I had a chance to visit the East Coast over the Thanksgiving Holiday. My cousin was getting married on Saturday and my Uncle was hosting Thanksgiving dinner, so we decided to venture out to the crowded airports.
Our kids are now 5 and 3 years old and they travel quite well. After going to India, a 4 hour plane ride is painless. Gone are the days or crayons and puzzles. My kids enjoy in flight entertainment via Apple Corporation.
The first segment of our trip was NYC. We did not notice much of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. We were able to explore the city from our hotel room in Times Square quite easily. We took in the Empire State Building and the Staten Island Ferry to get a view of the Statue of Liberty. While the weather was pleasant, we did not take advantage of a bus or boat tour. We were also fortunate to see the Macy’s Parade. I am not much of a parade fan, but when the hotel is only one avenue over from the path, it is hard to miss.
The second segment of the trip was family time. We were able to visit my wife’s cousins in New Jersey and then make our way to Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving. The drive was pleasant thanks to the weather and a Jeep Cherokee rental SUV that my wife was able to manage.
The final segment of the trip was the wedding. It was a lavish affair held at The Fountainhead in New Rochelle. This was a great opportunity to see extended family, some of whom I have not seen in 20 years. In the era of social networking it is much easier to connect with people, but it is still fun to see people live. I had not seen the groom since my wedding in 2005.
Our flights were all on time on the way home. Again the girls traveled well, but I was exhausted after being out of my routine. I was able to get on the treadmill twice during our vacation, but my sleep and diet were haphazard at best. I did make a point of copious fluid consumption so I did not have any gout issues that I often do when traveling.
My travel accessories investments continue to pay off. I love the packing cubes and travel vest. I was able to read a good book during the flights and at the various hotels thanks to the Kindle. I also took advantage of my pill box and travel alarm clock. Not having to learn new clocks is great, even when I didn’t have an alarm set. The pill box conveniently stashes a few band-aids which unfortunately came in handy in the city. For this trip I bought a shoe bag which was kind of nice. I also learned a new trick for packing a suit by folding it and placing it in a zip lock bag with some air left in it. This packing method worked out great and is much more convenient than a garment bag.
For the future, I am considering packing with a messenger bag rather than a backpack. I think the messenger bag will be more convenient in the plane and the airport. While it would be less convenient on the go in the city, that is a small trade-off. I am also going to start packing some Tupperware. This may seem silly, but we usually stay at hotels with free breakfast and other treats that the girls are not always awake for.