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Fifth Avenue in New York is a special place to visit. It is home to many beyond-high-end shops such as Tiffany & Company, Prada, Gucci, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Bergdorf Goodman, just to name a few. I have to add that these are not the places on Fifth that we visited. We wouldn’t even be able to afford to pay attention in these stores!

One stop we had to make, being fans of “The Apprentice” and all, was Trump Tower. It’s a really cool building, and I was excited to show the boys.

It was amusing to show them how many things in the building had the Trump name on them.

Of course, everywhere you turned, you could buy something too. With the Trump name on it. ‘Cause that’s how The Donald rolls. We were in the building for about 25 minutes and never saw him; he was probably upstairs counting money or something.

I also had to make my standard NYC stop at The Plaza to visit Eloise.

Eloise is the little girl in a series of books by Kay Thompson (illustrated by Hilary Knight) who lives at The Plaza with her dog Weenie and her turtle, Skipperdee. My and Julesie‘s Dad is a hotel manager (not of The Plaza!) and we lived in hotels for a time when we were kids. (We were popular for sleepovers!) Though we didn’t run around those hotels as Eloise did (like she owned the place)…oh never mind. We sort of did in our own way. Anyway, our Mom bought the first book and it’s always been one of our favorites. A portrait of Eloise hangs at The Plaza. See? Isn’t she cute?

After I dropped by and said hello, we wandered around the hotel a bit, feeling very underdressed and a bit slobbish.

After a few minutes, the older boy (Captain Obvious) made the following statement: “The Plaza is a little fancy.”

Ya think?

We also visited the awesome Apple Store. Other than the actual store being H-U-G-E and P-A-C-K-E-D, it was just like any other Apple Store, except for the modern and innovative entrance and street level view:

Yep, it’s just a big glass box with the Apple logo hanging inside. To get downstairs, you can take the elevator (this is the view from inside the elevator at the bottom, looking up at street level):

or the stairs:

Next stop? FAO Schwarz. Awesome. The boys were looking forward to seeing the Big Piano, from the movie “Big”.

Here’s the Big Piano! Exciting! There was (of course) a small line to get a turn.

If you wanted to purchase one to install at your own home, you could get it for a very reasonable (cough, cough) $250,000.

Here is a little girl having lots of fun on the piano. She doesn’t belong to me, but my own children took a pass on playing “Heart and Soul” or any other tune on the Big Piano. Oh well.

As we made our way towards the door, we came across a huge display of this “new” toy called a Myachi. Adorable, but what is it?

I’ve got news for you. Although they are heralding it as “The Original HAND Sack”, c’mon guys. It’s a flat Hacky Sack. Alright, the Hacky Sack is ball-shaped and meant to be a FOOT Sack, but really. Hand Sack? It’s a Hacky Sack.

Well, I’ll let you be the judge. I have to admit, it is pretty cool…but dorky at the same time. Myachi anyone? (By the way, a Myachi costs about $249,992 less than the Big Piano.)

Lastly, my favorite part of Fifth Avenue on that particular day, Takashimaya. I have written about Takashimaya before: if you’ll recall, Julesie and I saw the Clintons there on our last visit and were thisclose to walking up and saying hello until the Secret Service started moving in.

This high-end Japanese department store is TO DIE FOR. The description on their website says this: “Takashimaya is a store temple of uniquely curated merchandise and gifts.” A STORE TEMPLE! Isn’t that cool? Totally accurate, too. It feels like a sacred space as soon as you walk in the door.

As we wandered around I found the most beautiful soaps and decided to get one for Julesie and one for myself. (Weaselmomma: I’ll save you the trouble here…) I did NOT get one for my NYC contest. They are wrapped in gorgeous, heavy paper with ribbon and a little wax seal, and…ooh, wait. I didn’t find them on the Takashimaya site but I did find them here.

Anyway, the lady who worked there was chatting with me about how luxurious the soaps were and I told her I wanted to buy two. She asked how I would be paying for them, cash or charge, and I told her that I would use my Visa. Then she said something magical that I don’t experience at JCPenney or Target:

“Why don’t you give me your credit card and have a seat with your family while I ring this up in back; I’ll put the soaps in a bag with the gift bags and tissue so that when you get home, you can package them up nicely and the tissue will still look nice?”

What? You’re going to take my credit card in back, lady?

Oh yeah, there are NO registers out on the sales floor. Tacky.

Now if the sales lady at one of my normal haunts had said those same words, of course I would have said “Hell to the no! You’d better ring that stuff up out here where I can see you!” But here at Takashimaya, I felt like I was a total celebrity, and I have to admit, I loved that.

I went over to where the boys were sitting and told them excitedly what was happening. They weren’t impressed.

Oh well. They didn’t even really believe that this was a department store. “There’s not enough STUFF, Mom.”

Ahh, young whippersnappers. Someday you’ll get it.

I tried to explain the high-end concept of shopping to them, but frankly they really didn’t care much. I signed my Visa slip, took the bag from the sales lady, and we headed back out to the street, my steps a little springier as we went on with our day.