A long and winding road trip · family fun

Day 103: First we Take Manhattan, Then we Take the Ranch.

Our second day in Manhattan contained none of the adventure, excitement, or death-defying biking of our first day. It was a different kind of fun that appealed to our more cerebral pastimes.

It was raining when we woke up, so an indoor destination was in order. Lucky for us, our hotel was just a few blocks away from the New York Public Library. Our resident lion enthusiast (N) was drawn to the giant lions guarding the building — their presence guaranteed his approval of the outing. Inside we saw the original stuffed animals that inspired the Winnie-the-Pooh stories (yes, they belonged to the real Christopher Robin), examined the stunning architecture of the Rose Reading Room, and ended up sitting on the floor in between the stacks to read.

The afternoon gave Mr. December an opportunity for some exercise: he (and the rest of us) rode a square-wheeled tricycle at the Museum of Mathematics. Math has never been my strong point, but at this museum I was fascinated. In a pattern that persisted from the Niagara Power Project through museums in New York, Boston, and Montreal, I learned more from the museum than the kids did, although they did enjoy themselves immensely.

It was around 4 p.m. — teatime. We took a squishy cab ride uptown to Alice’s Teacup, where they offer you fairy wings when you come in. Mr. December looks adorable in pink sparkly wings, doesn’t he?

Back at the hotel we rested, then readied ourselves to move on the next morning. We did our laundry, packed our stuff, and went to sleep early, dreaming of cowboys and horses. Dude ranch, here we come!

By the time we left Manhattan, I was on edge. I’m not a fan of crowds, noise, and endless concrete. We left the city (very slowly) and drove out to Kerhonkson, NY. Never heard of it? Neither had we. We arrived at Pine Ridge Dude Ranch and settled in for a long weekend.

You guys, I am such a country person. I loved every minute of it. We rode horses, of course, but also spent lots of time in the pool (with waterslides!), jumping on this gigantic bouncy cushion, and washing the horses. We (a few families with kids) took over the empty “Bullroom” (dance club downstairs) one night and asked the (bored, lonely) DJ to play all of the kids’ favourites — even N came out of his shell and boogied to Old Town Road. There was line dancing every afternoon before dinner, and every night there was a campfire with s’mores. The kids were in heaven; so were Mr. December and I. Travel and adventure are fun, but there’s something lovely about an all-inclusive resort where everything is arranged and all you have to do is show up.

Alas, all good things must come to an end; after three days of food, fresh air, and fun, we packed up once again and made our way towards Boston.

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