United States of America · 6 Days · 18 Moments · June 2017

The Keith family's adventures in NYC

27 June 2017

Day 2 with the kids. We headed down to the United Nations, on Nathan's list of must do's, then Chinatown and Little Italy, on Kelley's list. United Nations was fascinating! The work they do, decisions they make, and I think the kids (and myself) found it cool that the UN building is not considered 100% US territory, that it is owned by the 143 countries in the UN! Chinatown and Little Italy were interesting to say the least. The bathroom was by far my least favorite part of the trip. No doubt. Never care to experience that again. But Kelley had fun shopping and seeing the different culture there. Nathan picked up a bamboo flute and Kelley got some gifts. Then we headed back to the hotel on the subway for 30 mins of rest before our final night in NYC.

26 June 2017

We concluded the day taking a sunset boat ride to see the Statue of Liberty. Nothing fancy about the boat, but it was a lot of fun. She looked gorgeous as ever! We also got great views of One World Trade Center and the Manhattan skyline. Overall a great way to end the day!
We started our day switching hotels, New York style, hauling our luggage on the subway. Then, we made it to the top, 102 floors to the top of the Empire State Building. Not without our goofiness! We ended up climbing the stairs from floors 80-86 because it was so crowded. The last picture is Kelley reenacting Elf, when Buddy pressed all the buttons in the elevator, "Look! A Christmas tree!"

25 June 2017

He did it! My boy performed at Carnegie Hall!! They sounded amazing!! The acoustics are so wonderful there, I could hear every pluck from the basses. I am so proud of that boy!
More concert pictures, including some from behind the scenes that his chaperone, Ms. Anita posted. The first picture is some of the students with the conductor, Kurt Mozier.
Nathan is concert ready! They loaded up the basses first (9 of them!) and all the kids loaded up in buses to head out to Carnegie Hall around 5:45. We had to say bye to them there. They went on to Carnegie for a sound check then concert time! Here are some of the pre concert shenanigans.
It's concert day! I started my day with a stroll into Central Park while Nathan was in his final rehearsal. At 11:45, we gathered as a group to head over to Radio City music Hall for a tour. Our guide was so entertaining and I just loved being on the SAME stage the Rockettes perform on. I couldn't resist striking a pose and doing a couple high kicks. We even got to meet a Rockette! So much fun. After, we went to lunch with Kevin and Kelley, then Nathan had to go rest up and get ready for the concert...

24 June 2017

Our evening concluded in Times Square with a celebration dinner at Planet Hollywood and some amusing sites after sunset!!
I started my day visiting churches on 5th street. I started at St. Patrick's Cathedral, where I was blown away by its beauty. It was one of my favorite places I remember visiting in 8th grade. Part of the church was being refurbished, but I read each prayer at each Saint, and spent some time in prayer. I then visited St. Thomas Episcopal church up the street, also undergoing major renovations (I guess when you have churches that old and that massive, it's time) but it also was gorgeous. I then joined Nathan's group for lunch and I was very happy to see he's really bonded with his group, and the ring leader of the boys in his group. This afternoon, I was able to attend 1 hour of their rehearsal. I LOVE their conductor!! And these kids are so talented. It's going to be an amazing concert. They did a nice job of building these ensembles. While there is some brass, wood winds, and percussion, it's mostly strings, so not too overpowering. Band and chorus have their own ensembles.
I got my ticket today!!

23 June 2017

And that last post all happened before 9:30am! I went back to the hotel, because it was so hot! Then decided to check out the Top of the Rock. It was very overcast today but still amazing views. I got a pass to go back in the evening, when Kelley was able to join me and we got soaked in rain, but had a blast!! In between, Kelley and I made a stop at Macy's on Heralds Square (8 floors!) and then made our way to American Girl NYC, which we have both wanted to do for the last 5 years (there will be a separate log for that!). Nathan spent the day in rehearsals...I did find myself outside the rehearsal room for a few minutes (rehearsals are closed). I had to get away quickly before I got busted but the kids sound just awesome! He also had lunch at Central Park, and got to see the new Broadway show Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Strange to not see him all day, but our texts suggest he had a great day. I'm glad Kelley and I got some girl time (I had not seen her in 2 weeks)
And you're never too old for American Girl.
Today was AMAZING!!! I got up at 5:30am, and navigated the subway down to the ABC studios to try and catch a glimpse of Good Morning America. I was so excited to see Robin Roberts in the studio, through the window from outside. Then an intern came out and said, hey, most of our show will be taking place in Central Park this morning with our concert in the park series, so we are loading up a party bus if you all want to go. What?! Long story short, I got the last seat on the top of the bus, and made friends with the 3 other ladies in the back row. We get to Central Park and Little Big Town is preparing to perform. It's all so exciting!! THEN I hear them say "Max and Peta are over there". WHAT? Max and Peta from Dancing with the Stars?? I starting screaming and jumping up and down! They were doing an exercise segment with their adorable baby. I got a selfie with Peta and poor Kelley is so sad she missed this!! Then I moved to the concert side, when I got the text from Nathan...WOW!

22 June 2017

Ok I will not be posting quite so many entires daily, but today was packed with so much excitement, I wanted to break it into sections. After Carnegie Hall, we took our first subway ride to Times Square, because Nathan really wanted to go to the Hard Rock Cafe. We decided to eat an early dinner there, and he explored every detail, every guitar, every picture. Then we had a surprise visit with Kelley! We went to the Hershey store, then headed back to the hotel (said bye to Kelley - she is staying with her dad the first part of the trip) and got Nathan checked into his program. The rental instruments were delivered at 9:15pm, and all the bass players had fun testing out their babies for the week, and while no one was looking, testing out the percussion instruments. Shhhhh. Don't tell! I then bid farewell to Nathan, as he is now part of the HPS program and I am on my own! I am exhausted and excited. My alarm is set... but we'll see how I feel at 5:15am to go see Good Morning America!
What an awesome day! We had smooth travel to LGA then an entertaining taxi ride to Manhattan. Nathan was so excited about his first cab ride and first time on the NYC subway. He helped navigate and was wide eyed and fascinated with the sights of the city, with a non stop smile on his face. Here are some pictures from our travels in the cab and subway today...
First stop! Carnegie Hall! We walked over from the hotel, and we're excited to find the promotional poster for Nathan's concert! We visited the museum and learned about the history of Carnegie Hall. Did you know Tchaikovsky conducted opening night in 1891? This is going to be awesome!!
We made it!
The journey began back in October, when Nathan received an invitation to audition for the Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall. He prepared for his first recorded audition on bass, Sonata #3 by Vivaldi, and we were thrilled to find out in late March he was accepted! Here we are at the Atlanta airport, ready to head out to the Big Apple for this amazing opportunity! Watch out NYC, here we come!