We went for a ride through central park but 3 soon became 2 when Rozzie's old sailing injuring flared up and ruled her out. Bek and I rode on and did the full loop around the park. It was overcast but still beautiful.
We went for a ride through central park but 3 soon became 2 when Rozzie's old sailing injuring flared up and ruled her out. Bek and I rode on and did the full loop around the park. It was overcast but still beautiful.
Caught the train from Boston to NYC (hightlight was our giant cinnamon scrolls - we were the envy of the entire carriage). We arrived late afternoon and headed to Madison Square Garden (across the road from our hotel) for an NBL game - NY Knicks vs Indiana Pacers. Knicks came from behind to win 108-101! Very exciting 🏀 Apparently I am a mad sports fan now! Lauren would be proud.
New York day 2 included 30 Rock (Tina Fey must have been at lunch), Radio City, the Guggenheim, and the Empire State Building at night. We went up at around 9pm and it was amazing. Despite a rainy cloudy day, it was so clear up there but absolutely freezing!
Bek and I walked over the Brooklyn Bridge and wandered around the river and a bit of the neighbourhood. It was lovely and much more chill compared with Manhattan. Great views back across to the island.
Our Hotel- Hotel Pennsylvania, is opposite Penn Station & Madison Square Garden. Also just around the corner from the Empire State Building- we decided to go to the top last night- freezing cold but amazing views of the lights of Manhattan.
Early starry up to the Top of the Rock- Rockefeller Centre, on the way to the ferry we visited the Navy Museum on went on board the aircraft carrier Intrepid. I've never been on anything like this before- absolutely huge! Also has the space shuttle Enterprise, then over to the Ferry- first stop Battery Park. We spent some time at the 9/11 Memorial then back on the ferry to see the Statue of Liberty. It's overcast and freezing cold today.Read more
Our alarm woke us at 5:30am and we were off and running; showers, breakfast, taxi, airport. Even with Saturday morning airport traffic and airport self check in machines that ALWAYS require us to line up again and speak with a "helpful customer service officer", we still made it with plenty of time.
It turns out I am a nevous flyer. It's not that I'm scared or worried about the plane crashing, I'm scared and worried about being trapped in my seat, locked in with my children for hours and hours. Tom bought me a stomach calming juice which was heavy on ginger, but it didn't really ease my anxiety.
We boarded our flight through the business class entry and followed the business class path to the top entrance of the plane. Tom loved it! Unfortunatley that's where the glamour ended. We had great cattle class seats upstairs on an A380. Upstairs is all of first class, business class, premium economy, then about 8 rows of economy, that's all! So we felt a bit special.
Since our trip last year, Adalia has fostered an enormous fear of plane toilets. I think she thought she was going to be sucked down with the loud swoosh noise they make when you flush. So you can imagine my joy when I needed to take her for the first time. She SCREAMED, placed her hands on either side of the door to block both and would not budge. I somehow got her in and closed the door, but there was so much screaming. I assured her that I wouldn't flush until after she had gone back to her seat and somehow I got her to go. I was so embarrassed to find waiting outside the door was a flight attendent and Tom who were worried about all the screaming!!
The kids would not sleep on the first flight so my anxiety was growing, we wanted to keep them up on the second leg to get them a bit better adjusted to the different time zone. I think in the end they both slept maybe an hour at the most.
When the "cabin crew were preparing for landing", Adalia had a sudden onset of stomach cramps and was once again screaming. I don't know what the other passengers thought of us, but that child sure likes to attract attention. There was nothing I could do, but she was making me feel so stressed. Tom seemed to block the screaming out and continued watching his movie. She didn't really stop screaming until we were off the plane. We realised that she hadn't eaten anything on the whole flight and was probably starving! I tried to force feed her some biscuits and muslie bars that I had packed, but she wasn't keen
Our change of planes at LAX went smoothly and quickly, apart from them wanting us to declare the bread rolls I had packed for the flight, telling us to throw them out, then saying they were fine because I packed them at home?!?! Don't quite get the logic.
The next flight we were crammed into economy once more. Flying truely is the only time I wish I were filthy rich and could afford to waste money on first class tickets. It was so hot, Adalia who had overcome her fear of the toilets needed to go every two minutes and we were nowhere near them, and lets face it plane food is ordinary, especially kids meals, and I really needed Adalia to eat something.
We were all so tired, Against my better judgement I dozed off, Adalia fell fast asleep, Tom nodded in and out, but Samuel stayed glued to his screen. This in itself was a bad thing. Our flight ended up being unable to land due to terminal congestion following bad weather, so we had to fly around for an extra hour, at which point Samuel hit the wall. He didn't fall asleep, he decided he was plane sick. He was white in the face, loooked awful and said he felt like he was going to be sick. The seatbelt sign was on, so in my mind, vomiting wasn't an option. I calmed him down enough to sort of doze, but he wasn't happy.
It seemed like this day would never, ever end. The plane took forever to get clearance to land, then the taxi to the terminal was like slow motion, it seemed like our luggage was last onto the conveyer belt (which gave us plenty of time to discuss whether a Meghan Markle look-alike really was her or not) then our taxi to our hotel was stuck in the worst traffic jam. My travel sick sleep deprived boy did not appreciate the taxi drivers windows staying down when we were in an underground tunnel in a traffic jam.
We finally reached our hotel at about 8:30pm. The kids had passed through fatigue and into delerium. They were hyper. We dumped our luggage in our room to find dinner. To ensure adalia would actually eat something at dinner we found the nearest maccas, ordered happy meals for the kids, laughed that the thick shakes we ordered were literally soft serve in a cup, then I high tailed back to the hotel, only stopping to get cranky with Tom who thought we should be sight seeing at 10pm at night when we were all beyond smashed.Read more
After a good night's sleep we grabbed our good coffee and set off, first for Washington Square, followed by some growers markets. We saw some squirrels, ate some local produce, had a play in the playground then caught the subway to Yankies Stadium.
I've seen it in the movies, people going to the ball game, but in real life it is overwhelming to say the least. From the moment you leave the train people are shouting at you to buy fake merchandise and drinks, then in low voices people are offering tickets to the game. It is confronting, and part of me really wanted to help these people as they are just trying to make a living.There are people everywhere and I quickly grab both children's hands. Normally I get opposition from Adalia but the kids are pretty overwhelmed too.
We had no idea where we were supposed to go, so we joined the throngs of people waiting to get in. So many Yankies fans loved Adalia decked out in her pink Yankies hat. Money well spent.
Once through the security we caught a lift to our level then up a few more stairs to our seats. They were so high it made my legs wobble. We had made it just in time for the Canadian and American anthems. I had been looking forward to this but in reality it was underwhelming. The organ played, people stood but no one sang! (Well tom did just to show that he knew all the words I'm sure) then we were instructed to say some silent prayers for someone that was shot and killed (not sure who, there is a new one every day...) but the MOST disappointing part was that no one made the announcement to "play ball".
The batsman missed the ball a few times, hit it, and that was it, Adalia was over it. And after a couple of innings so was I. This game is so slow, nothing like the movies. Hardly anyone even hits the ball. The most exciting part was when theToronto Blue Jays got two home runs in a row and the Yankies coach came on to the field to get cranky with the pitcher.
We had hot dogs and cotton candy, stayed until after the sixth innings (which was two hours) then decided to collect our first time attendees certificate and leave. In the end the Yankies lost, so it was a bad day to decide to start following the Yankies.
We caught the train and got off just short of our stop and walked past some of the sights like "The Plaza", "Tiffany's", Trump Towers (where we think trump was actually staying as there were road closures, police and secret services everywhere), them up to Rockefeller. We were willing to go into the Lego store but the kids just wanted to go back to the hotel!
Once back it was a quick shower and change for Tom and I as we were off to see Billy Joel!
The baby sitter arrived, she was given instructions and we were off. The tickets advised us to be seated by 7pm, so we high tailed it up 8th Ave and ended up being one of the first people seated. Clearly we were novices, which was also displayed in our clothing, we were so overdressed.
Since we had so much time to kill we ordered a drink from the bar and we were asked for ID. Tom was on cloud nine, he couldn't believe he had just been asked for ID. But there was a problem, Tom hadn't brought any ID! I on the other hand had withstood Tom's earlier mocking about bringing my credit card and licence and now who was laughing?! So I had to buy the drinks, be served the drinks and carry the drinks away, all the while with tom exclaiming "she is serving drinks to a minor here!"
When the lights dimmed people started shouting "here comes Billy!" Now I'm not going to pretend to be a big fan, until last week when I did a Billy Joel crash course I only really knew. "Piano man" and "we didn't start the fire" and perhaps a couple of others. My only point of reference of what he looked like was from the album cover I bought from vinnies. So I was a little shocked when a chubby, bald man with a white goatee walked on the stage to screaming, crying fans. But for 68 years old he was incredible! And the sold out audience hung on to every word. It is a rare beauty to see full grown men who aren't drunk, sing with smiles on their faces, and at that concert the room was full of them singing every single word along with Billy, sometimes even louder than Billy for over two hours with no break! But the highlight of the night for every person in that stadium was piano man. It almost brought a tear to my eye.
The concert ended and the crowds walked down flights and flights of stairs. Tom and I noticed the diversity in age, there was not one predominant age group, however, there were no African Americans. Everyone at the concert was white which we found odd given the diversity of New York City.
We decided to stroll home through the city, stopping to buy a $1 slice of pizza each and returned to the babysitter at midnight.Read more
Our first night's sleep was so much more successful than anticipated. Even though the kids were so tired the night before and didn't get to bed until 10:30, I still gave them Phenergan and it worked well at keeping them sleepy all night. Adalia awoke at 4:30am, and woke poor Sammy, but I told them to lie quietly in their beds until morning, and they both fell back asleep. (Sammy doesn't remember being awake.) I woke everyone up at 8:30!!
Unfortunately Sammy hadn't quite caught up on sleep after his 30 hours being awake, and he is possibly unwell with a cold, so he was reluctant to do ANYTHING. At the hotel breakfast he lay his head on the table and cried, and not even a croissant could cheer him up.
We made our way Uptown to Redeemer Baptist Church for their 11:30am Classical Sunday Service.
Along the way we caught a Subway Train and I watched Adalia's terrified eyes find mine when she heard the clatter of the train approaching. We meandered through Central Park where Samuel rediscovered his fascination with Squirrels, and we crossed the road out of the Park and the contrast between the uniquely bent branches of threes and the spectacle of the straight towering buildings is striking.
We coax the kids along in an effort not to be late to church as they have "lock outs" like at the theatre, you wait outside until and appropriate interval before you can enter. We made it just in time and sit to the left hand side. As this is our second time at Redeemer (we are practically regulars) I'm not as overwhelmed by the "production", but once again I am impressed with its polish. Every word that is spoken on stage has been thought through and provokes a stirring in my heart. The explanation of the prayer of confession; that we confess our sin before God not to show Him or us how terrible we are, rather we rejoice that our sin is forgiven because Jesus took it away; makes saying the words so much more meaningful. The bible reading was more a dramatic monologue and was so moving, so powerful. And the musicians were amazing to watch.
However all good things must come to an end, as it was time to take Adalia to the toilet. A lady kindly let us go before her in the line that was rapidly growing behind us, forming an audience to the drama that is my daughter. We discovered that the toilets were auto flushers; ADALIA's WORST NIGHTMARE!!! I don't know what people thought was going on behind the closed door but the dialogue went something like this;
Adalia- "I don't want to, I'm scared"
Me - "It's fine, it won't hurt you"
Adalia screaming- "NO! I DON'T WANT TO"
Me- "Just do it would you"
Me- "I'll give you an ice cream, just do it"
This scenario was only mad worse when Tom attempted taking her after me. Imagine the same dialogue, but in male toilets...
We hightailed out of there and found some street markets to camouflage into. We were contemplating our next adventure when we realised it was 1pm and we should eat lunch even if we weren't hungry, to help our bodies adjust.
We were close to shake shack and while we had maccas for dinner last night, we embraced the beef sandwich and fries and went again. This time we took our food away, and dined in Central Park amongst the finches and the rats.
After lunch we strolled around the park counting squirrels and rats. We walked through a section called "The Ramble" and it was brambles of berry bushes. Adalia of course got too close and immediately broke out in a rash, but how was I to know she was sensitive to brambles.
It seemed that at every turn there was a bride having wedding photos. We even saw a girl get proposed to on an the iconic Bow Bridge with a Tiffany's box. Adalia loved all this, and was particularly overwhelmed with an incident in the toilets. We found the Central Park public toilets which were in every way disgusting, including an overflowing toilet, I tried to hurry my toilet phobic girl through the process so we could get out of there, but our exit was blocked by a lone bride, with no bridesmaids or helpers of any kind trying to get out of her dress. A lady who couldn't speak much English was helping her unbutton the back as the bride tried to shimmy out of it whilst gripping on to a large bag. I offered to hold the bag which she flung at me, and she peeled off her dress to reveal underwear that said "dreams can come true!!!" The whole situation was absolutely mind boggling. What was going on?! I wouldn't want my wedding dress to be within 100m of those toilets, I didn't want my scrappy old dress I was wearing to be in there. Adalia had no idea what was happening but animatedly described the whole thing to Tom and Sammy.
Poor Samuel was fading quickly, but it was too early to return to our accommodation and go to bed. We tried taking them to two different playgrounds but Sammy just sat next to me and watched Adalia play. Not even a stop at Grand Central Station could distract Sammy from his misery.
We slowly made our way back, opting to walk as it would take a bit longer, but in the end poor Tom was carrying both children.
We returned to our room at 5:30pm and the kids happily watched TV for an hour before it was time for bed.Read more
Sammy spent the night moaning with a headache and I was quite worried about how sick he would be when he woke up. Adalia on the other hand woke up early and was starving, so after keeping her quiet for an hour with Paw Patrol on my phone, I decided to take her to breakfast. Thankfully as I was leaving for breakfast Sammy woke up and was eager to eat which I took as a good sign. He was much better, but still not 100%.
Tom had organised back in Australia, for an employee's daughter who is living in America, to babysit for us on Wednesday night. She was coming to our hotel to meet us and the kids at 10am. To bide our time until then we did a quick lap around the block to find some good coffee (Tom ordered me a Mocha, but the barista couldn't understand what he was saying as he hadn't pronounced it correctly - Tom, don't you know its Mowka?! ;) and a little play at the park, which turned into a slightly longer play as Caitlyn was running late.
When Caitlyn finally arrived I was wanting a quick hello and goodbye, but it was awkward, I think she didn't want to be rude and leave too quickly, but we wanted to go! We made way too much polite conversation, the kids were practically doing summersalts to get attention and eventually I snapped, got the kids ready, bags packed and cheerfully said; "ok, are we all ready to go?" and we ALL exited the building.
Kerbside we set out our day's plans and headed for Brooklyn. This meant the Subway. Ahh the Subway, how I loath thee. It is one of the filthiest places I have ever been to. I swear it has not been cleaned since it was constructed. It is exactly like the scene from the movie "Ghost" where Patrick Swayze learns to flick the coin or kick the can, or maybe Will Smith when he camps out down there in that horrible movie The Persuit of Happyness; grimy filth that smells like wee and germs. The poles you hold on to on the train feel damp with bacteria, every external surface masked with soot. It is a nightmare when you have a daughter who constantly puts her fingers in her mouth!!! Today I felt like I was yelling either "get your fingers out of your mouth" or "Stop yelling" (as both children have blocked ears and are speaking at about 100 decibels).
So anyway, we got off the train at Williamsberg and walked to Greenpoint. We took in the strange and wonderful sights; a firetruck with the big crane on its back that had a separate driver for the crane, Peter Pan donuts where the whole interior of the shop is a counter top snaking it's way through the space so people can eat counter meals, and the closer we got to GreenPoint the grungier it became. I had a tight grip on the children, not for fear that they would be taken, but because I worried they would bump into someone with black fair down one side, white down the other and get yelled at; this was not a child friendly environment.
Our aim was to revisit an area we stayed in during our last visit to NY and to have lunch at our favourite diner "Coffee Friends", we happily found "The Garden" market filled with interesting delicacies, however our long walk only highlighted that the world does not remain the same to indulge our nostalgia, coffee friends was no more. We drowned our sorrows in a Bialy from a bagel store. It was a completley disgusting bagel with an onion/poppyseed centre. It was so gross it only compounded our missery. Just when we thought all hope was lost, we rediscovered a cafe we had frequented on our last visit, and enjoyed a yummy lunch there.
The kids would have happily returned to the hotel after lunch, but we enticed them on with endless rounds of "I spy" and another play at a park which sat at the edge of the East River.
We boarded another Subway filled with questionable individuals; a man covered in skull tattoos, including one of a very feminine butterfly with a skull face, an old man playing music through a speaker and singing VERY loudly along with his tunes, and three teenage guys who thought it was hilarious to brush their hair in different ways. It was so difficult to distract Adalia from staring!
I gladly leapt off the train, and after a touch of shopping we made our way to the police station that is featured in a show Tom and I watch; Brooklyn 99. We took some silly photos then ducked into the Doughnut Plant for a chocolate doughnut.
By this time the kids were really tired and it was starting to rain. We headed to the subway which pulled in as we reached the bottom of the stairs. Sammy, Tom and I swiped our cards and ran for the train, while Adalia, who isn't required to pay, just duck under the turnstyle, had a moment of difiance, confusion, who knows what and wanted to push the turnstyle herself. We all yelled at her, with one foot in the train, and in what felt like slow motion she eventually ran on sobbing. She was so scared. But its ok, she has a super mum who assured her we would never leave her behind, and one minute later she was asleep in my arms - a Hallmark moment ladies and gentlemen.
The walk from the station to our hotel was tricky. Tom was carrying a sleeping Adalia through the crowds, while I tried to steer Sammy through, but he kept bobbing away to pick up abandoned pennies; our professional money finder is back in action people!
We ordered ribs, hush puppies (fried cornmeal) and sides from the restaurant next door to our hotel and aimed for an early night. While Sammy crashed out, Adalia was energised from her shut eye on the train, and there is a noisy function happening just below our bedroom window. So not sure how the evening will go...Read more
You might also know this place by the following names:
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