Guess what? We made it! (P.S. I hate the above picture of myself. I look like I just ate a bug…)
New York City is amazing, but it’s even more amazing at Christmas time.
Rockefeller Center…look at the gorgeous tree! We watched the tree lighting two nights ago on TV, and to be standing in front of it now is pretty darn cool.
I’ve been to New York twice before, but it’s been 15 years since I stepped foot into this busy, diverse and entertaining city. 15 years ago I had just graduated high school, wasn’t married, and didn’t have the three incredible boys standing beside me like I do now.
So let’s recap HOW our first day in NYC was. Have you ever seen the movie National Lampoon’s Christmas vacation? Sweet, then you’ll relate to the story below VERY well…
We fly into Newark, NJ…when you are flying 7 people to New York with today’s airfare prices, it was way less expensive to skip LaGuardia, and fly here. So we did, and we arrived with about 1.5 million other travelers. Welcome to New York.
My dad had arranged for a van to take us to the apartment that my parents rented for the week. Again, way cheaper to rent an apartment for 7 people then to pay for two $789 hotel rooms in downtown Manhattan each night and live with the rats…
We see a fancy-smancy driver complete with a snazzy driving hat holding a sign with our name. I felt like Kristen Stewart…or maybe Joan Rivers depending on how “fancy” you’re feeling. So we follow our driver with our 50 pieces of luggage because I’m cheap, and I refuse to pay $45 to check my bags, thank you very much!
We arrive at our van…a massive Mercedes van that looks like it transports the mafia to and from their lavish parties…or “shady” business deals. Anyhow, moving on…..
So my dad calls the owner of the apartment to say we are on our way. The maid answers. My dad talks loud…he repeats himself 20 times…”Can you hear me? Hello? I’m Mr. Pryor. Pryor. P-r-y-o-r. Hello?!”
The maid says, “Oh, you coming today? It’s next Friday, yes?”
My dad replies, “Uh, no, today.”
Fabulous. A family of 8, with 6 young children had the apartment before us. 6 young children that apparently ran the house, and don’t abide by the rules while they jump on the beds while eating M&M’s and Skittles while destroying the apartment. There was candy EVERYWHERE, along with pieces of clothing, a stroller and several mis-matched shoes left behind.
So we arrive…to drop off our luggage and go somewhere while the maid cleans our disastrous home away from home, because it has to be cleaned…ya know, ’cause we weren’t supposed to be here until next Friday. Super.
We head to a hole in the wall Italian place because my middle son hasn’t eaten in an hour and a half and he’s FAMISHED. Welcome to the teenage years.
We arrive home because we’re freezing and kids need to pee. Apartment is clean. Yet as we walk in, a little gray mouse runs across the living room floor, a freakin’ M&M in it’s mouth from the…um, lovely family who stayed here before us.
We chase the mouse, he disappears through a vent. The little kiddo cries. He doesn’t want to sleep here now because the mouse will nibble his toes and give him rabies. Good gravy, shoot me now.
So we go to Rockefeller Center to see the tree. There are 5 million people there, so we squeeze our way through. The oldest kiddo now complains of a stomach ache probably due to the hole in the wall Italian eatery. We find a pharmacy and buy $18 overpriced Pepto Bismal. Now we need a bathroom. Hubby takes him to “Five Guys” but to use the bathroom, you need a code. So you have to buy something to get the dad-gum code…He buys a $7 coke…
We come home, exhausted. Everyone heads to bed. Darren and I realize that our bedroom feels like a freakin’ freezer. 5 blankets and a pair of sweats later, we huddle together in bed to keep warm. If we didn’t, I’m quite certain we’d freeze to death. Sirens go by ALL…NIGHT…LONG. People scream for no reason, bottles break…oh my gosh, it’s 3am and I’m still awake….I need to pee, but it’s to cold to get out of bed, so I lay there, huddled against my husband, the blanket over my head as if I’m a young child trying to hide from monsters.
5am, someone above us decides to take a shower…an elephant wearing rollerskates I’m convinced. I still have to pee. Hold it Val, hold it…there is no way I’m venturing across the frozen Alaskan wilderness to go to the bathroom.
I get up at 7am…exhausted. I need a 5-hour energy…maybe 2.
Holy smokes, we haven’t even been here 24 hours….
Welcome to NYC!