Friday, May 23, 2008

A Perfect Storm

Day 5

We took our time getting ready for our second trip into the city. At the first station, dh realized he left his phone in the van. He decided not to get it because it was raining and because we didn't need it at all the previous day. He also rationalized that he had his work Blackberry that could be used for calls in an emergency. Once in NYC, we took the subway directly to the Museum of Natural History. We stopped outside and had hotdogs from a street vendor before we went inside. Somewhere around the 3rd floor, the kids started whining and they just wanted to go to Central Park for cotton candy and playground time. We had to see the dinos though so we trugged on. The museum was very cool. I read some of the information out to the children but who knows what they may have learned. Naturally, the boys gravitated to all the weapon displays. Mia loved all the little house displays and she was in heaven in the Asian area. I worked on my monkey sock there and throughout NYC.

We walked to another LYS, Knitty City. At first, it was a bit uncomfortable because of the smallness of the store and the wideness of our stroller. DH moved it to the side and he waited while I walked around. No one greeted me or asked me if I needed help and for some reason, I was a little bothered by that. There appeared to be a class going on in the back of the room and it made me feel like I was intruding. I walked around, touched lots of fiber and yet again I have a knack for finding and drooling over the $60 a skein stuff. I was prepared to leave when Kendall spotted the same yarn I used for her Wonderful Wallaby...Cascade Sierra Quatro. OMG - how I love that yarn. It's a Pima Cotton and Wool blend. So soft to the touch, almost silky, and it knits up beautufully. Plus it's machine washable. At this point, I needed help figuring out how much to buy to be able to do Wonderful Wallaby sweatshirts for Mia, Greyson and Ethan so I found an employee and they happened to sell that pattern so they brought me one to look at. And the girl was very nice, I might add. I bought 16 skeins of Sierra in 3 colors! Red for Ethan, dark blue for Greyson and 2 greens for Mia. They didn't have 7 skeins of any color for Mia so we picked 3 varigated green and 4 solid light green. I came so close to not spending a dime and yet I ended up spending $150, my biggest yarn purchase ever!

We walked to Central Park, looking for a playground...that we didn't find until it was too late. We went right when we should have gone left. We walked and walked and walked. We stopped and let the kids play on a huge rocky area. I knit some more, dh replied to a work email on his crackberry, I mean blackberry, and he was wearing sleeping Lily in a sling.

One thing I noticed was the huge number of nannies pushing strollers in this part of town. It was like we had fallen in step with nannies and their charges heading to a nanny convention. And I think there was even one male nanny pushing a stroller. He definately did not look like a dad. I know a few people who have nannies back home but it was nothing like what we saw. Now, if we had been smart, we would have turned left to join the convention which I am sure was at the playground to the left pathway vs the path we took. I think it was a happy mistake though. I did notice that moms/nannies? hover right next to their children on the playground. DH and I can't do that with 5 kids so we would have looked negligent. {gasp} The rock formation thing was enjoyable to us and the kids so it was a win/win situation.

We took the Subway back towards Penn station where dh inadvertantly gipped the system by only scanning our pass once before we were let through the gate with our stroller. P.S. the stroller was a life-saver! Since we had the sling, the stroller became available for Kendall or Ethan as their legs 'ran out of gas.' Greyson even took a quick turn in there. The moms of NYC have evolved and have strollers better then ours. They all seemed to have these cool looking ones with bigger wheels, yet with a small footprint, and the child was raised higher and could be faced in or outwards. We saw a few of these $500 strollers at BRU when we made a quick trip to BRU restroom.

The 7:07 train to Secaucus was somewhat full so dh stayed in the handcapped area while the kids and I moved forward (or was it backwards) to find seats. A very nice gentleman offered to move so that Mia and I could sit together. I had Lily in the sling. The 3 middles sat diagonally from me. If the one butthead sitting scross from them would have switched with us, then we all could have been together.

They announced that Secaucus was near and I got our stuff ready...and waited until we were supposed to get off. There was no activity by our area and I was facing the back. Then we started moving and realization hit...we missed our stop! I took a quick inventory and immediately realized that dh had my backpack which had my money. I had 5 kids, 4 bags, no stroller, no money and no cell phone. (My cell phone died, totally died at the beginning of our vacation.) And our navigator had gotten off the train in Secaucus. He had his blackberry but I had no idea of what that number was. The kids started asking questions. I assured them that we would be fine...that we would get off at the next station and then go back to our stop. I was a wee bit concerned that dh would realize we didn't have money and that he would hop on the next train to find us. Ultimately I decided that he would stay put because we still had to ride to Harriman and that train left from Secaucus, where he was. As we got off the train, I had a moment of panic that our stop might not be a 'real' full station with an information desk. We were in luck...and we headed down the stairs to find someone to tell our sob story to.

'My husband and I got separated and we need to get back to Secaucus. Is there a train heading back that way?' 'Yes, of course' she replied as she looked the schedule. 'OK, great,' I replied. 'My next dilemma is that all of my money is with my husband in Secaucus so I can't buy any tickets.' She immediately came out of her glass information booth and she walked us to the track that we needed. We had to walk down a broken escalator. She even helped me keep my wanderer, Ethan, in line with the group. And then she waited with us until our train arrived a few minutes later. She told our story to the conductor and he let us on the train without tickets. And voila...we were on our way. But we had no idea where Daddy was and if he had gone looking for us. The kids spotted him first and they ran full throttle towards him. We had to go into the customer service office to get the stroller and our belongings. "Hello Kerri' they greeted me. "We know all about you.' They were trying earnestly to locate me on the trains by sending out calls to all the possible stops. I have to say that the employees were all very nice!

We made it to our track, which was empty of any commuters, we looked across to the next track and saw a stopped train heading down our line. DH insisted that was the one we wanted so we rushed up the yet-again broken escalator and down the other side where we *just* missed it. DH looked at his watch and said 'Wait, that was too early.' We headed back to the other track, where commuters were now arriving and we were able to get on the right train. Just another little bit of excitement! I was secretly glad that dh led us on this one because it took the heat off me for my little diversion.

I think the kids will love sharing this little 'story' (of our missed stop) with anyone who will lend an ear. We all made it back to our camper safely where everyone fell asleep fairly quickly. They are all still sleeping, those lazy bums. ;) My body feels like I ran a marathon and I'm hobbling around today.

Next stop - Hamilton College, New York.

One final thing before I forget...we were definately an oddity in NYC. During our entire trip, I saw 2 other families with 3 kids. The vast majority was one child with a fair sprinkling of 2s. We were the largest family for sure. OK, I'm sure other large families were probably in the city but we did not see them and we certainly got lots and lots of comments. The kids were all ready to move to NYC. I think it would be pretty hard to do a Sam's trip on the subway. Yeah, that would be horrific. Nevermind. We never could afford to live here anyway. It has been a wonderful place to visit though.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have a story like that from my trip to Korea last year. AFTER is a great time to tell it!

Katie in NM