I could write about a hundred blog posts on different aspects of our adventure, but just to organize it in my head a bit here is the quick rundown of what we did: Monday we went to Hoboken to see Carlo’s Bakery of Cake Boss fame. Tuesday we spent a quiet rainy day at the apartment doing sand art and letting the kids play in the playroom across the hall. Wednesday we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the park. Thursday we saw Madagascar Live at Radio City Music Hall, made our annual pilgrimage to the Nintendo store to get Pokemon toys, and I got to look through violins and bows for the upcoming instrument auction at Christie’s. Friday we visited the Babble office and then took the Ikea ferry to Brooklyn to meet with a friend who is helping us work on a book. Saturday some people stayed home and a few of us hung out in Chelsea all afternoon, and then the kids put on a play after dinner. Sunday we dyed and hid eggs, and Ian and I were able to go off to see Book of Mormon on our own. Monday was the Museum of Natural History and the flight home. Mixed in with all of that was a lot of time on subways, eating from carts, walking, rain, wind, and Quinn threw up a few times in the night (you know, to keep it real I’m sure).
So I’m just going to dive in and see how much I can get to writing about, and if there is something in that list anyone specifically wants to hear more about just speak up.
First off, navigating an airport with three small kids is a special event in and of itself. I’ve been doing this for awhile, and I’ve got some ideas to share for anyone interested.
Always assume there will be a long delay. The only times I’ve gotten in trouble traveling with my kids is when I’ve paced myself in terms of activities and snacks only to find out there is an extra two hours to fill that I hadn’t planned on. I keep a box at home of art supplies we use just for travel. Those twistable crayons are great, lots of pads of paper, and little activity books with mazes and dot to dot games, etc. I usually pack Uno cards, a ball, and a DVD in my laptop. When the girls were smaller a magnadoodle kept them very busy and was perfect for the airport and the plane. Usually I hide small chocolate eggs or Hershey kisses at our gate (on the Milwaukee end, anyway) and that keeps them happy and occupied during delays. I dole out single tic tacs to any child willing to read me an ad on the wall and explain to me what it means.
The biggest revelation about travel came a few years back when I realized my girls, at least, were capable of dragging small travel bags themselves. We found cute ones at Target pretty cheap. It’s so much easier for us to each have our own carry on bag instead of trying to pack one big one to check. Quinn now has his own bag, too, and we get around like a little luggage convoy when we travel.
Anyway, New York! What’s the first thing we did in New York? Leave for New Jersey! It only takes a bit over an hour to get to Hoboken by subway so we took the kids to visit Carlo’s Bakery. Aden and Mona are big fans of the show Cake Boss (although we haven’t seen any recent episodes because we only watch what’s available on Netflix) and they really wanted to see the famous bakery for themselves.
Sounded like a great idea, but unfortunately many many other little girls also had the same great idea. In fact, when we exited the subway station and stepped onto the streets of Hoboken, a man passing us the other direction saw our little band of kids, shook his head and smiled while saying, “Carlo’s Bakery,” and nodded the right direction. And we found it all right. There was a line to the end of the block, and when we got behind a woman at the corner, she said, “No, this isn’t the end of the line. THAT’S the end of the line.” And she pointed down the next block and the block after that to a sea of people that we never did spot the end of. Estimated wait time was four hours.
(Part of the line in Hoboken)
But we did peek in the window of Carlo’s Bakery, and we can say we were there, and that was fun even if we didn’t go inside. Although the kids have already asked if next year we can plan ahead and get there very very early. Since we have a backup bakery now, why not?
And I think that’s all the energy I have for blogging right now. It’s great to be home, but the flight back took longer than expected, and you never realize how tired you are until you have a moment to really sit still, and I am wiped out. More soon.