It's good to be spontaneous in this life. And I, after two bottles of Echo Falls, can be the most spontaneous individual that ever walked the planet.
Back in August, after consuming copious amounts of the budget beverage, I became overwhelmed with love for my kids and decided to whip out the credit card and book a trip to New York for Christmas time.
Two young kids. Christmas time. Central New York.
What could be easier right?...
Here's what really went down:
THERE'S A BOMB!:
Taking babies on a long haul flight can be daunting. Will they scream for 8 hours straight? And toddlers? Will they refuse to sit down and climb the cabin walls whilst screaming for the duration?
But taking a extremely anxious 8 year old boy, with an expert knowledge of world events, and who has still failed to grasp the concept of the 'indoor voice' can be the most disturbing of all....for everyone on board the flight.
' Mummy!!!! Will this plane CRASH!!??'
'What if it crashes RIGHT NOW??'
'Is there a BOMB ON BOARD??'
'Is there a terrorism? Is he here? Are we going to EXPLODE??? WILL WE DIE???'
Yes, all things that should be kept in one's mind- or whispered gently into the ear of a parent and NOT bellowed out with his own inbuilt mega-phone were yelled!
TOP TIP: If boarding a long haul flight with a child like this, make sure you have a bag full of silencers. Strawberry flavour worked well and Lemon and Lime came a close second. This will stop the other passengers from throwing themselves out of the aircraft before it blows.
The sugar overload will kick in after you have landed and you can deal with that with a pint of gin in hand.
PRESSING THE BUTTON:
New York is famous for its skyscrapers....and with many floors come many lifts and many, MANY buttons.
If your child still insists on being the person that presses the button, then this is perhaps not the city to take your kids to.
Behold the glorious panel of buttons at our hotel for example. Twenty three buttons, all desperate to be pressed by my kids.
And press them they sure did.
Some days, it took an hour to leave the hotel and I grew to enjoy watching the array of numbered buttons light up like a Christmas tree.
Indeed, I spent more time staring at this light display than I did at the giant tree at the Rockefeller Centre.
NB. Apologies to the pensioner in the lift in Macy's who had her head chewed off after pressing the third floor button. I know it was your turn, your right as a human being, but sadly my kids didn't agree.
The great thing about New York is that there's always an opportunity to redeem yourself and beg for forgiveness for your wicked button-pressing ways.
Hopefully, if you use a permanent marker such a Sharpie, you'll show Santa that you really, really mean it and you can in fact be nice.
It's there in permanent ink so it has to be true.
As it happened, Santa took time out of his busy schedule and dropped in on his way back to the North Pole to the third floor of Macy's where my boys were able to convince them of their sweetness in person.
I'm only sorry that my youngest failed to hold in his pungent guffs on this occasion....but I guess Santa can handle such ungodly stenches given that he has a splendid, thick tash protecting his nostrils.
Considering what he does for a living, it's no wonder the guy has never shaved.
Whilst in New York, one must absolutely empty their bank accounts and buy tickets to a Broadway musical. It's a once in a lifetime, magical thing to do that your kids will never ever forget!
So, we coughed up hundreds of dollars to see this:
And we enjoyed the thrilling, eye-catching performance.
Well, most of us did anyway......
Money well spent no? This kid owes me $90 and I intend on getting it back the moment he is in full time employment in 13 years time.
The main draw of going to America is to chow down on the amazing food!! Indeed, they serve up the most delicious treats that you could possibly imagine!
Breakfast in particular is how the Americans really shine!
However, during our first experience at an American diner, I made the gross mistake of playing 'Guess the Jelly Bean Flavour' as a way of occupying my kids whilst their food was being prepared.
Sadly, our 5 year old wasn't a big fan of the buttered popcorn flavoured bean and he puked it up....along with the blueberry flavour, the cherry, the candy floss and the satsuma flavour.....
....a full explosion of sticky rainbow vomit all over the floor and all in my hands after I tried and failed to catch the colourful load.
NB. Apologies to the couple who sat opposite us having a romantic blueberry stack with their legs entwined.
I'm guessing that they'll be using two condoms at a time from now on.
SIGHTSEEING FOR ASSHOLES:
In this life, there is always an asshole who thinks it's a good idea to shell out $120 to sit on a topless bus in massive traffic jams at sub zero temperatures to stare at a load of skyscrapers.
We are those assholes....a pack of assholes if you will.
When it gets to the point that your fingers have frozen into one solid clump like Barbie's hand and you are no longer able to speak English because your mouth is frozen shut, you'll realise that you are a stupid asshole and you will dismount the bus, bin your overpriced tickets and board the FREE Staten Island Ferry where you can see the major sights whilst standing next to a radiator.
MEETING THE STARS
New York is home to some of the most famous stars in the world and if you're lucky, you may just get a chance to meet them!
We had this pleasure and met two wildly intimidating Stormtroopers in the middle of Times Square.
I was surprised, however, to hear the high pitched squeakiness of their voices when they leant over and demanded that I emptied my wallet after I took a photo of them.
It was an intergalactic mugging of sorts. I would have called NYPD....but what good would their handcuffs be when confronting bad asses with lightsabers? It was a war they could never have won.
APPRECIATING THE ART
New York is full of amazing art and sculptures to enjoy and it's a great place to introduce young kids to the art world in America.
Of course, if your kid is the sort of kid who likes to fondle the sculptures, then perhaps you best avoid taking them to such places.
Truthfully, I was just happy that his hands weren't down his own pants for a change and I found it refreshing to see him tug on someone else's scrotum and give his own a well-needed break.
And finally, it is essential that you take some great photos for your kids to look back on in years to come. Memories must be catalogued so they will never be forgotten.
However, if it's fecking freezing and you're stood in Central Park and your kids are nagging you senseless to go indoors into the warmth, pose infront of a snowman that someone else has built and pass it off as your own.
Then, you have a cracking photo for your album and you can get the Hell out of the freezing conditions and into the nearest bar where you can warm up with 5 pints of lager whilst your kids stare at their iPad screens.
And I'll finish with this. It seems THIS is worth staying awake for:
Bye, bye Broadway....hello Butt cheeks!!