Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Day at the Museum

I'm on a roll here, aren't I? At this rate I'll post more times in one month than I did all of last year. Not a bad thing, given that last year seems mostly a blur at this point!

On the Tuesday morning, we left the hotel a bit later than I had anticipated. Against my better judgement, I had given my family a bit more credit than was due. I'm a bit of a slow study that way ... or maybe an optimist. You can tell me.

I did a lot of surfing to plan for this trip and tried to book as many tickets ahead of time as possible. (A major tip: I visited this website, "broadwaybox", where you can find discount codes for many NYC attractions, broadway and offbroadway shows.) From our previous experience at the AMNH, there were lineups galore if you waited to purchase tickets onsite. So I booked ahead to make it easy upon arrival - I would just have to visit their ticket kiosk (like an ATM) - swipe my credit card and prest0, we'd have the tickets. The problem with that is that at time of booking, you have to decide on the scheduled timing for any shows that you'd like to include in your package. I made the executive decision that we would make the 10:30 AM showtime no problem given that it should only take 10 minutes to walk from our hotel to AMNH.

Surely this would give us plenty of time - we were in NYC and although there was so much to see we'd still have time for a leisurely breakfast, no?

No. Not so much in reality. Seems I'm still the only morning person in this family. We left the hotel by 10 minutes after the hour, giving us barely any slack to pick up the tickets (yes, I still had to get those) and figure out where the space show was in the HUGE building. And of course we went to the wrong spaceshow first! I hadn't anticipated an early run - I suppose it could be seen as a fringe benefit, but not necessarily when you're not in the mood for a workout. In the end, we did make the show (and not that it was worth it- if it's the Whoopi Goldberg narrated space show, just skip it).

('s another lesson - although it might seem a little easier traveling with school-agers versus toddlers - ie. no diaper bag, no lugging around food/bottles/ strollers ... there is now more baggage of a different kind. A lot more negotiation is involved when you're dealing with whining about leaving beloved Cartoon network and the TV shows that we don't normally get at home. And also not helpful - a husband who is not a morning person and who would prefer some deservedly extra shut-eye. The mother/wife a.k.a . Me in this scenario just feels like a caged animal in the hotel room, as she's usually the first up and itching to do NYC in short order. By 10 AM I've already been up for more than a couple of hours and stir-crazy is putting it mildly. I wish I were a runner ... now that's an idea for next time...)

Rant over. Let's move on. The AMNH was wonderful - again. We had actually seen the "Night at the Museum" a second (or maybe 3rd time now) over the Christmas break, so it was amazing to see some of these things live.

That's one big canoe...

An origami tree

The squid and the whale (have you caught the movie? You should.)

Hall of "water dinosaurs" according to the girl

Our gracious hosts...

Most of the rest of the visit was captured on video, so the shots here weren't really representative of the amount of ground we covered. By about 1:30PM the kids were tired and hungry, and the museum had gotten rather crowded. You probably need at least 3 days to see everything at the AMNH rather than just 3 hours. But we were all museumed out.

We headed out into the frigid temperatures - and yes, even for us Canucks, it was very cold on that Tuesday. After a bit of arguing as to the best place to eat with the kids (another note to file - hungry is not a good state for this family)... we settled on a French cafe "Nice Matin" which is the restaurant affiliated with another hotel I had looked into staying at - The Lucerne, which also has kitchenette facilities. I had the most amazing sandwich there and the kids were happy with their meals - it was a welcome respite from the crazy frigid wind.

It was really too cold and late in the day for the family to do anything after getting back to the hotel. Well, you guessed it, except for the Momster - who decided to walk a few blocks down to the Upper West Side's Century 21 location. After all, I had to buy a couple of hats for me and the girlie - it was so darn cold! But yes, I scored again with Betsy Johnson ("Mommy are those spiders?) and Velvet Tees; and a great Calvin Klein dress for work.

For dinner that night everyone was still tired and seeing as it was so cold, we decided just to have dinner again at the Viand Cafe. Nice and close - and a perfect end to a long and busy day.

Agenda for Wednesday? Times Square and shopping - only this time not for me.

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