A Little Adventure (Outside of Our Neighborhood)
Updated: Mar 14, 2021
How we got from Point A to Point B...
I never imagined having to take such meticulous precautions when traveling with Mason. Pre-pandemic, we were in and out of taxis or taking the subway. Pre-pandemic, we didn't wear masks or carry extra hand-sanitizers. Pre-pandemic, we were thinking of where to take our first official family vacation, just me, B, and Mason. Yet as things have changed, we've adapted for health and safety of ourselves and the community.
Our first trip outside of our neighborhood was a visit to our hometown that happened this past September. We hadn't been back in our hometown since Christmas 2019, and only saw some of our immediate family as we're trying to take as much precaution as possible for everyone's safety. One of our parents had picked us up and brought us back as we aren't ready to get into a taxi from the city to Long Island. We are fortunate to have access to our family; as we know, not everyone does at this time.
Planning Our Travel
We decided to try venturing outside of our neighborhood again, but not too far - something a bit more local and less than an hour of travel. As I noted, personally, we're not ready to get into a taxi or take the subway. We're trying our best to stay out of enclosed places, but it's a bit challenging as the weather gets colder here in New York. A couple of our dear friends had moved into a new apartment in Brooklyn (BK), and we felt open to visiting them at this time. But how would we get there? And how can we do this as safely as possible?
There's a park nearby that has a port for the ferry system that goes from our neighborhood to BK. We spoke with our friends (who take the ferry often) for their honest opinion on the ferry's health and safety measures. After getting their feedback and researching on our end, we decided that we'd take the ferry and stand outside on the back deck, weather permitting. Luckily, our friends' building is right off the ferry port, so we wouldn't have to take any additional transportation.
Naturally, I was a little nervous, but I wasn't uncomfortable with the idea of going on a ferry (in terms of the pandemic). The big advantage in this situation was that we didn't need any other transportation once we got off the ferry. No need to take a car or subway, and it wasn't much of a walk at all! I thought this was a great and easy first little day trip for all of us - plus, Mason's never been on a ferry before.
I want to note that it's so important to do what YOU feel works best for you and your family. There are plenty of times that B and I have sat down trying to figure out what is safest for our family as far as going out and seeing friends. Yes, we've greatly limited ourselves to the amount of people we see and where we go. This is not only to protect ourselves but also to protect others. We understand that we still reside in a city environment and would never want to risk anyone's health, especially in the current climate.
Here's a tip that I've received from many mamas, one which I continue to remind myself: If you feel uncomfortable and that something isn't best for you and your family, go with that feeling. It's OK to voice that you're not ready to travel or do an activity. And chances are, the majority of people will understand and respect it, especially during this time. And if they don't, let them be with their own feelings.
Packing the Diaper Bag
When taking a day trip, I try to have a couple of extra things just in case...oh, who am I kidding?! Realistically, we'll definitely need these things later because we have a toddler who has close to zero regards for himself and surroundings #thegoodlife. Luckily, my diaper bag, which converts into a backpack, can hold plenty of items while still looking cute and minimal!
My diaper bag checklist coming soon!
Besides Mason's necessary diaper supplies, I always have an extra top, bottom, and socks packed. On this particular day, I considered that we'd be having breakfast at our friends' home, so I packed a couple extra tops for Mason for the inevitable spill or two. I also packed extra bibs, including a few fleece bandana bibs, which definitely came in handy with the weather being a bit chilly. In addition to clothing, I added a few extra snacks that were easy to pass to Mason and let him carry around in his snack holder. Mason will sometimes play with one toy then drop it abruptly to play with another. I didn't want him dropping his toys so loudly (and possibly damaging the floors) in our friends' home, so I tossed in a small textured book and a couple of his light-weight toys.
As for the day trip itself - it couldn't have gone better! We left our apartment by 8:30AM to walk (and had plenty of time to spare) to the port for a 9:12AM ferry. The indoor cabin was not crowded at all, but the weather was nice, so we immediately went all the way to the outside deck. I'd like to think that Mason enjoyed it since we didn't have any tears or tantrums (WIN!). We arrived at the Brooklyn port by 9:25AM and walked right into our friend's building - so easy!
After enjoying a delicious breakfast (kudos to the hosts), we took a short stroll towards a park right on the water. It was great being outdoors and allowing Mason to explore. Thankfully, it wasn't crowded outside either as we walked on the pier. I think Mason had the most fun walking around (almost) like a big kid. B and I always enjoy observing Mason as he figures out where to go, navigating his little feet while maintaining his balance. Mason saw some bright yellow-orange leaves on the ground and had no idea what to do. He stood so close and just stared down at the leaves by his feet for a minute then stomped on top of the leaves with delight. It's so refreshing watching him look around as everything is new for him, especially during this time when we, the grown-ups, might feel a bit stuck or indifferent to our surroundings.
Our trip back in the early afternoon was just as easy as it was that morning. We lucked out again with no crowd on the ferry, and had a comfortable return back to our neighborhood's port. Oh, and Mason slept the entire ferry ride and walk back to our apartment. Success!