I am Stunned by NYC Mum

NYC – The City of Dreams?

The Him and I have had one massive ambition for a long time… to get to NYC.

We tried and failed twice to book it. We’ve spent the last few years saying things like “We’ll go for your 40th” or “We’ll go for whatever…” In May this year a few things happened in the space of a week that made us realise that life was way too short to be putting things off over and over again.

He came home one night and said “See if your Mum will keep the girls. We’re going.” I swear to God Ladies, I had it booked within 24 hours. He was NOT getting a chance to change his mind!

And so off I trotted to a local Travel agent. (They quoted me an extortionate amount of money for basic flights and a very basic hotel. The price didn’t include any extras in flight, any taxes or charges in the hotel or any tickets to sights.)

Eh… no thanks!

A few hours at the laptop and I had the whole trip, with upgraded seats, a gorgeous hotel, AND tickets to ALL the main attractions in the city booked and paid for, for €250 LESS than the agent had been looking for for basic flights and hotel.

We had the time of our lives. It was honestly everything we’d ever expected it to be and more. Do you know when you’ve thought about something for so long, imagining every detail? And then it doesn’t turn out to be what you’d hoped? Yeah, that didn’t happen. From the second we landed in NYC, we were awestruck.

Our trip:

We flew with Air France carried by Delta. We paid extra for Comfort seats, which included extra leg room, priority boarding and free everything on board. It was €103 extra each, but even after adding this, the flights were STILL hundreds of euro cheaper than our “national” airline.

The flight was great. Good movies, decent food and very comfortable. We’ll definitely fly Delta again.

We arrived in JFK. What a cattle mart! We got the train into Penn Station. Landing into the middle of the Pride festival meant that we had quite the welcome to the city! What an AMAZING atmosphere! Because taxis, sorry cabs, weren’t running, we took off walking to our hotel. It was about 15 blocks and despite the heat and trying to drag cases through the festival filled streets, it was a brilliant way to start the visit.

Our hotel was gorgeous. The Time Hotel NY is just off Times Square, right next door to “The Book of Mormon” and “Chicago”.

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We were shown to our room and it was very cool; chic and well appointed, with a TV in the Mirror! (Seriously!?) The bottle of chilled bubbles awaiting us was much appreciated and enjoyed!

The hotel was so clean and the staff were incredibly attentive. We were told they could upgrade our room the next day, but we were quite happy with the room we’d been given and didn’t really intend to be in it too much anyway! It was at the back of the hotel and even amidst the noise of NYC, it was quiet, so we stayed put.

A quick change, a pop of the bubbles and off we went to begin our adventure. Our first stop was Times Square

We went straight to the top of the famous red steps and we must have stood there, breathing it all in and just watching and listening for at least an hour. The colours, the sounds, the smells, the sounds… What an experience. I can see why locals hate it, but as a tourist who wants to drink in the magic of the big city, it’s fricken awesome.

One of the best tips we received was to buy the 4 day “hop-on hop-off” Tour Bus Ticket. We did the Brooklyn tour at 7pm. It was brilliant. The tour guides know their city so well and the few we met were funny and engaging.

We saw so much of the city and Brooklyn, and then were treated to the sight of the city lights coming on as we crossed the Brooklyn Bridge at nightfall. This really is a brilliant way to do the tour. It was beautiful.

Next morning, we hit Ellen’s Stardust Diner. for breakfast. We were first in and the waffles are to die for. Our only regret was that it was very early and so quite quiet, so we didn’t get to enjoy the atmosphere that we’d anticipated, but the food was great and wow, the servers can sing!

We hopped on the bus downtown and took the cruise (which was included in our City Pass) out to meet Lady Liberty.

The cruise was amazing and The Statue of Liberty was gorgeous. We hadn’t intended getting off the boat, but are both so glad we did. It’s well worth taking an hour to wander around her. She’s spectacular.

We also visited the 9/11 Memorial

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9/11 caught me by surprise. I knew there was a museum, but I had no idea that the water memorial fountains where the two towers had stood, even existed. I got such a gunk when we walked around the corner to this. It’s a special place; sombre, emotional and appropriately solemn. It’s an eerie experience to suddenly experience such quiet amidst the noise of the city. I was so taken aback. The museum itself is incredible. After a while, I couldn’t take any more sadness. We left, full of sympathy for the people who will always be affected by it. It’s a wonderful tribute to the people and heroes who died.

We hadn’t intended to visit the new One World Observatory, but Himself decided that we should go up as we were there. Guys, THIS was possibly my favourite experience of the trip. The elevator up is shockingly fast and the experience at the top is breathtaking. It really is worth going up this building. We had lunch in the restaurant on floor 102, and while it is expensive, it was excellent. And it’s not everyday you can have lunch on top of the world is it? We even had binoculars on the table!

With the glass of wine costing $17, one was enough! Yes, the restaurant is expensive, but it really was worth every penny. Having lunch with The Him overlooking the city we’ve always wanted to visit, was a moment I’ll never forget.

After lunch, we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, found Wall Street and Trump Tower and Tiffany and Co. before heading back to drink in some more of Time Square.

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We went back to the hotel to change for dinner at 7.30pm…and woke up at 6am next morning! The jet lag had hit, but it was actually great as we were full of energy and raring to go for Day 3.

We started off at the Top of the Rock. The The Rockefeller Centre is just class. It’s so beautiful and elegant and the views from the top ARE, without doubt, the best in the city.

We then headed towards Central Park, where we listened to a live string quartet, ate hotdogs and walked and walked! The weather was perfect for the whole trip.

Central Park is beautiful in summer, but I can’t wait to see it at Christmas some time very soon.

I fulfilled my ambition to run like Phoebe from Friends through the park. I did and it was wonderful!

We visited the The Met where we spent a few hours wandering around looking at loads of cool and funky things, before sipping bubbles on the lovely rooftop bar.

Then, we walked across the Park to the Natural History Museum to see the dinosaurs and the whale. Once we’d seen these, and been suitably gobsmacked by their size, we headed back to the hotel.

We got ourselves dressed up and had a cocktail in the very cool hotel bar at The Time, before hitting the famous Buddakan for dinner.

Now, this place had been highly recommended to us. It is so chic and dark and loud and exciting, from the minute you arrive. It’s like the movies. The staff are supergroomed and supermodelly and the atmosphere is electric. Service was excellent to begin and we were impressed. The food was beautiful. (Try the sharing platter to start!) Described as Asian Fusion, the menu was comprehensive and interesting.

We had a hiccup when our sides didn’t arrive along with the main dishes, but after a while, a very apologetic manager tried his very best to make things up to us. He sent champagne and complimentary desserts to the table and really was very kind and pleasant, but the experience had been tainted a little. Having looked forward to this meal so much, and being such lovers of food and fine dining, we left a little disappointed. For the price of the restaurant, and the reviews we had been given, we didn’t expect the service to be so disappointing. But the food was superb and the place is very cool. It’s definitely worth a visit.

Day 4 was our last full day. We started with The Empire State Building. It was everything we expected. Incredible views. Again, hitting it early is advised.

Then we wandered around the streets for a bit. We found the Bluebell Cafe, which is owned by my friend’s sister Shiela. We had a lovely brunch with her. It’s a gorgeous establishment. Find itThen we found Macy’s (I walked in, looked around and left. It’s an inflated department store on a whole new level of chaos; the same as we have at home, but sooooooo loud and soooo busy. Great if you love to shop. Not so excited if you’re like me and have little interest in shopping when on holidays! Still, I’d love to see it at Christmas!)

There was a street food festival just off Times Square. We had lunch there (2 days in a row, that’s how good it was!) and headed towards NY Public Library We had a coffee on the steps before heading to 5th Avenue to meet my cousin for drinks. (I have one in every city!)

We had a few ($5 a glass was much more palatable!) at John Doe’s Bar before heading to the VERY cool 230 5th Avenue. Now, we had no idea where we were going. At 4.10pm, we toddled in and made ourselves comfortable to enjoy Happy hour. We had a few drinks and a bite to eat, enjoying the incredible views of the Empire State beside us.

There was a music video being recorded on the other side of the bar, and as the evening went on, we were surrounded by all the “beautiful ones”. You know those bars you see in the movies where everyone is tanned and fablis and quaffing and perfect? Yeah, that’s where we were; the three of us, sans makeup and in our shorts and teeshirts! But hey! We fitted in just as well hah! As we left at 6.30pm, there was a queue around the block, with at least 250 impeccibly dressed and very glam folks waiting to get in.

We headed once again for the red steps to the TKTS Ticket Booth . At 7.15pm we got two brilliant tickets for Phantom of the Opera. The queues here earlier in the day were savage. We really weren’t fussy about what to see. The new shows are booked up months in advance and tickets are either like gold-dust or ridiculously priced.

Do go see a show. You’re on Broadway for crying out loud! But unless you are determined to see something in particular, just go see what they have available before the theatres open and go with it! Phantom is one of our favourites, so we were delighted to see it again.

We finished off our final full day back at the Empire State Building. When you buy the City Pass Booklet, your ticket for the Empire State admits you back in at night time on the day of your visit. It is stunning at night and was the perfect way to end a perfect day.

Our last day, we headed back down town. The Him took a helicopter ride over the city. I took a wander through the streets, then sat by the river freaking out at the sky bugs taking off and landing, people watching and eating cakes. Heaven!

We wandered back up through the city, before finishing the holiday where we had started; in the hustle and bustle of Times Square.

Our hearts bursting and our heads filled with memories, we headed back to the airport to go home to our little Princesses. The flight home was delayed as there had been a fire at the airport. If we can manage to avoid EVER flying into JFK again, we will. It’s a nightmare. But we got home and all was right with the world.

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How did we leave the girls for 5 days? With great guilt and huge trepidation. But was it worth it? To spend 5 whole days with your partner, remembering that you actually do enjoy each other’s company and genuinely like each other, is something that should not be underestimated. We live busy lives, and our worlds revolve around our babies. But in the midst of school and work and routines and dance classes and temperatures and worries and bills and the general chaos that is life with kids, we are still us, and this holiday was a great reminder of that.

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NYC was so good to us.

It was exciting and romantic and pretty amazing. The height of the buildings can’t be fathomed until you see them. The skylines. The sounds. The sirens! The smells. The buzz. The excitement. It is electric and exciting and yet, a calm and refreshing place. Around every corner is something new, something exciting and something wonderful.
My tips?

  • Book it yourself. You get so much more bang for your buck.
  • Book the hotel directly. Make sure the price includes taxes and charged and resort fees. Had we booked with the travel agent, we’d have been hit with a bill of over $150 on check out.
  • Buy the City Pass. It includes all of the big sites and attractions.
  • Plan your trip and do the big touristy things first thing in the morning. You don’t have time to be queueing in NYC!
  • Buy the 4 day ticket for the bus. Cabs aren’t expensive if you need to use them, but the buses go everywhere and are a great way to see the city.
  • Fit as much as possible in. Early starts are the way to go. We were up and out and had eaten breakfast by 8.30am each day. You can sleep on the flight home!
  • Plan. My friend had given me a map with the main attractions circled. We simply went to different areas each day and ticked off the things we wanted to do in that area.
  • The city is beautiful. Wander. Have a morning or afternoon where you have no plans and just see where you end up.
  • Finally, DO IT. Stop putting it off. If we’d put it off until next year, or the following year, we’d have found something else that needed done or paid for and made excuses. Go for it. NYC is a must see. And we only saw a fraction of it. I think a thousand trips wouldn’t cover it!

NYC has stolen our hearts. I’m almost afraid that if we were to return, it wouldn’t be as good, but I won’t let that stop me from booking to go back first chance we get… but I have a feeling it might need to be a Christmas trip next time.

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FYI All views and comments are my own. No gratuity or collaborations apply.

I am She’s not quite getting it Mum

Mini-Me: Mammy, Did you know Uncle D and Aunty P gotted maawied FREE times?

Mammy: Three times? Why do you say that?

Mini-Me: Sure cos dey have FREE children. Dat means dey gotted maawied free times.

Me: Oh Really? (I’m pretty sure there’s nothung FREE about 3 kids!) And so how many times have Uncle C and Aunty B been married?

Mini-Me: Eh you KNOW dat? DEY have TWO children so TWO times like…

Me: And does that mean me and Daddy got married twice too?

Mini-Me: Yes. You and Daddy gotted maaaaawied twice. Once for me. Once for Fudge. (Her nickname for the littlest shitster 💖😆)

Me: Gosh I don’t remember getting married twice Daddy, do you?
(And I know I’d remember having had a new dress and fab shoes and another hen party… come to think of it, is it time to renew our vows yet? 😂😂)

He laughs. And then…

The Him: So do you have to get married EVERY TIME you get a new baby?

Mini-Me: Yup. (Smugness personified.. 🙃)

The Him: Did YOU know that your Granny M (The Queen Mother of all the world) had TEN Babies?

Mini-Me: 👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇

Speechless

That’s a WHOLE lot of weddings eh? And a WHOLE lot of dresses. 😘

😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

#innocence #speechless

I am Snored Mum

Anyone else feel as if they’ve been hit by a double decker bus?

I was in great form yesterday, full of energy and enthusiasm for the weekend after the madness of week 1. We had a lovely date night last night. (Saw Detroit. Tight watch but superb.) I went to bed rather smug in my ability to be all the everything and keep all of the plates spinning, and then I woke up this morning COMPLETELY knackered and spent the day dealing with an exhausted Mini-Me and teething, shattered Wobbler. (A bag of bitches in a briared hedge we were. 😛😛)
But The Him was well rested. 😠
Why?

I’ll fecking tell you why…

You see at 5.45am, Princess Headtheball began chirping through the monitor for her “Dodee” and her “Mammee”… And where “Mammeeeee” usually knows that she’ll eventually find the dodees herself and go back to sleep, you know, because it’s still the MIDDLE OF THE FECKIN NIGHT, The Him is not quite so clever. Before I was awake enough to STOP the big Gombeen, he was up and in her room, talking in soothing, FOOLISH, NAIVE tones to the Rugmonster that is our youngest manipulator. “Sssssssssh now. You lie down and go back to sleep etc…” 😅
I could hear her raising her eyebrow at him. I could hear him returning to the bedroom door in a fultile and quite hilarious attempt at leaving her there… and then I could hear the apopleptic SCREAM that signified that she was having NONE of it. It translated into “YOU get back in to this room and you lift my soggy bottom and slabbery head RIGHT NOW Servant Man. And Mammeeee? Bring me to her, Peasant.”😂

Fully awake now, Mammy here was thinking what a silly, foolish man her Him was and how he’d know about it now that he would have to get up at stupid o’clock on a Sunday Morning…

Into the bedroom he carries her. WTF?😠😠
“She’ll go back to sleep beside us” he explains.
Will she indeed?
Will she FECK! 😂😂😂

You see, poor Him was being both foolish and optimistic, but was also POSSIBLY trying to prove a point. Because last weekend when we collected the girls from a sleepover in Granny Dearest’s, Granda Bear informed us that she’d woken at 6am but that she’d slept in beside them until 8.40am…

But The Him forgot that such unusual and magical mysteries ONLY happen in the magical Narnia of the Grandparents’ house. Such occurences are not of the real world. 😛 Parents NEVER get to enjoy that kind of joy. NOPE.

Persistent as he is, he did indeed plonk her in beside me before climbing back into bed. She snuggled into me and for about 38 seconds, I thought she would go back to sleep. But then, she reminded me of her intentions to get OUT OF BED by spending 30 minutes sticking random limbs into my back, sitting on my head and sticking her fingers up my nose, into m mouth and into my ears.

That was it. He was going to have to get up and take her up to the kitchen.

Afterall , it WAS HIS mistake wasn’t it? I was just about to tell him as much when I heard it.

The one sound that can send a tired and hormental Mammy-type over the edge, into insanity and off her fecking head…

Yep.
He SNORED.😢😠😠😠😠😠

HOW I did not take a pillow and SUFFOCATE his slumbering, slabbering, snoring self in that instant, I will never know. (But the next time there are nominations sought for saintly people who go above and beyond for the safety and survival of others, think of me). 😅

And so Mammy ended up doing her usual “FFS I’ll do it MYSELF” stomping dance and getting up to watch CBeebies with the Fudgemonster. But, because Mini-Me was still asleep, I didn’t get to do it loudly enough for Sleeping Beauty to even hear me. 😅😠
As usual, NO ONE WAS LISTENING!

Has he learned his lesson? OH indeed he has. Because not only did he have to deal with his very own Bunnyboiler/EmilyRose😈 when he got up, he also had to deal with the Wobbler when she entered the realm of “past her sleep tired” that we parents all dread and fear so much.

Oh! And he has also been reminded 398 times that I am sleeping until 2pm next Sunday…

Yeah. What are the chances of that happening Mammies?😂😂😂

How was your day?

I am “Shut that alarm clock up” Mum

Mammy has been stressed since BEFORE she opened her Feckin eyes this morning… Why? Because of The Him.

You see The Him is tired and when The Him is tired he likes to play a game called “Let’s see how many times I can make the alarm clock go off before the love of my life loses the plot and physically kicks me OUT of bed game”.

This morning, he played that game and let’s just say, it did NOT end well. On the THIRD Snooze attempt, Mammy opened one sticky eye and whispered “Pleeeeease get up. You’ll be late.”

On alarm number Four, Mammy opened the other eye and hissed “Do NOT let that fucking thing go OFF again. If you wake the Baby, I will HURT you.” “I’m up. I’m up” says Him, very OBVIOUSLY NOT UP. In fact, the end of his sentence was punctuated by a guttural nearly-snore.

By now, I was stressed. I was glaring through his big dopey head, stressing about the fact that HE was going to be late for HIS work, while HE slipped back into the type of sleep that only a feckin MAN can! 😑

So there lay Mammy, WIDE AWAKE at 7am, the ONE morning the Minions slept beyond 6.30am this SUMMER, stressed that The Him was going to be late for work, while Him, the big Gombeen waited for his fecking alarm clock to sing at him for the FIFTH time…and SING it did. 😡 Loudly.

So loudly in fact that it did INDEED awaken the Minions across the hall, BEFORE it woke him. Actually, to be pedantic, it probably wasn’t the alarm clock that woke him… It MIGHT have been Mammy pulling the quilt off, putting her feet to his arse and pushing him OFF the bed, all the while serenading him with affectionate terms of endearment, some of which I’m pretty sure even HE hasn’t heard before! (And he worked on building sites for years, so you can imagine the colour Language of THAT morning wake-up call😅.)

Anybuts. By 10am, I’d calmed down. A bit.

And now, all is right with the world… We have a babysitter, I’ve stolen sparkly danglies from my Baby sister and we’re heading out for his birthday dinner tonight, so I can’t be too grumpy with him, but it’s safe to say that if an alarm clock goes off EVEN ONCE tomorrow morning, someone WILL get hurt. 😂😂😂 Have a Super Saturday Lovelies.

Anything exciting planned?

I am So I took a week off Mum

So, as you’ll have noticed, I took a week off.  I deleted the FB app from my phone and took a long overdue trip with the love of my life, sans kiddies. 

This time last week, I was swinging off a lampost in central Park in 30° sunshine, 👇👇 singing “Singing in the rain” at the top of my voice and not giving a continental who heard me.  I’m going to spend the next 5 days starting sentences with “This time last week…” 😂😂 

We spent 5 glorious days in NYC, just me and The Him. (I’ll post properly about it during the week.)  Suffice to say, it was AMAZEBALLS and we really did have the time of our lives.🍏 But today, while it CERTAINLY was NOT 30°, we were back in our FAVOURITE park in the world with our favourite little people. Central Park doesn’t hold a candle to Glenveagh with our wee buddies. 💗💗

Oh how we missed Mini-Me and Princess, and we are so glad to be home safe and sound to them, but taking a few days to be Mammy and Daddy again, (or rather Maria and Emmet), was invaluable. When you’re busy parents, it’s hard to find yourselves in the mayhem.  Every conversation tends to be about the kids. Every phonecall or text message revolves around them. Each thought you have has something to do with the act of parenting. Your daily interactions are mostly about or for the kids. Your entire focus in day-to-day life, is the kids… 

And so it must be,  but to have had 5 full days and nights of just being US, did our little family unit absolutely no harm at all. 

Sometimes, a Mammy and Daddy need to find each other in the midst of all the madness, may it be simply for a dinner date or a movie night, or a trip away.  Yes, we spent much of our time talking about and missing the girls, but we also had fun together, laughed together, drank beer at 2pm, ate our bodyweight, and enjoyed being tourists in a ridiculously fun place.

  We finished conversations without being interrupted 167 times. We did what WE wanted to do when it suited us, just like we used to. We were spontaneous, not thinking about anything but us, and we remembered all the things we actually like about being The Him and The Her. 💗💙

So while the biggest challenge for me was to STOP referring to him as “Daddy” (and no it is NOT kinky! WTF like? 😂😂), we managed to have the holiday of our lives. 

 In fact the only thing that made us look forward to getting home, was the thought of getting squeezes and snuggles from the two Dollies. Their reactions were priceless when we got back. 
Mini-Me has announced that we are “never going on holidays again, ever!” and Princess seems to have doubled in size and has learned to use “Noooooooo” quite impressively.  They were spoiled rotten by Ganny and Gwanda.  Of course they were! 
I must admit that I did miss the daily craic here with you all,💗 but I think the week off from writing did me the world of good.   

And how is Jim I hear you ask? Poor Jim, was abandoned by The Him for the Her, for the 1st time in 3 years. Poor Jim my arse.  Jim is probably rocking in the corner waiting for Him’s Daddy back at 6am tomorrow.  
But did we miss him? Not one feckin bit! 😂😂😂