New York, I Miss You
I grew up in New York, and miss the beauty of Long Island and the hum of the city . We've taken the kids back quite a bit, but our littlest was too little to remember. And he desperately wants to go see it. For his 10th birthday I had planned a trip to NYC with his best friend (also just turned 10) and his mom (one of my best friends). And they had not been to New York, either.
As to pandemic got worse, it became clear that our trip would need to be cancelled. I hate it that we don't know when we can reschedule it. But I'm documenting the outline of our plans here so we can implement a version of it when we can make it back.
This itinerary is very different than the ones I had when traveling there with our daughter and we went to tea at the Plaza (a family tradition), shopped in SoHo and saw at least one Broadway show (the last trip it was Dear Evan Hansen). So here we go:
Five Days in New York with 10 year old Boys:
Day 1: Times Square, Rockefeller Center and 5th Avenue
These days I recommend flying into Newark and take the train in. So much easier than dealing with the construction at LaGuardia. When will that be done again?
I had booked us at the New York Hilton. It’s so convenient and close to everything. And we booked it super early so we got a great rate.
After dropping off the bags, we were going to head to Times Square (the boys had only ever seen it on TV) and the TKTS booth and then grab some lunch. After loading up on lunch, we were going to the Intrepid Air and Space Museum. That would take most of the afternoon. When we were done there, I was going to have us grab a cab back to the hotel and take the boys exploring around Fifth Avenue, Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and then grab dinner at the Burger Joint, made famous by Anthony Bourdain. If there’s room, we’d head to Serendipity for dessert.
Day 2: Central Park, the Museum of Natural History, Central Park Zoo, the MET
The plan was to start the day at the Museum of Natural History (Night at the Museum is still in heavy rotation in our house), then head to the Central Park Zoo at lunchtime, and end the day with the highlights of the MET. For dinner we had reservations had NINJA New York which sounded perfect for the boys, and I am so sad to hear that after 15 years it is now permanently closed..
Day 3: The Highline Park, Chelsea, the Village, and Brooklyn
The plan was to start at the Vessel and Hudson Yards and then walk down the Highline. After wandering through Chelsea and the Village (and stopping at the Jackie Robinson Museum) we would have lunch at Jekyll and Hyde. After some shopping and gelato in Little Italy we were going to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge and check out DUMBO before heading to the Nets game that evening.
Day 4: Lower Manhattan, Statue of Liberty, One World Trade, and the Seaport
Today we were planning to start at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, then exploring One World Trade and Calatrava's Oculus. After exploring the Seaport for lunch, and maybe getting gelato at Little Italy we were headed to the Bronx to see the Yankees that night.
Day 5: Midtown, Empire State Building
This was our last day. We had planned to start at the Empire State Building (weather and view permitting), and lunch at Wagamama (a favorite of the kids when in London) before heading back to the hotel to pick up our bags and head back to the airport for a late flight home.
If you have older kids and are looking for unusual things to do, this is list of 689 Cool and Unusual Things to Do in New York from Atlas Obscura.
I Miss Travel
I know I am not alone in missing the ability to travel this past year. I have always craved travel, but now it feels like I need it to breathe. So to make myself feel a little bit better, I am going to share a few photos from some of our favorite recent, pre-covid trips.
The photo with the pink umbrellas? That was from Puerto Rico. We went there for a second time and loved it more than the first time. I don't know what took us so long to go there. Both trips were amazing, but I loved this piece of street art in the middle of Old San Juan.
Next to that is me on a rainy, cold December day in London. For me, London is always a good idea, too. I had never been there during the holidays, so I was pleasantly surprised by all of the Christmas Markets and the mulled wine. We went out to the Cotswolds for a few days, and that was such a romantic excursion for that time of year. It was a fabulous trip.
To the right of that is my favorite photo from Paris. Which is always a good idea. And I have gone on my own little photo safaris throughout the city and have tons of photos. But this is the best - My little one, dressed as Spiderman, throwing webs and keeping us safe. And if you need a Parisian fix like I do, I highly recommend following @raphaelmetivet on Instagram for a bird's eye view of the city.
The next two photos are from Munich. We did a Munich and Innsbruck, Austria ski trip that was better than any ski trip we've done out to Colorado. It was incredibly more affordable, the food was fantastic (my son could not get enough currywursts), and our side trips to Bregenz and and Lindau were beautiful. Plus, we had mango gelato on the street in Munich as it started to snow. For my southern babies who don't get a lot of snow, that was super cool.
The last four photos are from the big island of Hawaii. One is of the black sand beach, and the other is of us killing time while we waited for our table at the "totally-worth the wait" Lava Lava Beach Club. The third is of my kids next to the crater that is now erupting, and the last is a turtle that came to sleep on the rocks next to the Lava Lava Beach Club each night that we were there. While most people go to Oahu and or Maui, we wanted to share the beauty of the big island and it's 5 climates in the middle of the Pacific with our kids. This was my fourth trip to Hawaii and I can't get enough. We snorkeled with the Manta Rays at night, visited Volcanoes National Park, rode horses on one of the largest ranches in the US (in the middle of the Pacific!), visited green and black sand beaches, and ate a lot of poke.
I cannot wait to travel again. But in the meantime, I'll start working on some new itineraries so I can be ready. What's on my list? A camping trip out west with the fam to go to Zion, Arches, Capitol Reef and the Grand Canyon. Maybe with a quick stop in Vegas. And an African Safari. And Japan. How many vacation days do I have again?
Kris Delaney is a marketing executive, foodie, travel enthusiast, and book nerd based in Atlanta, GA.