Are we insane?

Okay, I’ll give you that one.  Yes Mr.Tot and I are insane.  We know it, we admit it, we embrace it.


I notice that in my head, I start every blog with “So”, or “Okay”….  I usually try to stifle that inclination, but sometimes I fail….   So, a few weeks ago, we drove almost 800 miles each way up to Cape Cod by way of Philadelphia and New York City.  To be honest, the thought of a driving vacation with 5 days on the road with 3 kids, including 2yo Tot and Piano Man, (about a 1yo in an 11yo handicapped body), did not fill me with joy.  And then we were to stay 4 days in a 2-bdrm cottage with 11 people.  Hmmm…  Especially when Mr.Tot talked up Philadelphia in such a “flattering” way (not!).  And my own memories of New York were, mmm, not so flattering either, but then I’m not a city girl.  Give me space and greenery.  In any event, the drive was too long to subject Piano Man to, let alone the rest of us. (Yes, my parents do it in one day, but we’ve already established that they’re of that hardy farmer stock that can do anything they put their minds to…. it gets diluted with each passing generation, I fear.)  In any case, we were trying to get a little sightseeing and “learning” in along the way.  

When I down-selected from the 1500+ pictures that we (Blondie) took, I still had 64, and that seemed a bit much for one blog entry.   I down-selected again to 22 and decided to split this into 2 parts….  The driving portion and the staying portion.


WayBackseatdriverWe fit into the minivan without any external luggage containers – woo hoo!!!!  Of course, Blondie was in a bit of a cave back in his seat.  Lest ye underestimate the miracle of this, it did require a Phd in packing as we had 5 people – 2 in car seats, 1 wheelchair, 1 pack n’play, 1 stroller, a full size cooler, several crates of snacks (survivalist in me!), foam mattress topper & bed rails, a couple cases of Piano Man’s liquid food, diapers for 2, winter clothing for the cold, wet sub-zero temperatures of Cape Cod, beach towels for all, entertainment, and of course clothing, ….and,… and a partridge in a pear tree or at least a lamp that we were bringing to my parents that we almost forgot and had to go back and get.  We feared we would never escape our home base, it seemed to be a black hole sucking us back in.  But finally we were on the road, with great intrepidation….


And low and behold, things went well….  Piano Man loved, I mean LOVED being on the road.  Being stopped in traffic, not so much, but fortunately we didn’t hit much traffic, or maybe I slept through it.  I suspect Mr.Tot will comment that we sat for hours in some seemingly Tot-designed 62 mile line of cars…  


I planned, of course, to write brilliant blog entries on my laptop (Ha!) or get my life organized, (Ha HA HA!!) also on my laptop while on the road….  WRONG.   Tot usurped my laptop fairly quickly, with my blessing since my stockpile of $3 Dora, Clifford and Miss Spider videos kept her smiling.  The huge headphones on her itty-bitty head kept Mr.Tot and I smiling peeking back at her, and Piano Man totally loved the in-fllght entertainment.  I resorted to reading Mr.Tot’s library books, and catering to Miss Tot’s every need – mostly keeping those headphones on, until she decided Kitty needed them instead.  That green thing in the foreground is my laptop…




Highlights and lowlights from the trapped-in-a-moving-box portion of our trip….


“Not now Lambert, I’m busy Lambert….”  says Tot to her stuffed lamb

“I’m pooping in the Tunnel, pooping in the tunnel…. ” (no, she wasn’t – but it became her theme song anyway)

Napus Interruptus – half hour of bloody murder screamfest when Mr.Tot had to hit the brakes – guess who?



Thoughts on Philly:  remarkably nice, lots and lots of interesting little parks, lots and lots of pennies in their Mint, lots of horse & buggies, and a lot more fun than I thought.   This picture shows one of those cool parks that had lots of funky super sized game pieces.  Here Blondie and Tot are holding up a domino.



This is the New York I have in my mind – the total mob of people that makes me claustrophobic just to look at, let alone fight the tide in person.  This was the corridor down the edge of Ground Zero which is getting rebuilt, but was hard to see, and really hard to imagine the original buildings there if you never saw it in person, which I didn’t.  But the TV reports still make me feel all creepy.  And a friend of my parents was killed in the fallout.  Just hard to imagine. 


We were Law & Order addicts for so long, this picture was a requirement…  Mr.Tot as Jack McCoy, NY D.A. – yes that dark little figure at the top of the steps.


New York City:  We stayed right by the river a block from ground zero.   Wandered around, walked out on the Brooklyn bridge, had dinner in Chinatown, walked along the Hudson all the way to Battery Park to catch the ferry for Ellie Island.  The walk along the river is gorgeous.

Things we learned:

– that New York city can be beautiful even if you’re not a city person.

– that the Irish potato famine park is pretty darn cool

– that the kid park on the Hudson rocks – good luck trying to escape without a few screams from your 2yo


At Ellis island – we’ve been speaking German, every time we say “ouch”, and the origins of lots of other words that I totally forgot 30 seconds later.

– costs $52 to park for 2 hours near Central Park

– just how far I will run to get the stroller when Tot falls asleep



My lack of self-restraint leads to Ain’t no Turkey-Bacon all-you-can-eat-Bacon flu (so to speak) but on the bright side, everybody says I look so thin now…  (at least until I hit the cookie dough…)


Tot had 2 speeds: Run, run, RUN seemed to be the theme, often in the wrong direction, either that or very very slow – which led to a LOT of shoulder rides.  A LOT…  on my shoulders as well as Mr.Tot’s, because the other person had to push Piano Man.  It was a workout either way.





Tot learns to hail a cab.  She’s a REAL New Yawker…




Tot learns to evade the police.  Hey wait a sec, what has she done?  Okay maybe she’s running from a mugger…  or after a mugger.  Yeah, that’s it.  Take him down, Tot!  Tot had a blast in the hotels with Blondie – so many hallways, elevators, and escalators to explore and so little time.  And going round and round and ROUND  in the revolving door until she nearly got crunched >>  heart failure for everyone!!

NYWoodyAnd Piano Man got to combine his two loves – water and motion – He LOVED the ferry.  Now if they could have just dangled him behind it in the water, he would have been in heaven.




The trip home – jumping ahead (past the next post in some time warped blog)

– Got the best piece of news possible from my friend in Maryland who has 4 boys – having one kid is harder than having 4…  This means I’m not as much of a wuss as I thought.  At least, I want to believe her….  


– We discovered the Ark, yes, Noah’s Ark on our way home.  It’s in Mystic, Connecticut…. Who knew?

– Survived the entire trip without entering any actual museums!!  Bonus. 



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