Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cousins in NYC

First, we need to be clear. THE absolute most important decision was to get a hotel with a pool. A pool that was open a lot. Not just from 2-4 on Saturday for kids, but a pool that the kids could go into and not worry about offending anybody. So, Hampton Inn it was. Again. But, Hampton Inn is so kid friendly it just makes it a great choice. Even if the breakfast can be less than stellar.

The second choice we had was to get an adjoining room, although we couldn't actually get one. That meant sleepovers involved going out in the hall in PJs. Which was fine. But not ideal. No biggie, we had rooms right next to each other, which was fantastic. Our doors were in the same nook.

The third choice ... NYC ... was less than universally applauded by children. My children anyway. I think K9 was excited to go there. But she would have been excited to go to Hoboken as long as C9 & Q7 were there (and, vice versa, actually), so NYC was actually more for me and my sister.

Day One started in the pool (of course) until we decided to have lunch in NYC. So we hopped on the bus -- which was late because it was so crowded -- and into NYC. The lateness wasn't a problem except that we had to stand. And the girls sat on the floor. And sang Christmas carols. Very quietly. They thought it was a hoot.

The first thing we did when we finally got off the bus at Port Authority was lunch. We went to the first place we saw. Schnipper's. The girls all thought it would be good because it had mac n' cheese. M45 and I thought ... hmmm. But it turned out to be very very good. My hamburger was excellent, cooked fresh, meat was delicious, and really perfectly medium rare. Yum. Excellent. We ate outside. Here we are.

lunch first day

Out destination was Grand Central Station to visit a train store to visit a Christmas train display. So we headed down 42nd through Times Square, at Q7's request. It was under construction, as was less than exciting. But we were there!

IMAG1525 In times square

Past 42nd ave we kept heading on past tall buildings. Too tall, according to my children. C9 said they made her dizzy.

What made C9 dizzy

Right past this building we saw Bryant Park, and we headed through. They have a holiday market up, which made it difficult for C9 to chase pigeons, which is what she wanted to do. But then they saw ice skating and they all rushed over to get in line. The line looked horrible to us so we promised to come back the next day and we headed around the corner and past the NYC public library.

NYC Library

I really wanted to go in, so we did, against the express wishes of all the girls, who weren't too excited to go to a library in which they couldn't take out books. But it turned out to be a highlight of our trip. They had an exhibit called "why children's books matter" which was completely and 100% wonderful. All the classic books, and then some. Here they are in front of the"AEIOU" part of The Phantom Tollbooth exhibit.


There were things from so many books. Q7 really liked this Alice in Wonderland display.

But THIS display of titles of banned books is reallllly what set them off. Q7 RAILED in front of this exhibit for more than five minutes about how she hated the people who tried to ban the books, how she couldn't believe the books that were in the stack, just general offence to the whole situation. It was righteous indignation. And it was awesome.
Q7 ranting

And there was so much more. Let's just say everybody in our party enjoyed it.  Finally we were done there and we headed down 42nd again, toward Grand Central Station. We read the brass plaques on the street with poems, saying, quotes, images on them. Especially C9. But we eventually got to Grand Central Station and the train store. The display was magical.

With the trains

After we'd had enough there (and it was crowded), we went across the way to the pastry shop and bought a slice of Mannhatten cake, a chocolate cake, red velvet cake, cheesecake, and a fruit tart. Here is Q7 looking at the treats.

Q7 decisions

Then we headed to the subway to head back to Port Authority to catch the bus back to NJ. The subway was fun, the best part of which was a gentleman who sang for us, eventually singing "Everybody now!" and nobody of course sang at all so it was a big blank space in the song and the girls thought it was funny funny. C9 complemented him extensively as we got off the train. Back at Port Authority we got in line for the bus. At the end of a very long line, actually. We did manage to get on the bus, but we were standing again. No problem for the girls, they just hit the floor again. No problem. Then we were back at the hotel and went swimming again. Fun. The day ended with dinner and all those pastries ....

Next up ... ice skating.

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