Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I left my pants in NYC

Have I ever mentioned we can be impulsive about day trips in our family? I'm sure I have. Well, since my brother and his wife are in town visiting and she had never been to NYC, I decided to spend Saturday making Christmas graham cracker houses. Then my husband adeptly pointed out we might want to take them to see some of the sites. So we did the houses the night before and I decided to take them into Boston. Finally, I had a glimmer of reality and realized they really wanted to go into the BIG city. We decided to make this trip. About 1 hour before we actually left.

Luckily, while my husband cleaned out the van so we could actually put our feet on the floor, he noticed it was a little chilly and we decided to dress extra warm. We FINALLY pulled out of the house, but made a "quick" stop at the warehouse store to buy a GPS. Because we have no idea how to get anywhere in NY and it isn't a good place to "just try to figure out."

Plus the night before, I got lost, on the road I drive down almost daily, trying to find Dominoes Pizza. Why didn't I have it delivered like I would normally? Thought I would save some time. But in my defense, there was NO lighted sign at the road and the building was down a long narrow drive that you would only see if you happen to look directly left as you pass it. I would still be driving around looking if I hadn't seen the delivery guy pulling out of the parking lot. Needless to say, the GPS was going to come in handy.

Finally we were off, with an early start of 1:00PM. While driving we tried to decide where we were going to go. I mean, there are so few options available...we decided top priority were for Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building. Our new GPS told us our arrival was 3:00. When I looked up the ferries, the last one went to Ms. Liberty at 3:30. Impulsiveness does have its drawbacks. So we hit no traffic, didn't get lost for the 1st time EVER, and found parking for the cheap price of $28. And Peter made me carry our new GPS, my old XM radio, and my cell phone. Plus my wallet, car keys, and extra diapers. Luckily I just bought a coat the contains about 300 pockets- this should explain the bulges in pictures (the candy I've been eating have nothing to do with it).

Did you know that they practically strip search you to get to the Statue of Liberty? Well, we had to take off our coats, shoes, hats, etc. And as we crossed the metal detector, the speakers kindly informed us the last ferry was leaving in one minute with or without us. What took us 3 hours to do at home, we accomplished in 45 seconds in NY. Mainly, loading everything back into my pockets and dressing everyone for the cold. We made it. It was beautiful. And COLD.

We headed back on the next ferry (COLD COLD COLD). Once back on shore we decided to walk around. Because obviously that is the easiest way to find places in NYC. I mean, everything is so close together. After making it to the 9-11 site, past the Meryl Lynch bull (yes, we joked about the kids being bull crap and took pictures of it), and then a few blocks more, we noticed a few things:

  • First of all, Joseph was wearing pants with the adjustable waist strap broken. And no belt. Every three steps his pants were halfway off. Look closely in all the pictures, he is pulling his pants back up. THE ENTIRE NIGHT.
  • Second, Matthew does not like me to carry him when Dad is an option. Sorry Peter.

  • Third, Joseph will let me carry him. He is heavy. Too heavy to ride comfortably on my shoulders for several blocks.

  • Fourth, Ryan thinks every cab in NYC is the Cash Cab. He thought for sure that if we would only take a taxi, we could play on the Cash Cab. Because there are only a couple million taxis in NY. Needless to say there were numerous "sightings".

  • Fifth, Kirsti does not like the cold. Poor Uncle Gordon had to carry her almost the whole night. This is because her own parents were not kind enough. We would have made her walk. We made her younger brother, whose pants were practically at his ankles, walk a lot of the time. She for some reason brought her stuffed animal with her and it had to be carried, too.
So, after our legs were about to fall off from walking and our arms and shoulders from carrying the younger children, we decided we needed a new plan. Walking around in the hopes of eventually hitting on Times Square was not working. Even though we had no idea where it was. Go figure. Peter wanted to take a taxi. (Ryan almost exploded from excitement. "I know it will be the cash cab!!") We would only need 3 taxis to fit us all. I convinced him the subway would be a better option. Ryan was a little disappointed, until he saw what a subway was.

My conversation with Joseph went something like this:

"Is this a train?!?" Kind of. An underground train.
"We're underground?!?" Yep.
"Watch me circle this pole and then fall over when the car stops." Turns out even me, the queen of ungermophobia, can get grossed out by some things. And three of my boys sliding stomach down on a NYC subway car is just the thing to do it. (Luckily we were the only one in the car)

We finally arrived at Times Square where we ate pizza (yes, you observant people, that is pizza two nights in a row), took pictures, and Peter almost got stepped on by a police man when he lay down to get the right angle. Then we asked that police man how to find the Empire State Building and found out we only had to go down a mere 15 blocks and over 2. So we walked. And walked. And held up Joseph's pants. We did pass Macy's window display. Beautiful!

The Empire State Building was very cool. You know NY is big, but to see the lights going out as far as you can see on every single side? Awesome. We were definitely tired and frozen by now. We walked a few blocks to Penn station and caught the subway all the way back to our original starting point. If we had used the subway at the beginning, we would have had to walk about 3 steps to get there. That is about how far we walked from the station to our parking garage.

GPS took us out of the city and we got home at midnight. All in all a perfect family day.


  1. That's it! My next vacation is at your house.

  2. Fun! We took a similar trip to NYC, only we didn't have a GPS. We had my handy husband continually consulting our MTA subway map. It's a wonder we didn't get mugged!

  3. Fun!!!!! I'm so jealous!! At least you guys are figuring out all the tricks before we come visit. By the time we get there you guys will know NYC like the back of your hand. Can't wait!

  4. I can't wait until my kids are old enough to enjoy NYC. We had one really long walk in NYC too - never again! The subway is so much easier, and to take a cab from one end of the city to the other is like $10, right?

  5. We took a day trip to NYC with the kids this past summer and it sounds like we had similar experiences, except we just about melted instead of froze. :)

  6. Gordon and Jessica are going to never want to come and visit us again! We were boring compared to you! Although Gordon will never think about dishonoring the flag in the same way again ...

  7. The 300 pockets in the coat is so funny (more funny after I get my new post up) Glad you had fun, SO wish I could have been there...maybe this spring/summer?

  8. Fun! I have never been to NYC, someday maybe.

  9. If you could replace every "cold, cold, cold" with "perfect weather, perfect weather, perfect weather" I would be SO jealous. I LOVE LOVE LOVE NYC. I love walking around NYC more than anything. Glad you had a terrific visit.

  10. I think you should have picked up a (double) stroller when you grabbed the GPS.

    Sounds like a super fun (but cold) time.

  11. I love spontaneous trips!! When you have kids you have to be spontaneous...it doesn't give you time to think about what you are about to do. NYC is quite an experience and it sounds like you fit it all in in one day!

  12. I agree with the stroller idea. Glad you took Gordon and Jessica they loved it. Great trip.