My wife and I have been in New York City for the past several days.  Our trip came about because I was invited, by the good folks at Consumer Reports, to a meeting of medical bloggers.  I’ll write more about that in the next few days.  Suffice it to say, it was a unique, fascinating opportunity to sit around a large room and discuss the impact of the Web in general, and blogging in particular, on patients and health-care.

Well, since I was going to be in New York anyway, and since we’re dangerous, unsocialized home-schoolers, Jan and I thought, ‘why not?  Let’s make a trip of it!  It will be kind of like a field trip!’

And so it was.  We’ve seen the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  Jan and the kids went to the Museum of Natural History while I was in the meeting on Thursday.  Friday, we walked around the financial district, and though I wanted to tour the Stock Exchange, we wisely decided the the kids could care less, and just did some shopping (including a trip by Elysa and her mother to the American Girl store, that Mecca of all things little girl).  Ironically, my own cute little American Girl Elysa was pulled aside by a WNBC Cable reporter and asked to read assorted cute phrases, for use on TV.  (‘Your daughter is so cute,’ she said.  I agreed!)

Although we always enjoy New York, especially the food, we’ve been so tired at the end of our marathon days that we’ve eaten in our room, or in the hotel restaurant, each night of our trip.  No, not very adventurous.  But when your feet ache and your children can barely stand up, nothing beats carry-out Chinese or New York pizza, served piping hot in your pajamas.  Thank heavens there was a Rite-Aid in the World Financial Center, across from our hotel, so that we could buy our Coke, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Sprite and Root Beer somewhere besides the lobby, where sodas are apparently specially concocted from flecks of gold and platinum and Italian spring water…if the cost is any indication.

We have availed ourselves of the wonderful breakfast at our Embassy Suites.  The kids being with us, we took advantage of happy hour to take large containers of cheese cubes, hummus, pretzels and celery and bring the to our room along with more Coke products.

Not that we didn’t have the opportunity to imbibe.  The hotel staff gave us about 300 tickets for free alcoholic beverages, to be used at happy hour.  Apparently, when you check into a hotel with four children in tow, it is assumed you’ll need to take turns being intoxicated.

Well, we have wonderful children and we rarely drink.  So, intoxication wasn’t necessary.  However, today was our last full day and frankly, a drink might have been useful if we were so inclined.  We took our little scholars to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  What a wonderful place!  Remembering the days when they were younger, and wide-eyed at everything, we dragged all four through endless galleries of Greek and Roman statuary, Medieval Christian art, musical instruments from around the world, modern sketches and paintings, and all the rest.

Result?  While fascinated by the arms and armor (a thing which still makes me happy, too), the little angels spent most of their time saying ‘is it lunch-time, is it time to go, how much longer, how much further, I’m tired, I’m hungry…’ and leaning on our bodies until (remarkably for touchy parents like us) we were ready to run screaming into the street crying out ‘stop touching me!’

Our evening ended with a tour through FAO Schwartz.  Everyone loves it, but each of the kids is getting old enough that it holds less allure.  Sad but true.  Everyone grows older and eventually replaces their love of toys with the love of Toy$…that is, electronics and other items less cuddly than stuffed Kangaroos, and far more costly.

Tonight, Jan and I are exhausted.  The kids are quiet.  We stuffed ourselves on excellent Tex-Mex at Chevy’s, a restaurant located in our hotel lobby.  Tomorrow, we fly home to Dixie.  Back to the ‘Buckle of the Bible Belt,’ with all the attendant biscuits, gravy, sweet-tea and personal automobiles.
We’ll miss the Big Apple.  But it sure will be good to go places without hailing a taxi.

Bye Bye New York City!  We’ll see you around.  You’re the best.


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