Without a doubt, the hardest part of running The Urban Grape is the effect that it has on our home life. Specifically, the fact that we see our children so much less than we want to. It’s brutally tough to be away from them so much and even harder to explain to them the reasons why we are not home as much as we used to be. I mean, look at these little punks.
Wouldn’t you hate to get out of your sweats on a cozy Sunday and head to work?
While it’s always hard to leave them, the reward on the other side is truly worth it. TJ and I love being at the store, love our Sunday night events, love all the hard work. But sometimes you just have to get out of Dodge, and that’s what we did last weekend.
On Thursday night we piled into the car, turned up the radio and took off for New York City. Or “New Nork” as Noah called it until we corrected him, at which point he called it “Yew Nork.” We got to the city around 10:30 with the boys passed out in the back of the car. We tucked them into their big cozy bed, but not before Noah did a happy dance on top of it. He didn’t really care where we were he just knew that both of his parents were going to be completely focused on him all weekend.
After a lazy morning of tv in bed (delightful), we spent five hours at the Natural History Museum, which was the impetus for the entire trip. Noah has tired of visiting Boston’s dinosaurs and wanted to see the big boys in NYC. I can honestly say that TJ and I were completely blown away by his incredible knowledge of dinosaurs. He knew every skeleton’s name, knew their classification, knew their era and what other dinosaurs lived during that time. It looks like TJ’s encyclopedic wine brain has been passed down to Noah.
The Museum has a great new exhibit on Sauropods that the boys both really enjoyed. It has life-like models and a pretty intense paleontological dig site where kids (ahem, and their parents) can dig out dino bones using real tools.
I don’t know how they or we had the energy, but they desperately wanted to see FAO Schwartz so we spent an hour at the store before finally heading back to the hotel.
In the end, and despite putting up a noble fight, New York completely conquered Jason, who passed out on the way home. Really who can blame him, I would have given anything to have been in that stroller snoozing.
That night we drank Sidecars and Duval LeRoy’s Femme de Champagne while the boys ate fancy room service hot dogs and crispy french fries. After a quick pillow fight they passed out in bed and TJ and I were left with nothing to do but catch up on every single tv show we’ve missed this Fall. Have you been watching “Up All Night?” That show regularly makes me bend over with laughter until I am crying and can’t breathe.
The next day we spent five hours in Central Park, the highlight of which was the huge playground on the South side.
My crazy kids scootered for over an hour while TJ and I chilled in the sun and relaxed. After that we climbed virtually every rock in the park, rode the carousel, ate salty pretzels and more hot dogs, and visited the zoo. Boston needs more playgrounds like the one in Central Park – it was just incredible.
That night after more Sidecars (obsession brewing), we headed over to Landmarc in the Time Warner building. This restaurant is brilliant for many reasons, the most important of which is that is pretty much dedicates itself to families from 4-8 PM. We walked in to a bustling restaurant with loud, fun music and every table overflowing with NYC hipster children. When James Brown came on and Jason took off and started dancing in the middle of the restaurant, I didn’t have to tackle him at full speed just to avoid an incident. It was sort of status quo around there. The food was excellent, the wine selection and prices were outstanding, and the kids loved being part of a grown up night out. If you are ever looking for a nice place for a family dinner while in NYC I definitely recommend Landmarc.
The best part of all of this, though, was spending such amazing quality time with our boys and with each other. When we got back to Boston and had to leave for the Beyond Bubbie’s Kitchen event that night, there were okay with it because we had reminded them that no matter what they are the most important things in our lives. Also, they were so well behaved and really embraced discovering a new city. It makes me feel like the world is our oyster and we can now start exploring it with them, even though they are still so little.
Next up Washington DC for that city’s dinosaur exhibits – does anyone know of any other great museums for dinosaur viewing? I’d love to hear about them!
Don’t forget that tomorrow night is our Patz & Hall Chardonnay and Pinot Noir tasting (amazing wines, absolutely worth a visit) and Saturday is our Dogfish Head and Stone Brewing Company beer tasting. See you at the store!