The Big Airstream in the Big Apple
The first person honked at us and we figured we must have edged into their lane or they were just haters. The second person honked at us and we pulled over and did a thourough walk-around to make sure we didn't have windows open or hoses hanging out or tires flat or something. Everything looked fine. Then, a guy rolled down his window and yelled, "No trailers allowed, you'll get a ticket!" Thanks for the heads up, guy. At least now we knew what everyone was honking about. What we did not know was how to get to a different route. We got to visit a few residential areas, but we made it to an acceptable "expressway". We learned "parkway" = no trailers and "expressway" = all vehicles welcome.
We made it in time for a packed weekend of Masses, campfires, and a concert. Then we begged our host to let us keep our Airstream there so we could go to NYC for at least one day. They happily agreed. We knew that we could not do the whole New York City experience, complete with broadway shows, taxis, hotdogs, etc. However, if we were that close, we wanted to at least see the lights. We knew it would be a challenge with the kids, so we went in with a plan for a REALLY limited trip. When the day arrived, the weather forecasted rain. We hoped for the best!
Someone recommended the Circle Line Tours for a quick overview, so that was our plan. Of course everyone recommended taking the train in, to avoid traffic, but we decided with the kids, it was better to have the comforts of our own van over a 90 minutes on public transportation. We drove in, parked right on site, and arrived just as the boat was boarding. Perfect! We hit a bit of rain on the drive and at the beginning of the tour. The boat had a heated, indoor deck, so we settled down right by the tour guide. David was great! He gave a lot of interesting facts about the buildings and landscape, all of which went right over all the kids heads. He tried his best to keep them engaged, though. One of the kids asked for pizza for lunch and the David was awesome enough to recommend John's Pizza - which was walking distance. By then the sun had come out and the pizza was perfect. The hard part was not to eat too much!
Things were going great. The weather was great, we were well fed. Michael hoped to make the walk to the iconic Fifth Avenue Apple Store. We started walking. We snapped a few pictures in Times Square and then the lack of nap-time started to weigh us down. We decided to call it a day while it was still a happy memory.
Overall, New York is a hard trip for the kids. It is hard to keep them safe in the crowds, there are no public bathrooms, there is a lot of walking, and everything is geared toward adults. The kids have no cultural references from TV or movies that we have. They have no clue that New York City is top on many people's "must see" list or why. They were just along for the ride. It is hard for them to appreciate the visit, but in 10 years, we will show them the pictures and they'll wish they could remember!