Report on Mommy Day #1, plus back in the computer saddle

For the past few summers, I have elected to do “Mommy Days” with each of my kids. With a bigger brood, it can be hard to get one-on-one time with individual children — or at least fun time (I spent much of Monday driving my daughter to Baltimore for an eye specialist appointment, but neither of us were exactly thrilled about that experience). So in the summer, I take a day for each kid and do something that the child requests.

Yesterday was my first Mommy Day for 2019. My daughter (age 7) and I took the train into New York City, where we went to the American Girl store in Rockefeller Center. I enjoyed studying the AG catalog when I was a girl, though I never owned anything from the collection. My daughter has had… a slightly different experience (though I’ve definitely done most accessory shopping in the more attractively priced Target “Our Generation” collection). In any case, we went and shopped and had lunch at the Cafe where her Welly-Wisher doll (the one who accompanied us) was able to sit in a little doll chair at the table. We wound up purchasing a really cool space suit so my daughter’s dolls can participate in space walks (I’d note that unlike NASA’s female offerings, this space suit actually fits the doll…)

Then we headed over to the Vessel, the new installation of many stairs at the end of the High Line in Hudson Yards. We climbed around, took photos, and watched the looming storm clouds come in.

Then it was up to visit Uncle Dan (my little brother) in his office near Hudson Yards. We chatted with him and got to look out the high rise windows at everything from Brooklyn to the Statue of Liberty.

Alas, then it really started raining. I had an umbrella, but it’s hard to cover two people and shopping bags. Right outside Penn Station, our American Girl store bag broke, sending our purchases all over the muddy ground. Fortunately, I had an extra tote bag (to hold my daughter’s train activities) so we were able to stick most things in there. Then we found out that the trains back to PHL were sold out for the next hour. This made me grateful that my daughter is 7, and not 3, as she was able to sit in the waiting room and play Tic-tac-toe on her Kindle quietly.

Eventually we got on the train and came back to Philadelphia, where we met my husband, whose office is right by the train station. He came down to get us, and we went up to visit him. It was a nice ending to my portion of the Mommy Day — because I handed her over to my husband to go home, and I took off for…the Apple Store.

Yes, I got a note that my laptop was done early. And done as in fixed. I am posting on it right now! I’m feeling really happy about this — not only was the cost of the replacement battery (and new screen that they threw in, and new key pad or whatever you call it) far below the replacement cost of the computer, all the stuff that I hadn’t backed up in a few weeks (I know, I know) was still there.

So that was good, although the drive to the Apple Store was one of the scariest of my life. We had a huge summer rainstorm, featuring buckets of rain and lightning and –coming on top of some other wet weather — the roads flooded. I drove through several pond-like bodies of water with close to no visibility. I was looking for a place to pull over but the route my GPS took me on featured small roads where there were very limited options (and I didn’t want to put other drivers at risk who would need to drive around me). But, made it, and now we seem to be drying out for the weekend. We’ll probably do a bike ride and maybe another beach trip (different beach). And maybe I’ll do some typing on this new keyboard that, unlike the home PC, doesn’t stick!

6 thoughts on “Report on Mommy Day #1, plus back in the computer saddle

    1. @Kristen – big relief. It’s much better to have a big purchase like a laptop be a planned purchase rather than an “emergency” one!

  1. Interesting comment about trains being sold out. Do you always just buy Amtrak tickets at the station rather than reserve ahead of time? Do you pay a premium for that or do you find the fares similar to booking in advance? My daughter will be going to school in NY and I envision more frequent excursion from Philly to NY.

    1. @Judy – if I can commit to a time I tend to buy in advance – so we had our morning tickets from PHL to NYP pre-purchased. But then I wasn’t sure exactly when we would be able to get on a train home, and I didn’t want to feel rushed in our afternoon activities. So I planned to buy at the station. This almost always works but sometimes trains sell out. There have been various construction projects going on so it’s possible they’re running fewer trains due to that. I’m just not sure. There is possibly a premium for buying at the station but I feel like the fares are incredibly variable, much like airline tickets. In decades of taking Amtrak I haven’t figured it out at all. Generally the Keystone or Pennsylvanian are both much cheaper than the Northeast Regional or Acela. Rush hour trains are more expensive than non-rush hour.

  2. I appreciated your update! This month for the first time ever, I’ve let my 4-year-old daughter peruse the AG catalog (I typically glance through and then recycle it). She is really enjoying the story synopses (aka, sales copy) for all of the girls, which are just the right length to enjoy during snack, while I’m prepping breakfast, etc. I myself love the stories of empowerment–occasionally getting teary-eyed. While I suspect a doll and visit to an AG store will be in our future, it helps that she doesn’t yet know that all of the items in the “magazine” can be purchased. 🙂

    1. @Minneswiss – yep, empowerment at approximately $115/doll 🙂 I’ve always been into doll accessories, though really miniatures in general. I built up my Playmobil collection years ago, and I built my own dollhouse which I furnished with a lot of make-shift furniture (and real pieces purchased as gifts I asked for on holidays). I have designs of creating my own Thorne miniature rooms some day, or like the dollhouse at Winterthur. This will likely not happen until I have children who won’t break the pieces immediately.

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