Adventure 9 // NYC (with kids)
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Length of stay: Six Nights
Accommodations: Apartment downtown in SoHo
Travel Time: via drive from Richmond, Va 5 hr 24 min (via Boca Raton, FL 12 hr 41 min)
Goal: Get that Christmas Feeling!
Family Friendly: ★★★★
When you live in South Florida you lack on crucial element when it comes to feelings the holiday Spirit - a flux in temperature. It feels like summer Every. Damn. Day. It’s so hard to sip on hot coco and listen to jingle bells and “feel it” when you are wearing flip flops and watching palm tree’s sway. In an effort to buy less “things” we asked Atlas what he wanted to “do” for Christmas, and his simple request was to see the Firehouse from the Ghostbusters movie. The real one.
Easy enough. We planned a road trip with a stop in Richmond, so Atlas could connect with a friend from preschool that moved, then off to New York to spend time with friend, eat well, and complete the Ghostbusters Landmark Map we created for him. We planned this trip to get all those Christmas feelings activated and then spend actual Christmas back in Florida with my dad. As most of you, who have been following along, know by now this trip was cut short because my dad unexceptionally wound up in the hospital and we dropped everything to get back as quickly as possible. He passed about two weeks later. Writing this post has been wildly delayed because it obviously wasn’t priority, but also it took a moment to not break down crying every time I looked at a photo from what was supposed to be a magical trip for Atlas.
Negative stuff aside, it was a fantastic trip. Joey and I had gone up to New York in October for an adults only week, so we were feeling extra excited about sharing the fun stuff we noted along the way to do as a family. We did make it to a handful of fantastic new-to-us gems, and The Color Factory was probably my favorite day. It was such a nice, calm, interesting afternoon. It’s a little bit like Willy Wonka-mystery-what’s-next feeling mixed with snacks, and fun photo ops everywhere.
We brought Atlas to a new-to-us place we found during our October trip, Jajaja. It’s so good! I highly recommend it. It’s all vegan. It’s all Mexican. There is usually a wait, but we got there early and scored the same table we got the last time we were there. This time we ordered from the brunch menu, and it was just as good as the regular one.
We spent a lot of time in the apartment just hanging out with friends. Atlas picked out a new New York themes Lego firehouse he was eager to put together and we did a lot of school work to make sure he didn’t fall behind during our extended holiday break. This was fine by us because we ordered ramen from this amazing pop up (Ramen Hood - it closes in May I believe!) and just hung out and enjoyed the calm. The apartment we stayed in was lovely and spacious and made it easy to snap back into New York living.
For one of the days we headed over to our old neighborhood in Brooklyn to explore all the “progress” they have been making. It’s crazy how different it is from when I first moved to Greenpoint. One of the biggest changes was the only Domino Sugar plant now has this fantastic park for kids which overlooks the city. It’s super impressive. It was a bit dreary when we went, and had to Uber away just in time to not get caught in the rain, but I suspect we could have spent a whole afternoon there with a picnic.
Being vegan is just so easy in New York. At any hour something is available from when you wake to when you go to sleep and “something” is usually excellent. Below we listed our faves from this trip, which are more focused on kid-friendly fare.
We let Atlas have a cheat week and eat non-gluten free bits here and there. He just couldn’t resist all the pizza. Next long trip we take with him to New York we plan to do a “Home Alone 2” map, hang out at the Plaza (he keeps asking!), share the seagrass carousel, and check out the Children’s Museum. We also want to see The Manhattan Color Walk. ‘Tip next time, safe travels!
Our Favorite Vegan Spots (in order of deliciousness)
Jajaja Plantas Mexicana (bad coffee, amazing food, open super late!)
Screamers Pizza (Brooklyn)
Atlas Cafe (vegan options)
Champs Diner ( Brooklyn)
Odd Fellow (oat milk latte!)
Little Cupcake Bakeshop (vegan options)
Where we Explored