Concrete Junglists

imageWith cheesy pasta up to her elbows, eyes fixated on the Robots Blu-Ray playing in front of her, I steal another moment for part two of our Boston Road Extravaganza: NYC!

This was my 3rd time in the Big Apple, and I can say I’ve experienced the city in 3 of 4 seasons, fall being the only exclusion. My first experience was in the heat of late April, and I can say it was my least favourite time due to the warm garbage smells and abundance of Splinter-sized rats running the city. I’m Canadian.. I’m all for recycling.. and I guess it was a bit of a shock to not find the same resources in such a large city. My second visit was in the dead of winter, and I found it the most beautiful and exciting time of the year. Again, I’m Calgarian, so I guess I’m going to favour any sights of sparkling white snow. I’m a helpless romantic, what can I say? (Fine, that might be a lie.)

Back to the present day and our enormously fun family road trip. We had awoken at 7ish in order to hit the road at 8 am. After smoothing over a small hiccup with the front desk (they didn’t have our reservation properly on file due to some computer malfunction), off we were on the road again. It was a painless 4-hour drive, and noon by the time we arrived. Thanks to Kate’s handy pre-planning, we were able to find parking for the day, even saving upwards of $30 due to the coupon she printed out beforehand. I don’t know if it’s every parking lot that does this, but twice when I’d been, an attendant had taken our keys and parked the vehicle for us. All parked, kids snugly tucked into their strollers, peepee breaks accomplished, we are famished, and head towards the famous Shake Shack for some grub. It would’ve been cool had the lineups not been monstrously long :(. Mind you, it was Friday at lunch hour, so this wasn’t much of a surprise. Instead, we turn back the other way, excited to try the Guy Fieri restaurant, Guy’s, which we’d passed along the way.

It was fairly empty, a little strange for such a big-name personality in a metropolitan city, but perhaps I know why. We had some of the snottiest hosts/servers I’ve ever had the displeasure of meeting on vacation, even worse than the rude waiters at the Chinese restaurant in Paris. I had sensed we were being frowned upon the moment we walked in and had parked our strollers on the lower level. Our waiter was cold and unsmiling, looking annoyed about our small children, and even having an irritated reaction when one of us asked for a takeout container to bring the meal home. All was not lost, however, because the food was very tasty. I had a shrimp po’ boy sandwich with chicken noodle soup to start, with others having the pulled pork and/or beef au jus sandwiches and rosemary quarter chicken. They were mainly on the lunch menu and not pricey at all – in between $10-15 per entree if I were to remember correctly. Tummies happy and ready to put the nasty experience behind us, we head to Times Square: the gigantic Toys ‘R Us, Footlocker, the Disney store. The NBA store where I picked up a Celtics t-shirt (of course) and a freezable NBA mug that looks like a basketball, which John thinks is so ugly and I am super fond of. Lol. We visit the skating rink at Rockefeller Center, GAP, another sports store, and Uniqlo, and by this time it’s dark outside. Before we head Mashpee-ward, we stop by for some Halal Guys, the famously delicious chicken and rice with their fantastic hot and white sauce. Oh dear. I wanted to enjoy it in the comfort of our kitchen, so I held off on eating mine the entire 4-hour ride home, running in to put it on a plate and devour it in comfort. And for breakfast the next day. Some could not wait, devoured it in the van, and slept peacefully the rest of the ride home. Cannot blame them. The remainder of us stayed awake, telling ghost stories and getting ready for the next day’s adventures, including the Bewitched After Dark tour in Salem, Massachusetts. Exciting!

As Easter Sunday quickly approaches, I’d like to take a moment to give thanks for great friends, happiness, and our safe return. In 4 days I can finally enjoy meat again… It’s been a long 36 days!

Beantown post is next!

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