Yesterday I drove into the city with the girls. It was supposed to be all four of us, but Stu had to stay back last minute to do some work for the project he’s on. Mom had made arrangements for everyone to meet up at Sazon, a puerto rican restaurant, since her cousin was in town. Her family is very spread out, with most living in Puerto Rico, and a lot in Michigan. And, it was really this weekend and not last weekend like I had thought. But that’s another story.
The drive in wasn’t bad at all. I was on time, give or take five minutes. The girls napped most of the way, but the minute I pulled up into a not so legal parking space, they both started crying. Dad takes Ashlin out of her seat, mom goes for Teagan. I’m a ping pong ball between them,trying to help dad get the stroller frame so Ashlin can be put down,and maybe sleep in the restaurant. And trying to ensure Teagan understands that she must always hold someone’s hand while she’s outside. Taxi cabs and New York City traffic does not stop for you, not even if you are a little, cute girl.
So I head back to park the car. I couldn’t find a spot on the road, nor could I find the parking garage that mom said gave discounts for Sazon patrons. Around the block again I go, but this time, I got stuck on a ramp that was Brooklyn Bridge only. Great. Why would I want to go to Brooklyn when I was pressed for time, and had two crying babies waiting for me? Mom reminded me as I drove off that they won’t sit the party until everyone was there. Great. More stress. Whatever. I ended up going across the bridge and then making a legal u-turn to go back to Manhattan. Got back on Reade Street and found a parking garage. Parked and dashed for the restaurant, full of apologies for making everyone wait 40 minutes for me to find a parking spot.
Teagan and Ashlin are still upset, not necessarily crying, but definitely not happy. Tears hadn’t totally dried yet. There was a firetruck that had gone by, and Teagan got very scared and was shaking, burying her head into her Aunt’s shoulder. She was very sensitive to sound after that, and the restaurant was a bit loud.
Teagan ate just about everything: Carne Frita, Camarones, Plantains, Calamari, Chicharrones de pollo, Pastales. She had some Pernil (that was as big as your head!), some churrasco, some salad and arroz con gandules. Everyone was impressed that the very English looking
baby little girl ate such ethnic food, and with gusto! She couldn’t get enough.
The food was fantastic. I’m so glad I was given so many leftovers. Stu and I will have dinner taken care of for the next three days!
Ashlin was still not doing well with all the noise, and to top it off, she was super tired. I took her downstairs (there was a tapas bar! With benches), and nursed her there. It was so wonderfully quiet down there. Ashlin went straight to it, no distractions allowed. She must have been very hungry. The walls were fantastic, all covered with interesting grafitti. I got to read while she ate.
We told the waitress that it was my mom’s cousin’s birthday, so they came to the table singing the Puerto Rican Happy Birthday song – just Happy Birthday over and over to the birthday song tune. Teagan tried to help herself to the dessert platter, but we quickly pushed it away. She did get some bread pudding (didn’t like), Flan (LOVED) and some custard thing (also liked). Renee fed her whipped cream, and Teagan loved that too.
Since I had an empty seat, I offered my sister a ride home. She and Teagan chatted the entire time. Ashlin fell asleep basically the second we got onto the Henry Hudson.
When I called Stu to let him know I was on the way, he asked if Teagan remembered to tell Aunt NayNay the “thing.” She hadn’t. Of course, Renee asked, so I prompted Teagan, who then shouted “NayNay has no knickers!” And burst into giggles. I could probably explain it, but it’s much more fun if I don’t*.
Teagan fell asleep within minutes of dropping off Renee, and slept the entire ride home. Thankfully, my sister had picked up a Diet Coke for me, so I had a bit of juice to make it all the way home.
It was a good, but very tiring, time. The food at Sazon was fantastic, though the music was a bit too loud for the little girls, and it was a bit hard to have a dinner conversation over, though we still had lots of fun!
* Teagan was helping with laundry one afternoon. She would hand everything to me and I would fold it. Later, at the grocery store with Stu, they were talking about seeing Renee and doing laundry. Teagan said NayNay had no knickers, because she didn’t have any in our laundry. I had knickers and she had knickers and Dada had knickers. LOL!