Staycation in the City

Recently, my husband and I decided that our schedules had been especially hectic. Looking ahead to a fully-planned summer, we were in dire need of some quality time, just the four of us. We didn’t want to deal with the stress (and cost) that goes along with last minute travel plans, so we decided to take the concept of a ‘staycation’ up a notch. I picked the kids up from school on a Friday afternoon and told them we were headed to a last minute “dentist appointment.” You can just imagine how excited they were to hear this news! Instead, our cab pulled up at the Parker Meridien Hotel and they were surprised and thrilled to see their Daddy there to greet us. Their look of confusion was priceless when we walked into the hotel lobby, checked in and let them know that we’d be staying for the weekend.

The only thing on our agenda was to be tourists in our own city. They were ecstatic. They thought it was sneaky and hilarious that we had packed their pjs and stuffed animals while they were at school. When we took out their bathing suits and goggles and told them it was time to check out the pool, they nearly collapsed from excitement. We spent the next few hours having a ball in the relatively empty pool on the 52nd floor with sweeping views of our amazing city. It was neat to not only point out the Chrysler Building and Central Park, but also to have them figure out the general vicinity of our own apartment! After endless rounds of Marco Polo we were famished and headed back to our room. Luckily, as hotel guests, we get to bypass the incredibly long line at the infamous Burger Joint in the lobby. Soon we were showered, PJ’ed and eating scrumptious burgers and fries in the comfort of our room.

Our girls love a hotel stay as much as we do. They get a kick out everything a hotel room has to offer- the proximity of our sleeping arrangements, the giant bathroom with kid-sized toiletries and the enormously fluffy bathrobes. They passed out with smiles on their faces, excited for the day ahead. After breakfast in bed (without caring about crumbs or potential spills) we headed back to the pool for a quick dip before grabbing our metro card and camera and hitting the city.

We chose the West Village since we wanted the weekend to be a mix of adult and child fun and that happens to be our favorite neighborhood for date nights. The girls loved exploring this ‘new’ part of the city. We strolled down the charming streets, window shopped and got lemonade before reaching our lunch destination of Mary’s Fish Camp, another one of our favorites. We made sure to be there the moment the doors opened to avoid the lines and inevitable crankiness. The girls made us proud with a willingness to try a little of everything and discovered a newfound love for lobster knuckles! While we feasted on shellfish and ice-cold beers we talked about how much fun we were already having on our ‘vacation’. We all shared a delectable sundae and off we went to our next destination. We spent a few hours at a children’s theater watching Alice in Wonderland, which had them riveted. Lastly, we took them for their first visit to the M&M store and let them pick out a treat for later.

Back at the hotel, we were all happily exhausted. My husband went out to get some Italian food (and a bottle of Chianti, for us!), which we devoured before settling in for movie night and lots of snuggles. The next morning we got a late check out, and spent our last few hours floating in the pool. When it was time to leave, we packed our tiny overnight bag, hailed a cab and were home in 10 minutes. No flight delays, no jet lag and no loads of vacation laundry looming ahead. Instead, a weekend of truly feeling that we were away, all with the comfort of remaining in the city we’re proud to call ‘home’.

For the kids, it was a weekend of fun new experiences and an opportunity to have some serious pool time. For us it was 48 hours of time with our girls without the distraction of video games, play dates or getting caught up in the ‘stuff’ that you always end up doing around the apartment.  We’ve vowed to do it again soon and despite their pleas to know the details, all we’ve said is that they never know when a taxi ride in their future will pull up to our family’s next Staycation!

Prior to becoming a stay at home mom, Mina was an HR Recruiter for years. Now her time is spent happily juggling the demands of two young daughters while trying to expose them to the endless adventures the city has to offer.

 

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