“All I want for Chrithmath ith a Printheth Cruithe”….
No this is not a commercial for Princess Cruise Lines – this is Haley – my 5 year old grand-daughter. Now it is not surprising that she has the idea of going on a cruise seeing as her grandmother is The Travel Lady and everyone knows I love to cruise. Where did she get the idea of going on a Princess Cruise? Well it is a lovely name – conjures up images of princesses swanning around in long glittery dresses with dragging trains. Anyone with daughter or grand-daughters will know exactly what I mean.
Also anyone who has travelled with their children or grandchildren will appreciate the fact that you see the world through completely different eyes with sometimes hilarious results.
Like the time my boys thought the bidet was for washing the sand off their feet…. or not…
Like the time we went to the hot tub in Austria – we sat and bubbled and chatted to the nice people in the hot tub until one of the men decided it was time to leave – he stood up completely starkers and my daughter who was 9 at the time shouted “Yikes” …. Much German style laughter followed. (They must have had a clue we were British because we got into the hot tub with our swim suits).
Put some clothes on!
Like the time we went on our first Carnival Cruise – sitting around the pool a moment of panic when I realised my youngest (then aged 7) was missing. At that moment the Conga Line wound its way around us and there he was holding firmly onto the hips of the rather elderly lady in front of him bopping and swinging to the music.
Like the time we went to New York and my son thought that the Ninja Turtles really lived underneath the manholes – especially when the lids rattled and the steam came up.
Like the time we went to Atlantis – famous for its pools and waterpark – well the boys played water basketball the whole day until their feet were raw – I am not kidding….
You see – it’s good to think like a kid – play like a kid – travel like a kid. Enjoy everything 100% – eat when you’re hungry – sleep when you’re tired – but have fun!
If you like Attitude (capital A please note) take yourself on a trip to New York. Yes people. New York New York – the Big Apple – the city that never sleeps. Here’s an idea. Don’t stay in Times Square or in the Village or on Park Avenue. If you want to meet the real New Yorkers go stay on the upper West Side where people actually live and play and shop and go buy kosher bagels and yummy lox cream cheese. These people take life seriously and don’t mind giving you their opinion. Take Nick – well Big Nick as he is known. His restaurant/diner whatever is in the ‘hood. To find a table there you might have to take a wander through the kitchen and past the storeroom. This ain’t no Starbucks and Nick makes that abundently clear with a large sign “No laptops – this is a restaurant, not a library”.
Now there's telling you!
New York was full of surprises. The subway was amazingly efficient, easy and cheap and we used it until late at night. Wall Street was so tiny – disappointing really considering its influence. Times Square was unbelievably tacky and somehow strangely thrilling. A visit to the mega store My American Girl was extremely disturbing – they specialise in expensive 18 inch dolls chosen to look like the little girl owner with matching outfits and even a hair salon upstairs – for the dolls not the kids. Yes grown women paid to stand behind a counter and braid a doll’s hair or give it a manicure or pedicure. Bizarre. I found it rather sickening in today’s climate of starving children in Somalia – but I grow morose…..
The best part of New York was Little Italy. Now shrunk to just one street – but what a street. We nearly didn’t find it but after wandering around Chinatown and getting directions a couple of times we turned the corner and there it stood – oh wow. Pretty lights in the street, tables and chairs laid up with check cloths and candles and even serenading musicians. A wonderful evening.
So go to New York and enjoy all of it – its vulgarity, its charm, its vibe and mostly its people – it should be called the Big Heart rather than the Big Apple.