So I have been a little busy since Thanksgiving and have not had the chance to sit down and write a post, but now that it’s almost 11pm, the baby has been fed and the husband is off to bed I finally have a chance to relax and share with you a special memory my husband, son and I were able to share with each other this Thanksgiving. We did not go home for Thanksgiving this year so we would not have to spend a fortune on airline tickets and my husband did not have to miss any work. Weeks before Thanksgiving we were deciding whether or not going to the parade was worth it. Of course we wanted to go, but we also had to weigh our options as we have a 4 month old baby and we did not want to make him sick depending on the weather condition, but also whether we wanted to fight the traffic back out of the city….by traffic I mean people walking due to street closures and the train station.
Wednesday morning Brent had left for work and around 10am he texted me and asked if I wanted to get a hotel for that evening that way we could go to the parade. I told him if he wanted to we could, but we didn’t have to. Wednesday was a yucky wet/snowy day in NJ so I was just worried about what the next day would look like. I would have hated for us to stay the night and then it rain and be yucky and not be able to stay out long with Grayson. Hey, you only live once, so we went for it. This is something we may never be able to do again so we decided to book the hotel. I assumed with it being the day before Thanksgiving and of course the parade we would not be able to get a room, Brent found a nice hotel and they had two rooms available! We stayed at a very nice hotel; however, Brent and I both decided that the room was small and very bare, probably would not have spent our money to stay there if it were not for the location. The hotel was about a block from the parade route and across the street had a bunch of little shops and one of New York’s skating rinks that many people visit. You can check out the hotel and local attractions here http://www.bryantparkhotel.com.
Let me go back a little and tell you about Grayson and I’s experience traveling to NYC to meet Brent that day. So after Brent had confirmed our hotel I was going to meet him in NYC that afternoon. Since he was already there for work I did not want him to travel back home to only have to ride the train back. So I packed a suitcase, yes a suitcase for one night. I got myself and Grayson ready and treked down our three flights of stairs while holding a baby and dragging an overly heavy suitcase; which also was broke. (I could not get the handle up, I rigged it and strapped on an old belt and pulled it by the belt, 🙂 Brent however finally got the handle up once we got there.) Grayson’s carseat was in the car already and I too thought one of his thicker sock hats were in the car. I had to run to the ATM before I caught the train so I wanted to leave in plenty of time. I left at roughly 2:15pm the train was to leave at 3:10pm. We live about 5 minutes from the ATM and train so I wanted to get there early so I had plenty of time to buy a parking space and get parked, get my train ticket and use the bathroom if need be. Well I “knew” Grayson’s hat was in the car so I didn’t even look and I thought I would just grab it when I got to the train station. On our way to the car I had just covered him up with a blanket. So I arrive at the train station, get Grayson put in the front carrier as it is sleeting and windy and rainy and just pure nasty. I wore boots so my feet would stay warm but that was not how it turned out to be. There was so much slush and water on the ground my boots were soaked, my socks were soaked, the bottom five inches of my pants were soaked along with my hair and the suitcase. Once I got Grayson in the carrier I began looking for his hat and I could not find his sock hat anywhere. I looked up front, in the back and on the floor and the hat, or any hat at that was not found. I was like you have got to be kidding me. I feel like a horrible parent. I left the house without a hat for my child. We are going to NYC to see the parade, it’s going to be chilly and my child does not have a hat.
So once we get walking up to the train station I was already wore out and I had to carry my suitcase up about 14 steps. Luckily there was a man coming and I asked if he could help me carry the suitcase up the stairs as my hands were already full. Thankfully he did without hesitation. Then I get inside and the waiting area inside the station is absolutely packed. I buy my ticket and wait the next ten minutes to board our train. I text Brent and tell him that so far my traveling experience has been horrible and I just wanted to cry. My pants and feet were soaked, my child didn’t have a hat, I was burning up and I was waiting for Grayson to start crying. Thankfully there is a baby store down the road from Brent’s work so he ran and got a hat (it ended up being too small, but wore it until we found another at a little shop outside our hotel. Mind you when a hat says “one size fits all” they do not always fit.) Once on the train there was no sitting room, the aisles were packed and we all looked like a bunch of crammed sardines. After about five minutes a girl stood up and told me I could have her seat as she was getting off at the next stop and I had a baby. So thankful for her and the man who helped me get my suitcase on the train. This was Grayson and I’s first trip to NYC on the train by ourselves and he slept the entire way up to the last ten minutes.
When we got to Penn Station Brent met us upstairs and we were able to go to his office so I could change and feed Grayson before we headed to our hotel. After checking in we went and visited Times Square at night which I had never seen and ate at an Italian restaurant called Tony’s DiNapoli. A little pricy, but everything on the menu is served family style and meant to be shared. It was a nice place and good food!
The next morning we got up and bundled up to head out to see the parade. As many of you know the parade starts at 9am on TV, but was not to arrive at where we were located until about 9:30am. We started walking to get a spot at about 8:30am. As we were walking down the sidewalk there were police barricades all down the sidewalk and Brent had mention how packed it was across the street. We assumed we would have to stand up in the terrance across the street from the hotel back a ways from the street. I told Brent that we should just walk up the sidewalk and see if we can get in on our side of the street. There were a couple people who had just walked by the barricades and no one stopped them. As we got closer to the street we noticed a little coffee shop/cafe on the corner. I told Brent that on the other side of the cafe there was a lot of room and we should just walk through and stand there. He said he didn’t think we were allowed to. I said I just saw someone else walk through there no problem. So we gracefully walked in one door of the cafe and exited the other side and just stood on the side walk. Just to our left there was a barricade with tons of people packed shoulder to shoulder and where we were there was lots of room and even people with lawn chairs. Brent looked at me and said I don’t think we are to be here. I told him to not say anything and just stand here. We ended up talking to the guy beside us and he said the area we were in was actually for friends and family of the NYPD. He told us to not say anything and “we were with him.” So yeah, Brent was right. The guy asked us if anyone stopped us and I said no we just walked right in. He told us that your name has to be on a list to stand in that area haha! We were soooo lucky! I was able to go in and get us breakfast and drinks and if we needed to use the bathroom we could just go in the cafe. I also had planned that if Grayson woke up to nurse I would just go in there instead of walk back to the hotel. It was also perfect because every so often I was able to go in and stand to warm up while still being able to see the parade. Grayson was so good for us and slept from 8:30am to 11:30am. We assumed we would have to leave after about an hour and a half because he would wake up and be fussy, but he totally surprised us both. We had a great experience, pretty much front row standing area and the weather was not horrible. Grayson however was so bundled up he was sweating! We had to leave the parade about 20 minutes early so I had time to feed Grayson before we checked out of our hotel, but once we got back home I was able to catch the rerun of the parade on TV and see the end!
Now that you enjoyed reading a book here lol.. Enjoy some of our favorite pictures from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!