*if you are viewing this on a mobile device, I’m so sorry some of the pictures are sideways. There’s something wrong with the mobile site and I have no clue how to fix it.*
Luke’s sister Mercy up and decided it was her turn to get married this year, in Syracuse, New York, in August. So we packed our bags and journeyed across the country to celebrate.
We decided to combine the wedding journey with some vacation days, so for the first part of our trip, we took the kids to New York City to start off the vacation. Let me just say, there has never been a more peaceful flight for us, when traveling with kids.
For those of you with tiny littles, please know that there is hope and that one day, you will be able to do as we did and actually enjoy the journey. The three kids sat across the aisle from us, they all had their backpacks and snacks, three sets of headphones (and one jack splitter–my most brilliant mom moment ever!), and one portable dvd player.
And we had three hours of continuous uninterrupted conversation. This has never happened, to date, and needless to say we were living the dream life, feeling like we’d finally arrived as parents.
It was an early morning flight, however, and a very long cab ride into the city, and Landis had to squish on my lap in the backseat and just couldn’t keep his eyes open any longer (Julia is faking it, however)
We did have one kid with a sore throat the whole weekend in NYC, and Landis somehow hurt his knee and had to be carried on Luke’s shoulder almost the entire time. Every time Luke put him down he’d try to walk and then start limping pathetically like an old man. We’re pretty sure he wasn’t faking…but who can tell? (maybe it’ll come out at true confession night when he’s 20)
We walked a very very very long way to China town for some dumplings that were all the rave. They were good and cheap, but the blisters on my feet weren’t convinced it was worth it.
We found ourselves at Central Park both days, it’s one of our favorite places. There’s a great big climbing rock near a really fun park, that was complete with a splash pad, although I wasn’t about to let the kids do that since we had to pack up the next day. They did enjoy the row boat with Luke–only 4 per boat, so I volunteered to stay out and find a quiet place to people watch and drink a coke without sharing.
Of course we ate lots of delicious food and played at several great playgrounds. We became experts at the subway (if you don’t include the time we got on an express train and took it all the way to Harlem accidentally). We took the Staten Island Ferry so we could view the Statue of Liberty and the beautiful skyline, and we saw a show on Broadway, Finding Neverland, which we all enjoyed.
(I think it’s funny how I
accidentally strategically covered the stranger’s face with the pole…)
We found our favorite little Middle Eastern restaurant that the girls remember from the last time we went to NYC (it’s so tiny we had to sit at two different tables last time in order to fit). This time we only popped in for their amazing dessert in a cup, it’s some sort of custard, sponge cake soaked in rose water and topped with pistachios.
And we ended our time there taking a subway to a doughnut shop in Midtown called Dough that we had read about. And if you know anything about me, you know that doughnuts are my weak spot and I’ll pretty much never turn one down.
We loved this first leg of our journey so much, that we actually managed to come back at the end of our trip and stay one more night before we headed home to Texas. Although this time, we made the terrible mistake of going to the top of the Empire State Building, which was, I must say, a huge waste of time and money. Last time we took the girls to the Rockefeller Center and that was better, but Landis had never been on top of a skyscraper so we thought we’d try Empire. It takes way too long, they loop you through all these floors with pictures of King Kong and of how eco-friendly the building is, that by the time you get to the top you’d almost pay just to get them to take you down again. Oh well, as my dad says, “you win some, you lose some.”
But somehow I think we will be back, because we just can’t seem to get enough of this place.
(amazing skyline shot by Luke)