Thursday, October 15, 2015

NYC Trip Report Part 1: Intro and Getting There

NYC Trip Report:

Music Video
Hotel Review
Amex Centurion Lounge Review

Part 1: Intro and Getting There

Our whirlwind 3-night trip to New York City was conceived just five months ago in May. I am a long-term planner by nature, so this was really a last-minute trip in comparison.

We flew on Southwest Airlines using miles for three of us. Brian and I each have a Southwest companion pass right now, so two of our kids did not require miles or cash. We spent 45,090 miles for the round-trip flights and paid $56 in taxes. As a comparison, the trip would have cost us 125,000 American Airlines miles. We used a total of 36,000 Hyatt points for 3 nights. The cash price of our Southwest flights plus Hyatt hotel would have been $1934.56.

Overall, our trip was a success. And I base that on the fact that nobody got sick or lost. The weather was clear and gorgeous, as it was sunny and in the 60s in the afternoons. We did have a major bathroom emergency and some transportation hiccups which made us all a little testy, but hopefully we can look back on those someday and laugh.

One thing that really stood out to me is this: There must be hardly any kids that visit Manhattan, and we really attracted attention with three kids. An Asian tourist took a photo of our kids. It was just weird to have our kids be practically the only kids everywhere we went. And we were there on a weekend (for many a 3-day weekend with Columbus Day) when a lot of schools have Fall break. Brian and I noticed the lack of kids when we were there last year, but we figured it was because school had just started the week before. On all of our subway trips, we only saw one other kid (a baby). In Toys 'R Us and the Disney store in Times Square, it was mostly adults looking around. Out of all the places we went, the Intrepid Air and Space Museum had the most kids, but even then they were few and far between. It was just so different than the places we frequent locally and on other trips that are packed with kids.

Friday, October 9, 2015:

We picked up our older kids from school and immediately headed to Dallas Love Field airport. We had enough time after security to eat an early dinner at Chick Fil A and play at the airport play center:

We are trying to teach our kids how to navigate airports, so we made our oldest son tell us where we should go:

Our kids were so excited for this trip!

The excitement dwindled as delays started to be announced. First a 10-minute delay, then an hour.

Apparently New York City had some thunderstorms earlier in the afternoon, and the flights coming into LGA were backed up. We were told not to leave the gate area in case the flight was cleared to leave sooner. We usually have a rule that our kids can't open up their backpacks until we are on the plane, but we had to bend the rule in this circumstance. Our flight left ~90 minutes late.

Airplane selfies:

(Note: We always separate our two boys into separate rows. It's so much more peaceful that way.)

We had a gorgeous view of the sunset after take-off.

My daughter slept for the last hour of the flight. Yay!

When we were close to landing, we had a great view of Manhattan (but it was hard to capture with a photo since it was so dark). Tip: When flying from Dallas to LGA, sit in the left side of the plane (as you face forward) for a great view of the city.

After we landed, we just had to claim one bag and call our hotel for pick-up.

It was almost midnight, and my youngest was so tired.

We got to bed around 12:30 a.m. (See hotel photos here). We had planned to sleep in before heading to Times Square the next morning (planned is the key word here).

Next up: Times Square and Rockefeller Center

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