Tuesday, January 9, 2018

New York at Christmastime

One of my new year's resolutions is to be better about blogging, so I'm not posting about our trips a month after they happen.   Finger's crossed that actually happens!

There is something special about being in a city during the holidays. Whether it's the storefront displays filled with festive decorations, the wreaths on the lamp posts or the holiday cheer that seems to fill otherwise grumpy people I'll never know, but regardless of what it is, it works and makes New York City the perfect place to fill your heart with holiday cheer and get you in the mood for Christmas.

We took the train from New London into the city Saturday morning which was perfect because we didn't have to worry about parking the car and the train ride through New England was stunning.  It had snowed earlier in the week and everything still had a nice dusting.  Luckily, our hotel was only a couple of blocks from the train station.  Unfortunately, our room wasn't ready, so we dropped our stuff off, loaded Finn into the stroller, and headed out in search of some New York style pizza. Joe's Pizza was right around the corner and didn't disappoint.

Finn slept through our pizza experience, but woke up just in time to go to the Christmas market.  In case we were questioning his dislike for the cold, he reassured us that sentiment still rang true.  He began fussing within minutes of waking up and really didn't stop. Fortunately, the Christmas market was cute and we got two new ornaments for our tree.  Random coincidence, the people who were working in the shop were all Turkish! They loved the fact that we had lived in Izmir and that Mike could speak to them in Turkish!

After the Christmas market, we headed down to Rockefeller Center. We weren't the only ones who wanted to check out the gigantic tree and ice skating rink because we were quickly overwhelmed by the crowds.  I'm sure it's even crazier at night and both of us were glad that we had experienced it before and didn't need to hang around very long.  That being said, it is really spectacular and worth experiencing at least once.  The tree is beautiful, especially with the ice skaters around. 

We were there days before Matt Lauer got fired!

By this point, our hotel room was ready and we headed back to alleviate Finn from his screaming and let him crawl around a bit before dinner.  We had plans to meet up with one of Mike's friends Ramon and his girlfriend for dinner at a Korean restaurant.  As it turns out, one of Mike's really good friends Ben from DC (who introduced him to Ramon) came up and surprised him for the weekend. Such a fun surprise!  The food was delicious and the company heart warming.  

Finn slept through half of dinner and decided to wake up for the stroller ride home.  Along with waking up, he decided to scream for the entire 20 minute walk home.  Just lovely.  The funniest moment was when we were crossing the street.  Finn is screaming and there are people standing in little ramp that allows strollers and wheel chairs to easily access the side walk.  We are crossing the street and clearly coming for the ramp.  It's impossible to miss us since Finn is screaming, but the people weren't moving, so Mike, with little patience at this point, doesn't even stop the stroller and just says "Are you going to move?" to the people.  They scurried out of the way just in time for us to come through.  Normally, I would have felt kind of bad, but at this point, Finn was screaming and the people clearly saw us coming, so I just had to laugh and not look back.  

Once we got to the hotel, we put Finn down in his crib and he luckily settled down.  Mike was thinking about going back out to meet up with his friends, but was waiting to make sure that Finn actually went to sleep. When we are in hotels, we have to put Finn in the crib and then move out of sight so that he falls asleep.  Usually, we can go in the hallway, but that night, we chose to lay in bed with the lights off.   I'm sure you can guess what happened.  Spoiler alert: we both fell asleep at 8:45. I woke up around ten and was completely confused.  Mike did the same around midnight.  Needless to say, he did not meet up with his friends. 

We woke up the next morning feeling extremely refreshed after ten-ish hours of sleep! Mike hit the gym and Finn and I hit up the breakfast buffet.  We had plans to go for brunch, but when you wake up at 6:30, brunch at 11:00 is basically lunch, so breakfast is necessary.  After Mike finished at the gym and we finished breakfast, we all set out for Brooklyn! We quickly learned that all metro stations are not handicapped/stroller accessible and got an arm workout as we carried the stroller up many flights of stairs. 

We ended up at a Mexican restaurant for brunch which was delicious.  We felt the need to do some walking, much to Finn's chagrin and set out to explore Brooklyn by foot.  Finn fell asleep for a little while, which allowed us to all leisurely stroll through the neighborhood and take in the sights.

Finn woke up just in time to stop for a coffee/hot chocolate break. 

By this point, we had to say goodbye to our friends and head back to the train station.  We did grab dinner in the train station and Finn had his first encounter with a balloon, which was as exciting as you can imagine.   Otherwise, the rest of the evening and the end of our trip were uneventful.  We returned home late on Sunday and happy to have spent the weekend with friends and surrounded by Christmas cheer. 

After this trip, we decided that travelling with Finn will have to take a different approach.  There will be less sight seeing and more relaxing/playing.  Finn's dislike for the cold, as well as his desire to be out and crawling around made him pretty miserable this entire trip.   I guess I can't blame him. It looks like we'll be doing lots of beach vacations in our future!

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