October 12: Taking the Girls to Manhattan

So even though I was in Manhattan all day yesterday, or nearly so, we are back in the city today too. Dominica had thought about going in with me yesterday but since she could find no one to be able to go around the city with her to help out with the girls she decided that she would wait until today to do it with me to make things easier.  That was a good idea as she would not have been able to easily maneuver the girls around the city on her own at all.  And she has never done the city on her own and has never even taken the Metro North before, alone or otherwise.  So a lot of firsts for her today as well.

We got the girls up and packed up and drove the Acadia down to Croton-Harmon Station.  I dropped Dominica and the girls off at the elevator while I drove way out into the visitor parking which is ridiculously far away from the station.  We were in a really tight time crunch to get the express train that we wanted so she hurriedly got the tickets and got the girls to the platform while I jogged across the expanse of parking lots to join them on the platform.

This is the first time that Dominica has ever ridden the Metro North community rail into New York (or to anywhere) and also, of course, the first time for the girls.  Liesl and Luciana have not been on a train at all since they were on them in Europe.  Their last train ride would have been the night train from Madrid to Lisbon that we took in June, 2012.

The train ride went well.  The girls, of course, fought over who would get to sit where  But it was not that long and they had fun.

This was, to the best of my knowledge, Dominica’s first time in Grand Central Terminal and it was most certainly Liesl and Luciana’s first time setting foot in Manhattan.  Technically they have driven through the edge of it once or twice because some of the highways that we use cut through it once ever six months or so.  The only time that I actually remember doing that was on the drive from Walt Disney World to Connecticut when the family was moving north in November, 2013.  But we might have done that again since then.  I remember Liesl being really excited to see New York City out of her window.  The girls are both really excited about being in the city.  They are city people, like me, I think.  They loved getting a look at it last month.  Now they are actually in it.

The reason that we are in the city today is that we are doing a Flat Stanley in NYC day for friends in Dallas.  So we are hitting bit sites in midtown to get as much as we can without making the trip impossible with two little kids in tow.  We can’t go to downtown and get the Statue of Liberty, unfortunately.  That is just way too much to handle.  Last time, when Katie and I did Flat Stanley in NYC (I am guessing that that was around 2008) we did only downtown and never went to midtown.  So the opposite this time.

Our first stop was brunch.  We had not eaten all day and it was a little afternoon at this point.  We went to the “diner” at Pershing Square right across 42nd Street from Grand Central, under Park Avenue, and ate there.  Expensive but the food was amazing and super fast.  Really excellent food.  Everyone really enjoyed what they got.  Liesl ordered penne with butter all by herself and loved her food.  Luciana got pancakes, big surprise.  I got eggs Benedict with salmon which was excellent and the roasted potatoes there are really amazing.

We did some walking.  We started by heading north on Madison and took the girls up to Rockefeller Center.  The girls thought that it was really interesting to see “The Rock” given that they have both seen so much of 30 Rock and know exactly what that is.  We got caught in some Columbus Day parades in the city.  I was pretty shocked to see that in this day and age that New York City would allow there to be public displays of celebration for that.  Very disappointing.  I thought that New York was a bit more progressive than that.  Incredibly insensitive and inappropriate.

From there we walked to Times Square and they got to see some fountains along the way and then they got to see my office, or hopefully my office, where we are waiting on news if I will be able to start working there soon.  It has been more than a month waiting to see if that will all work out as planned and, at the moment, it is looking rather precarious which is extremely stressful.

It took forever to walk through Times Square with the girls.  We are pushing them in a double stroller and there is just no way to get through the crowds there.  That was exhausting and the girls really did not enjoy it at all.  Dominica has decided that she truly hates Times Square.  I could have told her that.  Unfortunately my new job (knock on wood, fingers crossed) is right on Times Square itself, so little means to avoid it.

We went down to the Empire State Building, took some more pictures, and called it a day.  It does not sound like a long day but with the two girls in that big stroller and all of the crowds, the detours and the route that we took, it was a lot.  We were ready to get back home.  We got a lot of walking in today and pushing the stroller all day added to the exercise.  It was nice, though, and we were glad to finally get to take the girls into the city.  I cannot believe that after being here for an entire year now this is the first time that the kids got to come here.  And this is the first time that Dominica has been in the city since we lived in Newark, if I remember correctly.  It is amazing how little time they spend in New York City considering how close we live.

We had to wait a while for our north bound train but the ride was smooth and we had no issues.  It was late when we got back to the house.  It was actually a rather long day.  But we had fun.