Wednesday was Maja's birthday, so the whole family took the day off, boarded a bus, and spent a day in New York City. Our main destination: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Of course with my wife and two girls, ages 5 and 7, nothing is as easy as it seems. We walked four blocks from the bus drop-off to catch a subway uptown. My goal? Get inside the Met and air conditioning (it was getting warm) and eat in one of the small cafeteria/luncheonettes in the building. Overpriced but sit-down. The others had different objectives, such as find playgrounds and wearing ourselves out before even getting to the steps of the museum. Some hot dogs and ice cream from street vendors later, and we finally got in, a little slow in the step.
Lesson of Maja: "New York City hot dogs are the best in the world, except for Mommy's."
We got through the entire Egyptian wing, the American Art work, and the Arms and Armor halls by the time everyone's feet hurt, so we did what every self-respecting tourist would do: we went to the Ancient playground across the street for forty-five minutes. Truth be told, I think Maja just needed to swing on the swings for awhile to recharge our batteries.
We rumbled behind the museum to see the statue of Alexander Hamilton (he didn't sing) and Cleopatra's needle, and wandered to the subway to head back to Time's Square and the Disney store and get back way too early for the bus.
Couple of things:
New York has tons of diplomatic consulates and missions mixed in with all the other buildings. It was neat to see a theatre, an apartment, the Consulate of the Philippines, then a sushi restaurant. We walked found the Consulate-Missions for Greece, Ghana, and the UN Mission of Iraq (apparently the Myanmar mission didn't have it's flag out, so we missed that one).
I liked tokens so much better than a Metrocard for a day trip. Mind you, I don't think I've been on a NYC subway for thirty years.
Knowing she would be out on her birthday, Maja's teacher gave her her ceremonial "Happy Birthday" hat a day early to take to New York, and she wore up until she fell asleep on the bus on the way home. Simply walking the streets and subways, we had a dozen random people wish her a happy birthday, on top of the museum staff, vendors, etc. Of course, a trip to the Disney store put her Happy Birthdays from the dozens to the hundreds. Disney is evil and expensive, but they are a benevolent evil that knows how to keep their subjects happy (and spending).
Movies on the Bus: The Intern (solid) and Love the Coopers (a great ensemble cast, fantastic acting in some vignettes, but as a whole the movie was a surreal mess. There were multiple references to Lime Jell-O, so I'd like to think I knew what the writer/director wanted to accomplish, but just couldn't pull off.
Big fan of a bus trip to NYC. We should probably plan a few more trips in the future. It's cheaper than driving in, and far less stressful. Statue of Liberty - Ground Zero here we come!