Epic Road Trip (Day 15: September 7, 2016)

Campbell joined our bed last night around 3. It was fine becuase the bed we are in must be a king and I never would have known that she was in it with us except she said that she needed a pillow.  I snatched the one from under Robby and then we both slept without one. Yesterday I talked about adding a pizza cutter and ice cream scoop to my packing list but really, I need to add a pillow or two.  Some hotels have 8 pillows but most do not and that leaves at least 1 or 2 Dennie heads without a pillow.  This stint in the NYC apartment will be no different. Robby will occasionally take a pillow from whatever kid isn’t using one at the time but that does make me feel a bit guilty. I am pretty sure that we will be able to survive without a pillow or two for the next few days.

I do beleive that everyone slept pretty well.  Campbell and Keaton now have Whitman and Reagan’s colds but they seem to feel fine.  Graham was the first one awake in our room and he asked to play his ipad.  When he did, he left towards the living room but I heard him talking.  I scrambled out of bed assuming that he was waking up the girls but they were the ones already in the living room completely dressed and ready for the bed.

We ate our cinnamon rolls from IKEA and pop tarts and were catching elevator by 9:30.  Central Park is just a few blocks away and we were soon in this big city’s oasis.  We walked through the zoo area and even without going into the zoo we were able to watch the sea lions swim around.  We found a few statues including Alice in Wonderland.

Then we found the area where you can sail a sailboat.  Robby bought 2 so everyone had turns sailing the big sailboats for a few minutes.  Everyone once in a while the wind would catch the sailboats and they would really zoom around.  Some times people who own their own boat will race around the little pond.  That would be pretty neat to see.  

Just right up a hill was a playground area that the kids enjoyed playing in for a few minutes and then we walked back to the apartment for a little bite to eat before waiting for Grannymom and Grandpa to arrive.  When they arrived, the kids showed them around this place and we just rested for a bit.  

Then we all put on our shoes and headed down the street to the grocery store.  Grandpa needed some coffee for the morning and we were going to get some drinks.  Robby’s cousin called and had dinner reservations for us in Brooklyn for supper.  We rushed back to the apartment to throw on some dinner approved clothes and were soon waiting out front for 2 uber cars.

We had never done uber before and because of the size of our group, Robby had to get 2 cars.  He left first with the 5 big kids and I waited on the next car with James, Virginia and Whitman.  The driver called me twice saying it would be a few minutes and then called to tell me to come to the front of Bloomingdales. Well, I know that Bloomingdales is what I see when I look out the apartment building but I had no idea which direction it was.  I took a gamble and we ended up at the right place-we spotted his license plate and since he was throwing trash away from his car, I know it must be my driver.

I had my gps going and was also tracking Robby in his car while texting Robby and Pops so my phone battery was quickly depleted.  But all of that was not nearly as entertaining as Whitman.  He knew something different was happening since he was getting to ride in a car without a car seat.  He heard the music and started tapping his feet with the rhythm.  He sat up tall and looked around and then he started talking and the child talked all the way to Brooklyn-about a 40 minute ride since it was rush hour.

He talked about the red lights, the yellow lights and the green lights; he worried about crashing into a wall; he talked about traffic signals and bridges.  At one point, Whitman asked me "are you sure about this, Mom?" I leaned over to him and whispered my answer "no." He talked and talked. The drive got a kick out of him and showed him the Manhattan bridge as we crossed and pointed out the Brooklyn bridge.  David had said that the restaurant, Vinegar Hill, we were going to was kind of shacky looking and it certainly was.  If Robby and the kids weren’t waiting on the corner for us, I probably wouldn’t have gotten out of the car.

They were ready for us once David and Travis arrived.  We sat in the patio under lights and next to a wall with grapevines growing up the side. It could have only been more perfect if the weather was a bit cooler.  The kids were on one end and the adults on the other.  I am sure that Robby had reviewed proper dining etiquette over and over again on their drive over.  We had the tasting menu so we had quite a few courses and my kiddos were pretty perfect (well, probably not perfect but more perfect than I was expecting.)

I am kicking myself that I didn’t keep a menu which I could have easily done but I will try to describe what all we ate.  First they brought french bread slices with a chicken liver mousse with pistaccios on top along with some type of green things and a dark jelly like sweet something or another. (I know, I should have really kept the menu.)  All of this went on the bread and I tried it all and it was pretty good.

Before we could finish that, they brought out some type of endive and fennel salad.  The menu said that it includes ceasar, fried boquerones (I don’t know what that is) and garlic breadcrumbs.  It was okay but the kids didn’t even touch this.  Then the next salad came out.  It was pole beans and kale.  The menu adds puttanesca and mint as well (will google those words later.)  

Then they brought out skillet cornbread with spicy honey butter on top.  This was a hit with the kids and they cleaned up 2 skillets fulls. We had choices between 3 entrees-Cast iron chicken with shallots and sherry vinegar jus, scallops with summer squash, trout roe (cavier-says google), creme fraiche and dill and the last choice was red wattle country chops with a fingerling potato salad, anise hyssop and poppy seed jus. Again, I don’t know what half of those words were, I just typed them from the menu online.

Robby had the scallops and said they were very good.  I had the country chops which were plentiful (at least 6 slices) but I wasn’t impressed.  The kids had 2 servings of chops and 2 servings of the chicken and they devoured the chicken.  They ate and ate and ate on that and the few bites that I had was very good.  

Finally, dessert came and it was chocolate guinness cake with cream cheese icing and buttermilk custard with peaches, buckwheat shortbread and basil.  I just picked up the kids peaches dessert and moved them closer to the grownups but the kids devoured their cakes.  We had sat for almost 2 and a half hours and my Whitman had done good-mainly because I was feeding him gummies and raisins the entire time.

When we left, David, Travis and Grandpa got a car back to the apartment and we headed towards the Brooklyn bridge.  We walked and walked to get there-walked right through the projects but we made it.  We left in such a hurry that we left Keaton’s stroller back at the apartment.  She was fine though and pressed on with little complaining even though we walked over 2 miles.

The bridge was crowded and beautiful.  There were lots of sights to see and of course we stopped to take some pictures.  Right over the bridge, we walked right to the subway, like we knew what we were doing.  Robby bought our passes, we jumped on and after the 3rd stop we were back on the other side of town.  We all came upstairs and the kids had their showers and headed to bed.

We started a load or two of clothes so we have a bit to be up but man, I could stay up and look out the window at all of the buildings for the rest of the evening but I better not because there is lots more to see tomorrow.

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