It was spring break for public schools and we started ours with yet another case of ‘strep’! This time there were no symptoms except the bulging, red tonsils so I was a bit reluctant to even head to the docs office. But the fact that it lingered on for 3 days and my son was starting to talk like Marlon Brandon as the Godfather, I broke down to get him checked. To my surprise it was full blown strep once again – which he had just had earlier this month. So the beginning of the week was a bit dull, although my son was sick, he was bouncing off the walls. Twice, my face and body “accidentally” became a target during his personal indoor soccer game – which scoring a goal was a success when you hit the front window! Oh yeah – it was gettin’ crazy! On day three, I take him to an indoor playground for a play date and all seems to go well, but I contact the doc again, because he’s now having some stomach trouble from the meds. They agree to change the script, to which I say “sure, that’s just great….I just paid $50 for antibiotics that ran right through him (literally) for 3 days and now I’m starting all over with something else….thank you oh so much”.
Now, I throw caution to the wind and forge ahead with our big Spring Break adventure for Thursday. We were heading to the “Big Apple”….that’s right, the melting pot of the USA. Visiting New York can be quiet an adventure, even for a veteran. I had planned to take him back to CMOM (Children’s Museum of Manhattan – see the “Family Fun” page on this site). So Thursday comes and we decide it would be easier to take the train and then the subway. Nooooo prob!!! I can get around Manhattan pretty well, how bad could this be? Well first off, the train is so crowded we have to stand all the way to Grand Central. Once in Grand Central Terminal I ask the information desk how to take a subway. Turns out you need a card of some sort and you have to first take the shuttle to the subway. Hmmm, so far, so good. Let’s just say these damn metro cards or whatever the hell they’re called were THE biggest nightmare. They only let you buy one ticket at a time or it just plain doesn’t work etc. Anyway, we finally go through the turnstile thing and find the subway train. Wait, something doesn’t look right….is it me or are these trains getting smaller? It literally reminded me of a cartoon where you’re packed in like sardines. We jump into the subway train and once again, we’re standing. My son is being so great so far and not fazed by any of this. I nearly toppled a poor college kid with the motion of the train stopping and since we were ‘so friendly’ now, I asked advice on getting to CMOM. So, my new friend was our subway tour guide after that. LOL
We get to CMOM, we have a great time and spend several hours there. I figured we would probably stop for an early dinner first because I needed to fuel up before attempting the subway again. So I asked a nice woman, who just happened to be a native New Yorker if there was a place close by. Well, I was very excited when she told me of a place that “although doesn’t look like much on the outside, the food is great and they give the kids balloons” etc. So we leave CMOM and we’re walking to this hidden treasure. I finally find the place and as we’re getting closer I notice nice outdoor seating, the inside was small but what burst my bubble was the two gentlemen (ahem) sitting outside that looked like they might have just had a meeting with the parole board. Sorry, but NO! So, I nonchalantly, do a u-turn and decide we’re going to Ruby Tuesday’s in Times Square. Of course my son is whining “but I’m hungry mom” and I’m rummaging through my bag for any snack to hold him over. In my haste, I run down into the subway terminal but it doesn’t look quite like it did before. Hmmm – I ask a nice lady waiting for her train if this is heading downtown to Times Square. She so sweetly tells me “oh no honey, you’re going uptown”. OMG!!! What is wrong with me! She tells me to go up and over to the other side to get around without paying for yet another of those annoying cards. I manage to do that painlessly and downtown, here we come. During dinner I was asked our server all about the shuttle and subway etc. and he informs me that I DO NOT have to buy a ticket for my son – “he can just go under”. WTF?? Was anyone going to tell me this while I was fighting with those metro card machines?? Now it’s getting quite late, so we head to the shuttle once again and now I’m a pro. I go up to buy MY ticket and it’s now getting really crowded. We get up to the turnstile thing and I say to my son “when I run the card through, you go under”. “OK, got it Mommy”!! So I run the card and my son PUSHES the turnstile and I am stopped short because I no longer have access. MY SON JUST TOOK MY TURN!! OMG!!! So now he’s on one side and I’m on the other! This was clearly the evenings’ entertainment for the commuting pros that were out that night – and very evident that I was “an out of towner”!! So, the nice Port Authority guy tells me to go through the emergency door instead (as he chuckles). Now, for some reason I’m getting confused and I have my son constantly chanting “are we still in New York”? Not to mention that he is touching EVERYTHING he sees (billboards, garbage bins, etc)!! I’m skeeving and want to powerwash him ASAP. I can’t seem to find which train is the shuttle because I’m confusing Track 7 with Train 7. After stopping to ask a trio of NYPD and their gorgeous German Sheppard for directions, then, because at this point I think I’ve developed short-term memory loss, I stop once more to ask a train conductor – we finally find our way. Once in Grand Central it’s a piece of cake – finally homeward bound!
I would just like to say that everyone I spoke to from Grand Central, to CMOM, to all the random people in and around the subway terminals were very, very friendly and helpful to this daring mom toting a small energetic boy around the city. We had beautiful weather, lots of adventures and my son and I had a great day together. Thank you NYC until next time!
PEACE! – judy