Tuesday, April 30, 2013


April vacation was a couple weeks ago, and thanks to a surprise bonus from my husband's work, we were able to actually go away.

Now, both kids love the movie, Night at the Museum, and have been asking to go to NYC to see the actual museum for a while. Unfortunately, NYC is not exactly cheap, so when the opportunity arose to finally take them, we jumped on it. 

I went into this vacation knowing we were going to the most over stimulating place on the planet. I looked online ahead of time, and planned our week. I also chose a hotel that wouldn't be far from any one place, in case we needed to make a quick escape.

Of course, my idea of "close", and the kid's idea of "close", are two very different things.

We took a bus from Cambridge (a city next to Boston), on Monday.

Patriot's Day.

Yep, Marathon Monday. 

It took us a little over 4 hrs to get to the city, and once we checked into our hotel, we headed to Times Square. It thankfully wasn't too busy, and we made sure to hit up all the kid friendly places: the M&M Store, Disney, Toys R Us...

We were actually standing in line for the Ferris Wheel at TRU, when my phone started going crazy with "breaking news" alerts.


I won't speak on the tragedy that happened. We all know about it, and I have nothing to add. But, needless to say, we left Times Square after our ride, because being in such a touristy area didn't feel real safe. Where we went was definitely affected by what happened at home, but we still made it a memorable vacation for the kids, who were the whole reason we came.

After leaving Times Square, we headed back to the hotel and relaxed a bit, before getting the most expensive TGIFridays dinner known to man.

Yep, TGIFridays, because we needed to make sure wherever we ate had food for picky 1 and 2.

But, seriously, even knowing we were in Manhattan, we could have died when we saw the grossly inflated prices. Welcome to NYC! Also, Ben didn't end up eating his food. His like $50 kids meal (that might be slightly exaggerated). So, being the frugal person he is, my husband took it home, and ate it for breakfast the next morning.

We're not fancy. 

On Tuesday we headed to the Museum of Natural History...which was not one of the "close" places to our hotel. K let us know just how not close it was the whole walk there, as Ben took it upon himself to try and hail a taxi. Thankfully, he is still small enough to ride on daddy's shoulders. 

Unfortunately, K had to hoof it the whole way.

(Autism Awareness, people! We spread a lot of it in NYC!)

The museum was amazing, and huge. We split up, me with K, my husband with B, and took the kids to the exhibits they most wanted to see (which, of course, were not remotely the same). 

It was amazing, but overwhelming. By the time we left, K was d-o-n-e DONE. Thankfully, we found a little playground across the street, and the kids were able to play in the sand, and spin on a tire swing for a while, which helped bring them  back to the green zone. 

After the playground, we took the subway back to the hotel, which the kids greatly appreciated. Kai and I ordered up some (cheap, yet yummy) sushi, and the kids ate their leftovers from lunch. (Did I mention I had a tuna sandwhich at the museum, and it was $9.50? So, yeah, we weren't tossing any of the kid's leftovers from lunch.) 

Wednesday was the day K had been waiting for. A trip to the American Girl store. Not wanting to force the boys to go, they took off to tour some aircraft carrier museum. 

B had a great time looking at the ship, and the airplanes displayed on the ship, and he even got to tour a submarine. K and I spent the day getting her doll's hair done, shopping, and having "tea".  Thankfully, K has to be practically forced to buy anything, so I got off cheap (in my opinion, not my husband's) ;)

Wednesday was also the night we made the mistake of trucking the kids to the nearest Whole Foods (because that is the only supermarket we could find), to get stuff for the hotel. We thought we could save some money by grabbing some snacks/drinks.

We were wrong.

I was especially dissapointed with this Whole Foods outing, because I bought myself some edamame from the sushi counter, and it was frozen when I went to eat it. Frozen.

So, I ate it for breakfast the next morning ;)  (You see a pattern here?)

Thursday we tried to keep it low key, and visited the Central Park Zoo. It's a pretty small zoo, with regular zoo prices, but the kids had fun. Katie especially liked the children's zoo area, where she was able to feed some animals. The only bad part was the zoo's restaurant, which really isn't part of the zoo, but kinda sorta is. The employees were awful, and I'll leave it at that. (Tip: bring your own food, or eat elsewhere.)

We also visited FAO, which was more crowded than I've ever seen, and I've been there on weekends. But, the kids loved it, and got to dance on the giant piano. (I did that once. I actually got to dance on it next to a Beckham kid. So, that was great, since, you know, I probably looked like a giant hippo, and Posh Spice (who was like 6 months pregnant at the time, and about 100lbs lighter than me, still), looked on. Celebrity sightings aren't always so exciting.

Then, Friday happened. I had planned to take the kids back into Times Square. I knew we'd have to check out of our hotel, and didn't want to make them walk too much before we went home. I also really wanted to go to Red Lobster, because I love Red Lobster (shut up), and we don't have any around here (the closest one is in southern CT).

However, I awoke Friday morning to 1000 more breaking news blasts on my phone, and decided we would once again avoid any high traffic, touristy areas. Especially since every 5 minutes there were reports that the bombing suspects were on their way to NY, or there were people being pulled over here, there, and everywhere, and, yeah, no Times Square for us.

Now, this is when we learned we had spent one too many days in the city. K was over it, and B had like spun off into space, he was so overstimulated (this was actually a bigger problem all week, than K's meltdowns).

We tried to get something quick to eat, which unleashed a giant meltdown. K announced she was not eating anywhere she didn't know. This of course meant she couldn't even step foot into a restaurant she didn't know. My husband tried to take her for a walk while I got B some pizza, but it didn't work. We just had to suck it up. My husband put it best when he said K was overwhelmed, and there was no place to hide. We couldn't go back to the hotel, and there was nothing "fun" nearby. No quiet place to duck into. Nothing. After a while, K relented and asked for some chicken...which unfotunately was too peppery, and back into meltdown land we went. Sometimes, you just have to roll with the punches.

 I tried to make things better with a trip to Dylan's Candy Bar, which helped a bit, but, at this point, we all just wanted to go home.

Except, we weren't actually sure we'd get to go home, since the city was on lockdown, and they weren't letting busses in or out. The whole day I was attatched to my phone, trying to keep up with what was going on, and trying to figure out if we could even get back. Not exactly the way you want to spend your vacation.

Thankfully, the day ended on a pretty good note. We found a great playground in the park, and let the kids just hang out until we had to leave. We also learned the busses were going home...kinda. Not back to where our car was parked, but to a park and ride somewhere kinda sorta, but not really, nearby. My dad agreed to pick us up, and drive us to our car (at this point, all the drama was over, so we knew we'd at least be able to get our to our car, even if the bus still wasn't going there).

When all was said and done, we got home around 1am, fell into bed, and all slept late.

Really, it wasn't a bad vacation. This whole post probably reads like the worst vacation ever, but it wasn't. Not at all. And we're really not cheap by regular standards, just by NYC standards. We did have a lot of fun, it was just a tense week, for a lot of reasons. But, that's life. I love the city, but it's definitely a different experience going with kids.

We've decided our next vacation will be on a beach somewhere, though. A nice, quiet beach, where we don't have anything to do, or anywhere to go. Preferably with a pina colada in my hand.

(Phew, that was a long post. Thanks for sticking it out til the end).

No comments:

Post a Comment