It was since the last trip when we took this trip. This was the first time we were travelling with a toddler as opposed to a lap-baby. We still carried all of Pranav's food. The only think we had to buy for him was milk and thanks to Starbucks, it was easy to find it everywhere in the US. Pranav was fed is usual rice/oats cereal and Gerber pulp throughout the trip. When we had dinner he would nibble at whatever we were having.
On the long flight from LAX to IAD is when we realised that Pranav's motion sickness is no longer immune to flight journeys. He was also no longer a lap baby who can be kept quiet in a cramped confines of an aeroplane seat. He was the annoying child who kicks your backseat. People in front of us complained (pretty rudely) and the airline upgraded them to the first class to placate them. Once they left, flight's motion got to Pranav and a closed cabin of a flight is not a great place to throw up. After cleaning up the mess we somehow managed to put him to sleep and he slept till we landed. After this ordeal we have never taken a flight more than 3 hours long (one exception is of course the flight from US to India which we could not have avoided).
We stayed at the Hotel Harrington in Washington DC. It was centrally located to all the main sights - we picked this hotel so that we can avoid any mechanised mode of transport while in DC. After feeding Pranav Starbucks milk, we went to Corcoran Museum. After that we went to the National Portrait gallery where we fed Pranav lunch and gobbled up some sandwiches. Pranav slept in his stroller and after that we could see the museum at our leisure. All the museums in the US are stroller friendly and temperature controlled both of which helped Pranav to have a nice long nap. He woke up by 3pm and we made our way back to the Hotel. We had dinner at a nearby Greek restaurant.
We did the exact same thing on the following two days - spend the whole day at the National Art Gallery. The place is big enough to easily spend two full days there. Pranav was fed his breakfast outside the museum before we entered. Lunch was in the museum and he happily slept there while we walked around the museum. When he was awake, he was happy people watching. Occasionally, we would have to let him off the stroller and walk. He was no longer happy to sit in a stroller all day. Thankfully he was most fascinated with the sofas in the middle of the room than the art pieces.
Today's agenda was to get to Philadelphia. Knowing Pranav's condition, we had decided to take a train to Philly instead of driving there. That worked out fine. We reached Philly without any problems. We fed Pranav his lunch at the station and walked to our hotel. It was a good 30 min walk to the hotel and we didn't want to take a taxi as we had just fed Pranav. Since there were good footpaths and our luggage were roll on, we didn't have much of a problem. In the evening we went and checked out the liberty bell.
Today was another day long museum affair. We went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The only difference this time was that we had to take a taxi back and forth and Pranav was a bit queasy on the way to the museum. Apart from that, the day went fine.
Today was a museum hopping day. We started off at the Philadelphia Academy of Art where we fed Pranav his breakfast cereal. After lunch, we went to the Science Museum which (predictably) was filled with noisy school kids. Since this was Pranav's nap time, we waited outside in a park till Pranav finished his nap and then went and checked out the museum. Pranav liked the adjacent Natural History museum better. Geckos and butterflies interest him more than pendulums.
Today, we checked out from our hotel in Philly and took the long walk to the station. After feeding Pranav breakfast, we took a train to NY. NY Penn station was noisy and chaotic. We fed Pranav is lunch outside the station and since he needs some time before he can hop on a taxi, we walked to the nearby Morgan Library. Pranav slept peacefully at the library. After he woke up we took a taxi to our hotel next to the Central Park. In the night we ordered Indian take away.
We fed Pranav breakfast at the Central Park and went and checked out the Guggenheim. After that we went to the Whitney Museum and spent the rest of the day in Central Park. We had walked to all these places - a stiff walk, but better than taxi ride which could have made Pranav sick.
Today Pranav woke up very early. We took him to the nearby Children's Park and let him play till Natural History Museum opened for the day. We spent the entire day there. We just had to keep away from the dinosaur exhibits to avoid the noisy children. We finished the day a bit early to avoid the thunderstorm.
If we can spend two days in National Gallery of Art, we can easily spend two at the Met. That's what we did. But this time it wasn't consecutive days. We have been walking to all the museums from our hotel at the Upper West Side. We had to cross Central Park by foot everyday. Today was no different. Pranav as usual ran around in the museum amusing himself and ate and slept in his stroller. The museum guards were very accommodative and did not frown upon a toddler running aimlessly from room to room.
Today we crossed the central park again to get to the Frick's collection. Only when we reached there we found out that children under 10 aren't allowed inside. So Aparna stayed back to see the museum while I walked back to our Hotel. Aparna took a taxi back and then I went and saw the Frick's.
Today was the second day at Met and the day went exactly like the one two days ago.
In order to avoid another messy Taxi ride, we walked all the way to the MOMA from our hotel. It was close an hour of walking. After walking around in the museum as well, we did not have any strength to walk back and took a cab. Well, Pranav did throw up on the way back. So maybe it was a wise decision to walk to the museum in the morning!
After yesterday's mess in the taxi, we shelved our plans to go visit Queens and Brooklyn. Instead we spent the day at the Central Park. Pranav really enjoyed the zoo and running around the Bethesda fountain.
Today was the return journey to Irvine. Pranav was a bit queasy on the taxi ride to the airport. But on the flight he was OK. We were very relieved and glad that we did not have to re-live the first day again!