We have had a need to get up to NYC for some family stuff, so when John had a conference scheduled there in late April, we decided to make a family trip out of it and spend a weekend in the Big Apple. (I clearly had totally forgotten our Chattanooga travel experience. This oversight would come back to haunt us.)
John, Jeanne, and my dad went up early on Friday morning, and then my mom, the girls, and I took an early afternoon flight. Cressey was sleepy and cranky, wasn’t really interested in going to sleep, and didn’t want to sit still, so thankfully, we had really nice people around us and a fairly empty plane so that she could walk a little. It was a tough flight (although direct- woohoo!), and we were thankful that we had arranged for a car to pick us up and had a nice, relaxing (although an hour and half thanks to a wreck and rush hour) ride to the hotel. Our crew was waiting on us at the hotel bar with drinks and were ready to take the girls off our hands. We grabbed a quick dinner at Maloney & Porcelli next door to the Lotte Palace, although HG basically fell asleep with her head on the table so we left a little early.
After Cressey stayed awake most of the night, the girls slept in a bit, and then Spiffer, HG, Cressey, and I wandered around a little Saturday morning. We walked through St. Patrick’s and then around Rockerfeller Center. At lunchtime, HG and I left the baby with Spiffer, grabbed some lunch from the bakery in the hotel, hopped in a cab, and headed south to Battery Park. We had tickets through Statue Cruises to ride the ferry out to the Statue of Liberty. There was a LOT of waiting, but once on the boat, HG was SO EXCITED. HG looked at me and said, “Can you believe our ancestors were on this same exact water?!” (I’ve been doing a lot of ancestry research and tried to educate her about her great-great-grandfather, John Toohig, that came to NYC from Ireland on the Luciana in 1900. It appears she does listen to some things I say!) We hopped off at the statue and took a leisurely walk around the island. We were exhausted by the time our ferry stopped at Ellis Island, but maybe we’ll explore that on our next trip.
After we were back on solid ground, we walked north toward the World Trade Center Memorial and discovered the West Thames Park, and I thought I’d never get HG off of the playground. Great little green spot between the skyscrapers! We eventually escaped and made our way to WTC. We had casually talked about 9/11 before, but I don’t think she knew many of the details. She asked a lot of questions, and I answered as best I could. She listened very astutely and had a lot of compassion for the people who were lost. (She asked me to Google pics of them to see their faces.) I was proud of how maturely she handled it. We caught a cab and headed back toward the hotel to catch up with her grandparents. We met up with them and grabbed some dinner on the patio of AperiTIVO. I took the baby back to the hotel after dinner, and John, Jeanne, and HG did a little shopping and then paid a visit to Times Square.
By this point, Cressey had caught HG’s fever/sore throat virus that she’d had earlier that week, and she was FED UP and extremely hot. John and I had a very long night and each spent some time strolling her around the lobby so the other could sleep a little. Somehow, HG (who was sharing a king size bed with me and John) managed to get some rest, but we were busy putting Cress in the bathtub, dosing her up with meds, and walking and bouncing. Thankfully, her fever broke around 2 a.m.
We had reservations for brunch at the American Girl store (the ONE thing HG really wanted to do, closely followed by the Statue of Liberty). About two seconds after we entered the dining room, John realized that Cressey was not going to make it, so he took her for a long walk around the city (while our room was getting turned over). We celebrated HG’s birthday at brunch, and while she was a little hesitant about the attention of singing happy birthday (“It’s not my birthday yet!”), she was in hog heaven getting Samantha’s hair and nails done.
Afterward, while I relieved John, HG checked out the Lego store with Spiffer and GD and then headed to Central Park with John for a carriage ride. We had to leave John in the city for a few more days for work, but the rest of us headed home on a flight around dinnertime. THANK GOODNESS that we had Spiffer and Granddaddy with us because we were delayed at the gate for an hour due to a bad weather system. Cress fell asleep for most of the flight, although restless, but she was awake for the last 30 minutes of our flight.
Memphis had a bad bout of weather over the weekend while we were gone, and Sunday morning during a straight line wind spell, a huge tree on three transformers and knocked out the power to our neighborhood. It was still out when we landed late on Sunday night, so we headed to Spiffer’s where we all promptly collapsed (another miracle after Cressey’s fight in the hotel). The power finally came back on around lunch on Tuesday, so I was especially thankful our girls feel so at home at Spiifer and GD’s!
Trying to tire out the baby before our flight on Friday
She did manage to fall asleep for a little bit, but she’s so long now that it was hard to get comfortable.
Even HG was worn out, which is rare these days.
This was her first time to sit facing forward. I was worried she would fuss about going back to her car seat, but by the time we made it back to my car on Sunday night, she was jumping for joy to see her seat!
Outside our hotel on the way to dinner
The beginning of the end
Saturday night: She looks happy and rested, right? Her parents were not.
St. Patrick’s: Lighting candles for Peggy and Buster
On our way to see Lady Liberty
As close as we got to Ellis Island
Headed toward World Trade Center (she had to buy one of these headbands for her and for Cressey)
West Thames Park
Couldn’t take it any more…at least for the next hour or two…
Our hotel lobby around 5 a.m.
American Girl with our birthday girl (She asked for a pic with her heart shaped pancakes)
Can you guess which parent staged this photo?
HG was holding Cressey’s hand as she slept.
I couldn’t have made it without this helpful sissy. I was really past the end of my patience, and she happily stepped in to help, even letting her play on her iPad.
This is the tree that took out our power for 48 hours. UGH!