Look Out, New York! It’s Team Stimey!

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.


What? Us? Tourists?

It would be untrue to say that our first tourist site was the Empire State Building though. Because before that, there was this:


Of course this photograph of a cat asking for money is better than all of New York City put together.

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.

Or not.


Quinn: “Imma stand waaaay over here.”
Sam: “Brrrr.”
Jack: “Bunny ears for Sam!!”
Alex: “I don’t think I’m in this picture, so I’ll check my phone and drink whatever is in this brown paper bag.”
Stimey: “I’m going to take a picture of this sign instead of the interesting building itself.”

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.


Oh, wait. Those ARE the 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.


We even got to this clock right on the hour when it played music and moved. Good karma, right there.*

* 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.


I know. Children are inexplicable. It was freezing, THEY were freezing, and all they wanted was ice cream.

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!


11 thoughts on “Look Out, New York! It’s Team Stimey!

  1. Can your next post please be a Q&A with Sam about the whole asking for phone numbers thing?

    As for more time in NYC, if you’re kiddos are Peanut Butter eaters I highly recommend getting lunch at Peanut Butter & Company near Washington Square Park. They have lots of varieties and fun peanut butter sandwiches.

    • I think he’s discovering girls. I’ll check with him for you.

      That peanut butter place sounds awesome!

  2. I just want to know how you found a baby sitter b/c we got to NYC every year and every year I end up in a hotel bathroom at 9 pm in the coolest city in the world.

    • I think this might be an obnoxious answer, but I dunno. Alex found the babysitter. I think his friends gave him her name.

  3. That sounds like a great trip! I really love NYC, and most of my family is from there. My favorite Aunt worked at Citibank in midtown. :)
    Also, being a tourist is fun! I usually *try* to blend in, and have found that packing LIGHT, and wearing neutral colors and black, works very well – espec. in Paris and the Nordic countries.
    Anyway, if you liked your hotel and if you don’t mind, pls send a note to my e-mail with the name of the hotel. For job reasons, I’ve stayed at the Drake in midtown many times, and also the Hilton on 6th ave [aka ‘Avenue of the Americas’]. They are both really nice if you don’t mind street noise.

  4. Our vacation social stories consist of “remember what we did last time we were in a hotel? Okay, we aren’t going to do that.”
    Glad you’re having fun. Cold fun, but still fun.

  5. I will totally eat ice cream ANYtime – even when I am cold! And social stories are great, but require so much planning. I am usually knee-deep in a meltdown before I realize, “Hmm. A social story might have been good in this situation.” No matter what, the kids will remember that you all had fun!

  6. Hi Stimey –
    I googled ‘Diet Coke Detox’, read (for the second time, as I realized somewhere around discussion of the emergency sodas) your post on quitting Diet Coke, then browsed through some of your posts until I snorted so unexpectedly at ‘Surprise/Immersion’ in this particular post that the back of my throat and nose is burning with some acidic body fluid. Sorry for the imagery, but how else can you know how good that particular wording was? I’ll be back for more humor.

    Like many good cigarette quitters, I have lots of good advice on quitting diet coke, as I’ve done it several times. I’d offer some to you, except (A) you may have already been successful, and (B) I did, after all, find this blog by searching for advice on the same from you.

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