So we took the Little Man and my niece into the city for what has become a fun tradition of visiting the tree at Rockefellar Center, as well as kid heaven places such as FAO Schwartz and the Lionel Train store. Last year's trip was lovely. The weather was somewhat mild, the city surprisingly not too crowded and we even managed to grab lunch and a much enjoyed cocktail or two at a swanky little spot as my niece at the time was about 6 months old and pretty cooperative.
boobsie during last year's trip
This year's trip was markedly different. First off it was downright freezing, it seemed as though the city was mobbed at every turn (although it was a Saturday, so it was expected) and our nice little lunch, let's just say was less delightful than we've enjoyed in the past. Neither my son nor my niece seemed to care that anyone else was in the restaurant and were trying to enjoy a nice peaceful Saturday as they both seemed to have megaphone's attached to their mouths and fireworks going off in their pants which prohibited them from sitting in any one place for more than a second. I don't think we 4 adults sat down at the table all together at any one time throughout the duration of the meal as there was lots of chasing, pacing, diaper changes and "let's go look out the window" breaks happening constantly.
I'm pretty sure I ordered a glass of wine with my lunch and I'm pretty sure it remains at our table presently untouched.
I'm also fairly certain that all of the sympathetic smiles we were getting from those around us were masking teeth gritting and mumbling for us to get the hell out of there. Call me crazy but I swear I heard a round of applause when we asked for the check.
Once our nice little lunch was over we moved our sideshow circus on to visit the tree. It was just as beautiful as it is every year, decorated with thousands of lights and the snow flurries flying through the air made it feel extra special and Christmas-y. The sheer size of the tree every year is worth seeing up close, truly remarkeable. We took a few pictures, watched the ice skaters twirl around the icy rink (can't wait until the kids are old enough to take a spin!) and then we went in search of the Lionel Train store.
Lionel Trains have been around since 1900 and are classic steel trains that come in every color, size and price point. Some of the displays that they have up are awesome. The tracks go on forever- over bridges, under mountains and around lakes, the whistle blows and the train blows out real smoke. It's also fun to see all of the specialty cars that have unique things happening on each one like the Lone Ranger car we saw that displayed two cowboys having an active gun fight.
A classic Lionel train was on the top of my list to get for Jax this year for Christmas. I researched beforehand to find the perfect one to get him started on, that we could build on every year for him as a tradition. I was practically skipping down 49th street with excitement to pick up the train but when we got to the store our "perfect" train was sold out. :( That's what you get I suppose for waiting until after Christmas. We did however strike up a conversation with a friendly guy that worked in the store and realized that we were neighbors (what are the odds!) which worked in our favor because now he is on the case to secure Jax the train we had our eye on for a neighborly discount to boot. Score!
After a few extra stops, we decided it was time to head back home, eager to get bath and dinner time rituals started so we could move on to the much anticipated adult time that we all sorely needed.
Despite a few hurdles along the way, we had a great time. Taking the time out of the busy holiday season to be silly and act like tourists for the day, taking advantage of the awesome city that is in our backyard, is fast becoming a treasured tradition that I hope to build on as the kids get older. It gives us all something to look forward to-a special trip that the cousins get to take together and fun way to celebrate the holidays.
the culprits: your quiet lunch's worst nightmare
However, to all of those that were dining or working at Maggie's this past Saturday, we offer our sincerest apologies and assure you that you can breathe easy, as we will most certainly not be back in for awhile. :)