Tag Archives: travel with kids

Stalkers can be civilized – it just so happens.

I just finished watching an episode of the Kardashians.  It was on and my weed pulling fingers were too tired to change the channel.  Wait, that sounds really bad.  At least the excuse of “it was on and I didn’t feel like changing the channel” actually worked back in the stone age….the age of my childhood where we had to get off the couch and manually turn the dial (yes dial) to a channel that was not plagued with static.  But weed pulling cramped fingers?  Weak.  True, but weak.

The Kardashian episode reminded me of when we were in NY and we stalked just happened to land in front of the hotel that Kourtney and Kim were staying in.  My oldest was very poised as she posed for this picture, even with her Where’s Waldo Bright Orange Hat brother making faces at her….just trust me, she was.  You can see the evidence of Bright Orange Hat’s presence in the window reflection:

Look where I just happened to be!

We crossed the street to get a better look and just happened to see their balcony and Scott just happened to be out smoking and talking on the phone…just trust me, he was:

That speck by the bush with a cell phone to his ear is Scott (if you click on the picture you can totally see it)...just trust me, it is.

At one point we lost Mr. Pavlov and Where’s Waldo Bright Orange Hat.  When we finally found them Mr. Pavlov just happened to be doing his own civilized stalking.  If you look closely you can even see the drool marks he left on the window….just trust me, he did.

Now this is worth the trip and spit!!

And where was our middle child while all of the civilized stalking was going down?  Playing it safe.

Honest officer, I don't know those crazy stalkers. I was here the entire time...just trust me, I was!

It just so happens that we didn’t cause a scene even with the Bright Orange Hat.  We took our pictures and quietly left like good little civilized stalkers.

Just trust me, we did.

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Who’s your boss?

The "Path" to Hoboken NJ

The next portion of our NYC journey takes us to Hoboken NJ to Mr. Cake Boss himself.

TLC’s Cake Boss is one of the kid’s favorite shows.  I believe Buddy fills the extreme baking void that I, the non-baker mom, have left in their lives.  I am rather thankful for his presence in our home and do not harbor any feelings of resentment or jealously even when the kids respond “Mom, how’come your cakes never turn out like that?”  I can easily reply “Ah, because you see, he creates works of art that could be displayed in a museum!”  How can Mrs. No Bake Pavlov compete with that?  I can’t.  That’s the beauty.

It was a no brainer that Mr. Cake Man would be elevated to a high priority level of must see attractions.  But common sense (I seem extremely gifted in this area) told me that we would not be the only cake crazed fans of Mr. Fabulous so I did my research…..research that informed me of the crazy crowds, long lines and baked goods that didn’t quite measure up as expected.  GREAT.

We do for our kids and do we did.  My research informed me:

  1.  Tuesdays are the slowest day of the week
  2. Get there early
  3. Be prepared to wait
  4. Expect rudeness
  5. The baked goods are so-so
  6. People are crazy

After a little travel confusion we arrived at 11:30AM…later that desired.  The line was already a half of a block long and growing.  We secured a spot and within a mere 10 minutes the line grew two blocks and spilled across the street!

A conveniently located clock across the street to make one painfully aware of the agonizing wait.

 As you can see from the clock above we were in line (Outside) for 1 hour and 30 minutes before we ever reached indoor heat.  THEN we had a 30 minute wait inside.  We only had to move a 1/2 block.  The people across the street?  Their wait was 3 1/2 to 4hours before their skin felt indoor warmth.  Ouch. 

For those of you who know Mr. Pavlov and me you know that we don’t do lines.  This was the mother of all lines and a total labor of love for our precious darlings.  I’m quite confident that we will cash in on this sacrifice for many years to come whenever our offspring dare utter “We don’t get to do anything!!” I will simply grin, tympanic membrane to tympanic membrane, and respond “Ahem….remember the 2 hour wait in line in the freezing cold?”   

While I did not get a photo of the actual length of the line (My brain was somewhat hypothermic and sluggish) here are a few of our line frolicking.

I cant feel my fingers!

The crazy "adults"

"Look whats above my head!" Mr. Pavlov is in touch with his inner child.

This gives a whole new meaning to window shopping Weve reached the window!!! Almost there now....

 Once inside you were given a number and got to experience more waiting.  Dos is oh so excitedly (not) showing that we are #13.  After the counter reaches 100 it cycles back to #1.  We have a number journey to go.

Im kinda done with this.

The view from inside looked like this:

How many humans can you heard in a small shop?

Other voyeurs

In possession of the goods

 While Buddy was hiding for his life we did get to see a special baker…

I got my eye on yous psycho fans!

 Psycho fans we almost became when after enduring the elements, mankind and Kronos, we were callously informed that they only had a single – one – uno – solo- Lobster Tail left!!!!  We wanted 5.  What famous bakery runs out of popular items??? I wanted to take the roll of baking string which, was directly above me and bungee jump from the employee’s neck but instead I forced a smile and took the last Lobster tail along with these:

A lobster tail in a world of Neapolitans

C is for Cannolis

We left the lair of Cake Boss and discovered Mexico. Starvation was in full effect and Mexico looked like a great place to stuff our faces.  This line-free place rocked my taco world!  My taste buds were in culinary heaven. 

Mexico and lunch

 Now what everyone was waiting for….dessert.  Our youngest decided to get funky with his oral abilities and sent a little saliva flying right in the direction of the (open boxed) cherished pastries.

They are thinking "Eww, did any of his gross spit get on my precious?!?"

 Who cares.  All normal tendency for grossedoutness was forgotten and the possibly tainted baked goods…devoured!

Content sugar rushing smiles were worn by all as we made our way back to NYC.  Mr. Pavlov and I felt crazily satisfied.  Research point #6 is a fact – people are crazy.  Everything else is open for debate.

Crazy is what makes life fun.

Stripper poles, Chinatown and Hickeys…NYC has it all!

We spent a big portion of our NYC trip on the subway.  While Mr. Pavlov and I consider ourselves experienced subway surfers (thanks to the years we spent living in Washington D.C.) our kids are relatively subway newbies.  Especially the youngest.  To him the subway was pure entertainment.  Whether testing his balancing skills or his speed at maneuvering through slamming doors or perfecting his climbing techniques, the subway was his new urban playground. He was uninhibited and loving life.  These are just a few quick glimpses of our daily rides:

See what I can do on a near empty train?!

 

This is GRRRREAT!!

 Then he did this and said…..

Look mom I'm like.....

…..one of those lady actresses on TV with a pole.  Chirp, chirp…awkward silence.  Did I hear correctly? Lady actresses on TV with a Pole? 

Ok, my mind was racing.  What could he possibly be referring to???  What had he seen? Maybe he watched a documentary on female firefighters.  That’s possible right?

Just as I was convincing myself that he was most certainly referring to female firefighters, he busted out some killer stripper pole moves that even gained the attention (along with a few raised eyebrows) of the normally indifferent NY subway commuters.  I glared in the direction of Mr. Pavlov who shrugged [too quickly] in innocence.  He looked guilty to me.  I inquisitioned him and the lil’ pole stripper later only to discover that the guilty party was America’s Funniest Home Videos! 

Our Chinatown stop arrived and the subway striptease came to an abrupt end.  Chinatown is a unique world with sights, sounds and people that you just have to experience.  Whether a white rapist van filled with smoke and Jamaicans yelling “Ehh, blonde, blonde c’mere me want’ta tell you someting!” or the various animal parts hanging in shop windows, Chinatown is an auditory and visual trip! 

Thankfully, I had my camera hanging heavily on my neck and here are a few sights:

What in the Hoy is Wong??

Where's Loud Orange Hat Waldo in the crowd??

His NYC Indian Name: "Loud Orange Hat" (we bought that color for a reason) trying to strike up a conversation with a random man.

Quack

Oink

What critter can we eat???

Mr. Crab?

Take a guess

Older son "Whoa, wait a minute...what's this I see...GAMES?!?"

Feed us!!!!!

To a boy everything is a cool experiment

Yum, Hot soup - clears the nasal cavity!

If your aura is somewhat altered after all of these unusual sight and sounds then, believe it or not, Chinatown has just the fix.  Had it not been for Marianne, a blogging buddy of mine over at comedyoferrers.com I would not have had any idea about fixing your aura or what this next photo was for.  Thankfully, Marianne made this comment recently on my Only a Boy post:

There is a massage acupuncture thing called cupping where they put suction cups on your back to clear your aura of stuff. I tried to hide it from my husband and was unsuccessful. His question: How much did you pay for someone to do that?

When I saw this little gizmo staring back at me from a shop window, I immediately remembered Marianne’s comment and chuckled.

Hickey marks anyone?

 I considered purchasing Mr. Hickey maker but a few things stopped me:

  1. the visual image of my boys elatedly covered in self-inflicted hickeys
  2. my youngest proudly proclaiming that he gave these hickeys to himself with a suction “machine” that mommy bought in an [alley located] Asian shop
  3. the visit from Child and Youth Services

 The aura machine remained in the dirty window while we headed to the subway.  Tres played stripper again during the ride back to Manhattan but somehow, in light of everything we saw, it didn’t seem so bad.

Not in Kansas anymore

I officially HATE uploading the massive amounts of photos I seem to accumulate on trips.  It takes HOURS and I dread the process.  I am beyond ready to throw my computer across the floor right now but here is part one of our out of Kansas experience.

Packed and leaving "Kansas"

On our way out of our city we heard a loud roar and thought the sky was falling.  However we quickly realized it was just the medevac team transporting a critical patient. 

Pausing to watch the scene unfold

The kids immediately gained a position on higher ground and breathlessly watched the scene.

If you followed the Twitter trail then you are aware of the bus trip bathroom experience.  Little Tres had developed an intimate relationship with the bus bathroom.  Needless to say he eventually “pooped” out.

All Pooped out

 The ride into the city proved very educational and we found the NY bus advertisements to encourage those conversations a parent would rather have at a later date.

Tres "Why is he kissing a girl and holding a guy's hand and why does it say Get Tested?"

Once in the city the boys (big and small) had this initial reaction:

A little boy and his dog in a big city

The boys perfecting the tourist maneuver

If our neck craning reaction did not instantly prove the fact that we were tourists then fer’sure the subway ride did.  Why?  Well take look and tell me what you think gave us away:

Nice arm rest we have here....

 

Whew, line them up

Heave Ho, let me just DRAG this....

Luggage!  You guessed it.  A taxi would’ve been the more appropriate avenue of travel but when have we ever done the more appropriate thing?  Besides the kids loved the subway and the little guy was always pushing the ‘yellow line’ restriction.

Intrigued with the yellow line and pushing the boundaries

 We were all exhausted yet we could still marvel at the level of filth going on in NYC.  Interesting also was the intense (burn your eyes out) smell of urine in the subway.  These sights and smells proved amusing and kept us from doing fatigued face plants. 

 

 

I'm about to fall asleep...wait, look how dirty those windows are!

 

 

Fatigue blurry-eyeitis setting in

We ate, showered and hit the pillow top mattresses for some much-needed rest. The next day things seemed brighter.  We awoke to these views:

A sliver of country

That's a fact Dorthy, we're not in Kansas anymore!

A very small part of our navigation task at hand

We had rested and could now contemplate the journey.  Tres was even feeling better see:

In the middle making cross-eyed faces

Ready to take on the urban scene

 ….and I’m two seconds from hurling this computer to its death.  So with that uplifting outburst I’m going to complete my photo transferring torture at hand.

More NYC photos, stories and adventures to come your way soon IF my computer survives another day.

On the road again…who knew.

Unlike the song, I CAN wait to get on the road again.  Usually I am Mrs. Travel Pants Pavlov but not this time.  We are embarking on a road trip to New York, New York to visit my handsome, SINGLE brother-in-law (Ahem, all the single ladies…)  Check out my post We Thought We Were Good for a video of Mr. GQ. Sorry my dear brother-in-law but payback is in order!

The preparation has been insane and stressful.  Anything that could go wrong has.  Dogs: our pro-table surfer, food consumed Lab, devoured an entire package of buns and developed itchy earitis due to the yeast content.

Kids: our youngest son, Tres cozied up to a female classmate (Darn, his sister for creating that ‘Hot Mess’ wristband – see Twitter status on right).  Who knew she had Strep?!?  Obviously not Tres.  Now, the biggest germ-a-phobe of the Pavlov family has created his own Strep breeding ground.  

I breathed a sigh of relief and gave myself a pat on my muscle knotted back when I caught it five days before our departure date.  Antibiotic therapy began and everything should have been good to go.  Who knew that he would develop antibiotic induced diarrhea?!?  Yep.  It has been lovely around here (I’ll let you use your imagination to conjure up images of never-ending, foul-smelling, exploding, liquid feces).  Who knew that Yogurt products/probiotics are only minimally effective this time?  The older siblings can mimic the wide-eyed expression and butt grabbing maneuver of Tres almost perfectly.  When we witness these two things, we charge him screaming and hurling his little body in the direction of the bathroom.  Sometimes we make it but most times…NOT. 

Packing: our suitcases are too small.  Who knew they would shrink since we used them last? I suck at packing.  I can never seem to make it work.  Then there are people like Mr. Pavlov and my Grandma who simply breath on the items and they fall perfectly into place with plenty of room to spare.

We are leaving disgustingly early tomorrow and I still have a horde of things to do.  My mind is mushier than it’s baseline mushiness.  I thought I would zip off a post because I don’t think I will be posting for a few days.  The thought of posting on my smart phone is not appealing.  The buttons are too small even for my petite fingers and the screen makes me dizzy.  In addition, we will be on a bus (for a LONG time) and smart phone posting combined with the movement = projectile vomit. 

I’m somewhat twitchy about this bus ride.  The last time I was on a bus was in the Philippines.  It was 100 + degrees with 150% humidity. The air condition was broken and the windows were sealed shut. As if that wasn’t hellatious enough, a small child seated in the aisle across from me, decided to vomit….repeatedly…the entire trip.  Who knew the smell of vomit would hang in the hot, humid air and persistently cling to my nostrils long after the ride was over.

Why are my bus rides filled with erupting bodily fluids?  I will likely have diarrhea toosh duty (Oh dear God, I hope they have bathrooms on the bus!) so if you happen to think you are having a bad day remember me and I bet your day suddenly becomes brighter!

I’m sure it will be fine once we begin our journey.  I’m sure it will….I’m sure it will…I’m sure it will.  Tell me it will!  If not, I can always pop some of my conveniently packed Tylenol (PM).  Because Who knew they’d put you to sleep? 

And above all, I’m sure I will have much to write about.  This, I knew!