Christmas in New York: A Bucket List Trip for My Kids (Hint: TLC’s Cake Boss!) by Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead

U.S. Travel
a year ago
Christmas in New York: A Bucket List Trip for My Kids (Hint: TLC’s Cake Boss!)

This year has not been the easiest one for my loved ones or me. Far more tragic things could have happened, but we’ve had our share of challenges during the last 12 months. I decided to end the year on a positive note, by visiting my family and surprising my kids with a special trip. As soon as I turned in my grades for the fall semester, my boys and I made the 10-hour road trip to the Albany, N.Y., area to visit my parents and sister. It was just what we all needed. 

While we were there, I surprised my sons with a Christmas present from their dad and me: a trip to New York City. It’s an easy train ride from Albany and they’d never traveled by train before. But the best part of all? Visiting NYC has been on their bucket lists for quite some time.

Though the weather was unseasonable (warm and rainy instead of cold and snowy), it was a magical day. We did several touristy things and took in the Christmas-in-New York sights. I loved seeing New York through their eyes. My younger son was in 7-year-old-heaven in the LEGO store. My 12-year-old got a kick out of eating a quintessential New York snack – a pretzel purchased from a street vendor.

But our culinary highlight was our visit to Carlo’s Bakery. My kids love the TLC show "Cake Boss" and eating a cannoli at the bakery (known to us as “Buddy’s”) has been a bucket list item for my older son for years. My “Italian Boy” finally got his cannoli and my younger son, my chocolate lover, got a dark chocolate mousse (as did I!). Waiting in the long line was well worth it.

It was such a joy to make it possible for my boys to cross New York City off their bucket lists. As Buddy Valastro might say, crossing off Carlo’s Bakery was icing on the cake!


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Elisa A. Schmitz 30Seconds
Yay! What a wonderful surprise trip for your boys, Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead ! Sounds like you really soaked in the magic of NYC. There's no place more special during the holidays. So excited for you all. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Sheri B Doyle
This sounds like such a fun trip. How wonderful they get to experience the joy of marking things off their bucket lists! My husband is very jealous you were able to visit "Buddy's"! Happy New Year.

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