14 Hours of Car + 4 Hours of NYC Underground + 3 Kids = …

One of the justifications we used for moving so far away from everyone was that it would put us closer to different relatives. Finally we were able to make good on that implicit promise a little bit more, and took a few days to visit Mark’s cousin in New York City and my grandmother and aunts in Connecticut. Having fond memories of NYC as a kid, both on family vacation and school field trips, I was especially excited for this trip.

Target of Times SquareHaving only a day and a half in the city meant that we ran from one major site to another, as fast as you can run with three kids, and hoped we imparted the essence of such a large urban area to the kids. So on the first day we visited Bronx Zoo with Mark’s cousin Jeremy, his wife Sarah, and their son Jasper, who’s just a little older than Toby. Frankly, the zoo was fabulous and probably the favorite of both Katya and Emma.

Pier and Statue of LibertyThe afternoon was a slight disaster, at least as far as transportation goes. We had driven our car to the zoo, so we tried to find a tube station that we could park at. Due to some misreading of the map, we ended up at a train station at the end of the line, so we had to pay train fare all the way to Grand Central, transfer to Times Square, then continue on to the very southern tip to board the Staten Island Ferry. Then in repeating the process backwards we missed a train just barely (late already at 8:40), so we weren’t done riding all our transportation until at least 11 that night. But on the positive side, we had a fun boat ride, ate at an unusual McDonald’s in Times Square, visited a store Mommy was curious about, and rode 3 different kinds of transportation, always a plus in Katya’s and Emma’s book.

We also were able to realize the great accessibility of ethnic food anywhere in the city (so jealous) and eat overpriced ice cream in Central Park before continuing on to Connecticut. While this phase of our trip was definitely more lowkey, it was nice to relax (fewer than five people sleeping in a room, yay!) and visit with my side of the family. We also visited the beach, which just got everyone excited for real beach season. My aunt is a terrific cook and her hospitality was amazing, given how little notice we gave her! And of course my grandma spoiled the kids, in the good way.

When asked how my trip went by a friend, I summed it up as extremely fun and extremely stressful, to which the response was that perhaps that summed up New York itself. In the very least, it whetted my appetite to be able to take the kids on road trips more…once Toby hits that magical age where car trips are fun.

(the photo set for our trip)

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05 2008

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