These days Ryan has been really into trains, so when Michael invited us to take the train with him to New York City for a work trip, I was happy to accept the invitation. It was a trip full of its share of touristy attractions, but we saw exactly the kind of sites that I knew all of us would enjoy.
We stayed in the heart of the city, in Times Square, and it was alive. The streets were crowded and full of so many bustling people. While we didn't hear any silver bells, Christmas was in the air. There were holiday lights and decorations, and on many street corners we saw Salvation Army bell ringers breaking it down to the likes of Taylor Swift and Katy Perry. We also ate some great meals, visiting spots that were friendly to families but didn't require a compromise in the quality of food. We had breakfast at Friend of a Farmer, lunch at Rustic Table and Il Pesce in Eately, and dinner at Patzeria. I would recommend all.
We walked around Times Square and Ry was overcome by the lights and action. We took a horse and carriage ride through Central Park, and then walked through the loveliest holiday market with hot cocoa in hand. We watched ice skaters at Rockefeller Center and admired the great Christmas tree, and then we went to Top of the Rock, for a fantastic view of the city. We also walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, for a sweet view of the skyline and our lady, the Statue of Liberty. While in Brooklyn we went to the LEED-certified Brooklyn Children's Museum, which has an incredible Green Threads initiative that incorporates sustainability education throughout the museum.
It was a full visit, full of its share of pleasures and challenges—and lessons learned. Lessons like, better to carry the babes then use a stroller; so I wore Connor and Ry rode Michael's shoulders or walked. Another lesson, order food as soon as possible, even if it's just an appetizer for Ryan while we're waiting for our meals. And finally, leave time for downtime. Ryan needs unscheduled time to play and run and be free. We were all better off when we gave him a chance to just be, whether he was driving toy cars in Rockefeller Center or chasing pigeons in Madison Square Park.
For sure, travel with little ones is a much different experience from travel without little ones. And although it requires more flexibility and patience, it is so worth it to share adventures with Ryan and experience life through his eyes.