This past weekend we took a mini vaca to New York. It’s been quite a while since we’ve traveled as a family, and I realized that I had forgotten some of the things from the last trip that I wanted to remember for our next trip. Some important things I will never forget again!
We didn’t pack heavy because we were only going for Saturday and Sunday and I HATE unpacking. It’s like putting laundry away for me. I hate it!! I will put it off for a week, and the suitcases will just sit there and take up space. So I only packed the necessities and one toy for each child. (Plus their blankies, and their sleep babies. They need that stuff though!)
We made great time and went straight to Lance’s sister’s apt. We did the family thing where all the kids played together and all the adults caught up with each other. We went to dinner and saw some more family, and I was anticipating a meltdown or two, because we never go out to eat in public. Max hit an age, I think around 18 months, where he wouldn’t sit still and he wants to get up and explore more than he wants to eat. Surprisingly, it went well. The twinnies ate their food quietly and Max was a calmer version of his normal self. (Although, he did get antsy about 3/4 into it, so we decided to leave then.)
We knew that we were going to have to head to the hotel eventually because the kids had a full day and were getting tired. We hit up a playground after dinner and it was dark at this point. The kids wanted to run though, so we let them get some energy out. We finally went to the hotel and it was breakdown time for the kids. They were tired, and wanting their predictable, nightly routine. And this is when it hit me, that I had forgotten what I had learned on the past trips with them! When staying somewhere new, it’s best to get settled in earlier in the day, so that the kids get familiarized with the new surroundings a little, so they are not overstimulated later when you return to the spot. When they are tired and wanting their normal routine, they can’t get comfortable in new surroundings. DUH!!! How did I forget that? Well, after a lot of tears and tantrums, things settled down and I finally was able to enjoy the silence at 9:30p.m. We had gotten to the hotel at 7 something. This is the final result….
Sunday was an awesome day. Brooklyn is so child friendly, I love it. There are playgrounds EVERYWHERE and the Brooklyn Bridge playground is awesome. It’s huge with a carousel and sandbox, and the view is amazing. You have the Brooklyn bridge on one side and the Manhattan bridge on the other. Ducks are quacking away in the water and a billion friendly families are surrounding you. Not just moms playing with the kids either. I have noticed that dads are very hands on in New York. Whenever we go there, it’s like daddy day or something. It’s a great thing to see.
The kids were great about the drive. They were all sitting in the same row, and they would eat, then sleep, then talk, then sing. Lance and I had discussed getting car TV’s for the kids when we took our last trip. We were weighing all the pros and cons and really considering it. I was pricing them, and it took a lot consideration. I mean, it is a very attractive idea to have the kids watch movies or TV in the car while traveling. Ultimately, we did decide not to get them. Of course, there is nothing wrong with having them, I can see how they are lifesavers at times. But perhaps this is where we are old school. We want our kids to interact with each other in the car and make up games that they play by themselves like counting signs or license plates. We want them to look out the window! I know that technology has some amazing gadgets but it was nice to hear the kids playing with each other even at such young ages. The giggles and smiles reenforced that decision today.
Once home, I put EVERYTHING away from the trip (my personal goal) and we finished out the night. Traveling is exhausting these days, because it’s not a pick up and go deal anymore. Even though it’s tough to pack everything, and have all the gear and deal with all the emotions going on, the other option is not doing any of it. Am I not going to travel with the kids because it can be a pain? NO! It benefits everybody by being in new places and meeting new people. Max now knows that he wants to live in ‘the city’. And the view today certainly beat that of my backyard. I just have to remember to pack light and check in early.