Thursday, May 10, 2012
Well. We left fever-free, with no clear symptoms of illness. My husband made the call to go Thursday evening/Friday morning, and we set off with snacks and mathbooks to visit the chidlren's aunt in New York City. By Friday evening, my older son (3 years), had a cough and fever. I dosed him up really well, and we set off Saturday morning for a walking tour of Lower Manhattan. It was fantastic! We saw the swift-moving Hudson River, were fascinated by the small and creative gardens cherished in the middle of high-rise apartment buildings, danced down the street to the music of a Roumanian Folk Festival, ate goodies from street vendors (ever read The Pushcart War?. . .my kids loved it!), saw the place George Washington is supposed to have given his famous speech, etc. The children took pictures of the Twin Towers site and the memorial towers, made me nervous with their lack of fear on the Brooklyn Bridge (definitely worth the walk!) and took to public transportation like ducks take to water. It was a marvelous day.
That night, my son coughed himself into a gagging fit, and spent several hours in the hotel room in Jersey throwing up. (Sorry. . .no good way of saying that!) So the family went without us into the city the next day to go to church with Aunt M., to see the burial site in the Trinity Churchyard of a distant relative (the children's 9th great-grandfather), to get New York style bagels, and to visit the roof of Aunt M.'s apartment building. Meanwhile, God provided a church we could slip into the back of unobtrusively and away from people, and a street fair for my son and me to visit and walk around, so we could be away from the hotel room. As soon as he was upright for the day, he had no more problems. So, Monday morning we set off again with the group for another day in New York.
The day went well, with a walk past the New York Library's lions, a visit to Times Square, and a ride to the top of the Rockefeller Center. Except there, my son coughed himself into another gagging fit, and lost it down our fronts. His and mine, that is. I was carrying him in my Ergo Baby on my front. The family was very gracious and cut short the rest of the day, catching the Express back to Jersey, where we cleaned up in the hotel room. Really, I'm VERY thankful for laundry facilities in hotels!
We left fo Niagra Falls Tuesday morning. By this time, son 1 was completely well. . .and daughter 3 and son 2 had come down with fever/cough. Bleh. I dosed them up so we could walk around Goat Island, and then we entered Canada (a big thrill for all those of us under the age of 10!). Two points of note. First, my husband has started looking for "suites" when we travel. We no longer fit into one room, but our people are small enough that we're not really comfortable splitting them into a second room. And my husband and I don't really feel like splitting up, either. So my husband found a suite that would take all seven of us. It had a view overlooking the falls. That was REALLY cool! And we learned, from a plaque in our bathroom, that 1.5 million bathtubs full of water go over the falls every minute.
Second point of note: there are a lot of tourists at the falls. And all the Chinese tourists were pretty impressed by the number of children we had. We got counted quite a few times. It was really funny! Some of the tourists we didn't even know wanted a picture of themselves with us. And one Chinese lady broke into singing songs from The Sound of Music. It probably was more striking because of our "school uniforms," which we wear on field trips. . .just matching shorts and matching t-shirts, on this day, a purplish-blue color.
That's all for now. It was a Great Trip, and now we've got these fun memories! And, of course, it's wonderful to be home again.