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Go east, young man

  • Tagged The travelling, The family
  • Commenters Susan Brewster, Emily

Ezra has survived his first extended vacation, and perhaps more notably, so have his parents. As easy as EZ has been so far, we really didn’t know what to expect from a week-long journey. He would turn 12 weeks old on the trip; would he choose that milestone to shuck his easygoing temperament in favor of an eight-day crying jag? Or would he prove to be the star of the party? He was, after all, the whole reason for our going. This was his d√©butante ball.

He was (mostly) a trooper. He endured his first airplane ride like it was nothing new, crying only for a little bit, and spending the rest of the time snuggled up in the Bjorn or feeding quietly. Meanwhile, Mom and Dad were able to relax in their seats, having checked the luggage for the first time in many years and gate-checked the stroller and car seat. This proved to be a brilliant move right until the moment in Boston when JetBlue announced they “didn’t have room on the plane” for our bags, and that they’d be coming over on the next flight and delivered to our door at 11:30 that night. An inauspicious start.

Fortunately, the stroller and seat made it, so we were able to kick off the trip without missing a beat. In his first few hours on the ground, Ezra got to meet Catherine, Eben, Jessica, Eva, Amanda, Mark and Jonah — and he cooed and smiled and farted a little bit for all of them. Day two saw us going to Walden Pond to take in a little nature, and by day three we were off to Taunton to see Elisa, Conal & Liam, then to Providence to finally meet Aunt Lilli and Uncle Jed. We only stayed for 20 hours or so; any longer and we would have had to break out the jaws of life to get our kid back. They were in love.

On day four we drove three and a half hours from Providence to New York. This could have been a death march: a rented car, a terrible rainstorm, a rush hour arrival, and a kid who’s never met a nap schedule he couldn’t ignore. Save for a nervous final couple miles on the emptiest of gas tanks, it worked out just fine. But that was just round one. Round two was the tricky one: getting from the Upper West Side to Brooklyn with two 25-pound backpacks, two carry-on backpacks, a stroller, a car seat and a 16-pound baby — all on the MTA. We made it, but not without suffering a parade of disparaging looks from the locals. Allow me to offer my unconditional apology: we had no idea about that rule requiring us to fold up our stroller. We apologize. We’re new here.

One flight, three hundred miles of driving, two hours of subway, all in the first four days. Now we got to put our bags down and relax — by which I mean shuttle the kid around to our favorite parts of, and favorite people¬†in, New York City:

  • Sarah, Edward, Lizzie & Nate. Our generous hosts. Lizzie & Nate made especially adorable playmates for Ezra.
  • Friday dinner with Nikki & JP and Sam & Julie, featuring near perfect pizza from Lucali’s. Ezra wasn’t on his best behavior, but he still cuted up for enough for some snuggle time with everyone.
  • Breakfast at the awesome Miriam, with Dad, Alla, Max, Lilli & Jed. A fortuitous intersection of travel plans allowed Ezra to hang out with the full east coast contingent of family.
  • Dinner with Jon, Nicole & Maggie, who drove all the way up from Jersey.
  • Picnic in Prospect Park with Asya, Malik, Sabrina & Daniel and our hosts. Sun + bagels + lox + a cluster of freakin’ adorable kids = perfect New York Sunday morning.
  • Dinner at Ino in the West Village with Matt. Another serendipitous travel crossover.
  • An insanely delicious meal at Franny’s with Josh, Jenny & (the adorable) Tess and Kathryn & Dan.
  • A quick streetside hello with Carolina.
  • A relaxing breakfast in DUMBO catching up with Uncle Zach and meeting Sayoko.
  • Two final days in Manhattan, including shopping at Uniqlo, sidewalk dosas in Washington Square Park, a quick visit to MoMA, playing tourist in Central Park, a backstage Broadway tour courtesy of Rob, and, because we want to raise the boy right, a send-off lunch at Momofuku Noodle Bar (where we ended up eating just a few feet from Frodo himself).

So, yeah, we wore the guy out. And while he was generally a fun companion, flirting with strangers on the train and putting up with our trigger-happy photography habits, he did have a few minor meltdowns that reminded us that we can’t always keep up with our normal adult-sized vacation pace.

But here’s the amazing thing: all that activity wore him out and caused him to sleep later and later each night. The final night we were there, he gave us a full eight hours. This was huge. Meanwhile, in the eight days of our trip, we saw other significant advancements: an increased willingness to grip onto toys; much greater neck control; expanded use of his nascent vocal talents; a newfound love for the taste of his fingers (but not thumb); and a steady weight gain, to the point that by the time we were on the plane ride home we were struggling to wrap those Swaddler-size diapers around him.

We’re now home, and happy to be here. It was exhausting, though completely worth it. New York has been a perennial fall destination for us. Sarah got to live there once, but not me. Every time I go I love it even more. With Ezra in the picture and so many of his fans living out there, I don’t see it going off the radar anytime soon.


Susan Brewster

Sep 18 / 08:18


Sep 20 / 11:17
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