Friday, February 25, 2011

New York, New York...What a Crazy Time

Oldest son and family flew into the Big Apple over President’s Day weekend. They stayed north of the city close to relatives (the other side of the family). We arranged to meet at the Museum of Natural History Saturday morning. Grandson wanted to see the dinosaurs. Hub and I were on Long Island cat-sitting while my Mom went to Puerto Rico.
We took the train into Manhattan and walked 2 ½ miles to the museum. It was cold, but sunny and clear. We entered the museum lobby and were assaulted by huge numbers of people milling around, including lots and lots of kids. We spotted my daughter-in-law’s parents. Then the rest of the group arrived, seventeen in all. There was my son’s family of five, daughter-in-law’s parents, her brother’s family of three, hub and me, and the out-of-own friends’ family of five. We wandered around the dinosaur exhibits and the Ocean area where the big blue whale hung from the ceiling.
Then it was lunch time. Collecting and keeping together a group of seventeen, seven of them children under seven, was an adventure. Finding a reasonably priced place for lunch for all of us was a challenge. We found a small restaurant on the higher end of sensibly priced, but they could seat all of us. After lunch the kids decided to spend the rest of the afternoon at their hotel’s indoor pool.
The group of four remaining – the older generation - spent the rest of the afternoon walking through Central Park and Madison Avenue, meandering in and out of shops. I needed a new coat and someone mentioned Bloomingdales was having great sales. By the time we got to the store the other couple was exhausted and left for home. We looked around the throngs and the reaction was – what recession? The coat department was chaotic. I tried on several, but nothing was available in my size. Hub could not get over how many size 4, 6, and 8 coats were left and how few in double digit sizes.
We headed back to Penn Station, stopping for dinner at a pub. We discussed getting tickets for a show. We walked past the discount tkts booth, looked at each other and shook our heads. We were too tired. It did not make sense to spend a lot of money and barely be able to keep our eyes open through the show. We slowly continued walking. Very, very slowly – my feet were rejecting me.
We stopped at one more store. We were told there were no winter coats. Spring clothes were showcased everywhere. Then the main man said – wait a minute – disappeared and came back a few minutes later with two coats; the same one in two sizes. While he was gone I looked at hub and rolled my eyes. This was a pricey place; definitely not within my usual shopping price and territory.  
I could not believe it. The coat fit perfectly and was exactly what I wanted. I bought it. It was 60% off, expensive but doable. The coat should last at least twenty years. My last good coat wore out after fifteen years of serious use.
Monday afternoon we met the kids for lunch. After one party went to the wrong restaurant, we rendezvoused and enjoyed a chaotic lunch. Hub and I followed the kids to the airport. We were going to take one of the travelling car seats and keep it to use when the kids come this summer.
There was a lot of traffic and it was getting late. Son drove to the departure terminal, unloaded kids and luggage and everyone dashed into the terminal. We grabbed the keys to the rental car, returned it, and were on our way to another airport. Hub was leaving on a business trip. I dropped him off at airport number two and drove home.
It started to snow. I ran into a local grocery, grabbed a few essentials and finally collapsed at home.
Mom was scheduled to come in 12:30 a.m. that night. My sister picked her up at airport number three. The plane was two hours late. They did not get home until 4:00 a.m.
Everyone’s travels are over, at least for now. Cats are fine, Puerto Rico was relaxing, and the out of town crew got home safely. The hectic New York scene was left far behind. Hub survived two redeye plane trips back to back. It was a whirlwind of family and fun, entertaining and exhausting. I wouldn’t have it any other way.