Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Fly Away: NYC Part 1: Midtown Madness, Central Park, and THE BIG APPLE CIRCUS!

Part 1? Oh yes, there will be multiple parts to this vacaye report. We just returned from a relatively whirlwind, short-notice trip to the Big Apple. Daddy had to head up there for work and mom and dad have been talking about taking us for forever. You’d think for all our travels we would have visited NYC, but we hadn’t. This time, things fell into place and off we went. 

Two hours into the drive, Cam started puking. Then I started sympathy puking, fortunately daddy had pulled over at that point and whisked me out of the car. After a brief layover in New Jersey for a good car cleaning, we were back on our way and everyone's stomachs cooperated.

Now, the most difficult thing about New York for mom (besides getting two kids and a stroller through the subway turnstile by herself without any major injuries), was deciding on which things to do. Enter another unexpected surprise – daddy’s clients generously (to the max) hooked us up with ridiculously fabulous VIP tickets to …. THE CIRCUS. The Big Apple Circus. We’d never been and hadn’t planned on going. But it turned out to be one of the coolest things we’ve ever done and it relieved mom of activity decision making for at least one evening.

After a brief and harried tour through Midtown to see holiday windows and the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center (which I think mom was glad about – she didn’t really want to do all the traditional NYC holiday things, but daddy told her that for our first trip to New York, we weren’t on mommy’s “alternative city tour”), we walked on up to Central Park. Even deciding on what to do inside of Central Park proved too difficult for mom (but check out this guide), so they decided to let us run nilly willy through the park as we made our way up the west side for the circus, which is at Lincoln Center. I LOVED Central Park - I climbed "mountain" after "mountain," made daddy chase me, scarffed hot cashews, and generally ran my tail off. I didn't want to leave, but once the sun went down, it really got cold. And Cam, sans nap, was not holding up too well. 

So we headed into Columbus Circle to warm up and people watch. Keeping us out of the way of busy New Yorkers with holiday shopping agendas (and distracting me from a pretty impressive insistence on purchasing gift wrap) drove mom straight to drink. Mom and dad figured it was clearly time for the circus. Upon entering, we were informed of all the amenities a VIP circus ticket carries, but all mom and dad heard was "free beer." We were in that VIP lounge lickity split. There were also "free" hot dogs, snacks, cotton candy, and a dress up trunk full of circus garb. We had a BLAST. 

And then came the real circus. OMG. In honor of its 35th Anniversary, Big Apple Circus' current show, Legenderium!, celebrates "the intimate Big Top circus of years gone by." It only has one small ring (42 feet) and there didn't appear to be a bad seat in the house (although we sat first row center, basically in the ring, natch). It was old school and it was fabulous. I rolled out side-splitting laughter for the clowns and Cam just about passed out when "baby horsies" galloped a foot from her face. The live band kept things hopping and we sat, pretty well mesmerized, for almost two hours watching act after act. 

Mom and dad didn't think they could top that, but by far one of our other most favorite things was riding in a NYC taxi. The drivers all but ignored mom and dad, but were happy to chat with me - probably because I said things like "driver, I like your car. there's a TV - I only get a little TV at home," which is not at all true. And Cam and I insisted on standing up and holding the loop handles for the entire ride. We thought it was a riot on the way there and back (although barely made it awake back to our hotel). 

If you are in NYC before January 13th, which is when the circus moves to Georgia, we HIGHLY recommend hitting it up. If you miss it or are looking for other kid-friendly performance-type activities in December, here's what else caught our eye, which is in no way an exhaustive list: 

there, we saw it.

peek-a-boo, i'm freezing

can you spot kane?

red carpet, what what!

the great Kanezini!

shooting a bow and arrow with her feet, obvi.

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