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Daddy’s Boy: John got home from a trip just as Arthur was falling asleep. I tried to wake him to say hi to dad, but no luck. John came in and shook him awake. Arthur opened his eyes, saw John, closed his eyes again and then a slow smile spread over his face, as he immediately fell back asleep. It was the sweetest thing ever.

Fine Dining: John and I went to the Carthay circle restaurant at California adventure for the first time last night. When the waiter found out we were passholders, he asked why we hadn’t been in before.
Me:... We have four kids.

Also, we went on guardians of the galaxy and it was terrifying.

Must Watch Toddler TV: There’s a Daniel Tiger episode about not interrupting mom when she’s resting.

One Summer Goal Checked: I was cleaning the garage when I heard Sienna yell “mom, I’m doing it!” from the driveway. Apparently she got out her bike and decided to ride it. Just like that.

: Dalton on my leg hair: you need to cut that. It’s getting long.
(It’s not.) Me: how often do you think I cut that?
Dalton: a year?

New York City: NYC day 1: Lounged around all morning, grocery shopping, checking out the rooftop pool and playing iPad. We got into the city around 2 and met Leonard at the NYPL for a tour. The building was so cool, and I liked seeing the actual Winnie-the-Pooh friends.

After that we went to the American Museum of Natural History. Arthur loves seeing the dinosaurs. Maggie asked about seeing the Easter island statue, so we saw that too.

Next we had hot dogs and waffles in Central Park, climbed on the rocks, played hide and seek and played in a playground.

We had tickets for Top of the Rock in the evening. The little two, who are both sick, were about done at this point. But on the flip side, Dalton finally seemed to be having fun.

Then we walked over to Times Square and hung out while John got some Juniors cheesecake for dessert. We got a bit lost on the way home, so made an unexpected stop at the World Trade Center and the 9/11 Memorial.

Day 2: We took a 1:00 ferry to see the Statue of Liberty. So cool! We’ve never been up close before. Of course it suddenly started pouring and we sheltered under a tree for 20 minutes before continuing our visit.

The boat next took us to Ellis Island, which was pretty neat. Arthur enjoyed the boat rides.

After making it back to the main island, we went to the 26th Street pier where they have free kayaking on Thursday nights. John took Maggie out, and I went with Dalton. While John and Maggie were waiting, it started pouring again. Luckily it didn’t last long. And there was no thunder so we got to have our turns. The volunteers running the thing were so sweet, one of them got otter pops out for all our kids.

We walked back to the World Trade Center station to cross the river, and got to see the 9/11 memorial in the day time this time.

Day 3: We took the train all the way to Rockaway where we bought subway sandwiches, more beach towels, and spent a few hours enjoying the Atlantic. Dalton and John got in the water and went out body surfing. Maggie ran around. Sienna lay on a towel, and Arthur played in the sand with a paper cup. A great time was had by all.

After dinner, Maggie and I went to our first Broadway show: The Lion King! It was amazing. The effects, dancing, cool animal costumes. It was really neat. We got a piece of chocolate mousse cheesecake from Junior’s next door, and snuck it in. Maggie was appalled at our rule-breaking, but not enough that she didn’t eat her fair share!

Day 4: Saturday we met Leonard at the New York Transit Museum, after lots of train trouble. The kids loved it, especially the little two, and Arthur was in heaven. There were dozens of actual subway trains on actual subway tracks under the museum, from different times in the last century. It was so fun to play in them and to see the old advertisements. There were also old turnstiles and a ticket booth they had fun playing with.

We had lunch at Shake Shack, then tried to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. Unfortunately it was closed to traffic that direction due to a protest ending. So we took the subway to the other side and walked up to the first pillar. It was really hot, and we took advantage of people selling ice cream and $1 cold food water bottles. That was about all we managed to do today, but it was a fun outing.

Day 5: The Central Park zoo was small (and hot) but exciting. We watched the sea lions be fed, and then spent lots of time with the penguins. There was also a small children’s zoo that the kids enjoyed. John and Dalton went to see Wicked after this, while the other kids and I walked to Chopt to meet Leonard.

With Leonard, we walked through Central Park to the turtle pond. Unfortunately the castle was closed, but we got to go in the Shakespeare garden where Leonard and Sumana were married. And the turtles were everywhere. Did I mention it was hot?

Sienna: Can we each get our own ice cream?
Me: I’m not buying five ice creams.
L: Ooh I will! Can I be the fun uncle?

Leonard walked us back to the subway and I managed to get the three kids (plus stroller) back to New Jersey in their respective one pieces.

Day 6: Our last day was spent at Coney Island, and on the train getting there. It was 1 1/2-2 hour train ride, which no one complained about. The kids all loved riding the subway. We went to Luna park, bought $100 of points to use, and took turns going on trill rides, kiddie rides, and playing games. We bought an $8 Icee with unlimited refills (we had at least 6) and had subway for lunch again. The Cyclone, original roller coaster was thrilling. It felt very unsafe, which was half the fun. Definitely no Disney. That evening, John went back into town and had dinner with Sumana.

Happiness Is: 9pm nacho fries on the front porch with your bestie.

Ghost Ride: Last time I tried to take Arthur on the Haunted Mansion, he burst into tears when we entered the lobby and refused to go on it. Today I asked if he wanted to go on the ghost ride, and he said yes, so we went. He walked through the line, into the lobby and into the elevator holding my hand. He stood there perfectly still throughout the elevator, and then when the scream died down, and the rattling stopped and all was silent, he let out a sad little wail. And the entire elevator full of adults said “awww.” It was so adorable.

PS: He did not enjoy the ride, but went on it peacefully.

Conductor : Arthur still says “all aboard” when getting in the car, the shopping cart, his scooter, all the things. Except now he insists it’s pronounced “y’ah wee!”

Swim-a-Thon: The kids participated in their first swim a thon this year. Sienna swam 41 laps, Dalton 64 and Maggie 78. Dalton was second place for most laps in his age group by two laps, and the winner couldn’t go to the pizza party, so he gets to go. I calculated that they swam about 2 miles total. Pretty impressive!

Not It!: Sienna on scootering to get lunch with dad: 1 2 3 not it!

Our kids are lazy bums.

Blue Bean: Dalton reading his Mike and Ike’s package: carribean blue. Is this a kind of bean?

Then I also had to explain the different pronunciation of Carribean for Pirates of the Carribean.

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© 1999-2021 Susanna Chadwick.