New York With Two 9-Year Olds...

As mentioned, I travelled to New York with my best friend, her 9-year-old son, and a friend of his. Most of you know my lack of affinity for children of any age and might be concerned things went awry. Not at all. I had a ball with these kids! Part of it was that I was fun Aunt Di-Di. I had to laugh at my poor friend who spent God knows how much money on the boys only to hear, "Aunt Di-Di is the best!" That's the joy of being a novelty...

But really, so much fun. We went to Toys R Us and rode the giant Ferris Wheel and we went to FAO Schwartz and roamed the aisles and attended all the demonstrations together. We took them to the Empire State Building and Times Square, went for a bike ride in Central Park, walked the perimeter of Ground Zero, and took a ferry ride past the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. We bought pretzels from a street vendor and rode the subway and took taxi's and ate at great New York restaurants. The boys were troopers through it all with very little whining or complaining. The energy of youth--no matter how much we did, we just could not tire them.

One cute thing. We've done all of the above yet guess what sticks out in the minds of the boys as one of the highlights of the trip? Seeing rats in the subway. They were snapping pictures and pointing excitedly as the rats crawled over the tracks.  Glad we could introduce a bit of culture into their lives.

We weren't how the boys would react to Ground Zero or if they'd really "get" it. But they asked questions and we had great conversations as we strolled around the area. At one point, G. was walking beside me and asked, "Do you believe in God?"

"I do," I said.

"Me too," he said, and took my hand.

I thought I would be exhausted spending that much time with kids but I have to say I think it really added to the experience. And of course, spending time with Trisha is always a plus.

Let's hope the good kids vibe continues. My 12-year-old niece is coming today to spend the rest of the week with us. No entertainment plans yet in place, but I'm sure we'll figure it out.