A couple weeks ago, the Wilson family road tripped it down to New York City.  It was our last summer adventure, and it we had a great time.

Day #1

We loaded up the car, had The Help on cd for the ride–can’t wait to see the movie–and got to somewhere outside of Albany before stopping for lunch.  We found a McDonald’s that had an indoor play area for: Donovan to get his pent up energy out, to realize that I didn’t pack the Pack and Play (the bed our child was to sleep in!!!) and a place for me to puke.  Car sickness.  One of the many things I’ve never really had until getting pregnant (man, having a baby REALLY changes everything).  The rest of the trip, I had Dramamine in hand, especially since we were staying at a cute B&B in Staten Island and were to take the ferry over to NYC every day. I wanted to be prepared.

We pulled up to this B&B and when the owner answered the door she said, “oh, I don’t allow children.”  WHAT?!?!?!  “When I booked through Expedia,” I said “they told me you waved the $40 per day per child fee.”  She said, “I never talked to Expedia; they never called me or emailed me…. but you’re already here so come on in.”  Phew.  Crisis averted.  She went on to tell us how un-baby proofed the place was and how a previous guest’s child pulled an antique lamp down on their head, and that she was NOT liable for any injuries or damages Donovan may cause.  “Don’t worry, he’ll be with us the entire time,” we kept saying.  Fast forward to the end of the trip–she was playing with Donovan at breakfast.  He won her over quick.  Oh! And she had an extra Pack and Play that a previous European guest left because they didn’t want to keep hauling back and forth whenever they came to visit!  Next up, going to the City… lots of pictures…

Day #2

Taking the ferry over to Manhattan

The second we step off the ferry, Donovan says “Wooooaaaaahhh!  Woooooaaaaahhhh!”  It was hilarious.  We think he was amazed at all the people, the bright lights and the fact that there was so much to see!

It was a beautiful, hot summer day. First stop, Central Park.

They have a big playground on the south end and Donovan immediately made himself at home.

Did I mention it was hot?

They have a 100 year old carousel and since Donovan loved riding the one in Salem when we were there, this was a must.

Next, we were getting hungry and wanted to find some pizza (gotta have pizza when you go to NYC right?)  Donovan must have been starving because he ate almost a whole piece by himself!

Serious business.

The pizza joint we went to was right off 5th Avenue, so we made a stop in FAO Schwartz.  Not only was Donovan impressed (Wooooaaaaahhhh!) but so were we!  I’m still a kid at heart, I have to say. They have the worlds biggest gummie bear, a huge candy station–which only made me think of you, Amber, my candy-aholic friend–and a Build-a-Muppet station.  Cool!  So many fun toys, for the very young and old.  It’s at this store that they filmed that famous scene in the movie Big where Tom Hanks dances on the giant piano.  Donovan LOVED that. He was in heaven hopping around with the other kids, making noise, and even decided to hold the hand of a girl.

After this Donovan finally succumbed to his sleepiness and conked out in the stroller.  Grant and I took this opportunity to do some window shopping on 5th Avenue: Tiffany’s, Nike… more was in our plans, but little man woke up.

So we went to Times Square.

So much to see!  Then we ventured over to Ground Zero, which was pretty moving.

“Dedicated to those who fell and to those who carry on.” “We will never forget.”

Coming up on the 10th anniversary and being in this spot, you can’t help but go back to that day, remembering where you were, how you felt, and thinking about how the many ways it has changed our lives since that day.  Incredible.

Next we found a place to eat dinner and got caught in the worst wind I’ve ever experienced in my life on the walk back to the ferry.  Holy crap.  We were only a block from the terminal, but we had to take “cover” between two buses that could block the wind for us.  Grant was holding Donovan and I had all our stuff in the stroller.  I ended up putting my sunglasses on, just so dirt and garbage (which was flying through the air) didn’t get in my eyes and I could see.  I felt like we were in the Wizard of Oz.  It was SO WINDY!!! Boxes were flying by, plastic bags, it was nuts.  Finally there was a break in the wind and we made a mad dash to the ferry–along with hundreds of other people.  Just as we stepped on, the torrential downpour started. We got back to the B&B utterly exhausted, but planning what was in store for the next day.

Day #3

Taking the ferry to Manhattan, to catch the subway to Coney Island and Brooklyn.

Another hot, sunny day!

Coney Island = hot dogs = Nathan’s Hot Dogs.  Chili cheese dog, french fries, and Orange-ade (a mix between orange juice and lemonade).  This is where they have the annual hot dog eating contest on the 4th of July.

We hung out at the beach.  It was so hot!

Funny, the sunbathers didn’t move, even when you got really close to them.  They must be used to crowds.  If it was me and there was a 16 month old kid running around close by, I’d be making sure he didn’t hit me with his ball or run onto my blanket or something…. but maybe that’s just me.

We visited Prospect Park in Brooklyn, which has a small zoo in it’s Children’s Corner.  So many kid friendly places to go to in NY!

We were starting to wear down, so we thought we’d try eating dinner at a place my friend, Sarah, reccommended: Basta Pasta.  A Japanese/Italian fusion restaurant.  It was Saturday evening and I thought they’d be booked for sure, but I called at 5 pm for a 6:15 reservation and we got a table! Woop woop!  Grant said the Cesar dressing was one of the top 3 he’s ever had in his life. Hint: with Grant, that is the test of a good restaurant.  Good Cesar dressing.  After dinner, we tried finding a place for cheesecake for dessert, but our GPS was not showing us the right directions, so we said forget it, and took the ferry home.  Which was 45 min late.  Then we docked and thought the parking garage where we kept our car that day was closed, so we took the city bus back to the B&B.  Arrived at midnight.

Day #4

Taking a taxi to the parking garage to pick up our car, only to find the garage WAS open by the time we docked.  Ugh!  They really should update their hours on their web site!  We packed and took our time driving home, listening to The Help and enjoying every minute of it.  Donovan is such a good traveler, he slept a lot on the way home, but even when he was antsy and wanting to get out of his car seat,  he was very patient when we would tell him we would be home soon (which was still an hour away), only having one breakdown which required me to sit with him in the backseat to keep him occupied.  Poor guy.  But he made it and so did we!  What an exhaustingly, wonderful, long weekend!!!

A few days later, we felt the earthquake that was centered in Virginia.  I was sitting in my office and thought I was swaying.  And I was, but it was because the earth was moving.  I looked at the water on my desk and it was moving side to side.  It was so strange.

Then the next week, we were preparing to get hit hard by hurricane Irene.  We got some water, bought some groceries, had the candles ready (since every store was out of batteries for our flashlights), did laundry, and bought Donovan some shoes.  Ok, that last one wasn’t really a “hurricane prep”, but the kid has outgrown his sneakers, so we bought him a new pair, and his first pair of boots.

Grant was very proud.  Now they can match!

Donovan also wanted to ride the little carousel at the mall.  Check him out, driving already!

We got hit with the storm, but not nearly as bad as the people further south of us in Vermont. We didn’t even lose power, thank God, but others got slammed.

The last few weeks have been quite a ride!  You should get over to NYC if you’ve never been. It’s pretty amazing. Grant and I want to go back without the little one so we can do more adult things–go to a broadway show, maybe a museum, Ellis Island, experience the nightlife.  Have you ever been to NYC? What was your favorite thing you did? What didn’t you get to do that you wish you could have?