Tag Archives: adventures in NYC

Red-eyes

Sorry if I’ve been a away for a while, the rigors of exploring New York City with a three-year-old have left me so damned tired at the end of the night that I have literally fallen asleep in the bathroom twice. And I’m not talking about a cat nap, amigos…I’m talking full-tilt-snoring on the can. Sorry, but, we’ve been running pretty ragged.

Anyway, we arrived at JFK at 5:27AM on Sunday after a relatively-peaceful red-eye flight from Burbank. I know those terms don’t usually go together when you’re flying with a toddler, but, surprisingly, the flight was awesome. Greta fell asleep right away and our only real glitch came when the power mad Jet Blue flight attendant made us physically move Greta and her carseat to the window seat in the middle of the flight.

We’d been given the approving head nod when the other attendant walked the aisle before take off and Greta was, by then, sleeping very soundly in the center seat — which she has done on every other flight we’ve ever flown, BTW! — and he told us that she would have to move to the window seat due to some bullshit regulations. Huh?! I know you’re not supposed to fight with flight attendants nowadays, but, I was like: “She just fell asleep? Surely you can’t be serious?!” And he said: “Yes, I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.” Ha, just kidding. He didn’t say anything back to me, but, that stern look in his eyes spoke volumes.

So, we moved Greta — as gingerly as two grown-ass adults can move a gigantic carseat with a toddler in it while a plane is moving — one seat over to comply with his bullshit regulations. In the heat of seat switching, I told Mrs. Yeti that if Greta woke up because of this, I was gonna make that flight attendant switch jobs with me for the rest of the flight. I mean, hell, passing out bags of cookies is nothing compared to entertaining a trapped toddler on a five-and-a-half hour flight! Luckily for him, the move didn’t wake her.

Anyway, aside from that, everything was cool. We even managed to get some sleep ourselves, so, hooray. But then we landed and all hell broke loose. I don’t know if it was the fact that we actually saw the sun rising or what, but, yikes, the minute we stood up, we morphed into total zombies. All three of us. It was brutal.

And the worst part of all is that our hotel wouldn’t let us check in until 3:00PM. We could check our bags with the bell man right away, but, anything resembling sleep would have to wait. So, we headed out into Times Square (yes, we stayed in the throbbing heart of crazy-town this trip, I’ll tell you more about why later) in search of food. And lemme tell ya, if you think Times Square is scary when it’s crowded, it’s even scarier at the crack of dawn on a Sunday. Nothing is open, the streets are littered with trash (Mrs. Yeti just missed stepping on someone’s discarded wig!) and a brand of homeless vagrant that gives new meaning to the term. Seriously, it could not have been more post-apocalyptic. It was freaky. And, come to think of it, our zombie asses fit right in.

Anyway, we finally found refuge at a place on 9th avenue (between 43rd & 44th) called the Westway Diner. And, lord in heaven was it delicious. I’m not kidding, this might just have been our best breakfast in the city, EVER. The eggs were perfect, the French Toast was made with a gorgeous challah bread and the coffee and bacon were all top-notch stuff. It was an amazing meal and best of all, it was dirt cheap. Even by non-NYC standards. Amazing!

After breakfast, we took Greta to a nearby playground park (thank God, they also open at the crack-of-dawn) where she ran around like a crazy person for half an hour and then totally crashed in her stroller. Mrs. Yeti and I weren’t so lucky. She had to go to work and I had to push Greta around in her stroller for the next six hours.

We wandered through the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market, checked out a couple of funky stores in the neighborhood and at around noon, I decided that I couldn’t take it anymore. My cell phone battery was almost dead, my feet were killing me and I knew if I stopped at another park to rest, I’d wake up with an empty stroller and an empty wallet, or worse, so, I headed back to the hotel. They have a lobby, I thought, with plugs and couches and bathrooms, so, I’ll sit there and plug in my phone and, you know, recharge everything.

Luckily for us, I didn’t have to sit there for long because our room was ready and quicker than you can say red-eye, Greta and I were sleeping it off in a king sized bed with room to spare. Mrs. Yeti joined us a while later and we pulled that big old black-out curtain closed and slept like babies.

The only downside was that Greta wet herself (apparently, she was too tired to remember she wasn’t wearing a diaper, poor thing!) but, hell, even that couldn’t disturb our slumber. Nope, we just changed her clothes, threw a couple of towels down on the bed, and kept right on snoozing till nightfall.

I don’t remember what we ate for dinner, but, it was good and warm and we were all together on the cusp of a brand new NYC adventure, so, we had a blast. Even if we still totally looked like zombies…

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Filed under Daddy stuff, Food, Good Girl, Mommy Stuff

Coney Island Meltdown

OK, I know that many of you are gonna blame what I am about to describe on Greta’s lack of normal sleep the past few days, and you might be right, but I am laying the blame squarely in the terrible twos category. That said, let me tell ya what happened.

It was day two of our adventures in NYC, Greta and I got our usual late start, grabbed some breakfast and then hopped on the subway’s N line to the last stop, Coney Island! Mrs. Yeti didn’t have any real interest in coming with us — and, I’ll admit it, the hour-long train ride there is no picnic — so, we planned this adventure for a day when she was working.

And what an adventure it was, chili dogs and fresh lemonade at the first Nathan’s Hot Dog stand in the country, cotton candy, kiddie rides for $3.00 a pop, and all the beautiful, old-school boardwalk and beach you could stomach. It was awesome! Yeah, some of the neon is definitely faded and the place is a little sketchy in spots, but, the people working there were great and we had a blast. Until the sun started going down…

I dunno what happened to her, but, after one final ride on the merry-go-round, Greta went, I believe the clinical term for it is, ape-shit crazy. She started screaming that she wanted to ride more rides (which was literally impossible since I had no more cash on me) and then ran off in the direction of the Bumble Bee ride, which was her favorite.

I picked her up, she hit me. I threw her over my shoulder to carry her, she kicked me. It was crazy, but, it was getting dark and I knew we had a long-ass train ride back to the city, so, I needed her to behave. Of course, that’s what made her more determined than ever not to!

So, we start heading to the subway station, her screaming bloody murder, me trying to stuff her into her stroller and all of our crap toppling over every time she kicks herself free of it. And for the next five or ten minutes on that boardwalk, I was “that Dad” and she was “that toddler”, duking it out like a couple of wild, red-faced hillbillies.

I swear to God, EVERYONE within listening distance stopped to watch the bad dad trying to get his hell child to bend to his will and obey him. At one point, I literally did not know what to do. She had knocked my hat and sunglasses off, the stroller was laying on it’s side and she was kicking and screaming so wildly that I almost couldn’t hold her. I’ve been at “this job” for two-plus-years now, and trust me, I’ve never seen a meltdown like this…it was brutal.

I tried reasoning with her, I tried spanking her, I tried changing the subject — you know, talking about the good times we’d had that day, her favorite movies, how nice our male maid was at the hotel, anything — but, nothing worked. And then, I spotted a “Dunkin’ Donuts” across the street and in a desperate, last-ditch effort to change the subject, I found a subject we could both agree on. “Hey, you want a donut?” I panted as she flailed in my arms.

Suddenly, she stopped cold and said, in a totally calm voice: “Yes, I want a donut.” And just like that, the tears and craziness melted away. She sat down in her stroller (even buckling herself in) and we crossed the street and got a donut for her and a big-ass iced coffee with extra Valium for me.

Whew…what a day…

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Filed under Bad Baby, Daddy stuff, Terrible Twos

Hotel living…

Sorry for not blogging more, we have been doing and seeing so much here that there has literally not been one moment of downtime. I’m not kidding, I can’t even start start writing a postcard without falling asleep these days…I’m just too beat.

Which brings us to the subject of hotel living. When Mrs. Yeti is working, we always stay at the super cool Paramount Hotel in the theatre district. They have a crazy-attentive staff, very clean and very chic rooms, and the grooviest lobby you ever saw. Seriously, I thought I walked into the bar by accident the first time we arrived. Crazy!

So, the one thing I hate about hotels is how early they clean the rooms. I can’t tell you how many times my sleeping late has left me with an uncleaned room for the day…urgh. And, I know noon is not early by most people’s standards, but, when you’re eating dinner at 3:00AM, it kinda is…

So, our first day there, Greta and I were beat, and so dead to the world that I almost missed the ringing of the hotel phone on my nightstand. You’ll never believe who was calling. Yep, the maid! He said he was calling to see when I was going to wake up so they could clean my room! Huh?! Does that “Do Not Disturb” placard on the door mean nothing to you, sir?

So, I did what any self-respecting SAHD would do…I totally blamed the baby. “Man, she just will not get up this morning. Poor little jet-lagged thing!” then I threw on some clothes, put on my best “I’ve been awake for hours” look and invited the maid in to clean up around us. And guess what? He did it! Two days in a row! Best. Hotel maid service. Ever. He practically changed the sheets with us still in them, the dude was amazing.

In fact, the second day he didn’t even call. He just knocked on the door (again ignoring my “Do Not Disturb” placard!) and then said in a funny voice: “Yoo hoo, is me again! Yo friend from yesterday!” Hilarious! I didn’t even check the peephole to make sure it was him.

And best of all, he loved Greta. He kept talking to her while he cleaned, making her laugh, asking her what movie she was watching today…it was very sweet.

And then, it ended. Our last night there Greta and I had an “incident” during bathtime that spilled buckets of water everywhere…including onto the carpeted area near our bed. Housekeeping came to the rescue with dozens of towels and plastic bags and such, but, let’s just say they were not amused.

So, our last morning there I got another call from the housekeeping staff exactly ten minutes before check out. This time, it was not “my friend” on the line: “You leavin’ on time today?!” the woman asked in a voice that told me the glory days of late clean-up were definitely over. I don’t remember what I told her, but you can bet your ass we outta there at noon.

Ah, well…it was fun while it lasted.

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