We decided to take one last little trip as a family of 3. We had promised Little Dude for quite some time that we would take him to “the dinosaur museum”, and finally got around to doing so.
We drove to Lyndhurst, NJ, where we were staying the night, and caught a bus to the Port Authority. Little Dude and I had never been on public buses in the US, so this was a new experience for both of us. He was most impressed by how high up we were. It’s the little things. From there we boarded the subway and took that to the vicinity of Battery Park. Thankfully we had all agreed to take the Bob stroller, because by the time we got within view of Lady Liberty, LD was passed out. Out cold. We tried to wake him up, but really only got him up and out with the promise of a snack. All 3 of us thought Battery Park would give us a closer view of the statue, so we were a little disappointed by that. But it was a beautiful day and there was a lovely breeze, so we stood there for a while and watched the boats come and go. And then LD was DONE. We headed to Terri’s (for me) and Au Bon Pain (for them) for lunch. And again he was DONE.
From there we subwayed back to the 50th street station and headed to Rockefeller Center. LD was out cold once again by the time we got there. We wandered around for a bit and then decided to take advantage of his nap and walk through St. Patrick’s Cathedral. I was there years and years ago, but it’s been renovated since then and is simply gorgeous. I spent a good bit of time reading each of the plaques about the various saints and artifacts. It takes your breath away.
By then Little Dude needed to run around. We took him to Central Park and stopped for a minute to sit on a bench near a flock of pigeons.
LD was mesmerized. He couldn’t get enough of those birds. We had to PRY him away. But then he saw the rocks. And he decided that he had to climb every rock we saw. He’s never been very adventurous, so this surprised me, but what surprised me even more was how well he did on them. He climbed them as if he did so all the time. We spent a good bit of time at the various rocks, then at the carousel, and finally at one of the many playgrounds. He was good and tired.
From there we went back to the bus station and painfully navigated that system, and finally found ourselves back at the hotel. We stayed at a Quality Inn. It was what you’d expect. But LD thought it was the best thing ever.
He LOVES hotels. He willingly goes to bed because he thinks the beds in them are awesome. He was so excited to get there and swim in the pool, so we decided to put off dinner. After playing in the pool for about 45 minutes, we went to dinner. We weren’t in the best area for food, and ended up at a PF Chang’s. I have to say that it was a miserable experience. Our service was SOOOOOO slow. we got there around 8:45pm and didn’t get out until nearly 11pm.
Day 2 came quickly. We decided to drive into the city this time, and it ended up being a super smart choice. I think it cost us $5 more in the end but it saved us sooooo much time. Our destination was the American Museum of Natural History, so we parked in their garage. We got there just before 11am, and S predicted LD wouldn’t last very long. Boy was he wrong. This kid was in his element. He loves animals so much. He’s obsessed with the PBS show Wild Kratts, and has memorized soooo many facts about lots of animals- ones I know nothing about. There were times when I thought his poor head was going to explode. He was desperate to find the dodo bird skeleton and wanted his picture taken with it. (Excuse the poor photo; it was the only way to actually capture the skeleton. If I used the flash to get him in the photo, I lost the skeleton.)
This is him schooling S about the differences between a cheetah and a leopard. He was so intense. Note the finger.
He went on and on and on about the differences between alligators and crocodiles. He ran to one, spouted off a fact, to the other, spouted off another fact, and then repeated the cycle over and over. He was just so excited. It was so adorable. I wish I had video of that, but we were just enjoying it too much.
Collectively, our favorite floor was 4, which has all of the dinosaur skeletons. It had the coolest thing I’ve ever seen: the titanosaur. Whoa. Just whoa. This thing was ginormous.
We spent about 4 hours and 20 minutes at the museum and I felt like we RAN through it. We didn’t even do any of the special exhibits. I would totally go back there. Oh – and by the way, if you plan a visit there, know that it’s a pay-as-you-wish museum. They ask that you pay the suggested rate if you are able, but if you can’t, you pay what you can.
After the museum, we hit up a little hole in the wall sushi place. The waiter gave LD some training chopsticks and he demolished 2 veggie rolls. It was a fantastic little place with delicious food and prices that were super wallet friendly. Afterwards we treated him to an ice cream cone from one of the trucks outside Central Park.
We really had to get going, but he really wanted to climb more rocks in Central Park. We gave him a half hour, and he got some good climbing in! This particular one freaked this momma out a bit (though it doesn’t look so bad in pictures), but S stayed right behind him the whole time. He was a cool, confident climber. His uncle is going to have a blast taking him climbing over the next few years!
We had so much fun and promised LD that we’d go back some day when Avocado is big enough. But honestly, all this kid needs is a hotel with a pool and some rocks to climb on. He’s pretty easy to please!