I finally scheduled a day off, and take Joshua to the city. I had been promising to take him to the city for the entire spring and summer, but the schedules finally worked. At the moment, I’m leading an audit, but am between the planning and fieldwork phases. Now seemed like a good time to take a day off, recharge, and have a nice day out with my boy.
After running through various itineraries that became incrementally more complex (and likely less enjoyable for a 4-year old), I chanted the mantra “Less is more.” Why try to fit in observation decks, ferry rides, numerous subway rides all within one trip? Too much for him.
I decided on a train ride into the city (his first time on a train), subway uptown (first time on the subway) to the American Museum of Natural History and the Rose Center For Earth and Space for a planetarium show. Lots of new experiences there. My wife would drop us off and pick us up.
I’ll skip the additional bad decisions, delays, and other logistical problems that occurred that morning, and hurry to the important details. We had 14 mins to make it to the train station and purchase tickets before the 9:04am train arrived. If we missed it, we would have to 30 mins more for a local train — doable, but not the best option when we were so close to making it! With some mad dashing, and bagels and water in hand, we arrived at the train station at 9:03am. I grabbed the bag with our breakfast in my left hand, Josh in my right arm, and ran to the platform. As we were in line at 9:03am, the train arrived. As I paid for the ticket with a credit card at 9:04am, the last passengers and conductors boarded the train. I carried Josh and breakfast, ran out the door, and made a flying LEAP onto the train as the buzzer buzzed. I landed in the train vestibule, the doors closed, passengers looked at me, and I smiled and sighed with relief.
I don’t think my life would be as interesting if it wasn’t for all the bad decisions and melodrama. We ate our breakfast on the train, and I pointed out the various stops and towns we passed. We arrived at NY Penn a little after 10am, took the #1 train to 79th St, and hoofed it to the museum.
I won’t give a blow-by-blow account of our trip through the museum. There’s certainly too much to visit in one day. However:
- We did visit the entire lower level
- We explored the entire 1st floor, including the Northwest Native American exhibit, the Hall of Biodiversity, the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, Gems and Minerals, The Arthur Ross Hall of Meteorites, The Gottesman Hall of Planet Earth, etc.
- We visited the Mammals of North America, and yeah, the entire 1st floor
- We watched the Journey to the Stars planetarium show, a 30-min show on stars narrated by Whoopi Goldberg.
- Joshua wasn’t hungry yet by 1:30pm, so visited the Discovery Room for kids so he could play and learn.
At a little after 2pm, we had lunch at the museum cafeteria. Worst lunch I’ve had in a long while. $7 chicken nuggets that tasted like cardboard. $7 chicken wings as dry as can be. $2.80 for a bottle of soda. Over $20 for a meal that should not have cost me more than $8. Total ripoff.
In the late afternoon, we hit the 4th floor for all the dinosaur exhibits. We had made some progress into the extinct mammal halls, but Josh was too tired to walk anymore. We wrapped up our tour of the museum around 4:30pm, hit the museum shop, and then went downstairs to catch the C train back down to Penn Station.
Funny enough, on the ride home, we coincidentally sat in front of one of my coworkers from my previous job. Weird coincidence? You betcha. We chatted on the train ride, and caught up on old times and news until we reached our stop, and departed the train.
Good trip overall, and Josh had a great time. I’m glad I decided not to overload the trip with too much extra. I forget that he’s only 4-years old. Photos are already posted in the September 2009 gallery.