Jun 30

Going Bananas (Splits) For A Cause

in Family, Travel

As I mentioned in my last post, I took Squirrel and Bug to New York City to attend a special event to help kick off a new virtual campaign to support the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF). I am so glad that I said yes when Foodbuzz contacted me and asked me if I would be willing to go, because not only did we have a fabulous time, but it was for a great cause, and now I get to encourage you to get involved too!  Yesterday the new virtual campaign was launched on Kelly Confidential.  If you go to the site, you can build your ultimate banana split.  For each banana split created on the site, Electrolux will donate $1 to the OCRF.  To sweeten the deal, everyone who logs on to the site and builds a banana split will be automatically entered for a chance to win the daily prize ($50 towards sweet summer treats) and the grand prize (the new stand-alone refrigerator and freezer from Electrolux).

Why would a mom knowingly and willingly go on a 5-hour flight cross country with 2 very young children all by herself, subjecting herself to tantrums thrown by tired children and rude comments from annoyed fellow passengers, then stay in a hotel with those children by herself, sharing a bed with the 3-year old who does kung fu in her sleep, all to do the same 5-hour flight the next day to return home?  Either she is insane, or she is supporting a really good cause, like spreading the word to help in the fight against ovarian cancer.  I’m hoping that I only qualify for the latter, but realistically I probably qualify for both!

The Empire State Building

Somehow we survived the flight there, got settled into our hotel, and then met up with Kate (Our Best Bites) and her two kids and Maggy (Three Many Cooks) for a lovely dinner at La Bonne Soupe.

Kate's (Our Best Bites) 2 little ones

Thankfully the staff was incredibly gracious, despite a slightly crabby Bug who hadn’t had a nap.  The food was delicious (the salad dressing was swoon worthy) and the company was even better.  After a night of Squirrel practicing some special roundhouse kicks on my back and head (I have a couple of bruises to prove it), we woke up excited and ready to go.

Squirrel is excited about making banana splits

When we arrived at the location of the event, Studio 450, an absolutely gorgeous space, lunch was waiting for us, along with all kinds of fun things for the kids to do.

Lunch at SplitsKids at Splits having a blast

The kid’s lunch tables were covered in white butcher paper and boxes of crayons were on the tables so that they could all tap into their inner artist.

Bug blissed out on crayons

There was someone making balloon sculptures who was hilarious and had all of the kids giggling.  Bug spent quite a bit of her time pilfering other people’s balloon sculptures.

Bug the Balloon Stealer

If there had been nothing but balloons, I think she would have been incredibly happy.

Bug and the balloons

There was also someone doing amazing face painting.  Squirrel fulfilled her heart’s desire and became a butterfly.

Squirrel transforms into a butterfly

It was so fun to spend time with fellow bloggers, like Kate of Our Best Bites, Kelsey of The Naptime Chef, Jaden of Steamy Kitchen, and Joslyn of Simple Lovely (and Raising Foodies).

Kate from Our Best Bites & Kelsey from The Naptime Chef

It was also really fun to meet everyone’s kids.  It was an extraordinarily cute group of kids.  Jaden’s (Steamy Kitchen) boys grudgingly agreed to be in some pictures with Squirrel for Jaden and me, even managing not to say, “Eeew! Girls are gross!”

Squirrel with Jaden's cute boys Andrew and Nathan

Then we were ushered into an adjacent room to get started on the main activity, and the reason that we had traveled so far.

To be continued . . . . (While you’re waiting for the second half of the story, how about going and making a banana split?)

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Lyndsey June 30, 2010 at 6:03 pm

What great pictures. Looks like tons of fun! Your kids are so adorable. I love the shot of bug with all the balloons. My daughter never liked balloons (I think it was the fear of them popping). I’ve seen some pictures from Jaden on twitter that she posted. (Her kids are cute too)

Can’t wait for the second half!!! Now I’m off to make a banana split….


Mamakd June 30, 2010 at 6:21 pm

Awesome pictures!!!! Looks like you had fun…and survived!!!


Winnie June 30, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Such beautiful pictures! So very brave of you to do all that traveling, but it looks like it was well worth it!


Paula - bell'alimento June 30, 2010 at 6:54 pm

So much FUN! Fantastic fotos! Can’t wait to see the next installment & yes, now I’m craving banana splits ; )


Jennifer June 30, 2010 at 9:04 pm

The pictures are great. And since I have a 14 month old, I know how tough travel is by yourself. congrats on the making the trip for such a worth cause!


Camila July 1, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Man it always frustrates me when people get fed up at cranky/irritated children during travel. My mom always taught me that no one wants their kids to be crying and there’s no use getting mad at them because they’re probably even more frustrated.

But if looks like you had a great time! These pictures are lovely.


LollyChops July 1, 2010 at 1:37 pm

How completely awesome! I bet that was really something!!! HUGS sweet pea!


Kathleen July 1, 2010 at 5:53 pm

What great photos! It looks like you had a wonderful time so far, despite the travel time and sleeping arrangements. Can’t wait to read the next part…


joslyn July 1, 2010 at 7:33 pm

it was so great meeting you Rachel…and for such a fun (and worthwhile) cause!


[email protected] July 2, 2010 at 10:49 am

I can hardly wait to read the rest!!! Your pictures are spectacular and the OCRF are so lucky to have had you participate!!


Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction July 2, 2010 at 11:40 am

Looks like such a fun time! Loved all of the photos, and I look forward to the continuation :)


Jennifer(Savor) July 2, 2010 at 12:37 pm

So glad you got to go and have a great time! I lvoe that you are crazy enough to go through all the effort because the cause is worth it!


Cassaendra July 3, 2010 at 12:56 pm

So glad you survived everything, roundhouse kicks included! :) Look forward to your next installment! I love all the colors.


Abigail (aka Mamatouille) July 3, 2010 at 8:52 pm

Fuji Mama, you’re one of the bravest women I know! Glad the NYC trip went so swimmingly and hope your Tokyo trip is sublime. Say hello to Nihon for me!


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