Thursday, July 5, 2012

Today Was THE Day

Today was the day Lily had been looking forward to ever since she convinced me, through a fairly well-written persuasive essay, that we should attempt a stop at Carlo's Bake Shop in Hoboken, NJ, to see the bakery featured in the TLC show, "Cake Boss."

Even though I had spent a few hours online last night, figuring and refiguring directions to Hoboken, we did get lost on the way there--twice. But that wasn't enough for me to abandon Lily's "lifelong" dream--we made it to Carlo's Bakery Way, 95 Washington Street. She wasn't disappointed. I had been quite stressed out about this endeavor with my three little kids in tow and no other adult to help keep them corralled. My kids are awesome. My kids are great. My kids are crazy and have no idea what dangers lurk in the traffic and congestion of a city.

I was surprised how well they did, even though we had to wait in line outside the bakery for an hour and then wait in the very cramped store for 45 minutes before our order was filled. We saw Mauro and Grace and . . . one of the other sisters whose name escapes me.
Lily ordered the chocolate mousse cake, and it was so delish. Micah and Hyrum ordered these big cookies with chocolate filling, but when we opened the box later, the clerk had forgotten to give them to us. Micah was disappointed until he ate his double chocolate cupcake and he seemed to drown his sorrows just fine. Hyrum sported a red mustache and Evie had bright red lipstick from their Fourth-of-July cupcakes and they couldn't have been happier. And Lily got a tshirt to forever remember her day.

All I can say is this: The clerks in the bakery, even though they messed up our order, were very efficient and patient with the commotion. I don't think I've ever paid $18 for six cupcakes, but it was worth it to make the memory, I suppose.

One of the things I'd been looking forward to most on this trip was driving across Manhattan to Long Island to hand deliver a package to our favorite missionary's mission office. This part of the drive, with my huge Suburban and four (ok, usually only three) disobedient kids made me extremely nervous, and not a whole lot really throws me for a loop in the worry department. As it turned out, I shouldn't have worried. I drove straight there, no wrong turns, and the mission office is in the basement of a church building, so we could park in its parking lot without fighting the Suburban into a curbside spot. The two couples of senior missionaries working in the officelet us in, and they were so happy to see kids that they didn't care we were noisy or crazy or demanding drinks and candy. We even met a few of the young men who have been serving with Elder Denton--we saw pictures of him on their cameras as proof. That was cool for my little boys.

It was so exciting to see where Tucker is serving. We didn't attempt to find him, since he would have been so angry if we had, but Elder Shepard told me that he'd just hung up the phone with Elder Denton, who had been reporting their broken A/C unit--not ten minutes before we'd walked in. That was exciting (stupid, huh, to think it was exciting to talk to someone who'd just spoken with my son?). And Elder Shepard took our picture in front of the huge map of Long Island. I look about as harried as I felt, and Evie refused to cooperate on any level. That's Evie lately--ornery and two. Hyrum only turned around when offered candy.

I loved it there, and I would have stayed longer if there had been anything else for us to do or see, but since we were really a distraction to what the missionaries should have been doing, we began our 3-hour drive back to PA, where our final destination for the night was Lancaster, heart of Amish/Pennsylvania Dutch country.

And this is the part of the day that I would love to forget. All my stress and planning about driving in Hoboken and Queens, and the driving part of the day that was awful was the part that was supposed to be a piece of chocolate mousse cake. Road construction on Long Island delayed us an hour. Road construction on Staten Island delayed us 30 minutes. And a rolled over truck on the New Jersey Turnpike delayed us another hour. Our three-hour jaunt devolved into almost six hours in the car, with me frustrated and stuck and practically foaming at the mouth.. Luckily, Dr. Google located a Redbox somewhere in rural PA that saved my sanity and zombie-fied my kiddos into a trance.

By the time we finally arrived in Lancaster, all the Amish shops were closing and I couldn't bear the thought of shopping anyway.
That's okay. The Amish visit was just an afterthought. Today was THE day of the trip--cake and my missionary's package.

It was a good day. A Really Good Day.


  1. one, we love Cake Boss here too.
    two, you get a gold star for even making the effort to drive in that madness!
    three, what a good mom you are to have left a goodie box for your missionary and not disrupted his day. That just makes me smile, knowing how hard it must've been to do that and doing it anyway.
    And lastly, you are one brave woman. Be safe!

  2. What a day, what a wonderful/frustrating/unforgettable day. I'm so excited you got to breathe your son's missionary air.

  3. I'm glad it was only a 1 hr and 45 min wait for you instead of 3 hours though! I'm glad Lily got to do that. :) And am I crazy if I suddenly wanted to cry at the picture of you guys in front of the map? And the fact that he'd called just minutes before? I would have thrown up from anxiety just being that close. :) And sorry the traffic was so frustrating. But hey! You braved New York City! You're pretty much a pro. suburban driver. ;)

  4. I'm in awe that you successfully drove in New York City. It's madness, but you survived and did well! I'm so excited that you did the Cake Boss thing - what fun for Lily and everyone.
    And Evie... well, Hayden and Evie are about the same age, aren't they? Hayden just blows raspberries whenever she doesn't like something. Which is all the time. But there's a light beginning to appear: she'll be 3 in November. When is Evie's birthday?
    You're having an amazing trip. I don't know whether I'd have had the willpower to walk away from seeing my missionary. My hat's off to you!

  5. So, so, so happy for you! Glad it went smoothly least the important parts did anyway. Love that you all got to drive through his corner of the world, and love that picture of you in front of the map. Even love that you got $$ cupcakes :). Keep enjoying every day of your adventure!

  6. Every single mother in Blogdom will get it - the complete and utter satisfaction of seeing your son's world.
    Well done, negotiating all that awful traffic!

  7. I so get the excitement that Tucker had just been on phone - you got to be in his world for just a few minutes and that is AWESOME!!

    I am a little jealous of the bakery, well, and NYC - I have never been but it looks like a great day and don't we love our google?!

    I miss you!!

  8. oh, jen, i just LOVE this post - i can SOOOOO appreciate that this was lily's lifelong dream, as it is my own lil' cake boss's #1 dream as well ... I can only imagine the magical look in lily's eyes as she entered the store :)

    i'm only on blogger about once/month these days, but i'm so glad this was the post of yours that I got to see - congrats on a wonderful road trip!! Happy Summer to you and yours!!

  9. I've said it before and I'll say it again. This trip of yours renders you heroic in my eyes.

    And very, very cool.


    PS. Being in that mission office must have been pure gold.

  10. What an awesome road trip you are having! I really think that's what summer & kids are all about - new places, new experiences. And you are so cool to take this on - even the thought of getting lost terrifies me.

  11. Yay! How fun for you to get to see Tucks mission, even if it was in some small way. It's not wierd to get excited that you were talking to someone who had talked to Tucker. And what an awesome memory for Lily to have actually visited Carlos. Sorry for all the traffic delays, welcome to that part of the world. But so glad you got to do the other things you wanted.