Early Spring In New York City

Hello everyone! This time last year I was in NYC on a very special trip with my son and my husband along with my son’s school technology group for the Samsung Solve For Tomorrow National competition. I realized a few weeks ago that I didn’t finish the blog post about the trip. With spring in full bloom and Easter less than a week away I thought it would be a great time to share the post I started working on last year.


Spring 2018 In New York City 

I am finally rested up from an exciting short trip to New York City last week with my son for a special field trip (more about that later in the post). The weather was extremely chilly, but spring was just showing signs there, and at least it didn’t rain or snow. I have been to NY several times so I didn’t push myself to do a lot of tiresome sightseeing with the group, but I did have time to take a few walks around the hotel and surrounding areas. Here are a few photos from the trip.


Rockefeller Center was a beautiful sight to behold, all done up for Easter with giant eggs and beautiful spring flowers in bloom. In the center stood a giant Easter bunny made of ivy. He rotated around and around, balancing a giant floral egg on the tip of his nose. How fun!


Giant Easter Egg At Rockefellar

All of the gorgeous urns were topped by giant eggs adorned with gold and jewels.


Giant Easter Egg At Rockefellar


Hyacinths in Bloom at Rockefellar Center NYC

The lovely purple and fragrant hyacinth planted among the ivy was delightful.


Beautiful flowers at Rockefellar Center spring flowers in NYC

Bright spring flowers were planted all around the urns and fountain pools.


gorgeous fountains at Rockefellar Center NYO


Early Spring New York City Daffodils

When we left for the trip our daffodils here in Kentucky were about to end their spring show for this year, so I was delighted to get to enjoy them for a few days in New York where they still have a couple of weeks left to dazzle.


Beautiful Flowers outside a shop in NYC

If your favorite flower wasn’t in bloom just yet in New York, no problem! There were beautiful fresh flower stands all around with a variety of gorgeous flowers to choose from.


Carnegie Hall Architecture

Our hotel was directly across the street from Carnegie Hall. Spring is the time of year when many high school ensembles have an opportunity to perform there. Being a music teacher I very much enjoyed seeing all of the high school band and choral students bustling back and forth from our hotel over to the hall for concerts each evening.


New York City Carnegie Hall Architecture

The details of the architecture on the building are magnificent!


New York City Architecture Carnegie Hall


New York City Architecture CarnegieHall


Having multiple food allergies can often times result in a boring rotation of  “safe” meals. Being in New York gave me a chance to try out a couple of organic and  allergy-friendly restaurants that I absolutely fell in love with.

Image result for pret a manger


Pret A Manger was just a couple of blocks down from our hotel. Here I found a gluten free, dairy free Moroccan chicken and quinoa bowl that I have been dreaming about ever since!


Image result for pret a manger


There were also a variety of organic salads and smoothies to choose from. I only drink coffee on special occasions, and their organic coffee was delicious. While sitting inside enjoying my lunch and coffee I had a wonderful view of Central Park and all of the horse drawn carriages going by.


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After each day I walked on over to Central Park. It is probably one of my favorite places on earth! It is just so magical to have such the beauty nature right in the middle of such a bustling city, and there are so many interesting thing to do there.


giant rocks in New York City's Central Park NYC

Signs of spring were starting to show in the park as well. Moss and tufts of grass were beginning to grow back on the large climbing boulders and the trees were just budding out.


Beautiful Central Park New York City

Wait…are we in Scotland, or New York?



Due to some physical limitations I really didn’t push myself to do too much during my free time while my husband and son took the busy bus city tours with the rest of the group. I really enjoyed just taking my time, and after walking for a bit I would settle down in the coffee shop next to our hotel and do some blogging. It was so fun to just relax and catch up on some blogging at the same time. I also am so grateful that the Lord blessed me with the ability to walk and travel, allowing me to be a part of such a wonderful event in my son’s life, including his first time flying.





Samsung Solve For Tomorrow

This time last year my son and his STLP (Science Technology Leadership Program) Group were competing in the national Samsung Solve For Tomorrow competition. Over 3000 middle schools and high schools across the U.S. applied, but my son’s school (Ashland Middle School) won the KY state competition and went on to be named one of the  top 10 schools in the nation! For a final round, the several of the students from the group met before a panel of judges in tight competition to pitch the project and the device they had created. The top three schools were announced live on Good Morning America on Wednesday, April 11th. Drum Roll…We won! Watch the video here!



My son and his teammates walked away with $150k in Samsung technology for their school, followed by an addition 20k from social media voting competition! This was such an amazing honor for a small Eastern Kentucky school. Even better, they designed a product that can potentially save thousands of lives each year. Using 3-D printers and computer technology, the students created a device that could be used by first responders and local authorities to pick up dangerous used needles and other drug paraphernalia.


I didn’t get a chance to do much junking or antiquing on the trip, but after the competition Samsung treated the winners to brunch at Tonic, a cool historic restaurant with some really awesome decor and antiques.


I loved the old exposed brick walls and black and white tile flooring.







More About The Winning Project From Ashland Middle School:

Below is a link to their official video the students had to make to originally pitch their product to Samsung back in October.

Ashland Middle School in Ashland, KY.

Because local first responders called to the scene of a drug overdose are only armed with rubber gloves and tongs, the students of Ashland Middle School developed a solution to safely pick up and dispose of hypodermic needles. The students created a device that could be used by first responders and local authorities to pick up dangerous used needles and other drug paraphernalia.

“Technology is a great tool, but if you’re not using it to help people, it’s just a toy,” said Isaac Campbella student from the Ashland Middle School team.

Watch the video here:


Spring Flower


Although they didn’t win the national competition this year, they were still the Kentucky State winners for 2019. They designed an app to help veterans find benefits easily, earning an additional 20K for their school! (See state winners here.) As a mother and community member I am so proud of my son, his classmates and the teachers and administrators who made this all possible! We had so much fun last year that we are planning an early summer trip this year too!

I hope you enjoyed revisiting New York with me. Have you ever been to NYC? I love hearing from you, dear readers!

Thanks for visiting today!




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  • Reply At Rivercrest Cottage

    I think NYC must be getting more sun than we are in NE Texas! Looking forward to it warming up enough to see some blooms here.

    April 15, 2019 at 12:18 pm
  • Reply Marlene Stephenson

    Very proud of those students. I have been to NYC and love to visit, walking up and down times square is fun and so is Central park.

    April 16, 2019 at 10:25 pm
  • Reply Mary

    Amber I moved back to New York after 20 years in Greece and I can honestly say I was pleasantly surprised by how beautiful it has become. All the planted flowers everywhere and how the streets have been cleaned up. If only they could get rid of that subway smell. Haha! There is a building on 58th just up from Carnegie Hall which looks like a pastry chef’s creation. Full of ornate work on its facade. I hope you had a chance to check it out. And yes, Central Park is also one of my favorite places.

    Congratulations to your son and his schoolmates. That is quite an achievement!

    April 18, 2019 at 4:24 pm
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