Oh yes we did!
We were "those people", in all ways possible.
Those people at the airport, on Christmas day, with an infant.
Yeppers, we decided to brave the traveler's own h-e-double hockey sticks and head to DTW, eastward-bound. Thomas' sister and biffles live in Edgewater, NJ, not too far from NYC but way too far from any tan-eriffic, fist-pumping, short-fused shore people, which is what I really wanted for Christmas. *sigh*
We arrived to the airport on time which, in and of itself, deserves an award. We made it through security with a bag full of more than three ounces of medicine, supplements, formula and perfume. We even got a smile from a TSA person.
To celebrate, we grabbed some Tuesday's for lunch, and a beverage.
|Don't judge... you know you're stressed just reading this.|
|Where are the treats, woman??|
We did not reserve a seat for Eli, thinking we would just hold him. But once we got there and were already exhausted just from walking down to the gate, we decided to ask if there were any empties, just in case. Hopes were not high.. it was a little plane, only three seats per row, and it was Christmas afternoon. To our luck, there were a couple open *smile* We boarded on time, "making friends" along the way as Eli's stroller bumped elbows all the way down the aisle. Our adorable flight attendant, Evan, carried him down while I closed it up and made it into it's FAA approved flight seat. (Having Evan on board, a man that was oh-so-comfortable with his feminine side, was about as good as having a grandma on call.) Eli got the window, momma took shotgun next to him, and daddy sat across the aisle in the single.
This was at 3:25, just after boarding
So we were on our way. We took off, we hit cruising altitude, we got to read and relax a bit, and it was well after the seatbelt sign went out before Eli woke up. He fussed a bit, but no more than normal. We were halfway through and preparing for descent and he enjoyed peekaboo and playing with the lights until we landed.
|Eli and his Gomo|
|With Uncle Taemin and Aunt Jenn|
After we left there we headed back to Jaisun and Minji's for their Christmas party. There was a full house, complete with all of Eli's favorite things: puppies, breakables, and beautiful Asian girls *giggle* He made some new friends, was pawed all over by both the puppies and the ladies, and eventually rubbed his eyes so it was bedtime. Though we were in a small space, no pack and play, no turtle night light, nothing familiar, the little champ still passed out and slept until he normally woke up.
In the meantime, I met Roju
Eli woke up to join the festivities. We usually would give him his bottle and rock him back, but we brought him out to say hello, and he was certainly the highlight of the second leg of the night..
|Soaking up the love|
He passed back out shortly after, and the night continued. Sans photographs, and with good reason.
The next day was the start of the blizzard that hit the east coast. It started slowly enough that we could make our way out for food. I tried ox bone soup, or seolleong-tang, for the first time. Incredulous..
Eli slept through this whole date, too. I wanted him to try some, but the man had a late night of partying so we let him snooze *giggle* We napped afterward, and only headed out into the snow a second time for dinner with everyone, and to meet with Bernard and Janice, who came from Cali to see family and meet Eli. Talk about some troopers. They took the ferry, in the storm, from Long Island, just to have dinner and chill. Thomas' friends are just awesome people.
|Soooo ready for Kalbi!|
|With mama and Aunt Minji, aka, Border Patrol|
|Everybody, and what was left of an amazing dinner|
The next morning we were up to see the white-washed city and meet with more friends and family.
|Hmm.. I doubt my stroller will morph into a snowmobile..|
The first shot of Times Square was pretty nice. What was usually a busy intersection was surprisingly gentle and empty, with children climbing the piles left from the plows.
|Oh the looks we got for this haha|
Since we planned to head to SOHO anyway, we just made our way there, hitting Rockefeller Center on the way.
|Cold child in the city|
|Good Morning Sleepy Cho!|
Aaand upon finding ourselves in Queens, we realized we had just traveled the wrong way ::palm hits forehead::
|Are we there yet?|
Back on track, we finally make it.
If there is one thing I love about New York, it is the way that different parts of the city at different times of the day can make you feel like you just traveled to a new country. By the time we reached SOHO, the sun was competing with the building tops and we were in the gloomy calm of this spunky shopping district. And even more cold..
We stopped into Eastern Mountain Sports to get some toe warmers for my poor little piggies. As soon as they started to thaw I was ready to go again. Good thing because the cabs wouldn't even take us down sidestreets to meet Thomas' cousin Sejun at his restaurant. Not even with Eli's feet hanging out of the coat. Yes, we hoped that those would score us special treatment~not in the concrete jungle, my friends.. it's pretty serious up in there. So we planned to walk. In the meantime we managed to find Ahrham and her friend Randall, and we headed to Woo Dae Oak for even more Korean food. It was quite yummy, and while we warmed up and enjoyed our dinner, Sejun found a way to stop in for five minutes, just to say hi and hug Eli. I'll say it again: Thomas' friends and fam are amazing.
|All smiles with his Gomo|
While we waited for our cab back to Jersey, I snapped a picture of the NYC snow removal system. Pretty impressive, as I was curious about how they cleared so many streets so quickly and may I add, pretty darn well. A little team they are, all lined up, staggered just right to push snow from this side to that side, and the "little salt truck that could" sprinkling behind. I couldn't get the last plow and salt truck but you get the idea..
|Yes, I'm from Michigan and love to critique snow removal|
After all of this.. the wind, the lost gloves, the frozen toes, the trip to Queens.. Ahrham suggested we leave sleepy Eli with her and we head to the sauna to relax and unwind.
How exactly do you say "angel" in Korean? *smile*
The catch, though? It was a Korean sauna. I will stop here and link this to it's own rightfully deserved post later on down the line. That sure was an experience to remember. For anyone that doesn't know the difference between American and Korean saunas, I'll preface it by saying this: You know that dream you have, where it's your first day at a new school, and you can't find your locker or homeroom, and everyone is looking at you, and you're naked? That REALLY happened to me, just add the fact that I don't speak Korean. Awesome..
I slept like a baby though. We all did. We snuck in late (sorry again Jaisun and Minji!) curled up together and snored and dreamed after conquering the city during the blizzard of 2010.
Now the only thing left to do was catch our flight on time, or at all, since many were still being cancelled. We only had a slight delay~two hours~and Eli was a delight in the airport amongst little demon children that were causing passengers to break out into hives as they played the "which flight are they on?" game in their heads. He smiled at everyone, walked with his stroller, drank some juice and watched his new favorite cartoon, Pororo, on our phones.
When we finally boarded, there was no extra seat, but little man eventually passed out belly down across our laps, and he slept from take-off to landing.
Best. Baby. Ever.
|Seriously, two hour delay? Shot of Good Start over here, straight up, please!|
I missed home and my family dearly, but it was a blessing to share this holiday with even more people that love Thomas and Eli so much. We were altogether excited and happy, exhausted and thrilled, grouchy and hungry, thankful and overwhelmed with love. Despite her indirect attempts, even Mother Nature couldn't keep us from thoroughly enjoying each minute. It was a whirlwind of emotion this Christmas, and one for the books. We hope yours was just as wonderful *smile*
Love, The Cho Family