Where were we? Oh, yeah! We were here.
The next morning began with pain.
The next morning began with pain.
You know, we foolishly think ourselves in shape because we run marathons. What’s a day of walking around a city with two children? That’s nothing compared to a marathon! (And for Wes, it’s certainly nowhere near an Ironman!)
Change that “a day of walking around a city with two children” to “a day of dragging two, worn-out children around a city” and combine it with “two full grown adults slept in a twin bed together because this hotel room is the size of a closet,” and you’ll see why we were a little sore the next morning.
But we were so excited about the day’s activities that we were up and out of bed in record time, heading down to the subway. (And McDonald’s. Again.)
We arrived a little before the American Museum of Natural History opened, so we walked across the street to Central Park where Emma proceeded to harass any and all dog owners who were just trying to get in a morning walk. She sees a dog, and she loses it, y’all. She was petting every dog she could find until Ana spotted a playground and convinced her to leave behind her canine friends. They played and had fun until the doors to the museum opened, where Emma began her search for Dexter and Gum Gum. (Would they have even cared about the museum if not for the movie? I don’t know. Every other kid in there was looking for the same things.)
The museum was way bigger than we thought it was, even though we’d done our research. I had estimated it to be a half day experience, but by noon, we had only managed one floor. Wes suggested lunch and just happened to know the location of a Shake Shack restaurant. This is something else he’d researched, and because he’d promised me a milkshake, I was just as excited as he was to get in the huge line that wrapped around the building and get our food. The meal was a win for the whole family, even though I questioned the size of those milkshakes. “Is this a kid’s size?,” I kept asking Wes. “Did you order me a kid’s size?” (Seriously, New York friends, you need to come to Texas and let me take you to Whataburger, where I’ll order you a reasonable-sized milkshake. And by reasonable-sized, I mean the large, which is big enough to count as two meals in and of itself. You’ll never go back. And you’ll gain three pounds. But whatever. Totally worth it!)
After lunch (which we ate sitting on the sidewalk as the restaurant was jam packed full of people), we went back into the museum and saw EVERYTHING. We didn’t miss any part of that museum. We even saw the “Rodents of New York City” exhibit, which made it difficult for me to sleep that night. Em was dreaming of terrorists, and I was dreaming of rats. Ick.
We headed back to Times Square stopping by (again!) McDonald’s for dinner. At this point, it was a financial consideration over preference, as Shake Shack was our meal splurge for the day. See? It’s entirely possible to do an affordable NYC trip with kids… you just have to eat at places like McD’s half the time. Which was fine, especially when we got to sit by the windows overlooking Times Square as we ate. The girls never tired of watching the crowds.
Before we went back to get some much needed rest, we went up to Fifth Avenue to surprise the girls. Ana had read through all the books she’d brought with her and needed something for the rest of the trip, and Emma, bless her heart, was still talking about finding her favorite author, Mo Willems. (She’d figured out he lived in NYC and told me that we could Google his address and go visit him. Which would have been awesome and creepy all at the same time.) We took them over to the biggest Barnes and Noble they’d ever seen, where Ana got to shop for books and Emma got a copy of Mo Willem’s newest Elephant and Piggie book. “It’s not as good as meeting him… but you got his new book in New York City!,” I told her. “I know,” she gushed. “And he lives here, so maybe he brought this one to the store for them to sell it!” We’ll just believe that he did so, because that makes the book even more special.