Imagine a day in your favorite city with absolutely no plans or place to be. You’re surrounded by the world’s best restaurants. Equipped with your smartphone, you explore street after street taking in the urban beauty and tasting gelato from Italy and coffee from Brazil. You’re out for hours, carefree. Freedom becomes your adventure and it’s perfect.
(Pier 15 near our hotel in the Financial District)
That’s how my wife and I experienced New York City every year on our anniversary. This year, was a little different; we had a third wheel, our almost six month old baby. Carefree was not an option. Would our usual anniversary trip be ruined? Nope! It changed our game plan, but it still was the adventure we wanted.
(Walking in Brooklyn with Walk With Locals)
Here’s the breakdown of how our trips used to look compared to now with a baby:
- Board any bus that’s NOT a Megabus at 6AM ⇒ Take the Amtrak at 8AM. It’s easier to manage a baby on a train and buses charge you an extra seat for a baby. It’s almost as cheap to take the train.
- Check into an Airbnb in one of the boroughs ⇒ Check into a hotel in Manhattan that comes with a Pack n’ Play. Put baby down for a nap. Mom stays with baby while dad explores (Don’t worry. We took turns).
- Continue to explore the city eating at one restaurant after the next ⇒ Mom and baby join Dad once baby wakes up. All three explore for hours while baby is strapped to Dad in a Bjorn.
- Metro hop ⇒ Avoid the Metro (We learned the hard way) since it’s not stroller friendly. Log double the steps in your Fitbit.
- Enjoy a four course dinner complete with several drinks ⇒ Order one drink and Thai to go before the baby meltdown. Finish Thai on your hotel bed.
- Find a city speakeasy ⇒ Dad stays with baby as Mom goes exploring. Mom comes back with cheap wine from a Duane Reade to enjoy in the bathroom as we watch Hulu (Don’t want to wake up baby!).
- Sleep in before doing a coffee crawl ⇒ Woke up at the crack of dawn and joined a Walk With Locals meet up in Brooklyn Heights.
- Took the early bus home ⇒ Took the late train back so baby could sleep. That means more time in NYC!
(Reflection of the Brooklyn Bridge)
As you can see, our trip wasn’t the most carefree, but it was still a fun adventure. As we sat on the hotel bathroom floor with our cheap wine, we reflected on our almost six months of parenthood and we wouldn’t change a thing. Here’s to many more anniversary adventures with kids!
(Enjoying the Brooklyn Flea Market)
(Taking the ferry across the river into Brooklyn)
(Balancing on the NYC subway)