Friday, August 27, 2010

Hotel Stimey: Spreading the Disease (Part IV)

I know, based on the sheer number of blog inches used in describing our camping adventure, that it sounds like we were in the wild for 30 days, Survivor-style. In fact, it was four (ish) days and three nights. The morning of Day Five, we packed up, showered, and headed off for adventures in cleaner, quieter living.

That is, we made hotel reservations for our last night.

Before that though, we headed out to see some friends who were staying with their kids and a parent in the Hamptons.  They had also been to the Phish show, but their experience involved swanky living and a babysitter.

I hate them.*

* Okay. Not really.

Anyway, I guess I always thought that The Hamptons was a town. Turns out that it's a bunch of towns known collectively as "The Hamptons." Hence the plural. Duh. I clued into this when we passed Westhampton then Southampton then Bridgehampton and so on.

Am not smart.

Also, I am not sophisticated or fabulous enough to be in the Hamptons. Fortunately, our friends—who are sophisticated and fabulous enough to be there—are kind enough to not point out my constant buffoonery—or, let's face it, Alex's constant buffoonery as well.

We spent several hours in the backyard swimming in the pool. This pool:

Our little inflatable backyard...thing seems less awesome now.

Our friends were celebrating their kids' birthdays, so not only did they win our kids' hearts with swimming, but also with cupcakes. Their kids, not pictured here, are super cool. Although I had forgotten how bossy three-year-olds are. Thank goodness they are also adorable.

We had the best time. It was exactly what we needed.

Best. Day. Ever.

I think we might have stayed about a half hour too long. It was just too hard to leave. Our friends live in California, so we rarely see them. The sun and the water took its toll in late day crankypants behavior, however. Plus Jack nearly drowned shortly before we left.

See, there was this awesome wearable floatie, and in retrospect, it probably wasn't a good idea to let him jump into the water wearing it.

Not actually a photo of the drowning incident.

His last time in the pool, Jack jumped in wearing this, flipped over, and was stuck upside down, legs sticking out of the water, head under water. It's kinda funny if it weren't scary. He lived, so you can laugh a little. But just a little.

I was actually really proud of Jack. I had my cover-up and shoes stripped off in nanoseconds and was just about to jump in to save him when I saw that he had managed to bring his head out of the water and was doggy paddling the couple of feet to the side of the pool, fighting against the floatie that was trying to push him back under. I was really impressed at how well he kept his head. The survival instincts are strong in that one.

From there, we bade our friends goodbye and headed off on our journey to the hotel, which was in some town that started with an H, but which I could not pronounce. After we got there we checked in and went across the street to eat dinner at a restaurant. We'd promised our kids that they could swim in the hotel pool, so even though Quinn wasn't feeling great after a day in the sun, we went to the pool anyway.

That may have been a mistake.

That's right.

Fortunately, we were alone in the pool when it happened and we were able to find a housekeeper right outside, so, other than her, no one ever knew it was us that did it and we were able to slink out of there with our dignity only half destroyed. It was totally dramatic.

The hotel beds were really nice though. Although I kinda got the short end of the stick—or the tiny corner of the bed. Somehow, Alex and I ended up in different beds. He slept with Sam and I slept (if, by "slept," you mean "crammed into a bed with") with Jack and Quinn.

First of all, that means I had far more people in my bed (the jump from two to three = "far more") AND one of those people really, really likes me. In the morning Alex said he woke up at one point in the middle of the night and it looked like I had a Jack-growth stuck on to me.

It's kind of a miracle I didn't fall wasn't pushed out of bed.

Regardless, morning dawned and we embarked on our last day of activities before we came home.

For realsies.

One of Alex's friends is part of the team that brings select parts of the country Sixpoint Craft Ales, so we headed into Brooklyn to check out their operation. It was actually really fun, although our kids missed the best part, which was the beer samples.

There were, however, chickens.

We were all, "Why chickens?" and Alex's friend was all, "We like eggs."

There was also a rooftop garden including hops in their natural state. I thought that was pretty cool.

Alex and his friend also forced me to eat a hot pepper that was growing up there.
As far as I know, they don't put those in the beer.

Just before touring the actual brewery, we got our delicious beer.

Seriously? It's really good. Even at 11 a.m.
Hell, especially at 11 a.m.

The brewery process was cool.

Here are Jack and Alex "listening to yeast." Don't ask me.

The munchkins were less excited about the brewery than Alex and I. According to them, it was loud and smelly.

And non-alcoholic for them.

We had planned to go on a boat tour around New York City after the brewery, but Alex's friend informed us that there was a water taxi two blocks away from Sixpoint and that it cost $5.

Let's see. It's a boat. It passes the Statue of Liberty. It goes to New York. Why the hell do we need a tour?

Here we are seeing the Statue of Liberty close up.

I swear it looked bigger from the boat.

Here is Sam eating his weight in sugar.

AND with a genuine smile. THAT is a big deal.

Plus, my little sensory kids got to experience the wind!

And no one got seasick and barfed FTW!

I was only worried a little bit that our return taxi ride would not feature all three children. After all, New York City doesn't seem too big. I'm sure kids rarely get lost there.

Spoiler alert: All three kids made it home.

We decreased our chances of losing anyone by experiencing the city just from the water taxi area. We didn't have time to do any city exploring anyway. We fed the kids NYC hot dog cart food—and I embarrassed Alex by taking a photo of Sam with the hot dog vendor. Seriously, I'm no treat to travel with if you like to maintain any modicum of cool.

 Yum. Under-overpass eating.

After buying all that overpriced food, we fed most of it to the pigeons. Remember how we're the assholes who do that? Remember that modicum of cool? Any that was left disappeared once we had attracted a flock of competing pigeons, Jack kept chasing them, and I took photos of the whole thing.

The trick is to give into the silly.

Jack is actually something of a pigeon whisperer. He lured them in really close aaaaaand then...

Also, he ate some pretzel after he dropped it on the ground.

The pigeon in question.

Shortly thereafter, we grabbed our water taxi back to Brooklyn, then fought our way through New York and New Jersey traffic to finally arrive home Friday evening.

Despite the mass twitter complaining I did—and really, I did—I had a (mostly) good time. If I'm still making jokes on twitter, it means things are still fun. You should only worry when I fall quiet. I hate to be all cheesy and loving to close out #campstimey, but my family makes pretty much anything fun. They're good people.

Part I—Camp Stimey: Stay Alive...No Matter What Occurs!
Part II—Camp Stimey: Into the Wild
Part III—Camp Stimey: When Animals Attack

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