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…