Our last day finally arrived. We had wanted to visit the new WTC Memorial downtown his weekend, but ran out of time yesterday. I floated the idea of trying to fit that into our Sunday morning, but we ultimately decided to not rush around. Everyone seemed pretty happy to sit around, eat breakfast in the room, and enjoy each other’s company. Maybe next time.
So today would be a light day. We had a kids birthday party hosted by our friends Neil & Megha — their twins Rohan & Kareena were celebrating their 2nd birthday this month. They live in Manhattan, so the party was being held down in the West Village. I’m glad we were able to aim this whole vacation around Josh’s two days off from school, my interim unemployed period, and the kids birthday party in Manhattan. Not bad, eh?
What we did have to figure out was how to make it to the party without carrying all of our luggage, make it to the party, then catch a reasonable train out of NY Penn Station. We decided to:
- Check out of the hotel around 12 noon
- Leave our bags with bell stand
- take the subway down to the West Village
- Have fun at the party unencumbered
- Go back uptown to get our luggage
- Head back to NY Penn to catch a train around 3:53pm
- Get home!
We made to the party easily enough, albeit with more walking from the subway station than I anticipated. By the end of the walk, I’m glad we decided against bringing the luggage in tow. Lily would not walk, so we took turns carrying her. A number of guests were there already, and the children present were doing free play. “Free play” lasted a long while, but the people running the show eventually moved on to some singing. We spoke to a few people while the children ran amuck.
Soon, it was time for the kids to eat pizza, blowing out the cake candles, etc. We departed the party a little after 2pm, made our way to the Lex & 53rd St station. Num’s & the kids opted to wait for me to run up and out, get the luggage, and bring it all back to the station. We hustled, and caught the 3:53pm train out of NY Penn. I’m not sure how we caught it, but a little hustle will never serve you wrong.
Now for the monkey wrenches!
The train was packed. Why? Based on all the people carrying beer cans and wearing Jets jerseys, I guess there was a game today over at MetLife Stadium. Rats. Still, it should empty out after Secaucus. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the only problem. Somewhere before Princeton Junction, the train crew informed us that there was a disabled train ahead. Oh no.
In order to get passed, the train would sit for a while, the eventually bypass and go straight to Trenton. We would have to get out, and wait at Trenton for another northbound station to take us back up north to Hamilton. Argh. We were tired, but we made the best of the situation and got home an hour later than expected. Oh well, that’s life.
So that was the big trip. It was a lot of fun, and I’m glad (in hindsight) to have listened to my wife about not filling up the itinerary. I wanted to visit the observation deck at 30 Rock, hit the Children’s Museum, and see downtown. However, trying to shoehorn all of these places in would have stressed and tired everyone out, and been ultimately counter productive. This was a good model — a vacation with only a few things to do, with a healthy amount of downtime. I don’t know where we’ll be going next year, but a few low-key weekend trips like this would be nice.
Now I get ready for my fresh start tomorrow.