7.06.2015

running away to nyc for 24 hours, part 1...

i've been stressing about what to do for the 4th for weeks now. for heaven's sake, we live in washington dc! what better place can you be for the 4th!? that being said, dc in the summer is... a lot. 
a lot of groups in matching shirts, a lot of selfie sticks, a lot of crowds, and a whole lot of humidity. throw in baseball games (the metro is a disaster during games), and the nation's birthday in the nation's capitol, and you've basically got a whole bunch of wind-up toys bonking into one another. it's a hot mess. literally. 
we went back and forth about what to do since i had friday (the 3rd) off work. thursday night while elle was in gymnastics we threw around the idea of going to nyc, but decided to stay put and enjoy some "lesser-visited" sights. 

friday morning mike had brunch with a friend who was in town (i'm pretty sure he did not call it brunch. is that a girl word? it seems so feminine when i write it... :) when he got home we talked about going again, but we decided we wanted more time in the city, and we should have left early in the morning (like at 5am when the kids were up). NO! not going! that ship has sailed!
so then we decided to go on a family hike at great falls- we've tried to go before, and en route something happens and we have to turn around.  this time, we left the house and headed that way. a few minutes in we decided to call and just make sure they were open (it was about 12:15)- they were open, but only for a few more minutes. due to excessive crowds they were closing the gates. are you kidding me!? we're destined to never hike great falls.
literally, we were stuck. landlocked. trapped by the incoming tourists. suffocating! ok, not really, but you get the point. i don't like being stuck. let alone on a day off!? 
we turned the car around and decided that's it! we're going to new york city! NOW!

we ran around like complete lunatics, packing as fast as we could, and left our apartment in a cloud of dust. by 12:45 we were in the car, and i was reserving a hotel en-route. the first couple hours were slow. really slow. traffic. ugh! and our a/c wasn't working- what?! we almost turned around again, but thank goodness we didn't. windows down, we pulled into the city around 5:00, checked into our hotel- which, hallelujah, was amazing! and started our whirlwind adventure.

 tourism. it's a funny thing, really. 
you leave one place filled with tourists just to become a tourist in another place. see, no locals actually stay in nyc for the holiday (or maybe not for any weekends in the summer). the city is just filled with crazy people like us. which makes it just ironic that we left one crazy city for another...
our hotel!   but first- elle's face...
priorities, elle! go!
 after dropping our bags, our next stop was gray's papaya. we love us some gray's hot dogs- frankly, they're the best ever. (see what i did just there!? frankly!?)
 jude only wanted sprite. darn this kid and soda. he only gets it on vacation, and even then, he gets enough to last all year. i hate it!
 we had no agenda for the trip, so we literally went wherever the wind took us. this wind blew us to central park, because the upper west side is a dreamy land that usually leads to either great food or central park. we ping pong around there a lot. so do all the people! holy tourists!
 i mean it when i say there is nothing like the beauty of this park in the summer. i've never seen anything like it! it's impossible to wrap your mind around the size and shades of green. we walked for miles around & around to parts we've never seen, with miles left to explore another time. 
 we stopped at the ancient playground on the upper east side and let the kids play, because, shockingly, nyc is an incredible place for kids. their parks!?!? oh my GOSH they're good. 
we haven't been able to enjoy the parks much in the past because of the dismal weather, but this trip? we parked until we could park no more!!
 as we were running in circles around the park, a news crew stopped to ask us our thoughts on the "unusually cool weather in nyc this july, and if it stopped our kids from using the splash pads..." it was quite possibly the strangest story i've ever heard, but alas! entertaining. they tried to interview jude first... 
 doing ok...

eh, not so sure...
 ...

yah, no thanks...
 elle faired quite well. they told her she was destined to be a star with her poise and composure:)
they interviewed me, too, and somehow they managed to put us both on the 10:00 news. hilarious, let me tell you. 

but while we're on the subject? oh, the weather. that weather was perfect. as perfect as it gets!!!! overcast skies, no humidity, and 78 degrees. i mean, hello!? i could go on and on, but i won't. just know, it was perfect.
  a pit stop at the bandshell for some dancing. now please watch as an epic fall is captured. please direct your attention toward jude's dancing in 3, 2, 1...
 ^^ BAM! and there he goes. head/shoulder first. that one left a mark.
 finally, over to sheep meadow for some awesome people watching and games of tag/jumping over daddy while he's on the phone.
 it was somewhere in these moments that a level of complete and utter joy was reached. it was one of those out-of-body instances where the whole world comes together for a brief instant and tells you that it's all ok- that you mean nothing, but you also mean everything. that this is what life is for- that all the exhaustion and craziness that comes along with travel is totally worth it. that the time together as a family is priceless, and the memories we're making will shape us as individuals, even if these little kids are too young to remember any of it. it's worth it. it's totally worth it.
we walked back across to magnolia bakery where we filled up on banana pudding and cupcakes. we tried to sneak one past jude and get him a mini cupcake, which was great, until he was done and everyone else was still eating.   then it all hit the fan.  no bueno. he inherited his demands for "fairness" from his mother. 
we walked around for another hour or so- not long enough for mike & i, but until the kids were asking to play in our hotel room instead of roaming the dark, people-filled streets. so we went another block and didn't tell them we made a loop. because we're kind like that. unfortunately, jude caught on since somehow he has a god-given innate sense of direction. i'm telling you, it's uncanny how this kid remembers where he's at! at all times! who the heck knows where they are in the dark in nyc?! jude. we made it to our room and all managed to stay awake to watch our moment of stardom on the 10:00 news. the kids eventually settled down and went to sleep together in their bed surrounded by pillows. i eventually fell asleep to that awesome sound of city- not too loud, but just right. a few sirens, horns, beeping of backing trucks, and motorcycles, in combination with my fan app (which is the best app ever, let me tell you), and that's a wrap on nyc in a blink, part 1. 

(see part 2 here)

1 comment:

  1. I just wrote an entire comment, maybe it was deleted? Hm.

    I read most of your blog out loud to Elizabeth. You make me laugh! I wish I could've seen the news interview. Maybe I'll try to google it, since my summer days here at the office are sooo busy ;)

    Tell Jude and Elle (and Mike) hello and that I miss them!!

    ReplyDelete

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