor Day weekend in the city, taking full advantage of it being a bit emptier and the weather being absolutely beautiful– a perfect combination of warm sunshine and cool breezes. Aria had her dad chauffeuring her all over Manhattan via bike– with trips up and down the west side highway bike path (the Hudson River Park has so many amazing kid-friendly spots).

Saturday stops included the carousel just north of Chelsea Piers, and plenty of time at her go-to neighborhood playground. We even made a last minute run up to Turtle Cove Golf Range in the bronx, for some extra daddy-daughter time. It was so sweet to get to see them have so much time together– and both enjoy it so.

turtle cove golf

Sunday the biking twosome even journeyed around the tip of southern Manhattan, catching the ferry across to Governor’s Island. They romped around, hitting the playgrounds, eating lunch in the shadows of the old fort, and capped it all off with ice cream cones and silly selfies. She was spoiled, and so was I since I got  a few hours of time to just to relax my increasingly limited pregnant-girl body.

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We all dined out, trying places we’ve long been meaning to– like The Clam on Hudson (scoring a sidewalk seat with no reservation). We didn’t do quite as well when we attempted to drop in at Grand Banks (a cool schooner turned oyster bar) at sunset. Apparently, there were enough Manhattanites left in the city to leave the line winding longer than our limit with a toddler in tow. It was a gorgeous time on Pier 25, the sun setting low casting a warm glow over all,  so no hard feelings. And obviously (pic below), Aria was sleeping off her fun hangerover, so perhaps it was best.

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 2.34.58 PMOn Monday, we got the treat of being invited out to a friend’s beautiful golf club, where the guys got in a round, and a good girlfriend and I had the chance to catch up over a leisurely lunch, followed by a cart-ride along the back nine to join the boys. (She also took the beautiful shots of my girl below — thank you Ana Photo!)

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Of course Aria had a blast– taking every opportunity to run through the greens’ sprinklers when they popped on (ah- to be a kid) and, of course, soaking in her dad’s golf skills (we’re hoping it all rubs off and she’s the future of the LPGA).
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She also insisted on “driving” the cart on my lap, which resulted in a few near misses, and far too many pushes of my hands off the wheel. She was adamant she could do it herself.  Little Miss Know It All is not quite the master driver…yet. hamilton farm golf feast

We capped it all off with an amazing seafood feast overlooking the course, and watched the sun (and summer) fade away over the greens.

Adieu summer. You will be missed.

See more of our weekend pics (and my lounging belly!) on my Instagram page @vanessaalfanotv

This Weekend: MAYfest– Music, Art & Yoga for the whole family.

So, this weekend I’ll be teaching at Mayfest, the Hudson Valley’s first Music, Art & Yoga Festival. I’ll be teaching a Vinyasa class on Saturday at 11am called Finding Your Flow, for all of you out there who want to find your flow (both on and off the mat). I’m excited to be a part of such fun weekend event, and to be teaching alongside some renowned teachers like Sadie Nardini and Justin Wolfer.


The weekend will basically be like going back to camp (for all ages). The lineup includes great bands, stellar yoga classes, nature hikes, paddle board yoga, a wellness village and so much more– all in a beautiful lakeside location that is just over an hour from NYC.

The best part is it’s totally a family affair. Bring the kids along because Mayfest is also offering a “Kids Canteen” with plenty of offerings for the little ones including story time, yoga, sports, and even nature writing. Plus (best, best part), childcare is available so that mom and dad can totally take advantage of all the adult fun stuff going on.

For more information or to get tickets go to Hope to see you there!

NYC Day Trip: Hike, Boat, Shop (some toddler finds & the most amazing NYC playground to date!)


ImageI’ve always been a big fan of Ikea, and these days I am an even bigger fan since it’s a totally fun day trip that involves land and sea.  Aria and I set out early and “hiked” our way down to Pier 11 (just south of South Street Seaport) to catch the first Ikea Shuttle. The boat ride is only $5 and in fact can be free if you remember to give them your receipt at the register when you purchase (I never do). It’s something fun and different for the littles, and along the way you’ll get to enjoy great views that many tourists pay for (Brooklyn Bridge, Governor’s Island, and a distant Statue of Liberty.

I not only love that Ikea has great space saving stuff and clean minimalistic furniture (look forward to my post on why I prefer my Ikea crib over the stokke we paid 8x as much for), but every time I go I seem to find fun stuff for Aria. She’s totally in this phase of wanting to drink from my glass (her dad taught her how to drink from a glass– much to my chagrin) so I picked up a few fun plastic kid cups, some colorful bowls, and some mini fun plastic wine glasses and cups which I think might be designed as a toy, but she totally was totally diggin them (not to mention drinking from them tonight).

ImageImageAria Ikea tableware

A friend mom of mine also directed me to these paper rolls they sell that are perfect to roll out across the table and let them go at it. Aria is in this coloring phase since each time she uses the potty she’s rewarded with a new crayon, and, since she’s getting good, the paper was a great find.


I also love ikea too because they are SO family friendly. The stores have a fun little play room by the cafes, changing tables and free diapers in the bathrooms, free coffee when you have a Family Card, and inexpensive kid’s meals plus some healthy options like organic yogurt and organic apple slices (I’m still keeping mac and cheese and chicken fingers off limits while I can!)


east river pier 15

pier 15 loungeWhen we got back off the boat in NYC, we wandered a bit and found a great new (well, “new” to this West Village mom who doesn’t get down that way) roof/ lounge area on Pier 15 .  It boasts lounge chairs and grassy areas and amazing views of the East River.

There also is the See/Change Festival going on this summer on Fulton Street — with pop up stores, cultural happenings and free outdoor movies and events all summer (not necessarily kid oriented).

I also walked by the most amazing playground just across form the seaport (one block south on John St). It was called Imagination Playground, and if I wasn’t running late for an appointment we easily could have spent the day there. We will be back!

imagination play south street