Since we have the NYC accommodation for a week I came back with just Boo and Yum Yum after Pre -school on Tuesday. It was raining and I had to do some internal debates about the possible merit of bringing raincoats and wellies for the girls. I decided against. We managed to get on the NJ transit midtown direct train at noon. Boo and Yum Yum don't recall a train ride (although I'm sure we have taken them by train once before). This time it was just me - solo parent with the girls of the broken legs, broken bladders and broken tempers. I put "pull ups" on both of them before we got on the train, packed a lunch and hoped for the best.
So at the next station Yum Yum asks "Are we here yet?". SIGH only 65 minutes and about 12 train stations to go. They were pretty good really, eating their PB sandwiches, pretzels and berries. The carriages were fortunately quite empty. There did come a squabble about whose feet should go where (they were sitting facing each other). I brought out their Sweetpea3s to listen to for a bit and looked out the window telling me they could already see the city (any building taller than 4 stories was "The City").
Eventually we get to Penn Station and we managed, juggling an umbrella, a handbag, a tote bag, myself and the twins, to get all of us into a taxi with the small rolling case. I left the stroller in the hotel room on Sunday for our use later in the week. Adding the stroller to the mix on the return journey on Thursday will be loads of fun for sure.
When we get to the hotel ( Yum Yum has christened our room the Stinky Room because of the off odour in the hallway outside- sounds posh doesn't it!) the girls want their Barbies. SIGH. No I didn't bring toys..I could barely fit our clothes in the small case. I did have crayons, colouring and a DVD. But I had a plan...
So first stop- The Children's Museum of Manhattan on 83rd St. Again by taxi. I don't do the subway by myself without the Breadwinner (he is in charge of the Subway travel) although it would be cheaper/quicker sometimes. I certainly don't do it with Boo and Yum Yum. (With Bear I might give it a go). We arrive at the CMOM at about 2.30pm, just in time for the afternoon crowds to get off the school bus.
Unfortunately Boo and Yum Yum were not really enthusiastic about this place. They figured out what was on each floor and had me take them to check everything out. Being late in the day the exhibits were a bit messy and dis-organised. Their attention spans were not held by Dora and Diego for very long. A visit to the Block Party Room downstairs was actually the best part. It was a lovely quiet and big, mostly empty, space with a vast supply of wooden blocks. I could have happily sat there building for a very long time.
We were out of CMOM much faster than I had planned...3.30pm. So I guess CMOM is better for the 2-3 year old set. At a week shy of 4, my girls seemed too old/bored or maybe overtired/hyper or just bloody spoilt!
We did have luck finding the restaurant I had picked for what was supposed to be an early dinner. Cafe Lalo was virtually across the street and not around the corner as I had thought.
If there are issues with this restaurant they would be - the stairs in front, cash only, not cheap. In other words they are "passively" rejecting the mothers from across the street! Tempting them with delicious coffees and divine pastries but making it hard work to actually have. I was glad I wasn't put off by the stairs. The staff took my stroller "downstairs" for me. They must still regularly encounter mothers with children popping in every day.
I didn't choose very well for the girls, the grilled cheese was a little too "rustic" in style for them, Yum Yum ate some roast potatoes and Boo concentrated on her chocolate milk . I was much hungrier than they were as I had not had lunch. I ordered an interesting surprise dish -a large slice of baked eggs covered in a delicious spicy tomato/olive sauce with a pita bread. I've never eaten anything like this before, MMMMM it was very tasty. I refrained from having dessert despite a very very large and tempting selection, but I did get a chocolat croissant for Boo because she did not seem to have eaten much.
Boo posed for me at the front steps, giving me her new best pose- urban kooky. BTW this is the Tom Hanks - Meg Ryan "You've Got Mail " cafe.
After that we headed back to the hotel to rest as I had a headache coming on. It was drizzling lightly all day and I was being careful to avoid peak hour.
Back in the room I tried to restore ease to my throbbing head by having a cup of tea and sitting down whilst the girls played in the bed room. It was soon obvious to me that I needed to sleep it off - a reboot. Going out again for some headache tablets was not an option, the exertion would have meant I would have quickly passed the point of no return into migraine territory. So into the bedroom I go to find that Boo and Yum Yum have stripped the bed completely. DEEP BREATH. I had to remake the king sized bed before I could lay down. I tried to make sure they had snacks and something to keep them occupied but I was so desperate to sink into oblivion I had to tell myself that whatever happened it would all be a lot easier without the headache. And so I slept.
I think I was out for an hour. Whilst I slept they investigated the contents of my toiletry bag. The combination of familiar smells kept me guessing and eventually I tracked down the globs of creams, pastes and lotions...some in Boo's hair and other's in random places. Thankfully nothing really horrendous involved- mostly travel sized and no nail polish. But it was probably a near miss, it could have been really bad. I had to buy more toothpaste later.
After cleaning them up I decided to head to the already tested Sushiya. The girls really like the miso soup there. They walked there and back, they ate really well, and behaved themselves (much to the relief of the couple next to us). Oh- on the way there I had a near miss on the footpath with a man hurrying along engrossed in his conversation with his friend. Do you suppose Kelsey Grammar is blogging about that tired looking woman he almost trod on? Nah, I don't. BTW- he looked GOOD.
The forecast for the next day, Wednesday was no longer for rain so I decided to go with the Central Park plan. Back in the Stinky Room we called it a day after a shower and a few PBS online stories.