Saturday, July 16, 2011

Traveler's Aid. NY-Part I.

Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life. — Jack Kerouac

 When Steven told me he'd like to attend his cousin's wedding in upstate New York I was excited. I immediately began planning our trip to the city, and to Meazi's idol, Dr. LaBootie. Thinking about it further, I became filled with anxiety about traveling with two kids under six. I was sure they would become lost or stolen or worse. Visions of Amber alerts and subway track falls filled my brain as I tried to figure out one of life's big questions...How do you travel with car seats? The closer we got to the trip, the more I relaxed. That high level of anxiety inevitably ends in a resigned calm at some point. It has to.

In an attempt to provide more than, "Here are pictures of us doing fabulous things and having a wonderful time on our summer vacation," I thought I'd write a bit about what worked for us, travel wise, with the hope that it may help someone planning a trip to the Big Apple.

Take Jet Blue. It helped that the only seats available, together, were the more expensive, "Even More Room" seats. They provided, well, even more room! Our non-tv watching kids were thoroughly entertained by the rare Sponge Bob sighting and an unfortunate Family Guy viewing (Mom, what's a gynecologist?). Kind flight crew, yummy snacks, mini water bottles and wing stickers for the kids, helped to make us big fans of Jet Blue.

Don't Take the Red Eye. Big mistake. They slept, we didn't, so we had the worst of both worlds- kids were ready to go, we were ready to sleep. Luckily the Jet Blue terminal at JFK has a children's play area. We spent about three hours there. There was a giant screen tv. It is not completely enclosed so you do have to have one eye open in case your two-year old begins throwing his Croq's at travelers walking by.

Always Bring Uncle Mark. Uncle Mark met us at the terminal for our next flight, a short 45 minute trek to Syracuse. Again, lovely Jet Blue employees, healthy snacks and the ever so helpful, 'First bag flies free" (What kind of world is it where you have to spend 25 bucks to bring a suitcase?).

We checked into our mediocre hotel in a city which reminded me a lot of Milwaukee and experienced the "World's worst view from a hotel room". Our window looked directly into the parking garage. Only one family member enjoyed that. "Mommy, we see those cars again?" Melese had a rough night that first night. He cried to go home. It was so sad to hear. Always bring whatever thing it is to help your kiddo feel secure away from home. For us it was his nightly milk. We were out of milk.

We attended a beautiful wedding. When in doubt, say yes to that wedding invitation.

Next up- Bed-Stuy, Do or Die, and do not show her the Beyonce Fourth of July, Statue of Liberty performance before the big day.


  1. How? exactly? Do we follow the "Bring Uncle Mark" rule without some sort of website that we can check for available dates.... which now, just sounds awk.ward.... but you know what I mean--- travel plan dates!

  2. Bring on the travel tips. We're heading back for Trip 2 in early-August! Is Uncle Mark free? Would it be weird if we asked him to accompany us from Addis to Chicago? It's fine, right? I thought so.

  3. So let Uncle Mark know that we'll need him in Oct on our trip to NC. Thanks.

  4. Ah, so THAT is why our trip was such a disaster in so many ways. No uncle mark!

    (LOVE that first pic, by the way).