Last year when we took my niece Grace to see Santa, it didn’t go so well. This year was so much better for her, and my nephew Kyle (who is 10) came, too. We went yesterday and had a great day, but I’ve been sick on and off this weekend and pretty much crashed when we got home.

Grace bounced up and down pretty much the entire time we were on line for Santa.

Then we went to Rockefeller Center to see the tree, there’s my mom posing near some police. She made friends with them, they were there for a motorcycle fun run.

So she also had to pose by all the choppers. Hysterical. Then we went to Nintendo World for Kyle (it’s just out of the frame here, on the upper right corner).

I picked the lunch spot again this year, but since Sweetie Pie is indefinitely closed (some kind of fire) and I didn’t think it would go over so well with Kyle, we went to Blue Smoke. I’ve got to pat myself on the back for that choice because everyone loved it. And they were so great with the kids. They bring out a raw cookie shaped like a pig for the kids to decorate, then they bake it while you’re eating and bring it back wrapped up for them on your way out the door. So cool! Grace and Kyle loved it. And the barbeque was fantastic, Kyle announced that this should be a new annual tradition. I totally agree.

Especially after eating their mac ‘n cheese. So amazing, Adam has declared this his favorite. My mom thinks they use Velveeta to get it that texture, which just kills all the effort I’ve put into mine using fancy cheese. Who knew?