I had a week long break from school Feb 20th-24th so I decided that Baby A and I would travel to New York to visit my little sister and to see the last Ringling Circus. I booked a flight via Spirit about three weeks ago. Say what you will about Spirit, but we had a great flight experience both ways for a very very low price. We paid less than $100 for one round trip ticket.
Our flight departed Wednesday at about 6 AM. This kind of sucked. I thought flying early would be good so that we could have the entire day to explore, but it was very hard for me. We woke up at about 3:45 AM and headed to the airport about 30 minutes later. When you fly Spirit with a lap child, you have to arrive at least an hour before your flight to check-in at the counter prior to your flight. We got there with maybe 10 minutes to spare...definitely pushing it, but we made it! I decided to NOT check the stroller and car seat at the gate despite my initial feelings mentioned here. This is why: Spirit allows you one "personal item" and a diaper bag when you're traveling with a baby. My "personal item" was a tad bit on the bigger side and could have possibly passed for a carry on. I decided to keep it at the bottom of my stroller to keep from getting charged a carry on bag rate. Call me cheap, but I don't care.
When you're traveling with children at DTW you basically get to skip the long security line to get to a shorter security line. I took Baby A out of his car seat and put him inside of the Ergo baby carrier. They did not make me take off my shoes or my jacket when going through. I did have to break down the travel system, put the bags car seat and stroller on the belt, and we were able to walk through the metal detector while still wearing him. Luckily for us our gate was very close to security. We walked up just in time for early boarding. We were able to board the plane early. I checked the car seat and stroller at the gate and we boarded with no problem. We had the aisle seat of row 5. There were two people assigned to our row. To save time I ended up just moving to the center seat instead of trying to get up and let the man to his seat.
Baby A was very active initially. This made me pretty nervous because I was extremely tired and wanted to sleep. However, he ended up latching on right at takeoff and staying sleep the entire plane ride. The flight was about two hours. We landed at LGA then headed to my sister's apartment in Brooklyn. This. was. a. trip! It was too much lol. I was still carrying Baby A. My sister was pushing the travel system which had the bags on it. We had to get on a bus, ride it to the subway, get on a subway train, switch trains, get off the train, and walk half a mile to get to her apartment.
At this point it's about 9:30 AM. I hadn't ate and was super tired. Baby A and I needed sleep. We took a super long nap. I woke up feeling horrible. I literally felt weak. I was so upset because I thought I was going to be out of commission the entire trip. That's how bad I felt. We ate. We went back to sleep. We woke up and it was dark. Wow... this was not how I imagined our trip. We watched tv, ate dinner, bathed, read a book, and went to bed.
I woke up the next day feeling much better. Baby A and I had oatmeal for breakfast and started our day with Stranger Things. We got dressed and headed to the streets. On Thursdays, the Children's Museum of Brooklyn has pay what you can entry from 2-6 PM. We took advantage of this. We walked because it was only 15 minutes from my sister's apartment and the weather was pretty nice (60 degrees).
Baby A had a ball! We started with the totally tots exhibit. This exhibit is for children under the age of 5. He enjoyed sensory play with water, music, blocks, and texture. They also have dress up and a sand area as well. It got crowded pretty quickly, but he was able to play in most of the exhibit. I didn't feel comfortable with him playing in the sand area. I felt like it would get too messy and I didn't want him to try to eat it or put it in his hair. Next we went to the World of Brooklyn and Neighborhood Nature exhibits. I wanted for us to go to the Sensory Room, but Baby A fell asleep before we could get there. He lasted a little bit over an hour.
We left and walked back towards the apartment. On the way we stopped for a slice of pizza. I can't remember the name of the place, but it was delicious and only .99! We were pooped so we took a nap. Later that night we walked to get Mexican food from Tepache in Brooklyn.
On Friday we woke up early and ate breakfast at the apartment. We got dressed and hit the streets early. I decided to carry Baby A in our Ergo instead of pushing him in the stroller. We took the subway to Harlem. It took about an hour to get there via subway. We got off at 125th St in hopes of going to a Whole Foods that I saw on my Apple Maps app. To my surprise the store wasn't open yet. We walked down 125th to do some shopping and to see the Apollo Theater. Next we headed to Grandma's Place, a black-owned children's book and toy store. I absolutely love this store! The book selection was EVERYTHING! The employee was polite, attentive, and very knowledgeable. We left with two books, a bilingual book on Animals, and a book entitled Uptown by Bryant Collier. Next we took the subway to the Barclay's Center to see the Ringling Circus!
I attempted to purchase tickets online, but the fees involved cost almost as much as the ticket itself so I decided to buy the ticket at box office. I was able to purchase the ticket for just the ticket price! I was stoked because we ended up with really good seats (18th row)! We went inside and found our seat with no problem. I was kind of upset because the Barclay's Center website said that there was no cameras allowed, but I saw so many people with cameras! Please don't mind the quality of the video taken with my iPhone. Baby A loved the circus! He had glow lights to wave and danced to the music. He clapped and cheered. I was so happy to see how much he enjoyed the show. His face made the entire trip worth it! After the show we explored a bit then headed back to the apartment.
Saturday was our last day there. We woke up early, got our things packed, and got dressed for the day. We headed out with the stroller and caught the subway to the ferry. Baby A didn't last long in the stroller. I ended up putting him in his carrier and my sister pushed/carried the stroller. We didn't do a tour of the Statue of Liberty, but were able to see it from the FREE ferry. Checkout our pictures below! Baby A was awake to see Lady Liberty, but fell asleep for the remainder of the ferry ride. We stopped at Staten Island for a minute and returned back to New York.
This is where things went left. It was time for us to head to the airport. We returned to the apartment a little after 2. I changed Baby A and was getting ready to walk out when he pooped his diaper. I changed him again and we literally ran out of the apartment building. We had to ride subway for a little over an hour to get to the bus that takes us to the airport. I mentioned above that you have to be at the airport an hour before your flight departs when traveling via Spirit with a lap child. I began to get anxious because I felt like I didn't give myself enough time to get to the airport...and honestly, I didn't. Baby A was literally screaming on the train for a good 30 minutes. He eventually fell asleep and I was so relieved when he did. If you know me then you know I hate to hear my son cry. The subway was moving so slow and I watched the clock hit 3:46...one hour before our flight. We hadn't made it to the bus yet. I was nervous and angry. I was so certain we were going to miss the plane. We literally arrived 10 minutes before they were going to close the plane door. I am so thankful for the Spirit staff for being patient with us and allowing us to board.
Overall it was a great trip to New York. Baby A certainly enjoyed himself. I wonder where we'll go next! Drop your suggestions in the comments!