Memorial Day Weekend

Jeff has been busy at work, so a four day weekend was very welcome. Julian had school on Friday, but we took Arthur for a long bike ride on his red cruiser to Brooklyn Bridge Park and enjoyed the good weather.

The other day I took both boys and promised them a lemonade at the little beer/hot dog place at Pier 1.

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The closest thing to a lemonade was a Mexican Orange Crush – and oh wow, did I create a monster. This was the first soda the kids have ever tasted, and their minds were blown. Naturally, Arthur was begging for more when we were down there again on Friday.

We obliged, along with some hot dogs. Arthur experienced an Orange Crush sugar high – it was pretty funny.

I had friends in town visiting from Germany. Andy is one of my oldest friends in life and one of the few people I still connect with from my high school days. He and his wife Alex met us in Dumbo, and we strolled around. Arthur got to ride the carousel, and we all had whoopie pies from One Girl.

On Saturday, we met Andy and Alex for a day of bike riding in Brooklyn. We had a picnic in Prospect Park, played soccer and baseball and just hung out. It was so fun. The boys loved every minute of all the attention they were getting.

It was so lovely to have one of my best friends here and to see him play with my kids and get to know them. It was really special.

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Despite a flat tire, we found our way to Brooklyn Crab for beers, crab legs, and ice cream.

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Our friends gave the boys some new Legos. Have I mentioned that they are Star Wars and Lego obsessed? I probably have.

On Sunday we tried (again) to check out the big boats for Fleet Week in Red Hook, but the lines were ridiculously long. So we had brunch at one of our favorite spots, Alma, instead.

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We rode around Red Hook, explored, played, ate cookies.

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Sunday night I met Andy for dinner in the West Village. Dinner turned into many drinks, and somehow we stayed out until 3am. Which is so fun because I got to spend such a good chunk of time with my old friend and very not fun because I was obviously dead the next day.

We spent Monday being lazy at home. Julian was bummed that he didn’t have science that day (because no school), so we made a volcano and cleaned some pennies with vinegar. Success.

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Later that night we met some of our friends at Dinosaur BBQ. We ate pounds of meat, and a good time was had by all. Especially by these little firecrackers.

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P.S. Memorial Day 2014, 2015, and 2016.

Memorial Day Weekend

I would love to write a glowing review of our Memorial Weekend, but in truth the start of it – Friday – also happened to be the highlight. We rode our bikes over the Brooklyn Bridge and then took the Staten Island Ferry to, you guessed it, Staten Island.

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We spent a lovely day in Staten Island at Snug Harbor and in the Children’s Museum.

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Hey look! It’s Julian in a maze.

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The museum was fun, and we could have probably stayed there all day.

But in reality, who wants to do that. We had more important things to do, also known as eating German food at a German restaurant. Arthur was way into it.

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The ride home was beautiful.

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The next day we left for New Jersey to celebrate the cousins’ birthdays, and that was also lovely. Mostly because the kids had so much fun. There were water balloons and slides, and lots and lots of toys and kids to play with.

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Driving sucked. We all hate being in a car. On the ride there, after 10 minutes, Arthur proclaimed he was tired of sitting.

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Bedtime in New Jersey was interesting, because one 3 year old, two 5 year olds, and one 7 year old wanted to have a sleepover. I think they had fun? But oh man, all the adults were ready for them to be quiet. At, you know, 10:45pm. Note: both of the boys’ cousins are wearing noise-cancelling headphones. Because Julian and Arthur are just that pleasant to have around at bedtime.

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Once we returned to Brooklyn, we all took naps. Then we went to our happy place, Brooklyn Crab.

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Afterwards, ice cream.

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Then today, the last day of the long weekend, was the low point. We decided to ride our bikes to Sunset Park to play, have a picnic, and listen to a free concert at Greenwood Cemetery.

Look! Isn’t this lovely? The view! The happy, eating children!

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In reality, I was hit in the face by a lightsaber more than once, and my children were pretty much deaf to just about anything I said to them. Also, the playground we had planned on playing on had been demolished since the last time we were there two years ago.

Then, at the concert, the children were horrible. No one listened (to the music or us). Julian kept harassing his brother. Arthur kept walking all over us, literally. When I wanted to take Arthur to the bathroom, he fell down a couple of stairs, and as I hugged him to comfort him, he bit me in the shoulder with full force. I cried from the shock, the pain, the defeat. When we returned from the restroom, Jeff was rushing towards us with a screaming Julian, two backpacks, and a picnic blanket that was folded in a huge hurry. He said, “We’re leaving.” It’s only funny, because while I was away with Arthur I had come to the same conclusion.

A lady paused to comment on my husband and screaming son that she was sure he was going to grow up “to be a fine young man” – and it was just the thing to push me over the edge. Thanks, lady. Be careful or I will drop both children off at your doorstep and they can bite your shoulder and be a pest all they want. You’re welcome.

We rode home bitter and silent. The children had many, if not all, privileges removed. We fed them leftovers, are planning on an early bedtime, and look forward to eating take-out and watching Game of Thrones. The good thing about all this? We have each other.

P.S. Memorial day last year and the year before.

Coney Island on Memorial Day

We had considered going to Governor’s Island with some friends of ours for Memorial Day, but changed our minds after hearing about the long lines getting on the ferry the day prior. Turns out Memorial Day is crazy everywhere! So we decided to go to the place where crowds are welcomed and expected: Coney Island.

I loved seeing everyone setting up for picnics and barbecues in Prospect Park in the morning as we were riding our bikes through the park and towards the ocean. We met our friends on the beach and let the kids play on the beach playground for a while before our picnic. And then we headed towards the water.

The boys ran in and out and screamed with pure delight. The water was cold! It was windy! They couldn’t have cared less. They laughed and ran and laughed some more…

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…until I bought them Italian ices, after which they promptly fell asleep.

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Arthur’s lips are still bright red from eating ice and cherries…IMG_0955

Here is our little group. All the kids were sleeping (Julian is under the towel). They slept for close to two hours. I took a little nap as well. It became increasingly windy as we were sitting there, and in the end we actually woke the boys up so we could finally do something other than sit in the wind with our sleeping children.

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So we ate some funnel cake.

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Even though the boys were heartbroken, we decided to skip waiting in line for the rides for all eternity. The crowds were insane. Instead we took our time riding home.

At night, as we were riding past Prospect Park again, the air was filled with smoke and smell of hamburgers and hot dogs. So naturally, we had hamburgers for dinner.

Memorial Day in Central Park

During the week I have the boys nap at home and stick to our routine pretty religiously. Mostly because that way I can get a break. But on the weekends anything goes.

We spent Memorial Day in Central Park. It was a perfect, warm, sunny day. After Arthur’s morning nap we rode our bikes over the glorious Brooklyn Bridge, over to the Westside Highway, uptown along the Hudson River, crosstown, up to the park on 8th Avenue, and into the park.

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We took the boys to a playground we hadn’t been to before, Billy Johnson playground. It had a super long slide that Julian was totally brave enough to go down by himself. Seriously, being 3 means being brave.

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Then we had a picnic. That’s always the highlight with everyone in our family. Food is kind of a big deal around here. Both Julian and Arthur will drop about anything for a sandwich and some fruit. Also, cheese. Cheese is huge. Anyway. Ice cream was next, and then everyone was sufficiently tired.

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So we rode around and around until our legs were like pudding the boys fell asleep. And then we pulled over, leaned Julian’s head against a pole and strapped Arthur’s helmet back with a bungee cord. What? Everyone’s kids nap like that, no?

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Jeff and I laid on the blanket, and for a brief moment in time it was as if we were out and about on our own. It was nice. Except then people walking by stopped and stared at our propped up children, commented, called friends on the phone, or tried to make conversation. So yeah. Nothing to see here, people. Keep it moving.

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After nap, more food! Then a quick ride over to the Great Lawn – and…more food! We needed coffee. Also, Belgian waffles. Then we found Uncle Brian with his wife and her parents.

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Uncle Brian is pretty much solid gold. Julian could not possibly adore him any more. That kid loooooves his uncle. So we crashed their picnic and then took a brief stroll over to Belvedere “Castle.” I’m just gonna use the word “castle” loosely here. Because technically it looks like a castle, except it was built in the late 19th century. So pretty much yesterday. Either way, Julian was impressed.

And then we picked our shaky legs off the floor and rode our bikes home. But rather than brave the Brooklyn Bridge again with the crazy tourists and pedestrians that don’t understand the concept of a bike lane, we cheated and took the East River Ferry across the river. The boys were thrilled. Two minutes on a boat!

We ended our night at the Italian restaurant two doors down from our apartment. Because what’s better than to celebrate Memorial Day with some rigatoni. The boys ate ridiculous amounts of pasta, because yay! More food. And beer. But not for the boys.

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We were happy. And so so tired. And then we looked up how many miles we rode, and the answer is 20. Might have been a family record!