Thursday, June 21, 2018

New York City #4 - day 4 & trip home

Welcome to the exciting conclusion to our trip!  To catch-up, here's days 1-2 and day 3!

One of my favorite memories from our last trip was taking Luke to a Central Park playground on the Saturday morning before we headed back home.  It was sunny, 70°, and Luke (3) was a great age for playing.  It was just so fun to spend a Saturday morning in Central Park.  I was really hoping to repeat that on this trip.

Then we woke up to 50° and rain.  And pretty much constant rain until after our train left.  So that knocked out Central Park.

I had gotten up at 5:30am to watch the Royal Wedding, even without a scone it was pretty delightful.  I was not happy when I saw the wedding would fall over our trip but it ended up being a special memory to watch it in New York.  (Even though I seriously missed our DVR.)  Bonus, I also made sure EVERYONE we were with got to see at least part of it because I left the tv on for replays and continuing coverage.  I'm sure everyone is grateful.

We had our Dough doughnuts, packed, and talked about what to do with our wet, rainy, half day in New York.  The parents had gone to Mass at St. Patrick's again and they really liked it so we decided to all go back and look around the Cathedral.  We had only been inside on one previous trip - in 2013 when it was under renovation and I prayed that we would get this baby we knew was a possibility.  I forgot all about that until we went back this time.

We packed up and walked through the rain to the church, about 3 long blocks.  We spent an hour-ish there looking around.  It is a very pretty church and there were a lot of tourist but not so many that it was overly crowded.   And I got to pray there again for my sweet boys, this time two that I KNOW are ours.

After we finished at the church (and they were about to start Mass), we went across the street where there was  HUGE line wrapped all around the building.  We guessed it was for SNL (and I just looked up who the host was that night - Tina Fey so that seems likely) but didn't ask.  Luke wanted to show his grandparents the Lego Store (our 3rd stop at one in 3 days) and then we went to the concourse below 30 Rock to eat lunch.

We've always left our Saturdays in New York open - for whatever we didn't fit in on another day or, Central Park.  But somehow, on every trip, we've ended up eating Saturday lunch below 30 Rock.  It's just become the default and easy.  Matt and I each had a sandwich from Pret, another one of our standards.  We managed to save enough seats and tables to all eat together which was quite the feat.

After eating we walked around the lobby of 30 Rock a little, it is pretty impressive.  Then finally had to head back out in the rain for the 4 block walk back to our apartment.  And it was rainy.  By that point even I was done with New York, if the rain wasn't going to stop and instantly be sunny and 70°.

We were all packed but had arranged to leave our luggage at the apartment while the cleaning lady started her work.  She was already there so a few of us just went up, got all the luggage, and headed back to the (small) lobby to regroup and get ready for another wet walk to the subway.

After finding our subway stop and getting our last above the ground looks of the city, we headed down the stairs, waited a bit for the train, and then got separated because the people getting off took way too much time.  Matt and my Dad missed getting on the train but since we all knew were getting off at Penn Station it was fine.  Really, best case scenario for getting separated.

Once all back together we started the long walk from the subway part of Penn Station to the Amtrak part.  We've done this trip 4 times and yet every time I feel like we have no idea where we are going in Penn Station to get to the Amtrak.  It's a lot of walking.

We waited for the train, got our LAST Jamba Juice (tradition), took Luke to the bathroom (forever away from the Amtrak waiting room), and then boarded our train.  The boarding in Penn Station has never been an easy process, or straight forward and this was no exception.  I was relieved once we were all on the train and all had seats together.  And I was able to get dry socks for Luke and I out of the suitcase.  Then we settled in for the long ride home.

Our parents had decided to try the dining car.  Matt and I did it twice (once each way) on the first trip and it was a good experience but expensive.  Plus, the boys were both sleeping when our parents went.  Instead, we got a "date" of going to the snack bar together (WITHOUT kids) to pick up microwaved pizzas and then eat them at seats across the aisle from each other.  So, equally exciting.  But we did get the last Levain cookie to share so that was something.

Both boys slept really well on the train ride home (and the ride there, honestly, it was just the 2am boarding that was tough).  We got off the train slightly late, about 8am and Matt and I got home about 9am.  Only 17 hours from leaving the apartment to home, felt pretty speedy compared to the 23 hours to get there!

I was so stressed about this trip for so many months and it turns out the worst parts (the weather and the train delays) I couldn't control anyways.  All my semi-obsessive planning seems to have paid off and it was really fun to show our parents one of my favorite places.  It wouldn't have been our plan if we knew, but I am glad this was Sam's first family trip, to make it a part of his story just like it's a part of big brother's.
It might be a few more years before we are back (I am aiming for no more than 5) but we will be back.  And I will love it all over again.

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