Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Autumn in New York

What a wonderful weekend we had! My sons, husband and I were driving down to Virginia for the weekend. My eldest was born there, so we were going to spend time at Busch Gardens, show him the house in which he was born, and visit friends. On our way, we ran into standstill traffic, tried to go around via the F.D.R., and found ourselves sighing as we maneuvered around the city. We looked at each other, called Hotels.com and got a room for the night instead.

Our first day was spent telling Nicholas how many hours he had been on vacation versus sitting in the car on the way to Virginia and visiting the Central Park Zoo before the kids crashed out. The little one was so completely out on the bed with the teddy tucked under his feet and his jacket still on that I had to take a picture of him. I ran out to a nearby deli and we all had some excellent chicken soup that can only be found at delis in New York City and my Italian mother’s kitchen. After a quick visit from my brother and his girlfriend (who live the life I would have completely loved had I been single through more of my twenties!), we all went to bed. Me actually asleep at 8:30 when I didn’t have the flu? I couldn’t believe it, but it happened.

The next day, we had some bagels that can, again, only be found at delis in New York City, but this time NOT my Italian mother’s kitchen, checked out of the hotel and got our car out of hock. On the way to Dylan’s Candy Bar, I mused about how different the City looks from the vantage point of a car with small children and admired the architecture.

Dylan’s Candy Bar proved to be a trip in itself! They have everything, all in help yourself bins. You grab a bag and start filling. I’m not sure who was having more fun, the kids or the adults! I mean, dark chocolate covered malted milk balls?! I was in Heaven – AND we found parking directly in front of the place! It was so meant to be.

We then headed to the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. This is another phenomenal place. Everything is so safe, and the floors are so open, that we just let the boys go. Even my 6-year-old was enthralled by all the stuff to touch, create and explore. There was a Bob the Builder floor, a Dora The Explorer floor, and a third floor full of scientific exploration and various projects to create throughout the day. The kids had a ball for about three hours. In fact, we had to talk them into leaving for the street fair.

Ah, what is there to say about a arts and crafts festival in New York City on a beautiful October day? I got away with tons of cards for things to purchase at a later date (when my book becomes a bestseller, perhaps), and some wonderful handmade soap. There were textiles, jewelry, and artsy pieces everywhere. I was in Heaven and the children hung in there, especially my eldest son. He loves to see different things and how they are made. As luck would have it, we found a kid friendly restaurant with pizza, pasta and we didn’t even have to move the car.

As we drove home with Harry Potter playing on the portable DVD player and the baby asleep in his car seat, my husband and I enjoyed the harvest moon glowing over the Parkway and were overjoyed at the notion that we still had two days of the long weekend ahead of us. Maybe the lawn would get mown after all!!

We never made it to Virginia, but what a great weekend!

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