Thursday, December 8, 2016

Girls in the City: New York! (Recap)


The girls and I continued our Girls in the City tour from Chicago to New York by plane. Jason was working so much in New York, we had the opportunity to stay with him for a few days--we even invited some friends!

Flying with the wheelchair was easy (the hardest part is probably putting it in/out of cabs). I guess we could have borrowed an airport chair, or asked for a ride on a cart, but having the chair with us provided me with a lot of security (I could keep track of all our things and the kids, and was certain no one would be too tired).

We decided to try more walking as opposed to riding in the chair once in the city. This was a shift from our plan in Chicago; I think all the riding in the chair made Elena more stiff than rested--it's a balance that we didn't quite get right. Here, Elena did a pretty good job keeping pace (we were pretty slow), and we were sure not to plan to travel more than a few blocks on foot without the chair (sometimes we just brought it and didn't use it). And, sometimes we didn't bring it and wished we had (as you'll see in some of the pictures).


Rock Center

Sister LOVE

Mom, Pack Mule NY Edition.

Against reader advice, we did take the subway (not all the time). The difference was I never took it as a lone adult with the kids; I always had another grown up, so we could keep eyes on kids, or carry the chair, or one help E while the other keep track of everything else. The girls LOVED the subway. We took elevators when convenient; if it was only one flight of stairs, E typically climbed up/down.

Girls on the Subway

Lady Liberty in the distance

   
Doing their best Marilyn impression



There was so much to do...the girls loved it. The weather was hot, but gorgeous. We went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art--I wasn't sure how much the girls would like it. Elena loved it! I could have been there all day. Our favorites were the Egyptian exhibit and the sculpture garden. I also liked the impressionist paintings.


The Met


The Met

Splashing

Central Park was more of a challenge than I thought. Mostly b/c even with a map, we found it hard to find the nearest restroom. The park is so massive, we only saw a small part of it. 


  
Boats
Alice in Wonderland

Carousel

The girls LOVED the Rockettes! I wish I could have taken a picture of how spellbound they were during the show. It was awesome! We also did some shopping, but with all the choices (and not much knowledge of what was fun for kids) the stores were a bit of a bust. We did find some really awesome glasses for Elena!


Pack Mule: Vivian is tired this time

New Yorkers were very kind--especially on the subway. I'll admit, I was surprised (maybe I shouldn't have been? Shame on me.). People were looking out for us, and were very friendly and helpful.


Girls in the City

Insomnia Cookies at night

Girls in an Elevator

Art Park

 My sister joined us for the last few days in the city. We went to the High Line--really beautiful!


Popsicle on the go
     
Chilling Out

Pack Mule, thirst quenching edition

We didn't do much New York at Night with the kids; they were typically worn out every evening. The grown up ladies did have one night out, which was really fun!

Times Square

We were all a little sad when our week was up.  We had such a fun time exploring, we weren't ready to leave. I was always very apprehensive when I thought about Elena in the city, because of all the walking she would have to do. But our experience taught me something very different.  I realized that if Elena can successfully navigate the subway, and learn her walking limits, her universe grows much larger. There is so much to see and do in a city like New York; if Elena can master the transportation piece, she can enjoy as much of it as she likes despite her disability. It was a really positive revelation. I think weather also is a factor; I can't imagine trying to navigate with lots of bulky clothing and coats.

Pack Mule; heading back home by train

Again, we enjoyed a relaxing ride home by train (we still LOVE the train!). It was great to sleep in our own beds, and be in our own house, and be in our own town. But it's official. The kids love traveling and exploring! Huge thanks to Aunt Kate, and the Gs who joined us! We loved your company and all your help!

1 comment:

Margot Cole said...

Ohhh! AWESOME! If I knew the dates you were coming out here maybe I would have met up with you and Elena. Yes the subway can be freeing if you can navigate it. For me I have an easier time on transport with a motorized scooter than with crutches...for me, crutches + subway = too many details to keep track of, haha. Have you ever considered a motorized scooter for Elena when she is older like college age? It might be easier than a manual chair when she's a young adult if you want her using public transit. The people being nice comment is something I hear from people visiting NYC all the time. Most people are very kind especially about disability and kids in NYC. Did you meet up with Gregg Mozgala at any point? :)