This isn’t the first time we’ve taken Eleanor to NYC (city girl!). But it is the first time we’ve taken both Eleanor and Sprout for a weekend NYC trip.
Getting to NYC
To drive from Boston to NYC typically takes about 4 hours with one quick stop. We left Friday in the late morning (around 11am) and it took us a full 6.5 hours to get there. SUCH a long time in the car when you have three adults (my mom came too!), a dog, and a baby. But both Eleanor and Sprout were super well-behaved, especially considering how long the drive was. We did stop twice, and we hit some pretty major traffic. (The ride back on Sunday was considerably shorter at 5 hours long, though I would have preferred another hour cut off of that!)
When I’ve traveled to NYC alone, I’ve flown or taken the train – but obviously with three adults plus Eleanor and Sprout, that wasn’t the best option.
What we did
Whenever we are in NYC, it’s usually half spent visiting my sister and her husband and half spent doing something touristy. (On previous trips we’ve gone to the Empire State Building, to see The Book of Mormon or the Rockettes, and ice skated in Rockefeller Center.) This trip involved going to see Saturday Night Live in person for the first time – something that has been on T’s “must do” list. I was 100% on board to go, too, since we watch SNL pretty much every week! (Though these days we watch it on Sunday mornings on the DVR…)
We took a tour of the SNL studio a few years ago, so we knew how small the studio actually is in person. But when you’re sitting there watching a live broadcast – it’s pretty incredible! The SNL team seems to have everything down to a science, from moving green screens to bringing out a different set to switching among the many cameras. The cast comes on, does their thing, and leaves to change. I have a newfound appreciation for the cast, crew, and everyone who makes SNL happen on a weekly basis!
Before going to the show, though, we had a full day of hanging out on a gorgeous day. I got up early (before Eleanor!) and took Sprout for a walk with my sister and her two dogs, which was such a nice way to start the day. Sprout wanted to know why he couldn’t go into Starbucks…
Once we got back and got everyone ready for the day (which takes much more time these days than it used to), we headed out to enjoy the weather. We were staying in the Financial District, so we took our time walking over to Battery Park where we snapped some photos in front of Lady Liberty.
I also experienced my first glass of frose! When it was a huge hit last summer, I was super pregnant. It was SO good, and I loved the little rose straw they included! This was at P.J. Clarke’s on the Water.
Where we stayed for our NYC Weekend
We decided to stay at the Andaz Wall Street on this trip. I love the Financial District (FiDi) on the weekends because it’s so much less crowded than most other parts of NYC. You won’t ever find me staying near Times Square. I feel like if you really want to be in the hustle and bustle, you can take a short cab ride there – and then return to the weekend quiet of lower Manhattan.
I had asked for a crib ahead of time, and the Andaz put the cutest little crib in our room. It was put perfectly out of the way but also in a convenient spot, which I appreciated. We always travel with our own crib sheets, so I put that on for E and she had a cozy spot for the weekend.
The room we got was much bigger than any hotel room I’ve ever had in NYC – we even had a little table where we could eat take out when Eleanor fell asleep early! Traveling with an infant can be tough sometimes, especially when they are DONE and you have to get back to the hotel and let them sleep. But having an actual place to eat food was really nice. In the past, we’ve just sat on the bed or in the armchairs provided to eat takeout. In a small hotel room, though, you’re hovering over your child’s pack n play and trying not to drop food on them (hah)… but that wasn’t the case here!
The Andaz Wall Street is pet-friendly, too, which meant that Sprout could stay with us (rather than go stay in my sister’s apartment for the time we were there). He is pretty attached to me, so he likes being able to see me at all times.
(A note on traveling to pet-friendly hotels: We never leave him alone in the room because we know that he would bark. On this trip my mom was with us in the room next door, so when we went out for the night, she was in our room with Sprout and E. Once we stayed in a pet-friendly hotel where our neighbor’s dog barked for 2 hours straight while they were out to dinner, and a) it woke E up and b) the front desk told us there was nothing they could do. Don’t be that person.)
This hotel had amenities you rarely find in a big city like NYC: a free minibar (everything except for the alcohol, which included waters, soda, juice); and cookies, wine, and breakfast items in the lobby for patrons at various times of the day. But my favorite part of the hotel lobby was the staff. Seriously everyone seemed like they were just having an amazing day, no matter what was going on. (I’ve been to NYC enough times to know that people in the city can get surly sometimes. I have decided that, based on how happy everyone seemed, if I ever go into the hospitality industry, I will request to work at the Andaz Wall Street.)
I always enjoy a trip to NYC – can’t wait until next time!