I am She Goes, He Goes Mum

 

“OH DU TOILETTE…”

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The Throne…

Becoming a Mum brings with it many wonderful and exciting changes for parents. The “books” will tell you how new babies will test even the strongest relationship.  They do not tell you that one of the biggest bones of contention between parents is the process of the poo.
Let me explain…

(Read alá David of the Attenborough on a wildlife show…)
The female of the species becomes quickly skilled at excretion. After childbirth, despite possible  complications and difficulties with the bladder, she will quickly evolve into a bladder controlling machine. Caring for her young is always a priority. Even with a full bladder, the female can retain control under duress and highly stressful conditions, often balancing her offspring on her abdominal area. She is strong however, and will wait for the perfect moment to pounce on the elusive porcelain.  When the opportunity presents itself, the Mama will swiftly and skillfully do what she needs to do.
The female can relieve a full bladder in 8.5 seconds and it has been said that faecal excretion can take only 5 seconds. (Evidence of this has not yet been acquired as the female is so skilled and speedy that scientific equipment is not fast enough to measure the act.)  The female performs the essential and necessary act of excretion faster than any other species, and often with up to 4 of her young hovering around, or indeed ON, her.  Cleanliness is swift and onehanded in many cases. Other species have yet to evolve at the speed of the human Mammy.

The male of the species is entirely different.
The male is special. He makes quite the production of the animal act of excretion. The bathroom must be empty of all young. The atmosphere should be peaceful and relaxed in order for the full joy and relaxation of the event. Full concentration is required.  Men have evolved to require the help of a handheld device for the excretion process. Tablets are acceptable but the clever male prefers the mobile phone, as it can be sneaked into the room, past the female, more easily.  The male may require anything up to 45 minutes for the process.
It is very difficult and he ensures that the importance of and difficulty of his excretion is heard by his female if she dares to question the length of time he has been in his throne room. “I’m IN THE F$#€** Toilet” may he roared in a manly way, by the manly man, during his manly process, if he perceives disapproval or tutting from the female outside the door.  The delicate procedure is prolonged and made easier for the male by perusal of Bookface or Instagranny for the duration. This device aids in the relaxation required for the faeces to remove itself from the manly male posterier.

Sometimes, for reasons as yet unknown to scientists, the male will remain on the porcelain seat for much time after the act of relieving himself. It has been suggested that this is an avoidance of the reality of the children who are not allowed to bother him while in the special pooping room. This is not yet proven, but breakthroughs are expected in the near future as female scientists are working on remote controls to switch off the prolonging devices. Other exciting developments are self flushing timed toilets, although there are fears that such a device might be mistaken for self cleaning.)
The male reappears into the homestead calm and relaxed, thoroughly relieved and oblivious to how long he has been in the bathroom. The bathroom and the rest of the world have different time rules when the male excretes… what he feels to be 5 minutes, is often 37 minutes by the female’s observant and obsessive count…

The male excretion ends with a ceremonial greeting by the female which can be high-pitched and erratic.

This process remains as such until the female completely loses her mind and screams so much that the children become afraid to interrupt her, or they finally reach the age where watching Mammy poo is no longer interesting or exciting…

The Male checks his phone and wonders what all the fuss is about.
#takeashitalready #soblessed #peeinprivate

I am Some Bridey Love Mum

Ok so it’s a bit off topic maybe, but my Lovelies have asked for more Lifestyle content, and sure why not?

So tonight is Mammy’s advice to any Brideys in the audience.

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The Him and I got married on a Wednesday, over Christmas in 2009, which was (you might remember) the year of THAT BIG SNOW.  I’m sure it was a huge inconvenience to many.  I’m sure some people grumbled about our choice of date.

But here’s the thing about weddings, they’re a lot like parenting really.  Because everyone has an opinion (or ten) and if you try to please everyone, you’ll spin right through the whole event in a whirlwind of stress and worry.

So from an oul married woman to you, the lucky Lovely who is planning your big day, here are some of my words of wisdom…

  1. Firstly, you WILL get opinions thrown at you.  As usual, people usually don’t mean any harm or to interfere, and yet it can be exhausting.  There is NO WAY of avoiding this.  We had our whole wedding arranged and booked for 18 months before we even put a ring on.  We got engaged just 10 months before the wedding, announcing our engagement and the date and venue etc in one go… and even then, we had “You need to look at this venue/band/DJ etc.”   We didn’t.  We’d booked what WE wanted.  And it was perfect.

2.  Do what YOU want.  Don’t book a hotel just because that’s where your 4 sisters got married.  Don’t get married in a chapel/church/field because that’s what people expect.  Don’t have a video if you don’t want one.  Don’t wear heels if you don’t want to. Don’t have a top table if it terrifies you.  Don’t have a traditional first dance if you hate the thought of it.  Decide with your partner how YOU see your day, and WHERE you see it happening, and do it.  You’ll be married the same as everyone else whether you have fancy cars or 47 priests on an altar. Your Day, your way.  And yes you may have some people grumbling about how THEY would have expected it, or done it, but unless you’re marrying your great Aunt Jacinta, her opinion isn’t that important.

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3. Don’t get caught up in who can and can’t make it.  Whoever wants to be there and CAN be there, WILL be there.  Life gets in the way some times; illness, no babysitter, kids suddenly sick, weather… And while you might be genuinely sad that someone can’t make it, or doesn’t turn up, the wedding will go on without them and you’ll still be married to the love of your life.  The only people who NEED to be there, are you and your partner and whoever is celebrating the marriage for you! We had some guests who didn’t make it (or used the snow as an excuse not to make it!) and yet, the day went on and we’re still married.

4. Stick to your means:  Don’t put yourself in debt for 5 years for one day.  You don’t NEED most of the things you think you do. Why do you need the most expensive hotel?  Why do you need 6 Bridesmaids? Why do you need eleventy billion people there? If you WANT them there, go for it.  If you don’t, why are they invited? If (like us) you are both from huge families, don’t be afraid to set limits.  Only aunts and uncles, or first cousins only, or adults only… or only the family members you see and spend time with?  Imagine!  Imagine NOT inviting the cousin you haven’t seen since you were 4, or the aunty who you’re pretty sure despises you? Imagine!

If you are going to be paying for this wedding yourselves, YOU are in charge of what, when, how and who…(If getting help, of course the people who are helping to fund it should be respected and included in plans.) Yes of course, many of us want to keep everyone happy, especially our parents, but it is YOUR day and if you are going to have to leave out your team mates or workmates so some schoolmate of your Mum’s (who you don’t know) can come, it might be time to have a chat with Mum.  Surround yourselves with the people who mean the most to YOU.  (Both of our sets of parents hosted a table each at ours.  It worked perfectly for everyone. Just a suggestion!)

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5. Say NO.  “We want to get you a magician as a gift.”  “We’d love to get you doves as a gift.”   “I’d love you to wear my veil.”   ALL of these are kind gestures and if they suit you, go with them.  But if you hate magicians, don’t want to see any birds on the day (unless they’re on your plate) and don’t want to wear a veil, JUST SAY NO.  But I might offend someone… Are they you?  Are they your partner? Are they getting married? No? Well then, they’ll get over it BECAUSE IT’S NOT THEIR WEDDING DAY!

6. To Kid or not to Kid…  OOOOOOOOOh, yes.  I am going there.   You can probably guess where I’m going with this.  Do you WANT kids at your wedding?   Then THAT’s your answer.  If you have kids, chances are you’ll be glad of some company for them.  If you have nieces and nephews, you’ll most likely want them there.  I’m talking OTHER people’s kids.  It’s so difficult to draw a line here and you’ll always get “Well if the kids aren’t invited, we can’t go…”  And while this is sad, it’s not your problem.

If we are invited to a wedding and the kids are invited too, unless it’s their aunt or uncle, they ain’t going NOWHERE!  If we’re invited to a wedding and can’t get a babysitter, we don’t go.  Or one of us goes.  It makes us sad, but our kids come first.  If we are invited to a wedding without the kids, usually we highkick it up the road, delighted at the prospect of a date day!

Of course, every situation is different and there are things to consider, (eg. Your friend’s Baby is 5 weeks old and she’s breastfeeding tends to be a genuine enough one), but if it’s someone who has 3 kids and just wants to bring them, then NO.  This is hard to do.  It causes problems.  It did at ours.  But we stuck to our guns and only had the first cousins, the youngest of whom was 5.  Outside of that, nope.  Some people didn’t come.  We were sad.  We’re still married though.

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7.  Delegate:  If (like me) you are a complete Monica, this can be hard.  But rather than getting stressed about what needs to be done the week or day before, delegate.  I only had one grown up BM. Thankfully she is as OCD as I am, but she took charge of things like collecting dresses and flowers and such, allowing me to spend the day before my wedding relaxed, getting my nails done and going for tea with Himself.  I did the same the day before hers. She gave me a to-do list. I dood it.   And never mind the BMs, I bet you have a friend or two who aren’t in the wedding party but who’d love to help with stuff? Let them.  Don’t spend the week before your wedding so busy that you miss the excitement of it.

8. On the Day:  1.  Between courses at the meal, we went to 2 or 3 tables to say hi to our guests.  It only took a few minutes and it meant that we didn’t feel obliged to spend hours after the meal walking around tables.  2.  Every so often, we’d meet to take it all in. Just us. He’d nod across or I’d catch his eye and we’d go to the bar, on our own, have a drink and watch the fun unfolding around us.  If we hadn’t, we wouldn’t have seen each other all evening AND we’d have missed his cousins doing a human pyramid on the dancefloor!

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9.  Does it matter?  Problems will arise and issues will present themselves.  The people you THINK will be problematic or stressful, are usually the opposite.  No.  The drama Llama usually comes in the person you’d least expect.  No matter what arises, stop and ask yourself, Does it really matter?  Does it really matter if John Joe and Jacinta won’t come if Nancy is invited?  Does it really matter if your hotel tell you they have to change the layout of the room.  Does it really matter if your invitations have the wrong shade of mauve on the ribbons?  Does it really matter if Uncle Jenny doesn’t like the band?  NO.  So unless the problem is going to affect you and your Him or Her getting married and declaring your love to each other, feck it.  It doesn’t matter.

10.  Enjoy.   Yes it’s cliched and it’s easier said than done sometimes, but your wedding day REALLY should be THE best day EVER.  And it will be if you remember that table plans and flowers and bouquets and all that jazz are superfluous.  Only have them if you want them.  (Ditch the table pan.  I’ve been to so many weddings recently where bar the front row of tables of immediate family, the rest of the hall was free-for-all.  Worked great.    Allow other people to help, do what YOU want and remember what’s important to YOU.

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And if you disagree with anything I’ve written, that’s fine too.  My way obviously isn’t how EVERYONE would do it.  You don’t have to agree.  You do what is right for YOU.

I loved every second of being a Bride.  I loved every second of our wedding day.  I’d do it all over again in the morning… and I’d even marry the same Him.

If you are getting married, I wish you all the love in the world.  Enjoy every magical moment, however and wherever you’re doing it.

Mammy x

I am Seriously Tested Mum

There are days when things happen to test us.

Yesterday, it was not just Mammy who was tested by events.  No.  Mammy AND Daddy and our marriage in general were tested. By what? By who?

By our Princess Poonami.

“She’s a great age now.  We can go anywhere and it’s so much easier than when she was tiny” scoffed Mammy to her cousin-with-older-kids at approximately 5.10pm.  We were standing watching our minions playing in the garden at Granny-Mary-Queen-Mother-of-the-whole-wide-world’s birthday party.

“All I need now is to throw a nappy in my handbag and go! No need to be lugging half the house around anymore!” Mammy was so sure of herself.  Cousin with older kids agreed.  How smug and fablis Mammy is about how clutter free Mammying is when out and about now that my wobbler is 2. Smug mammy.  Silly Mammy.

“Mammy.  We have a poonami!” I hear The Him call.

“Sorry what? We do not have poonamis anymore.  Silly Daddy.  Don’t you know that our mini is now of the post-poonami age? You have made a mistake.  Check that you have lifted the correct child from the garden.  You must be mistaken.”

Mammy is past the point of the Poonami.  I am no longer THAT Mammy. I no longer have to carry a changing bag.  I no longer have to remove brown sticky vests from the back of my child. I have past this stage.  I am Poonami free..,

Except that I am not.  And when I look up, the child in The Him’s arms is indeed mine.  He is pretending that she is an aeroplane, so as not to have to touch the bum region.  Of course, this WOULD be the first day she is wearing a dress and is bare legged and so I can already see the rivulet which SHOULD have been held inside leggins, trickling down the crevaces of her fat little legs. And the unmistakeable smell wafting from her arse can only be one thing.  Yup. Poonami.

And all that I have in my handbag is a single nappy.

Who’s smug now?

My sister calls out “My baby bag is in the hall. GO GO GO!!” and GO GO GO we GO.

There are approximately 120 people in Granny-Mary-Queen-Mother-of-the-whole-wide-world’s house, through which we have to manouvre the leaking posterier of the aeroplane baby.  She is “WEEEE”ing with glee as Daddy flies her through the crowd.

Scuse us.  Poonami alert, poonami alert.  We rush to the spare room and throw a towel onto the bed.  Princes Poonami is having a great oul laugh as we rummage through the sister’s baby bag for nappies and wipes.

I’m about to start changing her and I look at the Him.  He looks at me.  And we know that we are both thinking the same thing… HOW the fuck do we do this?

You know how they say that a parent forgets all the bad stuff…the labour pains, the pain pain, the recovery, the exhaustion…well it seems that we also block out the cleaning up of the bum explosions too.  Because for a few seconds, neither of us had a clue where to start!

Right.  We can do this.  And for the next 10 minutes. (Yes, it took 10 minutes, such was the extent and reach of the exposion.) we were a tag team.  Back in the throes of early parenthood. Working together. A team with one purpose.  Our marriage being strengthened, tested and verified by a shitty nappy.

“Nappies…nappies.”  “Wipe…wipe.”  “Hold that.” “Wait wait wait!”  “Watch her hair.” “Mind the bed” “You missed that bit on her neck”  “Fuck fuck fuck!” “Is that it?” “WTF? HOW did it get in THERE?” “Where will I put this?” “Go get a plastic bag.  NO a Bin bag!”  “Christ the smell…” “Get your HANDS out of THERE!”

The bumbag went into the binbag.  The clothes and towel went into another one.  The Wobbler was dressed in a spare outfit that my sister-who-will-always-be-prepared-for-all-eventualities-and-is-not-a-smug-relaxed-twat-like-Mammy-here had packed for her girl.  And at the end, Mammy and Daddy hi-fived. Yes.  We did. That’s how proud of ourselves we were.

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GRRRRRRRR!

“Still got it Daddy” says Mammy.

“Hell yeah!” says Daddy.

“I dood a pooooooo” said Princess.

No Shit Sherlock!

Lesson learned.  Mammy needs to go back to keeping a changing bag in the boot of the car.  Be prepared for all seasons…and remember that when she is on an antibiotic, there is a high chance of poonami, whatever age she is.

And together, there is no shitstorm that Mammy and Daddy can’t handle together.

 

I am Some More Wedding Vows Mum

My Partner in Poo.

 

“I take thee for richer, for poorer”, we both said.

“For better for worse, in sickness, in health”

and while we meant all of these things on the day,

In hindsight, there’s probably more we should say.

“I’ll love you alone while it’s just me and you,

Deeply and truly, as lovers should do,

But things might change slightly when two becomes three

And yet I’ll still love you, though it might be slightly

different and strained as we sail through the seas

of babies and nappies and purees and puke,

of Peekaboo, naptimes and lego and books.

And then we realise three shall be four

I’ll still try to love you as much as before.

For while there’s less dinners and cinema dates,

Less romance and movies and less use of good plates,

Every so often, I’ll catch a brief glimpse

Of the Man that I married, and I’ll smile as you wink

I’ll love you in darkness, in fevers, in tears

And teething and pain and in each passing year.

I’ll love you in cuddles and memories and fun

In sneaky embraces and slaps on the bum

As we meet in the kitchen in the middle of night.

And when I watch you swinging our girls way up high.

When you’re loving our girls, I love you the most,

When you’re covered in poo, or you’ve not cut their toast

the right way, or you’ve left all the dishes and mess

to build them a fort or put Hulk in a dress.

When I see you exhausted, yet hugging them tight,

When you get up to cuddle or sooth in the night,

When you smile at them both, I can’t help but stare

At the husband that I never thought I could share,

but happily do with our two little girls,

Who weren’t in our mind as we took all those vows,

I know that you love me when I hear them call Daddy

And I’ll share all that love with our Princesses gladly.

So while we still love and while we’re still “us”,

With kids there isn’t so much time for the fuss

or the dates or attention or time that we had,

But that doesn’t mean our love’s old or is bad.

It’s different and shared, but the spark is still there,

It’s just covered in pink stuff and snot in our hair,

And sometimes we’re knackered or covered in poo

But I still love you as much as when I said “I do”.

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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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