Right now I sit in our hotel room not far from the Empire State Building, the AC is humming quietly in the background. E is relaxing on the bed with his iPad and James, sweet perfect James is zonked out in a travel crib in the hotel bathroom. Yep! The bathroom was big enough for the travel crib, so it meant that once we put him to bed, E and I didn't have to tiptoe around and keep the lights off. It's almost like a two room suite. ;)
Today was beyond wonderful, mostly due to our fantastic friends Colette and Jen. This morning started with bagels with my Grandma and packing up to leave her house. Colette & Jen drove from their home in Queens to pick us up in East Meadow and drive all three of us into the city. And this is not an easy task.
The traffic is crazy, the 59th street bridge backed up all the way across the river, and James mildly fussy in the back. But they spent their entire morning picking us up and safely delivering us (with all of our gear) at our hotel. We could have not asked for better friends.
After we got our stuff in our new room (the fantastic hotel let us check in four hours early!) we set off with Colette, due to the fact that Jen had some work she needed to do, she could not join us. We hopped on the subway and headed to SoHo for some shopping.
James amazed us all. I mean, I know he's an awesome baby and all, but he was perfect. He happily looked around the city and kicked his little legs. We were sure the subway would scare him but he didn't seem fazed at all. And during our shopping trip he took a little nap in his stroller. I was totally impressed.
There were a couple of stores I was keen on stopping into in SoHo: Kate's Papery, Pearl River Mart and Muji. After buying some wonderful things at each shop, we continued down towards Little Italy for lunch.
First subway ride and smiley in the city.
Napping in the stroller.
Colette was an unbelievable tour guide, showing us the best stores to poke our heads into and the best routes. She also pushed James's stroller the entire time. She is wonderful.
The lunch spot we chose was an awesome Malaysian place that Colette knew and loved. We each ordered Thai iced teas while James grinned from ear to ear and ate tomatoes and crackers. Our tofu saute came as an appetizer and it was amazing. Crispy and light on the outside and hot and gooey on the inside. Our main course of mango chicken was spicy and sweet and unreal. And the coconut rice, oh my god, the coconut rice. Wow.
By the time lunch was over Colette had an appointment to go to, but promised us to meet us up later. E and I wandered into Ferrara's (our favorite Italian pastry shop that we visited two years ago) to get our traditional Little Italy cannoli.
Ferrara's display case is a thing of pure beauty.
Fish in China Town and a heated game in Columbus Park.
We then wandered through China Town, poking our heads into all the miscellaneous junk shops and getting our obligatory photo of a China Town fish stand. We were having so much fun, James was acting great and the day was going perfectly.
We stopped at Columbus Park in China Town and played on the baby swings, the slides, and the splash pad. James was having the time of his life.
Amazing, they named a street after James.
Then we walked to the Brooklyn Bridge. The Brooklyn Bride is fantastic, and has an entire deck for pedestrians to walk across it. E and I had walked on it once before, but it was a great activity with the baby. James seemed mesmerized and kept wanting to touch the cables that stretched to the sky.
After way too many photos and hundreds of steps we turned around and headed back towards China Town for dinner. We wanted to take Jen and Colette out to eat to thank them for spending the entire morning hauling us and all of our junk into the city. Of course we choose Joe's Shanghai, our favorite China Town eatery. We ordered trays and trays of steamed soup dumplings (I crave these things all the time) and some amazing items off the menu.
Joe's Shanghai is the best of the best.
The entire staff there must have thought James was a celebrity, because more than a dozen people came over to comment on how cute he was and touch him. This was pretty overwhelming for the little man, because when one waiter kept touching his little hands, he decided enough was enough and started to cry.
A little jaunt outside and a visit to the fish tank seemed to cheer him up, but after all, it was a super long day for such a tiny man. We finished up dinner and said goodbye to our friends, jumped on another subway and came back to our hotel room.
James has been asleep (in the bathroom) ever since.
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