Since Michelle didn’t go to Camp Seafarer this summer, she’d spend several weeks with grandparents and we’d take the money we saved for a sitter and invest in an inexpensive trip – just the two of us. With racked up airline miles, the only costs I’d bear would be the hotel, food and entertainment.
We decided on New York – one of my favorite places. Not cheap, but I am!
How we saved $$$:
1. Stayed at the roach motel – book late, great deal.
- The shower was like being sprayed down by a fire hose. “Michelle, stand back. This showers gonna sting a little. You got any open wounds? Good! Jump in.”
- The room had apparently been the previous home of a drug bust. The screws on the safety lock were dangling out of the woodwork – clearly the victim of an NYPD midnight intrusion.
- Lots of cars backfiring??? Just pretend you left the TV on and there’s a Starsky and Hutch marathon running all night long.
2. Carry your own bags.
“Michelle, when the bellman offers to carry your bag, tell him you’ve got it.”
“But dad it’s heavy.”
“Do you want to leave the tip out of your allowance?”
Everyone in New York wants a tip! A big reason to live in the south.
- Angry stares from the hotel staff.
- Hail your own cab on the way back to the airport brother!
- No response when you report the broken safety lock.
3. Subway or walk. No taxis.
Unfortunately, Michelle inherited her paternal great grandmother’s aversion to germs.
“Michelle, hold on to the pole, not my waist.”
“Dad, I don’t like to touch stuff down here. It’s nasty.”
As soon as we got to our destination, wherever it was, she’d ask me to go wash my hands. We’re going to work on that prissiness.
I also noticed that my cute kid in a pink Lilly dress with a white monogrammed bow in her hair sort of stood out in the NY crowd. One of these things is not like the others…
- Possibly a virus.
- I could have been beaten up.
4. Cheap attractions.
“I want to see the Statue of Liberty!”
“Dad, does this boat stop on the island?”
“Nah – this is the Staten Island Ferry. Just look real hard, she’s over there somewhere. We’ll get to see it again when we turn around and ride back. Daddy got us a double tour.”
Activities for next to nothing:
- Teaching her to read a Subway map. Took up lots of time!
- Visiting the store Mood in the Garment District. They sell ribbons for your hair, thousands of them – some are $2.50 a yard. 1 1/2 hours – check!
- Macy’s – have to buy some back to school clothes anyway and they give a 10% discount to out-of-town customers.
- Split a phat piece of NY cheesecake! $8 and good eatin’.
- Hot Dogs at Bark – a great, inexpensive restaurant in Brooklyn. Takes a while to get there, but once you’re on the subway, you might as well ride (just wash your hands before you eat.)
- None that I can see.
We did do some stuff that cost money. We saw Matilda and went to the Top of the Rock at night and both were fantastic.
The looks on her face as she experienced the city were priceless: the edge of her seat in Matilda; her mouth wide open at the top of Rockefeller Center; her eyes bugged as she entered the ribbon room at Mood. I’d pay $10,000 to see those again.
As much as I love Manhattan, the highlight of the trip had nothing to do with New York. It was spending time with my kid, just us – laughing and discussing life.
Now I have to figure out a way to do the same with the other two.