Team Stimey is in New York this weekend because Phish is playing here and I think Alex finally felt guilty for leaving us every New Year’s to see shows, so this time he made us come with him.
We drove up yesterday—and thanks for that two hours spent getting to the Lincoln Tunnel, New Jersey—and abandoned our kids with a stranger half an hour after arriving. I think it worked out because all of our valuables, including the three children, were still in our hotel room when we got back, and Sam had asked the babysitter for her phone number.
(“You should ask girls your own age for their phone numbers,” is what he says she told him. This is good advice I should have given him two weeks ago.)
Some friends of ours last night at the show asked us what we were going to do with the kids today and we were all, “EVERYTHING.” It turns out that EVERYTHING turns quickly into JUST THE ZOO after you stand in line at the Empire State Building to find out that snow has made it so there is no visibility on the observation deck, so why don’t you just come back tomorrow, m’kay?
Also, it may seem strange that we considered riding an elevator and going to the zoo to be EVERYTHING, but if you consider we ended the day with Quinn standing in the middle of the children’s zoo flapping his hands (water flying off of his soaked gloves) screaming, “I want to go home!” then, yeah, two destinations is EVERYTHING.
Also part of that EVERYTHING were cab rides and long walks through the city streets and life as SUPER TOURISTS. If you are in New York this weekend and you see five people being the motherfucking dorkiest five people on the planet, look closer. It’s probably us.
It would be untrue to say that our first tourist site was the Empire State Building though. Because before that, there was this:
Then Quinn spilled chocolate milk at a restaurant for the second time in three days, but at least this time he spilled it on himself instead of me and it was at a diner with bare tables instead of a lovely adult Italian restaurant with white tablecloths.
We made the kiddos walk to the Empire State Building, stopping along the way to take delightful photos that we’ll be sharing with family for years to come to show them how lovely and wonderful we are on vacation.
That brown-bag beverage was actually orange juice that Sam wanted to take with him after breakfast. Alex carried it ten blocks, into the Empire State Building, and through the security line before Sam decided he might not want it. It might even be in the souvenir photo that gets taken of all visitors. We didn’t buy that photo, mostly because Quinn was freaking out about the fact that, “WAIT JUST A GODDAMN MINUTE. HOW MANY FLOORS UP?” and we were all, “Huh, maybe we should have asked the kids if they were afraid of heights before we embarked on this journey, but it is MILES too late now.”
Some families put together social stories to prepare their kids for things like this. We are more of a Surprise/Immersion Therapy sort of family. Although I’m starting to rethink that.
Anywho, after we went up the escalators and went through security and got our souvenir photo taken and then it started to snow, we bailed and went to the zoo. There my kids behaved like animals.
Do you ever just kind of wish you could be a sea lion? ‘Cause I do.
The zoo was perfect for us. It was small and had good animals, including those fabulous sea lions above. If I had one complaint, it would be that the polar bears, snow monkeys, and snow leopard were way less excited about the snow than I would have expected. In fact, all of those animals were curled up hiding from said snow.
Puh. Lease. If you are going to have “polar” or “snow” in your name, the least you could do is some frolicking for us.
My kids were super delighted though, because they are HUGE Madagascar fans, so seeing that the Central Park Zoo really exists and features some of the things from the movie/TV show blew their little minds.
* If you have any comments about bad karma and our timing at the Empire State Building, you can just keep them to yourself, thankyouverymuch.
Then we went to the children’s zoo and there was the hand flapping (we kept telling the kiddos that if they stopped picking up snow, their hands wouldn’t be as cold, but they wouldn’t listen), so we scrapped our subway plan and went with the cab plan and then dropped by the CVS right next to our hotel to buy the munchkins the ice cream they wanted.
Then I think they did stuff in the hotel room, but I was napping, so I don’t know what it was. Go ask Alex.
The kiddos are all asleep in their beds now and because Alex doesn’t get home until late, I get to choose which bed I want. (I will choose the one full of just Jack instead of the one full of Sam and Quinn.) Hopefully tomorrow I’ll get to post some photo of the spectacular view from the top of the Empire State Building (also hopefully with a calmer Quinn—I social storied the shit out of him this afternoon).
Wish us luck!