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.

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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

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Unexpectedly Star-struck At STK

I rarely get star-struck. In the old days I would interview celebs and notable folks and have never asked for a single autograph and rarely even snapped a pic. Living in NYC, I feel like I cross paths with celebs all the time- Maggie Gyllenhaal on the sidewalk in Soho (so nice), Hugh Jackman walking the river w/his fam  (just the other day), Prince Harry having cocktails at Soho House, and always Martha Stewart  who makes regular appearances at our playground (her grandkids live in the hood). If I do a double take, that’s a lot, but forget about approaching.

STK RooftopThat’s why my behavior at STK last night caught me completely off guard. I was standing at the elevator waiting to go back up to the roof and down the hall I spotted Rory McIlroy (yes, some of you reading this probably don’t even have a clue who he is. I know I didn’t before meeting Aria’s golf fanatic dad). Before I even caught myself, I was calling his name and walking over to him like we went way back. I was that girl– spotting a “celeb” (can I even call him that?!) and pestering him on his way into the bathroom (embarrassing!) He was ever so gracious, had a chat and asked if I was headed to the roof (which I was), and said he’d come up and take a picture.

I went back up to our table and sent Aria’s dad a quick tweet about my encounter. He, after all, was the real reason I got so excited about spotting the PGA golfer. Rory did in fact end up coming up to the roof. I spotted him over my second course,  but by then had regained my senses (and dignity) and decided to leave the poor guy alone.

Just a little NYC moment… now back to reality and following Aria back and forth to the bathroom a hundred times when she says she has to go potty (but doesn’t).