This year we were in Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving. Catching up with cousins and family I haven't seen for years was amazing, and that is a post in itself, but today I want to start to tell you about our time in New York City. We buzzed up on Black Friday to spend some special time with my sister who lives in the Big Apple. We only had one full day and two half days, so I chose two main touristy things to do, and filled out the edges with eating lots of good food, and window shopping.
My plan was to go skating in Rockefeller Plaza but in the end we went to Bryant Park and I'm so glad we did. It was cheaper, bigger, less crowded, and had good facilities for potty breaks, refueling with snacks, and taking a little rest when needed.
Being Dutch, The Captain grew up skating on canals. Dutch canals don't freeze hard enough to skate on very often, but when they do, it can be heaps of fun (I've been told). The Captain's family spent several weeks in Switzerland each winter, with the entire extended family. When they weren't flying down the Alps, they were skating on the outdoor ice rink in town, so skating is something he really enjoyed as a kid.
I don't often get to see The Captain so entirely enjoying an activity. He is always content, but rarily gleeful, shall we say? Finch's level of delight was certainly matched by his father, who happily spun round and round the ice for hours.
Each of the kids really enjoyed skating. Small Sun threw himself into it just like he does anything requiring physical strength and agility. By the time I looked up from getting Finch's feet under him, Small Sun was attempting jumps, sharp turns, and twirls, and despite frequent falls on his bum, he enthusiastically continued in a frenzy of fun.
Sprout admired the figure skaters, and pulled my hand "let's go faster mom, faster!" She was off like a bird, eager to fly, beaming.
Finch, however, dear little Finch, took the cake. I don't know how it came into his mind, but he fancied himself an ice unicorn. "Did you know the ice unicorn is the fastest unicorn?" he inquired with his largest eyes.
My dad and The Captain took turns holding him by the back of his coat, lifting him firmly so that his skates made contact with the ice, but he couldn't fall. He pawed his little skates along the surface of the ice, skittering, prancing, dancing as fast as he could.
My dad played ice hockey growing up, and like I said, The Captain can skate, so with each of them, Finch flew across the ice faster than he could have ever gone on his own two feet. He was flapping his "wings" and singing unicorn songs, and I guess you just have to know him to know how absolutely awesome it was to watch!
We left shining with enjoyment. We shared a wonderfully fun experience, and had the bandaged elbows, blisters, and sore legs to prove it! The look on my sister's face says it all!
If you have children, or even if you don't, and a few hours to spend in Manhattan, go skating. Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park, or Central Park, get out there and enjoy it! I've come to realize tourist things are popular for a reason - they're fun! We're already planning how to get out on some ice again!