James has a few business trips each year which require him to travel around the U.S. or over to India, Ireland, and Australia. This is sometimes hard on the kids (“How many more sleeps till Daddy comes back?”) and myself as I’m a stay at home Mom. We thought with his trip to NYC in November, we’d all tag along!
James and I have been to NYC a few times, but always separately. I came here right after I finished weaning Patrick (girls trip, woohoo!!) and again last Spring to relive the glory days with my fave college party animals. James has been for work and out and about each night he was able. We knew since James had already booked his flight/hotel that we wouldn’t really have a weekend or time together to do things as a whole family, so we’ve been doing as much as we can while James is still in work-mode.
Before we even got on the airplane, we had to get Alice’s crazy bloody nose taken care of me lots of cold meds for me. Luckily the doc said to keep doing what we were doing with Alice and just be mindful of the dry flight and air on in our hotel room. The handle of one of our suitcases fell on her as we were getting on the shuttle and that was enough to start a bloody nose as we loaded up for our ride from long term parking. It wasn’t totally out of control, but did get on her bunny and shirt. She was a little trooper and doesn’t mind me shoving vaseline up there to make it all better. That and a quick trip to the bathroom to clean up and we were off!
Alice standing in the big taxi queue outside JFK.
Our flight landed on Sunday night, and we checked into our hotel and I got everyone organized and unpacked while James picked up his favorite $1 slices of pizza for a late night snack. Monday, James was off to work and the kids and I got some sweet treats at Magnolia and played in a nearby outdoor playground.
Luckily that was around James’ lunch time and he was within walking distance, so he came over to surprise the kids and we walked him back to work. We had dinner that night at the Rocking Horse Cafe, a place I had many a sangarita with my gals. James walked from his work, and I strapped Alice in a new child carrier pack (by myself!!) and Patrick and I walked 12 blocks for some lovely food and drinks.
I was also able to make a quick Target run before we left, and got some new books, coloring books, crayons, and games to bring along. This has been the perfect quiet time activity at night with Alice and Patrick.
For Tuesday’s adventure, we went to the American Museum of Natural History and dinner together.
Tuesday morning’s forecast called for snow and while we didn’t get any, it was cold enough to ensure that we had indoor plans. But see – not too cold – Alice was rocking bloomers and tights.
The Museum was awesome and while we probably only saw a quarter of the exhibits, it was more than enough for Alice and Patrick. Each exhibit they talked about what they saw, counted things, and asked endless questions when it came to the different cultures. “Why did they not have trees in the desert?” “Why do they wear those masks?” I had a cold start up a few days before we left and had put a brave face on and lots of meds/cough drops/hot beverages, but I really felt spent at the end of the day.
Since the kids’ internal clocks were between PST and EST, we’ve been having a great brunch each morning – sharing a huge fruit plate/yogurt/making our own parfaits, having bagels, coffee, bacon, etc – and a dinner out with James in the evening. This has been a time and money saver that I hadn’t planned, but I’m happy it worked out this way. Also, we haven’t been able to spend all day out and about since Alice is still an afternoon napper, so I’ve been trying to make sure we go out each day without doing too much for the kiddos.
Wednesday morning I woke up feeling absolutely horrendous, so James got some more hardcore cold medicine for me. The kids and I had a lovely brunch and then back up to our hotel room to play, color, and relax so I can recharge. James came back in the evening time and we all walked over to the Empire State Building for a tour and one memorable view of the city.
I love this picture so much. My little daredevil looks quite thrilled to be at the top. And it wasn’t until the next day that I noticed her giving the camera TWO thumbs up. What a ham!
Then dinner at one of James’ favorite BBQ restaurants. Lots of meat, sides, beer, and my family. And me cracking up at Alice who wouldn’t share any cucumber salad because it was hers.
On Thursday, I took the kids to the Children’s Museum of Manhattan and we explored nearly every inch while having a wonderful time getting tons of energy out.
My non-napper Patrick had to take a nice rest after today’s adventure so I was really happy with some quiet time for myself for the first time in a few days. Sometimes vacations can be rough with everyone in a hotel room, but we’ve been very lucky that the kids have had enough outside time despite the colder temps. And, I’m thrilled that the lows reported for the week we were here never really made it that low. It was supposed to snow one morning and we saw nothing. The kids rarely used mittens/hats or even jackets!
Friday we met up with some friends for lunch and the kids got to explore a bit of Brooklyn and Jane’s Carousel followed by one giant and decadent cookie at Jacque Torres.
Our flight was on Saturday afternoon so we weren’t quite sure what to do as a family. We went out for a nice breakfast together and I really felt rotten at this point. James luckily stepped in and took the kids to Central Park for 2 hours while I packed and then napped. This was perfect for me because I had been fighting the flu for so long and not getting better. I finally had no aches after this wonderful nap and this made the flight home easier for me. We had an hour delay once we were all on board and despite my crabbiness of “please – I just want to go home and recover” thoughts in my head, Patrick and Alice were little angels who napped and snacked and cuddled with me.
It was a perfect way to end the trip, so once we were home, I asked Patrick what he wanted for having great behavior in NYC. He replied, “A turkey dinner with mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce…”
After a long week of the kids on my own plus being sick, I could not believe I had the energy to go to Whole Foods and get food for a delicious feast for my family. And of course the smallest turkey they had was 13 pounds! A roaring fire, James and I cooking together, the kids playing games all reminds me how much I have and what a great part of the world I live. While we had grand adventures together in NYC, there’s really no place like home.