I took my time with this post because there was so much to capture and I didn’t know where to start.
First off, Tip #1 for parents travelling with kiddies, take the day off before the trip, if you can manage it. Do yourself a favor. We’ve never done this before, mostly because the life of a consultant doesn’t allow for extraneous vacation days. With this new job, I was finally able to do it right. I got to spend such precious 1:1 time with him. When he napped, I napped. It was glorious. And since the flight wasn’t til 9pm, once I was all packed, this was like a bonus staycation day. It was so relaxing.
Departure flight: This wasn’t bad. We were delayed for hours, which is in itself bad. But when you’re delayed with a sleepy kid who’s WAY beyond his bedtime, this results in a bit of delirium. Tip #2 Bring a baby carrier so you can carry them and bounce them to sleep. It’s especially helpful on the flight so they can’t wriggle out of your arms. And once the flight took off, he was basically knocked out for the most part. And of course, being the responsible parents that we were, we enjoyed not one but two alcoholic beverages. Hey, if I’m not going to get much sleep (because, hello, I challenge you to try to sleep well when you’re holding a 24 pound kid, with his heavy ass head dead arming you), I might as well enjoy myself.
First taxi ride.
A few things I haven’t stopped thinking about since the trip.
Espresso. My goodness, the espresso in NYC is just heads and shoulders above espresso back home. Why is that?
Ollie liked the coffee too.
And the quintessential NYC bagel. Oh wow. I never thought to try this on any previous trips, but now I can’t believe I waited this long before trying the wonder that is the NYC bagel. The chewiness. Man. And Russ & Daughters? The lox? Holy moly. I wish we weren’t all hungover when we tried this, because I would’ve loved to try the smoked salmon with the bagel. Raw ass fish right now? Pass. But I thought, we’ll be back. And this is coming from me, who hates repeat meals (because, come on, there aren’t enough meals on a trip to have a repeat meal!). And, let this be a lesson to travelling parents. Tip #3 Lower your expectations. You will never ever get to do everything on your list, no matter how simple or pared down your list is. All I wanted was another bagel!
Uni uni uni. I don’t know why, but I had uni like ten times on the trip and every time, I thought, this tastes so incredible. Santa Barbara uni, you know, from CALIFORNIA, is supposed to be the mecca for sea urchin. But for some reason, I had to fly to NY in order to have this unctuous, briny, bright orangey goodness. And the egg on egg on egg? Holy crap.
Scrambled egg + caviar + uni. Yowza.
Roasted bone marrow and uni ramen. 🙂
Central Park/Upper East Side. Being here really makes me think, I could live here. I want to live here. I SHOULD live here. The park, obviously, is gorgeous and unlike any other public park I’ve ever been in. The amount of money they spend on flowers (tulips and daffodils in abundant bloom) is obscene.
Meds. Ollie got sick on this trip, which meant he was snotty and fussier than usual. Added to that, he was teething. And while he’s normally an amazing teether, this time, he was completely out of sorts. Tip #4: Always travel with meds like Ibuprofen, for cases like this, when you wouldn’t EXPECT that you’d need it.
See the snot and drool? Poor kid.
Return flight. And this is why travelling is so hard. You never know when it’ll be a good trip or a bad trip. The flight makes such a big difference. On the return flight, Ollie slept for one hour and then went NUTS. Absolutely NUTS. He cried for a good 45 minutes. It doesn’t sound that bad… if you’ve never heard him cry. This guy SCREAMS at the top of his lungs. And there was no soothing him. Anyone who had to be on that flight, must obviously hate us. Because it just didn’t stop. And we couldn’t do anything to soothe him. It’s so stressful. We gave him the Ibuprofen, unsure whether he was in pain from the teething or the cold. And when that didn’t work, we gave him Benadryl, because dear God, what you wouldn’t try when you have a screaming child on a full flight. But it did absolutely nothing. It’s supposed to knock him out and get him drowsy. Nope. So that’s what we were dealing with – two hits of Ibuprofen and two hits of Benadryl and he still refused to settle.
Day after trip. Thank goodness I took an extra day off before returning to work. After that trip, more specifically, after that flight, I really needed time to decompress. Tip #5: Take the extra day off! I did loads and loads of laundry. I packed away all the travel gear. I cleaned the house. I napped when he napped. And by the time I returned to work the next day, I didn’t feel like I needed a vacation from the vacation anymore.
I personally had a blast on the trip. Tip #6 travel with another family with kiddies the same age. It just makes it surprisingly funner and easier. You understand each other’s limitations and nap schedules. You commiserate. You have ridiculously early dinners and no one blinks an eye.
Lunch at Ippudo
With every new trip we take, I find myself thinking, why did we do that last trip? No matter how old he is, it’s always easier when he’s older. After this trip with a 15 month old, I think, man, going on a long trip with a baby under one year old is so hard. All that nursing and napping, it’s so disruptive to their schedule and it’s so much work to accommodate. I’m sure that once we go on a trip with him when he’s out of diapers, I’ll think, gee, why’d we travel with him when he was still in diapers? It’s so much easier this way! And, this is my point, I guess. Looking back, it’ll always be easier when they’re older. But putting life on hold just doesn’t feel right.
I mean, look at how happy he was!