We had a really great time in NYC this weekend. Getting away was delightful (I talked about it on HDYDI, today, as well), the kids and their caretakers did wonderfully. So, so worth it.
Friday, I drove with the kids to M’s office, were we visited for a little bit. My SIL and her boyfriend met us there, and we packed the kids back into the van and waved them off. That was a little hard, but I knew they’d be fine. I gave them a rather ridiculous packet filled with schedules, tips, directions, and emergency contact info, and the house had plenty of food and diapers, so they’d be fine.
Even getting in M’s car was strangely freeing. He drives a little sedan, which I have practically not been in at all since the kids were born. We had a little time and stopped at a bookstore on the way to the train station. Getting out after we parked felt so… light and unencumbered! I had my one purse/bag (my fabulous new SeatBelt Bag), he rolled our one small suitcase, and that was it! No strollers, no carseats, no sippy cups! The train was a solid 4 hours, and it flew by quietly. Read my book, got a snack, stared out the window. Ahh…
We stayed at a nice little hotel near Grand Central, called 70 Park Ave. I will say, the moment I arrive in New York, I feel glaringly out of place. The only bum/tourist in shorts and a t-shirt, never quite fabulous or stylish enough. I’m never at ease there. But still, we had fun. The hotel was perfectly nice, though the bathroom was so cramped that you had to sit sideways on the toilet. Charming.
The next morning, no joke, I stayed in bed until 11AM. That’s madness! I did wake up much earlier than that, but dozed on and off, read my book (The Other Boelyn Girl, no, I haven’t seen the movie), read blogs on my iPhone… not much at all. We finally left because we had a lunch date at noon with my friend Marci (hi, Marci!) and her husband. Not only did she realize that she and her husband were wearing our sorority colors, but then they walked into the restaurant, and M and I were wearing practically the same thing. It was a little creepy. But so odd that we had to take a picture. And if you’re in Times Square and like BBQ, I highly recommend Virgil’s Barbecue. Mmm, pulled pork…
After lunch, we walked a few blocks and saw a matinee of Avenue Q. Tons of fun, loved the raunchiness, very clever things done with the puppets and the set. I could have done without the whole Gary Coleman thing, but it was a great show.
We didn’t really have any plans until dinnertime, so we spent a little while wandering aimlessly around Times Square. It still has pretty much no appeal to me, I have to say. Especially on a Saturday afternoon in the summer. It’s ridiculously crowded and a total sensory overload. But hey, we saw the Naked Cowboy, as well as M&M World and it’s somewhat ironic across-the-street neighbor, a “gentlemen’s club” with an enormous billboard of Jenna Jameson. Ah, New York.
We went back to our hotel and rested/napped/read (ah, the delight!), and then back out to meet friends of M’s for a spectacular sushi dinner. We went to Sushi Seki, and it was awesome. The three of them got the chef’s tasting menu, while I (silly me) just got the Chirashi. Ooh, it was oh so good. The salmon, in particular, was out of this world. We didn’t leave there until 10:30pm, and then went to another place for drinks and dessert. I got a delicious pound cake thing, and a cocktail that was essentially a vat of gin with a splash of color and flavor. Got back to the hotel after midnight, somewhat drunk. Quite a departure for someone who’s usually in bed around 9:30. I could live without the taxis barreling through the streets, especially since I did not fulfill my ambition of getting on Cash Cab, but all-in-all it was a blast.
We left relatively early Sunday morning, another quiet 4-hour train ride home. The kids were napping (or on their way down) by the time we got home, so we had time for the full report from my SIL. The kiddos did wonderfully, were pretty much on their best behavior, napped when they were supposed to, and all of that. And my SIL and her boyfriend, since they don’t have to do this every day, had plenty of energy to just play, play, play whenever it wasn’t naptime. Everyone had a great time, and the kids seemed happy to see us when they woke up from their nap, no drama at all.
I’m really very glad that we did this, and super grateful to my sister-in-law and her boyfriend for offering to stay with the kids and doing such a great job of it. It was wonderful to just relax, stay in bed, and especially to hang out with M in the absence of childcare and house and home responsibilities. No worrying about laundry or naps or meals or activities. Just doing our own thing, hanging out with other adults, not tied to the strict routines of two 11-month-olds. We missed them terribly, of course, and were so happy to get home and see them again. But being a mom, whether you work outside of the house or especially if you don’t, means that you don’t get vacations or breaks very often. My weekends are barely distinguishable from my weekdays. Every day, regardless of whether it’s a holiday or a Saturday or anything else, I still have to do the same meals and bottles and naps. And that’s great, and I’m really lucky to have my kids, and I stick to my schedule for a reason. But sometimes it’s nice to have a break, even if it’s just running away for a day and a half.
And now, we’re back. M is at work, the kids and I have already been to Target. Back to the usual stuff, but with just a touch of rest, it’s just a touch easier.
And only a little over a week until we leave for Chicago. Oh, shit.