Every year we debate going to NYC at Christmastime to see the real Santa at the Plaza Hotel, where he stays for the month of December to take a vacation before going back up to the North Pole to deliver all the toys Christmas Eve. It is a big undertaking and a long day of traveling, but even though it seems crazy, we always end up going for it. This year, we went on fairly short notice after checking the weather for the week and seeing a day with temps in the high 50s. Not quite the tropical weather of last year, but definitely worth going YESTERDAY!
Our trip has evolved over the years as MiniM.E. has gotten older and we've gotten to be seasoned pros at scheduling the day and navigating the city. We drove into Poukeepsie to take the train in where we once again raved about the benefits of the indoor train station and a bathroom break for two little girls that I most definitely did NOT want to use the bathroom on the train. The girls were fantastic on the car ride this year and happily sat through the train ride with iPads and Pringles.
We started our trip with a walk up 5th Avenue where we always stop for coffee at the Trump Tower. It was a bit more difficult to navigate this year with news crews set up, police blockades, secret service and bag searches, but it's part of our yearly tradition and we had to have our Trump Tower Starbucks.
Next, a visit to the Plaza to check the best time to visit Santa, and then off to Central Park for a hot dog lunch, a nice walk, and a visit to the zoo. While we were walking around the weather was gorgeous, but as we made our way to the zoo the clouds rolled in and it got a bit windy, making us glad I packed hats and gloves!
Then it was back to the Plaza Hotel with promises of ice cream for LittleL.G. if she would just sit on Santa's lap for a quick minute. Thankfully, she complied. We were a bit worried since any talk of Santa seems to elicit terror in her eyes and she has refused to sit on Santa's lap since the day we first mentioned it.
After an ice cream snack we began our walk back down 5th Avenue. Finally, LittleL.G. passed out after not napping all day. She missed the tree at Rockafeller Center and the light show at Sak's, but I made sure to wake her up for the "Bitty Baby Store" (The American Girl Store).
By the time we made it back down to 42nd Street to walk over to Bryant Park it was past dinner time, the time we usually head home on the train. But the Bryant Park Christmas Market is my favorite part of NYC and we needed to grab some food anyway... and the girls would have missed the carousel! So we walked around a bit, rode the carousel, ate some delicious street food, and headed back on the train.
The least successful part of the trip, by far, was the train ride home. Everyone was tired and cranky and it was crowded and we were thirsty because we didn't quite have time to buy drinks at the train station. But we finally made it back to the car where we had water waiting and the girls immediately fell asleep for the ride home.
As usual it was a crazy and exhausting day. But the girls had a blast and we enjoyed ourselves. It wouldn't be Christmastime without a trip to the city!